Dresden Park Railway

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Dresden Park Railway
Line of the Dresden Park Railway
Course book section (DB) : 12249
Route length: 5.6 km
Gauge : 381 mm ( Liliputbahn )
Top speed: 20 km / h
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from here on two tracks
Station, station
0.0 Hauptbahnhof at the
Route - straight ahead
Transparent Manufactory
Station, station
1.3 zoo
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each single track
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usual driving directions
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1.9 Carolasee
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3.8 Palais pond
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Abzw Carolasee
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"Small Round"
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2.7 Bk Karcherallee
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"Big Round"

The Dresden Park Railway is a BOP- operated Liliput railway in the Great Garden in Dresden . It was founded in 1950 as a children's railway and was operated under the name Pioniereisenbahn Dresden during the German Democratic Republic .

As usual with all former pioneer railways, most of the activities are performed by children and young people on the Dresden Park Railway. They act as dispatchers, supervisors, train detectors (only at the Zoo station), barrier, train driver, train conductor and, in exceptional cases, as standby. The Dresden Park Railway runs in the summer half-year from April to October and on special trips in December and carries around 250,000 passengers annually.


The steam locomotives still in use today date from 1925
To mark the 60th anniversary of the Dresden Park Railway , three steam locomotives ran in front of a train

As early as the 1930s, the steam locomotives and some wagons of today's park railway were running at exhibitions in the Great Garden , for example during the International Hygiene Exhibition 1930/31 . Among other things, the route led past the Kugelhaus , which was demolished in 1938 .

For Children's Day on June 1, 1950, a children's railway was opened in the Great Garden under the direction of the Dresden Transport Company, initially planned for only one season. The route ran on a single track from the former Stübelplatz to the zoo, was 1.3 km long, had a turnout, a tunnel and a wooden barrier in the middle. It was built with the help of Dresden residents. Only a few posts (e.g. admission, signal operator) were occupied by children at this time. In the summer of 1950, locomotives and wagons were loaned to Erfurt for the garden show , until they drove back to Dresden for a few weeks in autumn and the line was then to be dismantled.

The railway had a lot of popular support. However, it was the friendship council chairmen of three Dresden schools and two FDJ functionaries who went to Berlin to see Walter Ulbricht to introduce him to the idea of ​​a "pioneer railway". He was convinced by the children and so it was decided on his instructions to keep the railway permanently in Dresden.

It was renamed Pioniereisenbahn Dresden and on May 1st 1951 the opening of the second driving season took place. The line was initially extended to 4.4 km and the Carolasee and Palaisteich stations were added. In the summer of the same year, another 1.2 km section and the Karcherallee station were handed over . The pioneer railway carried around 295,000 people in its first year of operation. Administratively, the facility was subordinate to the Pionierpalast Dresden, with a subdivision Pioneer Railway. The management was now the responsibility of the Deutsche Reichsbahn (DR), Directorate Dresden. The sponsor company was the Dresden Neustadt train station. This provided operating service railroaders for the season. Due to a shortage of staff, the seasonal staff from Dresden Central Station was later seconded until the summer of 1990 . The train drivers were also provided by the Deutsche Reichsbahn until the end of 1992.

In 1962 a new, third train with an accumulator locomotive was put into service. In the following year, for the first time, over half a million passengers were carried. On April 1, 1966, the new zoo station building was handed over and one year later this station received an additional station roof. In 1982 a fourth train with another accumulator locomotive was put into service. In the winter of 1988 to 1989, the Fučíkplatz  - Zoo track , which until then had been elevated on the so-called Zooberg , was relocated at ground level.

As a result of the accession of the GDR area to the FRG and the associated changed political framework conditions, the railway was renamed from Pioniereisenbahn Dresden to Dresdner Parkeisenbahn in 1990 . Since over 90% of the facility is located on the grounds of the Great Garden, the Free State of Saxony took over legal ownership in 1993. Since then, the Park Railway - like the rest of the Great Garden - has been administered and operated by the State Palaces, Castles and Gardens of Saxony . At the same time, new uniforms were introduced. The supervisory authority was and remained the representative for railway supervision for the district of Dresden / Free State of Saxony.

In the following years the number of passengers dropped and the railway had to accept cuts. The steam locomotives, which used to be in daily use, only run on Fridays and weekends. Since 1996, four closed wagons manufactured in England have been in use in bad weather or during Advent journeys.

The mascot Parkolino

The squirrel Parkolino has existed since July 12, 1998 and acts as a mascot, especially for younger visitors to the railway.

