Prototype notes

The Rurtalbahn forms part of a network of local railways around the town of Düren in the west of Germany (roughly halfway between Aachen and Köln). These lines were originally built and operated by the Dürener Kreisbahn (dkb). Like many small German railway companies, the dkb abandoned its passenger rail services 30 or 40 years ago, concentrating on its freight and bus services.

Regiosprinters stabled at Düren Hbf (July 2006)
Regiosprinter at Düren (July 2006)

In the 1990s, regionalisation of local transport funding gave it the opportunity to start again — the Düren-Heimbach line, which had been operated by the db for the dkb since 1970, was refurbished with modernised stations and rolling stock (new Regiosprinter units from Düwag), with great success, and other services were reintroduced.

Former station at Heimbach — this is now a national park information centre; you buy your ticket from the petrol station at the right

More recently the dkb split off all its rail activities into a new company, Rurtalbahn, and became purely a bus operator.

At weekends, the Rurtalbahn operates using “Talent” units hired from Euregiobahn (db). During the summer months, a couple of trains each way operate through to Aachen and beyond (although, on the occasion of my visit, the signalman at Düren Hbf evidently wasn’t aware of this, and tried to send us back to Heimbach!).

Talent diesel units of the Euregiobahn at Heerlen, Netherlands (July 2006)

The Model

See Rail3d Layouts

The line I’ve modelled runs south along the valley of the river Rur1 from Düren to Heimbach in the Eifel hills. It’s quite interesting scenically — a narrow, winding river valley, with the railway running alongside a large reservoir for several km of the route. There are several intermediate stations with passing loops, as well as a number of halts along the way.

The model in its present state is a bit schizophrenic — I wanted to model full mechanical signalling, but I also allowed myself to be side-tracked into building a Regiosprinter! In the next version, I will try to focus on one period, probably Regiosprinters, bus-shelter stations and simplified colour-light signalling.

It might be fun to build a Talent as well, of course…

Still to do: trees, buildings, goods services, etc.

Mark Hodson

1 The Rur is not to be confused with the Ruhr, which lies to the east of the Rhine (↑)