The magazine EA (=Eisenbahn-Amateur) writes in its issue 12/02,
that the mining authority of Baden-Wuerttemberg has given order
to close the upper section of the funicular at Heidelberg because
of safety reasons until April 30th, 2003.
The upper section of the Königstuhlbahn in Heidelberg (Section:
Molkenkur - Königstuhl) in its present state apparently
must cease to operate by 30.4.2003, the reason being a note
served by the administration responsible for the safety of funiculars
in the country of Baden-Württemberg in Freiburg. They have
reviewed all funiculars in the south-west of Germany right after
the catastrophe of Kaprun and have decided that the Heidelberg
funicular (in operation since 1907 without any dangerous accident)
has to be closed because of safety problems.
As a basis for this opinion served some new EG-rules for newly
It was criticised, e.g., that the doors are too narrow and cannot
be opened from inside, the cars are made of wood (flammable),
the power station is situated in the same room as the traction
wheel for the rope, etc.
these EU-rules only apply to new funiculars or in case of a
reconstruction, and the Waldfriedhofbahn in Stuttgart being
of similar type and age is not required to shut down. Although
the very same administration even did not allow any changes
to the upper Heidelberg funicular during a renovation two years
ago due to its status as a monument, the owner of the funicular
(the HSB which is itself owned by the city of Heidelberg) seems
not to oppose the announcement of the Freiburg administration.
They seem to be happy to get rid of a monument and to built
a new funicular with greater speed and greater transportation
capacity looking a bit like the old one, for which only a third
of the number of people are needed than at present to operate
people in Heidelberg and the Heidelberg region that have known
the Bergbahn during their entire lives are opposed to these
changes that seem to come.
Two of them who work for the Bergbahn created a homepage with
statements, pictures, newspaper articles, mailbox etc.:
Austrian consultant was asked to make suggestions about the
renewal of the funicular until mid August 2002.
funiculars in Baden-Württemberg are also concerned, but
it seems they only have to be upgraded (e.g. the Stuttgart funicular
to the "Waldfriedhof") and there is no withdrawal
of the permission operation.