The Ried Railway (German: Riedbahn) is a German standard gauge, electrified railway line and runs in southern Hesse and northern Baden-Württemberg between Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof and/or Frankfurt Airport and Mannheim and/or Worms, through an area called the Hessisches Ried (Hessian Marsh), hence the name.
The Ried Railway is used by three Intercity-Express routes, connecting South Germany with Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne and Dortmund and regional services of the Rhine-Main transport union and Rhine-Neckar transport union. The line is one of the most heavily trafficked line in Germany with 650 trains per day.In order to overcome heavy congestion of the line and to accelerate train services, it is proposed to build a new line between Frankfurt and Mannheim. Construction is expected to start in 2011 and be completed in 2017.
The Ried Railway was originally built by the Hessian Ludwig Railway (Hessische Ludwigsbahn), to connect Darmstadt
, the capital of the Grand Duchy of Hesse, with Worms, the second most important city in the province of Rheinhessen of the Grand Duchy. The riparian communities contributed significantly to the financing of the project.
On 29 May 1869, the line from Darmstadt via Riedstadt-Goddelau and Biblis to Rosengarten station, on the opposite side of the Rhine from Worms, was opened by the Prime Minister of the Grand Duchy of Hesse, Reinhard Carl Friedrich von Dalwigk. From Rosengarten station, trains crossed the Rhine from 1870 to 1900 using the Worms-Rosengarten train ferry, as there was no bridge across the Rhine at Worms. Between Worms and Hofheim services on the Nibelungen Railway run on the same tracks.
The line from Biblis to the Mannheim suburb of Waldhof was opened in October 1879, so that the route to Mannheim ended not at the central station, but at the Riedbahnhof, north of today's Kurpfalz Bridge. In November 1879, the (then) branch line from Goddelau to Frankfurt was opened.