H0, West German

The Rotenburg Bahn (Red Mountain Railway) lies south of the Harz Mountains The railway is named after a mountain on the north side of the valley. In the 1890’s the Prussian State Railway used the Rhume and Heime Valleys to build a minor cross-country line from a junction west of Giegoldehausen to Nordhausen running parallel to and south of part of the Northeim to Nordhausen line. A little later a branch line was built along the Hubantal (Huban Valley) to quarries south of Lanhenhagen. The lines were able to continue their bucolic life until 1945 when the Iron curtain fell. It was not felt worthwhile to provide customs facilities at the border near Zwing so the line was split. In the west the Deutsche Bundesbahn cut back the ‘mainline’ to Rhumspringe just east of Lutgenhausen with the branch becoming part of the new ‘mainline’. This had the advantage that it closed the difficult section between the Rhume and Heime Valleys. The layout is set in the prosperous 1950’s to mid 1960’s when the line was served by a frequent train service. Passenger services are mostly to Wulften the junction station on the Northeim to Nordhausen line with some trains extending to Hanover. Interesting features are railcar hauled couchette coach, mixed trains both steam and diesel and ‘express trains’ not stopping at all stations. Freight is active serving the quarries and industries in the Valley. In practise the area developed without the help of a railway. The Rhume Valley has become part of the Deutsche Ferienroute Alpen-Ostsee (German Alpine – Baltic Holiday Route).