The club "Harz Mountain Narrow Gauge Railways" (IG "HSB" E.V.) was founded by a group of engaged young railway employees in March 1990. This club finds its origins in a working group which already met in times of the former German Democratic Republic (East Germany). In 1980 there were plans to replace the steam locomotives with diesel locomotives class 199.8. The steam locomotives would have been disposed of. Nowadays there are 3 locomotives class 199.8 used for freight train and shunting services. The working group offered their assistance in order to preserve an historical service.
The public desire of reactivation of the disconnected route to the Brocken station (due to the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961) started to take expression right after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The working group then became an official club with the aim to preserve a railway service driven by steam locomotives. There was a dramatic change regarding the work of the club in January 1991. A radical reclamation concept was established with the aim of closing nearly all lines of the network instead of just the Wernigerode - Brocken line and to stop the use of steam locomotives.
The Harz Mountain Narrow Gauge Railways Club was able to sensibilize the public and to create basis for future development. The "Harz Mountain Narrow Gauge Railways Company" (HSB) assumed ownership on February 2nd 1993. The Harz Mountain Narrow Gauge Railways Club regards itself as a development assistance community which works in close collaboration with the company.
There are several examples of the club's work, as for example excursion trains with special compositions of locomotives and wagons or voluntary labour stints for the maintenance of historical railway stock. Several historical waggons could be reconstructed during an employment-creation measure that was established with the labour office and the community. A highlight of that collaboration was the reconstruction of a saloon carriage.
Further aims are promotion for the railway network itself and environment-friendly traffic concepts.
Moreover the club documents the history of the Harz Mountain Railways, organises events, and holds regular meetings.
A magazine is published quarterly.
Thank You to Torsten Arnold for translation
Interessengemeinschaft "Harzer Schmalspurbahnen" e.V.
z. Hd. Dirk-Uwe Günther