This railway was on top of my wish-to-visit-list for a long time. In March 2006 I had some time so I took the car and shot some pics and did some railtracking. The railway is in a better state than I expected. It runs through the city and there is a large shunting yard near the former coal mine of Zwartberg. There is a lot of railway-historical stuff to find, I enjoyed myself. In August 2007 I went back to finish the reportage.
The line was constructed in 1925 as part of the Coal mine track around Genk. The railway runs from Winterslag to As. It used to have the administrative number 21B. In the second world war the railway line 21A from Boksbergheide to Genk and As was removed by the Germans. The remainder of the railwayline 21A was connected with the Belgian rail network via the coal mine track (21B). Somewhere around this time they must have decided to change the number of this part of the line from 21B to 21A. In may 1983 the Belgian railways stopped passenger service and in 1988 it officially stopped all rail traffic. Freight trains occassionly used the line untill 1992. From 1990 on the railway was exploited by a touristic railway company, which went out of business in 1996. In 2000 the Kolenspoor restarted the touristic railway, it is not clear if there are driving trains on this railway these days.