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Missing Links Regional Trans-border Rail Connections The renaissance of „Ilztalbahn“ Passau – Waldkirchen – Freyung and the start of the “Czech-German.

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Presentation on theme: "Missing Links Regional Trans-border Rail Connections The renaissance of „Ilztalbahn“ Passau – Waldkirchen – Freyung and the start of the “Czech-German."— Presentation transcript:

1 Missing Links Regional Trans-border Rail Connections The renaissance of „Ilztalbahn“ Passau – Waldkirchen – Freyung and the start of the “Czech-German network Danube-Ilz-Vlatava” Brussels, 25 th January 2012

2 History of the railway line Passau – Waldkirchen – Freyung (Ilztalbahn) (1): Construction work from 1887 to 1892 – final opening of the line in October 1892 (50 km) Until 1945 major use as a line for freight transport 1910: Opening of a cross-border railway line linking Ilztalbahn with Bohemia from Wald- kirchen via Haidmühle to Neuthal / Nové Údolí 1913: Opening of another railway line heading west from Kalteneck to Eging and Deggendorf

3 History of „Ilztalbahn“ (2): Peak of use as a line for freight and passenger transport from 1945 to 1970 Decreasing demand leads to cancellation of passenger transport in 1975 (end of weekend services) and 1982 (last public trains running) January 2001: end of freight transport August 2002: line closed due to technical reasons following damages of heavy rain falls April 2005: line legally closed according to German Railway Act

4 History of the cross border railway line Wald- kirchen–Haidmühle–Neuthal / Nové Údolí (1): 1910: Opening of the cross-border railway line to Bohemia (27 km) from Waldkirchen via Haidmühle to Neuthal / Nové Údolí and Wallern (Volary) with connections to Prachatitz (Prachatice) as well as Krumau (Cesky Krumlov) and Budweis (Budvar) Summer 1945: Line closed on the Czech side due to the political situation after World War II

5 History of the cross border railway line Wald- kirchen–Haidmühle–Neuthal / Nové Údolí (2): Limited services (domestic freight transport only) on the Czech side between 1945 and 1989 – Nové Údolí was in a strict “no-go-area” Summer 1969: End of passenger and freight transport on the German side; most of the line (19 km) was dismantled in 1971 and 1972 1990: opening of public transport on the Czech side to the border station Nové Údolí 2001: rest of the cross-border railway line was dismantled in Germany (remaining 8 km)

6 The steps of private initiatives: Movement to keep the line of „Ilztalbahn“ as an important asset of regional infrastructure started in 2002 – foundation of „Förderverein Ilztalbahn e. V.“ in November 2005. Complete lack of political support leads to the foundation of a professional company to pursue the reopening of the line in November 2006 – named „Ilztalbahn GmbH“ with a nominal capital of at present 300.000 EUR, raised by private shareholders only.

7 The renaissance of „Ilztalbahn“ (1): January 2007: German Railway Company (Deutsche Bahn AG) and district authorities ask for dismantling the whole railway line and formal end of use as a means of public transport July 2007: German Railway supervision authority (Eisenbahn-Bundesamt) support Ilztalbahn GmbH in denying dismantling and transformation of railway line into a cycle path March 2009: Ilztalbahn GmbH and its partner get the permission to run the line for 50 years by Bavarian Ministry of Economics and Transport

8 The renaissance of „Ilztalbahn“ (2): April 2009: ITB GmbH rents the whole line from Deutsche Bahn AG for 50 years July 2009: Start of repair and reconstruction work at the line 11. September 2010: Reopening of the upper section between Freyung and Waldkirchen 15. July 2011: Reopening of the whole 50 km line of Ilztalbahn from Passau via Waldkirchen to Freyung with bus links to cross-border National parks and the Czech border station Nové Údolí

9 The concept of Ilztalbahn GmbH (ITB) and the “Czech-German network Danube-Ilz-Vlatava”: Three-country-tourist-concept for the region Bayerischer Wald – Böhmerwald (Sumava) – Mühlviertel with the railway line Passau – Waldkirchen – Freyung as the basis on the German side (Integration of Austria is missing at present; has to be pursued in 2012 and 2013) Leisure and tourist trains running on summer weekends, organized by ITB Bus links to Bavarian and Bohemian national parks and to Czech border station Nové Údolí

10 From 2002 to 2007 we had a dream...... and a very strong will, a lot of helping hands and a lot of people who supported us financially. The results: since 2008 more than 12.000 hours of common work – all volunteers 300.000 EUR private shareholder‘s capital 400.000 EUR credit of supporting banks tremendous support by local enterprises

11 Step 1: 12 th September 2010 Reopening of upper Ilztalbahn between Waldkirchen and Freyung (12 km) Some facts: 3.488 tickets sold on the first day public transport back in the region 100% financing without public support (State of Bavaria was blocking the EU-Interreg-money)

12 Step 2: 15 th to 17 th July 2011 Complete reopening of Ilztalbahn (50 km) The results: Approximately 28.000 guests in the 2011 season (34 travelling days) More than 1.000 guests on 12 days About 60 people assuring good service in and around the trains – all volunteers Still 100% private financing

13 The financial background of Ilztalbahn-reopening: Investment in total so far at about 900.000 EUR a stabile group of volunteers that saved more than 200.000 EUR in cash outflow 300.000 EUR represent a strong equity position of ITB (46 private shareholders) Bank credit financing at present 400.000 EUR EU-Interreg-support was refused in 2008 and 2009 by the state of Bavaria, 3. application was successful in general, but Bavaria insist on a full guarantee for the EU-subsidy of 1.601.816 EUR

14 The next steps to improve the “Czech-German network Danube-Ilz-Vlatava” Further modernisation of Ilztalbahn-infrastructure Full integration of Ilztalbahn-, Czech-trains, public bus lines as well as national park bus services (IGEL- and Green buses) Common ticketing Additional links to Austria (Mühlviertel) from German and Czech side (Waldkirchen, Drei- sessel, Lipno / Horni Plana) Trilingual Marketing concept (D / CZ / English)

15 Interim results and forecast: Reopening of Ilztalbahn is a great success in economic and regional aspects State of Bavaria reduce resistance / Bavarian par- liament even give award for great volunteers effort Much more communication with local tourist offices and regional authorities since reopening of line Ilztalbahn and South Bohemian railway lines gain a lot of passengers from the motorist side Region becomes more attractive for tourists  model for environmentally friendly traffic concept


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