Mountain Railways: Schwarzwaldbahn and Höllentalbahn

Today I have been on the railways of Baden-Württemberg, getting out and about to visit the Black Forest villages.

I started early this morning, headed out in to a frosty morning and got the bus to the Hauptbahnhof. From there, I caught the train to Offenburg (pictured below); a journey which took about an hour.


A walk around the centre of Offenbourg took me to a small bakery where I grabbed a bite to eat, before I returned to the station.

Offenburg is where the main line coming up from Basel meets the Black Forest Railway – the Schwarzwaldbahn in German. This line cuts right across the centre of the Black Forest.

From the DB (German Rail) website you can download an audio guide of the Black Forest railway. Armed with my recordings the train set off, and I played each section of the guide as we passed each station.

Entering the Kinzig Valley (pictured below), the first part of this route is fairly flat; it follows the course of the River Kinzig.

Kinzig Valley

After we’d passed a few stations I decided the Kinzig Valley would be a good place to go for a walk.

This stop was not scheduled in my itinerary, as as I was already running late (having started an hour later than planned) I could not stop for long. I had just one hour until the next train.

I disembarked at Hausach, and before long found my way along to a foot/cycle path alongside the river. The valley has a bit of a microclimate of its own: In the warm sunshine I was able to wander around without scarf, coat and jumpers!


Back on the railway and the train starts to climb in to the mountains. I didn’t take any photos of the best views I’m afraid!


Soon, we arrived at my next stop: my longest stop: Triberg. Home to Germany’s tallest waterfall, there’s also a museum here and a strong connection to cuckoo clocks. Right up in the mountains now, the scarf, jumpers and coat made a return.

Triberg Waterfall

Some tourist shops in Triberg allowed me to fill my bag up with souveniers to take home (you didn’t really think I was carrying my laptop around in that with me all day, did you?) and then I visited the Black Forest Museum.

There’s a whole room there dedicated to radios and German broadcasting – that’s because the company which manufactured lots of radio equipment was founded in this part of the Black Forest!

After lunch in a small café I rejoined the railway. My next stop would be Donaueschingen. Just outside the Black Forest, it is the gateway to the Danube. The cycle path which follows the entire length of the river starts here. The Donauquelle – the hostorial source of the Danube – is situated in the town, just a few minutes by foot from the railway station.


Then, I got back on the train. This next train journey would take me off the Black Forest Railway and meet up with the Höllentalbahn – the Hell Valley Railway. I took the train all the way to the end of the journey at Neustadt where another train was just starting its journey. This train would take me to Titisee.

Titisee is home to a large lake of the same name; running behind schedule I opted not to walk round the whole lake! The lake is 5-10 minutes walk from the station and on this sunny winter’s day it was the perfect opportunity for a photo.

Lake Titisee

Then, as sunset approached, I got back on the train and headed back to Freiburg. It had been a long day, but I finally returned to my cottage just after 7pm.

I’m off to bed now.

Gute nacht.


Fred Hart

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