1988 until today
After the end of giving home to the 01's in September 1977, Bw Dresden-Altstadt was stepwise abandoned as a home for locomotives. This trend intensified quickly in the 1990ies, i.e. after GDR as well as DR had faded away. However, tradition-conscious railroaders as well as Verkehrsmuseum Dresden (VMD, the Dresden museum of traffic) revitalised the location as a high-quality establishment for historic railway activities. In 1999, core members of the "Bahnsozialwerk Gruppe Dresden" (potentially, this should be translated as "social association of dedicated railroaders in Dresden") founded the club "IG Bw Dresden-Altstadt e.V." (which, in turn, can potentially be translated as "organised community of passionate people who want to keep the Dresden-Altstadt depot alive"). This club has been active since 2000 up until today.
In 2001, Deutsche Bahn AG re-organized all its tradition-oriented activities and focussed them under the leadership of DB Museum Nürnberg. In the course of this process, roundhouse #1 was transferred to that business unit of DB AG and became explicitly a branch of DB Museum Nürnberg. As such, it was opened as a museum depot on May 18th, 2002. In parallel, VMD as well worked hard to establish a branch of itself in roundhouse #4 and the repair shop, which was still in operation as a maintenance base of DB AG by that time.
However, the entity of Bw Dresden-Altstadt could not completely be transferred to museum activities. One partition company of DB AG, DB Regio, continued to be present in significant areas and intended to further use them for ordinary maintainance of railroad rolling stock (locomotives, DMUs, EMUs, passenger coaches). However, all the facilities were rather old-fashioned. To overcome this situation, DB Regio planned to establish a contemporary (new) maintainance building and reconfigure spacious parts of the entire area in between the roundhouses #1 and #4 after the year 2000. These new structures significantly affected the museum activities because they cut the district of roundhouse #1 (and its turntable) on the one hand apart from that of roundhouse #4 (and its turntable) and the repair shop (and its sliding stage) on the other hand. However, by doing so, all parties - i.e. DB Regio, VMD and IG Bw Dresden-Altstadt e.V. - can cohabit in the inherited piece of land inmidst the city of Dresden. Construction started in 2005, in the course of which the old administrative building, sand bunkers, the former cafeteria and the EVDR shack were demolished for the sake of DB Regio's new maintainance district. A water crane, one "Ruge" crane and the coal bunker were transferred to the vicinity of roundhouse #1. Thus, original equipment dating back to the steam locomotives' ages was not only preserved but could be very beneficially utilized anew.
In parallel, DB Musuem gave away roundhouse #1 (and the turntable and the closer surrounding grounds) - and IG Bw Dresden Altstadt e.V. took it over and re-started historic activities in there by 2006, from then on denominated as "Eisenbahnmuseum Bw Dresden Altstadt e.V.".