Many tourists have been able to use the Eifelquerbahn for twelve years. This train connected the cities of Andernach and Gerolstein. You could get on and off anywhere and you could also take your bike with you for free. During the summer months there was an extra attraction: a real steam train. However, due to a lack of subsidies and investments, tourist rides on the Eifelquerbahn ended in 2013. A fun attraction that was lost!
Over the past twelve years, many tourists have enjoyed a trip on the red train or the black steam train on the Eifelquerbahn in the German Eifel. The advantages were that you could get on and off anywhere, that you could take your bike with you for free and that you could watch the landscape slowly pass by. Unfortunately, the travelers of 2012 are the last tourists to enjoy this fun attraction. At the beginning of 2013, the tourist journeys between Andernach and Gerolstein were abolished.
What is the Eifelquerbahn?
Economic revival through the railroad
The Andernach – Gerolstein railway line as such has existed for more than 100 years. The 94.2 kilometer long railway line was opened in parts. The stretch between Andernach and Niedermendig is the oldest. It was opened in 1878. Two years later, in 1880, the Niedermendig – Mayen Ost section was completed. The last stretch of Mayen Ost – Gerolstein was put into use in 1895. Cities in the Eifel that were in serious economic trouble during that period, such as Kaisersesch, received a boost from the opening of the railway and they prospered again.
WWII: the line came to a standstill
The lines were abandoned during World War II, but were reopened immediately after the war.
The regular train connection between Kaisersesch and Gerolstein stopped in 1991. In 2001, this piece was set up for tourist train rides. It was named Vulkan-Eifel-Bahn. The legendary red train was reinforced by a black steam train in the summer. Thousands of tourists used this slow means of transport to explore the Eifel region at ease. You could get on and off wherever you wanted and you could also take your bicycle with you for free.
Accident on the Eifelquerbahn
On June 9, 2009, an accident occurred on the railway line at the unguarded level crossing in Hohenfelds. The entire train derailed and 26 people were injured, including the train driver and the attendant.
Which cities did you encounter along the way?
Starting station Gerolstein
Gerolstein was the start and end point of the Eifelquerbahn. You also found a turntable there, with which the trains could be changed in direction. You can still look at the turntable and learn more about the history of the trains and the Eifelquerbahn in the nearby hall. More information about prices and opening hours at www.lokschuppen-gerolstein.de
From Gerolstein to Andernach
After Gerolstein you arrived in Pelm. You then successively chugged past Hohenfels, Dockweiler, Rengen, Daun, Darscheid, Utzerath, Berenbach, Ulmen, Uersfeld, Laubach, Kaisersesch, Urmersbach, Monreal, Mayen, Kottenheim, Thür, Mendig, Kruft, Plaidt and finally you reached Andernach, after 94 .2 kilometers. You had to change trains a few times along the way.
Future of tourist rides on the Eifelquerbahn
2013: permanent discontinuation
However, at the end of 2012 it was announced that tourist rides on the Eifelquerbahn would be a thing of the past. Lack of investment was the basis for this decision. On the homepage of www.eifelquerbahn.de you will still find a message stating that the Vulkan-Eifelbahn-Betriebsgesellschaft (VEB) regrets that there will be no more leisure traffic on the Eifelquerbahn from 2013.
2014: new hope?
On March 21, 2013, the newspaper Volksfreund reported that the country would have 13 million euros left to allow the tourist trains to run again from 2014. It is certain that the line would be opened again for regular passenger transport in 2014. But after a lot of calculations, they came to the conclusion that the entire operation would cost too much and was not worth it…
Restore black steam locomotive
The black steam locomotive was taken care of and arrived back in Gerolstein in November 2015. The intention was to offer tourist rides again in 2016. But that didn’t work out either. The steam train information page still remained empty. A pity, because this steam locomotive was a tourist attraction for the Eifel region. So it remains to be seen whether we will ever be able to enjoy the red train and the black steam train as before!