OUR HARZ NARROW GAUGE RAILWAYS – THE WAY TO EXPERIENCE THE HARZ! The Harz: Well worth a visit! The Harz, Germany’s legendary most northerly low mountain range, offers the visitor more than 2,000 km 2 of incredible variety and uniqueness. Shaped by its wide range of mountain landscapes, the region is not only a popular paradise for hikers, but also offers visitors countless cultural highlights and a broad spectrum of services for tourists. And anyone who approaches the legendary Brocken, the largest mountain in the range, is sure to come across the Harz Narrow Gauge Railway puffing its way to the top. Even visitors from the other side of the world are unable to resist its magic. Harz Narrow Gauge Railways – The giant among the small Unique! The Harz Narrow Gauge Railways are a unique experience! There is a lot to discover on a narrow gauge. Created in 1998, it is now Europe’s longest narrow gauge railway network with steam operation, stretching to 140.4 km. It maintains its original dimensions and was even expanded in 2006. More steam locomotives roll on this true “giant among the small” than on almost any other railway worldwide. Every day of the year! There are 25 steam locomotives in total, 17 of which are operational. The oldest is from 1897. 1.1 million guests use the HSB trains ever year. 48 stations and stops provide excellent access to the HSB network. Fascinating! The fascination of the historic technology is in perfect harmony with the romantic routes the railway travels, including a direct connection to the awe-inspiring UNESCO World Heritage Site of Quedlinburg. Visitors can get their fill of steam during their journey through forests and gorges, across high plateaus and on steep slopes – the crowning glory is a visit to the Brocken, travelling up the famous “Brocken spiral”. Important! Forming the tourist bookends of the Harz region, the Narrow Gauge Railways link the states of Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia, the rural districts of Harz and Nordhausen, and various towns and villages. The entire network has been monument protected since 1972, and has been operated by the municipal Harzer Schmalspurbahnen GmbH (HSB) since 1st February 1993. 260 staff keep the attractive system running at all times. By providing sustainable professional training, the HSB has been securing the next generation of railway staff for almost two decades. Hugely significant for tourism and the economy, the railway plays a vital role in the further development of the Harz region and is the most-visited attraction in the former GDR. By combining tradition and innovation, the HSB also makes far-reaching waves from a technical point of view. Careful maintenance of old technology and use of the latest operating procedures create a unique symbiosis of nostalgia and technical progress! Varied! But special experiences on the HSB go much further than just nostalgic train rides. There is also a wide range of tourist activities on offer, including special themed trips, event highlights such as “Faust – The Rock Opera on the Brocken”, all-inclusive trips, charter options, unique experiences with steam locomotives, and even training as an amateur engine driver. With their varied designs, the information and ticket offices at Wernigerode, Wernigerode Westerntor, Drei Annen Hohne, Schierke, Brocken and Gernrode stations and in the “Dampfladen” shops in Wernigerode (near the market square) and Nordhausen provide excellent advice on all the activities on offer. The large and varied range of typical railway souvenirs and publications to accompany your trip leaves nothing to be desired. PARTNERS AND ECONOMIC STAKEHOLDERS IN THE HARZ REGION The HSB is one of the most important tourist attractions and is closely interlinked with the development of the Harz region. It acts not only as an important partner for business, tourism and transport, but also works actively with various associations and committees within the region and beyond. The railway is a vital attraction, working with tourism promotion agencies and institutions to advertise the Harz region throughout Germany and all over the world. In return, holidaymakers can discover the latest information on the railway in all hotels, guesthouses, restaurants, travel agencies, town halls and local tourist facilities. As well as selling tickets in its eight ticket offices, the HSB also offers its wide range of services via nine agencies throughout the Harz region. UNIQUE HSB: RECORDS HELD BY THE “GIANT AMONG THE SMALL” “The giant among the small” has many surprising features and holds many records. Some of these records among narrow gauge railways: As well as the huge impact the Harz Narrow Gauge Railways has on tourism in the region, the existence of the railway also benefits the economy, especially in the catering and retail sectors – as is shown by the figures for its value creation contribution. In November 2013, the Institut für Dienstleistungs- und Prozessmanagement at Hochschule Harz put this figure at around EUR 34 million for the Harz and Nordhausen districts. One in every eight euros generated in tourism is generated by the HSB. The HSB and its guests secure a total of around 1,000 jobs in the two districts, accounting for around nine per cent of all the jobs in the tourism sector. Another interesting finding was that visitors to the Harz whose main reason for visiting is the narrow gauge railways stay on average two days longer than other visitors to the