The Klingenthal – Sachsenberg-Georgenthal narrow-gauge railway

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Klingenthal – Sachsenberg-Georgenthal
Line of the narrow-gauge railway Klingenthal – Sachsenberg-Georgenthal
Route number : 6963; sä. KSG (ex KUG) / KUGG
Course book range : 171 p (1965)
Route length: 4.96 (4.113 + 0.847) km
Gauge : 1000 mm ( meter gauge )
Power system : 650 volts = / from 1956: 600 volts  =
Maximum slope : 50 
Minimum radius : 30 m
Top speed: 15 km / h
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0.000 Klingenthal 554 m
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0.3     Zwota
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0.847 Klingenthal freight yard 552 m
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0.4     VEB Harmonikawerke
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0.10   Zwota
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0.03   Zwotental – Klingenthal railway line
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Klingenthal turnout 104 545 m
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0.48   Klingenthal Graslitzer Str (until 1943)
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0.516 Klingenthal Graslitzer Str (1943–1960)
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0.58   Klingenthal Graslitzer Str (from 1960) 544 m
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0.7     Brunndöbra (passage)
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0.870 Klingenthal Untere Marktstr (until 1943) 547 m
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1.086 Klingenthal Kreuzstrasse 550 m
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1.431 Klingenthal North 554 m
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1,865 Brunndöbra green tree 559 m
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2.111 Brunndöbra Friedrich-Engels-Str 563 m
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2,377 Brunndöbra Karl-Marx-Platz 566 m
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2.665 Brunndöbra freight yard 575 m
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2.73   Steindöbra (passage)
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2.78   Brunndöbra crossing point
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VEB cutting tools and metal goods factory
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3.047 Brunndöbra Mittelberg 582 m
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3.10   Auerbacher Strasse ( trunk road 283 )
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3.13   Steindöbra (10 m)
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3,342 Glaßentrempel (from 1920) 592 m
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3.764 Bear hole 605 m
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3.9     Steindöbra (passage)
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4.113 Sachsenberg-Georgenthal 612 m
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4.173 End of the route 612 m

The narrow-gauge railway Klingenthal – Sachsenberg-Georgenthal was the shortest and also the only electrically operated Saxon narrow-gauge railway . The meter - gauge railway , popularly known as Wilder Robert or Electric , connected Klingenthal with Sachsenberg-Georgenthal from 1916 to 1964 . It was 4.113 kilometers long, plus a 0.847 kilometer branch line to the Klingenthal freight yard .

A special feature of the connection, which has always been operated by the state , was its predominant routing in public road space and the use of only slightly adapted tram vehicles . It hardly differed from the overland railways used by urban transport companies .


Starting position

Already when the Chemnitz-Aue-Adorfer Bahn was planned, a route via Klingenthal was originally planned. For cost reasons, the route was later led via Schöneck . On December 24, 1875, Klingenthal received at least a rail connection from Zwota via a branch line . In the course of advancing industrialization , the production of musical instruments in the region, which began in 1829, experienced a tremendous boom in those years . The volume of goods to be transported in the so-called " Musikwinkel " was enormous, several million harmonica , hundreds of thousands of accordions and many other instruments had to get to the Klingenthal train station on the periphery in order to be shipped from there all over the world.

First projects

For the first time in 1893, manufacturers located in Brunndöbra and the surrounding area requested a train from Muldenberg via Brunndöbra to Klingenthal in order to improve the traffic conditions around Klingenthal. It was hoped that this would result in a significantly shortened rail connection in the direction of Zwickau , as the Falkenstein – Muldenberg railway had been in existence since 1892 . A corresponding petition from a mill owner based in Untersachsenberg-Georgenthal, which included 1,277 signatures, was sent to the General Management of the Royal Saxon State Railways in Dresden on November 16, 1893 . However, this was refused due to the high costs, since with such a route it would have been necessary to cross the approximately 750 meter high Ore Mountains ridge near Muldenberg. If it had been implemented, the route would presumably have run upwards in the Brunndöbratal valley, only to then fall again in the area of ​​today's Muldenberg dam . In order to achieve a significant shortening compared to the existing route, however, one would have had to accept enormous inclines . The route would therefore only have been useful for passenger traffic ; the freight would continue the less inclination rich haul over Zwotental used.

Alternatively, in 1896, a scheduled freight forwarding company with horse-drawn vehicles from the Klingenthal train station via Brunndöbra to Untersachsenberg went into operation. This made it easier for the companies to have their products transported to the station in Klingenthal. From the same year on, the entrepreneur Hölig's horse-drawn carriages also improved passenger transport in the Aschberg area , and they also connected Klingenthal with Untersachsenberg.

In 1898, the community of Untersachsenberg and a number of state railroad companies based in the area suggested building a new line between Klingenthal and Muldenberg in another petition. Although the project was now also supported by the communities of Klingenthal and Brunndöbra, the state capital also rejected this request because of the high costs resulting from the difficult terrain.

In June 1899, several interested parties in the Döbratal switched on the Royal Ministry of Finance in Dresden, underscoring the urgency of a rail connection. After much back and forth, the ministry responsible for the financing of railway construction in the Kingdom of Saxony finally decided to refrain from such a connection, as “the construction costs are out of proportion to the expected traffic volume”.

Rescheduling to the branch line

But they were not satisfied with the refusal of the Ministry of Finance, especially in Untersachsenberg. In 1904, a committee was founded again under the direction of a school director , which began to fight vigorously for a modern development of the Döbratal. Whose plan of only up Brunndöbra or sub-Sachsenberg leading branch line had indeed greater chance of realization, but according to the principles of the Royal Saxon State Railways had such a short distance mandatory in standard gauge must be performed in order to avoid an expensive Umladebetrieb. Despite the involvement of the Chamber of Commerce in Plauen , these activities were not really successful either.

In addition, the alignment of a normal-gauge line in the narrow Brunndöbratal proved to be extremely problematic. The community of Klingenthal rejected an elaborated project - which provided for a spiral tunnel not far from the district court - because of defacing the townscape . The railway project has now been the subject of extremely controversial discussions in the communities. In the meantime, the establishment of a trackless railway has also been proposed.

Rescheduling to a narrow-gauge railway

In 1904, therefore, the alternative project for a narrow-gauge railway from the Klingenthal- Graslitzer copper mining union to the Klingenthal station was created. Although this project was initially rejected in 1906, it was then dealt with in “ State Parliament Deputation B” after the involvement of “influential gentlemen” and accepted by the plenary on November 11, 1908 . As a result of further negotiations, after the surveying work that had taken place in 1909 was completed, a compromise was reached that only provided for the construction of the Klingenthal – Untersachsenberg line.

On May 6 and 10, 1910, the two chambers of the Assembly of Estates of the Kingdom of Saxony approved 700,000 Reichsmarks for railway construction by decree number 28 . In the event that passenger traffic began, a further 90,000 Reichsmarks had been guaranteed. At that time, approval was first given to the generally common gauge of 750 millimeters in Saxony in order to save 109,000 Reichsmarks through smaller radii and the elimination of tunnels. The communities involved initially protested vehemently against a narrow-gauge railway, but then saw that this would also serve them with regard to the lower expenses. Since roll stand traffic was planned from the start , the restrictions on the transport of standard-gauge wagons were limited.

The construction of the railway became more and more urgent, with the growth of industry the population in the Klingenthal area rose sharply. While around 7,500 people lived there in 1870, there were already 17,000 inhabitants in 1910.

Rescheduling to the electric train

The already existing power station in Klingenthal, here on a postcard from 1909, later also supplied the narrow-gauge railway with electricity

For the preparatory work in connection with the railway construction, the so-called new building office was set up in Klingenthal on July 1, 1910 . However, there was still no agreement in the affected communities about what type of train they wanted. In order to reduce the foreseeable high costs for the construction of the route, the communities of Klingenthal and Brunndöbra then suggested an alternative route in the existing subgrade for their community area. In order to keep the nuisance for the residents of the crossed streets within limits, the train should now be operated electrically , contrary to the original plans . This not only hoped to generate additional income for the already existing municipal power station in Klingenthal, but also expected lower property acquisition costs.