With the construction of the Volkswagen Group's Transparent Factory on Straßburger Platz, the original end point had to be abandoned. The new Hauptbahnhof at the Gläserne Manufaktur (formerly: Am Strassburger Platz ) was contractually built at Volkswagen's expense as a modern train station in keeping with the Gläserne Manufaktur style, although there were some inconsistencies in the construction work. It was opened in 2000. The associated track loop was not completed until the following year, however, in 2006 the platforms of the station were paved and equipped with a signal system.

In 2008, the platform of the Karcherallee train station was paved and the height of the carriages was adjusted to make it easier to get on and off. In 2010 the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Park Railway was celebrated with a week of festivities. This took place from June 1 to June 6, 2010. A guest locomotive of the Leipzig Park Railway also ran in the Great Garden . For the 60th anniversary in Leipzig the following year, a Dresden locomotive drove around the Auensee on the Leipzig Park Railway . This locomotive exchange was repeated several times in the following years.

Route description

Train meeting on the double-track route from the zoo to the main train station at the Transparent Factory

The Dresden Park Railway runs a circuit of 5.6 kilometers in one direction . The starting point for tours is the main station at the Gläserne Manufaktur . Parking facilities, engine sheds and the railway depot (BW) are located at the Zoo station ; the headquarters of the management are also located there.

The total length of the track with stabling and side tracks is 7.2 km. The line between the zoo and the main train station at the Gläserne Manufaktur has been double-tracked since 1968 in order to enable smooth 3- and 4-train operations, even if only two trains are usually used. The rest of the route is single-track. At Carolasee station there is a junction for direct journeys to Palaisteich station , which are called journeys through the small circuit . In 1951, in the second year of operation, the small lap was generally used as planned before the Carolasee - Karcherallee - Palaisteich route was completed. Between 1962 and the beginning of the seventies it was used as planned when the operation was only carried out with two steam locomotive-hauled trains running on the line at the same time and intermediate coaling or water absorption was necessary for the steam locomotives. It was incorporated into the "two-train timetable" at that time that in such a case the shorter, small circuit was used for a round trip to save time by the train concerned ; the train numbers were - with otherwise consecutive numbering - with a around 2000 increased number. This mode of operation, which did not exist in the "three-train operation" from the beginning (he provided for corresponding travel time extensions for this from the start and the otherwise rigid 12-minute cycle was adjusted accordingly), was abandoned at the latest in the mid-1970s. The background was that the fixed point of the junction “Bf. Carolasee "is located approx. 150 m from the actual residence building and this was only served in a fixed manner: That was not operationally manageable, especially since the" small round "was also less accepted by the passengers. For special trips and as an alternative route during construction work or floods on Carolasee experienced by small round one use today. Due to the flood in August 2002 ( the flood of the century on the Elbe and its tributaries, here the Kaitzbach ), it was not possible to use this route for several years until the damage was repaired.

The interlocking with the exception of the station Karcherallee - where the only signal is still manually operated - with track control consoles equipped. The Hl signal system of the former Deutsche Reichsbahn (DR) from the plant for signaling and safety technology Berlin (WSSB) with slightly modified signal screens and form signals are used . The train notification procedure corresponds to that of the DR. The maximum permitted line speed of the Parkeisenbahn is 20 km / h, at many level crossings there are speed limits of 5 or 10 km / h.

Train stations

Before German reunification, the five stations of the Park Railway had other names with symbolic meaning, such as development or friendship . A local feature like Carolasee was added to this name. Today's station names only contain the location feature. Although the Carolasee and Karcherallee train stations are, in terms of railway technology, a stop or a stop , they are called train stations.

Central station at the Transparent Factory:

The main station at the Gläserne Manufaktur is the starting point for most passengers, as it can be reached by many public transport and there are many parking spaces nearby. The line is double-tracked to Zoo station . The name of the station was until 1990 Happy Future (Fučíkplatz), from 1990 to 1999 Straßburger Platz and from 2000 to 2010 Am Straßburger Platz .

At the end of the 1990s, the previous station building on Straßburger Platz (until 1990: Fučíkplatz ) had to be demolished for the construction of VW's Transparent Factory. As a replacement, a new station building designed in the modern style of the Transparent Factory was opened elsewhere in 2000 and the lines were adapted. Since the station was relocated a few hundred meters from Straßburger Platz in the direction of Lennéplatz, the name of the station was changed from Straßburger Platz to Am Straßburger Platz . For the time between the demolition of the old and the construction of the new station building, the former barrier post was used as a stop at Straßburger Platz . Since there was no turning loop, the trains ran on the Zoo  - Straßburger Platz route with a locomotive at each end. After the completion of the station building, this operation had to be continued for a year, as the turning loop was not completed until 2001. The station initially received a provisional, manually operated form signal , which served as a block signal and is now in front of the station. The two existing points were not used in normal operation. In 2005, two light signals were initially issued at the entrance to the station and at the end of platform 2, and in the summer of 2006 the final signal system was installed. The seven light signals are operated by a switchboard and have been in operation since the Santa Claus rides in 2006. The two turnouts were equipped with an electric drive before the 2008 season. As with the entire park railway, there is no block of tracks , the train journeys are secured via train reports . In order to enable operation with as few staff as possible in the mornings of the week when there is a lack of staff, beacon operation is provided. Train reports are not required with this procedure, however, because the Zoo station, as the preceding and following station, is responsible for securing the route.

