12.11.2022: A look behind the scenes
Now that the museum season of 2022 has ended, we begin today with a casual series of glimpses behind the scenes. We report on places or incidents that a visitor would not normally get to see. Today we turn our attention to the water tower at the back of our museum grounds, which was built in 1898.
The striking structure consists of three main parts, only two of which are visible from the outside. It serves to supply steam locomotives, which need lots of water to produce steam and which has to be "refueled" regularly. The wide upper part of the tower houses a steel tank that can hold about 200 m³ of water. Since the tank is at a height of 12 meters, the water pressure at the bottom of the tower is therefore a little more than one bar, depending on how high the tank is filled. Let's take a look inside together:
If you open the entrance door, you get into the shaft of the tower. Here you can see thick pipes in the middle that reach vertically from the floor to the ceiling. There are three pipes in total. Groundwater from our well system is pumped up into the storage tank through one of them. Through the other two pipes, water rushes down from the storage tank when one of the three water cranes located in the compound is opened.
Courageous museum staff who are free from giddiness can climb up a steel ladder in the tower. However, for safety reasons, please do not try this yourself the next time you visit our museum and the door of the tower should be open.
Above the false ceiling you reach the storage tank. Another staircase leads up to the top of the tank.
The third part of the tower is underground. Here there is a basement where the risers and downpipes lead through the thick walls into the soil outside and then on to the water cranes in the grounds. The technology of the water tower and the entire water supply system was restored to working order by our volunteers after the museum opened, so that today we can once again show you an authentic supply of our steam locomotives. More details next time.
There are other pleasing things to report. As you may have followed, the museum has been in possession of the sidecar 190 851 for about three years. It is an old Prignitzer, because it was used for decades on branch lines around Perleberg and thus in our nearest neighbourhood. After the closure of the lines, it was relocated to Berlin and served as a service vehicle for the (East) Berlin construction office and the Deutsche Reichsbahn. It was last stored in a warehouse of the Berlin Museum of Transport and Technology. This museum was kind enough to let us have the vehicle. We recall that it arrived in Wittenberge in mid-December 2019 with faded paint, but still on its own wheels.
Now the sheet metal work on the car body could be completed and the painting finished. Today the first roll out took place to see its new shiny paint in daylight.
In the medium term, the wagon should be ready for operation again so that it can transport you, dear visitors. However, there is still a long way to go. First of all, some of the windows have to be made of safety glass, and the interior, seats and floor need to be freshened up. Technically, axles and brakes, buffers and draw hooks need to be checked. We also want to install a modern autonomous heating system so that it can also be operated on cooler days. Perhaps a system from the bus or motorhome sector. If you have ideas or even parts for this, please feel free to contact us. We are grateful for any help.
vehicle: 190 851-6
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