|Route number :||3304|
|Course book section (DB) :||272b (1949-1972)
|Route length:||16.5 km|
|Gauge :||1435 mm ( standard gauge )|
|Minimum radius :||278 m|
The Bach Railway was a 16.5 km long branch line that branched off from the Lautertal Railway at the Lampertsmühle-Otterbach station and led to Reichenbach . Their VzG number was 3304. The route got its name because all the places it was tied to end in the syllable "-bach".
The section Lampertsmühle – Otterbach – Weilerbach was in operation from 1914; the continuation to Reichenbach was completed by 1920. 1972 the passenger traffic was stopped. The operation of goods traffic between Weilerbach and Reichenbach ended in 1989, on the section Lampertsmühle-Otterbach-Weilerbach it lasted until the end of 1994. Since 1996 the entire line has been closed. Plans to reactivate a section to Weilerbach for passenger transport were unsuccessful and have since been abandoned. The railway line between Weilerbach and Reichenbach was converted into a cycle path in the early 1990s .
Before the construction, the traffic conditions in the region immediately northwest of Kaiserslautern were classified as unsatisfactory. The poor economic situation had already forced many people from the area to take external jobs and thus contributed to the development of the West Palatinate touring musicians . This went so far that there was general fear of rural exodus. In the course of industrialization, numerous jobs were created in Kaiserslautern and in the Lampertsmühle spinning mill in Erfenbach , but this did not change the fact that the workers had to walk up to two hours to their place of work. After the city of Kaiserslautern put a power station into operation in 1893, there were plans to set up a tram line from the Westbahnhof via Blechhammer and Siegelbach , possibly to Jettenbach or Offenbach am Glan .
Around 1900, a committee was formed under the chairmanship of a pastor from Weilerbach, which included representatives from Kaiserslautern, Erfenbach, Kollweiler , Reichenbach , Rodenbach , Schwedelbach , Siegelbach and Weilerbach. In the period that followed, there were different views on the route, which became clear in a meeting on December 23, 1901. At the same time, the plans for an overland tram were dropped, as the steep inclines, but also the sparsely populated area of the region would have prevented such a railway from operating economically.
On February 22nd of that year the municipality of Oberstaufenbach had unsuccessfully applied for the planned route along the Staufenbach to the Altenglan – Wolfstein road. At the beginning of 1904, the Kusel district office proposed a route for the railway line from Weilerbach northwards via Essweiler and Jettenbach to Offenbach, which would have enabled a connection to the newly opened Glantalbahn . In this area, too, a committee was formed for the creation of a railway line, which argued that the local quarries could only survive through a direct railway connection. In this context, reference was made to the positive development of the Rammelsbach quarry after the Landstuhl – Kusel railway line opened . While the Palatinate government was open to the project, it finally failed in 1908 due to resistance from the state of Bavaria.
Planning, construction and opening (1912–1920)
While most of the representatives of the first committee advocated a direct route from Kaiserslautern to Siegelbach, the connection to the Lampertsmühle-Otterbach station on the Lautertalbahn ultimately prevailed, primarily on Erfenbach's initiative. Siegelbach and above all Erfenbach had already kept a low profile with regard to the rail connection and insisted that the railway line run as far outside the settlement area as possible. In this context, there were speculations that the two communities were worried about the jobs of the residents who were employed in the Lampertsmühle spinning mill, because a railway line from the west would have endangered them.
In 1908 the Bavarian State Parliament finally approved the railway line, but the originally intended route via Kollweiler was dropped for topographical reasons. The city of Kaiserslautern also only half-heartedly supported the construction of the railway, as it feared competition for the jobs of its residents. The dispute over the route delayed the planning and design of the route for a total of two years.
The earthworks began in November 1912, and the Lampertsmühle-Otterbach-Weilerbach section was completed by early October 1914. A test train drove the route on October 10, and the official opening took place five days later. Since the First World War had broken out in the meantime , there were no festivities on this occasion. The operator was the Royal Bavarian State Railways , which had been responsible for the entire Palatinate railway network since 1909. The completion of the section to Reichenbach was significantly delayed by the war, so it only happened on June 20, 1920 and was accompanied by a moderate ceremony. Two months earlier, the line had become the property of the newly founded Deutsche Reichsbahn .
Further development (1920–1949)
In its first years of operation, the line was primarily used to transport agricultural products from the region to Kaiserslautern, whose residents had to contend with food shortages as a result of the war. In the period that followed, efforts were made to extend the railway line to Altenglan, but this was not implemented.
