Berthelming – Sarreguemines railway line
|Berthelming – Sarreguemines|
|Route number (SNCF) :||168,000; 13 and 13 4 (1962)|
|Course book range :||230 (1917)|
|Route length:||42.52 km|
|Gauge :||1435 mm ( standard gauge )|
|Maximum slope :||10 ‰|
The Berthelming – Sarreguemines (Berthelmingen – Saargemünd) line, also known as the Saarbahn , was a double-track branch line in Lorraine and Alsace , which mostly ran along the eastern bank of the Saar . Immediately after the end of the Franco-Prussian War, it connected the then capital of the Saargemünd district , Saargemünd , with the capital of the Saarburg district at that time , Saarburg , on the Paris – Strasbourg railway line , which was completed twenty years earlier . Until 2018, a section of almost ten kilometers was driven, on December 22, 2018, with the abandonment of travel between Kalhausen and Sarre-Union, all traffic was stopped.
The concession for this route was applied for by the Chemins de fer de l'État belge on March 5, 1868 and approved on October 11 of the same year. The construction was subsidized with 380 million francs , which were to be paid out in ten batches. The first batch was scheduled for January 15, 1870, the last when the work was completed. With their approval, the route was declared public. The alignment was not laborious, it led to Herbitzheim , where it crossed the Saar , always along its right bank. After Herbitzheim, the route ran in a large curve via Hambach back to the left bank of the Saar. On this last quarter of the route, differences in altitude had to be overcome, but no engineering structures were necessary.
After the construction work had started in spring 1869, it had to be stopped at the beginning of the war. In the course of the war and France's declaration of surrender, the line fell to Germany, was henceforth administered by the Reichseisenbahnen in Alsace-Lorraine and was under the supervision of the Saargemünd operations management. It was celebrated as the first route to be reopened in 1872. Although it was planned for two-track expansion, it was initially only designed as a single track. On October 15, 1877, the Metz – Sarrebourg line to Rémilly was completed, where it met the Forbacher Bahn (Metz – Saarbrücken). The eleven kilometer section between Sarrebourg and Berthelming was added to this new route. As early as 1877, at the same time as the line to Rémilly, the southern section between Berthelming and Sarralbe was provided with a second track, which was removed again in the 1950s.
After the route suffered in its first 75 years due to frequent changes of ownership and management due to the shifting of the Franco-German border , the peripheral location between the two regions of Lorraine and Alsace between the departments of Moselle and Bas-Rhin was problematic in terms of timetable and Responsibility. On August 31, 1989, all traffic in the Hambach – Saargemünd section was suspended. Freight trains to Smartville Hambach , which opened in 1997, only used the southern part until rail traffic ceased there as well. Passenger trains to Saargemünd last came from Berthelming on the 8 km long Sarralbe – Kalhausen line and the last 13 km from Kalhausen via the Mommenheim – Sarreguemines line , while the original distance via Hambach was 15 km.
- Map of the railways in Alsace, Lorraine and Luxembourg under the administration of the Imperial General Directorate of Strasbourg. 1878
- Map of the Imperial Railways in Alsace-Lorraine and the Wilhelm-Luxemburg-Railways. 1894
- Map of the Imperial Railways in Alsace-Lorraine and the Wilhelm-Luxemburg-Railways. 1906
- Jean-Marc Dupuy: Gares et tortillards de Lorraine , Editions Cheminements, La Motte-d'Aigues 2009, ISBN 978-2360370016 , pages 136-138
- SNCF: Region de l'est. Carnet de Profils et Schémas , 1962, sheets 68 and 78
- Eugen Hugo Theodor Huhn : German-Lorraine: Landes-, Volks- und Ortskunde , Cotta 1875, page 474
- Decommissioning in Lorraine in: Lok Magazin 2/2019, p. 35.
- Collection complète des lois, décrets, ordonnances, réglemens, avis du Conseil d'État . Paris 1868, Volume 77, Pages 437-438