Railfanning in Frankfurt, Germany

The first stop on my Europe holiday was Frankfurt, Germany. Unfortunately I didn’t get much time to look around the city, but here are a few suggested places for a railfan to visit.

Start off at Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof, where the mainline DB trains stop beneath the train shed. A number of smaller private operators also use the station.

Setting sun at the station

On the main concourse is a ‘Bahnshop‘ outlet – they sell special edition model trains, as well as a range of railway themed souvenirs.

'Bahnshop' in the foyer at Frankfurt's Hauptbahnhof

If you head to the far end of the platforms, it is easier to get a clear shot of arriving and departing trains.

Frankfurt am Main Hauptbahnhof with a mess of crossovers and overhead

Meanwhile a level underground are the S-Bahn platforms, where the electric multiple units that serve the Frankfurt suburbs stop.

Changing drivers on S Bahn line S5

Also at Hauptbahnhof is a station for the Frankfurt U-Bahn. I’d suggesting catching a eastbound train on lines U4 / U5.

VGF 711 picks up passengers at Dom/Römer station

After alighting at Dom/Römer station and heading back to ground level, you will be at the Altstadt (old town) district of Frankfurt. Trams run along Bethmannstraße, with the Seufzerbrücke (‘Bridge of Sighs’) crossing over the top.

VGF S 233 passes under the Seufzerbrücke ('Bridge of Sighs') on Bethmannstraße

If you follow the tram line west, you will end up outside the European Central Bank office at Willy-Brandt-Platz.

VGF S 228 passes the giant Euro at Willy-Brandt-Platz in Frankfurt

From there you can take the U-Bahn one stop back to Hauptbahnhof, or head back to where you started.

Some more things to see

I didn’t check out the following places, but they might be worth a look.

U-Bahn route A: U1 / U2 / U3 / U8 / U9

From Dornbusch the three lines run at grade with several level crossings.

U-Bahn route C: Lines U6/U7

The branch to Enkheim, as well as the two western legs, is a typical Stadtbahn route on a separate right-of-way, but with level crossings. All stops except Fischstein have high-level platforms.

Historische Eisenbahn Frankfurt

The ‘Historic Railway, Frankfurt’ runs along the Städtische Verbindungsbahn, which follows the northern bank of the river Main. Wikipedia has more details, with their website giving a timetable of running days. Where I was there, no trains were running.

Railway tracks follow the north bank of the river Main

Google Map

Here is a Google Map showing the locations I pointed out above:

View Frankfurt railfanning in a larger map

Further reading

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