Moers – Kamp-Lintfort regional line

This proposal would use old alignments north of Moers, for local services to Kamp-Lintfort, possibly with a new section. It is complementary to the proposed new line across the Rhine from Oberhausen to Moers.

Moers (population 107 000) is on the Niederrheinstrecke – the former rail line along the Rhine left bank between the Ruhr and Nijmegen. It now stops at Xanten, and carries a limited Regionalbahn service Duisburg – Xanten. Kamp-Lintfort (population 39 000) lies 8 km north-west of Moers. It is a mining town, dominated by Bergwerk West, incorporating the former Friedrich Heinrich mine. This is the last remaining deep coal mine on the Lower Rhine, and is scheduled to close in 2012.

The mine (Friedrich Heinrich shafts 1/2) was served by a separate coal line to a harbour at Homberg (now connected to the Niederrheinstrecke at Rheinkamp). There was originally no link from Moers toward Kamp-Lintfort via this line. A never-completed line from Meerbeck junction (Abzweigstelle) to Geldern passes south of Kamp-Lintfort.

Click to enlarge: even though it was never brought into use, the 1918 Meerbeck junction – Geldern line is clearly visible, as a diagonal line on the image, from north of Moers to south of Geldern…

So the proposed line can not be considered a ‘re-opening’: there never was a passenger rail line from Moers to Kamp-Lintfort. The simplest option is to use the never-opened alignment from Meerbeck junction. Trains would reach it over the Niederrheinstrecke (shown in orange), with a possible new station at Baerler Strasse / Bismarckstrasse.

The ‘new’ line (white dashed line) would have stations at the Rheinberger Strasse, and at the Kamper Strasse. Housing and commercial buildings there, and at Utforter Graben, would need to be demolished. After the crossing with the Autobahn A57, a short section (beside the Norddeutschland-strasse) would connect the line to Kamp Lintfort. There, it would use the existing coal line, ending at a station on the Friedrichstrasse, about 500 m from the centre.

A more difficult option is a new alignment in tunnel, through Utfort, Eick, and Repelen (shown in blue). It would also diverge from the Xanten line at the Meerbeck junction, and descend into tunnel. It would then run north-west under the Rathausallee, probably in cut-and-cover tunnel. The first station would be at the crossing with the Rheinberger Strasse, at the 1910 town hall (Rathaus). In Eick and Repelen, the line would need a bored tunnel, as it can not follow a main street alignment. It would join the coal line to Kamp-Lintfort, at the Kamper Strasse. However, this is an active mining area: it will suffer subsidence, for decades after the last mines close. That makes tunnel construction difficult, even if the mines themselves are much deeper (500-1000 m).

Both route options are about 11 km long. If services start at Moers, then a light-rail option would be appropriate. If trains go further, for instance south to Krefeld, then only a heavy-rail S-Bahn service would be appropriate.

Moers – Kamp-Lintfort regional line

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