In 1923 and 1924, a so-called government operation took place through France , which kept the Palatinate occupied until the 1920s. During this time the population tried to boycott the railway. Motor mail lines and private trucks were increasingly used as an alternative to public transport. In addition, the Reich Ministry of Transport forbade the railway workers to cooperate with the occupiers, so that the French took the rail traffic into their own hands. However, since they were not sufficiently familiar with the operating regulations and the safety equipment of the facilities, rail operations were risky during this time.
In 1936 the Ludwigshafen Reichsbahndirektion, to which the Bachbahn had previously belonged, was dissolved. The route was then incorporated into the Saarbrücken Directorate . On May 5, 1941, a directory with the title "Vital Trains" was published because it was to be expected that the timetable could no longer be fully adhered to due to the war. It contained a minimum of three pairs of trains between Kaiserslautern and Reichenbach, which should run as scheduled.
From 1947 to 1949, the line, like the entire railway network within the French occupation zone, was under the administration of the Works Association of Southwest German Railways (SWDE).
German Federal Railroad (1949–1993)
When the Deutsche Bundesbahn (DB) was founded in 1949, the Bachbahn became their property. Two years earlier, due to the separation of the Saarland, the line had changed from the Reichsbahndirektion Saarbrücken to the Bundesbahndirektion Mainz . With the establishment of Ramstein Air Base in 1953, additional professional trains ran on the Bachbahn. In the course of the dissolution of the Mainz Federal Railway Directorate in 1971, the line came back to the Saarbrücken directorate. On May 27, 1972, a Saturday, the last passenger train left at 7 a.m.
In the summer of 1980, railway workers from Otterbach organized a special train on the Bach Railway . It consisted of a DB class 218 diesel locomotive from the Kaiserslautern depot and the wagons of the “Deutsche Weinstrasse” tourist train. At the same time, the volume of freight traffic also fell. On September 27, 1987, a special company train ran from Reichenbach and ran via Kaiserslautern , the connecting line to Enkenbach and the Eistalbahn to Neuleiningen on the Grünstadt – Altleiningen line .
The Weilerbach – Reichenbach section was dismantled from February 26 to April 23, 1991 after freight traffic had ceased there from July 1, 1989. Then the community community of Weilerbach bought the railway line; a cycle path was opened there between Weilerbach and Reichenbach in 1992. Its official inauguration took place two years later. For this occasion, the DB deployed special trains between Kaiserslautern and Weilerbach on May 16 at the instigation of the association.
Development since 1994
As part of the railway reform that came into force on January 1, 1994 , Deutsche Bahn AG became the new operator of the Bachbahn. On the occasion of the cycling day in May of the year, special trains drove one last time to Weilerbach.
Until the end of the year, there were occasional handovers in freight traffic on the remaining piece. On July 1, 1996, the Lampertsmühle-Otterbach-Weilerbach section was also closed. In the period that followed, the corresponding points were dismantled at the Lampertsmühle-Otterbach station . A line security contract initially prevented the dismantling of the remaining piece, which was subsequently increasingly overgrown by bushes.
Considerations to implement a regional light rail concept for the region around Kaiserslautern under the name Citybahn in 2000 brought the reactivation of the Bachbahn back into discussion. The trains on the line were to be run via the Lautertalbahn to the Kaiserslautern West train station, which was used by passengers until 1969, through the city center of Kaiserslautern to the town hall . An expert opinion attested that the concept had economic benefits. Two more reports followed. However, all efforts did not get beyond the planning status; Mainly financial reasons brought the project to failure. In addition, Erfenbach resisted reactivating the route. In June 2006, the reactivation plans for the Lampertsmühle-Otterbach-Weilerbach section were finally dropped; instead, it is planned to convert the route into a cycle path. On February 13, 2008, the Federal Railway Authority opened the participation procedure for the final de-dedication of the Weilerbach – Reichenbach section.
In order to be able to build a cycle path on the route, the regional authorities would like to abolish conventional route protection. With the participation of the regional rail transport association Rhineland-Palatinate Süd, a concept was developed how the cycle path would be built while the designation as a railway line was revoked, while at the same time retaining the option of reactivation. The ZSPNV Süd passed a corresponding resolution on March 28, 2014.
On December 22nd, 2014, the Rhineland-Palatinate Ministry of Economic Affairs announced that it would approve the deedication of the Weilerbach – Otterbach line, provided that the option to reintroduce rail traffic is retained via a land register entry.
The route began at the Lampertsmühle-Otterbach station, which it left in a north-westerly direction. The first hundred meters it ran without a difference in altitude. From Erfenbach it rose almost continuously, especially between Weilerbach and Schwedelbach, where the ratio was 1:57. Only between Siegelbach and Rodenbach and in the area of the Reichenbach train station was it on a slope. It made a cut between Schwedelbach and Reichenbach. The route overcame a height difference of 60 meters in total.
