Aachen North – Jülich railway line

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Aachen North – Jülich railway line
Line of the Aachen North – Jülich railway line
Route number : 2555 (Aachen Nord – Jülich)
2556 (Mariagrube – Emil Mayrisch)
Course book section (DB) : 454 (1980) (Aachen North – Jülich)
453 (1983) (Mariagrube – Emil Mayrisch)
Route length: 27.6 km
Gauge : 1435 mm ( standard gauge )
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from Linnich
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from Mönchengladbach
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27.59 Jülich
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to Düren
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to Stolberg
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from Jülich Nord (confluence with JKB from 1992)
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Junction Rübenstrasse (from 1992)
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Bundesstrasse 56
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(1.6) End of line JKB
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25.1 Kirchberg (b Jülich)
Jülich circular path to Puffendorf
23.1 Bourheim
20.6 Aldenhoven East
19.56 Aldenhoven
18.5 Low pain
17.1 Schleiden
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14.2 Hoengen Ost (in the 19th century: Warden ,
until 1953: Höngen, end of the route 1875–1882)
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13.7 Hoengen (from 1953)
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5.8 Siersdorf Emil Mayrisch pit (last post )
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4.9 Siersdorf
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1.9 Hoengen North
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Mariagrube (in the 19th century: Höngen )
Connection to the route to Alsdorf
Stolberg – Herzogenrath railway line
Connection to the route from Stolberg
9.9 Alsdorf- Ofden
8.3 Euchen
from Kohlscheid
5.8 Würselen
to Stolberg
5.0 Würselen middle
3.7 Kaisersruh
from / to Aachen-Rothe Erde
1.6 Hair (b Aachen)
Service / freight station - end of line
0.0 Aachen north connection Talbot

The Aachen Nord – Jülich railway line is now a largely disused railway line in western North Rhine-Westphalia . The line was built in the 1870s by the Aachener Industriebahn Actiengesellschaft, founded in 1871, nationalized in 1887 and served the first or improved connection of several pits in the Aachen coal mining area as well as the passenger traffic in the region, especially the commuter traffic of the miners, but also the connection of the surrounding area to the Oberzentrum Aachen , but not at its main station , which ultimately promoted the decline of the line. In the post-war period, this line had more train connections than any other of the six railway lines starting from Jülich . It was not until the mid-1960s that the Jülich - Düren line, which is still successfully operated today, was slightly exceeded.

Numerous efforts to rationalize began as early as the 1950s, but they could not stop the steady spiral of decline in demand and reduction in supply (especially on Saturdays and Sundays), especially not the decline in traffic due to the concentration and shrinking process in mining . The passenger transport service, which had been kept at a comparatively high level on weekdays for many years, was cut by more than half in 1979 and ceased entirely on May 30, 1980; in the following years, freight traffic was also largely shut down. Today, large sections have been converted into a cycle path.


Established as a private Aachen stock corporation

On the private initiative of mining and smelting companies in the Aachen coal mining area, the Aachen North - Würselen - Hoengen ( Maria mine ) route, including connections from Würselen to Stolberg and to ( Gouley mine in Morsbach, northwest of Würselen) and a connection to the Aachen train station , went in 1875 -Rothe earth (above hair ) in operation. In 1880 the concession was issued to extend the line from Hoengen to Jülich , which had been a branch line junction since 1873. Simultaneously with the commissioning of this extension on October 1, 1882, the Aachen industrial railway changed its name to Aachen-Jülich railway. In the same year, the Aachen Nord train station, which is closer to the city than the previous Aachen terminus, Kölnsteinweg, was inaugurated. From there there was a connection with the Aachen tram in the direction of the city center. In 1887 the Prussian state took over the management of the Aachen-Jülich Eisenbahn AG, the stock corporation dissolved on May 1st of this year.

Development during the Länderbahn and Reichsbahn era

Old Jülich station building before 1945

Around 1908, in the area of ​​the city of Jülich, the railway line, which originally ran gently to the left between the Rurbrücke and Jülich railway station , finally merged into the railway station parallel to the Jülich - Stolberg and Jülich - Düren lines opened in 1873, to the east into a much sharper one The curve has been relocated because the terrain it has crossed so far was needed for the construction of a depot with a turntable and roundhouse . The original route can still be recognized today by the preserved stream overpasses and property boundaries.

The Second World War and the front running through the middle of the Jülich station from the end of 1944 to the beginning of 1945 at times led to an interruption in rail operations, sometimes for several years; the winter timetable 1947/48, for example, only lists trains on the sections Aachen North - Würselen and Mariagrube - Kirchberg. Only after the reconstruction of the Rur bridge near Jülich could continuous operation be resumed in 1950. In the same year, the new construction of the completely destroyed Jülich station building began, which dragged on until 1955. In those years the company was still operated entirely with steam locomotives and passenger cars from the pre-war period, the former still completely from Prussian production, the latter partially.

Efforts to rationalize the post-war era

Rail bus set in Jülich station, as used from 1954 to 1978 on the route to Aachen North. The sidecar (left) did not have a driver's cab and therefore always had to be moved. In front of the motor vehicle is the mast for the exit signal in the direction of Aachen North; The end of the platform of the stump track 16 can be seen on the far right.

