Osterode – Kreiensen railway line

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Course book section (DB) : ex 199d
Route length: 32.7 km
Gauge : 750 mm / 1435 mm
0 Osterode North
Herzberg – Seesen railway line
2.3 Lasfelde
4.1 Landwehr
5.2 Badenhausen
6.0 Posthof
7.4 Ice village
9.4 Foresters
12.5 Goldbach
Westerhöfer Tunnel (468 m)
16.0 Westerhof
19.2 Willershausen
20.5 Oldershausen
22.1 Real
Connection of the former pit Echte - RKW Echte
24.2 Kalefeld
27.6 Sebexen
29.5 Opperhausen
Auetalbrücke on the Hanover – Würzburg line
31.4 Billerbeck - Haieshausen
from Göttingen and from Holzminden
Station, station
32.7 Kreiensen East
Route - straight ahead
to Hanover and Seesen – Braunschweig

The railway Osterode-Kreiensen , better known as orbital Osterode-Kreiensen , was a 33 km long, non-electrified narrow gauge - secondary line of 750 mm, in parts also 1435 mm gauge , the town of Osterode am Harz with the rail hub Kreiensen in the Valley of linen bandage and in 2010 it was completely de- dedicated for rail traffic . In the Osterode – Förste section it was also called “ Sösetalbahn ”, and in the Westerhof – Kreiensen section “ Auertalbahn ”.



The industrial city of Osterode had been trying to get a rail connection since the 1840s. The Hannöversche Südbahn , however, was made shorter and less steep in 1854 through the Leine valley. A connection to the southern Harz line was already under construction in 1866, but was initially a victim of the German war . In 1870/71 the connection Herzberg – Osterode – Seesen was completed, but it remained meaningless for long-distance traffic and offered no direct connection to Hanover or to the west. In addition, the area northwest of Osterode was poorly developed, despite the minable deposits of gypsum and iron ore .

After the Prussian State Railroad had repeatedly rejected requests for connections from Osterode to Northeim or Kreiensen, the Osterode district at that time decided to build a narrow-gauge railway itself, which it always operated itself. Instead of the simple route along the Söse to Northeim, an elaborate route to Kreiensen was chosen to connect the ore mine near Echte . At that time, however, the district of Osterode am Harz still extended almost as far as Kreiensen.


On December 19, 1898, the section from Osterode to Förste , which runs largely in the Sösetal, was opened. The train station in Osterode was north of the state train station. At the other end, from Kreiensen to Westerhof , trains ran from September 2, 1899. The intermediate section with the 468 m long tunnel through the Westerhöfer Forest was available on May 2, 1901.

Significance at the heyday

The main purpose of the line was to remove plaster of paris and ore. Standard-gauge wagons were transported with trolleys . In addition, there were two trolley pits each with a connection to the state railway in both stations. In order to facilitate the transport of ore, the Kreiensen – Kalefeld section was converted into a three- rail track by 1943 so that it could also be used by standard gauge trains. On the steep incline to the Echte pit and on the mine site, there was only standard gauge operation.

In 1904 41,200 t of freight were transported, in 1938 even 107,700 t, in 1966 (last full year of operation) 115,900 t.

In 1904, around 149,000 tickets were sold in passenger transport; the peak was reached in 1958 with 228,000 people carried.


In recent years, operations have been carried out with diesel multiple units such as the T 2 built by Talbot in 1954 . In their function as tow cars, they were also used in freight transport.

In the early 1960s, the track was in poor condition. In 1963 the section west of Kalefeld was renewed sparingly; in the process, the narrow-gauge rail was removed and the trestle system moved from Kreiensen to Kalefeld. Rail passenger transport was replaced by buses on this section. It was still debated whether to re-track the entire length of the route . At the time, the cost of two million D-Marks was estimated to be too high.

Rail passenger transport, which was only in low demand, was finally switched to buses on May 27, 1967. Freight traffic followed at the end of July between Kalefeld and Förste and at the end of September 1967 between Förste and Osterode. Soon after, the narrow-gauge line was dismantled.

The standard gauge section, however, was retained. In 1978 it was given to the district of Northeim , on whose territory it was located. He was served by the Ilmebahn when required . After the track was flushed in 2007, the service of the last two rail connection customers ( RKW Echte and Raiffeisen's gas warehouse ) was discontinued due to the high repair costs .

As a result, in March 2010, the last section of the route was de-dedicated for rail traffic. Due to the construction work on the bypass ( B 445 ) Sebexen (municipality of Kalefeld) and Osterbruch (district of Opperhausen of the city of Einbeck), the tracks had to be removed in several sections; the remaining tracks were dismantled in April 2011. On the old route between Kreiensen and Kalefeld, construction work began in March 2012 on a cycle and hiking path; Sections were completed by May 2012.

Current condition

section Tracks Track bed Bike path comment
Kreiensen (train station) - Billerbeck (Mühlenstraße) Yes Yes No siding
Billerbeck (Mühlenstraße) - Opperhausen (Ahlshäuser Straße) No Yes No
Opperhausen (Ahlshäuser Strasse) - Bundesstrasse 445 No Yes Yes
Bundesstrasse 445 - Kalefeld (Bhf.) - Grube Echte No Yes No
Kalefeld (train station) - Willershausen (Am Lerchenberg) No No No
Willershausen (Am Lerchenberg) - Westerhof (Untere Teichstraße) No Yes Yes Auertalbahn cycle path
Westerhof (Untere Teichstraße) - Nienstedt (Klein Förste; K 31) No Yes No including Westerhöfer tunnel
Nienstedt (Klein Förste; K 31) - Förste (Am Schlagbaum) No No No overbuilt
Förste (Am Schlagbaum) - Eisdorf (sandy bay) No Yes No
Eisdorf (sandy bay) - Badenhausen (Posthof) No No No
Badenhausen (Posthof) - Badenhausen (way to school) No Yes Yes partly Street "Am Bürgerpark"
Badenhausen (way to school) - Badenhausen (Am Voigtskamp) No No No overbuilt
Badenhausen (Am Voigtskamp) - Lasfelde (Hp.) No Yes Yes partly Street "Am Voigtskamp"
Lasfelde (Hp.) - Osterode (Bhf.) No No No partly Street "An der Bahn"


The train served as the theme of the song Die kleine Bimmelbahn by Erich Storz .


  • Ekkehard Eder: 125 years of the Seesen - Osterode - Herzberg railway , published by the Heimat- und Geschichtsverein Osterode am Harz und Umgebung e. V., Osterode 1996, p. 105ff.
  • Gerd Wolff: German small and private railways. Part 2 Lower Saxony . Zeunert, Gifhorn 1973. ISBN 3-921237-17-3
  • Wilhelm Hausmann: On the trail of the circular path - Osterode (Harz) - Kreiensen . Publishing house P. Krösing e. K., Osterode 2008, 116 pages
  • Gerd Wolff: German small and private railways. Volume 11: Lower Saxony 3 . Eisenbahn-Kurier, Freiburg 2009, ISBN 978-3-88255-670-4 , p. 167-189 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Rolf Löttgers: The narrow-gauge railway time in color . Franckh'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, Stuttgart 1983, ISBN 3-440-05235-4 , p. 99 .