RE 5: Rhein-Express

North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate,

North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Line length 226 km (140 mi)
Operating speed 160 km/h (99 mph) (maximum)
Route number
  • 420 (Emmerich–Duisburg)
  • 415 (Duisburg–Cologne)
  • 470 (Cologne–Koblenz)
Route map

0 Emmerich
6 Praest(every two hours)
10 Millingen (b Rees)(every two hours)
12 Empel-Rees
16 Haldern (Rheinl)(every two hours)
19 Mehrhoog
32 Wesel-Feldmark
34 Wesel
37 Friedrichsfeld (Niederrhein)(every two hours)
42 Voerde (Niederrhein)
47 Dinslaken
53 Oberhausen-Holten(every two hours)
57 Oberhausen-Sterkrade
61 Oberhausen Hbf ICE, IC
69 Duisburg Hbf ICE, EC, IC
86 Düsseldorf Flughafen ICE, IC
93 Düsseldorf Hbf ICE, EC, IC
103 Düsseldorf-Benrath
120 Leverkusen Mitte
128 Köln-Mülheim
132 Köln Messe/Deutz ICE
133 Cologne Hbf THA, ICE, EC, IC
138 Köln Süd
149 Brühl
167 Bonn Hbf ICE, EC, IC
174 Bonn-Bad Godesberg
NRW / RLP state border
183 Oberwinter
187 Remagen EC, IC
191 Sinzig (Rhein)
197 Bad Breisig
208 Andernach ICE, EC, IC
225 Koblenz Stadtmitte
226 Koblenz Hbf ICE, EC, IC

Source: German railway atlas[1]

The Rhein-Express is a Regional-Express (RE 5) service, which generally follows the Rhine (German: Rhein) river. It runs daily every hour from 5 am to 9 pm from Emmerich via Wesel, Oberhausen, Duisburg, Düsseldorf, Cologne, Bonn, Remagen and Andernach to Koblenz, in the German states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate.[2]


The Rhein-Express was established in 1998 with the introduction of the integrated regular interval timetable in North Rhine-Westphalia (called NRW-Takt) by combining two services that previously started or finished in Cologne. Originally, the RE 5 service stopped at almost all intermediate stations, as if it were a Regionalbahn service.

In December 2002, several intermediate stops and all overtaking by long-distance trains were eliminated, and the scheduled top speed was increased to 160 km/h, shortening the journey time by over 30 minutes between Cologne and Koblenz. The acceleration and the simultaneous thinning of services between Emmerich and Wesel reduced the number of sets of vehicles that was required for the circulation from nine to seven.

Hourly services of the Rhein-Express were restored at the timetable change in 2007 between Emmerich and Wesel in order to compensate for the thinning of RB 35 (Der Weseler) services on the Emmerich–Wesel–Duisburg route as a result of reduced funds for regional transport. In order to reach Emmerich in time for the return journey, it was necessary reduce stops at some minor stations to two-hour intervals in the direction of least loading.

The Rhein-Express has been operated since 1998 by DB Regio NRW, based at the depot at Cologne-Deutz. The operation of this service for the period starting in 2016 is due to be retendered.


The Rhein-Express uses four different lines with eight different route numbers. It uses the Holland line between Emmerich and Oberhausen, the Duisburg–Dortmund line between Oberhausen and Duisburg, the Cologne–Duisburg line between Duisburg and Cologne and the Left Rhine line between Cologne and Koblenz.

Rolling stock

Rhein-Express (RE 5) in Remagen

Originally, the Rhein-Express was operated with class 110 locomotives with and six modernised Silberling carriages without control cars. During 2002, the service was converted to push-pull train trains made up of newly delivered class 146 locomotives and five double-deck carriages. Because of flood damage at the manufacturer of the seats, the delivery of the double-deck carriages was delayed, so that until the summer of 2003 two sets of Silberling carriages could still be found on the service.

Between August and November 2011, the capacity was increased by another car, which means that each train now includes a first-class only carriage.[3] This first-class car is usually coupled directly to the engine, while the two-class compartment is in the control car at the other end of the train.

Transport associations

Four public transport associations are involved in the operation of the Rhein-Express: the Nahverkehrs-Zweckverband Niederrhein (local transport association of the Lower Rhine), the Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr (Rhine-Ruhr public transport association), Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Sieg (Rhine-Sieg public transport association) and the Zweckverband Schienenpersonennahverkehr Rheinland-Pfalz Nord (Rhineland-Palatinate North rail transport association).


  1. Eisenbahnatlas Deutschland (German railway atlas). Schweers + Wall. 2009. ISBN 978-3-89494-139-0.
  2. http://www.bahn.de/regional/view/regionen/nrw/info/re5.shtml
  3. "Mehr RE für NRW" (in German). VRR. 2010. Archived from the original on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 30 July 2013.

See also

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