June 28, 2004

Voyage To The Ends Of The Earth

Yesterday was a big day. I visited two museums in a trip that took me to the ends of the known world -- "the known world" being defined by the Hamburg transit map.

My first journey was to visit der Lokschuppen Aumühle, the Aumühle roundhouse. The Aumühle roundhouse is a branch of the Museumsbahnen Schönberger Strand, a large railway museum near Kiel (north of Hamburg, near the Baltic Sea). I decided to visit Aumühle this weekend because the Schönberger Strand museum was advertising rides between the Kiel train station and the museum on their historic equipment beginning next weekend -- and why spend a half hour riding the bus when you can ride pulled along by a steam train instead?

The roundhouse is just a short walk through the forest from the Aumühle S-Bahn station -- which, being at the easternmost end of Hamburg's S-Bahn network, is a long ride from the city center. Someone who isn't a train fan might be disappointed at making the long trip, because the Aumühle branch was a very small museum -- a three-stall roundhouse with a few engines, four or five passenger coaches, a couple of very old S-Bahn trains, and a motley collection of boxcars. Aumühle's mission seems to be mostly restoration work; once a piece of rolling stock is refurbished enough to be presentable and travelworthy, it's sent off on its way to the main museum. But I'm not complaining -- for me, it was an interesting enough way to pass an hour or so (trains!), and it was free!

After having had my fill, I rode the S-Bahn all the way to its western terminus, in Wedel, to see the "The Duck Family" exhibit at the Ernst Barlach Museum. Two floors of the museum were given over (actually, it looked like all of the museum was given over) to Disney comic art done by three men, Carl Barks, Al Taliaferro, and Floyd Gottfredson. It would have been nice to see a little more original comic art (much of Carl Barks' section was given over to the serigraphs he did later in life to raise a little money), but I enjoyed it. And I think that this was an exhibition that I "got" a little more than many of my fellow visitors, since most of the comics were in English! (The poor parents who brought kids along to see the exhibit were having to stop and read every single comic strip to their demanding children ...)

Pictures of trains follow (click on any of the pictures to get a larger version of that image ...)

The eastern end of the world — the terminus of the S21 line at Aumühle.
One of the things that interested me most in the museum was their collection of signage and other ephemera hanging on the walls. (A sign like one of these would make a great Hamburg souvenir — but even if I were somehow to score a giant "Hauptbahnhof" or "Berliner Tor" sign, how would I get it back to the US?)
One of the forerunners of today's S-Bahn; this train was built in 1927 and ran between Blankenese and Ohlsdorf.A double-deck streetcar from Volksdorf.If you ever want to complain about riding in second class, just think — at least you're not riding in third class.
The western end of the world — the terminus of the S1 line at Wedel, just a short walk away from the Ernst Barlach Museum.

Partially-related link: Hamburger Bahnhöfe -- Pictures of (most of) Hamburg's railway stations (for both mass-transit and long-distance rail)

Posted by Kevin at June 28, 2004 08:10 AM