1. History of the horsetram in Döbeln
At the end of the 19th century a frantic economical development
was carried out in the city known as the so-called “Gründerzeit”.
In connection with that, Döbeln became an important railway junction.
The distance between the blooming city centre and the highly travelled
railway junction however amounted to 2 kilometres. In those times the
tram was regarded as an appropriate transportation of local traffic.
It should be designed as a tram run by horse power adequate to the
technological situation in those years and with frugal investment.
Between 1892 and 1926 the horse-drawn tram carried approximately
500 passengers on a total distance of 2,5 kilometres. Up to 12 horses
were on duty for 7 passenger services, for 3 post-vehicles and for
2 salt vehicles (to keep the rails free from ice). Remains of the
rails in front of the city hall on “Obermarkt” reminded of the horse-
tram until the middle of the year 2006.
old post-card, horsetram on the “Obermarkt” in Döbeln with townhall
2. The reanimation
In order to make the city of Döbeln more attractive, the idea of reanima-
ting the horsetram was born in 2001. This project – almost unique in
Europe – would strengthen the image of the city and also gain economical
importance for merchants and restaurant owners as a touristic attraction.
In january 2002 the „Traditionsverein Döbelner Pferdebahn e. V.“ was
logically founded to realize this idea.
2.1. Objectives of the association
2.1.1. Building and running of a historical horsetram
The first aim of the association is the building of a horsetram route in the
city centre of Döbeln where the historical tram will carry its passengers
in leisurely speed through the limited traffic zone of the city and will
discover its beauty at special times or events. On the one hand tourists
from all over Germany shall be attracted by that to get to know part of
the history of Döbeln and the Saxonian coziness.
On the other hand a special attraction for families with children from
Döbeln as well as from its surroundings would be created. Of course,
rides could be arranged for associations, class reunions,staff parties
and so on when ordered.
2.1.2. Establishment of a horsetram museum
First of all the memory concerning the horsetram shall be reanimated
within the heads of the citizens, the administration of the city and the
local committies. Just as the examination of the history and the collection,
processing and documentation of information in order to present it to the
interested public in an exhibition. Therefore a horsetram museum shall be
established. Because there used to be horsetrams in more than 90 towns
and there still are some exhibits there, there are realistic chances for
realizing this concept. Over 1700 horsetrams exist worldwide – a subs-
tantial potencial for a museum.
future depot and horsetram museum in Döbeln
2.1.3. Increase of the city’s attractiveness
By reaching the aims successfully, a remarkable increase of the city’s
attractiveness can be achieved. Döbeln is the only town in Germany
where a historical tram on tracks is pulled by horses through the city
centre. In our highly mechanized and fast-moving time, such a historical
transportation – just as the restored horsetram – radiates a unique
fascination to people of different age and interests.
It is of great importance that the horsetram is the origin of all our local
traffic transportation and that there is no establishment so far, which
presents and honours its history. The combination of the use of the horse-
tram and the museum will even increase the attraction of the town. By
combining that with other technical sights in the surroundings, positive
effects are possible for the whole region.
3. The idea
As already described in the part concerning the association’s objectives,
the idea is justified by the history of the city of Döbeln. The objectives
of the association are forward-looking and difficult to realize, because
they require considerable strains in order to realize them. But just
because of that the association deserves special attention - from the
citizens as well as from representatives of media, the administration
but especially from nation-wide prospects. The foundation took place
in January 2002. At this time there were no tracks, no horses, no vehicles
and especially no money, only 25 very aspiring members.
3.1 The first vehicle
In the summer of 2003 an original historical tramcar of the year 1897
could be salvaged. The collection took place with great media interest;
the association informed the media in time. It was published in important
regional newspapers; the local TV channel filmed the collection and
televised this event in the evening programme. The providing of the
vehicle that was owned by a private person until then, however caused
the establishment of a terrace on the costs of the association. This was
reached with a great amount of physical strength and existing building
vehicle of the year of 1897 before the collection
3.2 Markets and events
A range of souveniers and products has been chosen early, that present
the association in an elegant way. The following products have been
purchased (that can be sold on markets as well as ordered online –
see on www.doebelner-pferdebahn.de):
- informative literature: flyers, brochures, DVD
- post cards: historical motives as well as current ones
- spitits: an own beer brand with own etiquette and a range of alcoholic
berverages (liquors...) with suitable
proper names, e.g. “Kutscherwärmer”
- chocolate: chocolate packed in a tiny bucket made of tin („Pferdeäppel“)
and chocolate bars with historical motives
- coins: the former means of payment of the tram has been recoined in
copper and silver with a certificate
- pieces of tracks: original pieces of the tracks have been sawed and
fastened on a wood pedestal
- others: more articles like horseshoes, miniatures made of wood, tote
bags and rulers complete the range.
brochure of the association, 115 pages
an alcoholic beverage
The participation on markets of the region proved as a gainful business.
On the one hand the association is presented and the conversations at
the market booth help finding new members, on the other hand the
proceeds of the sell can be used for the association. The sell is
done by the honory work of many mambers. Annual christmas markets,
summer parties in the city and regional trade fairs are suitable
occations for the association.
3.3 The presentation of the assocation
The most important highlight so far was the street party on the occasion
of the first rides on the restaurated horsetramcar in June 2007, which
was organised by the asociation. Thousands of guests visited this event;
they took the opportunity to get to know the city and its various cultural
offers for two days. The associasion invited other associations to organise
a street party together. So the offer was widened and a diversified event
to linger was created.
First test rides in the city centre
Street party in June 2007
ASSOCIATION OF THE TRADITIONAL
HORSE TRAMWAY OF DOEBELN
In 2001, the idea to revive the traditional horse tramway in Doebeln
was born, an idea unique in Germany as well as Europe. The aim of
this project was to strengthen the image of the city and to make the
traditional horse tramway an important tourist attraction. In 2002, the
“Traditionsverein Döbelner Pferdebahn e.V” association was established
for the implementation of this idea. The first aim of the association was
to construct a rail tram in the centre of Doebeln on which the traditional
horse tram will take its passengers around the beauties of the city. Thus,
tourists from Germany and abroad can get to know part of the history and
culture of the city. Additionally, the association aspires to establish a
museum around the theme of “Horse tramways” in Doebeln.
In June 2007 the official opening of the Doebeln horse tramway took place
with a big street party.Finaly in June 2009 the opening of the
“Deutsches Pferdebahnmuseum Döbeln” was the second big party in
the city and so the next aim is arrived.
Address: Association of the Traditional Horse Tramway of Doebeln,
Niederwerder 6, Döbeln, Saxony, Germany
Name of Project Coordinator: Jörg Lippert
Telephone: +49 3431 701959
Fax: +49 3431 701967
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