Aachen industrial railway - Aachener Industriebahn

The Aachener industry Bahn AG (AI) was a German railway company , which existed from 1873 to 1887. Their routes were in the Aachen coal field . From 1882 it was called the Aachen-Jülich Railway . In 1887 their route network was taken over by the Prussian State Railways . Most of the company's former lines were shut down and dismantled by the Deutsche Bundesbahn from around 1980 .


Until 1870, the Wurmrevier , the older part of the Aachen coalfield, had not been adequately developed by the large Prussian private railways. Most of the mines and industrial companies had to laboriously bring their goods by horse-drawn cart or horse-drawn tram to the stations of the Rheinische Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft (RhE) or the Bergisch-Märkische Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft (BME), whose routes from Aachen to Cologne or Mönchengladbach the worm area only on The edge grazed. It was not until 1870 that the RhE built the Stolberg - Alsdorf line , which gave the Anna and Maria pits a siding.

The wishes of the local mine and hut owners were not yet fulfilled. So they took the initiative in 1871 and initially founded the association for mining and smelting interests in the Aachen district. In 1872, the association applied for a license to the Prussian government for a freight rail network in the Aachen coalfield. The license was granted on November 23, 1872, and finally the Aachener Industriebahn AG (AI) was founded on April 6, 1873 .

In the following year, the construction of the first lines began, by the end of 1875 the lines were put into operation in two stages:

Am 26. September 1875:

On December 31, 1875:

In Stolberg and Rothe Erde there was a connection to the Cologne – Aachen line of the Rheinische Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft, in Eschweiler-Aue to the valley railway line of the Bergisch-Märkische Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft in the direction of Jülich . In Aachen North, due to land disputes, initially only a provisional train station could be put into operation far outside the city north of the Kölnsteinweg (today's Jülicher Straße) at the initiative of the Association for Hard Coal Construction in the Wurmrevier .

For the construction of the route, AI was able to partially fall back on existing horse-drawn trams, with which various pits had previously transported the coal. The Aachen – Würselen route used the route of the horse-drawn tram from the Würselener Königsgrube , while the route to Stolberg used the horse-drawn tram from the Maria mine. Contrary to the original plans, in addition to freight traffic, with the exception of the Stolberg – Eschweiler-Aue route, passenger traffic was also started on all routes.

On September 29, 1880, the company received a concession to extend the Aachen North – Hoengen line to Jülich. Simultaneously with the commissioning of the line on October 1, 1882, the Aachen industrial railway changed its name to Aachen-Jülich railway. In the same year, the Aachen Nord train station , which is closer to the city and was built according to a design by the architect Franz Ewerbeck , was officially inaugurated. From there there was a connection with the Aachen tram towards the city center.

The industrial railway had a dense network of sidings to pits, smelters and other industrial plants. In Würselen the Gouley , Teut and Königsgrube mines were connected, in Aachen the Talbot wagon factory and the Rothe Erde ironworks, the Rhenania chemical plant in Stolberg and the local mines and huts of the Eschweiler Mining Association in Eschweiler-Aue . The transport volume was correspondingly high; it guaranteed the shareholders of the railway company an annual dividend of 5% for priority shares, and from 1884 even 6.25%.

From the end of the 1870s, Prussia endeavored to nationalize the large private railways after Bismarck's plan for an imperial railway had failed due to resistance from the federal states. In 1880 the RhE and in 1882 the BME were taken over by the state. In order to create a meaningfully linked network, the state railway bought the short line from Stolberg to Eschweiler-Aue from the Aachen-Jülich railway in 1884, so that the line from Jülich to the Rheinische Bahnhof in Stolberg could be operated continuously.

In 1886 the Prussian state approached the Aachen-Jülich Railway with a takeover offer. At the beginning of 1887, the state took over management of the railway, and the company dissolved on May 1st of that year.

