|Line number:||5050 (Weiden–Oberkotzau),
|Line length:||179.3 km (111.4 mi)|
|Track gauge:||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)|
|Maximum speed:||160 km/h (99.4 mph)|
The Regensburg–Hof railway is a main line railway, about 180 kilometres long, which links the Upper Palatine regional capital of Regensburg via Schwandorf and Weiden in der Oberpfalz to Marktredwitz and Hof in Upper Franconia. Because the section from Regensburg to Wiesau runs parallel to the River Naab it is also known as the Naab Valley Railway (German: Naabtalbahn). In addition, the section from Marktredwitz to Hof is part of the Franconia-Saxony trunk line (Franken-Sachsen-Magistrale). It was opened between 1859 and 1882 and is one of the oldest railways in Germany.
On 12 April 1856, King Maximilian II of Bavaria gave the Bavarian Eastern Railway (German: Königlich privilegirte Actiengesellschaft der bayerischen Ostbahnen) permission to build the southern part of the line from Regensburg to Wiesau and on to Waldsassen. The first section was opened on 12 December 1859 from Regensburg to Schwandorf, (continuing to Hersbruck as the left Pegnitz line). Four years later, on 1 October 1863, the section opened to Weiden. A year later on 15 August 1864 the section from Weiden via Wiesau to Waldsassen was opened to traffic. After the extension from Waldsassen to Cheb (then a mostly German-speaking city called Eger) in Bohemia opened on 15 October 1865 and the connection from Hof to Cheb opened on 1 November 1865, it was possible to travel from Regensburg via Cheb to Hof. This route, however, crossed an international border. Cheb was then in the Austrian Empire and is now in the Czech Republic.
The Bavarian Eastern Railway was taken over by the Bavarian State Railways in 1875. On 15 August 1877, the section from Oberkotzau on the Bamberg–Hof line to Holenbrunn was opened as a branch line. On 15 May 1878, the Nuremberg–Cheb line was opened as far as Marktredwitz. On the same day a connection was completed from Marktredwitz to Oberkotzau. Four years later on 1 June 1882, the gap between Wiesau and Marktredwitz was finally closed. This made it possible to travel from Regensburg to Hof through Bavaria, without passing through Bohemia.
- 12 December 1859 (Regensburg–Irrenlohe, as part of the line to Nuremberg)
- 1 October 1863 (Irrenlohe–Weiden, as part of the line to Cheb)
- 15 August 1864 (Weiden–Wiesau, as part of the line to Cheb)
- 15 August 1877 (Holenbrunn–Oberkotzau, connection to Hof)
- 15 May 1878 (Marktredwitz–Holenbrunn)
- 1 June 1882 (Wiesau–Marktredwitz, closing the gap)