Eastern Exploration

Capturing decay.

BW Probstzella

The Thuringian railway station of Probstzella had locomotive servicing facilities right from the beginning in 1885. However, initially, these facilities only held the status of a locomotive servicing point for the Saalfeld locomotive workshop. The Preußische Staatsbahn operated trains from Probstzella towards Saalfeld and Steinbach am Wald. The responsibilities of the Probstzella locomotives increased from 1898 with the opening of the railway line to Taubenbach, which was eventually extended to Bock-Wallendorf in 1899 and to Neuhaus-Igelshieb and Lauscha in 1913. Probstzella didn’t attain the status of an independent locomotive workshop until 1923. The following two years, the workshop was expanded due to its increased responsibilities, with the addition of a training workshop. Later in 1936, a 16.5m turntable was installed in the facility.

After the 2nd world war, only 10 of the initially 21 locomotives in the fleet of the workshop were operational. The workshop continued to operate and maintain locomotives during the GDR, of which it was situated right at the border to West German Bavaria. Numerous structural changes to the locomotive shed and improvements made to the workshop, facilities, and administrative spaces in the years 1981/82 created better working conditions for the employees of the Probstzella locomotive depot. In the year 1983 barbed wire fences were erected between the locomotive depot and platform 3 by the GDR border patrol.

After 1990, it was once again possible for the workshops locomotives to operate on the entire Frankenwaldbahn, hauling both passenger and freight trains. On December 28, 1993, it was dissolved and integrated into the new Saalfeld maintenance facility and all the locomotives which were stationed in Probstzella were transferred there too. Since then, the once busy workshop sits abandoned and decays further and further.

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