Harz – 4.6 days. Around a quarter of day guests and 12 per cent of overnight guests visit the Harz in order to experience the HSB. • The most passengers: More than 1.1. million per year • The largest route network: At 140.4 kilometres, it is the longest contiguous network with daily steam operation in Europe • The largest narrow gauge station in Germany: Wernigerode Westerntor station with 37 simple points, one double diamond point, two turntables, one traverser and 40 tracks, including 10 light main signals. Pioneer: – The first electronic signal box on a narrow gauge railway – “Nordhausen model”: Modern local public transport in mixed operation with classic railway vehicles and two-system urban railway vehicles of “Combino Duo” type with an attractively frequent timetable between Nordhausen and Ilfeld • The most varied fleet, with the strongest and largest number of steam locomotives: Europe’s largest fleet of steam locomotives, with 25 machines, 17 of which are operational. The majority are of the 99.72 series, the strongest narrow gauge steam locomotive. The fleet also includes 10 multiple units (constructed 1933-1999) and 12 diesel locomotives (constructed 1933-1978). • The oldest operational diesel-electric multiple unit: The multiple unit “T3” (187 025 (constructed 1939)) • The largest vehicle depot: The six tracks in the 170 m-long hall have space for around 65 carriages. The site on Ilsenburger Straße in Wernigerode has a total area of around 10,000 m² and also includes an automatic washing tunnel. • The highest number of bridges and cuttings: Am unparalleled total of 400 bridges and cuttings on the route network. • The highest station and greatest height difference: Brocken station (1,125 m above sea level) is the highest station on any German narrow gauge railway and is accessed in purely adhesion operation. The HSB also covers the largest height difference of any German narrow gauge railway, between Quedlinburg as the lowest point (121 m above sea level) and the Brocken: 1,004 m. • The only tunnel: The only tunnel on any narrow gauge railway in the former GDR is located between Steinerne Renne and Drei Annen Hohne stations. HISTORIC MILESTONES The “Nordhausen model” The “Nordhausen model” is the name of a very special form of railway operation. Since 30th April 2004, the HSB route between Nordhausen and Ilfeld has seen combined use of HSB railway vehicles and two-system urban railway vehicles of the “Combino Duo” type, owned by Verkehrsbetriebe Nordhausen GmbH (VBN). The electric “Combino Duo” trams switch to diesel operation before travelling beyond the confines of the urban tram network, into the Harz to Ilfeld Neanderklinik. Based on the local public transport order contract with the State of Thuringia and the cooperation with VBN, an attractive local rail transport option is offered with an easy-to-remember timetable. This innovative transport model is based on hybrid engines and has attracted admiration from far and wide. As part of the “Nordhausen model”, seven new access points in the HSB area have been created and the existing stations modernised. The service is well-used, with passenger numbers increasing significantly since its introduction. Vehicle depot in Wernigerode: The HSB put its new vehicle depot into operation on 1st December 2005. At the time, it was the largest civil engineering project in the company’s history. The depot on Ilsenburger Straße in Wernigerode has an area of around 10,000 m² and is also home to a carriage washing system. On six tracks totalling around 170 m, around 65 HSB rail vehicles can be parked for maintenance, protected from the weather. Two tracks were equipped with a working pit for small-scale maintenance work. Route expansion to Quedlinburg: On 4t h March 2006, the HSB officially put the newly-constructed section from Gernrode to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Quedlinburg into operation with a ceremonial opening journey. The route is 8.5 km long and received funding of EUR 6.5 million from the state of Saxony-Anhalt. The aim of the extension to the Selketalbahn was to provide new stimulus for the entire Northern Harz region, especially from a tourism point of view. It took just under a year to replace the former standard gauge railway operated by Deutsche Bahn AG with 1,000 mm gauge. The HSB began scheduled operation on 26 th June 2006. FROM OUR HISTORY The narrow gauge railways in the Harz were created in the late 19th Century to promote the local economy and the growing tourism sector. The “connection to the wide world” was created by three companies: 1886: Foundation of Gernrode-Harzgeroder-Eisenbahn AG (GHE) 1896: Foundation of Nordhausen-Wernigeroder-Eisenbahn AG (NWE) 1897: Foundation of Südharzeisenbahn AG (SHE) from Walkenried to Braunlage The choice of narrow gauge was preferred in each case due to the topography and the low construction costs. The routes of the three rail companies were connected together by 1913. From the very start, the railways had a positive impact on business and trade, and tourism in particular blossomed. The division of Germany after 1945 caused the SHE to be separated from the narrow gauge network in the Eastern Harz and ultimately put out of service in 1963. The GHE tracks were initially dismantled after the end of the Second World War as reparations on the instructions of the Soviet occupying forces. However, they were then rebuilt and transport resumed by 1950. The section between Straßberg and Stiege was only reopened in 1983-1984 after reconstruction. On 1st April 1949, the Deutsche Reichbahn (DR) took over the trusteeship and right of use of the narrow gauge railways in the eastern part of the Harz. In August 1961 the GDR sealed its western border completely; these “border security measures” also included the suspension of passenger rail travel between Schierke and the Brocken. It was officially reopened in September 1991, following German reunification. On 1st February 1993, Harzer Schmalspurbahnen GmbH (HSB) – which had been founded on 19th November 1991, took over operation of the narrow gauge route network from the DR.
