The Treuchtlingen–Würzburg railway is a 140 km long main line in the northwest of the German state of Bavaria. It runs from Treuchtlingen in southern Middle Franconia through Gunzenhausen, Ansbach, Steinach (b Rothenb), Marktbreit and Ochsenfurt to the capital of Lower Franconia, Würzburg. It was opened in three separate sections and is one of the oldest lines in Germany.
The current through line originally consisted of three short lines. Ansbach initially had no connection with the Ludwig South-North Railway, completed between Nuremberg and Augsburg in 1849. It decided to finance a railway to Gunzenhausen, which opened on 1 July 1859 and the Royal Bavarian State Railways took responsibility for operations on the line. The rest of the Treuchtlingen–Würzburg line was only completed after the enactment of the Railway Construction Act of 1861. On 1 July 1864, the Würzburg–Ansbach section was opened. On 2 October 1869, this was followed by the Gunzenhausen–Treuchtlingen section, which was built as the northern part of the Altmühl Railway, which runs from Treuchtlingen through the Altmühl valley through Eichstätt to Ingolstadt.
The route is 140 km long and once had 29 stations, of which 14 are still served. The route is double track throughout and has been fully electrified since 15 March 1965.
The northern section from Würzburg to Marktbreit is served by the Mainfranken Transport Association (Verkehrsverbund Mainfranken, VVM), established in 2004. From Uffenheim to Treuchtlingen the line is served by the Greater Nuremberg Transport Association (Verkehrsverbund Großraum Nürnberg,VGN)
The line formerly had an important role for German north–south long-distance trains. Even today, some pairs of Intercity-Express trains continue to run between Hamburg and Bremen and Munich without stopping between Würzburg and Augsburg. There is also a daily pair of InterCity trains (called the Königssee) and some extra weekend trains, which stop in Treuchtlingen, Gunzenhausen and Ansbach, and sometimes in Steinach.
Regular interval trains run every hour as Treuchtlingen–Würzburg Regionalbahn services, consisting of four or five modernised Silberling carriages, drawn by locomotives of class 111, 112 or 143. Some additional services during peak times on weekdays increase frequencies to approximately 30 minute intervals between Ansbach and Würzburg. Some additional trains run through Würzburg on the Main–Spessart railway to Karlstadt am Main.
The line is of great importance for freight. Many freight trains run on the line from Würzburg to Munich and Nuremberg; the capacity is insufficient in places today. It is used by many locomotive types, and private operators are well represented.
- Bufe, Siegfried (1980). Eisenbahn in Mittelfranken (Railways in Middle Franconia) (in German). Munich: Bufe-Fachbuchverlag. ISBN 3-922138-09-8.
- Heinrich, Peter; Schülke, Hans (1990). Bahnknotenpunkt Würzburg (Würzburg rail hub) (in German). Freiburg: EK-Verlag. ISBN 3-88255-870-9.
- Frank, Jörg and Rolf (1987). Eisenbahnkreuz Treuchtlingen (Treuchtlingen rail crossroads) (in German). Egglham: Bufe-Fachbuch-Verlag. ISBN 3-922138-35-7.
- Schäfer, Jörg; Seiter, Steffen (2009). 150 Jahre Eisenbahn in Ansbach (150 years of railways in Ansbach) (in German). Ansbach: Kempf-Druck.