Monthly Archives: August 2017

Adventures in Research

As many of you know, we here at have an ongoing project to attempt to verify the location, condition and whereabouts of locomotives in our database. To this end, I’ve been working my way through our lists of locomotives without photos. There are probably more rational ways to do this, but this seemed convenient.

So, without further ado, let me introduce you to an extraordinary railway museum: The Bochum Railway Museum in Bochum, Germany. The link takes you to a mostly-English version of their website. And the site is stunningly beautiful, the museum quite extraordinary. We had excellent photo coverage of the museum by several photographers — except for one locomotive DB 0-4-4-0T No. 99.604. And this caused me to wonder why.

The locomotive proved elusive on Google, at least at first. The locomotive was not listed on the museum’s website as a part of their collection. A search by builder and construction number on Google turned up nothing. (The builder information we had was wrong, of course).  Another wonderful website, if you’re interested in German steam locomotives can be found at The Steam Locomotive Archive. The site is wonderfully informative if you speak German, and if not, well Google Translate is your friend. Therein, I discovered that good ol’ 99.604 did indeed exist, and had been at the Bochum Railway Museum in 2006.

In the history of the locomotive  on I learned that the locomotive had been transferred in 2006 to the The Society for the Preservation of Narrow Gauge Railways in Dresden, Germany, where it is nicely displayed. Our page for this locomotive is at: DB 0-4-4-0T No. 99.604

And that, dear friends, is how I came to be on my fourth cup of coffee at 5:31 am writing a blog post about a convoluted internet search.




Preservation News (8/6/2017)

Some newsworthy items acquired today:

  • V.E.W. Donawitz 0-4-0T No. 100.13 had been listed as being stored at the Waldbahn Museum Railway in Bezau, Austria. At least least since 2015 it has been operational at a tourist railway in Criscior, Romania.
  • An 0-4-0T with only partial information was listed at Feldbahnmuseum FIM in Freiland, Austria. The locomotive’s railroad of origin was the Graf Karoly Imre tramway, it’s build date was 1899 and a photo was added for the locomotive. The locomotive is operational, have had its boiler recently reworked at Graz, Austria.
  • Removed a duplicate entry for this locomotive at Freiland
  • CFF 0-8-0T No. 764.219 is in possession of the Club 760 Museum, in Frojach, Austria, and it’s status is now “Operational”. A photo was added for this locomotive.

A Happy Discovery

There is an ongoing effort here to both improve the accuracy of the database that drives, and to add locomotives, maps and imagery to the site. Occassionally this yields a pleasant surprise.

So it was, this morning. I often use Google Earth Pro or to search for locomotives in our database. If I can find them in a satellite image, I can add a map/satellite view for the locomotive. I had been searching for locomotives in Chile and was trying to locate Humberstone 0-6-2T No. 11 in Humberstone, Chile. Our data said the locomotive was “Inside Shop”, but the photo provided by Sr. Pato Moris showed the locomotive outside, against the background of a somewhat run-down building. So the search began and I discovered that Humberstone, Chile is actually the Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works, now defunct.

It has been converted into a sort of tourist attraction, and Humberstone No. 11 is indeed outdoors in front of a building. So I began using Google Street View to explore the area at ground level and this is what I found:


The locomotive on the left is, indeed Humberstone No. 11 and it matches our photo by Sr. Pato Moris. The surprise, of course, is the locomotive on the right. This locomotive was not on any list of Chilean locomotives I could find. Navigating around it with Google Street View revealed markings that make this Humberstone No. 8, a locomotive which had been reported scrapped in 1940. So…I’ve cheerfully added this little critter to our website and database, and am searching for technical details for it.


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Posted by on August 6, 2017 in Interesting Locomotives