|Type||Heavy rail, Passenger/freight rail
|Line number||4710 (Aalen–Nördlingen)
|Opened||Stages between 1847 - 1863|
|Line length||68.6 km (42.6 mi)|
|Number of tracks||Single track
Double track (Aalen-Goldshöfe)
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge|
|Electrification||15 kV 16,7 Hz AC Overhead line|
|Operating speed||120 km/h (75 mph)|
The Ries Railway (German: Riesbahn) is the current name of the line between Aalen and Donauwörth via Nördlingen. The name is derived from the Nördlinger Ries depression, and the line is operated by Deutsche Bahn (DB).
The line consists of a section of the Aalen–Nördlingen railway built by the Kingdom of Württemberg as the Rems Railway and a section of the Nördlingen–Donauwörth railway built as part of the Ludwig South-North Railway by the Kingdom of Bavaria, two of the oldest lines in Germany.
The line is electrified and built as a single-track, except for the two-track section between Aalen and Goldshöfe. The height of some platform edges is below the minimum standard of about 38 cm above the rails and the central platforms of smaller stations are only accessible by crossing the tracks on plank crossings.
Regionalbahn trains operate on the route every hour on weekday and every two hours on weekends. Trains are mostly operated as electric multiple units consisting of Alstom Coradia Continental (class 440) sets. The journey time in 2010, according to the annual timetable from Aalen to Donauwörth is 69 minutes. In the opposite direction trains take 81 minutes (12 minutes longer), because on the single track line the crossing stations are not located appropriately for symmetric scheduling. The crossings places are at Möttingen and Bopfingen.
Goldshöfe Station was originally built not to serve the location, but as a junction station on the lines from Aalen to Nördlingen and to Crailsheim. It is now used by many people from the nearby Hüttlingen community.
The line was built as part of the Ludwig South-North Railway, opened between Donauwörth and Nördlingen on 15 September 1847, and the Rems Railway, opened between Aalen and Wasseralfingen on 25 July 1861 and extended to Nördlingen in 1863.
In recent years the Ries Railway has been interrupted repeatedly by landslides at different points. The longest of these interruptions was at the Bildwasen tunnel between Lauchheim and Aufhausen between December 2002 and December 2003. It affected the tunnel entrance, which has now been extensively renovated. In the same period, from February 2003 to July 2003, a large slip occurred on a flood embankment between Ebermergen and Donauwörth, bringin traffic on the line almost to a complete halt. These circumstances prompted considerations of closing the track. Before the blocking the route, many trains ran continuously from the Rems Railway to Donauwörth. Since the reopening of the route operations on the Ries Railway are run almost entirely independently.
- "KBS 995 Donauwörth - Aalen" (in German). bahn-in-nordschwaben.de. Retrieved 11 August 2010.
- Track data from Eisenbahnatlas Deutschland (German railway atlas) (2007/2008 ed.). Schweers + Wall. 2007. ISBN 978-3-89494-136-9.
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