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Northern Europe

The Hollentalbahn Railway – Germany

Hollentalbahn Railway, Germany

The Hollentalbahn translates into ‘Hell Valley Railway’ in English but don’t let this put you off. This fantastic railway is one of the best ways of travelling through Germany’s picturesque Black Forest and seeing some of the most dramatic scenery in the country. On a 66-mile route, you will travel between the historic towns of Freiburg and Donaueschingen, via the dramatic Dreisam river valley. Highlights of the journey include crossing the Ravenna Gorge on the 40-metre high Ravenna Bridge and seeing the Hirchsprungfelsen rock formation close up. The Hollentalbahn railway is the steepest railway line in the country, elevating to an altitude of 278 m to 885 m during its journey. 

Prices from: €3.80
Departing from: Freiburg Hauptabhahnhof
Journey length: 1.5 hours

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The Hollentalbahn Railway route

On this line trains leave every half an hour. Leaving Freiburg Hauptabhahnhof, your train will diverge from the main line before it starts its ascent of the Hollental. Here you will get to see the Ravenna Gorge and the Hirchsprungfelsen rock formation. At Neustadt, electrification of the line ends and passengers change to a diesel-powered train and continue east to Donaeuschingen on the eastern edge of the forest. Trains destined for Seebrugg continue past Titisee, rising above the lake’s eastern shore, offering travellers amazing views of the beautiful Bear Valley. 

The Hollentalbahn Railway germany sights

Hollentalbahn Railway trains

Modern electric trains with large picture windows operate on the section of the track from Freiburg to Neustadt. If you are travelling beyond this station you will currently change to a diesel train. Local authorities are working on a plan to electrify the line between Neustadt and Donaueschingen.

Why we love it

This is such an easy way to see some of the best parts of Germany’s dramatic Black Forest from the comfort of a modern, reasonably-priced train. The journey is really fast too so you’ll get to do other things in the day too.

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