Similar routes - built as an electric local railway - had already been built in large numbers, especially in neighboring Austria . But even in the German Reich there was already experience with railways that had been electrified with direct current at low voltage. Last but not least, the Royal Saxon State Railways built the meter-gauge and electrically operated State Freight Railway Deuben in what was then Deuben in 1906 , but it was licensed as a tram and the operation was incumbent on the Dresden City Tramway .

Rescheduling the gauge

In the course of the detailed planning for the electric train, it turned out that the strong inclines in the public street space required very powerful electric motors in the vehicles. However, these could not have been accommodated in vehicles with a track width of 750 millimeters. As a result, the Neubauamt proposed the construction of a meter-gauge railway based on the model of the Rollbockbahn running out of Reichenbach , which had been in operation since 1902. According to the state of the art , however, freight traffic with trolleys instead of trolleys was provided. Railcars should be procured for passenger train traffic.

The reworking of the project that was now necessary, however, repeatedly delayed the construction of the railway; it was only in the course of 1912 that the project, which had now been in question for almost 20 years, took on its final shape. In June 1912, the General Management of the Royal Saxon State Railways notified the Dresden Ministry of Finance about the changed construction project, and the Saxon state parliament also approved the changed plans.

start of building

On February 2, 1913, the expropriation of the land required for railway construction was announced in the Klingenthal Official Gazette, and this finally began in the spring of 1913. A total of ten properties were affected in Klingenthal, 88 in Brunndöbra and 164 in Untersachsenberg. On February 5, 1913, the Saxon ordinance on the construction and operation of the electrically operated secondary railway from Klingenthal to Untersachsenberg followed , and on April 9, 1913, the Auerbach administration also approved the planned route.

The actual construction work officially began on July 1, 1913. Due to the simplified routing - which now largely managed without any major engineering structures - the completion date was July 1, 1914. The company Trommer from Schönheide had received the order for the production of the line. Construction progressed well until November 1913, when a hard, snowy winter interrupted the work. In addition, the above-average expenses for preparing the route delayed the project considerably. Construction work could only be continued in April 1914 after the snow cover, which was up to 3.5 meters high, had melted.

Delays caused by the First World War

Factory photo of one of the two electric locomotives delivered in 1914, which could only be used three years later due to the construction delays

When the First World War began on August 1, 1914 , the line was largely completed. Most of the track system was completed by the end of 1914. Since most of the workers were now called up for the military, further work came to a largely standstill. The track construction continued only slowly. In 1915, an average of only 61 workers were available for the construction of the route, too few to complete the facility quickly. In addition, the material supplies stalled. For example, the paving stones supplied from Bohemia , which were urgently needed for the construction of the road surface in Klingenthal, were missing . In this context, it was also completely uncertain when the army administration would release the copper required for the catenary. For comparison: on the few already electrified Silesian lines , the copper wires were replaced by iron ones in 1914 .

In 1915 the catenary masts were erected before the construction work had to be stopped completely in September of the same year due to the war. The new building office was then dissolved on September 30, 1915.

In July 1914, the Sächsische Maschinenfabrik in Chemnitz delivered the two electric locomotives that had been ordered. They were initially parked in the locomotive shed .

Provisional opening with steam locomotives

The IM 253 steam locomotive in the Klingenthal freight yard, autumn 1916

During the war, the neighboring communities pushed for the opening of the railway more than ever, as the transport problems in Klingenthal had worsened in an unexpected way: At the beginning of the war, many draft animals had been confiscated for war use, so that only a few wagons were used to transport goods Were available. In mid-July 1916, out of necessity, the Saxon Ministry of Finance turned to the responsible war ministry with the request to provide two steam locomotives or gasoline or gasoline-powered locomotives from Belgium for provisional use in Klingenthal.

Alternatively, the Royal Saxon State Railways initially relocated a class I M locomotive of the Rollbockbahn to Klingenthal. She arrived in Klingenthal on August 14, 1916, coming directly from the workshop in Werdau . On August 21, 1916, the first test drives were carried out with this machine to check the position of the track. On the same day, the army administration also released 11.2 tons of copper scrap for the catenary.

Only later did the army administration provide a steam locomotive that had been captured in France . According to other sources, this actually came from Belgium as planned, but the manufacturer's information has not been passed down. On October 4, 1916, the machine pulled a freight car loaded with coal to Untersachsenberg as part of a test drive.

On October 28, 1916, public freight traffic could finally be started on the entire route. However, only the I M was used, as the bag locomotive turned out to be unusable. As a result, operations stalled several times due to damage to the only usable locomotive.

Start of electrical operation and passenger traffic

A three-car train on the way to Untersachsenberg-Georgenthal at the intersection of Auerbacher Strasse / Talstrasse / Schloßstrasse, summer 1917

In the autumn of 1916, Siemens-Schuckertwerke began installing the contact line. At the time of the provisional opening of the route with steam locomotives on October 28, 1916, this work was already in full swing, including the construction of a substation in Untersachsenberg. On January 17, 1917, the Klingenthal power plant was ready for operation after the expansion. However, a severe winter again led to delays in the construction process. The electrical systems were not completed until April 16, 1917.

The first test drives took place with the passenger railcars, and from April 20, 1917, the first freight trains also ran with the electric locomotives. In the presence of numerous senior officials and invited guests, the technical inspection and an official presentation trip with the passenger railcar took place on May 4, 1917 . The costs for the entire railway construction and the operating resources came to 1,116,000 marks. This sum, which was higher than the originally budgeted amount, particularly due to the constantly rising material costs, had to be raised by supplementary budgets in 1914/15 and 1916/17 as well as by the municipalities involved.

On May 14, 1917, the narrow-gauge railway went into scheduled electrical operation. Apart from the short-lived electrical operation on the Trebnitz – Leipzig railway line and the Leipziger Güterring in 1914, it was the first electrified Saxon railway. At the same time, the Klingenthaler Bahn remained the only electrified line operated by the Royal Saxon State Railways until it was closed in 1920. An official opening ceremony was not held due to the state of war. The first timetable provided for six pairs of trains per day for passenger traffic and two for freight traffic on weekdays .

The new route was initially owned by the Zwickau operations department, the Oelsnitz / Vogtl building authority . , the Zwickau workshop office, the Chemnitz electrical engineering office and the Zwickau machine office . The district tailor wool in Plauen was responsible for the clothing of the staff. The station sub Sachsenberg-Georgenthal was the only one with a station supervisor occupied and the necessary staff, while only provided in Klingenthal North and Brunndöbra freight depot freight agents and all other stations were unoccupied. The Klingenthal train station was in charge of all traffic points on the new route. The conditions of carriage were included in a special tariff for the carriage of people, luggage, dogs, express goods and goods on the electric narrow-gauge railway from Klingenthal to Untersachsenberg-Georgenthal . For a trip over the entire route 20 pfennigs were to be paid, in addition there were sections that could be used for ten or fifteen pfennigs.

The first two decades

Timetable for route 141 h in the timetable from 1939

The new lift met expectations from the first day of operation. However, the hoped-for freight traffic was limited from the start, while passenger traffic developed to an extent that was never expected. The railway increased tourism in the Döbratal considerably and workers' traffic also benefited from the new means of transport. After a short time, the trains were often so overcrowded that additional trips had to be made. The holiday traffic at Pentecost 1917 was a first test for the railway. Individual trains - such as the four o'clock afternoon train on June 10, 1917 - brought up to 300 travelers to Untersachsenberg alone.

The great demand eventually led to the subsequent establishment of two additional intermediate stations soon after the opening. The ninth stop was the Untersachsenberg-Bärenloch stop , which opened on December 20, 1917 , before a tenth stop followed on July 20, 1920 at the Untersachsenberg-Glaßentrempel stop. The mean distance between stations was reduced from an initial 457 meters to 411 meters to only 374 meters from now on.

Due to the high capacity utilization, no mail was finally taken on by railcars. Mail was only taken in the time of need at the end of the First World War. In freight transport, the railway was particularly important for the transport of coal, which was obtained exclusively from the Falkenau basin in Bohemia. In addition, building materials and general cargo were also transported.

Only four years after the start of operations, the Saxon State Railways merged with the newly founded Deutsche Reichsbahn in April 1920 . From then on, the line belonged to the Dresden Railway Directorate .

