Southern Railway (Württemberg)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Southern Railway: Ulm Hbf–Friedrichshafen Hafen
V200 116.jpg
Diesel loco V 200 in Friedrichshafen
Native name Südbahn
Line number 751
Line length 104 km (65 mi)
Number of tracks 2
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Operating speed 140 km/h (87 mph) (maximum)
Route number 4500
Route map
Fils Valley Railway from Stuttgart
Brenz Railway from Aalen
Danube Valley Railway from Tuttlingen
94.0 Ulm Hbf
To Munich, Memmingen and Ingolstadt
98.8 Wölper branch-off point
98.0 Ulm-Donautal siding
99.5 Ulm Donautal
100.0 Ulm Oscorna siding
101.8 Einsingen
105.2 Erbach (Württ)
107.7 Dellmensingen siding
111.7 Rißtissen siding
116.4 Laupheim West
to Laupheim Stadt and Schwendi
121.2 Schemmerberg
124.2 Langenschemmern siding(former Hp)
Öchsle Narrow Gauge Railway to Ochsenhausen
128.1 Warthausen
128.8 Warthausen siding
131.3 Biberach an der Riß
133.0 Biberach an der Riß Süd
135,6 Ummendorf siding(former station)
138.7 Schweinhausen
140.7 Hochdorf
143.8 Essendorf
147.4 Wattenweiler
Federsee Railway to Riedlingen
151.3 Bad Schussenried
Württemberg Allgäu Railway to Memmingen
156.4 Aulendorf
Herbertingen–Aulendorf railway to Tübingen
163.4 Durlesbach
168.2 Mochenwangen
172.9 Niederbiegen
to Weingarten
174.9 Weingarten/Berg
Straßenbahn Ravensburg–Weingarten–Baienfurt
178.2 Ravensburg
180.4 Weißenau
182.6 Oberzell
189.0 Meckenbeuren
to Tettnang
191.0 Kehlen
192.3 Gerbertshaus
193.2 Friedrichshafen Airport
193.7 branch-off point Dornier
194.2 Seewald branch
"Mussolini Curve"
to the Lake Constance Belt Railway
195.4 Löwental
Teuringen Valley Railway to Oberteuringen
Lake Constance Belt Railway to Lindau
196.7 Friedrichshafen Gbf
197.6 Friedrichshafen Stadt
Lake Constance Belt Railway to Singen
Fährhafen branch
Friedrichshafen Hafen
Railway ferry to Romanshorn (until 1976)

Source: German railway atlas[1]

The Southern Railway (German: Südbahn) is a non-electrified main line in the state of Baden-Württemberg, southern Germany. It was built from 1846 to 1850 and doubled from 1905 to 1913. During that time many of the station buildings were rebuilt. Its kilometre numbering begins as the Fils Valley Railway in Stuttgart Hbf.

The Südbahn begins in Ulm and runs via Biberach an der Riß, Aulendorf and Ravensburg to Friedrichshafen. Several trains continue on the single-tracked line of the Lake Constance Belt Railway to Lindau.

The Südbahn was one of the first routes in Württemberg and was built by the newly founded Royal Württemberg State Railways. It was part of the first through railway in the Kingdom and linked the navigable Neckar River at Heilbronn via Stuttgart and Ulm to Friedrichshafen on Lake Constance.

With the opening of the Southern Railway, the Royal Württemberg State Railways won the race to Lake Constance. It was the first state railway of the German Empire to connect to the cities and towns on the lake, three years before the Royal Bavarian State Railways and thirteen years before the Grand Duchy of Baden State Railway. Its first section opened in 1847 and is one of the oldest lines in Germany.


Friedrichshafen Hafen station about 1900
Turntable at Biberach an der Riß station around 1904 (in front of the post office)
Trains in Ravensburg station
Meckenbeuren station
The button museum at Warthausen station


The first isolated section of the line opened on 8 November 1847 between Friedrichshafen and Ravensburg. On 26 May 1849 this was followed by the section to Biberach an der Riss and on 1 June 1850 by the remaining section to Ulm. With the closing the gap of the Ulm–Geislingen section of the Fils Valley Railway from Stuttgart on 29 June 1850, it was possible for trains to operate continuous from Friedrichshafen to Heilbronn.

Between 1905 and 1913 the Ulm–Friedrichshafen line was duplicated for military reasons.


After the Second World War, several stations that were located far away from the villages were closed down over the years. Similarly, with the exception of the Aulendorf–Herbertingen and Aulendorf–Kißlegg lines, all the branches with passenger services off the Southern Railway were closed.

