The Bridgehunter’s Chroinicles News Flyer:
16 September, 2011- Reuth (Vogtland), Germany. Auctioning something off can take on the impossible. One can auction off a house but not a bridge, right? In Reuth, located 85km northeast of Bayreuth and 25km northeast of its nearest town of Hof in southwest Saxony has entered the unknown to prove that anyone in the town of 1100 or the surrounding area can buy the bridge at the price they are willing to bid. Faced with lack of funding to support the community, the town is auctioning off its railroad bridge located just outside of town at its train station. The 100-year old Howe pony truss bridge, which spans a rail line and carries pedestrians, is very unique because of its vintage lampposts at each end of the structure plus its arch-like heel bracing located beneath the bridge deck. The bridge is currently in the way of progress as the German Railways is planning on electrifying the Franconia-Saxony Express route which connects Dresden and Nuremberg, stopping at Bayreuth, Hof and Chemnitz and features the Göltzschtal and Elstertal Viaducts, located 30 km northeast of Reuth. Currently, all overhead lines, which had started in Chemnitz, have stopped at Hof and plans are in the making to extend further southwest, with a goal of completing the project by 2013, which may include reintroducing the ICE trains, which have been out of service since 2004. Because of vertical clearance issues, the pedestrian bridge will need to be removed so that the electrification process can continue through the town.
According to Reuth’s mayor, Ulrich Lupart, the bidding (which is available online via eBay) will start at 10,000 Euros, which is the price for scrap metal. Persons interested in the bridge will bear the responsibility of dismantling the structure and re-erecting it wherever he pleases. The mayor envisioned it being erected at an amusement park or over a valley at nearby Peropolis, when asked about future purposes by central Germany’s radio station, MDR-Info (stationed in Halle (Saale)) It is unknown how long the auction will last, but Lupart plans to have the bridge demolished should there be no takers, which he claims the town will have to bear the cost itself for that and would receive less money when it is sold for scrap than it would if it was auctioned off.
While little info was given about the bridge, the Freie Press newspaper, located in Dresden, provided a photo of the bridge, which one can click on the link below. Those interested in the bridge should look at the eBay site as it has been posted with details. Otherwise they are asked to contact the town of Reuth for more details. Should the bridge be successfully auctioned off, it could serve as an incentive for other towns to do the same both in Germany and Europe as well as in the US, as the financial crisis has tightened the belts of many communities, making plans for rehabilitating and reusing historic bridges almost impossible to achieve due to lack of funding. The Bridgehunter’s Chronicles wishes the mayor and the community of Reuth best of luck with its endeavors.
Links (only in German):