Monday 21st May 2018 – Railtour with German MaK hydraulic 800011

Update 10/05/18 – this tour was unfortunately cancelled due to insufficient bookings.

If, like me, you used to pass the scrapyard of the Galway Metal Co. at Oranmore, look at the remains of ex-GNR(I) diesel-hydraulic 800 (CIÉ K801) – used as a stationary generator there since 1976 – and wonder what it would have been like to have travelled behind it, then you have a chance to find out on Monday 21st May 2018.

The 800hp MaK-engined diesel-hydraulic K801, or what was left of it by that time (photo on page 4 here), was cut up in 1999 – but although it was unique in Ireland, it had been built by MaK in Kiel in 1954 to a design that was in fact sold to several countries.

Alongside this machine – works number 800028 – on the production line was a virtually identical machine with works number 800011, built for the Osthannoversche Eisenbahnen (OHE) based in Celle, not a million miles away from its birthplace.  Whereas K801 was withdrawn in 1967 and only returned to traffic for about an ill-fated month or so several years later, 800011 clocked up a 40-year career with the OHE and then passed into preservation, the only one to do so.

The above is a link to a video uploaded to YouTube by user seppl hochlader showing it at work during a brief period of hire from the museum to Delta Rail in 2006/2007 for use shunting at Geseke.

It is now in the collection of the Süddeutsches Eisenbahnmuseum in Heilbronn.  A very rare mainline passenger outing has been advertised for Pfingstmontag, Monday 21st May 2018, from Heilbronn to Schwäbisch Hall and return (details here).  It’s very sociably timed at 10:30 from Heilbronn, arriving back at 16:46, and the adult return fare is equally sociable at €39.

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