Rhenish Railway Company

The Rhenish Railway Company was next to the Cologne -Minden and the Bergisch- Märkischen to the three major railway companies from the mid-19th century, particularly the Rhineland, the Ruhr area and large parts of present-day North Rhine -Westphalia by the railway have developed.


In their struggle to avoid the high Dutch Rhine duties industrialists on the Rhine and in the Bergische Land were very early to the new transport, railways, attentive. Also the only founded in 1831 Belgian State was interested in trade relations with Prussia. As a non- riparian land against the Netherlands was at a disadvantage in the commercial and operational now rapidly building its rail network ahead.

In December 1833, the Cologne railway committee was headed by the mayor of Cologne Johann Adolph Steinberger and the entrepreneur Ludolf Campenhausen the concession to build a railway line between Cologne and the Belgian border. The text drafted by the Cologne railway committee lines contained a bypass of the city of Aachen, which the resident merchants did not agree. Under the direction of David Hansemannplatz and Philipp Heinrich pastor they in turn founded the Aachen railway committee. This was the beginning of the so-called railway dispute between Cologne and Aachen.

In Cologne, the Rheinische Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft was founded in 1836, the first president of the company was Ludolf Campenhausen, the short time was also Prime Minister of Prussia. ; in Aachen was on 31 March 1836, the counter-organization, the Foundation of Prussian Rhenish Railway Company by David Hansemannplatz. Each railway company took into account the interests of the merchants of its founding location. On April 6, 1836 was a conference in Jülich, headed by the President of the Upper Rhine Province Ernst von Bodelschwinghstraße and was attended by representatives of Aachen and Cologne economy, no solution in rail dispute produce. Hansemannplatz and the Aachen textile manufacturer Joseph van Gülpen then traveled to Berlin and gave a petition, which was to achieve a line along the route Aachen. In Berlin lengthy negotiations between Aachen and Cologne representatives were held to the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm III. on February 12, 1837 decided the lines via Aachen and thus ended the railway dispute.

From March 31 to June 8, the merger of the Rhenish Railway Company and the Prussian Rhenish Railway Company was in Cologne on a "Joint General Assembly" decided so on July 9, 1837 was held the re-establishment of the Rhenish Railway Company.

From 1844 until nationalization took Gustav Mevissen president of the Rhenish Railway Company.

A connection with the German North Sea ports came about until years later. It was not until 1843, the Cologne -Minden Railway Company was founded, which built the railway line to Minden to 1847. About the Royal Hanoverian State Railways arose with detours connections to German seaports. Direct rail routes from the Rhenish-Westphalian industrial area on the German North Sea ports were opened only in 1856 with the Hanover West train to Emden and 1873/74 with the Hamburg- Venlo train to Bremen and Hamburg.


Köln- Aachen- Belgium

On August 21, 1837, the Company received the Prussian concession for the construction of the railway line from Cologne via Düren and Aachen to the Belgian border with a length of 86 kilometers, after the dispute over the route had been settled. The first short piece of track in Cologne with seven kilometers to Muengersdorf was opened in 1839. Two other sections Lövenich and Düren to Aachen were completed in 1840 and 1841. This included the now slashed 1,632 m long tunnel Königendorfer. The final section to the Belgian border at Herbesthal was opened to traffic on 15 October 1843. There was on the slope of 1:38 between Aachen and Ronheide ( Ronheider ramp) to 1855 a cable operating with a stationary steam engine. The track was the first abroad of Germany 's leading railway.

With the opening of the line there was the already well-established Belgian grid has two connections to northern France, but the routes from there to Paris until 1846 were completed on June 16th of Valenciennes, and on 20 June 1846 by Lille.

Left Rhine line and Cologne Central Station

By adopting the Bonn- Cölner Railway Company (BCE ) for 1.05 million dollars on January 1, 1857 of its 45 km long route Cologne ( Bf St. Pantaleon ) -Bonn- Rolandseck began the Rheinische Eisenbahn their expansion. They built this left Rhine route to 1859 with a length of 107 kilometers further via Koblenz to Bingerbrück and received by ports on the Hessian Ludwig Railway to Mainz and Ludwigshafen and at the Rhein-Nahe - train to Saarbrücken to the local coal mines. In addition, a combination of Koblenz with the Nassau State Railway in Oberlahnstein made ​​about the Pfaffendorfer Rhine bridge in 1864. For this piece of track and the bridge of the Prussian state took an interest rate guarantee and participated in the construction cost of the bridge.

