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Route of the Rheinuferbahn
Route number (DB) : 9260
Course book section (DB) : 473.1
Route length: approx. 25 km
Gauge : 1435 mm ( standard gauge )
Power system : 750 V  =
Top speed: 120 km / h
Dual track : Ubierring – Bonn
Cologne Mülheimer Brücke (1929–1933)
from Zoo / Flora (until 1945)
Cologne Deutscher Ring (1929–1933)
to Dom / Hbf (until 1945)
(up to here: KBE traffic here only 1929–1933)
0.0 Cologne Hohenzollern Bridge (1940–1978)
BSicon S + BHFq.svgBSicon xKRZu.svgBSicon hKRZWaeq.svg
Cologne main station / Hohenzollern bridge
0.2 Cologne Hohenzollern Bridge (until 1940)
from cathedral / main station (until 1945)
Deutz Bridge
0.8 Cologne Deutzer Brücke (until 1978)
Inner lane of Rosenstrasse (until 1932)
2.3 Cologne Ubierring (until 1978)
Ubierring (today's start of the route)
BSicon exSTR + l.svgBSicon uemABZgr.svgBSicon .svg
formerly to Cologne-Bonntor (port railway)
BSicon eABZqr.svgBSicon umKRZu.svgBSicon hKRZWaeq.svg
Freight bypass railway / Cologne south bridge
BSicon utSTReq.svgBSicon uABZg + r.svgBSicon .svg
North-South light rail
Schönhauser Strasse
4.2 Bayenthal belt
former route to Rodenkirchen
Ownership limit KVB / HGK
Stop, stop
5.0 Heinrich-Lübke-Ufer (formerly Cologne-Marienburg)
Station, station
6.2 Rodenkirchen
Stop, stop
7.1 Siegstrasse
Stop, stop
7.8 Michaelshoven
Station, station
9.3 Sürth
Station, station
12.0 Godorf
BSicon STRq.svgBSicon KRZo.svgBSicon ABZq + lr.svg
Cross line Brühl - Cologne-Godorf Hafen
BSicon .svgBSicon HST.svgBSicon STR.svg
13.9 Wesseling North
BSicon .svgBSicon ABZg + l.svgBSicon STRr.svg
Connection to the cross-train
Station, station
15.1 Wesseling
Station, station
17.0 Wesseling South
Stop, stop
18.2 Urfeld
Station, station
19.8 Widdig
Stop, stop
21.0 Uedorf
Station, station
22.5 Hersel
BSicon STR + l.svgBSicon ABZglr.svgBSicon STR + r.svg
BSicon STR.svgBSicon STR.svgBSicon eBHF.svg
23.9 Buschdorf
BSicon STR.svgBSicon EIU.svgBSicon STR.svg
Property limit HGK / SWB
BSicon STR.svgBSicon uSTR.svgBSicon eABZgl.svg
formerly to Bonn harbor
BSicon STR.svgBSicon uHST.svgBSicon STR.svg
325.1 Bonn-Buschdorf
BSicon STR.svgBSicon uBHF.svgBSicon STR.svg
324.3 Bonn-Tannenbusch center
BSicon STRr.svgBSicon uSTR.svgBSicon STR.svg
Route to Bonn-Bendenfeld
BSicon uSTR + l.svgBSicon uSTRr.svgBSicon KDSTxe.svg
26.0 Bonn North (only for parking cars)
BSicon uHST.svgBSicon exSTR + l.svgBSicon exABZgr.svg
323.0 Bonn-Tannenbusch South
BSicon uKRZo.svgBSicon xmABZg + r.svgBSicon exSTR.svg
Foothill Railway from Cologne and Brühl
BSicon uHST.svgBSicon uSTR.svgBSicon exSTR.svg
321.7 Bonn Propsthof North
BSicon uSTRl.svgBSicon uABZg + r.svgBSicon exSTR.svg
Threading the foothill railway
BSicon .svgBSicon uSTR.svgBSicon exBHF.svg
Bonn Ellerbahnhof (PV until 1954)
BSicon .svgBSicon uBHF.svgBSicon exSTR.svg
321.1 Bonn West
BSicon .svgBSicon uemABZgl.svgBSicon exABZg + r.svg
BSicon .svgBSicon utSTRa.svgBSicon exSTR.svg
Bonn tram tunnel
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29.0 Bonn Rheinuferbahnhof (until 1986)
Siegburg Railway
320.0 Bonn Central Station (U)
Trunk line


