Nature protection


Compensatory measures in the context of the doubling of the Luxembourg-Pétange line

In order to improve the offer on the Pétange – Luxembourg line and to offer half-hourly services among others, CFL had to convert the line into a double-track line. The measures required to improve the infrastructure have left their mark on both nature and landscape in the southwest of the country. In the spirit of sustainable development, the railway company developed measures for the ecological compensation of the environmental impact together with the  "Administration de la Nature et des Forêts" (Nature and Forest Authority) and the "Administration de l'Eau" (Water Authority).

One of these measures concerns the Dreckwiss wetland between Bascharage and Sanem. By discharging the Rouerbaach tributary into the Chiers riverbed, the old floodplain was re-humidified. At the same time, a sustainable use of the wetlands was put into practice in cooperation with a local farmer. Robust Angus cattle now use the pasture for extensive grazing all year round.

On a 2.8 km trail with didactic panels, CFL and its partners explain the various measures and reveal the fascinating Chiers floodplain.

The educational nature trail leads around the protected area along the pastures, the wetlands and the waters and leads through the wet areas on wooden footbridges.


The Rouerbaach in the original Chiers riverbed

The Chiers river was straightened in the 60s and diverted into a new and deeper riverbed. This resulted in the drying-out of the old Chiers floodplain in the Dreckwiss area and the disappearing of the rich biodiversity of the floodplain vegetation.

In the course of the compensatory measures for the doubling of the Pétange - Luxembourg line, the Dreckwiss was re-humidified through the discharging of the Rouerbaach river. By redirecting the Rouerbaach over a length of 130 m, the connection was made with the dried-out but still existing Chiers riverbed. Through this measure as well as through appropriate and extensive grazing, the rich flora and fauna of the floodplain will be able to re-develop over the coming years.

The low depth of the river course causes extensive wetness with constantly changing levels of humidity. Periodical flooding of larger surface areas and a dynamic water balance are the basis of the ecological diversity of the restored floodplain. Furthermore, raising the groundwater level should have positive effects on the hydrology of the surrounding landscapes.


Access to the Dreckwiss

From the parking area next to the church

in the centre of Sanem via "rue de la Chiers" and "rue de

la Fontaine".

The departure of the trail is located

at about 1 km from the centre of the village.

Please wear robust shoes.


Train stations

– Bascharage / Sanem

CFL line 70, 2 km away

– Niedercorn

CFL line 60, 2.5 km away


– Bascharage / Sanem – Sanem centre

TICE lines 3, 13, 14

Trois Cantons cycling path

Via Bascharage / Sanem station

at 0.4 km from the departure point of the trail.


Environmental compensation measures for the new Luxembourg - Bettembourg line

On 6 August 2014, 24 nest boxes for bats were installed in 7 different locations in the municipality of Roeser, in groups of 4 or 2 at a height of 5-6 metres. There are two different types of boxes: 'Fledermaushöhle' (19 boxes) and 'Fledermausgrossraumhöhle' (5 boxes).

Another compensation measure for this site is the transfer of amphibian populations from Brucherweier pond to a compensation pond created in Fennerholz forest. In order to save the populations of the various species of amphibians protected at national level, a first transfer of these populations and of frogspawn was carried out in spring 2014.

For 13 days, the amphibians in Brucherweier pond were captured in cages or using fishing nets.

In total the following were transferred:

  • 342 Alpine newts
  • 244 Palmate newts
  • 3 Brown frogs
  • 2 Common toads

A third compensation measure within this project is the collection of seeds from the oenanthe aquatica (waterfennel) plant. In order to preserve the oenanthe phellandrium (waterfennel) plant, which is on the red list of vascular plants in Luxembourg, seeds were collected in mid-August 2014 from Brucherweier pond. Some of these seeds will be saved in the seed bank at the Musée national d'histoire naturelle (National Museum of Natural History), while the remaining seeds were transferred into Fennerholz compensation pond in order to create a new station for the plant.

New plantations were also created in the municipalities of Hesperange, Roeser and Berchem (total of 8.68 ha).





Environmental compensation measures in the context of the works for the new Kirchberg-Pfaffenthal installations (Red Bridge):

As part of the construction works for the funicular which will link line 10 with Kirchberg, an area of 1.4 hectares has already been reforested in Roeser and there are plans to plant more trees over approximately 2,350 m2 in Kirchberg at the end of the project (end of 2017 - start of 2018) in order to restore the ecological balance. In addition, 10 nest boxes for bats were installed in 2014.