The 96 kilometre (60 mile) route between Germany’s fourth largest city, Cologne, and one of the country’s oldest cities, Koblenz, runs parallel to the west bank of the Rhine for much of the journey, giving passengers spectacular views across the Rhineland-Palatinate area of West Germany.
The earliest section of the line opened on 15 February 1844 between Bonn and St Pantaleon, Cologne’s former main station. It was then extended in 1856 and 1859 to include Cologne Central Station.
Koblenz is an important interchange in the south for services along the Mosel Valley to France and south to Mainz whilst Cologne is an important local, national and international train hub with more than 280,000 daily travellers frequenting the station. At the midpoint of the route, the former West German capital of Bonn accommodates regular ICE trains that serve much of Germany.
The route forms the southern stretch of Deutsche Bahn’s RE5 ‘Rhein Express’ service, which runs from Emerrich in the north west to Koblenz. Hourly intercity and ICE services, Regio passenger trains and various freight operations also frequent the line. Even the occasional heritage special can be seen in between the busy commuter services.
Medieval towns and castles along the line, plus river barges passing serenely by remind passengers of the historic area they travel through between the two densely urban cities of Cologne and Koblenz. Large freight yards at Bruhl and Bonn-West are also well-known features, as well as the DB Museum at Koblenz-Lützel, which occupies a former depot linked to the main line.
Included with the route is a DB BR 146.0 electric locomotive and Doppelstock (double-decker) coaches forming the RE5 ‘Rhine Express’. A DB BR 294 diesel locomotive with freight wagons and DB BR 101 with passenger coaches also add a variety of services on the route.
Six scenarios for the route:
- The Day Shift
- Winter Journey to Remagen
- Stormy Trip to Bonn
- Night Drive to Cologne
- Container Empties to Cologne
- Freight to Andernach
- 96km (60 mile) route between Cologne and Koblenz, via Bonn
- 22 passenger stations serving some of West Germanys medieval towns
- Large freight yards at Bruhl and Bonn-West
- DB Museum at Koblenz- Lützel
- DB BR 146.2 with Doppelstock coaches
- DB BR 294 with freight wagons
- DB BR 101 with passenger coaches
- Scenarios for the route
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