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Record speed for the high-performance network: DB to completely overhaul Frankfurt/Main-Mannheim line in just five months

Record speed for the high-performance network: DB to completely overhaul Frankfurt/Main-Mannheim line in just five months
photo: Benjamin Kedziora / DB AG/Record speed for the high-performance network: DB to completely overhaul Frankfurt/Main-Mannheim line in just five months
20 / 09 / 2022

On July 15, 2024, Deutsche Bahn will begin general overhauls on the so-called Riedbahn between Frankfurt/Main and Mannheim on the highly congested rail network. An overarching team will coordinate the work so that it can be carried out at record speed. Within just five months, DB will renew all technical facilities and modernize 20 stations along the route. With the general overhaul of the Riedbahn, DB is, for the first time, bundling all the planned construction measures for the coming years on a highly utilized corridor within one line closure.

DB Board Member for Infrastructure Berthold Huber: "The Riedbahn is thus the first building block on our way to a high-performance network. Nowhere else in Germany is the infrastructure currently under greater strain than between Frankfurt/Main and Mannheim. Around 300 local, long-distance, and freight trains run on the line every day. It is precisely where our new concept comes in. With the general overhaul, we are radically modernizing, replacing all equipment susceptible to faults, and creating the urgently needed capacity for more traffic on the climate-friendly rail. For the first time, we are developing the network and stations from a single mold, making the stations more attractive for our passengers - and completely barrier-free."

Once the work is completed, the positive effects will be felt by travelers beyond the Riedbahn throughout the entire rail network: more punctual trains, fewer disruptions, and more services for passenger and freight traffic. Restrictions due to recurring construction measures will then no longer be necessary between Frankfurt/Main and Mannheim for many years. The cost of the general refurbishment is expected to be around 500 million euros.

DB will start the general rehabilitation of the Riedbahn the day after the final of the 2024 European Football Championship. During the closure, around 1,200 control and safety systems, 152 switches, four level crossings, and more than 10 kilometers of noise barriers will be renewed on the Frankfurt/Main-Mannheim corridor. DB is also creating new overtaking facilities for trains and equipping the Riedbahn for the digital rail operations of the future.

Twenty stations along the line between Frankfurt/Main and Mannheim will receive modern platform roofs, weather shelters, new wayfinding systems, and ramps for barrier-free access. The work is scheduled to be completed by Christmas 2024. The planned detour routes for passenger and freight traffic will already be technically prepared and equipped in the coming months.

High-performance replacement concept for reliable connections

For the duration of the general overhaul, DB is developing a high-performance replacement concept with detour and replacement services for passengers and freight customers. The concept is being closely coordinated with the rail transport companies and public authorities affected.

DB Infrastructure Board Member Berthold Huber: "We are aware that we are asking a lot of our customers during the general overhaul of the Riedbahn. But in the end, everyone will benefit from more quality, punctuality, and attractive stations on this important route and beyond. It is also worth persevering because the Frankfurt/Main-Mannheim corridor will be spared any major construction work until the next decade after the general refurbishment." 

The capacity of the detour routes via Worms and Mainz or Darmstadt is limited. For this reason, buses are to be used for local traffic, which can replace up to 200 trains a day. Long-distance and freight trains will be rerouted over long distances in some cases. Unfortunately, restrictions for travelers cannot be avoided during the general refurbishment. DB apologizes for any inconvenience and asks for your understanding.

The Riedbahn as an anchor of stability in the new high-performance network

With the general overhaul, DB is developing the Riedbahn into an anchor of stability for the entire rail network within just a few months. Modern facilities are significantly reducing the number of infrastructure-related disruptions, and additional overtaking facilities for trains are providing greater flexibility.

By 2030, DB plans to carry out general overhauls on further corridors with high capacity utilization. Selection and prioritization will be carried out in close consultation with the federal government and its authorities, as well as the rail transport companies and public authorities concerned. Criteria include the capacity utilization of the corridor in question and the construction requirements forecast for the next few years.

Source: Deutsche Bahn