The starting station of the line and the Rodenbach – Reichenbach section were located within the district of Kaiserslautern , in between the boundaries of today's city of Kaiserslautern were crossed. With Otterbach , Kaiserslautern, Weilerbach , Rodenbach , Weilerbach, Schwedelbach and Reichenbach-Steegen , the district was touched by a total of seven local communities.
In 1914, three pairs of trains ran daily, which were tied through to Kaiserslautern West station on the Lautertal Railway. With the continuous line opening in 1920, four pairs of trains ran on weekdays and two pairs of trains on Sundays; at this time the route was listed under the course book number 237a . The trains were led to the Kaiserslautern main station.
By the mid-1930s, the number of train pairs on workdays increased gradually to seven. From 1933 onwards, additional trains were running on the Bach Railway because of two-shift work in the Lampertsmühle cotton spinning mill . In 1936 it carried the number 245a together with the Lautertalbahn and the line to Otterberg, which also branched off in Otterbach. In the 1940s the range was reduced to five pairs and by the end of the 1950s to three.
In 1962, rail traffic was discontinued on Sundays. In the last few years of passenger traffic on the line, the trains via Otterbach were largely eliminated. For example, the summer timetable from 1971 shows three pairs of trains in each direction one year before it was discontinued, of which only one journey to Reichenbach began from Kaiserslautern. Passenger transport on the route was primarily important for schoolchildren and commuters over the past six decades. Finally, together with the Lauter route, it formed the course book route 272b .
The route also played a subordinate role in freight transport. Agricultural products such as beets, construction materials and fuels made up the bulk of the transport. Among other things, cattle were transported from Weilerbach to the slaughterhouse at Kaiserslautern Westbahnhof. In the first years of operation, the freight wagons were attached to the passenger trains.
A separate freight train was later responsible for the route until the 1950s. After more than 12,000 tonnes had been transported when passenger traffic was discontinued in 1972, the volume of goods traffic fell significantly in the following ten years. As a result, the route was taken over by the trains operating in the Lautertal. Initially, it was taken care of in the north in the morning, but from the 1980s it was approached on the way back. At this point in time, only transfer trains were responsible for operation.
In Weilerbach there was initially no possibility for locomotives to move due to the lack of switches. For this reason, they had to drive to Reichenbach for this until the end of the 1980s, although freight traffic on this section had long since ceased at that time. Only when the appropriate switches were installed in Weilerbach station could this procedure be dispensed with and the rear section, on which there was otherwise no traffic, was shut down. In 1993, the volume of goods on the remaining section fell to a total of 300 tons, which resulted in the cessation of freight traffic the following year.
The nearby Kaiserslautern depot was primarily responsible for deploying vehicles. Initially, steam locomotives of the Palatinate P5 and T 4.I series were used on the route . Class 70.1 locomotives, which were a modernized version of the Badische Ig , were used from 1938 to 1941 . From 1939 the DR series 50 , which was very widespread on the neighboring routes, was also to be found on the Bachbahn. At the end of the 1940s, the Prussian T 14 and T 14.1 from the Zweibrücken depot also came onto the line. Due to the fact that many locomotives at the Kaiserslautern depot were damaged as a result of the Second World War, the Badische VI c helped out from January 1950 to mid-1951 , before the class 86 then arrived in the West Palatinate.
From 1933 the Köf IIs were to be found on the route for about half a century . In the 1960s, diesel locomotives of the V 60 series were used for local freight transport. The V 100 series was also to be found from the mid-1960s.
From the mid-1950s, Uerdinger rail buses and ETA 150 battery-powered railcars increasingly took over passenger transport services. Until 1957, a class VT 60.5 multiple unit operated on the railway line on Sundays . Diesel railcars of the DB class 628 were used for the special trips in the spring of 1993 on the section to Weilerbach .
The station buildings along the Bachbahn were built in a style that was not used on any other route within the Palatinate . They were built on one level and had a rectangular floor plan, plastered outer walls and a hipped roof with a trapezoidal gable, which was clad with wood. On the side facing the track there was a veranda that also had a roof.
The station was opened in 1883 as a through station on the Lautertalbahn. It is located in the district of Otterbach ; In the immediate vicinity is the Lampertsmühle settlement belonging to Kaiserslautern , to which it owes its double name. From 1911 the station was the starting point of a branch line to Otterberg, which was in operation until 1969 and still functioned as a siding until 1980. Thus the Bachbahn was the last line to be connected to the station.
