Following the death of King Ludwig II (1886), his successor, Prince Regent Luitpol, opened the half-finished palace to the public.
By opening the palace to the public, Prince Regent Luitpold laid the foundations for tourism on Lake Chiemsee. In royal times, it was a sensation to be able to visit a royal palace.
Visitors were transported by horse-drawn carriage to the harbour in Prien/Stock from Prien station 2 km away. The hustle and bustle quickly led to traffic chaos in Prien. In 1886, Ludwig Feßler and Georg Kraus therefore commissioned the main owner of the Krauss & Comp. locomotive factory in Munich to build a narrow-gauge railway from the station to the harbour.
Despite difficult land negotiations, construction work was able to commence on 2 May 1887. Chiemsee Railway was ceremoniously opened just 70 days later, on 9 July 1887, and officially began operating on Sunday 10 July 1887.
The initial ticket office was built on the national rail station forecourt - i.e. to the west. The then around 1.9 km long Chiemsee Railway route crossed the tracks of the national railway at the site of today's railway underpass in Seestraße. This accident black-spot was only eliminated with the expansion of the national railway in winter 1908/09, when Chiemsee Railway was moved to its current location to the east of the national railway.
Using timber from the palace on Herreninsel, a large engine shed was built at the harbour in Stock, where the locomotives and carriages were housed until 2011 and any necessary repairs undertaken. The dilapidated shed was pulled down in 2011 when the harbour was redeveloped.
The chequered history of Chiemsee Railway...
At the beginning of its career, Chiemsee Railway was a successful company that transported both people and goods. Coal arrived in Prien by rail, was shovelled into the two Chiemsee Railway goods wagons at the station and taken to Stock, where it either found its way into the fire boxes of the steam boats or was transported to Herreninsel where it was used to heat a brewery and the palace waterworks.
Even illustrious visitors used Chiemsee Railway. Members of the Bavarian royal household were also welcome guests, as were the Duchess of Modena, Archduchess Valerie of Austria and the Shah of Persia.
Chiemsee Railway survived the period during and between the two world wars unscathed, even though its operation was partially restricted and entirely discontinued from 1944. The service only resumed with the summer timetable in 1949, but was unable to withstand the increasing motorisation and anti-rail policies of the post-war period.
On 5 July 1965, Chiemsee-Bahn Feßler & Comp. was dissolved as a company and incorporated into Chiemsee-Schifffahrt Ludwig Feßler KG.
To mark its 100th birthday, the lounge car, which had been given to a museum, was repurchased and fully restored, thereby making Chiemsee Railway complete again, with all its nine carriages.
In 1887, Lokomotivenfabrik Krauss & Comp. in Munich delivered an L IIV box locomotive to Lokalbahn AG. From 9 July 1887 until today, this locomotive has been running between Prien station and Prien harbour/Stock, making it one of the world's oldest operational steam locomotives.
- Manufacturer: Krauss & Comp., Munich
- Type: L VII
- Model: Bn2t
- Serial number: 1813
- Year of manufacture: 1887
- Speed: 25 km/h
- Link motion: Stephenson
- Boiler: Jung, 1950
- Length: 5,100 mm
- Wheelbase: 1,800 mm
- Weight: 13.3 t
- Output: 60 PS
In operation at Chiemsee Railway since 1887
In 1961, Halberger Hütte in Brebach (Saar) - founded in 1756 - ordered a diesel-hydraulic locomotive from Deutz AG. This locomotive was used as its works locomotive from 1962 until 1981. Chiemsee Railway purchased this locomotive in December 1982. In Prien, the locomotive was adapted to resemble the existing steam locomotive. Its old metal cladding was removed, its engine block given a boiler-like casing and a dummy chimney attached. During its conversion in spring 2016, this decorative cladding was removed again.
- Manufacturer: Klöckner Deutz AG, Köln
- Type: KG 125 BS
- Model: B
- Serial number: 57499
- Year of manufacture: 1962
- Speed: 18 km/h
- Length: 6160 mm
- Wheelebase: 1450 mm
- Weight: 14 t
- Output: 151 kW
- 1962 - 1982: Werksbahn Halberger Hütte, Brebach (Saar)
- Since 1982: Railway Chiemsee-Bahn
Chiemsee Railway initially featured a first-class lounge car. The carriage was built by MAN along the lines of the "Kaysersberger Talbahn". The carriage remained in service unchanged until shortly after the Second World War and was decommissioned in 1949. In 1975, the lounge car with its luxurious armchairs and velvet sofas was donated to a private museum in Marxzell near Karlsruhe, where it was never publically exhibited. In a dark shed, the ravages of time took their toll on the beautiful carriage. In 1993, it was repurchased by Chiemsee Railway for DM 12,000. The luxurious carriage was largely restored in its own workshop, and put back into service on 29 April 1995.
- Manufacturer: MAN, Nürnberg
- Serial number: 40322
- Year of manufacture: 1887
- Length: 8730 mm
- Wheelbase: 2700 mm
- Weight: 5,27 t
- Places: 24
- 1887 - 1975: Railway Chiemsee-Bahn
- 1975 - 1993: car collection in Marxzell
- Since 1993: Railway Chiemsee-Bahn
Gebr. Schöndorff AG from Düsseldorf delivered 15 open freight cars to the Krefeld tram network in 1923. After the Krefeld tram network stopped transporting freight in the 1950s, some of the surplus freight cars were used as service wagons. Freight car no. 843 was used as a sand wagon until 1974, when it was then acquired by Selfkantbahn in Geilenkirchen.
Chiemsee Railway took possession of the goods wagon in 2014. Following its restoration, it is intended to remind visitors of the freight traffic on the route from Prien station to Prien/Stock harbour.
- Manufacturer: Gebr. Schöndorff AG, Düsseldorf
- Year of manufacture: 1923
- Serial number: 6013
- Length: 6300 mm
- Wheelbase: 2750 mm
- Loading surface: 11,1 qm
- Particular feature: the cast iron wheel set is from Bergische Stahl Industrie and not from Schöndorff.
- 1923 - 1974: Straßenbahn Krefeld, Krefeld
- 1974 - 2014: Selfkantbahn, Geilenkirchen
- Since 2014: Chiemsee-Bahn