Morsbach. This is definitely a historic day for Morsbach: Effective from March 1st, the station building and adjoining railway area pass into the ownership of Morsbach Town Council. In November of last year, the Western Office of the 'Federal Railway Assets' agency (located in Cologne) offered the area of 23,000 m² in a public bidding process.
Now Morsbach has won the auction: The municipal authority has purchased the site at the price of the initial bids - €78,000 for the land and €352,000 for the buildings. "Possibly we won the bid because we wanted to purchase the entire package", Mayor Jörg Bukowski explained. Beforehand the town council was hoping that there would not be other bidders. But, in fact, other interested parties also participated in the bidding process, but just for the station building OR the premises - not for the whole package. The ink on the purchase contract has just dried.
Under the eyes of notary Dr. Paul Sebastian Hager, Mayor Jörg Bukowski and Councillor Johannes Maülshagen, signed the contract. Earlier there had been a unanimous decision by the council to purchase the entire area, which plays a central role in the 'integrated action plan' (IHK).
From the 1960s to 1990s, first the drop in rail traffic and then also the lack of interest in the preservation of the station, which was built in 1898, had led to constant disagreement between the rail service provider and Morsbach/Waldbröl. Passenger trains ran between Morsbach and Waldbröl until 1960, while the last freight train with a cargo of logs went in April 1994. Since then there has been no regular rail traffic on the branch.
In 1988, a municipal preservation order was put on the station building - "because of the, then common, stylistic features, of the Royal Prussian Railways", it was said and furthermore the preservation of the ensemble was urged for artistic and scholarly – "especially railway-historical" – reasons, and the public interest related to this. In addition, a preservation order was put on the actual track in 2003.
First and foremost, Morsbach's local history society untiringly pointed to the ongoing deterioration of the area and called for the renovation of the station. In February 2013, they passed a resolution with the support of the local council that, at the least, compelled the 'Federal Railway Assets'-agency to repair the roof of the building. Mayor Bukowski gave an assurance that parts of the track installation will survive, as well as the station building. It is planned to establish a gathering- and meeting-place there under the title "Meeting-place Station", as well as areas for living quarters, small trade and craft workshops.