While last year we had still expressed the hope that the commissioning for a new feasibility study for the reintroduction of regular passenger services on the Wiehl Valley Railway could take place in the first quarter of this year and that the first results of the study would be available before the end of the year, this hope has unfortunately vanished into thin air.

Modern local transport in the Wiehl ValleyModern local transport in the Wiehl Valley

The reasons for this absolutely unsatisfactory situation are manifold. The new procedure instruction for the creation of the standardised assessment was not published by the Federal Ministry of Transport until July 2022. The parties had agreed in advance to conduct the feasibility study in accordance with the revised procedural instructions.

In November 2022, it became known that the local transport authority "Nahverkehr Rheinland (NVR)" had withdrawn the tender for the new feasibility study of the Wiehl Valley Railway. There were several bids, but they differed greatly and there seems to have been a lack of clarity in dealing with the new procedural instructions. In order to create a situation that is not contestable under public procurement law, the NVR has decided to cancel the tender and to start it again. In the meantime, the revised call for tenders has been published in the award portal. According to it, the application period runs until mid-February. The feasibility study should be completed by the end of this year. We are very optimistic that this study will prove a positive economic benefit and that the reactivation of the Wiehl Valley Railway can be set in motion.