After an enforced break due to the coronavirus, a second catalogue of suggestions for the reactivation of German railway lines was published by the 'Society Of German Transportation Companies (VDV)'. In this catalogue, the Wiehl valley railway is ranked among the top 3 of all examined lines.
"During the development of our second reactivation catalogue we scrutinised the contemplable lines once more. Regarding the line Osberghausen – Waldbröl, we decided to bump it up drastically into the category 'urgent'. The line Hermesdorf – Morsbach was bumped up into the category 'high'", Dr. Martin Henke, general manager of the railway traffic division of the VDV, explained this pleasing result of the examination. "Based on the number of inhabitants of the councils accessed by the lines, the line Osberghausen – Waldbröl ranks third out of 238 suggestions for reactivation nationwide with more than 60,000 persons. Also the fact that Waldbröl is counted among the 120 mid-size regional centres of Germany without connection to the railway network emphasises this line.
The existing track infrastructure, the high potential for good linking of railway an bus, the relief potential for the road network, as well as the development of the upper Berg county railway as an attractive connecting route, militates for a speedy reactivation of the Wiehl valley railway. The branch to Morsbach as its logical extension in conjunction with the possibility of a joint operational management, also pulles up this line in the categorisation.", Dr. Henke further explaines.
This is how modern local public transport in the Wiehl valley could look like: DB-Lint at the barrier-free platform of Wiehl Stn., which is already fit for local public rail transport.
This fantastic result is not a complete surprise for the 'Society For The Preservation Of The Wiehl Valley Railway'. "We always said that the Wiehl valley railway has a high development potential in terms of traffic for the southern region of the upper Berg county. Even the feasibility study from a few years ago came to this conclusion", says Gerhard Mansel, chairman of the 'Society For The Preservation Of The Wiehl Valley Railway', "but that we got a top 3 ranking nationwide surprises and delights us so much the more."“
Besides a variety of reasons for a reactivation named in the catalogue of suggestions for reactivations (like e.g. climate protection, better development of the region, relief for the road network, better touristic development of the region and chances for rail cargo), one of the strongest arguments for a speedy reactivation is the currently largely improved funding of federal promotional instruments. First and foremost to name is the massive increase of funds by the 'law concerning federal financial grants for the improvement of transport facilities of the communities (GVFG)', but also of the regionalisation funds. By the altered 'GVFG' reactivations of railway lines can be promoted with up to 90% of the costs for infrastructure by the federal government. "Given these strong arguments for an imminent reactivation of the Wiehl valley railway and an announced amendment of the assessment process, a new feasibility study for the reactivation of the Wiehl valley railway is the dictate of the moment", Gerhard Mansel appeals to the responsible policymakers and administration managers