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Narrow-gauge railways in Saxony

On narrow tracks through Saxony

The Dresden Steam Locomotive Meeting every year in April is a must for every railroad enthusiast. But Saxony has a lot more to offer in terms of historic railroads, because numerous narrow-gauge railroads are also on the road here! They travel on smaller tracks to special places and exude nostalgic charm as they steam through the countryside. Here you will find an overview of some of Saxony's narrow-gauge railroads. Experience the enchanting narrow-gauge railroads of Saxony and let yourself be enchanted on an idyllic ride through nature.

Lößnitzgrundbahn: From Radebeul East to Radeburg

East of Dresden, the unmistakable puffing can be heard time and again when the Lößnitzgrundbahn makes its way through the Lößnitzgrund. The starting station of the Lößnitzdackel ("Wiener Dog of Lößnitz"), as the locals like to call the small train, is Radebeul. Enjoy the unique view of the vineyards of Radebeul and the traditional Hoflößnitz winery on the ride to Radeburg, before diving into the forest of the Lößnitz Valley. Via Friedewald and the famous village of Moritzburg, where the former hunting lodge of Augustus the Strong should definitely be visited, you will pass through various smaller villages to Radeburg, the terminus of the Lößnitzgrundbahn.

The construction of the Lößnitzgrundbahn was decided in 1879. Just five years later, the narrow-gauge railroad was also inaugurated. The narrow-gauge railroad runs on the 16.55 kilometers over 19 bridges and through numerous picturesque villages and dreamy forest areas. A ride on the Lößnitzgrundbahn is worthwhile at any time of year, but a trip through the snow-covered winter forest is particularly idyllic.

Lößnitzgrundbahn with its engine driver © Kati Schmidt

Lößnitzgrundbahn with its engine driver © Kati Schmidt

Weißeritztalbahn at Seifersdorf, Malter © KSchmidt

Weißeritztalbahn at Seifersdorf, Malter © KSchmidt

Weißeritztalbahn: From Freital Hainsberg to Kurort Kipsdorf

The Weißeritztalbahn is one of the oldest narrow-gauge railroads in Saxony that's still in public operation. Since 1882, its route through the idyllic Weißeritztal valley and the picturesque eastern Erzgebirge mountains has been one of the most beautiful railroad lines in Europe.

Close to Dresden, the capital of Saxony, lies Freital, the starting point of the Weißeritztalbahn. From here, the railroad winds its way across the wildly romantic "Rabenauer Grund", past Rabenau and Spechtritz. The landscape in the eastern Erzgebirge is varied, again and again the route leads through mystical forest sections. Via Malter, along the dam and through the heathland of Dippoldiswalde, Dippoldiswalde is soon reached. Since June 2017, the line has been running again to the regular destination station of the idyllic small railroad: Kurort Kipsdorf.

The Weißeritztalbahn invites you on 26 kilometers of nostalgic trips through the Osterzgebirge and is an ideal feeder to the beautiful cycling and hiking areas of the Dresden area.

Fichtelbergbahn: Form Cranzahl to Oberwiesenthal

The Fichtelbergbahn takes you to the highest town in Germany, the tranquil spa town of Oberwiesenthal. The idyllic journey begins directly at the Cranzahl gauge change station. From here, the narrow-gauge railroad winds its way slightly uphill towards Sehmatal. Then it continues to the picturesque village of Neudorf, which has become famous for the production of incense. Via Kretscham-Rothensehma and Unterwiesenthal, the Fichtelbergbahn puffs its way. At the latest when the narrow-gauge railroad then passes over the 110-meter-long and 23-meter-high Hüttenbach viaduct shortly before Oberwiesenthal, the steam train ride becomes a special experience!

Already around 1870 there were first considerations to build a railroad connection to the Fichtelberg. 24 years later the building permit was granted and already in 1897 the railroad operation could be started. Since then, the little train climbs the 17.35 kilometers to the Fichtelberg every day and transports hikers, winter sports enthusiasts and vacationers to the spa town of Oberwiesenthal.