At the beginning of the 1950s, the still young Deutsche Bundesbahn tried to make the route more attractive by setting up new stops: for the 1951 summer schedule, the additional Würselen Mitte stop went into operation 800 m southwest of the previous (node) station in Würselen . While practically all trains stopped in Würselen Mitte from then on, from the winter timetable 1951/52 three to four trains per direction ran through Würselen Bahnhof, and a few more in Kaisersruh. This served to achieve short travel times, as steam locomotives only had a moderate acceleration capacity. For the summer timetable in 1953, the stop in Höngen (as it was written at the time) was relocated from route kilometers 14.2 to 13.7 - a new stop centrally located on Jülicher Straße replaced the stop in the old station from the time the route was built.

At the beginning of the 1950s, a total of 11 pairs of trains ran the entire route from Monday to Friday, another on the Aachen North - Aldenhoven section, one or two trains on the Aachen North - Mariagrube section and one pair of trains on the short section Aachen North - Würselen Bahnhof. Almost the same number of trains ran on Saturdays, although some at different times; On Sundays, around two-thirds of the weekday offer ran. The last evening train to Jülich left Aachen Nord daily at 10:34 p.m.

For the summer schedule of 1954, the train service was expanded from 12 to 17 pairs of trains and to a large extent converted to brand-new rail buses of the type VT 95 (today 795), which were assigned to the Jülich railway depot at the same time after these vehicles had been in use since the summer of 1953 were based at the Bw Stolberg. In addition, the Bourheim, Aldenhoven Ost, Niedermerz and Alsdorf-Ofden stops were opened in the summer of 1954, the first three of which only for the also short rail buses due to their short platforms, and from now on all trains stopped in Würselen Bahnhof, so that in Würselen was held twice until the line was closed. The former Höngen station was finally added to the winter timetable 1954/55 under the new name Höngen Ost, also only for rail buses and thus apparently with a shorter platform than in previous years.

Of the 17 trains that arrived in Jülich from Monday to Friday from Aachen North from the summer of 1954 onwards, 13 were rail buses, one of which was a fast commuter service (5.18 p.m. from Aachen North, Saturdays at 1:21 p.m.) even without stopping for the first 12 kilometers to Mariagrube. This connection stayed on schedule until May 1962 (on Saturdays only until May 1959); it took only 17 (14 to 15 in later years) minutes for the non-stop section, compared to 24 to 28 minutes when everything stopped. Some of the new stops were, however, a bit away from the population centers - for example in Bourheim, where the route and thus also the platform were over 200 meters from the edge of the village.

Another problem was that the line's safety technology (signals and level crossings) was designed for a braking distance of 400 m, which limited the maximum speed to 60 km / h. While the same applied to the Herzogenrath - Stolberg line crossing in Mariagrube, the trains on the Stolberg - Jülich - Mönchengladbach and Jülich - Düren lines could reach 80 km / h (with a braking distance of 700 m). However, an expansion for higher speeds was never carried out.

Decline in the 1960s and 1970s

Tape display of the last train from Jülich to Aachen Nord before the line was closed, photographed in Jülich station on platform 16 on May 30, 1980 around 5:00 p.m. (train Nt 8262)

As the first railway line starting from Jülich, the section Jülich - Mariagrube (at the same time as Jülich - Stolberg) lost all trains on Sundays in the 1961 summer timetable; connecting buses from / to Jülich were introduced for 11 of the 12 remaining Sunday train pairs between Aachen North and Mariagrube, which could be reached in Mariagrube with transfer times between 5 and 15 minutes. For the summer schedule of 1962, Sunday operations between Aachen North and Mariagrube were also discontinued, so that the buses now ran the entire route on Sundays.

In 1961, 19 trains ran Monday to Friday from Aachen North to Mariagrube and 18 in the opposite direction, plus two morning pairs of trains between Aachen North and Würselen. 16 trains ran from Mariagrube to Jülich, 17 in the opposite direction. From today's perspective, it seems remarkable that on Saturdays the entire route continued until around midnight. It was not until the winter timetable of 1963/64 that there were restrictions: the last train left Aachen Nord from then on at around 8 p.m. (Monday to Saturday). From the summer schedule of 1965 onwards, operations ended on Saturdays at around 2 p.m. it stayed that way for the next ten years.

In the 1961 summer timetable, in addition to the now numerous rail buses, the (significantly more comfortable) battery-powered railcars of the ETA 150 series (now 515) are listed for the first time; the winter timetable 1961/62 shows locomotive-hauled trains for the last time. In the last few years of the steam locomotive-hauled passenger trains , mostly class 74 passenger tank locomotives were used, but a personnel roster from December 1960 also shows an afternoon rush hour train pair with a class 55 freight locomotive that was unemployed at the time and whose maximum speed was 55 km / h was only slightly below the 60 km / h permitted for this route. Both locomotive types came from before the First World War.

