|Gerolstein – St. Vith|
|Route number :||3100 Gerolstein – Pronsfeld
3101 Pronsfeld – your / border (–St. Vith)
|Course book section (DB) :||434 , before 1970 248p|
|Route length:||59 km|
|Gauge :||1435 mm ( standard gauge )|
The Westeifelbahn (also Prümtalbahn ) is a disused railway line opened in 1883 , which branched off westward from the Eifel line in Gerolstein and ran as a branch line via Prüm (Eifel) to Sankt Vith (until 1918 in the German Empire , today in Belgium ).
The Westeifelbahn follows the Prüm between Willwerath and Pronsfeld , then it runs uphill in the Alfbach valley to its highest point at the Bleialfer Tunnel . From there it follows the course of the Ihrbach and Our . In Pronsfeld the single-track branch lines branched off to Waxweiler and Neuerburg .
In February 1881 the Prussian government was authorized by the state parliament to build the railway line. The government justified the building application with the "truly desolate situation" and the warning of "conditions ... like in Upper Silesia". On December 22nd, 1883, the first section was opened between Gerolstein and Prüm (Eifel) . The section Prüm (Eifel) - Bleialf was opened on October 1, 1886, and exactly two years later the section to St. Vith was opened. On July 6, 1907, the branch line from Pronsfeld to Waxweiler and the Pronsfeld – Neuerburg railway line finally opened . This was also done under military strategic considerations in connection with the Schlieffen Plan . Likewise, in 1910 the expansion from Gerolstein to Sankt Vith with a second track took place. The second track had to be dismantled in 1930 according to the Versailles Treaty .
Some of the routes were destroyed by blowing up bridges and viaducts during World War II. The section between Gerolstein and Prüm was reopened on November 22, 1948, the further line to your on October 17, 1949. The line on Belgian territory was not rebuilt.
On January 1, 1966, the first section of the line for passenger traffic was closed. It was the section between Pronsfeld and the border with yours . The section between Bleialf and the state border was closed for all traffic on that day. On the section between Prüm and Pronsfeld no more passenger trains ran since May 28, 1972. In 1972 the Müllenborn Ort and Schwirzheim stops were newly established. The last line between Gerolstein and Prüm was closed for passenger traffic on September 27, 1980. A few years before the end of passenger services in May 1987, the road section between Pronsfeld and Bleialf was for the overall transport shut down after the freight was previously very weak.
Freight traffic was on the remaining section
- between Prüm and Pronsfeld on December 31, 1994,
- between Gondelsheim (Eifel) and Prüm on June 30, 1996 and
- between Gerolstein and Gondelsheim (Eifel) discontinued on June 1, 1999.
In December 2000, the last train, a special train operated by local railroad fans, stopped at the station in the abbey town of Prüm . In the meantime, the track systems from the Prümtalstrasse level crossing in Prüm have been dismantled.
The closure according to Section 11 AEG between Gerolstein and Pronsfeld was approved by the Federal Railway Authority on June 11, 2001 . The line was initially dismantled from Pronsfeld in the direction of Bleialf , and in spring 2006 also between Prüm (Eifel) and Pronsfeld.
Today's use of the route
Section Prüm (Eifel) - border D / B
Initially, the disused route was mostly left to its own devices; Farm roads were established on sections of the dismantled route. Since 2002 there has been an expansion to a cycle path network together with the Enz Valley Railway and the branch line to Waxweiler.
The Prüm (Eifel) –Pronsfeld route has also been paved since June 2006. The upgrade to a cycle path from Pronsfeld to Bleialf has also been completed. Today the Eifel-Ardennen-Radweg (Nürburgring - St.Vith) leads over the section Prüm - Bleialf ; the section from Prüm via Pronsfeld and the branch line to Waxweiler is used by the Prümtal cycle path ( Stadtkyll - Minden an der Sauer ). The further expansion to Sankt Vith was completed in 2008. The Bleialfer tunnel has been opened during the summer months since 2007. However, in order to allow the bats that have settled there to hibernate without disruption, the tunnel will be closed from November 1st to March 31st.
Gerolstein – Prüm section (Eifel)
The tracks are still on the Gerolstein – Prüm section (Eifel). In autumn 2006 the route was cut free by the Vulkan-Eifel-Bahn in cooperation with the IG Westeifelbahn and the Eifelbahn eV. Then a rail bus drove the route. This so far last trip was documented for the program Eisenbahnromantik No. 636 of April 1, 2007 of the SWR . However, the further use is still uncertain, the free cut is only to be seen as a step towards maintaining the route. The line is still legally closed , but not exempted from railway operations .
