Steamboats back on the saale river

steamboats back on the saale river

"When someone goes on a journey, he can pay off" – this certainly also applies to the two kissinger steamers. This is how the "kissingen" travels already since 1923 and the "saline since 1964 the saale river in the area between gradierbau and rosengarten. It all started back in 1877, when the "dampferle" was built was still a real steamship.

Even today, thousands of passengers enjoy the tranquil two-kilometer-long route on the frankische saale every year. The steamers make their most exciting journey twice a year, but without any paying passengers: from the dry dock into the saale in the spring and back again in the fall to the former coffee house, which has served as their winter quarters for several decades now.

On metal racks
The journey is only a good hundred meters long, and yet it takes much longer than the normal route. But the route is quite a challenge, as the "kissingen" and the "saline" sit on mobile metal racks that used to run over former railroad tracks in the direction of the saale river. Once upon a time the "slip" went even into the saale, today it ends at a bumper a good one and a half meters above the water level. But to get the boats there, a tractor is needed that is at least as historic as the "saline" built in 1964. But he also only has to maneuver the boats from their winter quarters to the banks of the saale, laterally offset to the tracks, by means of a long iron rod.

There, a truck-mounted crane usually waits to lift the two boats, each weighing just over ten tons, from the land, from the rails, into the water. 100 tons could lift such a crane, for him the boats are an easy, if they hang correctly in the lifting gear, because where exactly the center of gravity of the boats is, that knows best the three boatmen and the managing director of the kissinger saaleschifffahrtsgesellschaft helmut fischer. And so the three of them are always there when the boats are put into the saale shortly before easter.

A new roof for thekissingen
For valentin berko, who has been working as a boatman for the saale shipping company for 14 years, this time is the last time, however. In a few days he retires and they are still looking for a new boatman. "The new boatman could also be a woman, "what's important to me is team spirit and enjoyment of the work" according to helmut fischer, who explains almost apologetically that they are now planning to raise fares moderately for the first time since the introduction of the euro. Children and adults will pay 50 cents more for the one-way trip, which will cost 1.50 euros for children and two euros for the return trip. Adults will be asked to pay 3.50 euros for a single trip and 5.50 euros for a round trip from easter, when the boats are expected to start their regular service. And helmut fischer has one more thing to tell you: the "kissingen, the 90th anniversary of the railway line, which will be getting a new roof during the next winter break. "No glass roof, but the way it is now, because eventually the "kissingen" is to be built yes remain a historic boat.


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