The stop in Hoengen Ost (now written with -oe- in the timetable), i.e. the town's original train station, was no longer served from the winter timetable 1964/65, as it was not used enough. As a further cost-saving measure, some level crossings were converted to automatic operation in the 1960s, but there was already a nationwide trend that almost all branch lines were increasingly losing passengers to motorized individual traffic.

Since clock timetables were completely unusual on branch lines until the 1990s, the train service was difficult to remember and therefore not very customer-friendly. On the Aachen Nord – Jülich route, a further complicating factor was that Aachen main station, as an important transfer point, could only be reached by tram (or from May 1962, when the last remainder of line 1 was shut down, a city bus), which, however, due to the lack of tariff Cooperation required the purchase of a separate ticket and accordingly only a few passengers took it. For decades, the footnote was found in the course book: "Walk from Aachen North to Aachen Hbf approx. 30 minutes". There was no reference to the local public transport there, a connection of the trains to the main station via the Haaren track - Rothe Erde was sometimes called for in the press, but never implemented. (Freight trains needed 10 minutes for the Haaren - Rothe Erde section and 5 minutes from Haaren to Aachen Nord; in Rothe Erde there would have been a connection to the Vennbahn in the direction of Kornelimünster - Walheim until the 1950s .)

Despite the above-mentioned rationalization measures, the line slipped further and further into the red, so that the Federal Railroad completely stopped traffic on Saturdays here in 1975. As a replacement, the ASEAG bus route 11 (Aachen - Hoengen) was extended every hour on Saturdays and Sundays to Jülich in 1975 , which brought a completely new type of mobility to the population along the route. The local press expressed its criticism of the train cancellations, but also explained to its readers the advantage of a regular timetable:

"It will be gratifying for the travelers that the so-called regular timetable is used here, whereby the departure times at the individual stops are always the same minute within an hour."


The replacement for the railway line, photographed one year after the closure in the Aachen bus station, where this ASEAG articulated bus on line 11 from Siegel to Jülich was waiting for its scheduled departure time at 3.47 p.m.

The line was no longer included in the so-called "economically optimal route network" which the Federal Railroad developed in 1975/76 and which provided for the closure of 6,000 km of railway lines. Shortly before its end, it experienced another improvement: for the 1978 summer timetable, all single-engine rail buses still in operation in North Rhine-Westphalia on the left bank of the Rhine were replaced by the much more comfortable battery-powered railcars. But as early as the 1979 summer timetable, the offer was cut from 11 to 5 pairs of trains. The local press wrote about the impending switch to the bus:

“The replacement across the street is extremely poor. Only one pair of buses travels this route on weekdays. There are bus lines that run between Jülich and Aachen, but they take a variety of detours. They stop at 43 points compared to the ten on the rail. The buses need around 85 minutes for this route, while the rail vehicles make do with around 55. "

At the end of May 30, 1980, the Aachen North – Jülich line, together with the (Mönchengladbach -) Hochneukirch - Jülich (- Stolberg) line, was shut down for passenger traffic, immediately afterwards ASEAG extended its bus line 11 every hour on weekdays to Jülich, during the peak times seven hours a day even every half hour. The direct connection to Aachen Central Station was finally realized, albeit differently than requested. The last bus from Aachen to Jülich started at 9.30 p.m. at the bus station. From this point on, passenger trains only ran from Jülich to Aachen Hbf (via Stolberg, this route was also closed three years later) and to Düren.

The coal traffic and its end

Fcs 090 hopper wagon - this or similar types were used very frequently for coal trains in the 1950s to 1990s

The history of the origin of the Aachen Nord – Jülich railway line suggests that the Hoengen – Jülich extension was built in 1882 primarily to enable the Aachen industrial area with its mines and the iron and steel works in Rothe Erde to be transported to and from the Ruhr area as quickly as possible, because in Jülich Since 1873 there was a connection to the railway line to Mönchengladbach of the Bergisch-Märkische Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft , which as one of the three large railway companies in the Rhineland also had numerous routes in the Ruhr area and had also taken over the main line Aachen - Mönchengladbach - Düsseldorf in 1866 . At that time, however, the pits in the Alsdorf / Hoengen / Würselen area were only connected to the main line Aachen - Cologne , which belonged to the Rheinische Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft , the Bergisch-Märkische's biggest competitor: either via the Aachen industrial railway line Mariagrube - Würselen - Stolberg or via the Alsdorf - Mariagrube - Stolberg , which was opened in 1870, but which also belonged to the empire of the Rheinische Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft. The connection to Jülich gave the mines direct access to the Bergisch-Märkische Eisenbahn and thus a choice between the two competing market rulers.

