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General Travel Conditions of the HSB

 Here you find more information.

Amateur Engine Driver Course (13 days)

In our long, intensive course, you can experience the everyday life of a steam locomotive and feel like a real steam engine driver.

Requirements

  • There are certain requirements that apply to anyone who wants to work on a steam locomotive. One basic requirement is verification of fitness for railway service. This is based on the VDV-Schrift 714 (VDV - Association of German Transport Companies), fitness level "G 25".
  • The health check in accordance with VDV-Schrift 714 can be conducted by any approved transport doctor in Germany. The certificate must be submitted no later than one month before the start of the training course.
  • You will necessarily come into contact with greases, oils, smoke, soot etc. while on the steam locomotive.
  • You will be provided with a locker at Wernigerode station for the duration of the course, in which you can keep your work and ordinary clothes. Of course, you can also make use of the sanitary facilities of the locomotive staff (wash basins, showers, WC etc.). You should bring your own hygiene items such as soap, towels and flip flops.
  • You do not need any prior knowledge with regard to the structure and function of the steam engine nor of the rules of railway operation (signalling, operating regulations etc.), but this would make the training easier for both parties.
  • You will receive training materials before the start of the course. We recommend that you study this material - especially the railway signals - in advance.
  • The language of the course is German.

Clothing and food

  • You need suitable work clothes for the training as an amateur engine driver, i.e. long trousers made from robust material (e.g. jeans), sturdy shoes with good grip and an appropriate top for the weather conditions, with long sleeves if possible.
  • A black work jacket is provided by the HSB and included in the cost of the training.
  • As the weather in the Oberharz, and especially on the Brocken, can often be very harsh, we recommend that you bring with you an item of windproof and waterproof clothing.
  • We also recommend a hat of some kind - you can purchase an engine driver's cap made from real leather from us.
  • When driving a steam engine, regular mealtimes and opportunities to purchase food and drinks are not possible. The break times are very short and are dictated by the timetable. We ask that you bear this in mind.

Accident prevention and insurance

  • At the start of the course, a member of HSB staff will teach you about the dangers connected with railway and steam engine operation.
  • The HSB will not accept liability in the case of soiling or damage to your own clothes or personal items (e.g. cameras).
  • In the case of damage inflicted upon you by HSB - such as due to carelessness by our staff or a technical fault - you are insured as part of our company's general public liability insurance.
  • In addition, we recommend that you take out private accident insurance, as we do not cover damage through fault of your own (e.g. on the way to and from the training or through failure to follow instructions).

Objective of the course

  • The training course as an amateur engine driver lasts 13 days; one day off is planned within these 13 days.
  • It is not possible to teach all the expertise needed to be a professional engine driver in this course.
  • The training course as an amateur engine driver is intended to give you the skills to drive a steam engine on a journey with supervision and instruction.
  • The acquisition of the title "Amateur Engine Driver of the HSB" does not constitute authorisation to drive steam locomotives, nor a legal entitlement to drive on other railways as an amateur engine driver.
  • We primarily want to give you an insight into steam engine operation. As well as driving, this also includes maintenance and repair of the steam locomotive.

Training schedule

The training course always starts and ends in Wernigerode. The training starts on a Thursday at 8:30 am in our headquarters at Friedrichstraße 151.

Day 1In the morning, you will receive various briefings and information. In the afternoon, you will be taught the basics of railway operation in a theory lesson. On request, there is then the option of consolidating what you have learned on a trip with the HSB.
Day 2In the morning, operating and monitoring systems, the structure and the function will be explained on the steam engine. In the afternoon, theory lessons will teach further basics of railway operation.
Days 3-4Training on trains in service
Day 5The subject matter taught so far is repeated, followed by a written and an oral exam. You must pass these exams in order to continue with the training.
Day 6-12         Further training on trains in service between Wernigerode and the Brocken. One of these days will be a day off.
Day 13Practical exam, in which content of the theory exam is also tested. The certificates of participation are presented during a dinner to finish the course.

Most of your training will take place on trains in normal service. You will be assigned to a specific member of engine staff and engine for the duration of the course, although holiday or days off of staff or engines being out of service for planned or unplanned reasons may mean that this assignment cannot always be maintained.

Safety and punctuality are the top priorities in railway operation. The engine staff – especially the engine driver – cannot be divested of their responsibility for these. We would therefore like to inform you that you must follow the instructions of the engine driver and that you have no legal entitlement to drive the locomotive yourself. The decision as to when you drive the locomotive yourself is always made by our engine driver himself according to his own judgement in line with his duties, and is final.

Accommodation during the training

On request, we will be happy to organise accommodation for you in comfortable hotels or guesthouses in Wernigerode. Because accommodation prices can fluctuate depending on the hotel category requested and the season (from €50.00 per night including breakfast), specific arrangements can only be made once a binding date has been set for the course.

Price, services, dates

The price for the training as an amateur engine driver is €1,299.00. As well as theory and practical training, including exams, the price includes the following:

  • Training materials in the form of two brochures and one CD, sent before the start of the course
  • Loan of further training materials – these documents can be purchased on request
  • A black work jacket, use of a locker at Wernigerode station
  • Free travel on our routes for the participant during the training
  • One free trip for an accompanying person by arrangement
  • Dinner on the last day as part of the final event

If you would like any more information or to ask about dates, please contact Ms Bruder on tel.: +49 (0) 3943/558-151, fax: +49 (0) 3943/558-155, e-mail: cbruder@hsb-wr.de or use our contact form for enquiries with no obligation.