Weisseritz Valley Railway

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Weißeritz Valley Railway
Native name Weißeritztalbahn
Locale Saxony, Germany
Line number 6966
Line length 26.335 km (16.364 mi)
Track gauge 750 mm (2 ft 5 12 in)
Minimum radius 50 m (160 ft)
Operating speed 30 km/h (18.6 mph) (maximum)
Maximum incline 3.47%
Route number 513
Route map
Connecting line from Freital-Potschappel
-0.113 Freital-Hainsberg 184 m
Dresden–Werdau railway
0.973 Wild Weißeritz (46 m)
1.192 Red Weißeritz (Rote Weißeritz, 38 m)
1.583 Spinnerei Coßmannsdorf siding
1.620 Freital-Coßmannsdorf(former Bf) 192 m
1.995 Steinbruch Coßmannsdorf siding
2.556 Rote Weißeritz (43 m)
2.941 Rote Weißeritz (38 m)
3.123 Rote Weißeritz (28 m)
Einsiedlerfelsen tunnel
(17 m; opened out in 1906)
3.196 Rote Weißeritz (30 m)
3.614 Rote Weißeritz (17 m)
3.760 Rote Weißeritz (15 m)
4.197 Rote Weißeritz (13 m)
4.286 Rote Weißeritz (17 m)
4.411 Rote Weißeritz (24 m)
4.550 Rote Weißeritz (24 m)
4.645 Rote Weißeritz (15 m)
4.728 Rote Weißeritz (13 m)
5.175 Rabenau 249 m
5.195 Oelsabach (11 m)
5.391 Rote Weißeritz (29 m)
5.909 Borlasbach (12 m)
6.758 Spechtritz(former Bf) 274 m
former route until 1912,
connection to Malter Dam
6.885 Spechtritz cork mill siding
7.973 bridge over stream (20 m)
Seifersdorf bridge
(70 m; former route until 1912)
8.660 Seifersdorf 301 m
9.926 Goldgrubenweg bridge (45 m)
10.404 dam construction cooperative siding
10.820 Malter 335 m
11.244 Bormannsgrund bridge (66 m)
13.800 Former route until 1912
14.006 Rote Weißeritz (18 m)
14.322 Wholesale company siding
14.357 Ratsmühle Dippoldiswalde siding
Dippoldiswaldekm change +85 m[1] 348 m
16.172 Rote Weißeritz (22 m)
17.263 Ulberndorf 374 m
18.443 Rote Weißeritz (15 m)
18.505 Kitchen furniture factory siding
18.820 Obercarsdorf 395 m
Former route until 1924
20.140 Bundesstraße 171 (16 m)
20.730 Schmiedeberg-Naundorf 410 m
metal processing factory siding
21.731 Schmiedeberg viaduct (170 m)
21.825 Schenkgasse (21 m)
Pöbel Valley Railway (never completed)
Schmiedeberg (Bz Dresden)
(island station) 445 m
Schmiedeberg foundry siding;
former route until 1924
23.303 Buschmühle 462 m
23.785 Red Weißeritz (13 m)
25.400 Kurort Kipsdorf Ldst 517 m
26.137 Kurort Kipsdorf 534 m

Source: German railway atlas[2]

Train on reconstructed section in Rabenau

The Weißeritz Valley Railway (German: Weißeritztalbahn) is a steam operated narrow gauge railway in Saxony, Germany. The line connects Freital, near Dresden, with the spa of Kipsdorf in the Ore Mountains, and follows the valley of the Red Weißeritz.

The line was the second Saxon narrow gauge railway to be built, and is also considered to be the oldest public narrow gauge railway in Germany still in operation.[3]

Since 14 September 2004, the line has been operated by Saxon Steam Railway Company (formerly the BVO Bahn), a company that also operates the Fichtelberg Railway and Lößnitzgrund Railway.[4]


Train in Seifersdorf

The construction started in 1881. The gauge selected for the line was 750 mm (2 ft 5 12 in), in common with other Saxon narrow gauge railways. The first section to Schmiedeberg was put into operation on 1 November 1882. On 3 September 1883, the regular trains reached the terminal station at Kurort Kipsdorf.

In 1912 a part of the track was relocated to allow construction of the Malter Valley Dam. In 1920 construction began on the Pöbel Valley Railway (Pöbeltalbahn) that was to link Schmiedelberg, on the Weißeritz Valley Railway, to Moldava, now in the Czech Republic. This line was expected to bring additional freight traffic, but construction was abandoned in 1923 and never resumed.

Freight traffic ceased on the line in 1993, leaving only passenger traffic. By the time of the floods in 2002, the railway carried approximately 200,000 passengers per year.[citation needed]

Damage in 2002 floods[edit]

A bridge under reconstruction in Rabenau

The railway was badly hit by the major flooding in 2002, which severely damaged most of the track and infrastructure. This damage mirrored that of 1897, when almost all the line's bridges were damaged or destroyed.[4]

The damage was estimated to be around 20 million and a fund-raising campaign was organised. The Federal government and the Government of Saxony agreed to cover one half of what is needed to rebuild the railway line. The section of line between Freital-Hainsberg station and Dippoldiswalde, the normal passing point for trains, was reopened on 14 December 2008. Six return trains per day are normally operated on this section.[4]

The section of line from Dippoldiswalde to the terminus at Kurort Kipsdorf was due to reopen in 2010, however reconstruction has now been halted whilst the cost of rebuilding the first section to reopen is investigated. The rebuilding was originally expected to cost €19 million, but to date has cost €22.5 million. As this has coincided with budgetary cutbacks for the Saxon narrow gauge lines, new sources of funding need to be found if the rebuild is to be completed.[4][5]

Technical specification[edit]

Locomotive 99 1746
  • Gauge: 750 mm (2 ft 5 12 in)
  • Length: 26.3 kilometres (16.3 mi)
  • Elevation difference: 350 metres (1,150 ft)
  • Min. curve-radius: 50 metres (160 ft)
  • Max. gradient: 1:40
  • Stations/Stops: 13
  • Bridges: 34

The route[edit]

Station at Freital Cossmannsdorf
Station at Dippoldiswalde

The track begins at Freital-Hainsberg station on the standard gauge railway from Dresden to Chemnitz, and at an altitude of 184 m (604 ft).

The other stations and stops are as follows:


  1. ^ STREDA – Total distance directory of the DBAG; status: 1 February 2003
  2. ^ Eisenbahnatlas Deutschland (German railway atlas). Schweers + Wall. 2009. ISBN 978-3-89494-139-0. 
  3. ^ Älteste öffentliche Schmalspurbahn Deutschlands at www.ig.weisseritztalbahn.de. Retrieved 24 Dec 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d Nock, Andrew (April 2009). "Weisseritztalbahn reopens to Dippoldiswalde". Today's Railways. Platform 5 Publishing Ltd. p. 61. 
  5. ^ Fender, Keith (February 2011). "Weisseritztalbahn cost increase puts rebuilding in doubt". Today's Railways. Platform 5 Publishing Ltd. p. 61. 


  • Thiel, Hans-Christoph (1996). Schmalspurbahn Freital-Hainsberg – Kipsdorf. Verlag Kenning Nordhorn. ISBN 3-927587-67-2. 

External links[edit]