Voie Libre international

The Abreschviller forestry railway

In 1871, when the entire region was annexed by the German empire after the 1870 Franco-Prussian war, the road-building projects envisaged by the French imperial administration to remove the wood were abandoned. Railways were given priority.


In 1884, under the aegis of the imperial forestry administration, the first five kilometers of the forestry railway were built from the sawmills at Zweibach (Two Rivers), a location where the Red Sarre and the Abreschviller stream meet. By 1888, the line had grown to 13km. The gauge chosen was the one used by the Prussian army for its field railways, 700mm. The bolster trucks and other wagons were hauled empty up the line by horses, and travelled back loaded by gravity.

The German empire was keen to promote the export of what was produced by local industry. Railway projects connecting Sarrebourg to Abreschviller by a branch line from La Forge

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PUBLISHER: Christian Fournereau - christianf@lrpresse.com/ EDITOR: François Fontana - francoisf@lrpresse.com /Consultants to THE EDITORIAL TEAM: Éric Fresné (ericf@lrpresse.com), Jean-Paul Quatresous / With assistance from: Yann Baude (yannb@lrpresse