Through large parts of the Mansfeld region was once pulled the route network of the Mansfeld Mining Railway.
This only 750 mm wide narrow gauge track was built section for section as of the year 1880.
It is thus the oldest narrow gauge railway in Germany.
Their task was to transport the mined copper slate, fuel and building materials, various intermediates and, not least, the miners themselves.
Hundreds of railway wagons were deployed to transport all the materials and passengers between locations in the mining-territory.
|A train of Mansfeld Mining Railway at Station "Hettstedt Copper Kammerhuette"
In the heyday of copper mining in the 20s of the 20th century, the route network of the mine train reached its greatest extent with a track length of about 50 km.
All major mines and processing facilities in the Mansfeld region had a appropriate track connection.
At this time the vehicle fleet of the Mansfeld Mining Railway consisted 30 steam locomotives, more than 30 people-rail-wagons and 700 freight wagons.
In several places, there was also connections to the supraregional standard gauge State Railways (the so-called "Cannons Railway").
The maximum transport capacity was reached around 1960.
Daily exchanged at that time about 6,000 tons of ore and 4,000 tonnes of other freight over the tracks of the mine-railway their location.
Added to this were on weekdays yet about 50 passenger trains.
But the decline of the Mansfeld mining area and therefore the mine railway already could be seen on the horizon at that time.
The underground ore deposits were running low.
This was to result until the year 1969 the closure of all mines around the town Mansfeld.
Large parts of the now unneeded route network of narrow gauge railway was dismantled.
Some rails stayed but for the time being for the transport of intermediates for that still exist metallurgical plants in operation.
After the closure of the last copper smelter in 1990 was also done closure of the mine railway.
From the former track has been preserved an approximately 11 kilometer section between Benndorf and Hettstedt Copper Kammerhuette in our days only.
The association "Mansfeld Mining Railway e.V." endeavor the remaining track and the remains of the vehicle fleet as a valuable heritage from the German mining and industrial history keep for future generations and operates on the track-fragment a heritage railway.
Spread throughout the year, numerous attractions are offered , which in any case represent a great experience not only for railway enthusiasts.
On selected days the historic mining railway awakened back to new life.
Then is traveling a steam-powered heritage railway on the old tracks.
The still existing vehicle park includes, inter alia, two steam locomotives, two diesel locomotives as well as numerous passenger and goods wagons.
The Mansfeld Mining Railway has its own workshop to repaired these vehicles.
As part of a tourism development of the former railway line take place in addition to maintenance and renovation work occasional extensions.
Thus, for example, was on April 12, 2014, the newly built railway station "Station Zirkelschacht" in the presence of numerous visitors opened.