In 1914, work began on building a powder factory on a large site about 100km west of Berlin. The Royal Prussian Powder Factory was built at an impressive pace. 400
factory buildings and 172 apartments were built in about a year. 4000 workers and civil servants as well as an additional 2000 prisoners of war worked in the factory. 1916 also saw the inauguration of the train station, which still exists today.
In 1918, powder production was discontinued. The explosives stocks of the Prussian powder factories were destroyed on a nearby peninsula.
As early as October 1919, the grounds and buildings of the powder factory were used by the "Deutsche Werke" to refurbish freight cars and locomotives. On February 23, 1920, the former gunpowder factory was officially transferred to the Reichseisenbahnverwaltung (Imperial Railroad Administration) and was initially known as Reichsbahnwerk P. and from May 1921 as Eisenbahnwerk B. In addition to the site and the buildings on it, the Reichsbahn also took over the majority of the 500 employees of the former gunpowder factory, so that work could begin immediately. At the same time, construction began on the site of a locomotive maintenance plant, which went into operation in 1924 as the most modern of its kind in Europe. In addition, a maintenance shop, a switch shop, a chemical testing facility and other workshops were built on the extensive site. The Reichsbahn also housed its central training facility in the former fireworks laboratory.
In 1942, major changes were made. The locomotive plant was completely dismantled and transported away on 276 wagons in the direction of Ukraine. However, it was never rebuilt there. Eisenwerke B. GmbH took over the remaining facilities. Prisoners of war and foreign workers were used here to produce armor parts and tanks.
The production facilities of the tank factory were dismantled immediately after the end of the war and shipped to the USSR. The Soviet occupation forces now set up a tank repair plant on the site.
In parallel, the Reichsbahn resumed work in the remains of the former factory. Production at the RAW returned to a normal level in 1946.
Quite quickly after the fall of communism, the Red Army disbanded the tank repair plant. The German Railways reorganized many things and privatized the track construction mechanics plant and the switch factory in the following years.
The pictures shown here are from the abandoned building of the mold foundry of the track construction plant.
In the early 1990s, the order situation in the mechanical engineering sector deteriorated so dramatically that the foundry had to declare bankruptcy.
The bankruptcy administrator at that time was Commerzbank Essen, which sold everything usable, the rest was destroyed or stolen.
Visited: February 29, 2020
Location: Undisclosed, Germany