Zoo station:

Car hall at the Zoo station

Zoo station is the most important operational station on the line. It is located at the back entrance of the Dresden zoo and the double-track Zoo - Central Station and the Transparent Factory and at ranges Zoo  - Carolasee and Palais pond  - Zoo . Before the German reunification , the station was known as friendship at the zoo . The station is the headquarters of the management of the park railway and houses sidings for the cars as well as a locomotive shed, in which the loading devices for the two EA locomotives are also located. There are two electrically remote-controlled and 15 locally operated turnouts. The keys of the turnouts are enclosed in a key system which can only exclude the route keys if all the turnouts for the respective route are correctly positioned. The route keys are then locked in a key lock, the signals as well as shunting and replacement signals as well as electrical points are set from a track display panel. In addition, there is a fairground at the Zoo station for special events - such as the children's festival organized by the Friends' Association - and a model track with a switch to demonstrate how it works during guided tours.

Carolasee train station:

Bf Carolasee

The Carolasee station was called Bahnhof Frieden am Carolasee during the GDR era . The station is a junction , as there is a switch with a branch for direct journeys to the Palaisteich station about 200 m behind the exit . The station is equipped with a manually operated barrier and an electrically controlled form main signal and distant signal. These are controlled from a small switchboard. When driving to the Karcherallee train station, the signal is driving ( Hp1 ), while driving through the small round , slow speed ( Hp2 ) is displayed.

Karcherallee train station:

Bf Karcherallee

Karcherallee train station , formerly Einheit Bahnhof on Karcherallee , is a stop and has a relatively low number of passengers. The security technology consists only of a manually operated form signal, which is always set to travel when the station is unoccupied . This station is the first place of work for the youngest park railroaders, as they can initially apply the basics of the knowledge imparted in their training there.

Palaisteich train station:

Bf Palais Pond

The tour then takes you to the Palaisteich train station (in GDR times: construction at the Palais pond ), which is almost in the middle of the Great Garden. Here the “big” and the “small round” meet again, which requires a little more safety technology. That is why there is a manually operated switch, two entry signals and one exit signal (all light signals). The signals and routes are operated via a switchboard in the building, the turnout is secured with a key. Some of the signaling system can be operated remotely from the Zoo station , which means that the station can be switched on and off from there and on and off. Since the station building could not be used due to the risk of collapse, a wooden house was added to replace it. Due to the limited space, this station was often only manned by one person. The old station building has been completely renovated since the beginning of September 2009 and has been used again since the beginning of the 2010 season.



Steam locomotive 003 "Moritz"
Locomotive EA01
Locomotive EA02
Lisa (right) and Moritz, St. Nicholas trips

Steam locomotives:

Main article: Martens' unit liliput locomotive

  • Locomotive 001 Lisa (factory number 8351)
  • Locomotive 003 Moritz (factory number 8353)

The two steam locomotives of the Dresden Park Railway were built in 1925 at Krauss-Maffei in Munich. Locomotives of the same series are in use in Leipzig (No. 002), the Killesbergbahn Stuttgart and the Liliputbahn in Vienna's Prater .

The locomotives, together with the locomotive currently in service in Leipzig, were already in use for exhibitions in Dresden in the 1930s and were housed in Cunnersdorf near Kamenz during the Second World War .

Accumulator locomotives:

The two electric battery locomotives were designed at the TU Dresden and built in the RAW Dresden . They are driven by electric motors that are fed by accumulators . The batteries are charged at night, the stored electrical energy is sufficient for an entire day of operation.

  • EA01 (built in 1962)
    The EA 01 locomotive was handed over to the pioneer railway of the time, together with wagons for a third train . Originally it was equipped with two driver's cabs , but the second of them was dismantled after a short time and now houses additional technology.
  • EA02 (built in 1982)
    The second battery-powered electric locomotive consists of two locomotive parts. Originally painted red, it was given a blue color scheme during the last general inspection .


