Main–Weser Railway

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Main-Weser Railway
(Main-Weser-Bahn)
Route number: 614.9 (RegioTram to Treysa)
620 (Kassel–Gießen)
630 (Gießen–Frankfurt)
645.6 (S-Bahn to Friedberg)
Line number: 3900
Line length: 199.8 km (124.1 mi)
Track gauge: 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Voltage: 15 kV, 16⅔ Hz AC
Maximum speed: 160 km/h (99.4 mph)
Southern part only
0.0 Kassel Hbf
Halle-Kassel railway to Hann. Münden
Frederick William Northern Railway to Warburg
1.5 L 3420
2.6 K 32
2.7 Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe
4.3 Hercules Railway(metre gauge) and L 3218
Kassel-Naumburg railway
6.3 K 2
7.0 B 520
Oberzwehren junction
7.6 L 3219
Oberzwehren crossing structure
7.9 Kassel-Oberzwehren
8,9 A 49
10,0 A 44
10.6 K 15
10.7 Baunatal-Rengershausen
11,4 Hannover–Würzburg HSL to Fulda
13.5 Bauna
Frederick William Northern Railway (to Bebra)
13.7 Baunatal-Guntershausen
16.3 L 3221
16.6 Edermünde-Grifte
17.2 Grifte–Gudensberg Light Railway
18.2 Eder
20.0 Felsberg-Wolfershausen
23,2 K 151
23.5 Felsberg-Altenbrunslar
23.9 L 3222
26.3
27.3 L 3220
27.4 Felsberg-Gensungen
30.3 Schwalm
33.9 Wabern)
34.0 B 254
Edersee Railway to Bad Wildungen
34.4 Forststraße
35.4 L 3148
36.2
36.9
37.3 L 3148
37.4 Uttershausen junction to Wabern Kimm
37.8 Schwalm
38.7
39.3 L 3149
39.4 Singlis
PREAG siding
42.6 L 3384
42.9 Borken (Hessen)
43.4 PREAG power station and mine railway
Hessian Brown Coal Mining Museum
44.6 PREAG siding
45.7 L 3149
47.4 L 3067
48.7 L 3067
49.1 L 3149
49.2 Zimmersrode
Kellerwald Railway to Gemünden (Wohra)
50,1
51.5 L 3074
54.7 Schlierbach (Schwalm-Eder-Kr)
54.7 K 56
56.7 L 3067
60.7 Treysa(until 1908)
61.1 B 454
61.5 Schwalm
61.9 Leinefelde–Treysa railway
61.9 Bad Hersfeld–Treysa railway
62.0 L 3145
62.3 Treysa(since 1908)
63.3 Road overpass
67.0 B 454
67.1 Schwalmstadt-Wiera
67.9 K 105
70.1 B 454
71.0 L 3263
71.1 Neustadt (Hessen)
72.2 L 3071
76.0 Wasserscheide (watershed) block postWeser and Main
80.0
81.4 Herrenwald-Kaserne industrial siding
81.4 (Fritz Winter Eisengießerei industrial siding )
Herrenwald-Kaserne
82.1 Stadtallendorf
82.5 L 3290
83.1 B 454
86.4 K 15
Ohm Valley Railway (from Gemünden (Felda))
89.1 Hindenburgstraße
89.2 Kirchhain
89.5 L 3073
Wohra Valley Railway to Gemünden (Wohra)
90.1 Wohra
90.2
90.8 K 11
93.5 K 31
94.2 Anzefahr
95.2
96.7
97.3 Bürgeln
98.0 B 3
99.2 B 62
99.5 Lahn
99.8 Lahn
Upper Lahn Valley Railway to Erndtebrück and
Burgwald Railway to Frankenberg (Eder)
100.3 Cölbe
101.4 Lahn
101.6 L 3089
102.0 Siemensstraße
102.1 B 3
103.2 L 3089
