Hanover–Würzburg high-speed railway

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Hanover–Würzburg high-speed railway
SFS Hannover-Wuerzburg.png
Native name Schnellfahrstrecke Hannover–Würzburg
Line number 1733
Line length 327 km (203 mi)
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Minimum radius 5,100 m (16,700 ft)
Electrification 15 kV/16.7 Hz AC overhead catenary
Operating speed 280 km/h (170 mph) (maximum)
Maximum incline 1.25%
Route number 351
Hanover–Würzburg high-speed railway
old line to Göttingen
13.5 Laatzen Ritterkamp crossover
18.1 Gifte crossover
21.0 old Göttingen–Hanover line
25.3 Escherde operations station
Lehrte–Nordstemmen line
29.5 Sorsum junction from Hildesheim
29.5 Escherberg Tunnel(3,687 m)
34.4 Diekholzen crossover
34.9 Eichenberg Tunnel(1,157 m)
36.8 Eggeberg Tunnel(332 m)
37.3 L 485 bridge(135 m)
42.9 Almstedt operations station
45.8 Kassemühle Viaduct(690 m)
48.3 Netze crossover
48.5 Riesberg Tunnel(1,322 m)
54.8 Gehrenrode crossover
56.2 Ohlenrode Viaduct(968 m)
58.0 Helleberg Tunnel(1,598 m)
60.0 Mahnmilch Viaduct(200 m)
60.6 Wadenberg Tunnel(420 m)
Gande Viaduct (396 m),
  Braunschweig–Kreiensen line
62.1 Orxhausen operations station
63.4 Hopfenberg Tunnel(717 m)
Aue Viaduct (1,056 m)
  Kreiensen–Kalefeld line
66.6 Sohlberg Tunnel(1,729 m)
68.9 Ahlshausen crossover
69.5 Krieberg Tunnel(2,994 m)
B 3
Hanoverian Southern Railway
from Hanover
(flying junction)
A 7
Edesheim (Leine) Nord(junction)
77.3 Edesheim (Leine)(junction)
Edesheim (Leine) Süd(junction)
78.4 Rhume Bridge (554 m), Rhume
South Harz Railway from Nordhausen
Northeim (Han)
(High-speed line bypasses Northeim)
81.7 Solling Railway to Ottbergen
82.2 Sudheim crossover
B 3
89.2 Nörten-Hardenberg
93.4 Bovender Cover (400 m)
95.8 Line from Bodenfelde
Göttingen freight yard
99.4 Göttingen
B 3
former Garte Valley Railway (narrow gauge)
Line to Bebra
101.9 Göttingen Siekweg(junction)
Former Dransfeld Ramp to Hann. Münden
A 7
105.1 Grundbach Viaduct(450 m)
106.5 Mengershausen crossover
108.4 Leinebusch Tunnel (1,740 m)
110.7 Endelskamp Tunnel (673 m)
112.0 Jühnde operations station
112.7 Mackenrodt Tunnel (849 m)
114.4 Rauheberg Tunnel (5,210 m)
120.0 Lippoldshausen crossover
120.5 Werra Viaduct (415 m), Werra, B 80
Hannoversch Münden–Eichenberg line
121.0 Münden Tunnel (10,525 m)
124.2 Kattenbühl crossover
130.0 Lutterberg crossover
131.8 Mühlenkopf Tunnel (1,345 m)
Fulda Viaduct, Kragenhof (250 m), Fulda,
 Lower Saxony / Hesse state border
134.2 Lohberg Tunnel (1,072 m)
Hanoverian Southern Railway
from Hannoversch Münden
(flying junction)
135.5 Ihringshausen
B 7
Line from Warburg
140.4 Kassel Nordwest A(junction)
Kassel Rbf (marshalling yard) Nord
141.6 Kassel Nordwest B(junction)
Kassel Rbf
Line to Kassel Hbf
Line to Kassel Unterstadt
Line from Kassel Hbf
Warburg–Kassel line
144.2 Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe
Line to Hessisch Lichtenau
Line to Naumburg
147.7 Kassel Oberzwehren junction
Oberzwehren junction structure
(1,147 m), A 49
149.7 Keilsberg crossover
150.0 Rengershausener Tunnel (1,592 m), A 44
Line to Gießen, Line to Bebra
151.7 Fulda Viaduct, Fuldabrück (422 m), Fulda
154.0 Dörnhagen Tunnel (739 m), A 7
155.9 Üst Schwarzenbach
156.2 Schwarzenbach Viaduct (660 m)
157.1 Kehrenberg Tunnel(2,400 m)
159.7 Trockene Mülmisch Viaduct(320 m)
160.5 Körle Ost operations station
161.7 Mülmisch Viaduct(870 m)
162.8 Erbelberg Tunnel(200 m)
163.1 Breitenbach Viaduct(440 m)
163.6 Hainbuch Tunnel(1,520 m)
165.2 Kaiserau Tunnel(1,861 m)
166.8 Kaiserau crossover
167.1 Kehrenbach Viaduct(306 m)
167.5 Weltkugel Tunnel(1,641 m)
169.2 Pfieffe Viaduct (812 m) B 487
former Cannons Railway,
170.8 Wildsberg Tunnel(2,708 m)
