Bahnfreunde Rhein-Neckar-Pfalz e.V.

Rail Traffic in the Rhine-Neckar-Region

Rail Traffic in the Rhine-Neckar-Region can be structured like this:

Local Passenger Taffic on metric Gauge
  An essential part of local passenger traffic in our region is carried out on one of the largest metric-gauge rail networks in germany. Not less than five companies share that network:

The tramway companies serve the connections within the cities, only two lines of the Heidelberg tramways lead outside the city.

The OEG and RHB railways serve the region in style of an interurban. The metric gauge network is completely electrified by overhead line (600 or 750 Volts DC) and nearly all traffic services are carried out with electric traction. Normally, the different companies' vehicles stay within their own areas - different vehicle widths, curve radiuses, single direction cars, different electric potential and not at least the driving personal's line knowledge keep from using all vehicles freely thoughout the net.

Local Passenger Traffic on Regular Gauge
  German Railways' sub-company DB-Regio serves the region. Most of the lines are beeing served in intervals of 30 or 60 minutes. Due to an effort of the state of Rheinland-Pfalz, some lines that were closed down since many years, have been reopened through the nineties - a very successful act, like the number of passengers shows.
Ludwigshafen depot is home for class 143  and 146 electric locos and a large number of regional train passenger cars. On electrified lines, regional trains are beeing hauled by the classes 110, 111, 143 and 146. From may 1999 to spring 2000, two brand-new DB cargo class 145 locos have been tested in Mannheim - Koblenz passenger services. This has led DB Regio to order slightly different class 146 locos, which have been delivered through the year 2001.
On diesel lines, most trains consist of railcoaches (classes 612, 628, 629 or 643), the conventional trains are beeing hauled by class 218. Classes 212 and 213 locos have been transferred to other regions in mid-1999 and are not being used in our region anymore.

Regionalization of local public transport leads new companies to appear in this section of rail traffic. A first example gives the "Eurobahn", a subcompany of the Bahngesellschaft Waldhof, carrying out the passenger traffic on the reopened line from Alzey to Kirchheimbolanden. Much longer, there's the Suedwestdeutsche Verkehrs-AG (SWEG), serving the lines from Meckesheim to Aglasterhausen and Hueffenhardt. For future, a net of suburban railway lines (S-Bahn) is planned - DB-Regio has won the competition to find an operator and will serve the S-Bahn lines with brand new class 425.2 multiple units.

Long distance Passenger traffic
  Main meeting point for the long distance trains ist the Mannheim main station. From here, InterCity-Express (ICE) trains, InterCity trains and InterRegio trains take you to any corner of germany.

International train links (EuroCity trains) exist to:
  • France (Paris, Strasbourg)
  • Italy (Firenze, Milano, Pisa, Ventimiglia)
  • the Netherlands (Amsterdam)
  • Austria (Bludenz, Innsbruck, Klagenfurt, Vienna)
  • Switzerland (Basle, Chur, Genève, Brig, Zurich)
  • Czech republic (Prague)
  • Hungary (Budapest, Debrecen)

All the long distance lines are electrified with the normal System used by german railways (overhead line, 15,000 Volts, 16.7 Hertz AC). InterCityExpress trains are formed of ICE-1 (class 401), ICE-2 (class 402) or ICE-T (Class 411) train sets, conventional trains are pulled by class 101, 103 or 120 locos. Double system locos class 1812 haule the EuroCity trains to France.

Rail Cargo
  Goods traffic on rail is mostly carried out through Railion Deutschland, a subcompany of german railways (former DB Cargo). Mannheim switching yard is one of the biggest cargo terminals in germany. The DB Cargo loco depot next to this station is home of class 140, 155 and 185 electric and 290, 294, 333, 335 and 360 to 365 diesel locos, but classes 150, 151, 152 , 181, 182, 189 and 218 can also be met with goods trains.

A remarkable amount of goods traffic is caused by the local industry, especially the main works of BASF chemicals in Ludwigshafen. BASF owns a works railway that doesn't only secure internal functions but also runs trains on the german railways network. Short distances are served by BASF itself. Long distances are beeing served by new "rail4chem" railway company, on wich BASF participates.
A growing part are cargo services carried out by private railway companies, such as Häfen- und Güterverkehr Köln (HGK), rail4chem, Eisenbahn Mittlerer Neckar (EMN), or swiss SBB Cargo.

Historical railway
  Only one museum railway exists in this large area: the so-called "Kuckucksbaehnel" (cuckoo-train) line from Neustadt via Lambrecht to Elmstein. This line has been closed by german railways in the seventies. A steam train consisting of historical loco and coaches from the Neustadt railway museum connects the town of Neustadt to the village of Elmstein, located in the palatinate forest. Link to its website (german language only): Eisenbahnmuseum Neustadt

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page created by R. Dissinger
last updated on 12/22/2007