Fichtelbergbahn in Neudorf © Sven Oettel, SDG

Fichtelbergbahn in Neudorf © Sven Oettel, SDG

The locomotive of the Reichsbachzug © M. England,

The locomotive of the Reichsbachzug © M. England,

Narrow-gauge railroad of Zittau: From Zittau to spa town Oybin / Kurort Jonsdorf

Since 1890, the Zittau narrow-gauge railroad has been running daily between the city of Zittau and the tranquil spa towns of Jonsdorf and Oybin. The "train without any hurry", as locals affectionately call the Zittau Railway, starts directly at Zittau's main station. Via Olbersdorf it goes to Bertsdorf station, where you can decide whether the journey should go to the spa town of Jonsdorf or to the spa town of Oybin.

Both places are only 6 kilometers apart, so a hike from one to the other is a very good occasion to get to know both sections of the Bimmelbahn. Enjoy a nostalgic ride in the lovingly restored vehicles in the beautiful Zittau surroundings!

Döllnitzbahn: From Oschatz to Kemmlitz/ Glossen

The Döllnitzbahn has been connecting the rural surroundings of Leipzig to the railroad network since 1885. The beautiful narrow-gauge railroad, that operates along the small river Döllnitz, enchants its guests with a charming route past many sights. The Döllnitzbahn starts in Oschatz and leads through a picturesque landscape to Mügeln, where a visit to the former largest narrow-gauge railway station is recommended. The end of the line is Glossen. Here you can visit the light railway display. Hiking enthusiasts appreciate the graceful nature and landscape of the fruit country and like to use the narrow-gauge railroad to reach their hiking destination.

Not only the landscape through which the Döllnitzbahn makes its way is impressive. Its history is also remarkable, as the Döllnitzbahn looks back on a very long tradition of transporting mining goods by narrow-gauge railroad. Kaolin is still mined around Mügeln and Kemmlitz today. Nostalgia and railroad lovers should not miss a ride on this narrow-gauge railroad.

Döllnitzbahn in Winter © Sven Geist

Döllnitzbahn in Winter © Sven Geist

Dresden Park Railway

When walking through the Great Garden in Dresden, you can't help but hear the park railroad. A high-pitched whistle sounds from afar and soon you can see the little train meandering through Dresden's largest park. A ride on the park railroad should definitely be part of a visit to the Great Garden.

The little train has been in operation for more than 60 years and has established itself as a popular leisure option in Dresden. At the stops, it quickly becomes clear that children are in charge here! Schoolchildren in the 4th and 5th grades take on important tasks as conductors, dispatchers or barrier guards. On the large 5.6-kilometer loop, the train passes interesting sights of the Great Garden such as the zoo, Lake Carola with its little castle, and the palace.

Forest Railway Muskau

The Muskau Forest Railway (WEM) is a Saxon narrow-gauge railroad with a gauge of 600 mm. It was once built in 1895 by decision of Count Hermann to develop the forests, raw materials and the emerging industry around Muskau and Weißwasser as a horse-drawn railroad. The first two steam locomotives were purchased in the same year. Today, the museum railroad is considered the largest in Germany - in 600 mm gauge.

The route from Bad Muskau via Weißwasser to Kromlau is particularly scenic, as the railroad connects two magnificent landscape parks. Both diesel and steam locomotives are used in public service. On selected days, it is possible to travel along the so-called clay railroad on a special train. Then the special train with a historic diesel locomotive travels from the station Weißwasser-Teichstraße to the terminal station Schwerer Berg. The three-hour round trip leads through the Muskauer Faltenbogen Geopark and past the Nochten open pit mine.

Forest Railway Muskau © Waldeisenbahn Muskau GmbH

Forest Railway Muskau © Waldeisenbahn Muskau GmbH

Next Stop: Saxony!

Let yourself be enchanted by the nostalgic charm of the small railroads and visit the steam locomotive paradise of Saxony. Independently of the famous Dresden steam locomotive meeting, railroad lovers will find many excursion destinations here at any time. Enjoy the ride in one of the many narrow-gauge railroads and discover the Free State in a completely different way!