As a result of the merger of Obersachsenberg and Untersachsenberg to form the new municipality of Sachsenberg in 1929, the three stations in the Untersachsenberg district were each given a new name on October 6, 1929:

  • Untersachsenberg-Glaßentrempel: Sachsenberg-Glaßentrempel
  • Untersachsenberg-Bärenloch: Sachsenberg-Bärenloch
  • Lower Saxonyberg-Georgenthal: Sachsenberg-Georgenthal

Ultimately, the first two stations mentioned lost their local suffix on October 4, 1936 and were henceforth only called Glaßentrempel and Bärenloch . The renaming of the terminus in 1929 also resulted in a change in the abbreviation in the Saxon route designation scheme. Instead of the abbreviation KUG for K lingenthal - U ntersachsenberg - G eorgenthal, which was introduced at the opening, the abbreviation KSG for K lingenthal - S achsenberg - G eorgenthal was used from 1933 . The branch line to the Klingenthal freight yard, on the other hand, kept the abbreviation KUGG during the entire operating time . The additional G stood for G üterzuggleis.

In view of the increasing competition from road traffic - since 1922 Klingenthal was also connected to intercity bus routes - the timetable was gradually condensed from 1925. From 1933, the timetable showed a total of 15 pairs of trains, 13 of which ran daily. In view of the further increase in excursion traffic, the railway was now reaching its limits, especially since freight traffic had to be handled in addition to passenger trains.

In 1937 the Deutsche Reichsbahn introduced the simplified branch line service in order to save personnel , which is why trapezoidal boards were to be found instead of entry signals . There were also whistle signs and slow speed signals along the route . The dispatcher responsible for the operation of the narrow-gauge railway was based in the Klingenthal station. In 1939 15 pairs of trains ran, two of them only on weekdays and two only on Sundays. The travel time at that time was 19 to 20 minutes downhill and 20 to 21 minutes uphill.

In World War II

Timetable for route 171 p in the timetable from 1944, the restricted war timetable applies with only eight instead of ten intermediate stops and extended travel times

The first restrictions in rail operations occurred right at the beginning of the war. The pair of trains after midnight was canceled, and the service closed at 9:57 p.m., while the last pre-war timetable ran until 1:18 a.m. As a replacement for personnel drafted into the Wehrmacht , women also performed the escort service . In order to save energy, two stops were closed from August 1, 1943, and travel times were extended uphill to 23 and downhill to 22 minutes. This reduced the average cruising speed to 10.7 km / h uphill and 11.2 km / h downhill. From 1944 onwards, the usual regulation of driving on sight for trams also applied , but without restricting the requirements of the BOS. It was now also possible for two trains to run one behind the other within visual distance, i.e. in what is known as the following train operation . The maximum permissible speed was 15 km / h, which could also be exceeded with the right view of the route.

At the end of the Second World War, the Klingenthal train station was bombed by the United States Air Force . The destruction mainly affected the standard-gauge systems, only one narrow-gauge railcar suffered damage to the car body .

After the Second World War

The operation turned out to be difficult immediately after the Second World War, in particular because both the track systems and the equipment had been heavily used during the war. During this time, maintenance was limited to urgently needed work. Often only a single railcar was operational due to a lack of spare parts. In addition, there were frequent power outages that brought traffic to a standstill. In the 1946 timetable, only seven pairs of trains are listed, the operating time was between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.

From the 1950 summer timetable, traffic on the narrow-gauge railway returned to normal. The timetable provided for a total of 17 pairs of trains on weekdays. A train ran approximately every hour between 5:00 and 23:00. A limited offer with ten pairs of trains was valid on the weekends.

In 1950 the communities of Brunndöbra and Sachsenberg-Georgenthal were incorporated into Klingenthal, from then on the entire railway line was located in the urban area of ​​Klingenthal. Not least is often facilitated by the Klingenthaler narrow gauge or narrow gauge railway Klingenthal spoken. This had no effect on the station names, they kept their old names.

Modernization and decline

Summer timetable 1962

In the 1950s, the vehicle fleet of the narrow-gauge railway, for which the Zwickau railway service vehicle plant was responsible from 1953 , was so outdated that a replacement of the vehicles was inevitable. Since a new development was ruled out for cost reasons, the Deutsche Reichsbahn purchased two new two-car trains from VEB Waggonbau Gotha in 1956 . As a prerequisite for their use, a new rectifier plant was built in 1956 near the Glaßentrempel stop . From then on, a nominal voltage of 600 volts direct current - instead of the previous 650 volts - was fed into the contact line. Before that, an additional converter station was built in Brunndöbra in the early 1950s to stabilize operations. In 1957, 17 regular pairs of trains and four additional pairs of trains carried 1.5 million passengers during rush hour.

With the construction of the Great Aschbergschanze in 1958, Klingenthal received a new tourist attraction. It was only a ten-minute walk from the Sachsenberg-Georgenthal terminus. The Deutsche Reichsbahn procured additional new vehicles for the expected visitor traffic. A first practical test for the railway was its inauguration in January 1959. More than 70,000 spectators traveled to the competitions at that time. Also in 1958 the VEB Klingenthaler Harmonikawerke got a 30 meter long siding in the area of ​​the KUGG route, which is only used by freight traffic. It was used to supply coal to the heating system, for this purpose jacked up standard-gauge freight wagons were transported from the trolley system about 300 meters away. The goods were transported by crane to the coal bunker on the other side of the Zwota.

In the 1950s, the heavily worn tracks and the equally worn overhead line caused enormous problems . In particular, the guardrails of the tramway superstructure in the pavement were badly worn. At first, the cause of this was completely unclear. Only further investigations localized the problem in the insufficient interaction of the tram track with the wheelsets profiled according to the railway building and operating regulations for narrow-gauge railways . However, due to the lack of grooved rails , it was initially not possible to replace the worn sections; a meter of track renewal cost 180 marks at the time .

It was not until 1958, after import rails from the Soviet Union were available, that 360 meters of grooved rails were finally procured to repair the worst track sections in the Klingenthal urban area. With the demolition of the former “Deutscher Kaiser” hotel on the corner of Leninstrasse and Markneukirchener Strasse, the confusing route at the confluence with Graslitzer Strasse was finally corrected in 1960 by removing the two sides of the road. At that time, the approximately 150-meter-long section between switch 104 and today's roundabout was relocated from the right to the left side of the road, and a total of 315 meters of new grooved rails were installed.

Only in the course of 1961 were new rails available for the rest of the road section, but they were no longer installed. Although the track material had already arrived in Klingenthal, work was stopped in the course of 1961, with the exception of a few switch changes. From then on, only dangerous spots were removed to ensure operational safety. This included, above all, work on the paving in the track area.

But the steadily increasing motorized individual traffic in the post-war period also made rail operations more difficult in the area of ​​the Klingenthaler Ortsdurchfahrt , which had meanwhile become part of the 283 trunk road . There, the railway was increasingly perceived as a traffic obstacle, because as a result of the rail track laid on the side, road users traveling south came head- on towards the trains heading towards Sachsenberg-Georgenthal. The traffic police therefore called for operations to be stopped. One example was an incident on October 16, 1959: A piece of broken guardrail bored into the underbody of a passenger car . The shared use of the track by road traffic also caused its wear and tear.

Two-wheelers fell as a result of the poor railway systems, and the necessary clearance of the tracks led to illegal stopping, parking and overtaking. The superstructure deficiencies forced the speed limit to be reduced to five kilometers per hour, but operation could not be managed at walking pace.

Abandonment of freight transport

For the first time, during a meeting that took place in Klingenthal on July 1, 1958, representatives of the responsible council of the Klingenthal district of the Deutsche Reichsbahn indicated that goods traffic would be handed over to VEB Güterkraftverkehr in future . The same applied in the long term to passenger traffic in order to finally be able to remove the track systems in the Klingenthal city area, which repeatedly lead to accidents. As a result, on January 1, 1959, the Deutsche Reichsbahn stopped shipping goods from the tariff stations of the narrow-gauge railway. On July 1, 1960, general cargo traffic was also transferred to the Klingenthal wagon load hub. Incoming consignments were still delivered. Although the residual goods traffic could be designed quite effectively through the rolling truck operation, it was deficit. In 1962, around 16,000 tons of goods were transported by cargo . Specifically, there were 886 freight cars, 756 of them with coal. This resulted in losses of 70,000 marks. The Deutsche Reichsbahn pushed for the imminent abandonment of freight transport, which was finally given up entirely on April 9, 1963.

