The Feldbahn Museum in Frankfurt is home to a collection of narrow gauge steam locomotives and other equipment used in field railways. One of the most notable locomotives in the museum is a MALLET type steam locomotive, built in 1909 by Orenstein & Koppel. The locomotive underwent a complex and expensive restoration, which was made possible through financial support from various organizations and individual donations. The MALLET locomotive was officially commissioned on June 2, 2007, during the museum’s field railway festival.
Another locomotive in the museum’s collection is the E103, an O&K electric coupler also in 600mm gauge. The locomotive was purchased from Japan with the help of an honorary member of the museum. Despite its poor condition, the museum plans to fully restore the locomotive to operational condition.
The museum also features a car numbered 110, which is part of the Bulgarian 600mm light railways. The car is undergoing refurbishment with the help of funding from the “Neustart Kultur” program of the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media. The goal of the refurbishment is to increase visitor transport capacity, which is especially important during the pandemic.
The museum’s collection also includes a small railway passenger car, number 13, which vividly conveys the development of field railways from pure material railways to occasional passenger transport of employees to the transport medium of public passenger and goods transport on a gauge of 600 mm. The car is one of the most beautiful and most elaborate narrow-gauge cars ever built in Germany, and the museum is seeking donations to rebuild it according to the original construction plans using as many existing old parts as possible.
The museum is also home to a youth project focused on the reconditioning of a peat truck numbered 561. The peat wagons have a wooden structure on a steel frame base and were used in the peat factory “Vinter Torfindustrie Theodor Sellmann” near Neuenkirchen until peat extraction by field railway was discontinued in 1990. The FFM purchased the two cars in 1991 through the mediation of Feldbahnfreunde Lengerich. The museum hopes to restore the peat truck to operational condition as part of the youth project.
Overall, the Feldbahn Museum in Frankfurt offers visitors a unique glimpse into the history of narrow gauge steam locomotives and field railways. The museum’s collection is not only interesting from a technical standpoint but also serves as an important cultural and historical resource that helps preserve the legacy of these important transportation systems.
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Feldbahn Museum site is here: Feldbahn Museum