The Rheinuferbahn is a double-track main line between Cologne and Bonn , which belonged to the main network of the Cologne-Bonn Railways (KBE) and was one of the first electric rapid transit systems in Germany . Today tram line  16, which is operated jointly by the Kölner Verkehrs-Betriebe (KVB) and Stadtwerke Bonn (SWB), runs on the route . Scheduled freight traffic outside the Wesseling area was discontinued at the end of 2006.

Of the three railway lines on the left bank of the Rhine between Cologne and Bonn ( Vorgebirgsbahn , left Rhine stretch and Rheinuferbahn), it is the shortest and follows the Rhine most closely , which is where its name comes from.


In Cologne, the Rheinuferbahn uses the KVB tram route on the banks of the Rhine. At the former city limits in Marienburg it branches off from the Rhine and runs for four kilometers in a straight line on the western outskirts of Rodenkirchen , cutting off the White Rhine Bend.

Behind the Sürth train station , the line meets the Rhine again and Landesstraße 300 (former Bundesstraße 9 ), which it closely follows in the further course. To the south of the Godorf harbor , the line runs along an embankment between the chemical plants of Rheinische Olefinwerke / Basell and Degussa , before the dam merges into the branching structure with the cross railway at the Wesseling Nord stop .

Behind Wesseling , to the east of the route, there are several small, partially grown together villages, while on the west side there is almost exclusively open field of the Cologne Bay .

After the Hersel train station , the line bends exactly south into an incision that leads it on the outskirts of Buschdorf and through the large Tannenbusch settlement before it meets the left-hand Rhine stretch , which it now follows, while the route changes from the incision to an embankment.

In a complex branching structure, the track combined shortly before Bonn West with the Vorgebirgsbahn before finally in the Bonn city rail tunnel retracts and the outer tracks of the subway station Hauptbahnhof reached.


Express train on the Rheinuferbahn 1906

The route of the Rheinuferbahn is the shortest connection between Cologne and Bonn, which is why it played a role in the first considerations for the construction of a railway between the two cities in the early 1840s. The Bonn-Cölner Eisenbahn , which later became part of the Prussian State Railroad , decided to take the detour via Brühl , as it was expected to attract more passengers at the stops on the way.

When the Cöln-Bonner Kreisbahnen (CBK) was founded, the idea of ​​a Rhine bank was taken up again. Since the state railway was also examining the construction of a Rhine embankment at the same time, the planning of the CBK was postponed, which then first built the foothill railway . After the plans of the state railway were abandoned, the CBK was granted a concession in 1898 to build the Rheinuferbahn as a single-track narrow-gauge railway on and next to public roads.

The experiences from the first years of operation of the foothills led to numerous planning changes. The route has now been planned as a generously laid-out rapid-transit railway on standard gauge. The route ran on the outskirts and should be electrified with 990 V direct current, for which a separate power plant was built in Wesseling. After the concession was changed accordingly in May 1904, construction began that same year. Operations began in September 1905, initially as a partially single-track freight line.

In January 1906, passenger traffic with express and local trains began every hour at a remarkable 70 km / h. The rush of passengers was so great that more vehicles were ordered and the double-track expansion of the line began. The expansion was completed in 1908, at the same time the line was re-licensed to the main line and the line speed increased to 80 km / h. Express trains, which were now offered every 30 minutes, covered the route in a journey time of 44 minutes.

In the 1930s, the overhead line voltage was increased to 1200 V, from 1957 continuously welded tracks allowed speeds of over 110 km / h. The express trains in particular continued to pose serious competition to traffic on the left-hand Rhine route .

