150 Years of East German Railways Dvd
The Great Train Parade at Riesa.
In April 1839 the first long distance railway in Germany opened for business. It connected the great cities of Leipzig and Dresden. In Riesa a great bridge was built across the River Elbe and this bridge’s modern successor was the site for East Germany’s great railway celebration in April 1989.
Thanks to the wonderful cooperation of the East German authorities we were allocated a place to film the parade at the very end of the bridge. Starting with the diminutive ‘Saxonia’ and ending 2½ hours later with representatives of the modern electric and diesel era no less than forty-seven trains rumbled, roared and snorted their way past the camera. All the time the scheduled passenger and freight services on this busy main line sped by on the adjacent track.
The event was a masterpiece of organisation and it was carried out with great professionalism and efficiency. Many thousands of East Germans flocked to Riesa to witness their railway heritage. The Western railway press assumed before the event that only a few locomotives would be in steam and the rest would be towed. As steam locomotive after steam locomotive parades across your television screen under its own power you will see for yourself that the assumption was totally wrong. Those that were towed were important examples that other railway administrations would have quietly left in their museums.
The entire event was one of which the East Germans are rightly proud and we are sure that you will understand why when you view the great train parade in Riesa.
Full commentary by actor Martin Oldfield.
Directed and produced by John Cocking (1989).
Approx. 45 minutes.
This dvd is being sold on behalf of and with full permission of the copyright owner – Videolines.