Press release


New connection between Düsseldorf Main Station and Cologne Bonn Airport

The new line RE 6a gets underway with the timetable change on 13 December. Operator of the Regional Express route between Düsseldorf and Cologne/Bonn Airport is DB Regio NRW. In the future, the 63 kilometer train route will connect the state capital with Cologne Main Station and the international air traffic hub on an hourly basis. The new offering provides for additional capacities in the busy rail corridor between the three hubs. With a journey time of under an hour, the Regional Express also creates a rapid alternative to driving. 

RE capacity between Düsseldorf and Cologne rising by 30 percent

Not only passengers benefit from the direct and attractive connection of the RE 6a to and from Cologne/Bonn Airport. The routing via Neuss Main Station, Dormagen, Cologne Messe/Deutz (individual train services) and Cologne Main Station to Cologne Bonn Airport will also take significant pressure off the route between Düsseldorf Main Station and Cologne Main Station via Leverkusen. This routing is necessary as additional services on the direct corridor between the state capital and Cologne will only be possible after the expansion of the regional express infrastructure. With a service of 20 trains in each direction per day, the RE 6a will also create additional capacities for more than 16,000 passengers daily from and to Düsseldorf or Cologne from as soon as mid-December. When operations begin, the third fast local transport connection between the two cities besides the RE 1 and 5 will increase the number of seats on offer by over 30 percent.

Commuters and air passengers benefit from schedules to suit their needs

The schedules of the new line are designed to suit users, so those travelling both early and late still have appropriate connections as well as business commuters heading for Cologne Main Station. From Düsseldorf Main Station towards Cologne/Bonn Airport, the Regional Express operates daily and hourly from 04:49 until 0:49. This puts a new public transport offering on the rails specifically tailored to meet passenger needs.

In use will be air-conditioned electric railcars of type ET 425, which in “double-traction” – two carriages coupled together – offer seat capacities for around 400 passengers per train. A lift to aid boarding and disembarking for mobility-impaired people is as much standard equipment as automatic station announcements and displays as part of customer information. Each train on the RE 6a will be accompanied by a customer assistant to offer advice for the passengers and, with his constant presence, contribute to an enhanced sense of security on board.

Through connection of the RE 6 creates further capacities from the end of 2016

The federal state and the operator have set the realization of the RE 6a in motion together. The contract to offer the services was awarded to DB Regio NRW. The local transport subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn will now put the service on the rails from 13 December on behalf of Nahverkehr Rheinland (NVR) and Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr (VRR).

The operating concept of the RE 6a will be run for a period of one year until the end of 2016. From the timetable change next year, the line will be integrated into the existing RE 6. The trains of the Regional Express line operated with double-decker carriages presently operate hourly between Minden and Düsseldorf and, from December 2016, will be connected through to Cologne/Bonn Airport. This will again significantly increase the local transport capacities on this stretch. Operator of the RE 6 in the name of all task-bearers in North Rhine-Westphalia is also DB Regio NRW.
Statements on start of operations of the RE 6a

Michael Groschek, NRW Minister for Building, Homes, Urban Development and Transport:

“When the multi-billion project, RRX, finally comes, many commuters can breathe a sigh of relief. Together with the Federal Government, we are building the infrastructure necessary for that piece by piece. But until that happens we need powerful alternatives. The RE 6a is quite clearly part of that and will significantly improve the situation of the people who commute every day between Cologne and Düsseldorf already from next month.”

Martin Husmann, Board Spokesman of Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr:

“What matters is that, with the operating concept of the RE 6a, additional capacities are now being offered on this highly frequented route and, beyond the coming years with the extension of the RE 6 line, will be available to all local transport customers in the long term too.”

Heiko Sedlaczek, Managing Director of Nahverkehr Rheinland GmbH:

“From Cologne to Düsseldorf – more passengers are travelling on hardly any route in Germany day for day. So I am delighted that, with the timetable change, we can finally offer a further travel alternative. Apart from the urgently needed capacity increase, a regular direct connection between the state capital of Düsseldorf and Cologne/Bonn Airport without changing trains will also be created.”

Heinrich Brüggemann, Chairman of the Management Board of
DB Regio NRW:

“With the expansion of the Regional Express product in 2010, the points were set in the right direction. The start of operations of the RE 6a is a further milestone towards local transport in NRW which is fit for the future. As a strong partner of the industry, we are already making an important contribution on the path to the RRX.”

Michael Garvens, Chairman of the Management Board of Flughafen Köln/Bonn GmbH:
“Cologne Bonn Airport is an outstandingly networked traffic hub, which is unique in Europe. The new RE6a improves the accessibility and appeal of the airport yet again and fits ideally with our growing flight offering with the new Eurowings long-haul routes. Passengers from Düsseldorf and northern Cologne can now also reach the airport in the fastest way by express train.”

back to overview