Rubble Railway Nuremberg

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Rubble Railway Nuremberg
Route of the rubble railway Nuremberg
Gauge : 900 mm ( narrow gauge )

The Trümmerbahn Nürnberg , popularly known as "Trümmer-Express" or "Moll-Bahn", was a rubble railway in Nuremberg . She served after the Second World War to eliminate the war rubble and ran from the old town on the Valznerweiher , the Nazi party rally grounds and the Silver Buck to Fischbach . The narrow-gauge railway had a track width of 900 millimeters and was built from 1946 to 1947 after around 90 percent of the buildings in the old town were destroyed or badly damaged by the air raids on Nuremberg and large quantities of rubble had to be removed. After the largest mountains of rubble in the old town and the eastern southern part of the city had been removed, the railway ceased operations in 1950. Similar systems existed in about three dozen other German cities.


In the city center, the loosely laid tracks often changed as required. The railway initially led eastwards, on the Prinzregentenufer out of the old town, along the Pegnitz , which was also partially buried by bombs, and crossed it at the Wöhrd valley crossing on a specially built iron girder bridge. After the Dürrenhof tunnel, it followed Regensburger Strasse, crossed St. Peter , passed the Nazi party rally grounds to the excavation pit for the defunct German stadium , where the rubble was first dumped. Right next to it was the Silberbuck , a 35-meter-high mountain made of toxic and chemical waste. At the Valznerweiher, a separate depot with a locomotive shed and sidings was built for the vehicles on today's 1. FC Nürnberg site . There the machines were serviced and supplied with water and coal. There were evasions at various points so that counter-trains could pass. When the capacities at the German Stadium were gradually exhausted and no further mountains of rubble that could be seen from afar, such as the Silberbuck or the Föhrenbuck in Maiach , were to be piled up, the route was extended over today's Breslauer Straße to Fischbach. The rubble of the Föhrenbuck comes from other parts of the city and was not delivered by the rubble railway, but transported by trucks and barges on the Ludwig-Danube-Main Canal , which at that time was almost completely navigable . Large forest areas were designated around Fischbach, in which the further debris should be spread as evenly and inconspicuously as possible. Therefore, the route of the rubble railway changed there almost daily. When fully expanded, the rubble railway comprised a route network of 17 kilometers and an additional three kilometers of operating routes .

Construction and operation

The Leonhard Moll AG from Munich was commissioned with the construction and operation of the rubble railway , which as one of the market leaders in the production of industrial railways had the corresponding capacities. Initially, the carts were pulled by horses or pushed by hand. The rubble train could transport several dozen cubic meters of rubble per trip. The route was traveled with small steam locomotives that pulled tipping lorries . Up to 18 small steam locomotives from Henschel or Krauss-Maffei with an output of 20 to 75 hp were used . While loaded trains could only travel uphill at walking pace, empty trains reached speeds of up to 40 km / h downhill. In the event of overloading and on the inclines, additional pushing or a second locomotive had to be pre-tensioned. The multiple traction was also necessary because the area after Fischbach from 295 to 345  m above sea level. NN rises constantly. There were several hundred open tilting lorries available. The companies commissioned with the rubble removal used all available wagons, which resulted in a great variety in terms of design, size and year of construction. Usually six to eight loaded wagons were transported by one or two locomotives in Nuremberg. On the return trip, 15 to 20 wagons could be pulled empty and firewood felled in the woods could be taken. In addition to the carts, platform wagons were used to transport beams, iron girders and other bulky material. If it was necessary to transport liquids, existing barrels were lashed.

Debris dump near Fischbach

Except for one derailment , no accidents or operational disruptions worth mentioning have been reported.

In contrast to other major German cities, the loading was carried out only to a small extent by the so-called rubble women . German prisoners of war who were assigned by the Allies were primarily used in Nuremberg . In 1946 the city council also introduced compulsory service that required all 16 to 29 year olds to do 50 hours of clearing work. Loading was mostly done manually or with wheelbarrows via specially built small loading ramps. As far as available, simple conveyor belts and excavators were later used when there was enough space, with material separation taking place. Materials and objects that were still usable were separated on site and recycled elsewhere. The total moved masses were traceably documented and amounted to around ten million tons up to the Silberbuck and probably two to three times more to the forests around Fischbach. The compulsory service was abolished again in 1948 and the work was continued by contracted construction companies.

After the tracks were dismantled in the 1950s, the lines were built over, reforested or otherwise renatured.

In the forest area between Valznerweiher and Fischbach, numerous heaped earth walls of the deposits and the former routes can still be seen today.

Web links

Commons : Trümmerbahn Nürnberg  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b Silberbuck, Schuttberg, Kleinbahn
  2. a b c Moll-Bahn - rubble transport to Fischbach
  3. a b Press report Nürnberger Nachrichten of December 24, 2019 p.10

Coordinates: 49 ° 25 '47.9 "  N , 11 ° 9' 28.3"  E