One day around Duisburg

Located in the industrial Ruhr area, a lot of rail-related activity goes on in the Duisburg region. The railway network looks like a giant spread-out spaghetti dish – all over the place and seemingly disorganized.

Totally unexperienced in this area, I decided to finally start exploring. It was a  rainy Saturday. Thus my main expectations were moody shots in abandoned as well as non-abandoned industrial settings.

I chose Duisburg as a starting point because of the presence of the busy port, generating traffic hauled by a multitude of smaller and larger private operators. I found the seemingly disorganized network very confusing, despite the number of maps I was carrying with me (google maps on the phone, German road atlas on a decent scale showing also railroads, GPS map). What I also didn’t know is that the whole Ruhr area is an Umwelt zone, requiring a special green sticker on the car’s windshield. Driving around without one means risking an 80€ fine.

All in all it took a while to find my first spot to shoot some photos. ( I must admit that, before arriving in the Ruhr area, I halted in America on the Eindhoven – Venlo line, and in Aldenkerk on the Geldern – Krefeld line). Located on the main line coming from the Netherlands is located a junction between several – abandoned and non-abandoned – railway lines. Standing on one of the abandoned bridges I got to see 6 trains in only 30 minutes… 3 of which were coal trains.

DBS 189 038 DBS 189 050

After these photos it was time to move on. A lot of driving around didn’t deliver more good photo opportunities though. Some sightseeing, yes, like the gas-o-meter. I discovered that a lot of the places can be reached on foot, or by bicycle.

In the last light of the day I wanted to find one of the bridges crossing the Rhine river. Turns out it has a foot path as well. It delivers good views on some industrial tracks. The rain had started again though, so after 2 photos I decided to get to a dry spot: my car and a Burger King close to Venlo 🙂

DB 425 070

This trip was a discovery. Without much preparation, I got a glimpse of the vastness and density of the area. A few things to keep in mind for next time, or tips for other people who would like to explore this area:

  • Transport. Next time I’ll purchase an Umwelt vignet (available at the german car dealerships apparently). Or, even more invironment friendly: throw a bicycle in the trunk and get rid of the car outside of the Umwelt zone.
  • Do more research about what can be expected where. I found out, afterwards, that the final destination of the coal trains from Rotterdam is located in Oberhausen. Following where the coals go next would be a good starting point for next time.
  • Do more research about what can be expected where. Again :). I found out, afterwards, where the main lines run. And indeed, that’s where some interesting traffic could be seen. Those would also be a good starting point for next time.

I like to just leave unprepared sometimes and see what the day brings. This day, however, proved that some preparation can be very useful.

3 thoughts on “One day around Duisburg

  1. Tip: sowieso voor Duitsland een Umweltsticker aanschaffen, dat is neit zo duur en is gebonden aan de auto en kan verschillende jaren aan een stuk gebruikt worden.
    Wel best interessante plaatsjes die je gevonden hebt. Kan je makkelijk op die brug komen aan de hoofdlijn tussen Oberhausen en Emmerich of is het klauteren?


    1. Dat ben ik sowieso aan het overwegen.
      Het idee met de fiets blijft anders ook aantrekkelijk… geen parkeerproblemen en minder last van de drukte.


    2. Die brug bevindt zich op volgende coördinaten: 51.500014, 6.847924
      Je kan daar de auto heel gemakkelijk kwijt. Het punt is te bereiken door de oude spoorwegberm op te klimmen. Een beetje klauteren, maar het valt best mee.


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