Rail Journeys

Berlin, Dresden and The Harz Mountains

Tour Date: 12 to 22 September 2024
Location: Germany

Travel from London, by rail, through Germany spending time in Berlin and Dresden before we arrive at the Harz Mountains. Famous for its network of narrow-gauge railways, many of which are still hauled by steam locomotives. Some says it is the greatest steam railway in the world. 48 stations with 86 miles of track on three lines. It runs through the fairytale villages of Germany’s famous Harz mountains. This is Europe’s longest railway network and while other steam trains are now run for tourists only, this line serves the locals too. On board you can take a step back in time and enjoy a ride to the land of mysterious forests, medieval towns and snow-capped mountains.

On our return to London we stop off for a night in Wuppertal, home to the unique, World famous, “Schwebebahn” hanging monorail.

From Home Station
For this tour you are issued with a first class Interrail Pass which you can use to get to/from your UK home station to London St Pancras. Seats in Standard Premier on the Eurostar are limited so book early if you want one.

From Edinburgh
For our friends north of the border can still join this tour without having to trapse down to London. Eurowings have a very convenient flight from Edinburgh at 12:45 which takes just 1hr, 45m to get you to Cologne. At the end of the tour the return flight is from Cologne at 13:35 getting you back into Edinburgh at 14:30.

Tour Highlights

  • Escorted by rail from London St.Pancras
  • First Class seats on ICE trains
  • Berlin Technical museum
  • Kirnitztal tramway at Bad Schandau with depot visit
  • Paddle steamer trip
  • Wernigerode and its castle
  • Radeburg steam train
  • 3 days on the Harz narrow gauge steam railway network with plenty of chances to photograph and travel on the trains
  • Wuppertal “schwebebahn” hanging monorail
  • Narrow gauge Weiseritztal steam railway

Tour Itinerary

Free morning. Leaving at 12:36 we take a German high speed ICE train (first class) from Cologne to Berlin, arriving at 17:47. Check in to our hotel by the station. Overnight Berlin (2 nights).

Berlin Cathedral (Shutterstock)

Optional visit to Berlin Technical Museum with large railway section in the old Anhalter double roundhouse, and/or to Berlin Park railway at Wulheim (narrow-gauge). Alternatively visit the city sites with public transport. Or travel on one of the branch lines –  Kevin will be able to give various suggestions of the best lines.

The old Roundhouse at Berlin Technical Museum (Alamy Image)

We catch the 09:01 train on to Dresden (arriving 11:07) and check into our hotel near the station. After time for lunch we take the afternoon train to Radebeul for a narrow-gauge steam train to Radeburg and back. Our visit is during their annual steam festival at the Radeburg-Radebeul line (140th birthday celebration), so should be 4 locos in steam including the Saxon Meyers. Return to Dresden for our overnight stay (3 nights).

Joining Today (7 night holiday) There is the option of joining the tour today by departing on the 11:04 train from St Pancras and traveling via Brussels and Frankfurt to arrive in Dresden late evening (23:30).

Dresden from the river (Shutterstock)

Train to Bad Schandau (every 1/2h) for ferry over the river, then a short walk to the Kirnitzschtalbahn, a vintage electric tramway running 8km through a national park to Lichtenhainer Waterfall. We return to Bad Schandau, including a guided depot visit to see the vintage tramcars. Then return to Dresden by Paddle steamer on the River Elbe through an area known as Saxon Switzerland.

Kirnitzschtalbahn Electric Tramway

Train to Freital-Hainsburg for steam hauled ride into the mountains on the Weiseritztal narrow gauge railway. Return to Dresden. Afternoon free to visit the beautifully restored medieval city, Transport Museum, miniature park railway or funicular railways.

Weiseritztal Railway (Alamy)

This morning we leave Dresden behind and take the train to the romantic half-timbered town of Wernigerode, arriving around 13:20.  We first check in to Railway themed Hotel Altora near the station. Some of the rooms at this hotel have views of the narrow-gauge loco shed (book early if you want a Railway Room). We stay here for 3 nights. Two options this afternoon: (1) take a walk into the town and board a road train which takes us up the hill to Wernigerode’s restored fairy tale castle where we have a guided visit before returning to the town by road train. Or use your pass for a steam trip up to the summit at Brocken, the highest mountain in Northern Germany.

Wernigerode (Shutterstock)

Armed with a 3 day pass for the Harz narrow gauge railway, One can either follow our tour manager for a suggested itinerary, or feel free to explore alone, perhaps trying to travel on as many steam hauled trains as possible. Suggestion would be to take a steam train to Brocken, the summit of the highest mountain in Northern Germany, Breaking the journey at Schierke & Drie Annen Hohne on return for photography/coffee break.

Harz train at Steinerne Renne (Alamy)
Eisfelder Talmuhle (Alamy)

This morning we say goodbye to the Harz and take the train via Goslar & Hannover to the city of Wuppertal, arriving 13.38. We check in to our hotel near the Station.  Wuppertal is home to the unique World famous “Schwebebahn” hanging monorail. We will have a pass which enables us to ride and photograph the full 13km line.

Wuppertal Hanging Monorail (Alamy Image)

Mid-morning we take a regional train from Wuppertal (08:04) to Cologne where we change to an ICE (first class) to Brussels (arr 11:35, depart 12:52) then Eurostar to London. With a early afternoon arrival (13:57). As Kevin lives near Brussels, he we see you onto your Eurostar train and bid farewell to you here. If you are flying back to Edinburgh you leave us in Cologne for a taxi to the airport for the 13:35 flight back to Scotland.

Prices & Options

Holiday Prices (per person)

  • Full 11 day holiday from your home UK station then London St Pancras: £1,890
  • Full 11-day holiday with flights from Edinburgh to Cologne: £2,125
  • 8-day holiday from St Pancras (from 17 Sep): £1,650


  • Single use room add: £490 (10 nights) or £350 (7 nights)
  • Upgrade to Railway Room in Wernigerode (subject to availability): £100


  • £600

Transport & Accommodation


  • Hotel Mondial am Dom Cologne. or similar (1 night)
  • Intercity Hotel Berlin Hof, or similar (2 nights)
  • Pullman Hotel Dresden (3 nights)
  • Hotel Altora, Wernigerode (3 nights)
  • Fleming Hotel, Wuppertal (1 night)

Travel from, and back to, UK by Rail

  • Outward from St. Pancras at 11:04, to Brussels arriving 14:05 then on to Cologne 18:15
  • Return from Brussels at 12:52, arriving St Pancras at 13:57

Flights from Edinburgh to Cologne

  • Eurowings at 12:45 from Edinburgh, arriving Cologne at 15:30
  • Eurowings at 13:35 from Cologne, arriving Edinburgh at 14:30