After the merger with BCE was built by order of RhE according to the plans of Hermann Otto Plum in the same year, the so-called " Central Station ". Together with the Tumski Bridge, the station was opened in 1859. The Central Station was a combined head and through station: At four head tracks the trains of RhE transmitted from the west, while the features of the CME touched on the station of the Tumski Bridge two through tracks.

Cologne -Cleves - Netherlands

On 1 June 1860, the Cologne - Crefelder railway was taken over by the Rhenish Railway and the 53 km long route from Cologne to Krefeld 1863 extended by a further 65 kilometers above Goch to Kleve. From there she built in 1865 a railway line across the Griethausen railway bridge, the ferry Spyck - shaft and into Elten Dutch Zevenaar.

Thus, the Rheinische Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft was not only a connection to the Dutch North Sea ports, but was also part of a lucrative passage route to southern Germany and Switzerland. Also in the same year was a connection from Kleve to Nijmegen. In a representative Goch new reception building was taken in 1878 in insular as a community station with there crossing North Brabantsch - Duitsche Spoorweg - Maatschappij in operation.

Another link in the Netherlands opened the RhE 1868 with its railway Kempen -Venlo, which runs parallel to the railway line Viersen -Venlo the Bergisch- Märkischen Railway Company from Kaldenkirchen.


1864 began the construction of the 170 km long and more than 16 million dollars expensive Eifelbahn of Düren and Euskirchen Gerolstein to Trier, which was only achieved on July 15, 1871. Thus, the Rhenish Railway Company received a second access to the Saar coal and convenient connections to the mines in just become German Lorraine. After the war of 1866, the company sought the Saarland tracks and the Nassau State Railway Wiesbaden complement their under construction Eifelbahn and planned right bank route - to assume Wetzlar by the Prussian state - Oberlahnstein. However, as this additionally called for the acquisition of high-deficit Rhein-Nahe Railway, nothing came of this interesting extension. A takeover of the Middle Valley Railway could the profitability of the Eifelbahn severely limited.

Ruhr route

The step over the Rhine managed the company until then only the left bank operating on 1 September 1866, when they their Ruhr distance of Osterath about Uerdingen, (Duisburg ) Rheinhaus the ferry Rheinhausen high-field across the Rhine, (Duisburg ) high-field, (Mülheim ) Speldorf, Mulheim ( Rhineland ), (Mülheim ) Hot to Essen Nord ( Rhine ) was able to open.

For the most part for free siding she built sidings to many coal mines in the region. The line was continued until 1874 Bochum Nord, Langendreer north to south Dortmund. In the same year the ferry was replaced by a fixed bridge across the Rhine (Duisburg - high fields the railway bridge) and right bank expanded the vacant shore installations into a web- suitable port and used for loading ships approached the coals.

On February 15, 1870, only three kilometers long, spur track went from Trajektbahnhof high-field in (old ) Duisburg in operation, the 1879 starting point of the railway line to Quakenbruck. Thus it was in Duisburg main station at the site today to its establishment in 1935, three independent stations for a long time the major private railways in confined spaces.

The route, which is still referred to in part as " Rhenish Railway", is now shut down in sections and will - if at all - mostly driven on only by transfer freight trains, only the route in Dortmund south of the S 4 S-Bahn Rhine / Ruhr traveled. As part of the forced merger of the universities of Duisburg and Essen, the route of Duisburg- Neudorf (Mülheim ) Speldorf, Mülheim (Ruhr ) Hauptbahnhof, (Mülheim ) Hot to Essen Nord was also briefly discussed how fruitless, prepare for passenger traffic to a direct connection of the two campus to set up. This section is now being decommissioned and converted into a hiking and biking trail. On March 6, 2011, the bridge was dismantled on the A40 in Bochum. Thus, the put into operation on October 15, 1874 link from Gelsenkirchen- Wattenscheid station is interrupted for Bochum Nord train station.

