The season of forest fires coincides with the season of the Wiehltalbahn. With extended droughts, the risk of forest fires increases also in the Wiehl Valley. The railroad track of the Wiehltalbahn leads directly along forests or even passes them - a fact that shall be accommodated by the subsequent regulations.

We apologise for any inconvenience in case of such operational restrictions.

In the case of high risk of forest fires, the steam locomotive will generally be replaced by a Diesel locomotive, so all rides can take place according to the same train schedule.

Coal-Fired Steam Locomotives

Nearby a railway with coal-fired steam locomotives, embankment fires (caused by the railway vehicles themselves) can also generate open fields- and forest fires. Complex preventive measures for the prophylaxis of fires, such as the prevention of plant cover and pruning, as well as to guarantee the functioning of corresponding devices of steam locomotives (ash pan humidifier, spark catcher, etc.) can reduce the risk, but not eliminate it completely.
Therefore, the Rhein-Sieg-Eisenbahn as operating company of the Wiehltalbahn determined (b.t.w., in accordance with Deutsche Bahn A.G.) that in cases of high risk of forest fires (e.g. index levels 4 and 5) the use of coal-fired steam locomotives is prohibited. In case of slightly lower forest fire alert levels (e.g. index level 3), the Rhein-Sieg-Eisenbahn furthermore reserves it's right to prohibit the use of coal-fired steam locomotives due to the existence of particular dangers on it's track. In each case of a steam locomotive ban we try - as far as technically and organisationally possible - to substitute the steam locomotive with a Diesel locomotive.
Decisive for the rating of the alert level is the daily publication of the "Deutscher Wetterdienst DWD (German Meteorological Service)".
Furthermore, additional restrictions by the appropriate authorities are possible.

Smoking aboard the trains

Some railway embankment fires are not caused by steam locomotives, but by glowing cigarettes.
Therefore, smoking is generally forbidden on all waggon platforms of the Wiehltalbahn, as well as on the entire trains.