HSB: Harz Narrow-Gauge Railroad
Total travel time from Wernigerode to the Brocken is roughly 1-3/4 to 2 hours, depending on which train you take. All trains to the Brocken's summit station are powered by coal-burning steam locomotives, and trains run year-round. For seasonal timetables, visit the official HSB Web site. (See link below.)
HSB ticket prices vary by route. On the Brockenbahn, which serves the Brocken summit and museum, the railroad charges the same price from all stations. This means you might as well take the train all the way from Wernigerode to the Brocken, since you won't save money by driving to the Drei-Annen-Hohnen or Schierke station farther up the line. On the HSB's Harzquerbahn and Selketalbahn lines, which mostly cater to area residents, fares are determined by distance.
The HSB has a shop in Wernigerode called (see inset photo). You can buy tickets, souvenirs, and gifts at the store, which is on Wernigerode's main shopping street opposite the Marktplatz. Tickets are also available at any HSB railroad station.
Most of the HSB's rolling stock was built decades ago, before "accessibility" became a buzzword, but the railroad does provide external wheelchair lifts in the Wernigerode, Drei-Annen-Hohne, and Brocken stations from May to October. Phone (0 39 43) 558-153 for assistance.
Two-wheelers travel free in the baggage car on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The HSB runs "decorated trains for diabolic people" on Walpurgisnacht (April 30), Easter Sunday trains with the Easter bunny and special gifts, and "St. Nicholas" trains in December with Christmas decorations and St. Nick on board.
If you're traveling with a large family or group, you can rent an historic railcar or a dining car. Groups of 40 or more can book a private railway car with tables. For contact information, see the links below.
Tours for railfans
The HSB offers a one-hour guided tour of the railway depot at Wernigerode Westerntor, and steam enthusiasts can book a trip in the driver's cab of a steam locomotive (dark, older clothes are suggested).
HSB Web sites and customer service
HSB - Harzer Schmalspurbahnen
For more pictures of HSB trains and stations, see page 3 of this article.
Next page: More HSB train photos
"Best of the Web"
Need a car in Europe?
Traveling by train?
Hotel discounts in Germany:
Copyright © 1996-2014 Durant Imboden and Cheryl Imboden. All rights reserved.