Abandonment of passenger transport

There was fierce controversy about the future of passenger transport, at the time that freight transport was discontinued, the “local authorities” were already intensively concerned with the adjustment. The trains were still very busy. From July 16, 1962, the Deutsche Reichsbahn introduced an additional night connection for shift workers on weekdays at 11:35 p.m. from Klingenthal and at 0:05 a.m. from Sachsenberg-Georgenthal. Every day 19 pairs of trains now ran on weekdays and 23 pairs of trains on Sundays. 90,000 people were transported every month. The share of season tickets in the 471,040 tickets sold in 1962 was around 30 percent. By comparison, only 234,012 tickets were sold in 1936.

The main point of criticism in the event of a shutdown was the higher motor transport tariffs. In 1962, the railway demanded only 70 pfennigs for a worker's weekly ticket on a section and 90 pfennigs for the entire route; after a change of mode of transport the latter would have cost 2.50 marks. On the other hand, a single ticket at the railway kilometer tariff of eight pfennigs per kilometer at the time was comparatively expensive , whereby 40 pfennigs had to be paid for the entire route. Foreigners in particular were surprised at this because a tram ride in a big city like Plauen only cost 20 pfennigs at the time.

In the course of 1963, new investigations into the profitability of the narrow-gauge railway were carried out in cooperation with the Klingenthal City Council , the Deutsche Reichsbahn and VEB Kraftverkehr Rodewisch . As a result, it was decided to shut down the railway completely as soon as possible, since in 1962 there were losses of 24,000 marks in passenger traffic alone. The suspension of passenger traffic, and thus the closure of the route , was planned for December 31, 1963. However, the city council initially refused to give the necessary approval. It was not until March 1964 that the buses required to change the mode of transport were available that the shutdown was announced for the beginning of April 1964. The last trip was originally supposed to take place on March 31, 1964.

The last scheduled day of operation of the railway was Saturday, April 4, 1964. The last train was the former Austrian ET 198 02. The next day, a last special train drove one of the two freight locomotives to remove all the furnishings from the service rooms.

Rail replacement services

Officially, from April 5, 1965, the traffic was initially provided in the form of rail replacement services, so in 1965 the corresponding timetable was still included in the Reichsbahn course book . Initially, two brand-new Ikarus 66 omnibuses were used on behalf of the Deutsche Reichsbahn, accompanied by conductors from the Deutsche Reichsbahn. In the direction of Sachsenberg-Georgenthal, the travel time of the rail replacement service, with a reduction in intermediate stops from nine to six, was only 15 minutes, while the trains last took 22 minutes. In the opposite direction, the route was extended to five kilometers with a journey time of 18 minutes thanks to the route along the Brückenstraße. The number of trips and the departure times from the endpoints remained unchanged.

The rail replacement service was initially provided by a subcontractor on behalf of VEB Kraftverkehr Rodewisch , the semi-state bus operator Ewald Schlott KG from Klingenthal. However, this was not without initial difficulties. Later VEB Kraftverkehr Rodewisch took over the bus operation itself, whereby in 1985 three lines with the designations T-48, T-49 and T-50 operated, which together carried 1.5 million passengers annually. Over the years, the route was also expanded to the An der Huth development area (June 1985) and the Aschberg district. After the fall of the Wall, all that remained was line T-48, which today (as of 2019) is operated as Line A by the private bus company Herold's Reisen from Klingenthal and is integrated into the Vogtland Transport Association (VVV).

Decommissioning and dismantling

In Klingenthaler Bahnhofstrasse, the former railway line is now used as a footpath

On September 28, 1965, the Dresden Railway Directorate officially applied to the Ministry of Transport to de-dedicate the line. Only four months later - on January 7, 1966 - the change of mode of transport was approved retrospectively to April 4, 1964. According to another source, the official takeover of the transport services by VEB Kraftverkehr Rodewisch did not take place until April 4, 1965.

As early as April 21, 1964, the dismantling of the railway systems in the terminus was started in order to obtain the space required for the required bus reversing loop . The subsequent dismantling of the overhead contact line and the open superstructure with Vignole rails was the responsibility of the Adorf railway maintenance office and dragged on until the autumn of 1966, but the track systems in the pavement remained exempt from dismantling because of the excessive effort. In May 1967, the dismantling of the Klingenthal station was completed, and the railcar shed there was also demolished in 1967.

In the Klingenthal town through-road, nothing today reminds of the former route, but some of the grooved rails are still under the road surface applied in 1967 . They are no longer recognizable, but keep reappearing during road construction work. In 1997 the traditional association Rollbockbahn e. V. such an opportunity to salvage about 100 meters of track and bring it to the Oberheinsdorf museum station . There they were rebuilt and have since served the association to present its historic vehicles.

Between the junction with Auerbacher Straße - today's Bundesstraße 283  - and Krummen Weg, the former railway line has been used as a combined cycle and footpath for a length of almost one kilometer since 1997 . The ten-meter-long steel girder bridge over the Steindöbra - the only noteworthy engineering structure on the railway - is also part of this path; it has been renewed for this purpose. Occasionally, the foundations of the overhead line masts can be found at the former Brunndöbra freight station and at the Brunndöbra Mittelberg stop.

The planning of a locomotive monument

On the initiative of the responsible district monument curator, the Rollbockbahn locomotive 99 162, which was retired in 1963, was placed under monument protection in March 1964 and brought to Klingenthal. There it was temporarily stored in the railcar shed in 1965. It was originally intended to be set up as a technical monument at the train station to commemorate the loan use of its identical sister machine from 1916 to 1917. However, it was subsequently not possible to get the support of the responsible Klingenthal city administration for the "Locomotive Monument" project. On January 18, 1967, the city council finally decided against further preservation on site. The Dresden Transport Museum then took over the vehicle as a museum locomotive. On July 25, 1968, the locomotive was removed from Klingenthal again and brought to the Görlitz-Schlauroth Reichsbahn repair shop for museum -appropriate refurbishment. Today it is - restored to its original state - in the Oberheinsdorf museum station near Reichenbach.

Special features of the railway

The Klingenthal narrow-gauge railway had numerous special features, including - in addition to its short length and electrical operation - the uniqueness of the vehicles and the tram-like operation. Although it gave the impression of a tram, the secondary line was initially operated according to the provisions for branch lines contained in the Railway Construction and Operating Regulations (EBO) and later according to the Railway Construction and Operating Regulations for Narrow Gauge Railways (BOS), albeit under Tolerance of some exceptions, including, for example, issuing the departure order to the driver by ringing the bell . Because the typical features of a railway and a tram were to be found in equal parts on the railway, it was described by contemporary observers as curious .

At the Deutsche Reichsbahn in the GDR , the Klingenthaler Schmalspurbahn also represented one of six electric island companies , alongside the Oberweißbacher Bergbahn , the Schleiz – Saalburg line , the Buckower Kleinbahn , the Hennigsdorf – Wustermark test line and the Rübelandbahn .

Route description

KSG route

Simplified elevation profile of the Klingenthal – Sachsenberg-Georgenthal narrow-gauge railway

The main KSG line began on the east side of the Klingenthal reception building. From there it initially ran downhill on the right-hand side next to Bahnhofstrasse. Here was the greatest incline of 50 ‰ (1:20), which, however, was only used by passenger trains. Only at the junction at switch 104, near the bridge of the standard-gauge line from Zwotental, did the KUGG branch line coming from the freight station flow . There, at the confluence of Bahnhofstrasse and Markneukirchner Strasse, the section flush with the street began. The area in which the rails were located was also the state railway site, so it did not belong to the actual street.

Up to the confluence with Graslitzer Strasse, the railway ran on the right-hand side of the road until it was relocated in 1960. At the beginning of Auerbacher Straße the track changed to the left side and from here led steadily uphill again. In Brunndöbra, the route left Auerbacher Strasse on Königsplatz and turned left into Falkensteiner Strasse. Almost 100 meters behind the square, the trains then turned right, crossed Falkensteiner Strasse and then left the public street. The paved section of the route up to this point showed no difference to the trams with its grooved rails.

