Work has been underway since June 2021 and almost 28 kilometers of the Zellertalbahn are being upgraded. The aim is to have an extensive excursion service running between Monsheim and Kaiserslautern by 2025.

Inaugurated in 1872, the Zellertalbahn was once a connecting section of the Munich - Paris line. After the traffic (also for goods) was completely stopped in 1998, the Donnersbergkreis had made efforts to maintain the infrastructure in order to secure the line. The seasonal excursion traffic on Sundays and holidays, which started in 2001, had to be discontinued in 2017 due to serious technical defects. The excursion service, which is ordered and financed by the Zweckverband Schienenpersonennahverkehr, was supported by a great commitment of the Förderverein Eistalbahn/Zellertalbahn. In the 16 years, 35,000 volunteer hours were contributed for this purpose.

Last year, the green light was given for upgrading the line. The then Rhineland-Palatinate Minister of Transport, Volker Wissing, presented a funding decision for 6.7 million euros. The total costs are calculated at 8.3 million euros. There is hope for further subsidies according to the Railway Crossing Act - for the areas where official roads such as district roads cross the railroad line. The remaining amount is borne by the Donnersberg district, the Alzey-Worms district and the municipalities of Monsheim, Göllheim, Kirchheimbolanden and Winnweiler.

"Public transport plays a key role in climate protection in the transport sector. Rail transport forms the backbone here: every kilometer traveled by rail instead of in one's own car saves CO2. We have provided 6.7 million euros in funding to ensure that the line through the Zellertal valley can be repaired and tourist excursion traffic resumed soon. It is precisely the safeguarding of such secondary routes by seasonal excursion traffic that helps to keep the infrastructure ready for possible future regular operation," said Katrin Eder, State Secretary in the Ministry for Climate Protection, Environment, Energy and Mobility, on Friday during a tour of the construction site at the height of Alsenbrück-Langmeil.

The company Peter Gross Bahnbau GmbH from St. Ingbert had been awarded the contract for the initial work on the line amounting to 1.233 million euros - this includes track reconstruction in Marnheim, renewal of the superstructure and of points, as well as the renewal of a culvert. The plan is for this to be completed by mid-November.

"For our region, the preservation and further expansion of this line is an important project that is being planned and realized by all parties involved in a spirit of trusting cooperation. Since the beginning of the reactivation in 2001, we have pursued the goal of integrating the line at some point into the Rhineland-Palatinate timetable in order to establish a permanent connection between Worms, Monsheim and Kaiserslautern in the long term and thus an important "bridge" between Rheinhessen and the Palatinate," said Heiko Sippel, the district administrator of the Alzey-Worms district, adding: "With the progressing construction work, we are once again coming a great deal closer to this intention and hope that, within the framework of the mobility turnaround, we will also be able to realize this goal in the foreseeable future for the benefit of our citizens."

A project that his colleague Rainer Guth is also pursuing: "We have fought for a long time for the upgrading of the Zellertalbahn line. We are particularly grateful to the Eistalbahn/Zellertalbahn support association and the operations managers for their great commitment. We need this line, for excursion traffic, for commuters and of course also for climate protection. It is the shortest rail connection between Kaiserslautern and Worms." Guth also thanked Gustav Herzog, a member of the Bundestag who was also present, for his commitment to preservation and development, as well as his predecessor Winfried Werner, who had recommended the Zellertalbahn to him.

After the upgrade, an extensive excursion service is scheduled to run on the line in 2023, on Saturdays, Sundays, public holidays and every Wednesday during vacations. Dr. Fritz Brechtel, Chairman of the Rhineland-Palatinate Southern Regional Rail Transport Association, emphasized that the long-term goals are the integration of the Zellertalbahn into the Rhineland-Palatinate timetable and the development of this rail line into an attractive and fast connection between the centers of Kaiserslautern and Worms. This would make it possible to realize extensive travel time advantages of at least 20 minutes in each direction between the two cities.

A planning approval procedure is currently being prepared, which is necessary for securing and expanding the level crossings. Guth explained that the timetable for the resumption of excursion traffic ultimately depends on this. Eleven level crossings and 15 bridges on the nearly 28-kilometer route must be upgraded in accordance with current technical requirements. "It is a major project whose benefits are of great importance for the region," emphasized the Donnersberg district administrator.


  • Inauguration: 1872
  • In 1998 the traffic was completely stopped
  • Seasonal excursion traffic on the route between 2001 and 2017
  • Route length: 27.7 kilometers between Monsheim and Langmeil
  • 11 level crossings, 15 bridges
  • Planned costs for the upgrade: 8.3 million euros. The state is supporting the upgrade with a sum of 6.7 million euros.
  • Start of construction for upgrading: June 2021
  • Timetable: In 2025, an extensive excursion service is to be launched if possible - on Saturdays, Sundays, public holidays and every Wednesday during the vacations. The prerequisite for this is the timely completion of the technical protection of the level crossings.