It’s time for the third and final part of ‘Rostock on Rails’. I’ve talked about many places where you can still see some traces of Rostock’s railway history, but rather little about experiencing something that’s actually tangible. So, this time, we will be looking at a place where you can still see, and feel the charm of old rolling stock.
depot12 is an association which has specialised in the conservation of old Rostock rolling stock and buses. It is located right at Marienehe station, in the Northwest of Rostock. There are no specific opening times, according to the RSAG’s website, but instead meeting times, where everyone is invited to stop by. At depot12, you get the chance to experience many of Rostock’s historic yellow and beige trams and buses from a time long gone – where air-conditioning was achieved by keeping yourself near open windows, or where ‘passenger information systems’ were reliant on your map-reading skills, a friendly passenger on the neighbouring seat, or the courtesy of the tram or bus driver making announcements. Their startling range of rolling stock consists of trams even from the very early days of Rostock’s tram electrification, such as a model from 1926 and an iconic Tatra, from the time of the German reunification (which by the way, shaped Rostock’s public transport all the way until 2015!), and a lot of trains from the years in between. The association around depot12 furthermore organises regular tram rides with vintage rolling stock, especially during the summer months. So, unless you’ve signed up to join such a ride, you might still be lucky to spot one of those yellow or beige fancy rides in the city centre.
Whether a transport enthusiast or not, whether young or old – public transport is what keeps all of us moving, especially when we’re on holidays abroad and don’t have a car at hand – but we only get to experience anything that is currently operating. You just can’t get to feel all the emotions, the rumbling sounds of the sliding doors closing, the rattling inside the wagons whenever it was driving over switches or taking a turn, the often so characteristic jolting whenever the train was starting to move, and the sensation people got back in the day, anymore – and rightfully so; time moved on.
Nevertheless: if you ever wanted to bring your inner child back to life, depot12 might just be the place for you. It certainly is one of the most hands-on ‘museums’ there is in Rostock and definitely worth a visit.
I really hope you’ve enjoyed this little three-part guide on things to do and see as a public transport enthusiast in Rostock. Enjoy your stay, and be sure to use the comment section for sharing your experiences!