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Narrow-gauge railways in Saxony

Leave the car behind and enjoy Saxony from the tracks. The journey along Saxony's five narrow-gauge railways takes you to the finest corners of the state on a rail network spanning almost 100 kilometres.

Welcome to Germany's home of STEAM TRAINS

Saxony has the nation's most concentrated and varied examples of railway nostalgia. In addition to five daily narrow-gauge railways and three steam-operated narrow-gauge museum trains, there are regular-gauge historic railways, park and field railways, as well as renowned railway and transport museums.

We live and breathe tradition

The variety that has been preserved is the product of the Saxons' distinct awareness of tradition when it comes to narrow-gauge railways. Once lifelines to economic development, the trains are today a tourist attraction. In several rural regions, they are indeed the main point of interest, continuing to form an important economic cornerstone for the surrounding area.

2011 saw the Saxons commemorate 130 years of narrow-gauge railway history. A number of Saxons and railway enthusiasts from other regions volunteer at associations and as part of initiatives to preserve the cultural heritage of historic railways.

Preserving history, tending to monuments

Narrow-gauge railways are considered key drivers of Saxony's industrial development, and in the 1920s led the region to a huge boom. The Verein zur Förderung Sächsischer Schmalspurbahnen e.V. and Stiftung Sächsische Schmalspurbahnen have set themselves the goal of protecting and preserving this cultural asset.

The destruction of the Weisseritztalbahn by the devastating flood of 2002 prompted the founding of the Verein zur Förderung Sächsischer Schmalspurbahnen e.V. on 23 July 2003. The platform took action right across Saxony to preserve, financially develop and integrate the railways into tourism facilities.

The VSSB's projects have similarly included building the new Saxon I K no. 54, a locomotive modelled on the first type of Saxon narrow-gauge trains, none of whose engines had been preserved. Also initiated by the VSSB was Saxony's DAMPFBAHN-ROUTE, a holiday route and marketing platform for Saxony's steam trains and the many different, attractive options in the surrounding regions.

The club's work has been continued by the Stiftung Sächsische Schmalspurbahnen since 31 October 2014.

The formation of the foundation on 30 November 2009 marked the creation of a long-term establishment whose work tied in with that of the VSSB. Its aim is to preserve historic trains and systems in Saxony. It is also building an archive to store documents relating to the history and engineering of Saxony's narrow-gauge railways, compiling information for the general public and professional partners, and supporting specific projects. The true-to-original reconstruction of the I K No. 54, Saxony's first narrow-gauge train, was another unique project.

More information:

Want to learn more about the narrow-gauge railway as a success factor in industrial development, or looking for information on an exciting ride along the DAMPFBAHN-ROUTE?

You'll learn everything you need to know about Saxony's steam trains over the next few pages.


Dampfende Lok auf schneebedeckten Gleisen (Schwarz-Weiß-Foto).

All about the historic development of the narrow-gauge railway in Saxony and its importance. (Foto: © dpa - Bildfunk)

130 years of the Weisseritztalbahn

Festlich geschmückte Dampfbahn fährt auf bewaldeter Strecke.

Experience a piece of history on Germany's oldest narrow-gauge railway. (Foto: © dpa - Bildfunk)

Pros and cons


It's not all positive when operating on narrow gauges. There's a negative side too. (Foto: © boedefeld1969 / Fotolia)

Narrow-gauge train I K No. 54

Dampflok wird von Besuchern fotografiert.

The return of a legend: About the reconstruction of Saxony's first narrow-gauge locomotive. (Foto: © Christian Sacher)


Die Fichtelbergbahn dampft durch eine malerische Schneelandschaft.

Jump aboard and discover the finest corners of Saxony on historic narrow-gauge steam trains. (Foto: © Projekt Dampfbahn-Route)

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