Oberweissbach Mountain and Schwarza Valley Railway
In the Thuringian Schiefergebirge mountains, an attraction of a very special kind awaits visitors - the Oberweissbach Mountain Railway and Schwarza Valley Railway.
Construction of the Schwarza Valley Railway was decided by law by the Prussian railway authorities in 1895 and the 29.33 kilometres of track were taken into operation in 1900. The railway route runs past forests and hills, from the Rinne Valley into the romantic valley of the Schwarza to the terminal in Katzhütte. About halfway along this route is Obstfelderschmiede, the valley station of the Oberweissbach Mountain Railway. Here passengers can change trains and travel up to the high plateau around Oberweissenbach on the Mountain Railway.
The Oberweissbach Mountain Railway was opened in 1923 and has been under preservation order since 1980. The 1.4 kilometre long funicular railway is the only broad-gauge cable railway in Germany. On its journey from the valley station to Lichtenhain mountain station, it negotiates a maximum ascent of 25%. The so-called "Abt" siding in the middle of the one-track route enables the two trains to pass easily. Sitting in the restored original carriages of the era, passengers enjoy a magnificent view. In fine weather, they can travel in the open-top carriage, which is higher over the tracks and thus enables an even more extensive view. Once the train has arrived at the mountain station, it continues along the 2.5 kilometre long "flat section" on the plateau to Cursdorf.
Anyone interested in learning more about the functioning of the railway can enjoy a guided tour of the engine house.