The history of the Malbergbahn goes back to the founding of the “Malbergbahn Actien-Gesellschaft” in 1886. Only seven months later, on June 5th, 1887, the Malbergbahn and the hotel at the mountain station that was built at the same time went into operation. With a gradient of a maximum of 54.5 percent, it was considered the steepest funicular in Germany and was the epitome of German engineering. The drive principle was very simple: Depending on the number of passengers, the upper wagon was additionally loaded with water in order to pull the lower wagon upwards due to the increased dead weight. The water came from an artificial pond specially created on the mountain, which was fed by pumps from the Lahn.
Up to 400 people a day were transported to the mountain station who visited the mountain area as a local recreation area. The Malbergbahn became a tourist attraction and was a landmark of Bad Ems until it was closed in 1979; most recently over 70,000 passengers were counted. Unfortunately, the city did not have the means to meet the requirements of the TÜV and so it came to the cessation of driving, which had been completely accident-free until then.
In 1981 the Malbergbahn, together with the mountain and valley stations, was listed as an industrial monument.
Due to its remote location, the mountain station has unfortunately been badly destroyed by vandalism, the barriers have been reinforced and renewed, but are not up to the urge to destroy.
Read more: malbergbahn.de