Elschbach tunnel

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Elschbach tunnel
Elschbach tunnel
Elschbach tunnel from Elschbach
use Railway tunnel , bike and hiking trail
traffic connection Glantalbahn
place Hütschenhausen
length 150 m
Number of tubes 1
Client Society of the Palatinate Northern Railways
start of building July 1902
release 1904
Elschbacher Tunnel (Rhineland-Palatinate)
Red pog.svg
Red pog.svg
Northeast portal 49 ° 25 ′ 21 ″  N , 7 ° 25 ′ 29 ″  E
Southwest portal 49 ° 25 ′ 16 "  N , 7 ° 25 ′ 29"  E

The Elschbacher tunnel is adjacent to the Meisenheimer tunnel and the chin rock tunnel one of three tunnels since 1996 disused Glan Valley Railway . It was located along the southern section of the Homburg - Glan-Münchweiler route at kilometer 14 from Homburg. The tunnel, opened in 1904, was necessary to shorten a loop of the river Glan . Originally designed with two tracks, it was only operated on a single track from the 1960s. There have been no rails in it since 1987. Since 2002 it has served the Glan-Blies-Weg, which was built between 2001 and 2006 . Despite its name, it is not located in the district of Elschbach , but on that of Hütschenhausen .


First initiatives and plans for a Glantalbahn

Although a railway line along the Glan as a connection between the Saar area and the region around Bingen would have been obvious from a geographical perspective, small states prevented a corresponding construction for a long time in the 19th century. Because in the lower Glan valley between Altenglan and Staudernheim, the border between Bavaria and Prussia was very irregular.

After the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 and 1871, when France had to cede Alsace and Lorraine to Germany, there were also military reasons for such a railway line. It was resolutely championed by Prussia in particular. A first draft was made in 1871, which essentially corresponded to the later course, but was shorter. Another argument in favor of the railway construction was to create the shortest possible connection between Homburg and Bingen. A connection to the Palatinate Ludwigsbahn in Bruchmühlbach or Hauptstuhl was considered.

It was not until the end of the nineteenth century that Bavaria gave up its resistance to the construction of a strategic railway, as Franco-German relations had deteriorated significantly in the meantime. The Metz fortress was already connected by several railways, but the connection from the Rhine was very difficult. After a variant running south-east had been eliminated, the plans provided for the construction of a main line from Mainz via Bad Münster along the Glans, using the Kuseler route between Altenglan and Glan-Münchweiler also via Elschbach, Homburg and Saarbrücken. The Bavarian side approved the project on January 27, 1898.

Construction, opening and follow-up

The construction of the line was the responsibility of the company of the Palatinate Northern Railways , which had been responsible for all Palatinate rail lines north of the Ludwigsbahn since 1870. Construction work on the Homburg – Glan-Münchweiler section began in July 1902. There was a loop of the Glans between the planned Elschbach and Dietschweiler - Nanzweiler stations near the Elschbacherhof , which was to be shortened by means of a tunnel. Immediately before that, the river in question had to be crossed on the Elschbach side in the form of a stone bridge. In accordance with the requirements of a strategic railway, the latter was carried out on two tracks. From mid-July, 24 workers from the Berlin- based company Hiedemann began digging through the mountain in question. The tunnel had already broken through on November 8th of that year. Since the construction work was carried out mainly by Italian and Croatian guest workers, there were also tensions in the catchment area of ​​the Elschbach Tunnel , which in some cases resulted in violence.

The tunnel from Nanzdietschweiler

On March 25, 1904, a test drive took place from Homburg to Lauterecken-Grumbach , another took place around a month later on April 16 from Scheidt to Bad Münster. The same train went in the opposite direction on April 22nd. The official opening of the route took place on May 1st.


After the Second World War , the Glantalbahn steadily lost its importance. The separation of the Saar area , which existed from 1920 to 1935, was repeated. This was struck along the route Homburg and Jägersburg. This had a negative impact on traffic on the Homburg – Glan-Münchweiler section, which continued to decline in the period that followed. In the 1960s, the second track between Schönenberg-Kübelberg and Glan-Münchweiler was dismantled ; as a result, the Elschbach tunnel was only a single track.

In 1961, the Elschbach Ort stop was built not far from the south-west portal of the tunnel on the route of the dismantled second track , in order to counteract the peripheral location of the municipality's station from the settlement area and to increase the attractiveness of the Glantalbahn in the southern section. Only 15 years later it was closed again, and the Elschbach train station followed a year later. On May 31, 1981, passenger traffic between Homburg and Glan-Münchweiler ended after it had only comprised a single train. The entire operation between Schönenberg-Kübelberg and Glan-Münchweiler was therefore stopped, as there had already been no more freight traffic on this section.

In 1984 , the Deutsche Bundesbahn dismantled hundreds of meters of track between Sand and Elschbach without initiating a decommissioning procedure beforehand , making the Homburg tunnel no longer accessible. From May to July 1987, the track between Elschbach and Glan-Münchweiler was completely dismantled.

In the period from 2001 to 2006, the Glan-Blies-Weg was gradually built; the Waldmohr – Glan – Münchweiler section, which runs on the former railway line, was opened on May 18, 2002. Since then, a bike and hiking trail has been running in the tunnel.


  • Hans-Joachim Emich, Rolf Becker: The railways on Glan and Lauter . Self-published, Waldmohr 1996, ISBN 3-9804919-0-0 .

Web links

Commons : Elschbacher Tunnel  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b eisenbahn-tunnelportale.de: Pictures of the route: 3281 (KBS 671, trolley traffic, cycle path, closed / KBS 272d) . Retrieved February 7, 2013 .
  2. Hans-Joachim Emich, Rolf Becker: The railways to Glan and Lauter . 1996, p. 15th f .
  3. Hans-Joachim Emich, Rolf Becker: The railways to Glan and Lauter . 1996, p. 16 f .
  4. Hans-Joachim Emich, Rolf Becker: The railways to Glan and Lauter . 1996, p. 21st f .
  5. Hans-Joachim Emich, Rolf Becker: The railways to Glan and Lauter . 1996, p. 25 .
  6. Hans-Joachim Emich, Rolf Becker: The railways to Glan and Lauter . 1996, p. 22 .
  7. Hans-Joachim Emich, Rolf Becker: The railways to Glan and Lauter . 1996, p. 23 .
  8. Hans-Joachim Emich, Rolf Becker: The railways to Glan and Lauter . 1996, p. 54 f .
  9. Hans-Joachim Emich, Rolf Becker: The railways to Glan and Lauter . 1996, p. 60 ff .
  10. Hans-Joachim Emich, Rolf Becker: The railways to Glan and Lauter . 1996, p. 64 f .
  11. achim-bartoschek.de: Rail route cycling - details - Germany> Rhineland-Palatinate> south of the Nahe - RP 3.08 Glan-Blies cycle path: section Staudernheim - Waldmohr . Retrieved December 29, 2012 .