It was only after all these railways were nationalized in 1891 that the gap between the aforementioned mines and Herzogenrath went into operation. However, this had a steep gradient of up to 21.7 per thousand, while between Mariagrube and Mönchengladbach via Jülich only a maximum of 13.25 per thousand could be mastered with braking. There are three routes between Mariagrube and Neuss for coal trains: via Stolberg - Düren - Grevenbroich (81 km), via Herzogenrath - Mönchengladbach (74 km) and via Jülich - Mönchengladbach (69 km). The only known evidence of coal trains on the Aachen North – Jülich line is the statement from a chronicle of the railway system in the Jülich region from 1986:

Class 55 freight steam locomotive in 1952

"For the removal of coal from the Aachen coalfield to Rheinhausen the Headquartered DR from 13/11/1947 locomotives of the BR 55 at Bw Jülich. These train services were operated until the Bw was closed. "

The Jülich Bw (like the Maria mine) was closed in 1962. A locomotive driver's roster from 1960 contained in said chronicle records steam-hauled freight trains Mariagrube - Jülich - Mönchengladbach - Viersen , but the train numbers and the numerous stops in subway stations indicate mixed freight trains of the classic single wagon traffic, while only a single night block train from Jülich to Rheinhausen is included, which does not come from Aachen North, but from Weisweiler on the Stolberger route.

Reasons for the end of the coal train service of the Jülich 55 series steam locomotives are to be found in the fact that with the increasing use of the more modern and more powerful steam locomotives of the series 50, the trains could become heavier and thus longer. A coal train consisting of 35 self-unloading wagons of the widespread type Fcs 090 has a total weight of 1400 t with an axle load of 20 t and a length of 356 m together with a 55 locomotive. At the beginning of the 1970s, however, a number of coal trains with a length of 580 m were already running in the Aachen district, such as the Gdg / Gag 9086 (Merkstein -) Alsdorf - Stolberg - Cologne - Völklingen (Saar) train, which had a load of up to 2000 t and was to Stolberg Pulled by a class 50 steam locomotive (to Merzbrück with the support of a pushing locomotive). The Aachen North – Jülich line was, however, single-track and only had meeting stations with relatively short tracks (Würselen: 340 m, Aldenhoven: 413 m, Kirchberg: 439 m). Such a long train could only have encountered other trains in Jülich on the 40 km long single-track section between Mariagrube and Hochneukirch.

The main lines Aachen - Düsseldorf and Aachen - Cologne, on the other hand, had two tracks already at the turn of the century and had train stations with long overtaking tracks (up to the current maximum freight train length of 700 m) and were even electrified in the mid-1960s, which means that E -Loks from Herzogenrath or Stolberg made possible, so that from now on no more coal trains ran between Mariagrube and Jülich. For the section Mariagrube - Würselen, on the other hand, coal trains were still included in the 1980 summer timetable, as they could run via Würselen between the Emil Mayrisch pit and Stolberg without changing direction. The draft for the 1983 summer timetable finally no longer provided coal trains via Würselen; From then on all coal trains from the Emil Mayrisch mine ran over the Herzogenrath route at the latest.

The rest of the freight traffic and its end

Very short freight train Üg 68025 (Kirchberg - Jülich) around 7.40 a.m. at the entrance to the Jülich station at the Po 11 barrier post with a class 261 pushing locomotive. On the far left the entry signal from the direction of Aachen Nord showing the “drive”, on the right the “ Slow travel ”from the direction of Stolberg, which a few moments before had passed Nt 8173 (Aachen Hbf - Jülich), but the barriers are already up again. The scaffolding supports a pipeline from the Jülich sugar factory.

In addition to the traffic to and from the coal mines, the rail vehicle manufacturer Talbot in Aachen Nord (still today) ensured a certain volume of traffic. The Aachen North – Jülich route was not only used for deliveries and deliveries, but also for test drives. In 1964, for example, a brand-new railcar for the Iranian State Railroad reached Jülich station.

Otherwise, there was only the local freight traffic that is usual for agricultural areas on the route. Here, however, the Kirchberg - Jülich section stands out, on which the transfer journeys to the Jülich Kreisbahn (JKB) took place. These were sometimes quite considerable, especially for the beet campaign in autumn, as in contrast to the Bundesbahn, the JKB offered farmers a beet loading facility in almost every of its stations. In the 1970/71 winter timetable, a pair of goods trains Jülich - Aldenhoven ran Monday to Friday afternoons, which were extended to Schleiden if necessary, and a pair of goods trains Jülich - Kirchberg in the morning, which was planned to carry 500 tonnes, but during the autumn beet traffic in the direction of Jülich, for 1400 t. This sugar beet traffic ended in 1980 because the Jülich sugar factory no longer accepted beet by rail from then on. Perhaps there were still individual rail transports to the sugar factories in Düren (closed in 1987) or even Euskirchen for a few years longer , but if so, then only to a very limited extent; the factories in Ameln (closed in 1991) and Elsdorf could only have been reached by rail from 1980 via detours that were no longer justifiable.