104.2 Marburg (Lahn)
104.5 Rudolf-Bultmann-Straße
Marburg Mitte(planned)
105.8 L 3089
107.1 L 3088
107.2 Marburg SouthPassenger station until 1956
107.4 Marburg-Süd
107.6 Heizöllager until 1998
107.7 Marburg District Railway
108.5 B 255 / L 3125
108.6 Industrial siding until 1998
108.7 to Dreihausen
109.1 B 3
110.0 Lahn
110.5 B 255
111.9 Niederweimar
114.5 K 60
Aar-Salzböde Railway to Herborn (closed 2002)
115.4 Niederwalgern(Keilbahnhof)
116.0 K 59
118.5 L 3048
118.9 Fronhausen (Lahn)
119.6 DB siding substation
119.6 Lahn
122.8 Friedelhausen
122.9 K 26
125.0
125.3 Lumda Valley Railway from Londorf
125.9 Lollar
to Lollar–Wetzlar railway to Wetzlar
128.7 A 480
132.9 Gießen Oswaldsgarten
133.0 K 28
133.3 L 3499
133.6 Wieseck
Vogelsberg Railway to Fulda and…
Lahn-Kinzig railway to Gelnhausen
134.0 Gießen(Keilbahnhof)
135.5 Dill Railway to Siegen and Koblenz Hbf
135.7 L 3475
135.7 B 49
Dill Railway to Siegen and Koblenz Hbf
136.4 Straßenüberführung
136.6 Gießen-Bergwald
137.5 A 485
139.7 Großen Linden
140.0 L 3129
141.2 A 45
143.4 Langgöns
143.5 L 3133
146.1 Kirch-Göns
151.0 Butzbach-Lich railway(connecting curve…
151.3 …to HLB workshop and line to Münzenberg)
151.3 B 3
151.9 Butzbach
152.6 L 3053
154.6 Ostheim (Butzbach)
156.9 A 5
151.3 B 275
160.6 Steinfurther Straße
Butzbach-Lich Railway
161.9 Bad Nauheim
162.4 L 3143
163.1 B 3
163.2 Salinenstraße to Schwalheim
164.4 B 455
164.3 Horloff Valley Railway from Hungen/Nidda
165.0 Rosental Viaduct
165.1
165.6 Road overpass
165.7 Friedbergterminus S6Frankfurt S6.svg
Friedberg–Friedrichsdorf railway
Friedberg–Hanau railway
166.5 B 275
167.3 Bridge over the Görbelheimer Hohl
170.1 Bruchenbrücken
172.8 Rosbach Bridge
173.0 Nieder-Wöllstadt
B 3
176.2 Okarbensince 1894
178.4 Groß-Karben
179.2 Industrial siding
181.4 Dortelweil
Nidder Valley Railwayfrom Stockheim
183.6 Bad Vilbel
184.5 Nidda Bridge
184.9 Bad Vilbel Süd
B 3
187.5 Frankfurt-Berkersheim
189.3 L 3003
189.4 Frankfurter Berg(Frankfurt-Bonames until 1986)
191.6 Frankfurt-Eschersheim
U-Bahn lines U1, 2, 3
193.2 Bundesgartenschau…
… to be re-opened as Frankfurt-Ginnheim
U-Bahn line U1
195.4 S-Bahn overbridge
from Frankfurt-RödelheimS3Frankfurt S3.svg, S4Frankfurt S4.svg and S5Frankfurt S5.svg
right line and branch-off to: Homburg Railway
196.4 Frankfurt West
197.3 Frankfurt Messe
former central goods station
198.1 Frankfurt Galluswarte
Main-Lahn Railway, Taunus Railway
Main-Neckar Railway, goods track
Hauptbahnhof approach(Main Railway etc)
City Tunnel
199.8 Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof
Frankfurt Main-Weser station(to 1888)

