The International Steam Pages
Rhein-Sieg-Eisenbahn remains 2015
Thomas Kautzor writes about another area of railway interest in the Brohl area. You will read a reference to preserved 53, should anyone visit and be able to enter the museum, a suitable picture would be appreciated.
Since this piece was written in 2015, James Waite has visited the area and was able to get the museum opened up and 53 brought out into the sunshine. I have appended his pictures at the bottom of this page.
During the two days in the Brohl area, I also explored some relics of the 785mm gauge RSE east of Rhine. First founded as the Bröltalbahn (not to be confused with the Brohltalbahn across the Rhine) in 1869, it was the first public narrow gauge railway in Germany. Its odd gauge was later also used in some parts of Prussia (now Poland). In 1921 it became the Rhein-Sieg-Eisenbahn-AG (RSE, https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Br%C3%B6ltalbahn). It stretched to a maximum of 87 km and was closed between 1951 and 1967, when its most modern steam loco was sold to DGEG and its three O&K MV8 diesels to the Zillertalbahn in Austria, where they were regauged to 760mm. The original RSE continued to operate bus services and was succeeded in 1983 by the still-existing Rhein-Sieg-Verkehrsgesellschaft (RSVG), which also operates the 15,3 km standard gauge industrial branch between Troisdorf and Niederkassel-Lülsdorf. The original RSE is again not to be confused with a new RSE founded in 1994 to privately operate a number of ex-DB s.g. lines in the same area.
At Bonn-Beuel, on the right bank of the Rhine in the former German capital, the RSE station has been turned into the popular restaurant « Bahnhöfchen » (Rheinaustr. 116), which serves excellent food and cocktails. Blocks of basalt rock quarried inland and brought here on the narrow gauge were transferred onto river barges for onwards transport until 1967. A bit further along the riverside walk, a short length of track at the Bröltalbahnweg indicates where the line once curved inland.
At the site of Hangelar station, opposite the restaurant « Zur Glocke » (Kölnstr. 170, 53757 Sankt Augustin), a commemorative table with photos and 860mm LKM Ns3h No. 249239/1957 (ex VEB Imprägnier- und Holzverareitungswerk Magdeburg Nr. 903) together with two Polish sugar beet wagons has been put on display to commemorate the RSE.
At Niederpleis, the station building has become a kindergarten, while south of town RSE diesel V5 (Diema DS40 1659/1954) is preserved at the restaurant « Niedepleiser Mühle » (Pleistalstr. 56, 53757 Sankt Augustin) together with a wooden tipper wagon. The loco was delivered new to Basalt AG, which operated various 785mm gauge quarries connected to the RSE network or further south on the right bank of the Rhine. In this case the loco saw use at Linz am Rhein (opposite Remagen) until 1959, when it was leased to RSE and became V5. After closure in 1967 it was sold to building contractor Hess in Niedekassel-Rheidt a year later. In 1987 it was acquired by the Sankt Augustin municipality and put on display in the open, where it quickly deteriorated and became the victim of vandalism and despite this for a long time the municipality refused to hand it over to the Museum at Asbach. In 2003 it was however completely restored, put under cover in an open sided fenced shed and officially became a mobile industrial monument.
Another Basalt AG 785mm gauge steam loco named BASALTINE (O&K 0-6-0T 7729/1914, ex-Linz/Rhein and Willischeiderberg, plinthed at a children’s playground in Bonn-Bad Godesberg until 1990), is preserved at the Rheinisches Industriebahn-Museum (RIM, http://www.rimkoeln.de/) in Köln-Nippes (http://steamlocomotive.info/vlocomotive.cfm?Display=10293).
Jung 0-8-0T 8301/1939 (Lüttermoller, 185hp) is on display in front of the RSVG bus depot west of Hennef (Sieg) in the Reutherstrasse in Stossdorf. This is not an ex-RSE loco, but was acquired new by Basalt AG for its Linz am Rhein quarry. Around 1960 it moved to the Willscheiderberg quarry and was then plinthed from 1968 to 1981 at Linz am Rhein.
At Hennef (Sieg), there are track remains and a commemorative plaque in front of the DB station (Bahnhofstr. 19) and east of town in the middle of a roundabout (Bröltalstr.) ;
At Oberpleis, on the branch from Niederpleis to Dachsberg/Himberg, the station area which was in use until 1962 has been turned into a small industrial area (Siegburger Str. 85-99, 53639 Königswinter). Remains include the station building (now the workshops and home of a roofer), the goods shed (turned into an office block) and the diesel railcar shed.
Just outside Asbach, a short length of RSE track with a buffer has been put on display by the municipality, but the most important relic of the whole railway is certainly the Museum at Asbach (http://www.museum-asbach.de/), which was started by Mr. Clössner, a cripple in a wheelchair who sadly passed away in the past month, very much on his own when he was able to acquire 2-8-2T No. 53 (Jung 10175/1944) from the DGEG, as there was no interest in it from any other museum railway due to its odd gauge. The station building was restored and the loco shed rebuilt, as well as the goods shed. An 860mm gauge LKM Ns3h 249238/1957 diesel was acquired from the wooden sleeper creosoting plant in Magdeburg, which was regauged, numbered RSE V6 and is used in and out of the shed on open days. Then in 2013 the museum was able to acquire one of the two remaining original RSE diesels on the Zillertalbahn, RSE V13/ZB D11 (O&K Dortmund MV8 25965/1960). The museum is only open on selected days and was therefore closed when I was in the area. On display on a short length of track outside the station building are two ex-Kruszwica sugar factory (Poland) open wagons, restored as RSE Om 811 and Om 812, while the transporter truck in front of the loco shed comes from the Zillertalbahn, to which a number of the RSE trucks were sold to after closure.
Another length of track and buffer can be found at Rupperichteroth (Brölstr., next to the Post bus stop), on the former line to Waldbröl (which closed in 1953).
Like the Brohltalbahn its only surviving steam loco was sold to the DGEG in 1968. It's 2-8-2T no 53 (Jung 10175/1944), a very smart loco in my opinion! The DGEG offered it for sale in the late 1990s and eventually in 1998 it was bought by Wolfgang Clossner who had been an enthusiast for the RSE for many years. Two years later it became the centrepiece of a new museum set up in the old station, loco shed and goods shed at Asbach, once the terminus of a lengthy RSE branch line. He restored the loco though not to working order as it needs major boiler work. He received a lot of help from Carsten Gussmann, another long-time RSE enthusiast. Mr Clossner suffer serious injury in 1987 when he was electrocuted from an overhead catenary while visiting a steam special. He survived but lost one leg and spent the rest of his life confined to a wheelchair. He died in 2015.
The museum only opens once a month during the summer months but Mr Gussmann very kindly opened it up for me and pulled out no 53 for its photo. There's a small exhibits section in the old station building. The loco shed also houses OK 0-4-0 RSE diesel no V13 which was one of three to have been sold to the Zillertalbahn after the closure and returned in 2013.