During a bus ride from Annaberg-Buchholz to Schwarzenberg, we pass the Markersbach Viaduct (Markersbacher Viadukt). Since 1889 it spans a side valley of the Große Mittweida in Saxony. Today it is part of a test track. [German]
The matchstick bridge – the Markersbach Viaduct
I’m a fan of trestle bridges. If I see any, I’m thrilled. This is because they are rare in Europe. Their design is more at home in the USA. But in August 2008, I had good luck. During a bus trip, we passed the Markersbach Viaduct.
The bus drove slowly. I had enough time to study the filigree construction. The curved fishbelly straps soften the otherwise straight lines of steel and iron. Local people call the railway viaduct “matchstick bridge”. What makes sense to me.
Unfortunately, no train was on the bridge to see. The railway line has not been used for regular service for a long time. Only trains of the Erzgebirgischen Aussichtsbahn glide over the bridge for excursion trips. Then visitors experience the scenery by using rail busses with the funny nickname “Ferkeltaxe” (piglet taxi).
Smart Rail Connectivity Campus
But the route fulfils another task as well. It serves as a test track for the Smart Rail Connectivity Campus. Trains with innovative control systems use the railway line for tests without having to pay attention to scheduled services.