Prussian Small Railroad Act

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The "Law on Small Railways and Private Connection Railways" of July 28, 1892, often referred to as the Prussian Small Railroad Act for short , was enacted when, towards the end of the 19th century, the agriculturally structured areas in the north and east of the Kingdom of Prussia needed development that the Prussian state had access to could not afford the construction of railroad lines he subsidized.

Despite the high surpluses that the Prussian State Railways generated, the Prussian Finance Minister Johannes von Miquel found himself unable to provide more than 26 million marks for the construction of new state branch lines in 1892 . In view of the wishes of the population and their members of parliament, on March 6, 1892, he submitted the draft of a "law on the lowest order railways " to the state parliament , which would facilitate the construction of local railways by dispensing with the strict requirements of the railway law of November 3, 1838 should.

The law triggered a wave of new railway construction, so that by the beginning of the First World War, over 300 small railway lines with a total length of more than 10,000 km had been completed. It not only brought many new connections for sparsely populated rural areas, but also led to a concentration of local transport, which was made necessary by the growing industrialization in the metropolitan areas around the big cities. Within a little more than twenty years, the density of the railroad network in Prussia had doubled from 6.99 km to 13.7 km per hundred square kilometers, the share of private railways in the rail network rose from 6% in 1892 to 26% in 1914 on. The success of this law also led to the construction of new branch lines in a simplified manner in other German federal states at the time.

The Kleinbahngesetz has meanwhile been replaced everywhere except in Berlin by newer state railroad laws. In West Berlin it had been in effect in an adjusted version since July 1, 1964, which was extended to the entire state after German reunification. In 1992, the environmental impact assessment was introduced in Section 17 of this law.


  • W. Gleim: The law on small railways and private connection railways of July 28, 1892, explained by W. Gleim, second supplemented edition , Berlin 1893, Verlag Franz Vahlen. Available at [1] , accessed on May 19, 2019.
  • Karl Hilse: manual of the tram customer. Volume 1: Tram Law. Volume 2: Tram Policy, Economics and Operations. Munich and Leipzig 1892, Oldenbourg publishing house. Unchanged reprint 2017, Verlag Hanse, ISBN 9783743615359 .
  • Law and Ordinance Gazette for Berlin, July 21, 1992, page 234.
  • Law and Ordinance Gazette for Berlin, special edition I, structure number 930/2.

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Individual evidence

  1. Law on small railways and private connecting railways of July 28, 1892 in the version of July 1, 1964 (GVBl. Sb I 930-2). Text on . Retrieved February 16, 2017.