From kilometer 2.4, the line then continued in the Steindöbratal on its own track to the Sachsenberg-Georgenthal terminus. This section, in turn, was indistinguishable from a normal railroad track , the tracks were bedded in gravel , guide rails were attached in curved tracks next to the inner rail. Only the milestones were missing. The switches on the line were operated using levers and weights of the regional railway type. A height difference of 59 meters had to be overcome on the entire route.

KUGG route

The former route of the KUGG freight train
track under the standard-gauge Zwota bridge at Klingenthal station

The 847 meter long secondary line KUGG to the Klingenthal freight yard had its zero point at kilometer 0.418 of the main line and was kilometers opposite to this . Coming from Sachsenberg-Georgenthal, the freight trains could pass through to the freight station without changing direction . Immediately after the line was separated, the freight train track, together with the Zwota and Markneukirchner Strasse, crossed the normal-gauge Zwotental – Klingenthal railway line, immediately afterwards crossed the river itself, and finally led south of the standard-gauge tracks up slightly to the freight station at the western end of the Klingenthal railway station. The end of the route was at Werkstrasse .

Operating points


Instead of today's bus station, the Klingenthal narrow-gauge railway passenger station used to be located, on the first floor in the area of ​​the right half of the building two catenary rosettes can still be seen (2009)

In Klingenthal station , which opened in 1875 and whose station building was demolished in 2011, there was a double-track transfer terminal with platforms and a single-track railcar shed for passenger traffic on the narrow-gauge railway north of the standard-gauge tracks, immediately east of the station building . Today, at the starting point of the route - now downgraded to a stopping point - only the foundations of the former railcar shed are reminiscent of the narrow-gauge railway. In place of the narrow-gauge tracks, however, there has been a small bus station since November 29, 1996 .

Klingenthal freight yard

At the Klingenthal freight station , there were, among other things, two trolley pits for the transition of standard-gauge freight cars to the narrow-gauge railway, a track to the goods shed - shared with the standard-gauge - and a wooden hall with a track for the electric locomotives. This hall was preserved and is now used by a scrap dealer, but the goods shed was demolished in 2009. Furthermore, the street name Am Güterbahnhof points to the earlier use of the site, although the standard-gauge facilities of the goods station were still in operation until 1995.

Klingenthal Graslitzer Strasse

At the breakpoint Klingenthal Graslitzer road , the narrow-gauge railway had its lowest point. The station was opened on May 14, 1917 with the start of passenger traffic. In 1943 the stop, which had existed since the beginning, was moved around 40 meters in the direction of Sachsenberg-Georgenthal. In 1960, when the route was re-routed to the other side of the street, it was given a new location for the second time and walked a few meters further towards Sachsenberg-Georgenthal. When the route was closed, the stop went out of service on April 5, 1964. Today the Klingenthal Zentrum bus stop is nearby .

Klingenthal Untere Marktstrasse

The Klingenthal Untere Marktstraße stop was opened on May 14, 1917 with the start of passenger traffic. With the relocation of the "Klingenthal Graslitzer Straße" stop on August 1, 1943, the station was closed due to the war. Later it was used again as required. The station was at the crossing "Auerbacher Straße" / "Untere Marktstraße". Today's bus stop of the same name is a few meters further north near the next station on Kreuzstrasse.

Klingenthal Kreuzstrasse

Location of the former station at Klingenthal Kreuzstrasse (2016)

The Klingenthal Kreuzstrasse stop has existed since the line opened. It was located at the intersection of "Auerbacher Straße" / "Kreuzstraße" near the market square with the town hall, post office and the churches and was accordingly very busy. When the route was closed, the stop went out of service on April 5, 1964. The bus stop "Klingenthal Untere Marktstraße" is a few meters south today.

Klingenthal North

Location of the former Klingenthal Nord stop (2016)

The Klingenthal Nord station was primarily a freight station; passenger trains only crossed here in exceptional cases . It was opened with the start of freight traffic on October 28, 1916. The station consisted only of the continuous main track and a 90 meter long loading track , which was connected to the main track on both sides with switches. A 35 meter long stub track led to a goods shed. From January 1, 1923, Klingenthal Nord was only operationally a stopping point.

In addition to two coal merchants, a construction company and a fruit and vegetable dealer were located near the station. Until after the Second World War, primarily coal, building materials and table potatoes were unloaded in Klingenthal Nord. In 1955 the goods shed there was torn down. When the route was closed, the stop went out of service on April 5, 1964. The "Klingenthal Injekta" bus stop is located in the area of ​​the station today, and a few meters to the north a supermarket refers to the former North Station.

Brunndöbra Green Tree

The Brunndöbra Grüner Baum stop in the Gösselberg district of Brunndöbra was named after a nearby inn that was demolished in 2011. It existed from the beginning until the end of operations and was located in front of the inn at the intersection of "Auerbacher Strasse" and "Kirchstrasse". Today there is a bus stop of the same name there.

Brunndöbra Friedrich-Engels-Strasse

Brunndöbra Wettinstraße or Friedrich-Engels-Straße stop (2016)

The Brunndöbra Friedrich-Engels-Straße stop was opened on May 14, 1917 as the Brunndöbra Wettinstraße stop . After the Second World War, the name of the eponymous street was changed twice for political reasons. The name of the stop therefore changed on April 21, 1946 to Brunndöbra Ernst-Thälmann- Strasse and on May 17, 1953 to Brunndöbra Friedrich-Engels- Strasse. When the route was closed, the stop went out of service on April 5, 1964. After the street was renamed "Wettinstraße" again after 1990, the bus stop of the same name is located here today.

Brunndöbra Karl-Marx-Platz

Former stopping point at Brunndöbra Königsplatz and Karl-Marx-Platz (2016)

The Brunndöbra Karl-Marx-Platz stop at the confluence of "Falkensteiner Straße" and "Auerbacher Straße" was originally called Brunndöbra Königsplatz and was also renamed in 1946 for political reasons. It existed during the entire operating time and was given a waiting hall in 1954, which is no longer preserved today. The "Klingenthal Königsplatz" bus stop is located at the "Falkensteiner Straße" location.

Brunndöbra freight yard

The former goods shed in Brunndöbra (2008)

Brunndöbra freight yard on "Mittelbergstraße" was opened as a Brunndöbra loading point with the start of freight traffic on October 28, 1916 . It was the most important operating point in freight traffic, passenger trains did not stop here. Above all coal and building materials were received here, but also sawn timber for making musical instruments. At the freight station, two tracks branched off from the continuous main line, one of which led to the loading street and one to the goods shed. On April 9, 1963, the freight yard went out of service. The goods shed has been preserved to this day.

Brunndöbra crossing point

The depot (Bbf) Brunndöbra intersection consisted of a passing place, in addition was there a siding for VEB Schnittwerkzeuge- and metal works . This was originally a stump track of the neighboring freight station, which was only used as a connection since around 1925.

Brunndöbra Mittelberg

Brunndöbra, former level crossing at Auerbacher Straße (2016), behind it was the Brunndöbra Reichsadler or Mittelberg stop

The Brunndöbra Mittelberg stop was originally called Brunndöbra Reichsadler , named after the former Gasthof zum Reichsadler there. It was the third station, which was given a new name in 1946 for political reasons, with Mittelberg being the name of a district of Brunndöbra. The station existed during the entire operating time of the railway. It was right in front of the level crossing on "Auerbacher Straße" on the banks of the Steindöbra. At the site there are still remains of the catenary masts, but the area is overgrown with bushes. The Alter Staffelweg bus stop now serves as a replacement for the train, but is only served out of town.


Former Glaßentrempel stop (2016)

The Glaßentrempel stop only went into operation three years after the line opened on July 20, 1920. The station had the following names:

  • until 1929: Untersachsenberg Glaßentrempel
  • until 1936: Sachsenberg-Glaßentrempel
  • since 1936: Glaßentrempel

From August 1, 1943 to May 23, 1954, the halt was abandoned due to the war. It got its name after a settlement that was built in the 18th century by the Bohemian exile family Glaß . When the route was closed, the stop went out of service on April 5, 1964. The route that has been expanded to become a bicycle and footpath is called "Am Bahndamm" in this area, while the bus stop on Auerbacher Strasse that has been set up as an alternative is called Am Glaßentrempel .