After the cessation of passenger traffic in May 1980, goods traffic continued to operate on some sections of the Aachen North – Jülich line for a few years; Apart from the junction stations at Jülich, Mariagrube, Würselen and Aachen Nord, the Eichhorn paper mill in Kirchberg, the Sieger scrap metal trade in Aldenhoven, a rural trade in Schleiden and another goods customer in Euchen were served along the route. In Kirchberg the cars were still handed over to the JKB; The Appel & Frenzel canning factory in Jülich (JKB), the Schleipen & Erkens paper factory in Koslar, the Meuthen agricultural trade in Merzenhausen and the scrap dealer Plum in Puffendorf were responsible for significant freight volumes. In the end, almost all sections were closed for all traffic:

  • Kirchberg - Aldenhoven on November 30, 1982
  • Aldenhoven - Mariagrube on October 31, 1984
  • Mariagrube - Würselen on December 31, 1983
  • Würselen-Haaren on September 1, 1980

Passenger train runs to other routes

Cardboard tickets for the Federal Railroad for the Aachen North - Jülich route from 1978 and 1980 in Edmondsonian format: a normal one-way 2nd class journey, a weekly student ticket and a multi-way ticket with a DB staff discount

Overall, the Aachen North – Jülich line was largely operated as an isolated operation for passenger traffic, runs to other lines were the exception. This was handled differently on other routes in the region, in particular between the routes Aachen Hbf - Stolberg - Jülich or Düren - Jülich on the one hand and Jülich - Linnich - Baal - Dalheim or Jülich - Hochneukirch - Mönchengladbach on the other hand there were frequent through trains .

Before the Second World War, there were trains coming from Aachen Nord via the connecting curve at Mariagrube, which was still in existence at the time, to the Mariadorf station, where they changed direction and continued to Herzogenrath - the 1939 summer timetable has two such in the morning and evening Pairs of trains. There was also an afternoon run Aachen North - Würselen North.

After the Second World War, the aforementioned connecting curve was dismantled and replaced by a new curve for the Herzogenrath - Jülich route. The pre-war runs via Mariadorf could therefore no longer operate. Overall, the course books only record the following runs:

  • from winter 1951/52 two trains Dalheim - Jülich - Aachen North (on workdays in the morning and daily in the afternoon)
  • From the summer of 1952, the corresponding two counter trains Aachen North - Dalheim (morning and evening)
  • from the summer of 1953 the afternoon train Dalheim - Aachen Nord was canceled
  • From the summer of 1954, the remaining direct connections with the Dalheim route were discontinued (as this was later switched to rail buses)

From the summer of 1952 onwards, the Aachen North – Jülich course book table was integrated into the Düren - Jülich - Dalheim table, which indicates that an expansion of the through connections was intended. However, this did not happen; After 1954 there were never more runs to the Dalheim route, and so this confusing form of representation was given up again in the summer of 1957.

  • In the summer of 1956 and winter of 1956/57 a continuous morning train pair Würselen - Grube Emil Mayrisch, which in the timetable is not marked with its route, but only recognizable by the train number that is identical on both sections of the route
  • From summer 1956 up to and including summer 1959 a train Jülich - Mariagrube - Alsdorf - Wilhelmsschacht (this train previously ran from Jülich to Aachen North, from 1956 it still had a connection to Aachen North)
  • from winter 1962/63 to winter 1964/65 as well as on weekday afternoons a train from Siersdorf (on Saturdays to Emil Mayrisch mine) - Mariagrube - Aachen Nord (in summer 1963 and winter 1963/64 there was no connection on Saturdays)
  • In the summer of 1966 there was a train Mariagrube - Jülich - Ameln in the morning (because at that time the previous Stolberg - Ameln train between Stolberg and Jülich was canceled, so that the train coming from Mariagrube to Ameln was extended instead, as there was a train from Ameln in the morning Stolberg to Aachen West (!) Was supposed to start; the morning trips Jülich - Ameln - Jülich were also canceled in the winter of 1966/67 and with it the connection to Mariagrube)
  • From the summer of 1966 on a midday train Mönchengladbach - Jülich - Aachen North, this stayed in the timetable the longest of all the connections, up to and including winter 1978/79
  • from summer 1967 to winter 1974/75 the last evening train Jülich - Mariagrube to Herzogenrath was extended (in 1975 it was completely canceled)
  • only in the summer of 1968 did a second run from Mönchengladbach - Aachen Nord run in the afternoon
  • from the summer of 1968 until the closure in 1980 the afternoon train from the Emil Mayrisch mine to Aachen North ran again

The route Mariagrube - Siersdorf - Emil Mayrisch mine

The 1953 summer course book contains this route for the first time, albeit with the note: "Opening of operations on a day to be determined". From the beginning to the end of passenger traffic, the Siersdorf - Emil Mayrisch mine was only released for EBV employees. In the first few years, there was a fairly extensive range of services, including weekends and at night, which gradually dwindled over the course of the 1970s. Up to the winter timetable 1980/81 there were still five pairs of trains (only Mondays to Fridays), of which several trains from / to Herzogenrath were connected. In the summer of 1981 the offer was reduced to a single pair of trains, which still ran from / to Herzogenrath. In the 1982/83 winter timetable, this pair of trains was marked with the note “Train can fail at any time”; the 1983 summer timetable announced that the train service had ceased. The goods traffic ran to a considerable extent until the Emil Mayrisch colliery was closed; Heavy coal trains with up to three locomotives (partly pulling, partly pushing) were the order of the day in the 1980s.

