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Enschede-Gronau
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BW Oebisfelde
Oebisfelde -
Salzwedel -
Badel -
Abandoned
Grootse Plannen
Other

This part of my very own homepage contains a report of my walk over the momentarily unused railroad track from Enschede (Netherlands) to Gronau (Germany).

Short history of the railroad line:
(Sources:
Bart Peters fotopagina

Arbeitsgemeinschaft Schienenverkehr Mnsterland e.V )


The first part of the track, from Enschede to the stop 'Glanerbeek' at the border, was opened on January 1. 1868. On the German side they wanted a good connection of Gronau with the rest of Germany first before rest of the track was build and opened in 1875. Stop Glanerbeek was canceled but in 1889 station Glanerbrug was build in more or less the same place. The line was important for the industry in the region (Twente), transporting coal and raw materials. Passengers transport was not as important, but this slowly improved. From 1911 international trains went to for example Amsterdam, Zwolle and Den Haag, and on the German side to Münster. The first world war abruptly stopped this. Later traffic was slowly resumed but it got harder and harder till in 1918 there was only one train left.
After the war the traffic got back to its former level quite quickly. To promote local travel, two new stops were build, 'Hengeloschestraat' and 'Oldenzaalschestraat'. The distance between these stops was but small and traffic was never very large. In 1940 the stops were canceled again.
In 1944 a railroad strike made an end to the then already thin public transport schedule. During the rest of the war the railroad was only used for ammunition and troops transports and later for the transport of stolen goods to Germany (among which some trams from Den Hague).
After the war, the trains on the line only transported workers for the factories. The factories paid the NS (Dutch Railroads) for this, but since prices went up and the number of workers transported went down this ended in 1950.
However, following the electrification of the tracks between Apeldoorn, Enschede and Oldenzaal, the line was officially reopened for passenger transport in 1951. Because of lack of demand, the seven years before newly build stops 'Dolphia Dorp' and 'Zwarte Weg' were canceled in 1952.
Most trains were now driven by diesel engines in stead of steam locomotives, and the travel time between Enschede and Münster was significantly shortened. Steam traction completely ended in 1964 when the depot in Gronau closed.
In 1949 the NS connected the village of 'Losser' to the railroad, by making a connection in Glanerbrug. Losser had lost its railroad connection in the second world war. This new connection never saw any passenger traffic, and its goods transport went down with the diminishing textile industry in Twente. The track was removed in 1975.
During the years the line between Enschede and Gronau had steady though not very busy traffic. Some direct international connections (Amsterdam - Enschede - Gronau - Münster) went over this line, but the costs/income ratio began to deteriorate, especially for the DB (German Railroad). In 1968 the direct connections to Amsterdam were canceled and in 1976 all other connections but one train to Münster. This was the legal minimum, but obviously not a serious transport schedule. Both NS as DB wanted the line closed, which led to protests from local people.
As long as no political decision was made about the line, one train a day made its trip to Gronau and back. This gave its own technical problems. To prevent train detection problems near railroad crossings, twice a day a train, mostly a 'Plan X'-type, would drive from Enschede to the border and back to remove rust. This resulted in the ridiculous situation that more trains went to remove rust then to transport passengers.
The inevitable end came on September 27 1981, when the line was closed for passenger transport. Since then only a few times a train has used the track. In 1985 the BOREG foundation (Bus Op Rails Enschede Gronau) made some tours to and from Glanerbrug using a BRE-Leyland railbus. They wanted to restart the connection using these railbusses, but in the end the plan did not make it. In 1989 the 'Commisaris van de Koningin' made an inspection tour to Glanerbrug using a 'DE2' and in 1994 a 'Sik' helped out in 'de-greening' the track. But in general nature was free to reclaim the track.
In November 1999 the track was 'degreened' again, but as you can see in the report nature quickly reclaimed the track.

Today 29-11-2001
Passenger traffic was restarted in Novembre 2001, using lightrail 'talent' vehicles. For this a lot of work has been done. The bridge over the Glane has been replaced, the trackbed and track completely replaced, two new stations constructed and of course new signalling. To save money on signalling and safety-systems the connection to the rest of the Dutch railway system was cut in Enschede. The Deutche Bahn (German Railroad) is running the trains on the renewed railroad. The result is an essentially German stretch of railroad on Dutch soil.


The report itself is in Dutch only for the time being. Maybe I will translate it to English someday. But you can have a look at the pictures if you want.

 

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