Schiefe Ebene - Operation

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Operation

In the era of steam, the ramp proved a real challenge for locomotives and crews. The majority of trains had to be reinforced by heavy pusher locomotives. These were stationed in the well-known locomotive depot at Neuenmarkt-Wirsberg. They included famous locomotives such as the DRG Class 95 (ex-Prussian T 20) and DRG Class 96 (ex-Bavarian Gt 2x4/4), as well as DRG Classes 57 (ex-Prussian G 10) and 50.

In the early 1970s, the route was one of the last stamping grounds of the Deutsche Bundesbahn's Class 01 express train steam locomotive. From 2001 to 2004 the Schiefe Ebene was also traversed by modern ICE-TD power cars (DBAG Class 605) with tilting technology. Today the line is worked by the tilting DMUs of DB Class 612, that serve the hourly RegionalExpress lines of Hof–Würzburg and Hof–Lichtenfels as well as the Interregio-Express line Nürnberg-Hof-Dresden.

At the foot of the ramp in the former locomotive depot at Neuenmarkt-Wirsberg station – located in Neuenmarkt – is the German Steam Locomotive Museum (Deutsches Dampflokomotiv-Museum) or DDM. In the upper station, in the former waiting room of Marktschorgast station, there is a small museum and information centre on the history of the Schiefe Ebene. Entrance is free.

Marktschorgast station is also the start of a railway history trail that runs along the Schiefe Ebene and recounts the history of the line on display boards. The walk ends at Neuenmarkt-Wirsberg station. The trail should be walked with stout footwear and can be completed in a few hours (length 7–8 km, hilly terrain). On the road side of Marktschorgast station is an overview board of the trail; the first display board is on the road side of the former goods shed, about 20 m northeast (in the direction of Hof) next to the railway yard.

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