24th & 25th June 2017: DB class 218 haulage into France

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218 484 at Hüffenhardt, 27/06/15 (JW)

A special event will be held over the weekend of 24th and 25th June 2017 to celebrate the “Grenzüberschreitendes Bahnjubiläum Winden – Wissembourg”; the 20th anniversary of the reopening of the cross-border route between Winden, in the German Land of Rheinland-Pfalz, and Wissembourg, in France.

This route, closed in 1975 and reopened in March 1997, has been “off the radar” for locomotive fans since occasional class 218 diesel-hydraulic haulage ceased on summer Saturday specials in 2013; this was also the last time that we saw booked class 218 operation into France.

A two-train shuttle will be operated between Winden and Wissembourg – one formed of a modern SNCF class X73500 DMU, and the other top and tailed by CFL 2-10-0 steam locomotive 5519 and a 218.  The 218 is presumed to be either 218 483 or 218 484 from DB Regio at Karlsruhe (which have not had any passenger diagrams for a good number of years, and only make sporadic short-notice forays onto passenger work these days).  5519 should lead into Wissembourg, with the 218 leading back out.

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218 412 awaits departure from Wissembourg, 05/08/12 (JW)

The diagram for the “hauled” set each day is as follows:-

07:30 Neustadt Hbf – Wissembourg
10:25 Wissembourg – Winden
11:15 Winden – Wissembourg
13:25 Wissembourg – Winden
14:15 Winden – Wissembourg
16:25 Wissembourg – Winden
17:15 Winden – Wissembourg
19:25 Wissembourg – Neustadt Hbf

Service train tickets are valid for travel on all of these.

More information in a German-language online leaflet here and in French here.

Many thanks to Jonas Briest for his help with this article!

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