Pictures of a postcard (3)

‘The quest of conquering the sea’

This episode is about a postcard from the North Sea especially in Germany.
The first one is a fine representation of the ‘Hindenburgdamm’ connecting the mainland of Schleswig-Holstein with isle Sylt. On the dam a railway line only and the holidaymaker who prefers to take his car with him must ship it by train.
The island measures thirty-six kilometers by maximum thirteen wide but is shrinking due to erosion caused by the sea. All in all not too much space for driving around but these are modern times and thus from hotel to the beach one goes by car instead of walking.
From 1888 until 1970 there was a meter gauge local railway running mostly through the dunes divided in a line northwards and southwards starting at Westerland the main city. The former measured 17.4 kilometer and the latter 18.8.
The most peculiar appearance of this enterprise was their rolling stock consisting of a bus shaped trailer powered by a truck of the German factory Borgward rebuild for railway usage. Together they formed an assembled unit.
The dam did not open before 1927. The North Sea is famous for his roughness and although situations as the card shows should have occurred many times, the maker of it chooses to photo shop and created a romantically panorama. A watery scene and enough reason for the railway to suspend the service, a combination of high water and spring-tide could have been murderess for any steam locomotive and the things hauling.
The picture below is another sea adventure, the islet Hallig Oland (2.9 kilometer) a part of the Frisian isles. The railway a lifeline for the residents getting strong and stronger in the struggle against the merciless sea. Living in an environment like this during the summer sounds fine but in the autumn and winter you better hide somewhere on the mainland. However, about thirty soles who inhabited this small land mass stays there year around. The dam whereupon the trolley runs is under improvement and probably will see a road. The isolation only lifted by a little railway when able to run will be gone. Adventure is a hard thing to find these days.


About Robert von Hirschhorn

Author / Performer or in Dutch: schrijver / dichter
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One Response to Pictures of a postcard (3)

  1. Hi Dr Watson, amazing photo on postcard of car-transporter train & loco crossing the dam ! So glad you are sharing some of your postcard collection with the world ! Will be in touch again soon. Loco Mike in France.

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