The station was on the northern outskirts of Erfenbach . He had a reception building and a goods shed. The length of the platform was 140 meters. Not far from the platform and the station building was a ramp to which a 72-meter-long loading track was connected. Back in the 1950s, Erfenbach was no longer an independent freight tariff point, but officially just a siding.
The station was on the northern outskirts of Siegelbach . It had a reception building and a 110 meter long ramp. The platform length was 152 meters. Not far from the platform was an 87 meter long loading track. As early as the 1950s, Siegelbach was no longer an independent freight tariff point, but officially just a siding.
The station was located within the eastern settlement area of Rodenbach . It had a reception building and a 155 meter long ramp. The length of the platform was 180 meters. Not far from the platform and the ramp was a 213-meter-long loading track. Not far from the platform was an 87 meter long loading track. Until recently, the local tire trade had been the station's freight customer.
The train station was in the center of Weilerbach . It had a reception building and a 68.3 meter long ramp on the opposite side. The length of the platform was 150 meters. In the 1950s, there was a 205 meter long loading track in the area of the ramp. Immediately to the west of the station building and the platform was a 60-meter-long siding. Among other things, animals for slaughter were loaded in the station, which the trains transported to the slaughterhouse at Kaiserslauterer Westbahnhof.
In the 1980s it was officially just a junction . At this point in time, the track system no longer allowed locomotives to be moved, which is why trains had to run to Reichenbach for this procedure in the following years, even though the freight traffic there had come to a standstill. Only after a corresponding switch had been installed in Weilerbach at the end of the 1980s could the rear part of the line be closed. At the same time, the station had a new facility for loading grain, as the volume of goods had increased for a short time. Most of the tracks had been in place until the very end. At that time the station was approached by a transfer trip to Lauterecken on the way back.
The station was on the southern outskirts of Schwedelbach . After ticket sales at the station had been given up in 1962, it took place in the private house of the employee previously responsible at the station. There was a goods shed right next to the reception building. To the east of these two buildings was a 135-meter-long platform, which was in the immediate vicinity of a level crossing. In the 1950s, Schwedelbach was no longer an independent freight tariff point, but officially only a siding. To the west of the goods shed was a 185-meter-long loading platform, in the area of which there was a 105-meter-long ramp. The latter was the longest along the entire Bachbahn. Up to three wagons a day were filled with sand that came from the local area. 1983 ended the service of the station in freight traffic.
In 2012, in the immediate vicinity of the former train station, a sculpture depicting a steam locomotive was erected on the original sleepers of the Bach Railway. In addition, an information board was set up with a historical outline of the railway line.
The three-track station was on the south-eastern outskirts of Reichenbachsteegen . He also had a stand-alone engine shed, which was located in the northwestern station area at the end of a 236-meter-long track and which housed an official apartment on the ground floor. In the roof there was a container with feed water for steam locomotives as well as overnight accommodation. In addition, it had a wooden half-timbered extension. In the 1960s, three steam locomotives were often stationed in it overnight. After the steam operation was closed, it was demolished.
Immediately adjacent to the station building was a 28 meter long ramp, to the west of which there was a goods shed. At the other end of the 303-meter-long loading track, which housed a scale, was another 75-meter-long ramp. In addition, the station was equipped with a 160 meter long house platform and a 110 meter long island platform. In the 1980s it was officially just a junction .
Freight traffic always played a major role on site; There was a large Raiffeisen silo in the catchment area of the station, which shaped the entire townscape. A coal wagon was last unloaded in the station. Although there was no longer any freight traffic on site towards the end of the 1980s, locomotives had to move in Reichenbach, as this was not possible in Weilerbach station at that time. Only when such a possibility had been created in the latter station by means of a switch connection could the rear part of the line be shut down and dismantled.
- Hans-Joachim Emich, Rolf Becker: The railways on Glan and Lauter . Self-published, Waldmohr 1996, ISBN 3-9804919-0-0 .
- Fritz Engbarth: The Bach Railway - The History of a Palatine Local Railway . Brochure, 36 pages, Weilerbach 1997.
- Klaus D. Holzborn : Railway areas Palatinate . transpress, Berlin 1993, ISBN 3-344-70790-6 .
- 90 years of the Bach Railway on a subpage of the Lok Report
- Website sponsoring association Museum Bachbahn eV
- bahn-report.de: exKBS 652: Future use of the "brook course" obstructed by construction work on railway land . Retrieved April 21, 2013 .
- Hans-Joachim Emich, Rolf Becker: The railways to Glan and Lauter . 1996, p. 28 .
- Hans-Joachim Emich, Rolf Becker: The railways to Glan and Lauter . 1996, p. 151 f .
