Ruwertalbahn (Hochwaldbahn, Trier
The railwayline from Trier to Hermeskeil was opened in 1889.
In 1905 the maximum speed was raised to 50 km/hour, which was still the
case at the end. In spite of this low speed the line was quite popular
and got of on a good start. In both worldwars the line was of military
importance. In WW2 of the 28 bridges, 23 were destroyed, no traffic was
possible until repaires were finished in 1950. Passenger traffic was gradually
stopped between 1982 and 1986, goods traffic halted in 1989 and the line
lay quiet until 1992 when the Hochwaldbahn e.V. ran museum trains over
the line. The end of the line came when NATO decided the line no longer
served any military purpose. The museum railway did try to save the railroad
by offering to buy it but they could not fight the greatest wish of the
local politicians; to change it into a bicycle path. In 2000 the rails
I've used the current kilometer numbering which starts at
the north end of the Trier shunting-yard, originally the numbering (and
the railroad) started at Trier station. The current numbering you'll find
on the kilometer stones and on the topografic map, but in literature you
often find the old numbering. The difference is about 4 km.
After a long and somewhat uncomfortable journey in a new
lightrail vehicle through the Eiffel I arrived in Trier. The drinking
water supply was quickly replenished at a graveyard but petrol for my
stove was harder to find. I ended up at a gasstation several kilometers
from my planned route, which was silly because as you will see I passed
another petrol station at Ruwer.
From a roadbridge across the shunting yard
at Trier, looking north-east. The railroad I am going to follow in the next
days connects at the white buiding at the right in the background.
First view of the overgrown railroad to
Hermeskeil, looking towards Trier. The track in the foreground connects
to the shunting yard, the track in the rear passes under the main railroad
and connects to industry in the north-east corner of Trier, running parallel
to the north side of the main line and once upon a time finally connecting
to it near Trier station, though according to the Hochwaldbahn
website this is no longer possible as a paper factory has been build
I feel stupid for not following the line back a little towards Trier and
at least taking a look at the railway bridge. I hadn't noticed the bridge
on the map at the time and was in a bit of a hurry (or was it lazy?) as
wild camping in the city is a bit difficult.
Near km 1, looking toward Ruwer
Railroad crossing at +/- km 1.5
Used to be manual labour to close the barriers.
Overgrown Ruwer shunting yard. It was once
an important transferstation between the Hochwaldbahn and the Moselbahn
(Trier-Nord to Bullay).
(Oh, and an Aral petrol station)
Station building for the Moselbahn or is
it just office space and living quarters for station personnel?
|At Ruwer the railroad makes a 90 degrees turn to the south-east. into
the Ruwer valley.
Ruwer station. An ugly extension has been
added to the rear, but one of the platforms is still visible.
A romantically overgrown railroad crossing
guardhouse. Sorry for the extreme close-up, there was a big excavator at
work right at my heels (see next page).