Oberweißbacher Bergbahn funicular

GERMANY: Thüringen’s Ministry of Infrastructure & Agriculture has directly awarded incumbent DB RegioNetz Verkehrs a contract to continue operating the Oberweißbacher Bergbahn funicular and electric train services for a further 10 years.

A market survey determined that it would be impractical to hold a competitive tender for operation of the small network, which comprises a 1·4 km long, 1 800 mm gauge funicular linking the valley station at Obstfelderschmiede with the hilltop station at Lichtenhain (ad Bergbahn), and a connecting standard gauge line electrified at 600 V DC which runs 2·6 km from Lichtenhain to Cursdorf. Worked by historic rolling stock, the lines form an important part of the area’s tourist industry.

Covering the operation of 83 000 train-km/year, the contract runs from January 1 2022 to December 2031 at the latest.