For many centuries, the northern Altenburger Land was characterised by coal mining. The open-cast mines had to transport their coal cost-effectively to briquette factories, at the same time as getting rid of waste. As a result, it made sense to build a rail network and to get to grips with transport by train.
The story of the mine railway begins in 1942. Known locally as the "Kammerforstbahn" (Kammerforst line), it transported lignite extracted from the open-case mine in Walterdorf (and later from Gröba) to the briquette factories in Haselback and Regis. Although the railway used steam locomotives in its early years of operation, in the 1960s it switched to electric engines in line with developments at the former Deutsche Reichsbahn.
The reunification of Germany led to major changes in the previously coal-focused economic structure of the South Leipzig region. The closure of open-cast mines and coal refineries almost sounded the death knell for the mine railway. Thanks to a few die-hard enthusiasts, who later founded the Verein Kohlebahn e.V. (Mining Railway Association) and made a major effort, it was possible to preserve part of the track.
Today, the mine railway has refurbished and equipped with diesel engines, and runs once again through the northern Altenburger Land across the border between Saxony and Thuringia. Passengers from far and wide come to discover mining traditions, enjoy idyllic landscapes and see the sights along the way. The mine railway has become a key tourist attraction for Leipzig New Lakeland. One shining example of the work of Mining Association members, and also of the cooperation between the Free State of Thuringia and numerous authorities, agencies and institutions, is the construction of about 1.9 km of new track to Meuselwitz Station in 2000/2001.
At the mine railway depot in Haselbach and in the Technical Museum in Meuselwitz, a continually expanding exhibition gives visitors an insight into the technology and operational principles behind the railway over recent decades.
For your very own, personalised party or celebration, why not use the mine railway saloon car and dance floor? You will provide your guests with an unforgettable combination of great food, nature at its best and a shot of mine railway romance!
Year-round highlights on the mine railway include:
- Men's day
- Open day
- Western day