Routes in Bonn


The Rheinuferbahn was relocated between Godorf and Wesseling in 1927 in order to create a vertical junction with the cross railway and to create space for additional harbor basins of the Godorf harbor . At the same time, two level crossings were also removed.

With the opening of the Mülheim Bridge in Cologne in 1929, the route was extended to its ramp on the left bank of the Rhine, with the tram tracks being largely used. Since the extension was not profitable, it was given up again in 1933. In 1940 the new Trankgasse terminus was opened at the Trankgassenwerft and the old and first terminus on the southern side of the Hohenzollern Bridge - the "corrugated iron barracks" - closed. Between 1953 and 1964, the line between Tacitusstraße and the terminus was moved to a separate track in several sections. The first section between Marienburg and Tacitusstraße was laid in the 1930s.

In Bonn, the route changed several times: first, coming from Hersel, it led behind the north cemetery via the Ellerbahnhof to the Rheinuferbahnhof , from 1954 passenger trains no longer ran to the Ellerbahnhof and received a simplified route. In 1968, the route between the Bonn West train station and Hersel (now part of Bornheim ) was again significantly changed due to the extension of the A 565 and to connect the satellite town of Tannenbusch . The new route runs largely in a cut in the terrain and was laid out for 140 km / h. The old route was downgraded from Hersel until shortly before the motorway to a siding for the local industrial companies. The siding has now been closed.

Conversion to light rail operation

When KBE ran into economic difficulties at the end of the 1960s, it was decided in 1973 to convert the Rheinuferbahn to light rail operation. The operation of a light rail according to EBO was technically and legally new territory at the time, but has since been pushed even further under the title Karlsruhe model .

When the renovation began in 1975, the contact wire voltage was reduced from 1200 V to 750 V. All points that were to be used in the future by both mainline and light rail vehicles had to be converted to movable frogs . In addition to the previously used Indusi, travel locks were also installed on all signals . The new stop Michaelshoven (until 1978: Rodenkirchen Süd ) was opened by KBE in 1971 , the Siegstrasse stop was added in 1979, and the Propsthof Nord stop was finally put into operation in 1997.

On August 12, 1978, traffic with tram B was started and the section between Hohenzollern Bridge and Ubierring was shut down on the same day. The route between Bonn West and the Bonn city limits was re-licensed as a tram on April 10, 1979. In the following years, more and more KBE stations in the northern part to Wesseling and in the southern part to Buschdorf were converted into light rail stations with elevated platforms and freight transport systems dismantled. On the section from Urfeld to Hersel, the platforms were only raised to 35 centimeters, as freight traffic was still handled on this section until 2006 and the route is still used by the HGK to park freight cars in Bonn Nord and Bonn-Bendenfeld. The elevated platforms would therefore protrude into the EBO clearance profile of the freight wagons.


"Silver Arrow" railcar

Passenger traffic on the Rheinuferbahn was organized as regular traffic from the start. When it went into operation in 1906, there were hourly express trains that only stopped in Wesseling between the city limits of Cologne and Bonn, and passenger trains that started at the terminus 30 minutes after the express trains and served all stations. After the second track went into operation in 1908, express train traffic could be reduced to a 30-minute cycle, while passenger trains continued to run every hour. In the 1930s, some express trains between the suburbs of Cologne and Bonn only took 19 minutes (without a stop in Wesseling). With the exception of the years 1942 to 1949, the half-hourly express train service was maintained until 1975. When modernizing the vehicle fleet, KBE usually first used the new vehicles on the more prestigious Rheinuferbahn. The express trains on the Rheinuferbahn were also the main area of ​​use for the “ Silberpfeil ” light railcars.

Timetable of the Rheinuferbahn 1937/38 with express trains, partly without stop in Wesseling

Several fires in 1975/76 caused a shortage of vehicles, as replacement purchases in the form of light rail vehicles were ordered due to the planned changeover to light rail operations. The lack of vehicles therefore led to the thinning of traffic on the Rheinuferbahn for some time: from 1975 until the switch to light rail operations in 1978, only one pair of people and one pair of express trains ran every hour.

