Line 130 Hamburg - Westerland
The Hamburg - Westerland line is also known as the Marschbahn and runs through the low-lying flat countryside of Schleswig-Holstein. It's a very traditional railway in many ways with loco hauled trains and semaphore signals and hosts an unusual car-carrying operation between Niebüll and the island of Sylt over the Hindenburgdamm, one of several notable civil engineering features. Freight traffic is usually sparse but my visit coincided with the diversion of freights from the parallel electrified main line further east.
48 photosgo to Hamburg - Westerland gallery
Line 466 Rechte Rheinstrecke
The line from Koblenz to Wiesbaden along the right/east bank of the Rhein is one of Germany's busiest freight arteries and very scenic as well. Most of DB's freight electrics can be seen along with the locos of numerous independent operators and, occasionally, diverted ICs and ICEs.
36 photosgo to Rechte Rheinstrecke gallery
Line 970 München - Kempten
This is the northern section of the Allgäubahn, the traditional main line linking München with Lindau on the Bodensee. The line runs through relatively flat farming country to Kaufbeuren but then climbs through rolling hills to Günzach before dropping to Kempten. Many passengers are DMUs but there are a number of regular loco hauled trains with DB class 218 and ALEX class 223 diesels. The line is also used as a diversionary route for freights and EuroCity trains.
54 photosgo to München - Kempten gallery
Line 610 Bebra - Fulda
The Bebra - Fulda line runs along Haunetal, a beautiful river valley flanked by rounded, forested hills and dotted with small farming villages. The railway is far from the quiet backwater you might expect in such a rural idyll. It's a double track electrified main line and a vital link between northern and southern Germany. Freight traffic is heavy and varied and there were regular loco hauled passengers as well when I first visited in 2006.
24 photosgo to Bebra - Fulda Gallery
Line 800 Gemünden - Würzburg
The valley of the River Main provides a convenient route for traffic from Frankfurt and northern Germany into Bavaria. Like the Bebra - Fulda line, freight traffic is heavy, the scenery is attractive and the passenger trains are loco hauled. Most of Railion's electric locomotive classes can be seen at work here along with diesels and electrics belonging to open-access operators. UPDATED with additional images from 2006 and 2009.
28 photosgo to Gemünden - Würzburg gallery