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I am Germany's smallest railway operation-after an accident Barbara (51) is in danger of ruin

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I am Germany's smallest railway operation-after an accident Barbara (51) is in danger of ruin

Düsseldorf- lube oil, steel wheels, rails – this is lonely but so far happy world of Barbara Pirch (51) from Willich in NRW.

She leads a one-woman railway Company, with a lovingly restored vintage locomotive hauling goods wagon cross and across Germany.

But now her life's work is in jeopardy.

Review: The accident

It is June 28, 2013. Barbara Pirch stands with her 63 years old and 123 ton AEG locomotive at station in Münchsmünster (Upper Bavaria) and is waiting for her 20 freight wagons to be brought with benzene. It's supposed to go to Mannheim. It rains, rails are wet, in such cases braking distance of heavy freight trains lengns because wet steel slips on wet steel, but experienced train drivers know that.

But locomotive you bring wagons slows down too late.

This woman doesn't scare huge wrenches or manic hands. Barbara Pirch has a lot of self-gemachtFoto when restoring ir locomotives: 1414

Barbara Pirch stands in her driver's booth and sees switcher coming. "I've seen it all right," she says. The 2000 tons of heavy train rattles into your classic car, which makes a massive set backwards. An expert will say that buffers have probably been "beaten". And that means: impact can no longer be completely cushioned. The structure of old locomotive may also be damaged.

The accident is not in dispute. debt question too. Only: How quickly foreign locomotive rammed oldie of Barbara Pirch, and wher and how much it was really damaged, that would have to clarify an elaborate opinion. The HDI, liability insurance of accident opponent, doubts a damage. But also does not pay opinion. Barbara Pirch is suing insurance company.

Also interesting
The damaged locomotive in railroad hall. The 40 tonne-heavy cab will be angehobenFoto with a special lift: 1414

The consequences of accidents

For m begins a tormenting time of uncertainty. Barbara Pirch: "I had to pull my locomotive out of circulation. and a second Oldtimer locomotive, which was not ready to go, is to be restored in a blink of lightning. That was four long months without a penny income. Moreover, second locomotive is 10 years older, weaker, slower, it only takes 90 km/h to track and cannot pull so many wagons. " And Barbara continued, "My earnings have broken away. But HDI insurance has still not regulated damage. "

On 25 May 2016, well 3 years after accident, District Court of Ingolstadt finally condemned insurance company to bear 58,500 euros for opinion. Today, more than 16 months later, it is still not created.

Lokführerin Barbara Pirch in front of her house. Meanwhile, it had to be verpfändenFoto: 1414

Barbara Pirch is not rich. She was once a Lokführerin at federal Railway. Then she bought on credit first one locomotive from junkyard, n or, and made himself self-employed.

It usually runs at night – Dangerous goods trains, tank wagons with petrol, kerosene, diesel, fuel oil, 19 to 22 cars in total up to 2000 tonnes heavy. This will take between 2000 and 8000 euros depending on length of line. It is sufficient for operation of one-woman company and for maintenance of 118 and 123 tons of heavy steel colossus. But not to save large reserves.

But that's not what Barbara Pirch is about. "I'm not a family man. I didn't have desire for children. My life is railroads, that I have of my far, who was shunting master. "

All in blue! Barbara Pirch in partner look with her locomotive. She calls Oldie affectionately "My Blue Mauritius" Photo: 1414

Uncertain future

Barbara Pirch even had to pawn her little house after accident. On request of Bild, HDI announces that it will not comment on operation. In court, insurance company Barbara Pirch 200,000 Euros as a comparison offered. For her lawyer Andy Niekamp (42), who is an expert on railroad law, a joke: "The property and property damage is between a medium six-figure and a seven-figure amount."

Barbara Pirch is a proud, furious woman: "I advised lawyer of insurance company to put offer elsewhere." Then she drove home, climbed up to her old locomotive, next drove pick.

Because every freight transport she drives through Germany brings her a little bit of time. Time to ride justice and save your life's work.

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