Bear Hole

The Bärenloch stop was just before the end of the route. It was opened on December 20, 1917. In the original construction plans, it was initially intended as a stop at Untersachsenberg-Friedenshöhe . Ultimately, it got its name from a valley basin that runs from the Klingenthal district of Aschberg down to Sachsenberg. Because of its proximity to the Sachsenberger Volksbad , it was always well frequented in summer. The station had the following names:

  • until 1929: Untersachsenberg Bärenloch
  • until 1936: Sachsenberg Bärenloch
  • since 1936: Bärenloch

When the route was closed, the stop went out of service on April 5, 1964. In the area of ​​the former station, the route, which has been expanded to become a bicycle and footpath, is labeled "Am Bahndamm" or "Am Bahngleis".


The Sachsenberg-Georgenthal train station is now covered with a hall; left the official residence (2009)

The Sachsenberg-Georgenthal Station or original sub-Sachsenberg-Georgenthal was the terminus of the narrow gauge railway. A platform track with a bypass option was available for passenger train traffic. A two-tier railcar shed was used to shelter the vehicles overnight. The railway workshop was also located at the terminus. The freight train tracks with loading lane and goods shed existed spatially separate from this, and there was also a bypass here. A wooden waiting hall served as the reception building . Tickets were initially sold in the official residence building above , which has been preserved. With the line closure, the station went out of service on April 5, 1964. The area in "Zollstrasse" is now built over with a storage shed.



Main article: Saxon I ME

In 1914, two electric locomotives of the class I ME were procured exclusively for freight transport ; they were later designated as E 191 01 and E 191 02 at the Deutsche Reichsbahn. Until 1963, the two locomotives handled all freight traffic on the narrow-gauge railway; Employment in passenger train traffic took place only in exceptional cases. In 1967, after several unsuccessful sales attempts, the locomotives were transferred to the State Railroad Repair Works in Dessau and scrapped there. The vernacular referred to the two locomotives as grid romp (e) l , or romp (e) l for short , Vogtland for (goods) rumble . The term lattice rompel became known beyond the city limits through the poem of the same name by the musician Fritz Meisel from Klingenthal, which was also set to music by the city music director Ernst Uebel.

Railcar and sidecar

Original stock
Dimensional sketch of the ET 197 21

Main article: Saxon I MET

For passenger transport, the Royal Saxon State Railways procured two class I MET railcars from the Waggonbau- und Maschinenfabrik (formerly Busch in Bautzen) in 1916 , followed by two matching class I MEB sidecars in 1917 . The vehicles were largely similar to the trams of that time, but they were equipped with air brakes and Saxon funnel couplings. The motor coaches and sidecars were constructed identically, they each had 18 seats and ten standing places. Three-car trains were also formed with these vehicles.

Due to the increasing volume of traffic, a third identical sidecar was delivered in 1926. In the early years, the two trains handled all passenger traffic on the narrow-gauge railway. Only after new trains were put into service in 1956 and 1958 was it possible to dispense with the old vehicles from the original stock - the two railcars were retired in 1959 and scrapped a little later, the three sidecars were withdrawn from the stock in 1963.

Austrian vehicles

Main article: SB Tw 20–29

Railcar 26 of the Mödling – Hinterbrühl local railway, this and three other identical vehicles came used to Klingenthal in 1939

After Austria was annexed in 1938, the following year the Deutsche Reichsbahn had the opportunity to move four railcars from the Mödling – Hinterbrühl local railway, which was closed in 1932, to Klingenthal. With 21 seats and 24 standing places, they offered a greater capacity than the original vehicles, but with only 25 kilowatts they had a significantly weaker motor and turned out to be unusable. As a result, freight locomotives often had to be used in passenger trains from 1939 onwards; in return, two Mödling railcars were converted into sidecars before 1945. The two vehicle generations were also used in a mixed manner, with a total of nine passenger cars available from 1939.

As a result of war damage from 1944, the ET 198 02 was rebuilt in 1946 in the Reich repair shop in Dessau. On the one hand, the engine output was increased to 55 kilowatts, and on the other hand, it received a new car body. As a special feature, however, after its conversion it only had doors on one side of the vehicle . This was only possible because all platforms on the Klingenthaler Bahn were on the same side, namely on the left as seen in the direction of Sachsenberg-Georgenthal.

The two sidecars from Austria were taken out of service as early as 1948, the railcar, which remained in its original condition, followed in 1957/1958. Only the ET 198 02, which was modernized in 1946, remained in existence even after the new Gothaer trains were delivered in 1958, but from then on only served as a reserve. It was still on the Plauen tram at the end of August 1964 , but was no longer used there. For lack of further use, it returned to Austria in 1967, where it was preserved as a museum.

New build vehicles

Main articles: LOWA ET54 , Gothawagen T57

The former ET 198 04 here in 2007 with new number 23 in Naumburg
The former ET 198 05, here in 2011 with the new number 3 in Kirnitzschtal
The former ET 198 06, here in 1991 with the new number 72 in Plauen

In the 1950s, the rolling stock of the narrow-gauge railway was so outdated that a renewal of the vehicles was inevitable. That is why the Deutsche Reichsbahn procured four new two-car trains from VEB Waggonbau Gotha, the first arriving in Klingenthal on May 1, 1956. These were conventional standard tram cars, as they were to be found over the years in almost all tram companies in the German Democratic Republic (GDR). With their use, the tram-like character of the route increased. The new wagons were adapted accordingly for operation in accordance with the railway building and operating regulations for narrow-gauge railways; for example, instead of the warning bell that is usual in city ​​traffic , they received a horn and a compressed air-operated signal whistle . Furthermore, they were provided with simplified Zg 4 train end signals according to the signal book of the Deutsche Reichsbahn. In addition, the new vehicles had Scharfenberg couplings and could therefore not be coupled with the existing ones. In detail it was:

  • two ET54 railcars delivered in 1956 (ET 198 03 and 04)
  • two type EB54 sidecars delivered in 1956 (EB 198 03 and 04)
  • two type T57 railcars (ET 198 05 and 06) delivered in 1958
  • two type B57 sidecars (ET 198 05 and 06) delivered in 1958

The reason for the type change was that production of the ET54 was ended at the end of 1956. The eight new wagons were again classic bidirectional vehicles with doors on both sides; the special situation of the platforms, which were arranged exclusively on one side, was not taken into account in the procurement. Three-car trains were again used in rush-hour traffic, with LOWA railcars also pulling Gotha sidecars and Gotha railcars also pulling LOWA sidecars. The LOWA wagons also had wooden seats, while the Gotha wagons already had artificial leather seats . The capacity of the new cars was significantly larger than that of the vehicles previously used, both types offered 22 seats and 60/80 standing places for the type ET54 / EB54 and 52/73 standing places for the type T57 / B57. The old vehicles, which were already heavily worn at the time, could thus be largely dispensed with from 1958. However, the LOWA and Gotha wagons had poor running characteristics due to their - compared to the old wagons - larger wheelbase and poor track position, which earned the railway the nickname Wilder Robert . With the new generation of vehicles, illuminated destination displays were also introduced above the windshield, whereby - slightly different from the official railway designations - uphill "Sachsenberg" and downhill "Klingenthal Bf" were described. Together with the line number display, which was not used in Klingenthal, the railcars had a triple headlights according to the signal book of the Deutsche Reichsbahn.

Deviating from the customs of the city transport companies, the vehicles were painted like the other Deutsche Reichsbahn railcars, that is, wine-red in the lower half and cream-colored in the upper half, supplemented by a black middle stripe. While the older vehicles still had full lettering according to the regulations of the Deutsche Reichsbahn, the information on the standard vehicles was limited to the bare essentials. In the middle of the lower half, the property feature “DR” was written, the vehicle number, home depot , number of seats and vehicle mass at the top left .

After the Klingenthaler Bahn ceased operations, all eight new-build vehicles made their way to the Plauen tram at the end of August 1964, seven of them were later passed on to other GDR tram operators, two of which are still operational in 2019.

