South German Railway Museum
The museum has the following aims:
1. To preserve the site of the former Heilbronn locomotive depot, part of which is under historic building protection.
2. To preserve historical railway vehicles and their associated infrastructure and to display them to the general public.
The members of the board of trustees work for the museum as volunteers.
Site and Description of the Museums
The museum is located in the former Deutsche Bundesbahn locomotive depot at Heilbronn in the Böckingen district of the town. The depot was opened in 1893 by the Royal Württemberg State Railways (Königlich Württembergische Staats-Eisenbahnen or K.W.St.E.), and owned in succession by the Deutsche Reichsbahn, Deutsche Bundesbahn and Deutsche Bahn, before being taken over in 2000 by the museum's board of trustees. The museum has about 80 exhibits (wagons and locomotives). On the site is a locomotive roundhouse with a working turntable, as well as a large wagon shed. Steam and diesel engines can be serviced and looked after.
Members of the museum restore locomotives and wagons from the period 1895 to the 1950s. In addition, the roundhouse opened in 1893 is being refurbished. This is the only remaining roundhouse from the time of the Royal Württemberg State Railways that can still be seen in its original state.
Here is a brief overview of the locomotives and wagons owned by the museum. A detailed description of these exhibits may be found on the museum website.
The steam locomotives which can be seen include the following:
- Steam locomotive Prussian P 8
- Steam locomotive DRG Class 01.10
- Steam locomotive DB Class 23
- Steam locomotive DRG Class 44
- Steam locomotive DRB Class 50
- Steam locomotive DR Class 52.80
- Steam locomotive DRG Class 64 "Bubikopf"
- Steam locomotive DRG Class 80
- Steam locomotive DRG Class 86
- Express locomotive (French) SNCF Class 231 K
- Several industrial locomotives.
The star of the show is undoubtedly the Prussian P 8 steam locomotive, number 38 3199, bought back from Romania and restored to working condition. In addition, numbers 86 457 and 23 105, which were victims of the great fire at Nuremberg-Gostenhof on 17 October 2005, are housed here.
Only the carcasses remain on many of the other valuable steam locomotives, but they are being gradually rebuilt into visual exhibits.
As well as the SEH museum's own locomotives, express train steam engines belonging to the Ulm Railway Friends are also stationed here.
Amongst the diesel locomotives on display are the DB Class V 200.1 (later Class 221), DB Class V 60 (later Class 260) and a MaK 800 D, which is similar to the DB Class V 65 (later Class 265). The robust MaK, side-rod driven locomotive is operational and is used for transportation and industrial railway duties across the length and breadth of Germany.
There is a collection of valuable Prussian and Saxon passenger coaches, that have still to be refurbished because, before they had been bought by the SEH, they had stood in the open for many years and fell into disrepair as a result. A lot of time and money will be required to restore them.
In the wagon shed a historical saloon coach belonging to the last crown prince of Prussia is on display.
An I-gauge model railway layout may also be viewed at the museum.
Opening Times and Annual Events
The museum is open to visitors on weekends and public holidays between March and October. Larger events include the steam days in May and the steam engine festival in September that is also combined with a meeting of I-gauge model railway enthusiasts. At the latter, many working layouts and modules are displayed or presented and there are also I-gauge items for sale.
- Kursbuch der deutschen Museums-Eisenbahnen 2008 (Handbook of German Museum Railways), Verlag Uhle und Kleimann, ISBN 978-3-928959-50-6, serial 225
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Süddeutsches Eisenbahnmuseum Heilbronn.|
- SEH museum website with detailed information about opening times and events, as well as all the locomotives and wagons.
- Private website about the SEH by a member of the museum
- There is an English-language discussion forum at Railways of Germany