Welcome aboard the Eurocity 9! Today we will be taking a scenic journey along the Rheinstrecke from Düsseldorf Hbf to Mainz Hbf in first class. The train is owned by Swiss Federal Railways (SBB), however operated by Deutsche Bahn (DB) in Germany and features a panorama car, providing a great view of the picturesque Rhine river valley. Although the weather isn't ideal, I'm excited to explore one of the most beautiful train tracks in Europe. Let's begin our journey!
What is the Rheinstrecke?
The Rheinstrecke is a mainline railway that runs along the Rhine river from Cologne via Bonn, Koblenz, and Bingen to Mainz. It was once one of the most important railway lines for long-distance passenger traffic in Western Germany before the construction of the Cologne-Rhine/Main high-speed railway, which completes the journey from Düsseldorf to Frankfurt Airport in 1.5 hours instead of the 3 we will need today (including the regional train S-Bahn). The Rheinstrecke is also known for its beautiful scenery as it passes through the Upper Middle Rhine Valley. Along with the parallel right bank railway line, the Rheinstrecke is considered one of the most romantic railway routes in Germany.
I was impressed with the level of comfort offered on the first class panorama carriage of the Eurocity 9. The seats were arranged in a 1-2 configuration, with each seat having a table, storage space, coathook, and trash bin. The seats themselves were also very comfortable, so much so that I would not have complained if I had to go the rest of the way to Zurich (the trains final destination). The view from the panoramic car was breathtaking, providing an excellent opportunity to admire the stunning scenery along the Rheinstrecke. The ride was very smooth, and the train arrived on time in Mainz (which is unusual for a train operated by Deutsche Bahn).
My first class ticket included a reserved seat and only cost 22.40€. This is very cheap, especially compared to the high speed trains which complete basically the same journey in half the time for double the price. My money was definitely well spent here, especially from a comfort perspective.
Although there was a dining car on the train, I did not visit it, so I cannot comment on the food or service. However, the toilets were clean, albeit small as expected on a train, and there were only a few available, which meant they were frequently occupied. The person who checked my ticket was very friendly and helpful, providing me with useful information about my journey.
The journey from Mainz Hbf to Frankfurt airport was via the S-Bahn, a regional / commuter train that runs frequently between the two cities. The S-Bahn was also clean and comfortable, with plenty of seating available. The journey took approximately 30 minutes, and the train arrived on time as well.
Overall, my experience riding the Eurocity 9 along the Rheinstrecke was fantastic. The train was clean, comfortable, and offered an amazing view of the beautiful scenery along the Rhine river valley. The journey was calm and relaxing, especially because of the breathtaking view and incredibly comfortable seats. The only minor issue was the limited availability of the toilets on the train. However, this did not detract from the overall experience. I would highly recommend taking a journey along the Rheinstrecke, whether for business or leisure, as it is truly one of the most beautiful train routes in Europe, and an affordable journey. I will definitely take this journey again in summer when it's a little nicer outside!
Images in this postMap of the Rheinstrecke via wikimedia.org
View from the carriage via findaflight.eu
The inside of the carriage via findaflight.eu