The Main–Weser Railway (German: Main-Weser-Bahn) is the railway line in central Germany that runs from Frankfurt am Main via Gießen to Kassel and named after the railway company that built the line and also operated it until 1880. It was opened between 1849 and 1852 and was one of the first railways in Germany.

Route[edit]

Based on today’s kilometre markers the line is 199.8 km (124.1 mi) long between its termini. It is double-tracked and electrified. Its maximum speed limit is 160 km/h (99.4 mph), but this is only achievable in places on the southern part of the line. The Main–Weser Railway is one of the most important conventionally operated German railways.

History[edit]

Main-Weser station in Frankfurt in 1889
Covered forecourt at Kassel Wilhelmshöhe station
Signal box on watershed between Weser and Rhine rivers

The idea of building the Main–Weser Railway began in 1838 as a link between Kassel and the Rhine-Main area running exclusively through the territory of Hesse-Kassel (Kurhessen) and connecting the major cities of the electorate from Kassel to Hanau via Fulda. At that time it proved impracticable to build such a line (the route of the Frederick William Northern Railway and the Frankfurt–Bebra railway) because of its mountainous route, particularly at the watershed between the Fulda and Kinzig valleys at Distelrasen, where a tunnel was only completed in 1914.

So instead from 1841 negotiations commenced with some other states and was interrupted several times. On 5 April 1845, a treaty was signed between the Free City of Frankfurt, the Grand Duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt and the Electorate of Hesse-Kassel, establishing a joint state railway company, known as a condominium railway (Kondominalbahn). This established the legal basis for the line via Marburg, Gießen and Friedberg through easier terrain to the originally preferred route, but which crossed national boundaries several times. In the southern sector the route ran after its exit from the Main-Weser station in Frankfurt approximately parallel with the street of Taunusstraße (at that time, only partly built), along the current streets of Friedrich-Ebert-Anlage and Hamburger Allee to the then Kurhessen town of Bockenheim, now the site of Frankfurt (Main) West station. It then ran again through the territory of Frankfurt in Hausen, through Kurhessen in Eschersheim, and through Frankfurt territory in Bonames. The line then went through the Grand Duchy of Hesse town of Boden bis Friedberg, then a piece of Frankfurt-owned territory in Dortelweil. Bad Nauheim was a Kurhessen enclave within the Grand Duchy of Hesse exclave of Oberhessen through which the line ran to Gießen. Under the treaty, each of the participating governments were responsible for the purchase of land on their territory. Financing the construction of the line proved to be more difficult. Construction occurred during the turmoil of the revolutions of 1848 and a financial crisis in the Grand Duchy of Hesse.

Work began on 6 August 1846 in Kurhessen territory. Here the Belgian engineer Frans Splingard and his colleague Edward Hacault were in charge. In Frankfurt construction was directed by Remigius Eyssen. The building of station on almost all sections of the line in Kurhessen was directed by Julius Eugen Ruhl, the first Director General of the Kurhessen railways. The first section between Kassel and Wabern was opened on 29 December 1849. The first continuous rail service from Kassel to Frankfurt ran on 15 May 1852, after the opening of the line between Gießen and Langgöns, connecting the northern and the southern sections of the line.

The second track was added in 1865—following twelve years of negotiations. The cooperation of the participating countries had not improved despite rapidly developing rail services. The second track significantly eased the transport of Prussian troops in the War of 1866, a war which led to the annexation by Prussia of two of the states involved in Main–Weser Railway, Hesse-Kassel and the Free City of Frankfurt. Their shares were subsequently transferred to Prussia. In 1880, Prussia also acquired the Grand Duchy of Hesse’s shares in the company.

Until the completion of the Frankfurt–Bebra line in 1866, all express trains between Frankfurt and Berlin ran on the Main–Weser Railway. These trains ran on to the Frederick William Northern Railway at Guntershausen to connect with the Thuringian Railway. Express trains continued to run from Frankfurt to Berlin via Kassel until the end of World War II. In the following years of the American occupation trains also ran on this route. In 1878/79 the TreysaLollar section of the line was incorporated into the strategic railway known as the Kanonenbahn (English: Cannons Railway) built between Berlin and Metz.

During the 1960s, the first section of the line was electrified between Frankfurt and Giessen; electrification of the line was completed on 20 March 1967.

