Our renewed attempt to reactivate the Wiehl Valley Railway (Wiehltalbahn) for the regular local rail transport, which we started with our anniversary event in October 2019, significantly picked up pace in 2020.
Modern local traffic in the Wiehl valley
Despite the corona pandemic, the Society Of German Transportation Companies (VDV) published the new list of railway lines that should be re-activated in July 2020. In this list the re-activation of the Wiehl Valley Railway is classified in the right-of-way precedence. The classification for the required time investment can also be found among the best ratings. So the re-activation of the Wiehl Valley Railway should be realisable in a timely manner. The internal data of the study show that the Wiehl Valley Railway, with respect to the number of inhabitants in the vicinity of the line, is counted among the top three of the 238 lines suggested for reactivation.
Also the Wisser Vally Railway (Wissertalbahn) between Hermesdorf and Morsbach, as a section of the Wiehl Valley Railway system, got a position above in the benchmark test and now is in line for a medium-term re-activation in the opinion of the VDV.
After a reactivation of the section Hermesdorf - Morsbach it could look like this: Steam locomotive 'Waldbröl' is leaving the Koempel tunnel (photo composition by Detlef Zirpel)
A worksop on the part of the Upper Berg County and the adjacent councils, that was planned already two years ago, could now finally be realised as video conference on November 23rd, 2020. While the original intention for the Wiehl Valley Railway was to develop a 'Regionale'-project, the focus now clearly shifted to develop a strategy for the re-activation of the Wiehl Valley Railway for the regular local rail transport. The workshop resulted in a four-point plan, according to which the feasibility study of 2016 will be brought up to date. By that not just rail traffic, but also the remaining short-distance public transport will be looked at as a total transport concept. In our view, this would eliminate one of the principal faults of the last feasibility study.
The transport authority 'Short-distance Transport Rhineland (NVR)' will initiate the next steps for the creation of the new feasibility study. First results of the new study could possibly be available by the end of 2021.