Frankfurt City Tunnel

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Frankfurt City Tunnel
S-Bahn Rhein Main Type 420.JPG
S3Frankfurt S3.svg train to Bad Soden at Hauptbahnhof low level, ET 420
Locale Frankfurt, Hesse, Germany
Line number 3681
Route number 645.2, 645.5, 645.6
Route map
 Operating points and lines[1] 
To Mainz, Wiesbaden, Bad Homburg, Friedberg
Hauptbahnhof ramp
50.0 Frankfurt (Main) Hbf underground
50.8 Taunusanlage
U-Bahn from Praunheim/Hausen
51.6 Hauptwache
52.2 Konstablerwache
U-Bahn to Ostbahnhof/Enkheim
~52.6 to North Main S-Bahn (planned)
53.0 Ostendstraße
53.8 Frankfurt Schlachthof junction
54.4 Lokalbahnhof
End of Frankfurt City Tunnel (4,728 m)
South Main line to Frankfurt South
Line to Hanau
54.4 Mühlberg
End of Frankfurt-Mühlberg Tunnel (1,633 m)
South Main line to Offenbach
Offenbach City Tunnel
South Main S-Bahn

The Frankfurt City Tunnel is standard gauge railway in Frankfurt and the core of the Rhine-Main S-Bahn. The line runs underground for its entire length.

Central Station to Konstablerwache[edit]

S2Frankfurt S2.svg train at Taunusanlage station
Entrance to City Tunnel near Frankfurt South station

The first section was put into operation on 28 May 1978 to Hauptwache. S-Bahn trains began operating on the Taunus Railway (S1), the Main-Lahn Railway (S2), the Limes Railway (S3), the Kronberg Railway (S4), the Homburg Railway (S5) and the Main-Weser Railway (S6) after climbing a ramp under the former postal station in the tunnel and reached the surface about 500 metres east of the central station. The Main Railway service (S14, now S8), was introduced shortly later.

The line runs northeast for about 700 metres from the central station to Taunusanlage station, built on the site of the old city walls near the Alte Oper and the Deutsche Bank Twin Towers. The tunnel bends to the east and after 250 metres it joins Tunnel C of the Frankfurt U-Bahn, which was built together with the City Tunnel under the Freßgass (the pedestrianised streets of Kalbächer Gasse and Große Bockenheimer Straße, named after its eateries) to Hauptwache. In 1983, the city tunnel was extended, largely in a cut and cover tunnel, 600 metres to the east beneath the Zeil to Konstablerwache. This section is also a joint tunnel with the U-Bahn; the S-Bahn lines run between the U-Bahn lines.

The tunnel has a train frequency of roughly 28 trains per hour in each direction, that is one train every two minutes. During the rush hour the frequency is approximately one train every two minutes.

Tunnelling under the Main[edit]

The next major phase of construction followed in 1990 when the line was extended in a southeasterly direction. Ostendstraße station was built between the streets of Hanauer Landstrasse and Ostendstraße. 300 meters further south the route crosses the Main. The tunnel was built by digging a trench in the river bottom and sinking the tunnel tubes into it, half the river at a time. After passing under the Main the tunnel divides: One branch runs in the direction of Sachsenhausen where it runs under the Sachsenhausen old town to Frankfurt Lokalbahnhof and then climbs a ramp to the embankment of the South Main railway to Frankfurt South station. At the South station the S-Bahn connects with regional and main line services was built, trams and the U-Bahn.

The second section, which was completed in 1992, branches off to the east on the Sachsenhausen side after the passage under the Main towards Muhlberg. Then the line comes to the surface prior for a few kilometres until the next station at Offenbach-Kaiserlei where the Offenbach City Tunnel begins. This underground section has three underground stations and ends at Offenbach Ost station, where the Rodgau line branches off.

Branch to Ostbahnhof[edit]

Between Konstablerwache and Ostendstraße stations the entrance for a tunnel branching towards Frankfurt East station was built for the proposed north Main branch of the S-Bahn to Hanau.


  1. ^ Eisenbahnatlas Deutschland (German railway atlas). Schweers + Wall. 2009. ISBN 978-3-89494-139-0.