Rights Rheinstrecke

In addition, the Rheinische Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft built from 1869 the right Rhine route of Ehrenbreitstein in Koblenz Neuwied, Upper Kassel to Troisdorf, which was achieved in 1871. In Upper Kassel the ferry Bonn -Oberkassel was opened on 1 November 1870 that remained until 1914 in operation and the left and right Rhine route linking together. The continued construction as railway Troisdorf- Mülheim- Speldorf via Cologne -Mülheim, Opladen, Dusseldorf - Ratingen West Eller and graduated in 1874 this route to the aforementioned Ruhr route and opened for the coal transports the cheap way south.

The Ruhr route ran largely parallel to the existing railway line Duisburg - Dortmund the Bergisch- Märkischen Railway Company and should pull off by connecting many mines to its own route network part of the lucrative carbon transport from the competition. This project of its President, the Secret Kommerzienrat Mevissen, the Rhenish Railway Company succeeded completely. The coal shipments grew enormously from the beginning, since the web with its newly launched Apenny fare tariffs of the other company far surpass for the transportation of coal. As a result, coal prices fell in Germany and neighboring countries by 10 % to 15 %.

Bergisch land

The same strategy pursued the company in 1873 with the construction of only opened on September 19, 1879 75 km long railway line Dusseldorf -Derendorf -Dortmund Süd Dusseldorf on Elberfeld ( today Wuppertal), Schwelm North, Gevelsberg, Hagen, Herdecke and Horde after Dortmund, with which it also a line of Bergisch- Märkischen Railway Company rivaled. From this route branched in Dortmund- Löttringhausen a route to Langendreer about Witten Ost ( Rhenish donkey).

Is used to track today from Dusseldorf to Mettmann (passenger (S 28) and freight trains ) or up Dornap - Hahnenfurth ( freight trains only ). From there to Wuppertal- Lüntenbeck the tracks are terminated; in the further course to Wuppertal- Mirke and continue until Heubruch is still a track that comes across from W - Vohwinkel and after cut- through " Wuppertal movement " largely would be passable again by the state fro. The section of Wuppertal- Vohwinkel to Wuppertal - Heubruch (called " Wuppertal Northern Railway " ) is shut down, according to the Federal Railway Authority since December 1999, continue to Wichlinghausen the track is in turn broken down long ago. The club Wuppertal eV movement operates the maintenance of the buildings and the conversion into a hiking and bike trail. In the further course from Wuppertal- Wichlinghausen ( here lies in the freight station still from Long field over the Schwarzbach viaduct coming up, since 1998, also disused track) the track has long since shut down and dismantled to Schwelm - Loh. Behind Schwelm - Loh to Hagen the section is traversed by the S8 S-Bahn Rhein / Ruhr, which comes across via a link from the station Schwelm the Bergisch- Märkischen railroad. In Gevelsberg Westbahnhof this compound flows into the Rhine route; previously is still being crossed in two closely extending several hundred meters long parallel tunnels, the northern ridge Schwelmer. The short section of Loh - Gevelsberg West was until December 2005 (?) Still used by freight trains for the purpose of operating a scrap metal dealer, but then advertised "because of inefficiency " on the part of DB Netz to the assumption by third parties and 2006 also shut down.

The North Sea

The Rheinische Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft was missing now establish a connection to the German North Sea ports. Here, the Cologne -Minden Railway Company had been dormant since June 18, 1874 with the opening of their range of bucket over holders, Münster, Osnabrück and Bremen to Hamburg the entire rail traffic under their control.

With their Prussian concession of 9 June 1873, the Rhenish Railway Company built its own route to the north within 6 years. From 1870 built Rhenish station in Duisburg starting led which opened on July 1, 1879, the 175 km long railway line Duisburg- Quakenbruck about Oberhausen West, North Bottrop, Dorsten and Rheine to Quakenbruck. In Rheine she had connection via the route network of the Royal Westphalian Railway Company to Emden and in Quakenbruck to the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg State Railways to Wilhelmshaven.

Still in operation

In the Ruhr the routes of the Rhenish Railway Company were caused not optimally served by the relatively late construction at the former industrial centers, particularly as it had been planned primarily for coal loader. This explains why today there are no longer the majority of lines of RhE in operation. In contrast, the distances in the Rhineland and the Rhine Valley are indispensable for the web today.

