A historic steam train meanders along one of the most scenic rail routes in Germany's Black Forest.
The historic engineering marvel—a steam locomotive BB 262 constructed in 1953—starts out from the Blumberg-Zollhaus station and winds its way downhill through breathtaking wooded hills to the village of Stühlingen-Weizen, which is close to the Swiss border. With a rail route of 16.4 miles, it is the longest museum rail route in Germany.
The name Sauschwänzlebahn, which literally translates to “Piggy Tail Railway,” refers to the curvy tracks the train follows. The historic railway route is a masterpiece of civil engineering. Travelers will pass impressive historic landmarks such as tunnels, viaducts, and bridges.
What is nowadays a pleasant tourist excursion was once a nightmare for the numerous construction workers of the late 19th century. The scenic route was planned and constructed for mostly strategic purposes in the aftermath of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 and 1871.
The Sauschwänzlebahn’s path is part of the 38.2-mile-long Wutach Valley Railway that connects Lauchringen with Immendingen. The tracks were set up within an extremely challenging landscape. Steep mountains, dense wood, and the extremely narrow gorge of the Wutach River made it hard for the workers, who could hardly use any machines that might have made their jobs easier. As a small railway museum at the Blumberg station unveils, it took almost 20 years to complete the tracks.
Know Before You Go
The Sauschwänzlebahn is operated from late April through October, the exact schedule can be found on the website. Usually visitors combine a ride on the train with a hike or mountainbike tour through the extremely beautiful Wutach valley area. The station of Blumbach-Zollhaus can be accessed by public transport (there is a Bus from Donaueschingen for example).
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