Rügen under steam: On the road with the “Rasender Roland”
A special family excursion
It’s no secret that Germany’s largest island offers countless sights and plenty of attractive leisure activities. Individual travellers and couples as well as families with children will find a colourful bouquet of impressive and exciting excursion destinations on Rügen all year round. One of the most popular and best-known attractions is without doubt a trip on the Rasenden Roland, Rügen’s lovingly preserved narrow-gauge railway. A ride on the steaming nostalgic trains is an unforgettable experience for young and old at any time of year. That’s why it’s always a pleasure to board and set off!
Railway RügenExperience the island by rail
As one of the last steam railways in Germany, the trains of the “Rügensche Bäderbahn”, as the “Rasende Roland” is officially called, have been running on 750 millimetre gauge tracks between Putbus and Göhren for more than 100 years. The ride in one of the nostalgic passenger cars pulled by a snorting and tinkling steam locomotive takes you across lush meadows, through enchanting forests and along the chic and picturesque Baltic resorts of Binz, Seelin and Baabe.
The train takes about 1 hour to cover the entire 24-kilometre route between the two terminus stations. In the summer months, open panorama carriages are used in addition to the normal closed carriages, from which the wonderful air can be experienced particularly intensively. In addition, dark red buffet cars are sometimes attached to the trains, which provide passengers with snacks and drinks along the way. During the high season, there are three steam trains on the route every day – and two at other times. During the summer months, there is also a route extension between Putbus and Lauterbach Mole.
Tickets are available at the ticket offices in Putbus, Binz, Sellin Ost, Baabe and Göhren. If you board the train at other stations or outside opening hours, you can obtain tickets on the train at no extra charge.
Combine railway romance and shipping with the “Water & Steam” combination tickets.
Speaking of the pier: the “Wasser & Dampf” combination tickets, which have been offered explicitly for several years now, are an excellent opportunity for uniquely beautiful round trips, providing an elegant and family-friendly combination of a narrow-gauge railway trip and a passenger ship excursion on the Baltic Sea. The joint product of the Weiße Flotte GmbH and the Rügenschen Bäderbahn offers you, for example, a trip by steam train from all stations on the route to Baabe or Lauterbach harbour and the subsequent tour by ship at very reasonable prices. This also and especially applies if you are travelling as a family with your children and can make use of the family ticket.
An important tip about the “Water & Steam” combination ticket: As there are limited allotments, it is advisable to book in good time. This is also possible online. However, the tickets must not be available as pure e-tickets, but must be printed out before the journey. Otherwise there may be problems with the train and/or ship staff.
Rasender Roland in the forestShort trips and extended journeys
If you are looking for an inexpensive route to the Roland train from Juliusruh, you should ideally take the route via Glowe, Sagard and Prora to Binz. There are a number of free parking spaces at the “Binz LB” (Länderbahn) station. From here you can start your journey with the “Rasender Roland”. If you don’t have much time, take the train in the direction of Göhren and travel to Sellin. It takes 25 minutes to reach the “Sellin Ost” station, where the return train is already waiting to take you back to Binz. Of course, you can also take an extended trip to Putbus or a tour via Lauterbach Mole and continue to the island of Vilm with the ship that departs there. Click here for the timetables, which differ between low and high season.
By the way: For railway enthusiasts, the Rügensche Bäderbahn offers the opportunity to take a ride in the driver’s cab of a real steam locomotive! If you book in good time, adults and children can look over the shoulder of the engine driver and his stoker during the journey. However, young steam train fans between 6 and 13 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.
Why is the miniature railway actually called the “Racing Roland”?
Many holidaymakers on the island of Rügen wonder how the “Rasender Roland” got its name. After all, the train travels rather leisurely across the island at a maximum of 30 km/h. As the Rügen Tourist Board explains, in the 1960s many miners from the Wismut mining company spent their holidays on the island. At that time, the holidaymakers travelled a lot on the steam trains on the once much larger network of the small railway and felt comfortable in the carriages and so well protected by the railwaymen that they kept bringing up the term “Roland”, the name of the miners’ patron saint. The fact that this Roland then became a “racer” is probably due to a rather ironic addition. The bottom line, however, is that this affectionate name has endured to this day and is now inextricably linked with Rügen’s popular steam railway.