172.0 Haina-Wildsberg crossover
173.8 Fulda Viaduct, Morschen (1,450 m), B 83
Friedrich-Wilhelms Northern Railway
175.3 Sengeberg Tunnel (2,807 m)
178.2 Heidelbach Viaduct(390 m)
179.6 Licherode
180.7 Schalkenberg Tunnel(2,829 m)
183.7 Ersrode crossover
183.7 Hainrode Tunnel(5,370 m)
189.4 Mühlbach crossover
189.8 Mühlbach Tunnel(1,553 m)
191.6 Schmitteberg Tunnel(321 m)
192.0 Geisbach Viaduct(396 m)
192.4 Erzebach Viaduct(308 m),A 7
192.9 Kalter-Sand Tunnel(1,043 m)
194.0 Eckerterode Viaduct(75 m)
194.3 Schickeberg Tunnel(1,430 m)
196.5 Kirchheim operations station
197.2 Krämerskuppe Tunnel(838 m)
198.2 Wälsebach Viaduct(721 m)
199.0 Kirchheim Tunnel(3,820 m)
202.1 Hattenbach crossover
202.9 Aula Viaduct(880 m), B 454
former Knüllwald Railway,
203.9 Hattenberg Tunnel(444 m)
204.4 Hattenbach Viaduct(308 m)
204.9 Warteküppel Tunnel(835 m)
206.1 Fulda Valley Bridge, Solms (1,628 m), B 62
Breitenbach–Niederaula line
208.0 Niederaula-Solms Richthof crossover
208.1 Richthof Tunnel(3,510 m)
211.7 Schwarzbach Viaduct(748 m)
212.8 Dornbusch Tunnel(557 m)
214.3 Langenschwarz
215.4 Witzelhöhe Tunnel(796 m)
216.7 Eichberg Tunnel(976 m)
218.5 Rombach Viaduct(986 m)
220.2 Ganzberg Tunnel(387 m)
221.9 Michelsrombach crossover
223.7 Dietershan Tunnel(7,375 m)
228.1 Dietershan crossover
Bebra–Fulda line to Bebra
Vogelsberg Railway to Gießen
234.1 Fulda
Fulda freight yard
238.4 Fulda-Bronnzell
Rhön Railway to Gersfeld
Kinzig Valley line to Frankfurt am Main
240.4 Fliede Viaduct (240 m), Fulda
241.2 Sulzhof Tunnel (714 m)
242.7 Northern Fliede Viaduct (880 m), B 40
Southern Fliede Viaduct (628 m)
  Kinzig Valley Railway
A 66 (under construction)
245.9 Neuhof-Hartberg crossover
246.5 Hartberg Tunnel(773 m)
247.9 Kalbach Tunnel(1,287 m)
249.8 Bornhecke Tunnel(773 m)
250.8 Kalbach Viaduct(364 m)
251.3 Landrücken Tunnel(10,779 m)
252.1 Kalbach-Landrücken Nord crossover
258.2 Sinntal-Landrücken Süd crossover
Landrücken Tunnel
262.2 Sinn Viaduct, Mottgers(427 m)
262.8 Schwarzenfels Tunnel(2,100 m)
266.2 Mottgers
HesseBavaria state border
267.4 Sinn Viaduct, Zeitlofs (704 m)
former Sinn Valley Railway
268.1 Altengronauer Forst Tunnel (2,353 m)
Bavaria / Hesse state border
Hesse / Bavaria state border
270.6 Roßbacher-Forst Tunnel(255 m)
270.7 Altengronau crossover
271.9 Dittenbrunn slope viaduct(396 m)
272.3 Dittenbrunn Tunnel(822 m)
273.5 Upper Sinn Viaduct(178 m)
274.9 Middle Sinn Viaduct (152 m)
Line from Flieden
277.8 Dittenbrunn crossover
281.8 Burgsinn Tunnel (729 m)
283.9 Burgsinn ops
Rieneck Sinnberg(junction)
285.5 Sinnberg Tunnel (2,159 m)
Sinn Viaduct, Schaippach (442 m)
  Line to Gemünden
289.4 Einmalberg Tunnel(1,140 m)
B 26
Main Viaduct, Gemünden (794 m),
  Main-Spessart Railway Aschaffenburg–Gemünden
291.9 Mühlberg Tunnel(5,528 m)
293.3 Mühlberg crossover
Schönrain Tunnel
from Nantenbach Curve from Aschaffenburg
(grade separated)
302.5 Rohrbach operations station
308.0 Hanfgarten Tunnel(400 m)
308.8 Hohe-Wart Tunnel(872 m)
309.9 Hohewart crossover
311.8 Bartelsgraben Viaduct(1,160 m)
313.3 Leinach Viaduct(1,232 m)
314.7 Espenloh Tunnel(2,235 m)
316.3 Espenloh crossover
317.1 Eichelberg Tunnel(1,869 m)
319.0 Bärntal Viaduct(71 m)
319.1 Neuberg Tunnel(1,945 m)
321.0 Margetshöchheim-Neuberg crossover
Main Viaduct, Veitshöchheim
(1,280 m), Main
Main-Spessart Railway, B 27
322.6 Roßberg Tunnel(2,164 m)
324.8 Dürrbach Viaduct(128 m)
325.0 Steinberg Tunnel(571 m)
flying junction (576 m),
  Main-Spessart railway, B 27
Main-Spessart railway from Gemünden
  (grade separated)
325.6 Main-Spessart railway overpass (576 m)
327.4 Würzburg Hauptbahnhof
line to Ansbach, Odenwald Railway to Lauda
line to Nuremberg, line to Schweinfurt

