Rodgau Railway

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The Rodgau Railway (Rodgaubahn) is a railway line that runs from Offenbach Central Station (Offenbach am Main Hauptbahnhof) via Rodgau to Rödermark-Ober-Roden in the German state of Hesse. The name Rodgaubahn is derived from the medieval name of Rodgau, part of the former Maingau (Main district), which the line passes through for its whole length.

Rodgau Railway
Karte Rodgaubahn.png
Native nameRodgaubahn
TypeHeavy rail, Passenger rail
Commuter rail
LocaleHesse, Germany
TerminiOffenbach (Main) Hauptbahnhof
Rödermark-Ober Roden
Line number3661 (Offenbach–Dieburg–Reinheim)
Opened30 September 1896
  • 1967 (Dieburg – Groß-Zimmern)
  • 1989 (Groß-Zimmern – Reinheim)
OwnerDeutsche Bahn
Operator(s)DB Regio Hessen
Rolling stockDBAG Class 423
DBAG Class 430
Line length21.9 km (13.6 mi)
Number of tracksDouble track: Offenbach Ost–Rödermark-Ober Roden
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Electrification15 kV/16.7 Hz AC overhead catenary
Route number645.1 and 645.2
Route map

Offenbach (Main) Hbf
Offenbach (Main) Ost
former Offenbach industrial siding
Line to Dietzenbach S2
Dudenhofen crossover
Rodgau-Nieder Roden
Nieder Roden industrial siding
Dreieich Railway
from Dreieich-Buchschlag
terminus S1
B 459
Münster (b. Dieburg)
B 45
Rhine-Main Railway
from Aschaffenburg
Rhine-Main Railway to Darmstadt
Odenwald Railway
from Wiebelsbach-Heubach
Reinheim (Odenw)
Odenwald Railway to Darmstadt
Gersprenz Valley Railway
to Reichelsheim
Source: German railway atlas[1]


Jügesheim station on the Rodgau Railway in 1978
Heritage train on the S1 in November 2006

Since about 1870 there were serious proposals from local interest groups for the building of a railway to open up the Rodgau, but at first the government of the Grand Duchy of Hesse did not respond to them. An Eisenbahncomitée (railway committee) was formed after the first, unsuccessful initiative in 1877. But this took four years to get a response from Darmstadt, the capital of the Duchy, during which the committee carried out preparatory work for an OffenbachReinheim railway project at its own expense. It took until 1888 before the government gave final approval and after further discussions about the connection of the railway in Offenbach with the Prussian state railways in 1895, planning permission was granted. It was decided that the line would have its own station in Offenbach south of the Prussian state railways' station. The line was built by the Grand Duchy of Hesse State Railways. On 30 September 1896, the new line (now line number 3661) was opened from Offenbach via Dieburg to Reinheim with a length of 42.2 kilometres.

In the following years the Rodgau Railway was connected to two other railways:

In 1923, the railway was built on an embankment in the city of Offenbach in order to remove level crossings with streets. This involved the rebuilding of the central station in Offenbach as a single station and the abandonment of the Rodgau Railway’s own station.

Operational historyEdit

Old station building at Weiskirchen

Initially, four pairs of trains operated daily. After the connection of the Dreieich Railway, there were only two pairs of through trains between Offenbach and Dieburg. The first trains were steam hauled; after the Second World War trains were increasingly hauled by diesel locomotives. The importance of the connection lay in the growing commuter traffic from the district of Offenbach, especially for those working in the leather goods industry in Offenbach.

On 28 May 1965, the line between Dieburg and Reinheim was closed for passengers, partly because of the operation of the parallel bus route. In 1967, this section of the line was dismantled, beginning with the section between Dieburg and Groß-Zimmern. Freight trains ran to and from the Odenwald Railway (Odenwaldbahn) over the Darmstadt Ost–Groß-Zimmern railway until it was closed in 1970. In 1989, the remaining section of the line to Reinheim was closed.

Conversion to S-Bahn operationsEdit

S1 at Jügesheim station in 2003
S1 near Rodgau-Rollwald
Old trackbed in front of Dieburg

The establishment of an S-Bahn operation on the track was considered in the late 1950s. It was not, however, until 23 March 2001 that the line to Dietzenbach began to be reconstructed as a double-track electrified line of the Frankfurt S-Bahn network. In the course of the development work, 13 stations were modernised and two rebuilt. 15 bridges were rebuilt and 18 level crossings were secured with new barrier systems.

S-Bahn operations began on the Rodgau line at the beginning of the 2003/2004 timetable on 14 December 2003. The line is operated by DB Regio as part of the Rhine-Main S-Bahn network as line S 1 (Wiesbaden–Ober-Roden), the northern section of the line is also used by line S 2 (NiedernhausenDietzenbach). Proposed extensions of line S1 to Dieburg and S2 to Ober-Roden failed as they was found not to be economically justified. Therefore, the section from Ober-Roden to Dieburg has not been electrified. This section of the line is now operated as part of the Dreieich Railway from Buchschlag.



  1. ^ Eisenbahnatlas Deutschland (German railway atlas). Schweers + Wall. 2009. p. 152. ISBN 978-3-89494-139-0.


  • Landesamt für Denkmalpflege Hessen, ed. (2005). Eisenbahn in Hessen. Kulturdenkmäler in Hessen. Denkmaltopographie Bundesrepublik Deutschland (in German). 2.2. Stuttgart: Theiss Verlag. p. 766ff (line 066). ISBN 3-8062-1917-6.
  • Werner Stolzenburg (1985). "Die Rodgaubahn". In Georg Wittenberger / Förderkreis Museen und Denkmalpflege Darmstadt-Dieburg (ed.). Die Bahn und ihre Geschichte = Schriftenreihe des Landkreises Darmstadt-Dieburg 2 (in German). Darmstadt. pp. 71–78.

External linksEdit