Vehicle fleet and depot

The AI ​​built its depot in Würselen. It was taken over by the state railway. In 1950 the Federal Railroad shut down the facilities.

During its relatively short existence, the AI ​​owned a total of 17 locomotives. With one exception, these were tank locomotives with the B and C axles. The exception was an older locomotive with the 1A1 axle arrangement that was bought second-hand and which was converted into the B1 axle arrangement by the railway depot in Würselen. The locomotives were made by the Mödling, Tubize, Hohenzollern , Henschel and Hanomag locomotive factories . All locomotives were taken over by the State Railways, the last ones were retired after 1906.

Further development

Mariagrube station on the former line of the Aachen industrial railway

The state railroad expanded the AI ​​network. In 1892, the line leading to Morsbach was extended to Kohlscheid , with a mine railway connection in Kohlscheid being used since 1855. In 1895, a direct connecting curve from Haaren towards Würselen was built so that freight trains from the direction of Rothe Erde no longer had to change direction in Aachen North . Another connecting curve was built to the Mariadorf station on the Rhenish Stolberg – Herzogenrath line. In 1911 the connection to the Jülich district railway was opened in Kirchberg .

The next major changes came in the 1930s. Due to the construction of the autobahn between Aachen and Cologne, the Stolberg – Würselen – Kohlscheid route had to be relocated over several kilometers in 1939 and was given a new route north of the old route. At the same time, the old connecting curve to the Mariadorf station was shut down and replaced by a new curve from the Mariagrube station in the direction of Alsdorf. At the same time, the new branch line from Mariagrube to the Emil Mayrisch mine , which was opened in 1941, was connected directly towards Alsdorf. Finally, between 1949 and 1957, various additional stops were set up on the routes for the rail buses that have been in service since the early 1950s .

In 1960 mining began to retreat in the Aachen mining area. The Maria mine was closed in 1962, followed by the Gouley mine in Würselen in 1969. As a result, the former routes of the AI ​​increasingly lost passengers and goods. As early as 1960, the Würselen – Stolberg line lost its passenger traffic, and the extension to Kohlscheid, which was built under the direction of the state railway, had lost passenger traffic as early as 1951 as one of the first federal railway lines after the war. The shutdowns of all route sections can be seen in the following table.

route Adjustment of passenger traffic Freight transport cessation
Kohlscheid – Würselen North (Morsbach / Gouley pit) 20. May 1951 1. November 1965
Würselen North-Würselen ? 30. May 1980
Stolberg – Würselen 29. May 1960 1980 (Stolberg – Weiden section preserved as a siding)
Aachen North – Würselen 1. June 1980 31. August 1980
Würselen – Mariagrube 1. June 1980 December 31, 1983
Mariagrube – Aldenhoven 1. June 1980 October 31, 1984
Aldenhoven – Kirchberg b. Jülich 1. June 1980 30. November 1982

Only a short section of the formerly extensive network of the Aachen industrial railway is used, the connecting railway from Aachen-Rothe Erde to Aachen Nord, which has only been used for freight traffic for decades, with the connection to the Talbot wagon factory, which is now part of Bombardier . The Stolberg – Weiden siding for the local glass factory and the short section from Jülich to Kirchberg are still there, but are no longer connected to the track network and can no longer be used. Due to the dilapidated bridge over the Rur, the section to Kirchberg was connected to the parallel circular railway line east of the bridge in 1995 via a new connecting track and the bridge together with the DB station to the west was shut down.

With the exception of the line to Aachen North, the remaining sections are no longer state railway lines. Deutsche Bahn has assigned the route to Kirchberg to the Dürener Kreisbahn and the Stolberg – Weiden route to the EVS Euregio transport network .

With the further expansion of the Euregiobahn in the Aachen area, there are plans to rebuild the Aachen North – Würselen section, as well as the missing section between Würselen and Weiden. Through the construction of connecting curves, continuous traffic between Aachen – Würselen – Weiden – Mariadorf – Alsdorf should be possible.