In the discussion about the further use of the railway line, either a handcar , a leisure traffic (like temporarily on the Eifelquerbahn ) or a cycle path. On December 11, 2007, the council of the Association of Prüm voted by a majority for the dismantling of the tracks and an application for exemption . This application was submitted to the Federal Railway Authority at Christmas 2009 , but was then suspended, only to be rejected after an operating license was granted.
An application by the Rhein-Sieg-Eisenbahn (RSE) to put the railway line between Prüm and Gerolstein back into operation was rejected by the Rhineland-Palatinate Ministry of Transport at the beginning of September 2011 because the RSE could not prove that it had the necessary financial capacity for the repair and maintenance of the infrastructure. The Rhein-Sieg-Eisenbahn appealed against it to the administrative court in Mainz. On August 15, 2012, the VG Mainz dismissed the RSE's action, and in January 2014 the RSE was right in the appeal proceedings before the OVG Koblenz. As a result, the RSE received a 10-year operating license in March 2014.
In September 2017 this operating license was withdrawn because "nothing happened on the route". The RSE brought another action against it. One of the reasons for the lack of journeys: the RSE was not allowed onto the route by the owner communities of the route, including the Verbandsgemeinde (VG) Prüm. Also in September 2017, VG Prüm again submitted an application for de-dedication.
At the end of January 2018, the RSE surprisingly withdrew the lawsuit against the renewed withdrawal of the operating license. Immediately afterwards, the Vulkaneifelbahn announced that it would apply for an operating license. Its managing director Jörg Petry had already introduced the city of Gerolstein at the beginning of 2017 that he wanted to run a tourist train between Gerolstein and Müllenborn.
In September 2018, the railway bridge over the Kyll near Lissingen was demolished at the instigation of the municipalities. The municipal authorities cited safety deficiencies due to the narrow passage for the federal highway 410 as the reason for the controversial removal of the not dilapidated bridge. This means that the rail connection to Prüm is interrupted shortly after Gerolstein. For the construction of a new railway bridge, a railway company that wanted to reactivate the line would have to pay a six-figure sum, as this would increase its value. Since this is hardly to be expected, those responsible for the municipalities are confident that they have come a decisive step closer to the desired conversion of the route into a cycle path.
- Homepage of the IG Westeifelbahn
- Information about the route at www.eifelbahn.de
- History of the route on pronsfeld-eifel.de
- Railroad cycling
- Draisine project from 2003
- Data on the monument locomotive
- Hermann Elenz rails, steam and coal dust the history of railway construction in the Eifel ff, p 44, Helios publishing and book marketing company, Aachen 1969, ISBN 3-925087-73-7
- Urs Krämer, Matthias Brodkorb (ed.): Farewell to the rail freight routes 1980-1993 . Stuttgart 2008, p. 58 .
- Alexander Schweitzer: Between ICE maintenance and rail bus idyll. Eifelquerbahn. In: Railway Romanticism. SWR television, April 1, 2007, accessed on September 8, 2013 .
- OVG Koblenz approves RSE law, Westeifelbahn Gerolstein-Prüm ( Memento from February 3, 2014 in the Internet Archive ), RSE press release from January 23, 2014
- No rail operation from Prüm to Gerolstein , newspaper report: Volksfreund
- VG Mainz rejects the RSE's complaint , newspaper report: Volksfreund
- SWR-Studio Trier: Rhein-Sieg-Eisenbahn wins appeal proceedings before the OVG Koblenz. SWR television, accessed on January 2, 2014 .
- Mario Hübner: Dedication of the Gerolstein-Prüm railway line - now it's the judges' turn. In: Trierischer Volksfreund. October 3, 2017, accessed February 4, 2018 .
- Gerolstein-Prüm railway line: The scramble for the track bed continues. News in the ongoing dispute between the owners of the Gerolstein-Prüm line and the railway advocates. volksfreund.de, March 1, 2016, accessed April 25, 2016 .
- Fritz-Peter Linden: Prüm-Gerolstein railway line: complaint withdrawn. In: Trierischer Volksfreund. February 1, 2018, accessed February 3, 2018 .
- dispute over the Gerolstein-Prüm railway line has not yet ended. In: SWR Aktuell. SWR Studio Trier, February 3, 2018, accessed on February 3, 2018 .
- Mario Hübner: No cultural program 2018 in the Gerolstein locomotive shed. In: Trierischer Volksfreund. February 12, 2017, accessed February 3, 2018 .
- INPUT-Medien Bossmann: input-aktuell.de. Retrieved November 1, 2018 .