Light rail operation on the Rheinuferbahn near Uedorf

The Rheinuferbahn has been served by light rail line 16 since 1978. On the Cologne side, it is condensed to Sürth , partly to Wesseling. These amplifiers ran as line 15 until 1994, since then they have been part of line 16, which runs every day to Sürth every 10 minutes and the entire route every 20 minutes. On the Bonn side, the Rhine bank route was initially only used by line 16, after the completion of the “Hauptbahnhof” underground station, it was reinforced by line 3 to Tannenbusch Mitte . Line 3 (since 1987: 63) increased the half-hourly intervals of line 16 to 7/8 minutes. From 1994 lines 16 and 63 in Bonn formed a 6/7/7 cycle, which was abandoned in 2006 in favor of a more irregular train sequence. Since the timetable change on December 13, 2015, the crossing line 17, which serves the southern part of the north-south light rail , has been running on the Cologne side between Schönhauser Straße and Sürth .

B-wagons of different generations are mainly used as vehicles to this day . Since 2003, the Bonner Stadtwerke have also been using Bombardier Flexity Swift ("K5000") vehicles , some of which have been on line 16 since 2005.


In Cologne, line 16 was originally supposed to be introduced into the tunnel of the north-south light rail under construction from 2010 . This would have significantly shortened the travel time from the Rheinuferbahn to the center of Cologne. Due to the collapse of the city ​​archive in Cologne in particular , the planning could not be adhered to; the earliest completion date is now 2023 Template: future / in 3 years.

In Bonn it is planned to extend line 63 to Hersel. The plans for the construction of a required turning system have been stalling for more than a decade, and the city of Bonn has no direct influence either. As an alternative, it is therefore also discussed to set up a track change in Buschdorf as an emergency solution. In the long term, tram line 61 from Bonn-Auerberg is to be extended to Hersel via the former route of the Rheinuferbahn at Bonn's Nordfriedhof .

At times a resumption of freight traffic to Bonn North was up for debate, as a container terminal was to be built there. Under pressure from local politics, it became known in July 2012 that the board of directors of the Cologne ports and goods traffic no longer insists on the possible goods traffic to Bonn Nord / Bonn-Bendenfeld in order to enable the construction of elevated platforms with a light rail profile between Urfeld and Hersel.


The Wesseling station building


Wesseling was always the most important intermediate stop on the Rheinuferbahn. In addition to the KBE depot, Wesseling also had KBE's own power plant, which supplied the line with electricity until the 1930s. In Wesseling, the cross line branches off to Brühl and Godorf Harbor . In addition, there were several industrial connections in the station area, of which the one to the Wesseling plant of Deutsche Shell (formerly Union Fuel ) still exists today . The KBE depot was taken over by the Cologne transport company , which set up a light rail depot there, which provides the majority of the vehicles for lines 16 and 18.

During rush hour traffic, line 16 from Wesseling to Cologne will be increased to every 10 minutes.

The through trains in the direction of Bonn have a two (initially five) minute stop in Wesseling as a buffer time so that delays in the Cologne network are not fully transferred to Bonn.



The Buschdorf stop is in the cut below the Schickgasse flyover. The two side platforms can be reached from the bridge via stairs. The KBE opened the stop when the route was relocated in 1968 as a replacement for the stop on the old route, which is no longer in service. Express trains also stopped in Buschdorf, only express trains drove through.

The former station "Buschdorf (Kr. Bonn)" was in the center of the village on the three-track section of the Rheinuferbahn. In Buschdorf the small train branched off to the port in Graurheindorf . The operation of the "Port Railway of the City of Bonn" was carried out by KBE on behalf of the City of Bonn from its commissioning in October 1924 to its closure in September 1974.