Freight wagons

Covered Freight Car 99-41-01 (Werdau 1914) as a torso at Klingenthal station (2009)

A total of seven four - axle boxcars of the Saxon class 908 were intended for the transport of general cargo; they were built in 1914 by the Werdau wagon factory especially for the Klingenthal route. Their pivot spacing was 5.5 meters, the length over buffers 9.41 meters and their own weight was 8.38 tons. Noticeable external features were the brakeman's platform located on one end and the barrel roof, which was strongly arched in contrast to the 750-millimeter car . Two of these boxcars were 1950 gondola rebuilt.

When operations ceased in 1964, three cars were still available. One of them, the 99-41-01, has survived to this day (as of 2016). It came into private hands and stood for many years as a torso in the area of ​​the western exit of the Klingenthal train station. On January 1, 2008, it was taken over by the private IG Wagen association , finally recovered on October 13, 2011 and transferred to the Radebeul narrow-gauge railway museum for restoration .

As a replacement for the two Austrian sidecars, which were retired in 1948, a new sidecar was built in 1954 at the urging of the Reichsbahndirektion Dresden in the Reichsbahn repair shop in Karl-Marx-Stadt on the undercarriage of the boxcar 99-41-04. The vehicle, designated as EB 197 24, was atypical for the Klingenthal narrow-gauge railway due to its structure, which was similar to a type C4i passenger car, and arrived in December 1959 on the Harzquer and Brocken Railway in Wernigerode . Modernized in the Perleberg factory department during the GDR era , the four-axle vehicle with the number 900-522 was still part of the Harz Narrow Gauge Railways fleet in 2019 .


For the transport standard gauge freight cars in 1916 a total of 14 four-axle were trolley of the genus Rf4 procured with a driving stage length of 5.5 and 7.8 meters. These largely corresponded to the corresponding vehicles with a track width of 750 millimeters. The only differences were in the type of brake ( Westinghouse air brake instead of lever brake ) and the construction of the bogies. In 1920/21 another two identical trolleys were delivered.

sä. number sä. genus Construction year length Manufacturer
41-52 910 1916 5.5 m Kelle & Hildebrandt , Großluga
61, 62 912 1916 7.8 m Kelle & Hildebrandt, Großluga
53, 54 910 1920/21 5.5 m Kelle & Hildebrandt, Großluga
63 912 1921 7.8 m Kelle & Hildebrandt, Großluga

In the years 1926 to 1930, five more vehicles were purchased under the direction of the Deutsche Reichsbahn, so that a total of 22 cars were available. According to the redesigning plan for narrow-gauge freight wagons of the Deutsche Reichsbahn from 1952, the numbers from 99-40-01 upwards were provided for the Klingenthaler trolleys. In 1955 all 22 trolleys were still in operation. In 1959, the Klingenthal narrow-gauge railway also received two new trolleys from the production of Lokomotivbau Karl Marx Babelsberg (LKM) with a length of nine meters and a load capacity of 40 tons. In contrast, all previously delivered wagons only had a load capacity of 30 tons. However, because of their suction air brakes , the new vehicles could never be used in Klingenthal, so they were then transferred to the Harzquerbahn to Wernigerode.

With the gradual cessation of goods traffic in Klingenthal, some of the vehicles were transferred to other narrow-gauge railways in the GDR. Around 1956, six trolleys reached the Spreewaldbahn (four pieces) and the narrow-gauge Eisfeld – Schönbrunn railway (two pieces). When operations ceased in 1964, eleven trolleys were still available, two of which were still used in 1968 on the Gera-Pforten-Wuitz-Mumsdorf narrow-gauge railway .

Railway service vehicles

As was common in many tram companies at the time, there was also a two-axle salt spreader in Klingenthal from 1916 with the number 31M, later the 2050 railway company car , and from 1951 number 99-40-91. Thanks to its mounted sliding plate in front of the axis running downhill, it could also be used as a snow plow in one direction . The wooden car body was three meters long, the wheelbase was 1.60 meters. Equipped with two end platforms, hand brakes and funnel couplings, the total length was just under five meters. With a dead weight of 2.8 tons, the car could load five tons. An agitator distributed the salt to the grooved rails via two downpipes . Its operation proved to be problematic because of the icing - up to 20 centimeters deep - depending on snow depth ruts formed in the rails that disabled motor vehicle traffic.

Since the line was being dismantled until 1967, the salt spreader was still in the Klingenthal station until then, and it was not until August 1, 1967 that it was decommissioned by the Dresden Railway Directorate. It remained in its original condition until 1972, later it was brought to Adorf, where from then on, deprived of its axles, it served as a storage room for the local railway maintenance office. After its dissolution, it was taken over by the traditional Rollbockbahn e. V. recovered and secured for an intended museum preservation in the museum station in Oberheinsdorf. In 2017 it was passed on to Kleinbaan Service BV.

For work on the overhead line in the street-level section, a tower car with a body from the company Fahrzeugbau Kurt Krause from Dresden based on an IFA H3A truck was available.


The following table lists all of the locomotives, railcars and sidecars used in Klingenthal in the order in which they arrived. Vehicles that still exist today are highlighted in gray.

Number Saxony Number DR Construction year Origin, whereabouts and other remarks
IM 253 99 163 1902 Rollbockbahn locomotive; in service in Klingenthal from August 1916 to May 1917; Lost due to the war since 1942
I ME 1 E 191 01 1914 in use from 1917 to 1963, scrapped in 1967 at the State Railroad Repair Works in Dessau
I ME 2 E 191 02 1914 in use from 1917 to 1963, scrapped in 1967 at the State Railroad Repair Works in Dessau
I MET 1 ET 197 21 1916 Decommissioned in 1958, retired and scrapped in 1959
I MET 2 ET 197 22 1916 Decommissioned in 1956, retired and scrapped in 1959
I MEB 1, later 11M EB 197 21 1917 Decommissioned in 1958, retired and scrapped in 1963
I MEB 2, later 12M EB 197 22 1917 Decommissioned in 1956, retired and scrapped in 1963
13M EB 197 23 1926 Subsequent procurement, decommissioned in 1958, retired and scrapped in 1963
EB 197 24 1914 originally GGn 26, built in 1954 on the underframe of the freight wagon 10.455 or 99-41-04, 1959 for the Harzquer and Brocken Railway, today wagon 900-522 of the Harz narrow-gauge railways
ET 198 01 1903 1939 from the Mödling – Hinterbrühl local railway (number 20), decommissioned in 1957, retired in 1958
ET 198 02 1903 1939 by the Mödling – Hinterbrühl local railway (number 21), damaged in the war in 1944, new car body in the Reichsbahn repair shop in Dessau in 1946, only reserve from 1958, to the Plauen tram in 1964, a memorial in Hinterbrühl from 1967 , at the Austrian Omnibus Museum ( ÖOM ) since 1998 in Ternitz
EB 198 01 1903 formerly railcar; 1939 from the Mödling – Hinterbrühl local railway (number 26), retired and scrapped in 1948
EB 198 02 1903 formerly railcar; 1939 from the Mödling – Hinterbrühl local railway (number 27), retired in 1948 and scrapped
ET 198 03 1956 1964 to Plauen (number 70), on November 29, 1980 to the Naumburg tram (number 22), retired and scrapped in 1984
ET 198 04 1956 1964 to Plauen (number 71), on December 29, 1981 to the Naumburg tram (number 23), in scheduled operation until 1991, since 1997 operational museum railcar
EB 198 03 1956 on 1 September 1964 following Plauen (number 10), for on 23 November 1972 Trams in Gera (No. 234), 1973 conversion into mover carriage in the state railway station Berlin beautiful pasture , retired in 1990 from 1990 with fictitious number 90 concession stand before Gera Hauptbahnhof , back to Klingenthal on March 20, 2002, owned by the Verein der Eisenbahnfreunde Klingenthal e. V. , parked on company premises
EB 198 04 1956 on September 3, 1964 to Plauen (number 11), on November 25, 1972 to the Gera tram (number 235), 1973 conversion into a one-way car in the Reichsbahn repair shop in Berlin-Schöneweide, retired and scrapped in 1990
ET 198 05 1958 1964 to Plauen (number 73), 1995 to the Kirnitzschtalbahn (number 3), in use
ET 198 06 1958 1964 to Plauen (number 72), on November 24, 1992 back to Klingenthal, Verein der Eisenbahnfreunde Klingenthal e. V. , erected as a memorial at the Klingenthal train station until 2017, scrapped
EB 198 05 1958 1964 to Plauen (number 13), in 1975 conversion into a one-way car, on March 1, 1988 to the Brandenburg an der Havel tram (number 288), decommissioned and scrapped in 1992
EB 198 06 1958 1964 to Plauen (number 12), in 1975 conversion into a one-way car, on February 29, 1988 to the Brandenburg an der Havel tram (number 289), decommissioned and scrapped in 1992

The route in the course book

Today there are five different numbers under which the route was listed in the official timetable:

Year: 1929 1934 1938 1939 1941 1943 1944 1946 1951 1960 1962 1965
KBS: 513 142 f 141 h 141 h 171 q 171 p 171 p 171 p 171 p 171 p 171 p 171 p

The trains always carried only the third or, from 1956, only the second wagon class , and all intermediate stations were always designated as stops on demand .

