Rack railway



Kořenovská zubačka” is only a drop in the ocean of Czech railways. The structural length of the initial Tanvald – Kořenov railway line (called Tannwald – Schumburg – Grünthal in those days) was 7.186 km, the operational length was just 6.651 km, values which rank it as an insignificant local railway. Our railway line was built as part of the Liberec – Tanvald – state boundary route with a connection to the Prussian state railways state boundary – Petersdorf – Hirschberg, so it was a railway line of minor length but international importance. Another figure makes the railway line technically interesting – on the mentioned 6.7 km it overcomes a height difference of 235.1 m. While overcoming this great difference in elevation over a short distance it reaches as steep a gradient as 58 per mil. Because of this extreme inclination the line was constructed using rack railway technology, which cannot be seen anywhere else in the Czech Republic. The line leads almost to the Jizera Mountains ridge and connects them to the Giant Mountains, so it attracts the attention not only of railway enthusiasts but also tourists and skiers. Originally, it was important mainly for freight traffic – it connected the industrial zones of the Liberec and Jablonec region with the coalfields in neighbouring Silesia. There were originally four stations (Tanvald, Desná, Dolní Polubný and Kořenov) and one stop (Kořenov zastávka) on our line, called "Polubenka” by local railwaymen. During the operation, so-called simplified traffic was established there, so the dispatchers gradually disappeared from the stations and then also other personnel, and the former stations are now stops and loading areas, and only the starting station of Tanvald has maintained its formal status. After the Second World War and modification of the state borders, part of the Prussian line with its former stop of Strickerhäuser, now Harrachov, was connected to “Polubenka”, by which the line reached a length of 12.721 km. After the war, traffic across the border was stopped so “Polubenka” partially lost its importance. The fact that there are four bigger bridges and four tunnels with a total length of 1422.5 m along the 6.7 km line, which means that 21 % of it runs through tunnels, relates to the mountainous character of the railway. There is one tunnel on the joined former Prussian part and just before it there is one large bridge that spans the deep valley of the Jizera River.

StreetKrkonošská 256
City468 41 Tanvald
GPSN50.7433294 E15.3113272

Jizerky CARD -


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