- lok-report.de: Happy Birthday, Bachbahn . Retrieved January 28, 2013 .
- Hans-Joachim Emich, Rolf Becker: The railways to Glan and Lauter . 1996, p. 29 .
- Hans-Joachim Emich, Rolf Becker: The railways to Glan and Lauter . 1996, p. 28 f .
- Hans-Joachim Emich, Rolf Becker: The railways to Glan and Lauter . 1996, p. 43 .
- Fritz Engbarth: 125 years of railways in Lautertal - Festschrift for the anniversary weekend from September 20 to 21, 2008 . 2008, p. 12 .
- Hans-Joachim Emich, Rolf Becker: The railways to Glan and Lauter . 1996, p. 50 .
- Hans-Joachim Emich, Rolf Becker: The railways to Glan and Lauter . 1996, p. 54 .
- Hans-Joachim Emich, Rolf Becker: The railways to Glan and Lauter . 1996, p. 61 .
- Hans-Joachim Emich, Rolf Becker: The railways to Glan and Lauter . 1996, p. 64 .
- Hans-Joachim Emich, Rolf Becker: The railways to Glan and Lauter . 1996, p. 65 .
- achim-bartoschek.de: Railroad cycling - railroad routes in Rhineland-Palatinate . Retrieved April 19, 2013 .
- Klaus Detlef Holzborn: Railway Reviere Pfalz . 1993, p. 70 .
- Fritz Engbarth: 125 years of railways in Lautertal - Festschrift for the anniversary weekend from September 20 to 21, 2008 . 2008, p. 20 .
- Klaus Detlef Holzborn: Railway Reviere Pfalz . 1993, p. 127 .
- Fritz Engbarth: 125 years of railways in Lautertal - Festschrift for the anniversary weekend from September 20 to 21, 2008 . 2008, p. 20th f .
- Hans-Joachim Emich, Rolf Becker: The railways to Glan and Lauter . 1996, p. 39 .
- Hans-Joachim Emich, Rolf Becker: The railways to Glan and Lauter . 1996, p. 41 .
- Hans-Joachim Emich, Rolf Becker: The railways to Glan and Lauter . 1996, p. 48 .
- Hans-Joachim Emich, Rolf Becker: The railways to Glan and Lauter . 1996, p. 45 .
- Hans-Joachim Emich, Rolf Becker: The railways to Glan and Lauter . 1996, p. 48 f .
- Hans-Joachim Emich, Rolf Becker: The railways to Glan and Lauter . 1996, p. 60 .
- Hans-Joachim Emich, Rolf Becker: The railways to Glan and Lauter . 1996, p. 62 .
- Hans-Joachim Emich, Rolf Becker: The railways to Glan and Lauter . 1996, p. 122 .
- Hans-Joachim Emich, Rolf Becker: The railways to Glan and Lauter . 1996, p. 40 .
- Fritz Engbarth: 125 years of railways in Lautertal - Festschrift for the anniversary weekend from September 20 to 21, 2008 . 2008, p. 24 .
- Hans-Joachim Emich, Rolf Becker: The railways to Glan and Lauter . 1996, p. 192 .
- Hans-Joachim Emich, Rolf Becker: The railways to Glan and Lauter . 1996, p. 129 ff .
- Hans-Joachim Emich, Rolf Becker: The railways to Glan and Lauter . 1996, p. 141 f .
- Hans-Joachim Emich, Rolf Becker: The railways to Glan and Lauter . 1996, p. 146 f .
- Hans-Joachim Emich, Rolf Becker: The railways to Glan and Lauter . 1996, p. 104 .
- Hans-Joachim Emich, Rolf Becker: The railways to Glan and Lauter . 1996, p. 96 .
- Hans-Joachim Emich, Rolf Becker: The railways to Glan and Lauter . 1996, p. 97 .
- Fritz Engbarth: 125 years of railways in Lautertal - Festschrift for the anniversary weekend from September 20 to 21, 2008 . 2008, p. 19 .
- Hans-Joachim Emich, Rolf Becker: The railways to Glan and Lauter . 1996, p. 72 .
- Hans-Joachim Emich, Rolf Becker: The railways to Glan and Lauter . 1996, p. 68 .
- Hans-Joachim Emich, Rolf Becker: The railways to Glan and Lauter . 1996, p. 98 .
- schwedelbach.de: info panel of brook course: . Retrieved April 21, 2013 .
- Hans-Joachim Emich, Rolf Becker: The railways to Glan and Lauter . 1996, p. 108 .
- Hans-Joachim Emich, Rolf Becker: The railways to Glan and Lauter . 1996, p. 123 .