Hamburg Hannover Berlin Magdeburg Dortmund Kassel Köln Erfurt OUR ROUTE NETWORK – 140 KM OF RAILWAY! Frankfurt Harzquerbahn Selketalbahn Brockenbahn The Harzquerbahn crosses the Harz from North to South, covering around 60 kilometres between Wernigerode and Nordhausen. The artful route through the mountains allows the passenger to experience the magic of this stunning landscape as if in slow motion. After leaving the station in the “colourful town in the Harz” (234 m above sea level), the constant climb into the wooded Harz mountains begins at Steinerne Renne, passing through impressively narrow curves in the Thumkuhlental and Drängetal valleys and through the only tunnel of any narrow gauge railway between the Baltic Sea and the Zittau Mountains. At Drei Annen Hohne (540 m above sea level), the famous Brockenbahn turns off to the right. The rails then continue through lonely, almost magical pine forests, up to the high plateau at Benneckenstein (530 m above sea level). From there, the route begins to lose height once again, passing through deep wooded valleys to Ilfeld (254 m above sea level), the southerly gateway to the Harz. This is followed by the settlements in the mountain foothills – a chain of stations which today fall into the local transport area run jointly by the HSB and the Nordhäuser Verkehrsbetriebe GmbH (VBN). After around three hours of unique views, the HARZER journey ends SCHMALSPURBAHNEN at Nordhausen Nord station GMBH (184 Friedrichstraße m above sea 151 level), 151 | | with | D-38855 its magnificent Wernigerode reception building. The Tel. | first steam train on Tel. 03943/558-0 Fax | | Fax 03943/558-148 the Harzquerbahn started from here in 1897. firstname.lastname@example.org | | | www.hsb-wr.de SO SO ERFAHREN SIE DEN HARZ: DIE HARZER SCHMALSPURBAHNEN Around 61 km long and opened in 1887, the Selketalbahn is the oldest narrow gauge railway in the Harz. It is considered the most romantic part of the route network, and has long been much more than an insiders’ tip for fans of the great outdoors. The landscape of the Harz between Quedlinburg (121 m above sea level), Gernrode (204 m above sea level), Alexisbad (325 m above sea level), Harzgerode (400 m above sea level), Hasselfelde (452 m above sea level) and Eisfelder Talmühle (352 m above sea level) is extremely wild: rugged cliffs, picturesque beech and oak forests, high plateaus and flowering meadows dominate this part of the Harz and make it a paradise for hikers. The railway passes through the heart of this landscape, its sometimes incredibly tight curves and deep rock cuttings shaping the wildly-romantic valley of the Selke river, which gave the railway its name early on. In 2006, the Selketalbahn was extended by 8.5 km from Gernrode into the World Heritage Site of Quedlinburg – The historic town centre extends to more than 80 ha, making it one of Germany’s largest monument-protected areas. Harzgerode and Hasselfelde demonstrate the charm of typical Harz villages and are well worth a detour. Another highlight is the unique turning circle at Stiege (485 m above sea level). And, with a slope of 1:25, the steepest section of the Harz Narrow Gauge Railways is not on the Brocken, but on the Selketalbahn between Mägdesprung and Gernrode. The pinnacle of the Harz Narrow Gauge Railways is – literally – Brocken station (1.125 m above sea level) on the summit plateau of the highest mountain in the Harz, at 1,142 m. It is a magical, legendary place, full of myths and extreme climatic conditions, in the heart of the Harz National Park. Circling the mountain in a spiral form, the route provides breath-taking panoramic views in all directions, allowing you to look across long distances to the Harz foothills and beyond. This is accompanied by the unique sound of our puffing Brocken locomotive and shrouded in the typical steam engine smell. The 700 horse power engines manage the 50-minute uphill journey from Drei Annen Hohne in all weathers without a toothed rack or similar aid, i.e. in purely adhesion operation. This requires great skill from the engine drivers and stokers, ideal preparation in the workshop and, last but not least, outstanding rail maintenance in such extreme conditions. The Brockenbahn also has huge historical significance. Located immediately around the former border between East and West Germany, passenger rail services between Schierke (685 m above sea level) and the mountain peak were put on hold in 1961 – a situation that remained in place for thirty years. For all this time, the Brocken remained an unreachable, longed-for mountain. The border was reopened in 1991 and a scheduled service to the Brocken began again in 1992. Since then, millions of visitors have found the ride to the summit to be the high point of their time in the Harz. HARZQUERBAHN SELKETALBAHN BROCKENBAHN