For many guests, a ride on the Oberweißbach cable car is part of a visit to the Schwarza Valley in Thuringia. In 2023 there is an anniversary for the funicular.
Oberweißbach (dpa/th) - The Bergbahn Oberweißbach in the Schwarzatal wants to reach the passenger numbers of the pre-Corona years again this year. Before the pandemic, between 150,000 and 170,000 passengers would have taken a tour on the historic funicular, said Diana Saager, director of the cable car. In 2022 it was around 132,000 up to and including November. Those responsible expect a special attraction from the 100th anniversary of the railway, which is popular with day trippers and tourists. The funicular in south-east Thuringia was officially opened on March 15, 1923. This is to be celebrated with a festival weekend in mid-June.
The train runs on a single track on a nearly 1.4 kilometer route between the Obstfelderschmiede valley station and the Oberweißbach 664 meters above sea level, overcoming a 25 percent incline. Last year she benefited from the 9-euro ticket. This was particularly noticeable during the summer holidays, said Saager. With 36,760 passengers, August was the best month since the DB Regionetz Oberweißbacher Berg- und Schwarzatalbahn (OSB) was founded in 2002. It operates the railway as part of the regional railway network on behalf of the state.
According to the OSB and the Thuringian Ministry of Infrastructure, the mountain railway is an important economic factor in the otherwise structurally weak Schwarzatal. According to Saager, tourism and the hospitality industry in particular will benefit. Infrastructure Minister Susanna Karawanskij (left) said that after the extensive investments of the past 20 years, the railway continues to make a significant contribution to the development of the region and is a tourist highlight in the wild and romantic Schwarzatal.
The passengers travel in restored carriages from the early days, which, like the funicular technology, are revised annually. Last year, 250,000 euros were spent on this, which corresponds to a third of the annual budget for maintenance, it said. Since 2008, a new open wagon built in the Meiningen steam locomotive plant has also been in operation as a railway convertible. Goods traffic, with which the mountain railway started operating before 1923, has been discontinued for decades.