Operations[edit]

Two long distance routes run on the Main–Weser Railway. These are the cross-country routes of Intercity line 26 running at two-hour intervals between Karlsruhe or Konstanz and Stralsund or Hamburg-Altona. From December 2009 to December 2011 a pair of Euro City trains on line 62 ran from Siegen to Klagenfurt over the line between Giessen and Frankfurt, stopping at Bad Nauheim. Regional-Express train services operate between Frankfurt and Kassel and between Frankfurt and Siegen. The latter leave the line in Gießen, requiring a reversal. Regionalbahn trains operate between Marburg and Giessen and between Giessen and Friedberg. Line S6 of the Rhine-Main S-Bahn operates between Friedberg and Frankfurt South through the City Tunnel. The section between Treysa and Kassel is operated by RegioTram Kassel tram-trains as line RT 9. The RegioTram line commenced in May 2007 but initially only on weekends, it has since replaced the Regionalbahn trains on weekdays as well.

Many trains on the lines branching from Bad Vilbel, Friedberg, Giessen and Cölbe use some of the main line.

Many freight trains operate on the route including container trains and trains carrying farm equipment (such as tractors and combine harvesters) from factory. The line is also regularly used for military movements.

References[edit]

  • Brake, Ludwig (2000). "Über Fulda oder über Gießen—die Entstehung der Bahnverbindungen zwischen Kassel und Frankfurt im 19. Jahrhundert (Around Fulda or Gießen—the development of the rail links between Kassel and Frankfurt in the 19th Century)". Jahrbuch für Eisenbahngeschichte (Yearbook of Railway History) (in German) 32. pp. 5–16. 
  • Eisenbahnatlas Deutschland (German railway atlas) (2007/2008 ed.). Schweers + Wall. 2007. ISBN 978-3-89494-136-9. 
  • Krause, Günter (2000). "Die Lokomotiven der Main-Weser-Bahn (The locomotives of the Main-Weser Railway)". Jahrbuch für Eisenbahngeschichte (Yearbook of Railway History) (in German) 32. pp. 17–27. 
  • Landesamt für Denkmalpflege Hessen (State Conservation Hesse), ed. (2005). Eisenbahn in Hessen. Eisenbahnenbauten- und strecken 1839-1939 (Railways in Hesse. Rail construction and lines 1839-1939) (in German) 2.1,. Stuttgart: Theiss Verlag. pp. 142ff (Strecke 010). ISBN 3-8062-1917-6. 
  • Münzer, Lutz (2000). "Verkehr und Anlagen der nördlichen Main-Weser-Bahn (Transport and facilities of the Northern Main-Weser Railway)". Jahrbuch für Eisenbahngeschichte (Yearbook of Railway History) (in German) 32. pp. 28–60. 
  • Münzer, Lutz. "Vom Kondominat zur Preußischen Staatseisenbahn—aus der Geschichte der Main-Weser-Bahn zwischen (From Condominium to Prussian State Railways—from the history of the Main-Weser Railway) 1866–1880". Zeitschrift des Vereins für Hessische Geschichte 107 (in German). pp. 291–314. 
  • Münzer, Lutz (2004). "Von der Main-Weser-Bahn zwischen 1866 und 1880 (From the history of the Main-Weser Railway 1866 and 1880)". Jahrbuch für Eisenbahngeschichte (Yearbook of Railway History) (in German) 36. pp. 91–104. 
  • Sieburg, Dankwart (2000). "Zur Entwicklung der Eisenbahnerschließung im Raum Treysa/Neustadt (On the development of railways in the Treysa/Neustadt area)". Jahrbuch für Eisenbahngeschichte (Yearbook of Railway History) (in German) 32. pp. 61–84. 
  • Peter Schubert; von Uwe Lischewski, Bildteil (1995). Der Viadukt. Der Rosentalviadukt in Friedberg (The viaduct. The Rosental Viaduct in Friedberg) (in German). Friedberg: Bindernagelschen Buchhandlung. ISBN 3-87076-075-3. 

External links[edit]