Kim Karotki

Klasmann-Deilmann on TV

Cros­sing the peat­fiel­ds on tem­pora­ry por­ta­ble tracks” – TV pro­gram­me in SWR media library

In the pro­gram­me Auf flie­gen­den Glei­sen durchs Moor, part of a seri­es on rail­ways pro­du­ced by regio­nal broad­cas­ter SWR, Klasmann-Deilmann’s bog rail­way plays a star­ring role. The 45-minu­te pro­gram­me is still avail­ab­le to inte­res­ted view­ers on SWR’s media library.

‘Tis an eerie thing o’er the moor to fare” (O schau­rig ists, übers Moor zu gehen): an off-screen voice reci­tes the first ver­ses of Der Kna­be im Moor (‘The Boy in the Bog’), a poem by Annet­te von Dros­te-Hüls­hoff. View­ers see clo­se-ups of the bog: peat moss, rain­drops hit­ting the sur­face, reed­beds – and then a train approa­ches. It is a Klasmann-Deilmann peat train in the Ester­we­ger Dose bog­land area.

This broad­cast, just under 45 minu­tes long and direc­ted by Bern­hard Foos, is a tre­at not only for rail enthu­si­asts and fans of big, chun­ky machine­ry. On this jour­ney across the bog, view­ers can find out about the tem­pora­ry por­ta­ble tracks and encoun­ter the ‘bog shut­tle’, a real hea­vy­weight car­ri­ed on craw­lers two metres wide. We see shun­ting trains and a water­way ves­sel being loa­ded. The impor­t­ance of peat in food pro­duc­tion is exp­lai­ned. Excerp­ts from a 1950s TV adver­ti­se­ment show Petra Schür­mann, a TV per­so­na­li­ty of the day, sol­ving the ‘Flo­ra­torf peat puz­zle’. View­ers fol­low the Muse­um Express line through the Teu­fels­moor (‘Devil’s Bog’) – a high­light being the cros­sing of the Hamme­brü­cke bridge – and are intro­du­ced to the Worps­we­de artis­tic com­mu­ni­ty. And Groß Hesepe’s Ems­land Moor Muse­um, the lar­gest of its kind in Euro­pe, is also fea­tured: the histo­ry of peat extrac­tion is told and the hard life of the bog dwel­lers described.

The pro­gram­me – albeit a shor­ter, 20-minu­te broad­cast – was first shown in 2016. This lon­ger ver­si­on has now been given three-quar­ters of an hour of TV air­ti­me. The pro­gram­me is still avail­ab­le online on the SWR media libra­ry.