Tauber Valley Railway

The Tauber Valley Railway (German: Taubertalbahn) is a single-tracked, unelectrified, standard gauge railway between Wertheim and Crailsheim in the state of Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany. It runs alongside the Tauber to Weikersheim, then along the Vorbach and Blaubach rivers. It is recorded in the timetable as route no. 782. Until 9 December 2006 it had been route no. 788.

Tauber Valley Railway
Overview
Native nameTaubertalbahn
TypeHeavy rail, Passenger/freight rail
Regional rail
StatusOperational
LocaleBaden-Württemberg, Germany
TerminiCrailsheim
Wertheim
Stations24
Line number
  • 4953 (Crailsheim – Bad Mergentheim)
  • 4922 (Königshofen – Bad Mergentheim)
  • 4120 (Neckarelz – Heidingsfeld)
  • 4920 (Lauda – Wertheim)
Operation
Opened23 October 1869
OwnerDeutsche Bahn
Operator(s)DB Bahn
Technical
Line length100.3 km (62.3 mi)
Number of tracksSingle track
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Operating speed100 km/h (62 mph)
Route number782
Route map

Upper Jagst Railway from Aalen
Hohenlohe Railway from Heilbronn
0.0
Crailsheim
409 m
0.4
Bridge over the Jagst
to Nuremberg
5.1
Satteldorf
9.0
Wallhausen (Württ)
14.5
Rot am See
16.2
Brettenfeld
from Langenburg
until 1996
22.2
Blaufelden
462 m
26.8
Kälberbach
29.1
Schrozberg
34.4
Oberstetten
37.8
Niederstetten Tunnel
(273 m)
38.6
Niederstetten
40.9
Vorbachzimmern
44.7
Laudenbach (Württ)
47.9
Weikersheim
236 m
Gau Railway to Ochsenfurt
until 1992
49.3
Bridge over the Tauber
50.7
Elpersheim
53.5
Markelsheim
56.0
Igersheim
58.4
Bridge over the Tauber
57.8
Kurpark
59.0
Bad Mergentheim
205 m
60.3
6.1
former Württemberg / Baden border
3.9
Edelfingen
203 m
2.4
Unterbalbach
0.0
113.6
Franconia Railway from Stuttgart
113.6
Königshofen (Baden)
192 m
116,1
Lauda
192 m
116.1
0.0
Franconia Railway to Würzburg
4.1
Distelhausen
186 m
4.4
A 81 bridge
5.4
Dittigheim
from Königheim
until 1968
7.6
Tauberbischofsheim
190 m
12.5
Hochhausen (Tauber)
181 m
17.5
Niklashausen
18.8
Bridge over the Tauber
(95 m)
19.0
Gamburg (Tauber)
168 m
19.3
Gamburg Tunnel
(203 m)
21.5
Bronnbach Tunnel
(349 m)
22.8
Bridge over the Tauber
(81 m)
23.8
Bronnbach (Tauber)
161 m
26.7
Reicholzheim
157 m
28.2
Reicholzheim Tunnel
(542 m)
from Lohr
until 1979
31.4
Wertheim
141 m
Main Valley Railway
to Aschaffenburg
Source: German railway atlas[1]

History

After the completion of surveys of the area in 1858, work for the Tauber Valley Railway started in 1864 with the survey of the route. Actual construction of the Tauber Valley Railway began in October 1866 on the LaudaWertheim section and in August 1868 construction began on the Mergentheim–Crailsheim section, which cost almost 16 million gulden. The first section between Lauda and Hochhausen was completed in 1867 and the rest of the line was completed a year later. On 23 October 1869, operations on the Lauda–Mergentheim and the Mergentheim–Crailsheim sections were officially inaugurated by officials of the governments of the Kingdom of Württemberg and Grand Duchy of Baden. On that day, it became possible to travel for the first time all the way from Wertheim to Crailsheim. The Tauber Valley Railway from the beginning was of a great importance for travelling for the “cure” in Bad Mergentheim. In the summer of 1939, through coaches ran from Berlin to Bad Mergentheim. During the Second World War, the Tauber Valley Railway was spared from air raids, with the exception of minor destruction in Lauda and Crailsheim. In the 1950s, an express train ran between Frankfurt and Ulm on the Tauber Valley Railway. Through coaches ran again to Bad Mergentheim from Hamburg and Duisburg as well as from Dortmund after 1968. These services ended in 1988 or 1989.[2][3]

Current situation

Deutsche Bahn has threatened to close the Tauber Valley Railway several times, but this has not come to pass. In 2003 extensive renovation and modernisation work started on the line, including the laying of new tracks on part of the line, the renewal of level crossings, the cleaning of the track bed and the restoration of a damaged railway embankment near Lauda. These measures cost about €15 million. Since October 2009, the Niederstetten tunnel has been extensively renovated and the section between Schrozberg and Niederstetten has been overhauled. Since 1 January 2006, the DB subsidiary Westfrankenbahn has maintained the railway infrastructure as well as operated services on the Tauber Valley Railway.

Passengers

As a result of cycling tourism in the Tauber Valley and the neighbouring Main Valley, many cyclists use trains on the line. So the Main Valley Railway and the Tauber Valley Railway are served from March to October by special carriages for bicycle transportation. On the second Sunday in August there is a car-free Sunday in the Tauber Valley. On this day the Tauber Valley road is closed to traffic and it used only by bicycles and inline skaters. Special trains operate on the Tauber Valley Railway on that day with discounted tickets and excellent accommodation for bicycles, which is well used.

Since 10 September 2007, Satteldorf station has been reopened in the industrial area of the village. At the same time, the bus services was profoundly restructured to focus on the station and reduced on the parallel road.[4]

Following the reopening of Satteldorf, an interest group fought for the reopening of the station in Wallhausen (3,500 inhabitants), which took place after several delays on 15 December 2013.

The line is predominantly operated with class 628 diesel multiple units.

Train crash in Schrozberg

Two Regional-Express trains crashed on 11 June 2003, killing six people and injuring others.[5]

References

Footnotes

  1. Eisenbahnatlas Deutschland (German railway atlas) (10 ed.). Schweers + Wall. 2017. pp. 87–8, 95. ISBN 978-3-89494-146-8.
  2. "140 Jahre Tauberbahn". Wertheimer Zeitung (in German). 5 September 2009.
  3. "Die Linie hat durchaus eine Zukunft". Fränkische Nachrichten (in German). 17 October 2009.
  4. "Timetable changes" (in German). Verkehrsverbundes Kreisverkehr Schwäbisch Hall. 10 September 2007. Retrieved 13 February 2012.
  5. "Barrierenstörung mit tragischen Folgen". Eisenbahn-Revue International (in German) (8–9): 339. 2003. ISSN 1421-2811.

Sources

  • Hans-Wolfgang Scharf (2001). Eisenbahnen zwischen Neckar, Tauber und Main. Volume. 1: Historische Entwicklung und Bahnbau (in German). Freiburg (Breisgau): EK-Verlag. ISBN 3-88255-766-4.
  • Hans-Wolfgang Scharf (2001). Eisenbahnen zwischen Neckar, Tauber und Main. Volume. 2: Ausgestaltung, Betrieb und Maschinendienst (in German). Freiburg (Breisgau): EK-Verlag. ISBN 3-88255-768-0.

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