Route description

Jülich station

Almost all of the trains to Aachen North left platform 16 in Jülich - here the midday train in April 1979, one year before the line was closed
Today's Rurtalbahn in Jülich, view towards Düren

Of all the railway stations in the region, Jülich had the largest with station category 3 in the 1960s and formed the end point with the route km 27.59 for the railway line to Aachen North. After it was dismantled in the 1980s, the route only leads to Kirchberg (near Jülich). On the section Kirchberg (near Jülich) - Abzw. Rübenstrasse, the track of the Jülich district railway was last used. Platform 16, on which the trains once started in the direction of Aachen Nord, is now built over by a freight forwarding company.

Until most of the lines were closed in the 1980s, Jülich was a railway junction, even if all lines were classified as branch lines. Until the 1980s, Jülich station was provided with extensive facilities for passenger and freight traffic. It had its own depot. Trains ran from Jülich in seven different directions. However, after all of the DB lines connected to Jülich, with the exception of the Düren line, were discontinued, the importance of the Jülich station declined massively. Today the Rurtalbahn GmbH operates on two of these routes . It runs south on the Jülich – Düren railway line and north on the former Jülich – Dalheim line to Linnich . The stretch of the former Jülich Kreisbahn still exists, but is no longer used. All other railway lines have now been dismantled in the Jülich region:

As a substitute, there are several bus lines that connect Jülich with the surrounding villages and towns. There is also a connection to Aachen with the SB11 bus line as a long-term replacement for the Aachen North – Jülich railway line. The station building is now used as a cultural station (Cuba) for cinema, music and cabaret events.

The station still has sidings to the former Jülich repair shop, now owned by the Bundeswehr , and to the Jülich sugar factory . This connection was removed in the 1980s during the great demolition, as beet deliveries could be made cheaper by tractor and truck. It was not until 2005 that the connection to supplies to the sugar factory's own coal-fired power station was restored.

Kirchberg railway station (near Jülich)

Shortly after the Rur bridge, the station facilities of the Kirchberg station (near Jülich) began at kilometer 25.1. Strictly speaking, up to 1980 there were two train stations with extensive track systems and two reception buildings. The Kirchberg (b Jülich) Nord train station on the Jülich Kreisbahn (towards the exit of the town) and the Kirchberg (b Jülich) train station on the Deutsche Bundesbahn (towards the center of the town). The track systems just mentioned merged because Kirchberg (b Jülich) originally linked two lines: the Aachen North – Jülich line (once operated by the Aachener Industriebahn Actiengesellschaft , later: Aachen-Jülich Railway , opened) and the Jülich line , which opened in 1911 Circular path that initially only ran from Puffendorf to Kirchberg (near Jülich). From the Kirchberg (b Jülich) Nord train station, there was a connection to the neighboring Kirchberg (b Jülich) train station of the Aachen North - Kirchberg (b Jülich) - Jülich railway; on September 14, 1912, the remnant section Jülich Nord - Kirchberg (b Jülich) Nord followed, which partially ran parallel to the state railway.

The JKB had a shed (Königshütte), which is still in a ramshackle condition today. The station was of special importance for the JKB because it served as a transfer station to the Federal Railroad until 1992. For this reason, there were more spacious tracks here than at the other stations on the route. At times, up to three tracks were available here that could be used jointly by the JKB and the DB. The DB had a bypass track that was directly connected to the platform of the DB train station, and a large reception building on the Aachen-Jülich railway company side, which had to be demolished in early 2000 due to its severe deterioration. Today the area belongs to a company and is fenced, the track of the DB was converted into a bicycle route. On the site of the former Kirchberg train station (near Jülich), there was still a dilapidated wagon of unknown origin until 2009.

After the Bundesbahn withdrew from Kirchberg (near Jülich), only three tracks (including the main line) of the Jülich district railway remained. Except for the main track, the tracks are heavily overgrown. In addition to the tracks, the waiting room on the Jülich circular railway has been preserved. The track scales in the JKB area have not yet been removed either. In the area of ​​the DB train station, only the edge of the platform reminds us that there used to be a train station here.

The Eichhorn corrugated cardboard factory is a few meters behind the train station. At the time of the DB, the Eichhorn company had a connection via the DB track. The connection was made via a loading / siding. One track supplied a goods shed, the loading door of which was facing the DB track. The goods shed is still preserved today. The company had two additional tracks, which could be bypassed by two switches. When the DB withdrew, the Eichhorn siding was connected directly to the JKB track. The Eichhorn company has not been served by rail for years; since then, goods have been transported by truck.

Bourheim stop

Railcar Aachen North - Jülich in Bourheim (May 27, 1980)

This stop was set up in 1954 in a very simple construction at route kilometers 23.1, there was no shelter . The breakpoint was at the intersection of Sankt-Mauri-Straße with today's railway cycle path, about 300 m northwest of the village edge of Bourheim , and extended in an easterly direction. The area of ​​the stop is now overgrown, but the platform still exists. Trains up to a length of 94 m were allowed to stop in the direction of Jülich and up to 52 m in the direction of Aachen.

Aldenhoven Ost stop

In Aldenhoven , in addition to the actual train station in the west of the village, there was also a stop Aldenhoven Ost (route km 20.6) on Markfestestrasse (former B 56), directly north of its intersection with Urweg. This stop was also opened in 1954. The approximately 50 m long platform without a bus shelter extended from the level crossing in an easterly direction. Wooden sleepers served as the platform edge.

