Broad, undulating fields and rows of fruit trees line the stretch of the oldest narrow-gauge railway in Germany. At the front of the train is one of the original Mansfeld steam engines. Clattering behind it are historic wagons with open platforms and round iron stoves. Re-greened spoil tips which have long since become valuable habitats for rare plants and animals, remind visitors that the Harzvorland area around Hettstedt, Sangerhausen and Mansfeld was once a flourishing mining area.
The first copper slate was mined here in 1199. In the following centuries the area developed into one of the most important nonferrous heavy-metal sites in Germany. In 1880 the Mansfeld mining railway took over responsibility for the increasing goods transport between the coal mines and the metal works. It also carried the miners and metal workers – and double-decker coaches were even introduced in 1886. The railway line reached its maximum length of ca. 50 kilometres around 1925. The closure of the last two metalworks in 1990 spelt the end of regular goods transport. In the same year public passenger transport services began, but this time as part of the museum activities. This meant that a large part of the railway equipment could be saved from demolition. All this has only been made possible by the commitment of railway enthusiasts who even today continue to run the industrial monument, restore and maintain buildings and equipment on an honorary basis.
The museum train sets out from the Klostermansfeld/Benndorf station, which features a historic waiting-room where visitors can buy snacks. From here it travels along the 10 kilometre stretch of rail via the stations at Bocksthal, Zirkelschacht, Thondorf and Gleisdreieck Siersleben all the way to the terminus at Hettstedt-Eduardschacht. During the "International Model Steam Engine Days" and the "Mansfeld Railway Festivities" two trains are simultaneously in operation, travelling the stretch at one-hour intervals. Guided tours of the Mansfeld railway locomotive and wagon construction workshop round off the programme. Anyone who wants to have a perfect railway experience can even learn how to drive a steam locomotive themselves – but only if you book in advance.
|Recommended duration of visit:||2-3 Hours|
|Access for persons with disabilities:||None|
|Gift and book shop on Site:||yes|
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