  • 19 open passenger cars
  • 12 covered passenger cars, 3 of which have a load compartment
  • 4 closed passenger cars, built in 1996 by the Bure Valley Railway in England
  • 3 freight cars
    • Transport trolleys for wheelchairs
    • Battery car for train heating on the closed car
    • Transport trolleys for construction work

Auxiliary vehicles

  • 2 small cars
  • Rail moped ( moped that has four train-like wheels with rail spacing instead of two tires )
  • Dump truck
  • Snow plow (used on Advent trips)

Park railroaders

Service cap of an assistant with a silver cord

Since 1951, most of the posts have been filled by children and young people. Schoolchildren from Dresden and the surrounding area can register when they are in the fourth or fifth grade and are trained to be park railroaders in winter. After passing the personnel test, they volunteer about once a week during the driving season - mostly after school. The park railroaders receive further training every winter half-year. The training prepares the park railroaders for their assignment as a dispatcher, supervision, barrier, barrier post and train attendant. You will learn to carry out train reports, set signals and points, check tickets and dispatch trains. They also gain other knowledge about railway operations.

Older park railroaders can apply for assistant training. After completing their training, they will be employed as a shift manager and ticket seller and can do their work independently at the Karcherallee and Palaisteich train stations.

Before 1990 the Parkeisenbahner were called pioneer railroaders, the assistants were called brigade leaders and instead of the brigade leader training there was the further possibility of working as a locomotive engineer.

Around 120 children are currently serving as park railroaders.

Support association

The Friends of the Dresden Park Railway was founded in 1992. Its main task is to promote park railroaders and events. The association organizes stands and attractions at children's parties on the railway or the purchase of new locomotives and wagons for model railways.

In addition, the Friends' Association organizes excursions to other park railways, for example to the Cottbus park railroad, and holiday trips , such as a camp at the park railroad in Crispendorf or in the Spreewald . Every year an exchange with the Budapest Children's Railway takes place through the club 's commitment . The development association has been responsible for free youth welfare since 2009 .


  • Christian Schiffner, Christian Sacher: The Dresden Park Railway (Dampfbahn-Magazin Spezial 16). SSBMedien, Zittau 2012, ISSN  1866-2374 .

Web links

Commons : Dresdner Parkeisenbahn  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Dresdner Parkeisenbahn on new tracks , sz-online.de, March 16, 2011; Retrieved March 20, 2011
  2. a b Interesting facts about the Dresden Park Railway , website of the State Palaces, Castles and Gardens of Saxony; Retrieved March 3, 2015
  3. No Advent trip on the park railway , sz-online.de; Retrieved March 4, 2011
  4. a b c Lars Kühl: Children convince senior comrades. In: Sächsische Zeitung from 30./31. May 2015, p. 17. Available online for a fee .
  5. a b c , website of the state palaces, castles and gardens of Saxony (also as PDF; 64.5 kB ( memento from April 2, 2015 in the Internet Archive ))
  6. ^ History of the Dresden Park Railway, parkeisenbahn-online.de; Retrieved March 4, 2011
  7. Dresdner Parkeisenbahn celebrates its 60th birthday: Leipzig locomotive comes to congratulate ( memento from August 2nd, 2012 in the web archive archive.today ), dnn-online.de, June 2nd, 2010; Retrieved March 4, 2011
  8. a b Parkeisenbahn is being completely overhauled , sz-online.de, December 15, 2010; Retrieved March 4, 2011
  9. Pioneer Railway Dresden: Operational timetables . Manuscript print, lic. 1969 (No. II / 9/34 AG 130/94/69 E)
  10. ^ The route of the Dresden Park Railway, parkeisenbahn-online.de; Retrieved on July 2, 2011, supplemented by: Pioneer Railway Dresden: Operational timetables . Manuscript print, lic. 1969 (No. II / 9/34 AG 130/94/69 E)
  11. a b tabular overview of the history of the Dresden Park Railway , accessed on October 14, 2010
  12. The history of the construction of these wagons - from the first idea in autumn 1995 to the conclusion of the contract with the Bure Valley Railway on December 22, 1995, start of construction in January 1996 to the ceremonial commissioning on April 30, 1996 can be found in: Dagmar Möbius (responsible .): History and stories - 50 years of the Dresden Park Railway . Traditionsverein Dresdner Parkeisenbahn eV (Ed.), Dresden, 1999.
  13. Young talent wanted for Dresden Park Railway ( Memento from February 5, 2018 in the Internet Archive ), sz-online.de, July 10, 2008; Retrieved March 4, 2011
  14. ^ Offspring found for Dresden Park Railway, sz-online.de, September 22, 2010; Retrieved February 4, 2011
  15. Pfiff newspaper, edition 2007, page 20
  16. Pfiff newspaper, edition 2007, page 10

Coordinates: 51 ° 2 ′ 34 "  N , 13 ° 45 ′ 11"  E

This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on August 11, 2009 .