Continuing our new feature we are focusing in on some of the more interesting tables in our timetables, exploring the routes that it details and the cities, history and scenery along its lines. Throughout January we will be looking in detail at Table 935 and its routes through Southern Germany.
Readers wishing to explore the scenic Allgäu region of southern Germany will need to consult the unwieldy, but intriguing, Table 935 to plan their journeys. The table covers a series of lines which link the cities of München, Augsburg and Ulm with the mountain resort of Oberstdorf and lakeside town of Lindau. The table itself is quite complex as various services interconnect with each other at several railway hubs, most notably Buchloe, Memmingen, Kempten and Immenstadt. To complicate matters further, many trains run with two portions, splitting or joining en-route. We have considered simplifying this table by showing each route separately, but this would markedly fail to demonstrate the wonderful way the various services interconnect with each other to provide regular journey opportunities between the towns and cities of the area.
Most services are operated by regional trains so it is easy to explore the region using one of the excellent regional tickets, such as the Schönes-Wochenende-Ticket or Bayern-Ticket. Closer inspection of the table will also reveal four daily EuroCity trains in each direction running to and from Zürich (on which regional tickets are not valid). However, there is currently electrification works on the route via Memmingen to enable faster services, this will result in variations to timings during certain periods as the work progresses.
Journeys through the rail routes of the Allgäu region are primarily dominated by the Alps Mountains. However, the region is also comprised of numerous lakes, forests and small romantic towns that contribute to the regions natural beauty. Hiking trails, cycling routes, and ski runs crisscross the land, and the entire region is dotted with health resorts.
There are many notable attractions to visit in this region such as the famous fairy-tale Bavarian castles of Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein, easily reached from Füssen station near the Austrian border. Direct trains from Munich run every two hours and are operated with modern, air-conditioned double-deck trains. The best views are from seats on the left-hand side on the upper deck, from here you can enjoy great views of Neuschwanstein castle. Tourist-busy Füssen provides the main access point to the castles either by shuttle bus or by foot but also boasts a medieval fortress the Hohen Schloss, a former Benedictine monastery of St Mang and a very attractive old town so is worth an explore in its own right.
The Bavarian Allgäu railway running from Munich to Lindau weaves its way through some historic towns such as Ulm (famous for being the birthplace of Albert Einstein and having the tallest church steeple in the world), Kempten (the largest town of the Allgäu) and Oberstdorf.
Oberstdorf is a busy winter resort, principally a skiing and hiking town and is the highest market town in Germany. The terminus station is reached in just over 2 hours from Munich and is the most southern railway station of Germany. Oberstdorf is served by around 40 daily intercity and regional-express services operated by Deutsche Bahn and Regentalbahn so it is also a good base from which to explore the region. There are a large number of valleys in the area around Oberstdorf, many of which are not only scenic, but are often starting points for walks in the mountains. The beautiful Oberstdorf Nebelhorn is known for its impressive views of 400 mountain summits. However, you don’t need to be an experienced hiker to enjoy the scenery as many of the summits can be reached by cable car. The new mountain restaurant at the top of the Nebelhorn offers a 270-degree panorama so you can enjoy a meal with a spectacular view.
Lindau near the borders of Austria and Switzerland is the final destination and terminus on the Bavarian Allgäu railway. This historic town is actually an island on the eastern side of Lake Constance and connected to the mainland by a road-traffic bridge and a railway dam leading to Lindau Hauptbahnhof. Arriving in Lindau you are greeted with an impressive panorama of the Swiss and Austrian Alps and Lake Constance which stretches out behind the world-famous harbour entrance with its Bavarian lion and white lighthouse. If you are feeling fit you can climb the 139 steps to the top of the 136m lighthouse for stunning views out over Lindau and the Bodensee. The old town still boasts the romantic alleys and dreamy courtyards of its medieval past, full of colourful boutiques, cafés and restaurants. In summer tourists flock to the lakeside promenade, widely regarded to be the prettiest in Lake Constance.
Lindau makes a great base to explore the region. There are several boat trips along the lake to nearby towns such as Friedrichshafen, home of the Zeppelin museum or Mainau, known as the Flower Island. For those who are not a fan of boats, they can also be reached by the excellent regional train and bus services. See table 933 for connections to Friedrichshafen. For Mainau the nearest station is Konstanz (Tables 916 & 939) where there is a connecting bus to the island. From Lindau, there is also the option to take the spectacular rail journey over the Arlberg Pass to the Alpine resort of St Anton am Arlberg (table 951)