train over canyon in Germany

Track by track through the Black Forest

Simone Sever

Rattle along the rails through nature along a breathtaking landscape seen on both sides of the track. Light heights, dark forests, beautiful valleys and reflecting lakes. This is a true romantic experience that makes not only railway fans happy. So, all aboard for six nostalgic trips through the Black Forest, all in alphabetical order, because we cannot decide which ride is the most beautiful! The best trains in the Black Forest.


Opened in 1898, the Achertalbahn celebrates its 125th anniversary this year. And, since special occasions require special experiences, this event is being celebrated with a special ride. Under the motto “With full steam into the past”, the steam train which is operated by the Achentaler Eisenbahnverein sets off from Achern. First, the train chugs along past orchards. But then, on the last kilometers, the locomotive has to work hard to reach the final station of Ottenhöfen through the winding valley of the Acher. Meanwhile, the passengers sit comfortably and watch the landscape with a view of one of the much-sung “mills of the Black Forest Valley,” the Rainbauernmühle.

Trains in the Black Forest: Achertalbahn
Eric Bitzer/AEG


What’s steaming along the Alb? It’s the Albtalbahn, which accompanies the Alb River through the Black Forest from Karlsruhe to Bad Herrenalb in the north of the holiday region. Railway romantics experience real railway history with the historic steam train which stops in Ettlingen, Busenbach, Etzenrot, Marxzell, and Frauenalb. All aboard!

Trains in Germany: Albtahlbahn in the Black Forest
Daniel Saarburg/Dampfnostalgie


Along nineteen kilometers, the historic steam train of the Dreiseenbahn visits the Titisee, Windgfällweiher, and Schluchsee in the Black Forest. The train staff are adorned in original uniforms from the 1950s, creating a particularly authentic atmosphere. The historic train now travels along the Titisee, before stopping at the idyllically situated Windgfällweiher. And finally ending at the southernmost point of Lake Schluchsee in Seebrugg, where the reservoir is the largest Black Forest swimming lake at an altitude of 930 meters. Dive into the waves!

train st Lake Schluchsee in the Black Forest in Germany
Marco Zakoschek


The Kandertalbahn offers a train ride with tangible railway history for the whole family. This classic branch line in the southern Black Forest branches off from the Rhine Valley Railway in Haltingen, five kilometers north of Basel. And then runs for 13 kilometers through the picturesque Kandertal to the pottery town of Kandern. The ride takes 45 minutes and is offered from May to October. Every Sunday, the Chanderli, as the train is called in the local dialect, shuttles three times back and forth between Kandern and Haltingen.

train at station in Germany
Oliver Welti


The ride on the Murgtalbahn through numerous bridges and tunnels is like a journey on a mountain railway. From Karlsruhe Central Station via Rastatt, Gaggenau, and Gernsbach, the route leads to Weisenbach. The Tennetschlucht Viaduct, shortly after Langenbrand-Bermersbach, one of the few remaining original stone bridges, is particularly worth seeing. After passing through Forbach with its characteristic church, the valley widens behind Schwarzenberg. And soon after, the destination of Baiersbronn is reached after about two and a half hours of travel time

spectacular train Murgtalbahn at the Black Forest
Daniel Saarbourg/Dampfnostalgie Karlsruhe

Sauschwänzlebahn (The Pigtail Train)

It is said that the Sauschwänzlebahn is one of the most famous and at the same time one of the most beautiful train routes in the holiday region. From Blumberg-Zollhaus, the tracks wind through the southern Black Forest to Weizen. Over 25 kilometers, across four bridges, through six tunnels, and back, the way is lined with magnificent views into the valleys of the surroundings and into the Wutach Gorge. And the locomotives have quite a job to do, as they have to overcome 231 meters of altitude. If you are lucky enough to travel on a clear day, you can even see the Alps during the ride.

By the way, for those who wonder where the strange name comes from: the course of the route resembles a coiled pigtail. Oh, and for those who would like to stretch their legs in between, they can take a twelve-kilometer-long railway hiking trail from Blumberg to Lausheim and jump back on the train on the way back.

Black Forest train