Trainpics: Italy - Ferrovia del Renon (SAD)
The South Tyrolean "Rittnerbahn" (Ferrovia del Renon) was built to connect the Ritten, a plateau situated northeast of Bozen, with the town of Bozen. It was opened on August 13, 1907, as a metre-gauge-line and was operated with electric trains right from the beginning.
Originally, the line started on the "Waltherplatz", a central square in Bozen, from where it was operated as a streetcar via the mainline station to the Rittnerbahnhof. From there, after attatching a rack-engine to the lower end of the train, a roughly 4 kilometre long ascend on rack track followed. At Maria Himmelfahrt, the rack-rail ended.
From here, the line continued via Oberbozen to Klobenstein as a normal narrow-gauge line.
Beginning in the 1960s, there were plans to replace the slow ascend on the rack-rail with a new, much faster funicular to Oberbozen. It was finally opened on July 16th, 1966, thus making the lower section of the Rittnerbahn useless. Since then, the trains operate only between Klobenstein and Maria Himmelfahrt - until today, after more than 100 years in service!
last update: 15th February 2009