Aldenhoven train station

Aldenhoven station with a passenger train from Jülich to Aachen Nord (spring 1980), on the far right freight wagons for the Sieger company
Remnants of the platform in Aldenhoven (front left) on the former route now used as a cycle path (2010)

The municipality of Aldenhoven had a multi-track station with a reception building at 19.56 kilometers, on whose property the fire station is now located. In contrast to the Hoengen and Schleiden railway stations, the Sieger iron trade was still a regular customer of goods in the last few years of operation. The station had an interlocking "Af" (Aldenhoven dispatcher) and two tracks, each with a platform edge and its own exit signals, so that encounters ( crossings ) of passenger trains were possible here. In addition, there was a track with a loading lane for freight traffic, a short butt track for general cargo wagons directly in front of the station building and a track to the Sieger company, which had its own small shunting locomotive. The station could accommodate freight trains over 350 m in length. In 1985 the station building was demolished. You can still see a heavily overgrown platform edge at this point.

Niedermerz stop

This Niedermerz stop was at kilometer 18.5 and had a small stone house as protection from the weather. Due to the dismantling of the line in 1985, nothing of it can be seen today. The stop was at the intersection of a small road that leads from the L 136 to Niedermerz. Today there is a bus stop there.

Schleiden train station

Schleiden station was a small through station at kilometer point 17.1 with two bypass tracks without a large volume of goods for a nearby agricultural trade. He had a reception building that was converted after the closure and is now privately owned.

Hoengen Ost train station

Route on Goethestrasse at Hoengen station
Hoengen Ost station in 2007

The Hoengen station was the end point of the line for the first seven years and was called Warden in the 19th century (timetable 1892, route 163, km 14.2), but at least in the last decades of its existence it was only a small station with a reception building from the time the route was built and is used privately today. According to the timetable, people drove through here from May 1953 to September 1954 and from September 1964 without stopping, instead they stopped west of the entry points at the new Hoengen stop 500 m away . The Hoengen Ost train station was on route kilometer 14.2 on Goethestrasse opposite Thomas-Mann-Strasse.

Hoengen stop

Former railway bridge between Hoengen and Mariadorf

This stop took over passenger traffic from the old Hoengen Ost train station in May 1953 and was in operation from then on until 1980. It was at the junction of Jülicher Straße and Am Müschekamp / Weißstraße at kilometer 13.7. Before the shutdown and dismantling, the stop had a side platform and a bus shelter. The bus shelter was removed shortly before the shutdown. Today nothing reminds of the breakpoint of yore.

Mariagrube station

Route near Mariadorf

North of the village Maria village at the station Maria pit the two crossing railway lines Herzogenrath-Alsdorf-Stolberg with this route height freely at km 11.93. In addition, the branch line to the Emil Mayrisch mine in Siersdorf was connected to the station, as were the two different connecting curves to the Herzogenrath - Stolberg line. Furthermore, the Mariadorfer Grube Maria was connected to the station. A large shunting and loading yard was located for the pit.

In order to avoid confusion with the first station in Mariadorf, the second station set up in the intersection area of ​​the routes was named after the Maria Bahnhof Mariagrube. The buildings near this train station and the Maria Hauptschacht mine always belonged to Mariadorf, but were separated from the village by a railway line. This finally gave the miners a stop nearby to the Maria mine. Until the opening of the stop, they had to take the several hundred meters long way from the Mariadorf train station to the pit. This area was therefore perceived as a separate village of Mariagrube by US soldiers during World War II. In December 2011, the upper part of the tower station was reactivated for the Euregiobahn . In the 19th century this station with its 11.9 kilometers was called Höngen (timetable 1892, route 163).

Alsdorf-Ofden stop

The Alsdorf -Ofden stop was built at kilometer 9.9 around 1953. It no longer exists today.

Euchen station

This station was only a small through station at kilometer 8.3 for the agricultural trade. An exception was made on December 10, 1897, when there was a branch line from Euchen to the community mine in Duffesheide . At that time, goods were transported from the mine via the Euchen station. These transports were only carried out for a short time, as no coal was mined in the Community mine. The reception building of the station still stands today and is privately owned. It is at the western exit of the town of Euchen on Broicher Str. (L 223). Curiously, there was a level crossing in the form of a track leading to the train station on an agricultural path behind the reception building and the exit from the town .

Würselen train station

Würselen station was at km 5.8 and used to have a reception building. The originally large station building at the Würselen crossing station was destroyed in the Second World War and replaced by a smaller new building in 1952. The building is still preserved today and is used as a cinema and daycare center.

The Kohlscheid – Stolberg line of the Aachen industrial line used to cross at the Würselen station . This route Stolberg - Morsbach originally served to connect the Teut and Gouley collieries , and was later extended to Kohlscheid. As a result, the track systems were very extensive. In addition to a station building, Würselen had a railway depot and two signal boxes between 1875 and 1950 .

After the railway facilities were demolished in the 1980s and 1990s, a bypass road, the K30 (Willy-Brandt-Ring) was built over the station area. The Aquana leisure pool is located on the former site of the railway depot .