Fir bush middle

Fir bush middle

The Tannenbusch Mitte stop is on the new Rheinuferbahn route opened in 1968 between Bonn West and Hersel. However, the first train only served the stop on October 7, 1972, after the construction progress of the Neu-Tannenbusch housing estate justified a stop. After the switch to light rail operation, the platform was raised to match the floor of the car. Behind the stop is the turning system for the trams on line 63, which have their regular end point in Tannenbusch-Mitte.

The stop is designed as a central platform on the route running in the cut. The stop was connected to the street level by two moving walks . After these had to be shut down due to a lack of spare parts, they were replaced by an escalator and an elevator in 2005 . At the same time, the stop was renovated and the strong colors of the 1970s were replaced by simple gray tones. The renovation work cost 1.3 million euros.

Tannenbusch Süd (before expansion)

Fir bush south

The Tannenbusch Süd stop was set up in 1968 when the Rheinuferbahn between Bonn West and Hersel was given a new route and was an express train stop until the end of the KBE . After switching to light rail operations, the platform was raised to match the vehicle floor.

The stop consists of two side platforms located in an approximately four-meter-deep incision, which can be reached via a fully clad bridge. At the end of the 1990s, the access bridge and the platform equipment were painted in white and light gray, and the outside of the bridge kept its original color. A barrier-free expansion of the stop should begin in 2002, but the district government had given other projects in the inner city area higher priority. On July 12, 2006, the groundbreaking ceremony for the 2.3 million euro renovation of the stop was finally carried out. During the construction work, which lasted until July 2007, two elevators were installed and a new pedestrian bridge was built to replace the old - demolished - bridge.

Propsthof north

Propsthof north

The Propsthof Nord stop was only set up in 1997 in order to better develop the Bonn-Nord industrial park. At the level of the street “Am Propsthof”, two platforms were built on the inside of the line, the tracks of which there are spatially separated because of the close branching to the foothill railway and run several meters above street level.

The stop had the working title Am Propsthof . To avoid confusion with the bus stop of the same name, which is more than a kilometer from the tram stop, the name was changed at short notice. At this point in time, the target films for the light rail vehicles had already been produced, which is why the wrong stop name was displayed in the vehicles for several years.

Bonn West

Bonn West

The Bonn West stop is in the extension of Ellerstraße between Thomasstraße and the former Bonn freight yard. The original Bonn West station was set up by the Cologne-Bonn Railways in 1954 when their line in Bonn was given a new route that replaced the route through Ellerstrasse.

After the complete conversion of the KBE routes to light rail operation, the stop was made barrier-free with elevated platforms and elevators at the end of the 1980s.

Central Station

Central Station

The “Hauptbahnhof” stop is located under the forecourt of Bonn Central Station and about a hundred meters west of the ZOB on the edge of Bonn's city center and is therefore part of Bonn's largest local transport hub.

The four-track underground station is designed as a crossing point between a north-south axis and an east-west axis. The four tracks are on two central platforms, with the east-west lines on the inner and north-south lines on the outer tracks. Since the planned west branch ( Hardtbergbahn ) has not yet been built, the facility looks a bit oversized. A tunnel connector built as an advance payment for a light rail to Dottendorf is now used as a turning system for line 18.


  • Claudia Kroth: 100 years of the Rheinuferbahn. 1906-2006. The Cologne-Bonn Railways. Bachem Verlag, Cologne 2006, ISBN 3-7616-2003-9 .

Individual evidence

  1. Railway Atlas Germany . 9th edition. Schweers + Wall, Aachen 2014, ISBN 978-3-89494-145-1 .
  2. Manfred Reinnarth: Stadtbahn am Waidmarkt: excavation pit full of evidence. In: Kölnische Rundschau. Retrieved March 22, 2016 .
  3. ^ To line 16: closure of freight lines planned. In: We Bornheimer. February 2, 2013, archived from the original on October 17, 2013 ; Retrieved October 17, 2013 .
  4. Ulrike Sinzel: Rolf Beu answered questions about barrier-free expansion. In: General-Anzeiger (Bonn). June 28, 2013. Retrieved October 17, 2013 .