The 59 km long state railway between Salzwedel and Oebisfelde
was build in 1889 to serve a large area of the western part of the Altmark.
Towns and villages along the line were small so passenger traffic was
modest with 5 trainpairs in 1929 to 9 train pairs in 1999. Maximum speed
was limited to 50 km/h, average speed was at best 41 km/h, resulting in
a travel time of one and a halve hours for the total stretch.
All stations along the line were provided with freight loading and train
crossing facilities and there was plenty of freight traffic in DDR times.
In later years the number of passengers fell. Drastic costsaving works
like removing all unnessassy tracks at stations brought little relief.
The final straw was the planned enlargement of the Mittelland Canal, which
meant a costly new bridge would have to be built. Passengertraffic was
subsequently halted in 2002. Freight traffic had been halted just before
at a country wide rationalisation program.
In 2007 the Deutsche Regionaleisenbahn
has leased the railway with the intention of restarting passenger traffic
between Salswedel and Klötze. Because of the expensive new bridge
it is unlikely that trains will ever ride all the way to Oebisfelde again.
In this hiking and railtracking holiday I walked from Oebisfelde to Salzwedel
and from there to Hohenwulsch. You can view the first part of this expedition
Oebisfelde. Below is the second part starting at Oebisfelde and walking
Overview of railways in the Altmark.
Overview of railways at Oebisfelde.
A new railway viaduct was built east of Oebisfelde to avoid regional trains
having to cross the highspeed tracks. The railwayline to Salzwedel also
had to use this viaduct which resulted in a new large S-shaped connection
track build in 1995, including a road bridge. It saw little use as traffic
was halted in 2002.
While chatting to a passerby I forgot to check Oebisfelde Bahnhof Nord.
I did see a nice abandoned factory though.
Abandoned chemical plant just north of the
AZ Chemie; werk Oebisfelde
This is the old trackbed of our railway,
view towards te station.
Same location, view to the north. The tracks
were probably removed when the new connection was put into service.
Nothing remains of the railroad crossing
at Wasserdorf (Hauberstraße)
The trackbed is getting difficult to walk.
Farmers have (re)claimed it by fencing it off, in other places it has been
dug away for crossing ditches and field roads.
Road bridge (Dorfstraße) across the
new track as seen from the old track.
Here the ballast has been removed (probably
put to use on some field road) and remnants of the old gravel ballast come
to the surface.