Locomotives and cars

The Rhenish Railway Company started its operation in 1839 with equipment from the English locomotive works of George Stephenson. Two of these machines from a batch of 1845 with the name of Saturn and the Scheldt in 1875 were still in operation. However, the main suppliers of locomotives were the locomotive factory Borsig in Berlin with more than 380 machines and Henschel & Sohn, Kassel, with over 50 locomotives. These included so-called Crampton locomotives, wheel arrangement 2 A, with a driving wheel diameter of 2,135 mm. The other locomotives had the wheel arrangement C or 1 B. For the curvaceous Eifel circuit were obtained from 1871 by Beyer, Peacock in Manchester and later from Stettin Vulcan 2 B Schlepptenderloks. With the setting of the cable operation in Aachen took over from 1855 heavy carbon mountain range - tank locomotives to supply the trains to Ronheide.

For passenger cars it was compartment car, which had been mostly built by MAN. The freight wagons wore a light gray paint.

Business development and nationalization

The leaders in the founding of the Rhenish Railway was the banker and merchant Ludolf Campenhausen. Also involved early bankers were more like Wilhelm Deichmann ( by A. Schaaffhausen & Co.) and JH Stein & Co., and later Abraham Oppenheim ( Oppenheim jr ) and JD Herstatt. With an initial share capital of three million thalers, the Rheinische Eisenbahn was the largest private company in Prussia.

Even before the inaugural meeting of the Society, a group came together to the banker Abraham Oppenheim, jointly held the majority. Oppenheim alone held nearly a quarter of the share capital, the six largest Cologne banker together another third. Six months later, Oppenheim held together with his friend the Belgian banker Bischoff home alone a majority.

Even before the railway company began operations, the bankers made ​​huge profits through speculation and arbitrage in particular, which were often handled without discernible benefit for the company at the expense of other investors. The procedure gave the bankers a criticism on the part of the audience, especially because they thereby taking advantage of their dual role as a corporate decision-maker and as a financial intermediary clearly in favor of the latter. So agreed Abraham Oppenheim with other " insiders " like David Hansemannplatz (1837 ) or by Gustav Mevissen ( a little later ) to push the price of the REG securities in Cologne through sales or keep by inconspicuous purchases low, so that the arbitrage profit in other markets like Brussels, Paris and Berlin could be larger. The business was highly profitable for him, because about the business with Paris after only 2 months achieved an annual return between 10 and 90 %.

In order to cover the high capital requirements of the railway undertaking, the bankers developed new forms of cooperation, such as through regional consortia ( underwriters ) and later joint-stock banks. When the Cologne banker 1838/39 came in Liquiditätsnot case of a capital because of the weak economy and therefore the sluggish stock sale, they tried to return their financial obligations to the railway company. Finally, in 1840, the Belgian State bought the previously unsold shares.

After the company in 1841 the railway started operations, increasing sums were received into the cash held at the bankers. In the late 1840s, the Cologne banker was to chronic debtors or to " managers " of monetary excesses of the Rhenish Railway. For example, they owed the company in 1847 about 300,000 dollars, with total assets of about 10 million thalers. In the 1850s these totals continued to rise in 1858 as more than a million dollars, with total assets of about 23 million.

In the wake of Bismarck's nationalization policy the law on nationalization of the Rhenish Railway Company was announced on February 14, 1880. At this time the Prussian State already owned 42 % of the share capital of the Company. Founded for the administration and management of the web "Royal Direction of the Rhenish Railway Cologne " already took over the management with effect from 1 January 1880. On February 23, 1881, this Directorate was renamed " Royal Railway Directorate of Cologne on the left bank of the Rhine ." The right bank routes went along with those who also nationalized Cologne -Minden Railway Company with effect from 1 April 1881 the newly founded "Royal Railway Directorate of Cologne right bank " over.

The Rhenish Railway Company had 13,572 freight cars in the nationalization of over 507 locomotives, 862 passenger and. It operated a railway network of 1,356 kilometers in length. The financed by government bonds purchase price amounted to 591 129 900 Mark. The company was dissolved on January 1, 1886.