Wuppertal in the Bergisches Land region Northeast of Cologne hosts a very special attraction for train and rail enthusiasts: the Bergische Musemsbahnen e.V. federation hosts the world smallest tram system. The historic trams are thereby fully run by the non-profit organization. I visited the trams in April 2019 at their season opening weekend. Here is review.
Bergisch Historic Trams – Location and Track
While you may enter and exit the tram as you like, you will likely start your trip at the Kohlfurther Brücke (Kohfurth Bridge), where the museum is located as well. The other terminal stop is Greuel. The tram could even take an additional stop called Möschenborn, but this one is not in use.
Admission to the museum is free. You only need to pay for the tram rides, which is a 4 Euro adult one way, 6 Euro adult return. A day ticket is 12 Euro. It is quite popular to take the tram up the hill to Greuel and walk back downhill. The tram is only operating every second and fourth Sunday per month. At these days, there is typically a tram every half an hour, serviced by different kind of engines. For details about the timetable, it may be helpful to have a look at the German website. In addition, you can visit the museum every Saturday (all year long), 11:00 to 17:00hrs.
Bergisch Historic Trams – Riding the Trams
The trams used are rotating over the day. We had a 275 class, which is an articulated railcar. Overall, there are six trams, which currently service the route (all different classes). In addtion, they have some service train for the maintenance. As the train was quite full, we decided to go for the direct return and did not leave the train in the uphill station.
I know this kind of train from my very childhood years. The restoration is just amazing, the tram looked as they used to look in original service. Not all passengers could get a seat, though. You pay at the conductor, who is crossing the tram during the trip.
The route is really beautiful, passing a lot of forest and even an alpaca farm. The historic highlight is likely the Manuelskotten, a former place to grind knives and scissors.
Bergisch Historic Trams – Museum
We visited the museum after our tram ride. One tram was outdoors and likely to be used udring the day. The collection is really amazing. Some are currently renovated and may be in service in the future.
A place which is very popular among the kids is the larger scale model train. Like everything apart from the tram rides, playing with the train is for free (a donation box is of course available). Another historic tram is hosting the souvenir shops, which is offering a lot of literatur and other products about trams and trains.
Bergisch Historic Trams – My View
I think that the association driving the Bergische Museumsbahnen just does an amazing job. It was so much fun to ride the old trams and stroll through the museum itself. It is just one of these hidden gems close to your home you feel you have missed in your life. I will definitely come back to this place, also to try out some other trams. If you are a rail enthusiast and happen to be around Cologne, I highly recommend you to do the same. No question – Top Pick!
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