Beginning in the 1990s, InterRegio trains operated between Saarbrücken and Lindau on the line. Since 1 July 1993, class NE81 diesel railbuses have been operated on the line popularly known as the Geißbockbahn (billy goat railway; this description comes from the song Auf de Schwäb’sche Eisenbahne, published in 1853) between Friedrichshafen and Ravensburg by the Bodensee-Oberschwaben-Bahn (Lake Constance–Upper Swabia Railway, BOB), founded on 15 October 1991, with services extended on 1 July 1997 to Aulendorf. As early as 1994, high demand led BOB to procure additional vehicles, including wagons borrowed from Hohenzollerischen Landesbahn (Hohenzollern State Railway, HzL). Some of the disused railway stations on the "billy goat railway" have now been reactivated. Stadler Regio-Shuttle RS1 diesel railcars have operated on the Southern Railway since autumn 1998 to cater for the increased traffic.

DB ZugBus Regionalverkehr Alb-Bodensee (DB RAB) has taken over the operation of local passenger services on the northern section of the Southern Railway. In 1999, the Laupheim West–Laupheim Stadt branch line, the last remaining section of the Laupheim West–Schwendi line, was reactivated, with services connecting to Langenau.

In 2001, InterRegio services were abandoned except for a pair of trains cut back to operate between Karlsruhe and Ulm. With the abolition of this type of train in late 2002, the remaining InterRegio train pair was replaced by an InterCity service on the Münster/Dortmund–Lindau–Innsbruck route.

In July 2008, Biberach district and Deutsche Bahn decided to build a 2.5 km long connecting curve from the Southern Railway to Laupheim Stadt (town) station. This would allow direct services run from Biberach via Laupheim Stadt to Ulm. Construction work on this started in June 2009 and was completed in 2011.[2] As part of this expansion, the entire signal system in Laupheim West station was modernised.[3]


Two different Interregio-Express services run over the line. Firstly, class 611 diesel multiple units, run at 120 minutes intervals to Basel. Secondly, push-pull train, composed of double-deck carriages hauled by class 218 diesel hydraulic locomotives, run at 120 minute intervals from Stuttgart to Lindau. There are also IREs from Ulm to Lindau, they run also at 120 minute intervals with class 611 DMUs or they are composed of class 218 locomotives with double-deck carriages. Regional services are operated with class 650 (Regio Shuttle) diesel railcars belonging to DB RAB, BOB and HzL. The only InterCity pair of trains is also drawn by class 218 locomotives.

The BOB trains run to the terminal platforms at Friedrichshafen Stadt station and reverse on to an 800-metre-long branch line to Friedrichshafen Hafen (port) station.

Transport associations[edit]

From Ulm to Aulendorf the line is within the Donau–Iller Local Transport Network (Donau-Iller-Nahverkehrsverbund, DING ). From Aulendorf to Friedrichshafen it is within the Lake Constance–Upper Swabia Transport Association (Bodensee-Oberschwaben Verkehrsverbund, BODO).


Today, the Southern Railway is one of the few non-electrified double-track main lines in Baden-Wurttemberg. It has been agreed to electrify the line, including its continuation to Lindau.[4] This will open up the potential for freight and possibly lead to the return of more long-distance passenger trains to the line, which currently has only one InterCity train pair. The construction is scheduled to begin in 2015,[5] the commissioning of the electrification on the entire Ulm–Friedrichshafen–Lindau route is planned for late 2017.[6] The estimated cost is approximately €140 million.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Eisenbahnatlas Deutschland (German railway atlas). Schweers + Wall. 2009. ISBN 978-3-89494-139-0. 
  2. ^ Bahn-Report (in German) (5): 76. 2008.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ "Construction of southern curve at Laupheim" (in German). VBR News-net. Retrieved 5 December 2012. 
  4. ^ "Südbahn: Ausbau und Elektrifizierung wird Ende 2012 möglich" (Press release) (in German). City of Ravensburg. 1 December 2009. Retrieved 4 December 2012. 
  5. ^ "Bund gibt grünes Licht für Südbahn". Schwäbische Zeitung (in German). 20 July 2012. Retrieved 6 December 2012. 
  6. ^ "DB: Neue Pläne für Lindau – erst 2020 elektrisch nach München?". Schweizer Eisenbahn-Revue (in German) (10): 502. 2012. ISSN 1022-7113. 


  • Schmidt, Uwe (2004). Die Südbahn. Eisenbahn und Industrialisierung in Ulm und Oberschwaben (The Southern Railway. Railways and industrialisation in Ulm and Upper Swabia) (in German). Ulm: Süddeutsche Verlags-Gesellschaft. ISBN 3-88294-342-4. 
  • Supper, Otto (1981). Die Entwicklung des Eisenbahnwesens im Königreich Württemberg (The development of railways in the Kingdom of Württemberg) (in German). Stuttgart: Reprint of 1895 edition. Kohlhammer. ISBN 3-17-005976-9. 
  • Scherer, Thomas (1982). Eisenbahnen in Württemberg, Band II: Der Bahnknotenpunkt Aulendorf (Railways in Württemberg, Volume II: The Aulendorf railway junction) (in German). Ulm: Spurkranz-Verlag. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 47°54′10″N 9°40′36″E / 47.90278°N 9.67667°E / 47.90278; 9.67667