The former Trans-Venn railway line was built early in the 20th century to allow a swift German advance through neutral Belgium in the event of a military confrontation with France.
The Trans-Venn railway formed a crucial supply-line to the Western Front for the German army during the First World War, after which it saw relatively little use in the post-war period.
NATO had the Trans-Venn line reopened in 1985-86 to transport troops to the Elsenborg military exercises site. After the fall of the Iron Curtain, however, these operations were gradually wound down, and discontinued completely in 1999.
The Venn railway, which had been used by Belgium's SNCB primarily for freight, had been abandoned in 1989. A heritage train then ran until 2001. Given the non-availability of resources needed to decontaminate the land, the tracks were subsequently lifted, and the formation was converted into today's cycle track as part of the European Interreg project.