In 1844 bamberg got the connection to a new means of transportation – the railroad. It was an eventful history when the operation of the koniglich bayerische staatseisenbahn began. The railroad contributed to the economic development of the city and provided wages and bread for generations of railroad workers.
The successes of the private "ludwigs railroad from nurnberg to furth encouraged operators to expand. Various proposals were considered. The 1836 planned project of the "nurnberg-northern border railroad company envisaged a route from nurnberg via bamberg to hof. Due to miscalculations and excessive costs, the project was doomed to fail again as early as 1840.
This was the decision of king ludwig I. After consultation with his minister of the interior, karl von abel, to have a railroad built by law in the direction of the north at state expense. At 14. January 1841 the kingdom of bavaria concluded an agreement with the kingdom of saxony and the duchy of saxony-altenburg to build a railroad from nurnberg via bamberg to the northern border of the empire at hof and from there a continuation in the direction of leipzig. An extension in the direction of the south over augsburg to lindau was made in prospect.
On 1. July 1841, the "royal railroad construction commission" took under friedrich august pauli in nurnberg her work. It was a central office subordinate to the ministry of the interior. After land acquisition, construction work could begin a year later. In honor of the king, this first state railroad line, which ran diagonally through the kingdom of bavaria, was given the name "ludwig-sud-nord-bahn". The royal railroad construction commission also ordered 24 locomotives of the type A I, at that time still called "dampagen", for the operation called.
After the dispute in bamberg over the suitable location of the station square had finally been settled, a meeting was held on 8. July 1844, on the birthday of her majesty queen therese, the foundation stone for the station’s main building was laid.
In honor of his majesty king ludwig I. The train had already arrived on the day of its birth and name, the 25th. August, the opening ceremony of the first section from nurnberg to bamberg was planned. Therefore, haste was the order of the day. Further south, approximately in the area of today’s atrium, a provisional station building, it was only a small wooden house, and a provisional station square had to be erected. A tribune was set up for the ladies, and the merchants’ stand erected a tent. A new road from the railroad station to the city through the lausing, today luitpoldstrabe, was built.
The magistrate drew up a precise schedule for the coachmen who were to drive guests from the station to the city and back on the day of the festival. The royal railroad construction commission in nurnberg laid down a 15-point written program for the participating towns and cities. The munich-ugsburg railroad company detached some of its personnel to assist with the opening ceremony.
Marvelled at like "wonder animals
From the 10. On august single practice and test runs with full trains took place every day. The driving personnel had to familiarize themselves with the new locomotives and learn the operating procedure. The steam cars were greeted by a large crowd like "miraculous animals" marvelled at. On 22. In the evening of august, 300 tickets were distributed so that the citizens of bamberg could also enjoy the ride. Their lucky owners were then able to travel to nurnberg on a trial train the next morning and back again in the afternoon. On 23. August the dress rehearsal for the opening train took place.
About 600 people from nurnberg came to bamberg with the rehearsal processions. The passengers could not praise enough the pleasantness of the ride. All were "very excited with joy for the great feast day.
On sunday, august 25. August 1844, the time had come. For the ceremonial opening of the first section of the line, the royal army marched early to the "already decorated railroad station", where a section of the III. Jager battalion and the cheveauxiegers regiment were installed. The event attracted a large crowd of spectators from near and far, who gathered at the station and along the railroad line. The buildings and the scaffolding were garlanded. The bavarian and saxon flags flew from high poles. As early as 6 o’clock in the morning, the newly opened "bahn-wirthschaft" (railroad inn) served food and drinks freshly baked doughnuts and other food and drink.
His royal majesty could not attend the celebration himself, he traveled to his second born son, king otto of greece. He sent the finance minister, count von seinsheim, to represent him.
At 9 a.M., the festively decorated train consisting of 14 cars arrived with the guests of honor and the locomotive "bavaria" in bamberg a. This locomotive was deliberately chosen for the opening train, because it was driven by J.V. Maffei in munich and was intended to demonstrate the performance of the "vaterlandische werkstatte" (not to be confused with the special mention. The technical miracle was announced by clouds of smoke and a shrill whistle. All reverently evaded.
The honored guests were buried with bollerschussen and festive speeches. His excellency the president of the government of upper franconia, ministerial councillor volz, the city council, the provost, the other civil and military authorities of the city solemnly received the guests of honor. The music bands were drowned out by the cheers of the crowd.
Half an hour later followed the second special train with 15 "uncovered cars" and the locomotive "saxonia" (not to be confused with the saxon locomotive of the same name). The train was manned by the workers involved in the construction of the railroad and the trades, such as locksmiths, blacksmiths, saddlers and wainwrights with their brightly colored guild flags. A third locomotive, the "germania, stood in nurnberg for all cases in readiness.
After the solemn services in the cathedral or in the church. In the protestant church st. Stephan invited about 70 guests of honor to a banquet in the "deutsche haus" a. The extraordinarily mild morning was soon followed by inclement weather. At 14.At 3 p.M. The main train with the guests of honor and the locomotive "bavaria" left back to nurnberg. At 14.30 o’clock the second train with the locomotive "saxonia" followed.
The minister of finance, count von seinsheim, then gave the king a written report on the festivities. He was impressed by the non-abrasive crowds of people slowing down the train, the decorated houses and the shouts of jubilation. However, the tagblatt also printed a certain skepticism about the new means of transportation in its reports. The contemporaries felt that the "fast railroad" made it to deaden the travelers against the passing landscape. It was also mentioned that during the festival there was not the slightest disorder.
The scheduled train service between nurnberg and bamberg was then started on 1 january 2009. October 1844 with initially three pairs of trains each day.
Norbert heidrich is group leader at the foundation bahn-sozialwerk for the railroad history group bamberg.