Tuesday, 13 October 2020

A brief history of the Wangerooge Island Railway.

A brief history of the Wangerooge Island Railway.

Of the Eastern most of the East Frisian Islands the 1000mm-gauge Wangerooge Island Railway has been running since 1897, originally constructed and operated by the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg. 

From December 1899 it was agreed that the Navy may also use the island railway tracks for their own purposes, provided that normal rail traffic is not disrupted. 

During 1920 the GOE becomes incorporated into the new Reichseisenbahnen of the German Reich, and with it the Wangerooge Island Railway. The vehicles now belong to the RBD Oldenburg and were based in the Oldenburg Hbf. 

During 1935 the RBD Oldenburg is dissolved, now the RBD Münster is responsible. The home of the vehicles remain at the Oldenburg depot. 

From 1939 the armament and war preparations start to take place on Wangerooge, the Navy now effectively control the island railway, which leads to considerable tension between the Reichsbahn and the military on the island. With the outbreak of the Second World War, civil traffic on the island collapses completely.

From May 1946, in addition to the extensive track construction, the Kriegsmarine also brought several vehicles to Wangerooge during the war, at the end of the hostilities the Wangerooge municipality is allowed to take ownership of the navy vehicles. 

September 1949 the Deutsche Bundesbahn is founded and the Wangerooge Inselbahn now becomes part of the new state-owned company. 

January 1972 the BD Münster is given up, officially Wangerooge is now part of the BD Hannover area.

January 1994 with the dissolution of the Deutsche Bundesbahn, the Wangerooge Inselbahn becomes part of Deutsche Bahn AG. 

In 1999, Deutsche Bahn assigns the island railway to DB Reise & Touristik, the long-distance transport division of the DB Group. 

In 2003 the Wangerooge island railway is added to the DB subsidiary DB AutoZug GmbH based in Dortmund. 

October 2013 DB AutoZug GmbH is dissolved, completely transferred back to the parent company DB Fernverkehr AG. This means that all of the Wangerooge Island Railway's vehicles change ownership again, and remain so to the present day.

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