Idar-Oberstein trolleybus

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Idar-Oberstein trolleybus
Route length: about 8 km
Power system : 600 volts  =
Tiefenstein, Rodter Mühle
Idar, at the parish garden
Idar, depot
Oberstein, train station
Transition to the Nahe Valley Railway

The Idar-Oberstein trolleybus was the trolleybus operator of the Rhineland-Palatinate city ​​of Idar-Oberstein . The only line existed from 1932 to 1969 and always ran without a number. It supplemented or replaced the Idar-Oberstein tram , which opened in 1900 and closed in 1956 . In both cases, the responsible transport company was Stadtwerke Idar-Oberstein , the power supply was provided by Oberstein-Idarer Elektrizitäts-AG ( OIE ), a subsidiary of RWE . However , the Idar-Oberstein transport company (VIO) is responsible for today's bus traffic . The trolleybus or trolleybus for short was locally called de Droht , a short form of the Palatinate word drohtesel , high German bike .


The local tram had already connected the two districts - which were independent until 1933 - with each other since 1900. Above all, it established the connection between Idar and the peripheral Idar-Oberstein station on the Nahe Valley Railway .

An intended extension of the tram to the further north located town of Tiefenstein - this was incorporated into Idar in 1930 - failed because of the narrow and steep passage at the Evangelical City Church. As an alternative, RWE opted for the trolleybus. The introduction of the most modern electric means of transport at the time was based on an initiative of the then mayor Ludwig Bergér . England served as a model, where Bergér and a delegation led by the gemstone dealer Heinrich Albert Becker were convinced of the advantages of trolleybus technology as early as 1930.

Following the tram - it ended at Idar's Alexanderplatz - on February 22, 1932, after a construction period of around one year, a four-kilometer single-track trolleybus route from Idar, Am Pfarrgarten to Tiefenstein, Rodter Mühle was opened. In Idar, the trolleybuses turned by means of a catenary triangle at the junction with today's Harald-Fissler-Straße. Since the vehicles were parked in the tram depot, a corresponding trolleybus contact line was laid parallel to the tram contact line between Idar, Am Pfarrgarten and the carriage hall. This operating route was 1.5 kilometers long. The trolleybus operation in Idar-Oberstein was the second modern trolleybus operation in Germany after the Mettmann – Gruiten catenary bus that opened in 1930 .

After more than fifty years of operation, the tram was due to be renewed in 1955. In addition, there were frequent problems with the rest of the traffic in the narrow streets of the city. That is why it was decided at the time to replace the entire tram service with trolleybuses, which could now run from the station to Tiefenstein. So on July 29, 1956, rail traffic was replaced by the extension of the trolleybus.

Almost seven years after the trolleybus operation reached its greatest expansion, the OIE shortened the trolleybus route by about half and from then on served Tiefenstein with buses. From May 1, 1963, the trolleybuses only ran from the train station to Idar - something like the earlier tram. This route was also closed on May 11, 1969 and switched to bus operation. Electric local transport in Idar-Oberstein ended after almost 70 years. The cause was the ongoing expansion of the road and the establishment of one-way streets, which would have required extensive renovation of the catenary. Today the former trolleybus route is served by bus route 301.


Over the years ten vehicles have been procured for the Idar-Oberstein trolleybus, including only solo cars :

Construction year Numbers piece chassis construction Electrics
1931 1-2 2 Uerdingen AEG
1949 O1-O2 2 Henschel Kässbohrer BBC
1956 O3-O8 6th Henschel Ludewig BBC

The abbreviation "O" indicated a trolleybus, in contrast to the omnibuses, which in Idar-Oberstein are still marked with a "K" for power bus. Numbers 1 to 8 were assigned twice, i.e. with O1 to O8 on the one hand and K1 to K8 on the other.


The vehicle registration number - O III - which can be seen on some older trolleybus photos, was the registration number for the Birkenfeld district in the 1930s , which at that time belonged to the Oldenburg state as part of the Principality of Birkenfeld .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b Idar 50 years ago: When the trolleybus came, the sparks flew ( memento from February 11, 2013 in the web archive ), article from the Rhein-Zeitung
  2. 100 years of Tiefenstein at ( Memento from January 7, 2011 in the Internet Archive )