Shaping The Future
Illustration: Gernot Kallweit Photo: Detlef Zirpel, 2016
The illustration did not come entirely true: Reality today looks a bit different compared to Gernot Kallweit's vision of the future. For example, the glass roof construction at platform 1 of Wiehl's newly designed station area is missing, as (still) is the regular "Regio" service on this branch line. Also the newly constructed coach terminal (2013) looks a bit different in reality. As you can see from the overcrowded platform on the occasion of the 2016 St.Nicholas rides, the barrier-free interchange option to the trains in the direction of Gummersbach is well received.
Morsbach - Waldbröl - Wiehl - Dieringhausen - Gummersbach
as the backbone of a modern local transport system consisting of the railway, scheduled bus routes, People’s Bus and shared pre-booked taxis.
In doing so, the railway runs at frequent intervals (and most importantly: without any traffic jams) through the Wiehl valley, while the other means of transportation serve as shuttle for the Wiehl valley railway and connect to the trains with short transfer times at the stations.
The concept envisions developing the public transport system according to successful examples into a future-orientated, efficient and non-polluting system with its focus on the citizen’s needs.
An analysis of 280 German railway lines that could come into consideration for re-opening identifies the Wiehltalbahn among the top 10 in all 3 analysed criteria.
Also an analysis commissioned by the Rhine-Sieg Unitary Transport Authority (VRS) demonstrated a very good economic viability for our concept, while a later feasibility study (2016) attested an insufficient cost-benefit ratio to the project. This prompted the deciding bodies along the line to reject the inclusion of the Wiehl Valley Railway in North Rhine-Westphalia's requirement plan for short-distance public transport for now.
Photo 1: Andreas Voll Photo 2: Ulrich Clees Photo 3: Patrick Breloehr
Freight traffic on the Wiehl valley line: Image 1 shows empty goods trains waiting at Osberghausen Stn. for being loaded with wind-blown timber felled by 'Cyclone Kyrill' on January 18th, 2007. The transhipping of the wind-blown timber from lorries to trains at the loading track of Oberwiehl Stn can be seen on image 2. Image 3: A fully laden timber train is just leaving the Wiehl valley line in Osberghausen onto the Agger line in the direction of timber mills in South Germany and Austia...
In the face of rising costs for energy, environment protection and clogged roads the railway is a precondition for developing a future-proof industrial location (Sorry, German only!), as the Chamber of Industry and Commerce of Essen already cognized (in contrast to the Chamber of Industry and Commerce of Cologene, which is responsible here in this area).
For many years the Wiehltalbahn has now been a widely known tourist attraction with the brand name 'Bergischer Löwe (Sorry, German only!)':
The 'Bergischer Löwe' is a joint venture of the 'Dieringhausen Railway Museum (Sorry, German only!)' and the 'Society For The Preservation Of The Wiehl Valley Railway'.