Dampfbahn Fränkische Schweiz e. V. -
Franconia's first historic railway

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History of the railway line
Ebermannstadt - Behringersmühle

It was on June 1st, 1891 when the first train from Forchheim (situated on the main line Nürnberg - Bamberg, about 15 km west) reached the city of Ebermannstadt. This was the end of various efforts over a long years to install a railway line along the valley of the Wiesent River in - in the beginning even a mainline connection to the city of Bayreuth nearly 50 km off east had been discussed. The line actually built was a single-track "secondary" branch line.For years Ebermannstadt Station became the temporary terminus and thus received a tow-stall enginehouse which was however demolished in the 1960ies.

It was later in 1915 when the extension to Heiligenstadt was put in operation. Following the Wiesent River until Gasseldorf it branches off the North leading along the Leinleiter Creek. The initial plans to continue along the Wiesent to the East had come to a stop as the communities along the valley were unable to come to terms about the final alignment of the right-of-way - so it was the chance taken by the city of Heiligenstadt to obtain a rail connection.

In the economic depression following World-War-I the next extension from Gasseldorf then followed the Wiesent River reaching Muggendorf in 1922. The right-of-way to Güssweinstein - another 5.6 km - was already prepared but due to lack of rails and sleepers this part was finished in 1927.

The final 2.5 km to Behringersmühle offered some engineering challenges. Most prominent feature was the erection of a bridge 155 m long named for the President Hindenburg. Along with that came a complete relocation of the bed of the Wiesent River. Finally in October 1930 the Behringersmühle Station was accessible by rail - as the last branchline to be completed in the Bavarian region. It must be however noted that the line lacked economic success and - regardless of its very scenic trackage - lost business to road traffic. At first the passenger traffic to Heiligenstadt ended in 1960 followed by freight traffic in 1968 and the line was completely dismantled. Between Ebermannstadt and Behringersmühle traffic lasted until the summer of 1976 and this line would as well have been abandoned and ripped up if the DFS would not have taken it over later.


Last modify 03/25/2005
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