Association of Railway Friends Klingenthal e. V.

The former memorial train at Klingenthal station (2008)

After the political change in the GDR , the Verein der Eisenbahnfreunde Klingenthal e.V., founded in May 1991, made an effort . V. is about keeping existing vehicles of the Klingenthal narrow-gauge railway on site. After a 35 meter long section of track was laid at the Klingenthal train station on November 7, 1992, the association succeeded in retrieving the former ET 198 06 from Plauen on November 24, 1992, which from then on stood on the section of track mentioned. In order to represent an authentic train, the former Plauen sidecar 25 - which had never driven on this route - was brought to Klingenthal on April 23, 1993 and set up next to the railcar. The sidecar served at times as a guest room at a neighboring snack bar .

However, since both vehicles were recently in a poor condition, they were removed on June 29, 2017 and scrapped in Zwickau. Before that, Nahverkehrfreunde Naumburg-Jena e. V. still hold spare parts for their identical vehicles. The chassis were then to go to the Chemnitz Tram Museum for temporary storage and the railcar to Liberec .

Sidecar in Klingenthal (2018)

On March 20, 2002, the association also succeeded in bringing the last surviving Klingenthal sidecar - the former EB 198 03 - back to Klingenthal. This vehicle, which has meanwhile been converted into a one-way car, previously served as a snack stand in front of Gera's main train station . It is parked inaccessible on a private company site on the outskirts of Klingenthal.


  • Rainer Heinrich: The Klingenthal narrow-gauge railway and the history of the Klingenthal standard-gauge station . Kenning Verlag, 2000, ISBN 3-933613-27-2
  • Erich Preuss, Reiner Preuss: Narrow gauge railways in Saxony . Transpress Verlag, Stuttgart 1998, ISBN 3-613-71079-X
  • Helmut K. Missbach: Saxon overland trams since 1898 . Transpress Verlag, Stuttgart 2004, ISBN 3-613-71243-1

Web links

Commons : Schmalspurbahn Klingenthal – Sachsenberg-Georgenthal  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Route overview of the Reichsbahndirektion Dresden on, accessed on September 3, 2019
  2. ^ Friedrich Spranger: The overland railways in the GDR in the 1969 railroad yearbook of Transpress Verlag , p. 166
  3. a b Strange! Die Elektro , In: Vischelant - Das Magazin des Verkehrsverbund Vogtland , issue number 13, Winter 2018/19, pp. 12-13, online at, accessed on July 26, 2019 (PDF)
  4. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba Wolf-Dietger Machel: Secondary and narrow-gauge railways in Germany then & now. Loose-leaf collection. Volume 11 Saxony: Klingenthal – Sachsenberg-Georgenthal
  5. Saxon State Archives, 30042 Amtshauptmannschaft Auerbach / V., No. 2580
  6. a b c d e f g h i j k l m Modelleisenbahner - magazine for prototype and model, 56th year, issue number 8 from August 2007, pp. 34–38
  7. ^ Heinrich, p. 9 ff.
  8. a b Description of the Klingenthal train station on, accessed on August 10, 2019
  9. Missbach, 2004, p. 129 f.
  10. a b c d e f g h Dipl.-Ing. Friedrich Spranger, Dresden: Klingenthal-Sachsenberg-Georgenthal - an electrically operated narrow-gauge railway of the DR , In: Der Modelleisenbahner - specialist magazine for model railway construction and all friends of the railway , 11th year, issue number 3 from March 1962, pp. 76-79
  11. a b Official Journal of the Royal Directorate General of the Saxon State Railways of May 12, 1917 , online at, accessed on July 4, 2019
  12. Heinrich, p. 19
  13. ^ Deutsche Reichsbahn-Gesellschaft: Change of station names in 1929 , overview by Thomas Noßke, accessed on October 11, 2016
  14. Traffic stations A – B on
  15. Traffic stations F – G on
  16. ^ Heinrich, p. 23
  17. ^ Course book 1939
  18. ^ Course book 1944
  19. Route description at, accessed on July 26, 2019
  20. Description of the railway on, accessed on August 10, 2019
  21. Heinrich, p. 25 ff.
  22. ^ Heinrich, p. 40
  23. a b Stories about the Klingenthal tram in the Klingenthaler Zeitung number 45 of November 14, 2008, online at, accessed on July 26, 2019 (PDF)
  24. Overview of the Saxon course book routes
  25. Timetable book for Line A / Stadtverkehr Klingenthal on, accessed on July 28, 2019
  26. ^ Preß-Kurier , 1/1999 ( Memento of September 2, 1999 in the Internet Archive )
  27. Heinrich, p. 80f.
  28. ^ Heinrich, blurb on the back.
  29. a b c Wolf-Dietger Machel : Branch line or tram? - The Klingenthal – Sachsenberg-Georgenthal meter-gauge railway . In: The Railway in the GDR - The Deutsche Reichsbahn 1945–1990 , GeraMond Verlag, 2006, ISBN 3-86517-080-3 , pp. 98–99.
  30. Tram Magazine 4/1973, Issue 8, The electrical island operations of the Deutsche Reichsbahn (Klingenthal - Sachsenberg-Georgenthal, Oberweißbacher Bergbahn, Schleiz - Saalburg, Müncheberg - Buckow, test route Hennigsdorf - Wustermark, Rübelandbahn)
  31. a b Stories about the Klingenthal tram in the Klingenthaler Zeitung number 46 of November 21, 2008, online at, accessed on July 26, 2019 (PDF)
  32. ^ Wilfried Rettig, Klaus Pöhler: Klingenthal station (Vogtl) . In: The great archive of German train stations . GeraNova-Verlag, ISSN  0949-2127 (compilation as loose-leaf edition ; 1997 ff.).
  33. Heinrich, p. 50 f.
  34. The Brunndöbra Karl-Marx-Platz stop on
  35. ^ Heinrich, p. 52 f.
  36. Description of the Glaßentrempel stop on, accessed on August 10, 2019
  37. The Upper Vogtland (= values ​​of our homeland . Volume 26). 1st edition. Akademie Verlag, Berlin 1976, p. 89.
  38. Klingenthal dictionary - words with R on, accessed on October 22, 2016
  39. Thorald Meisel: When the trumpet still provided the material for a song text , article in the Freie Presse on May 17, 2017, online at, accessed on July 26, 2019
  41. Vehicles of the Harzer Schmalspurbahnen GmbH on, accessed on September 2, 2019
  42. FISCHER, HOYER, SCHULZ: p. 131
  43. Dietmar Franz: The meter-gauge trolleys of the Deutsche Reichsbahn in the GDR (PDF) In: Die Museums-Eisenbahn 4/1997, p. 30.
  44. ^ Heinrich, p. 73
  45. ^ The wagons of the Saxon secondary railways , EK-Verlag 1998, pp. 117, 137
  46. a b The interesting car body - Part IX: Salt spreader 99-40-91
  47. - vehicles. Retrieved December 4, 2019 .
  48. press-Courier , 1/2002 ( Memento of 28 September 2002 at the Internet Archive )
  49. ^ "Kursbuch fürs Reich", large edition, also published in "Hendschels Telegraph", valid from October 6, 1929
  50. ^ RD: Klingenthal - Gothawagen scrapped . In: Straßenbahn Magazin , 9/2017, p. 11. ISSN  0340-7071