Experience technology - experience history! Climb aboard, please!
Under this heading, the members of the "Linie D" association, which was founded at the end of 1992, are dedicated to the history of local public transport in the city of Düsseldorf and the region. The association has always been recognized as a non-profit organization.
All Düsseldorfers and, of course, other interested parties are cordially invited to learn more about urban mobility. Among other things, this has been possible since 2013 in the Rheinbahn streetcar train NF8 U 3375, whose design was created by association members and which advertises the association in daily operation. In the car, we provide insights into a range of exciting topics relating to local transport. Thus, the daily streetcar ride is an additional unexpected information and entertainment for many passengers.
Public transport is a multifaceted topic that literally leaves "traces": traces in the image of a city, a region.
These traces are first and foremost the tracks of the Rheinbahn, over which almost every citizen of the city has traveled or travels from their home to their workplace or to school. Moreover, Oberkassel on the left bank of the Rhine - one of Düsseldorf's most attractive residential areas - is an entire district that would look very different without the Rheinische Bahngesellschaft. In addition, a vehicle industry existed in the city that contributed significantly to the development of the modern tramway in Europe.
These traces are different for everyone - and emotionally charged - and surprisingly positive. The delays and overcrowded trains are soon forgotten, but the fun with the schoolmates remains in the memory and the stern conductor who gave the departure signal with the bell enjoys a lot of sympathy in retrospect. Almost everyone has their own private experiences with trains and buses. Those who, as members of the association, are regularly present on the historic special trips as drivers, train attendants or city guides, hear such stories again and again and almost always look into happy faces.
Meanwhile, more than 25 years ago, a few like-minded people in Düsseldorf from the Rheinbahn environment got together, for whom it was no longer enough to experience such beautiful moments themselves, but to create something so that they could also be consciously experienced by others.
The result is the association "Linie D - Arbeitsgemeinschaft historischer Nahverkehr Düsseldorf e. V.", usually just called "Linie D" for short. Today, the association is supported by around 180 members.
On the one hand, the name of the association refers to the well-known "D" in the license plate of the North Rhine-Westphalian state capital, but on the other hand it also quotes the historical line designation of the long-distance line "D" that has connected Düsseldorf with the neighboring city of Duisburg to the north since 1900 (today U79).
From the very beginning, there was the idea of creating a place in and for Düsseldorf to document the importance of public transport for the quality of life of its citizens and the development of their city. The historic vehicles of the Rheinbahn, which have been preserved more completely and, above all, in working order than in any other German public transport company, can be presented in a suitable context.
At present, the association's efforts are concentrated on the depot "Am Steinberg" in the Bilk district, as it ideally offers everything that is required for this purpose - in particular the possibility of offering rides with the vehicles from there for the interested public. The more than 110-year-old depot, which is a listed building due to its unusual hall construction at the time of construction, has no longer been required for Rheinbahn's regular service since 2012 and is waiting for a new use.
It is indispensable for the association to disseminate its activities and ideas to the public and to solicit broad support in this way. The already mentioned NF8 U makes an important contribution to this. Furthermore, we inform - not only the fans - on the Internet about the latest news from the Düsseldorf local transport, supplemented by Facebook.
The club magazine <Linie D> has also found its place among the interested public. Every six months, it is devoted to a wide range of historical and current topics and publishes the latest research findings, e.g. the history of Düsseldorf's depots, which has never been presented in such detail despite the existing literature.
Our members deal with the history of local transport in the Rhineland in various working groups:
For Düsseldorfers, the most visible activities are certainly the trips with the historic vehicle fleet of the Rheinbahn. Around four hundred times a year, the old-timers are on the road in the city, mostly with members of "Line D" on board, who get the trains moving as drivers and train conductors.
Over the past decades, the Rheinbahn, employees of the transport company and committed private individuals have preserved a large number of operable trains and buses with the active support of the association. From the "wooden car" of 1921 to the yellow Düwag articulated cars of the 1960s to the GT8SU light rail car, the latest addition to the collection, the city's transportation history can be experienced - literally. At the same time, these vehicles are evidence of the development of German streetcar technology and Düsseldorf's industrial history.
The model construction group of "Line D" is dedicated to the construction of tramway models according to the Düsseldorf model in H0 and 2m scale. The respectable collection on detailed model layouts is an attraction for young and old at many an open day.
Of course, we also collect everything else that has any relation to local transport in and around Düsseldorf. The Archive/Documentation working group looks after what is probably the largest collection on Düsseldorf's local transport history, ranging from photos, literature, historical documents, timetables and tickets to uniform parts and other evidence of the 125-year history of the Rheinbahn.
Work, work, work ...? Yes, there's no other way.
But also the common fun of this engagement does not come too briefly. So the association also occasionally goes on trips to other transport companies to take a look behind the scenes. Monthly meetings, joint theme evenings and festivities round off the club's life.
Become a Member
If you would like to support us with a donation, we would be very pleased. Line D" has been recognized as a non-profit organization since its founding. We will gladly issue you a donation receipt.
Your donation will be used for the activities of the association. It is also possible to donate for the construction and operation of the planned Historical Tramway Museum "Am Steinberg". In this case, please specify "Donation - Am Steinberg depot" as the intended purpose.
Our bank details at the Stadtsparkasse Düsseldorf:
IBAN: DE53 3005 0110 0061 0051 79