Anniversary features historical train rides

by Petra Lessoing
Kaiserslautern American

A people’s fest to celebrate 160 years of trains in Rheinland-Pfalz takes place Saturday and Sunday in front of the train station in Neustadt along the German Wine Street.

The short distance rail traffic association for Rheinland-Pfalz Süd sponsors the event, that features an entertaining program, children’s activities and rides in historical trains. Since the wine harvest fest will start here Tuesday, the little wine houses are already set up near the train station as well as some activity booths and rides for the carnival.

The anniversary event takes place 10 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. Sunday. Bands from different local schools will perform and a disc jockey will provide musical entertainment in combination with a quiz show. Sunday afternoon, the SWR4 radio station presents renowned German singers.

The special rides offered take place in steam trains or electrical railcars, which travel between Neustadt and Ludwigshafen and Neustadt and Heidelberg. The first train in Germany was traveling Dec. 7, 1835, between Nürnberg and Fürth. The first trains between Neustadt and Ludwigshafen ran 12 years later, in 1847.

Organizers recommend coming to the fest by train with the Ticket 24, which costs between €5 and €13 (depending on the distance) and is valid for one person, or with the Ticket 24 Plus, which costs between €8.50 and €18.50 and is valid for up to five persons.

Information stands advise travelers on tariffs and train schedules. Train clubs present train antiques, souvenirs and miniature trains. The Eisenbahn-Museum (train museum) offers longer opening hours, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on both fest days. It is on Schillerstrasse and is accessible through Gate No. 5.