Source: German railway atlas[1]

The Hanover–Würzburg high-speed railway was the first of several high-speed railway lines for InterCityExpress traffic that were built in Germany. While technically starting in the village of Rethen and ending several kilometres north of Würzburg Hauptbahnhof, it is a de facto link between Hanover and Würzburg, with stops at Göttingen, Kassel and Fulda. Early construction started in 1973, the line opening fully in 1991.

At 327 km (203 mi) in length, it is the longest newly built rail line in Germany, and its construction costs are estimated to be about DM 40 million (€ 20.45 million) per kilometre.


Wälsebach Valley Bridge
Bridge near Barnten

The Deutsche Bundesbahn began construction of the line in 1973. Since it was designed for fast passenger trains as well as for express freight trains, its maximum incline is a mere 1.25%. Combined with the hilly terrain, this made the construction of 61 tunnels and 10 large bridges necessary. Of the 327 km of total length, 120 km are in tunnels, the two longest being the Landrücken Tunnel (10,779 m) south of Fulda, the second longest being the Mündener Tunnel (10,525 m) south of Hann. Münden. The highest bridge is the Rombach Valley Bridge near Schlitz at 95 metres.

Notwithstanding 10,700 complaints and 360 lawsuits, the line was opened fully in 1991, though the WürzburgFulda part was used by InterCity trains as early as 1988. The standard speed on the line is 250 km/h (155 mph); 280 km/h may be reached by trains running late.

On 1 May 1988 the InterCityExperimental set a new land speed record for railed vehicles at 406.9 km/h (252.8 mph) between Fulda and Würzburg.

On 26 April 2008, trainset 11, travelling as ICE 885, collided with a flock of sheep near Fulda. Both power cars and ten of the 12 non-powered cars derailed. The train came to a stop 1300 meters into the Landrücken Tunnel. 19 of the 130 passengers suffered mostly minor injuries; four of them had to be treated in hospitals.[2]


Emergency Train in Hildesheim

Deutsche Bahn AG keeps special trains for accident assistance ready, when passenger trains are on the line; from midnight to early morning these trains are out of service when the line is used for cargo transport. The trains are hauled by two specially rebuilt Class 714 locomotives and are designed to get firefighters and rescue workers to accident scenes in tunnels and on difficult-to-access sections of track. Both engines are equipped with infrared cameras and remote controls, so that the driver can steer the train into a tunnel from the first (air-tight) car of the train without endangering themselves. The trains are stationed at Hildesheim Hauptbahnhof, Kassel Hauptbahnhof, Fulda and Würzburg Hauptbahnhof. They initially were painted in a bright reddish-orange livery akin to fire engines, but since the late 1990s they have been painted standard DB livery red, apparently to make them less obvious to the concerned passenger.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Eisenbahnatlas Deutschland (German railway atlas). Schweers + Wall. 2009. ISBN 978-3-89494-139-0. 
  2. ^ ICE-Unfall bei Fulda (www.wecowi.org; map)

External links[edit]