In the previous instalment of this column, we mentioned a narrow-gauge railway on one of the East Frisian Islands built in the 19th century to join a ferry harbour on the isle's south coast with a settlement located by the open sea (Gone are the horses, gone are the aeroplanes (well, sort of)).
The same scheme was in fact repeated across all of the islands irrespectively of their, to put it gently, quite a conservative meridian extent.
The very shallow, open to ocean tides, Wadden Sea made it possible. When high tide enabled the sailing of passenger steamers, the islands' southern parts were covered by a thin layer of "navigable" water, albeit for horses only…
To make passenger transport efficient, safe, and comfortable, more innovation was introduced, namely, railways built on boardwalks that stretched over wetlands and beaches. Heck, sometimes even entire harbours were erected on piles!
A few postcards from the inselbahn.de gallery can aid your imagination how a rail journey during a stormy, very high spring tide looked.
Photos: Wikimedia Commons