Würselen Mitte stop

The Würselen Mitte stop was in the Markt / Kaiserstraße area at kilometer 5.0 and no longer exists today. He owned a bus shelter. There are parking bays at this point today.

Kaisersruh stop

The Kaisersruh stop was at 3.74 km, about 800 meters northwest of the Kaisersruh estate . It was taken out of service on September 30, 1973. There is now a refuge at the site.

Haaren train station (near Aachen)

This former Haaren train station (near Aachen ) at route kilometer 1.6 was a branch station of the connecting line to Aachen-Rothe Erde train station . The Aachen Nord – Jülich line only brushed against him in the area of ​​the triangular track belonging to the station, which could be used to switch to the connecting line in both directions.

Aachen north station

Former Nordbahnhof station building, 2018

Aachen Nord station was built in 1875 by the Aachener Industriebahn and on the initiative of the Association for Hard Coal Construction in the Wurmrevier for the newly developed industrial area Aachen-Nord for personnel and material transport. It was a terminal station with three tracks, two of which were for passenger traffic and one was upstream of a freight station with a siding for the Talbot wagon factory there .

On May 30, 1980, the station was shut down, the platform roofs demolished, the tracks in the area of ​​the passenger station removed and the area enclosed with a wall and closed to the public. The former reception building itself has served as a drinks market and restaurant since then. Only the freight yard and the industrial track to the Rothe Erde station will continue to be used by "Talbot Services GmbH", the successor organization to the wagon factory.

Current condition

The route has now been reduced to three short sections. The remaining sections are

Of these three sections, however, only the section from Aachen North to Haaren and on via the connecting line to Rothe Erde is used regularly - to operate the siding of the Talbot wagon factory  .

Some of the route can still be seen today, for example on the Feldstraße - Marienstraße - Pützdrieschstraße - Wirthstraße - Jülicher Straße - Am Müschekamp cycle path between Mariadorf and Hoengen in Alsdorf. Between Alsdorf and Jülich, the route was expanded into a cycle path.


A partial reactivation of the line as part of the euregiobahn concept has been planned since the end of the 1990s . This stipulates that the trains from the Ringbahn near Merzbrück will travel to the then rebuilt Stolberg – Kohlscheid railway line and switch to the route to Aachen North shortly before the former Würselen train station. From Aachen North, the euregiobahn will eventually continue as a diesel tram according to the rules of the BOStrab to the Aachen bus station .

However, since there were protests from the population in Würselen, some of whom fear the noise pollution, and the funds for local public transport have been cut in the years since planning began, there were repeated delays in the expansion of the euregiobahn and it is still questionable whether these plans will be realized.


  • Eisenbahn-Amateur-Klub Jülich eV (Ed.): Jülich, the old railway city . 2nd Edition. Jülich 1986.
  • Bernd Franco Hoffmann: Disused railway lines in the Rhineland. Sutton-Verlag, Erfurt 2014, ISBN 978-3-95400-396-9 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Rail network conditions of use of the Rurtalbahn GmbH - special section (SNB-BT). (PDF) Retrieved May 10, 2018 .
  2. a b Timetable valid from October 1, 1892
  3. ^ Official timetable of the Deutsche Bundesbahn (winter 1951/52)
  4. From: Bad times are ahead of train drivers , article in the Jülicher Nachrichten of May 29, 1975, printed in (EAKJ 1986) on p. 93.
  5. From: New Federal Railroad Timetable: The pupils can only reach the school continuously , article in the Jülicher Nachrichten of August 8, 1979, printed in (EAKJ 1986) on p. 115.
  6. ^ From: Jülich, die old Eisenbahner-Stadt , publisher: Eisenbahn-Amateur-Klub Jülich eV, 2nd edition, Jülich, 1986, p. 234.
  7. ^ Bundesbahndirektion Köln: Freight Train Formation Regulations, Volume 2, edition of September 26, 1971, p. 54.
  8. ^ Federal Railway Directorate Cologne: Book timetable. Issue 4b, edition of September 27, 1970, p. 17.
  9. ^ Federal Railway Directorate Cologne: Book timetable. Edition of September 27, 1970, issue 5b for freight trains.
  10. ^ Federal Railway Directorate Cologne: Book timetable. Edition of September 27, 1970, issue 4b for freight trains.
  11. Bundesbahndirektion Köln: Bildfahrplanblatt Nr. 17 , annual timetable 1979/80.
  12. ^ Federal Railway Directorate Cologne: picture timetable sheet No. 17 , draft annual timetable 1983/84, status: March 8, 1983.
  13. From: Jülich, the old railway city. Publisher: Eisenbahn-Amateur-Klub Jülich eV, 2nd edition, Jülich, 1986, p. 85.
  14. "Bundesbahndirektion Köln" - BD map Cologne, edition A, color (with disused lines from 1945), cartography and printing: Central transport line - map office - November 1984.
  15. Deutsche Bundesbahn, Bundesbahndirektion Köln: Preliminary remarks on the book timetable route lists, annual timetable 1979/80