Freight Operations around Altkloster (8 - coal traffic)
Coal is procured from the Saar region on the French border, and is transported by train to the manufacturing regions of Baden-Wurrtemburg and Bavaria. These trains pass through Altkloster on the electrified main line. Some of the coal traffic gets distributed from Altkloster by both the east and west non-electrified lines. So we will see empty coal trains heading back to the mines, and loaded coal trains running eastward.
In this photo, an E94 heads an empty westward under the town wall, and a 59 class freight engine is on a loaded coal train taken over from an electric, and will head east on the non-electrified line.
We race out of town, just in time to catch the eastbound coal train crossing the river. In the background, another empty coal train is heading west on the electrified lines.