Sunday, October 14, 2007

Day 9: Full steam ahead!

We took Erich to the Eisenbahnmuseum in Bochum-Dahlhausen today where he drove a locomotive German workers have turned a former industrial rail yard into a modern museum about trains. In stark contrast to our visit to the Bluebell Railway in the UK, much of the museum was devoted to the area's industrial roots - particularly that of coal mining. As such, much of the machinery was industrial sized.

We saw numerous steam locomotives - many of which were so big that Erich dwarfed in comparison. There were locomotives from as early as 1920, to more modern things from the 80s. Surprisingly, many of the earlier locomotives (i.e. those built in 1920) were in production until the early 90s in East Germany. Now that is German Engineering!

Perhaps what was most interesting (to me at least) was to see the various political and historical remnants on each train. Some of the trains still had "Deutsch Reichsbahn" from the pre-World War II era printed on them. It is a bit eerie staring at these magnificent machines and imagining the kinds of cargo they saw over the years.

To Erich of course, even being near trains brings a huge smile to his face, and being able to see a rail house JUST like that of the Thomas the tank engine rail house must have been a real treat for him.

We ended our day with a little bit of "eis" (ice cream) from a local Italian shop. Evidently, Erich remembered this very well too, as every time I show him this picture, he says "ou-oma give me ice cream". :-)

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