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Sankt Goar – the “mountain bus” to Rheinfels Castle

@ Christian Marquordt

On the middle section of the Rhine – in its most beautiful section between Koblenz and Bingen – lies the town of Sankt Goar in the “Valley of the Loreley”. On the southern boundary of the town – albeit on the other bank of the Rhine – lies one of Germany’s most famous mountains, the Loreley, and above the town the Rheinfels Castle. It is only preserved as a ruin for a long time. Nevertheless, the Prussians (sovereigns from 1815 to 1945) are not entirely innocent of the present state.

These two main attractions, the Loreley and Rheinfels Castle, are connected via the city centre of St. Goar by bus line 699. To call it a “city bus” would be a little too euphemistic, because the fact that it only runs during the “holiday season” from 01 April to 01 November clearly  shows that it is primarily an offer to tourists.

The line is operated by the company “KVG Zickenheiner” from Koblenz. It originally used a Solaris Urbino 10 here and now uses a bus that is unique in Germany, a “mountain bus” from the Swiss company Hess, more precisely a “Scania/Hess K 280 UB”. The bus came second-hand from the TPL (Trasporti Pubblici Luganesi) in Lugano in the canton of Ticino, no. (series 201 to 203).

The road from the city centre up to Rheinfels Castle is as narrow as it is steep, the small Scania/Hess seems to be the perfect fit for this route.

Solaris Urbino midi bus previously used on the route | © Burg Rheinfels Shuttle

Scania/Hess Midibus ex Lugano today in service | © Christian Marquordt