Germany (Niedersachsen and Bremen) - Lines with Obscure or Sparse passenger services

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Introduction

This list is based on the timetable dated from 10 December 2017 to 8 December 2018, unless otherwise stated. Standard abbreviations are explained in General Information. Map references relate to the 2014 issue of the Schweers+Wall Eisenbahnatlas Deutschland.

Obscure services

Saline – Westen

(9B3) DE18/151

This is a branch off the line from Westanleger to Wangerooge. Passenger trains run to/from Westen when required by pre-booked parties staying at the Youth Hostel or other accommodation there. During the summer season, excursions run between Wangerooge and Westen: see DB's Wangerooge website and search ("Suche") for "Westen" during the season.

Emden Hbf - Emden Außenhafen

[395] (18B4) DE18/152

This branch line is used by trains connecting with the ferry to and from Borkum. These are a few IC trains, mostly to and from Köln, and some local trains between Münster and Emden. Dates and times of operation vary considerably. 'Emden Außenhafen' is indicated as the origin or destination of relevant trains in Kursbuch table 395, but full times are shown in the Westfalen Bahn timetable.

Bremen-Sebaldsbrück – Bremen Hbf (via Abzw. Vahr)

[380] (9C2-9B2) DE18/153

Trains from the Hannover line to platforms 1, 2 or 3 at Bremen Hbf may use this spur, which crosses from the north side of the line to the south side by passing under both the main Hannover line and the Osnabrück line. They may, alternatively, use crossovers at the approach to Bremen Hbf. The route via Abzw. Vahr has been used by RE trains from Hannover to Bremen and also by IC trains from Hannover to Oldenburg. Trains in the opposite direction normally use the flat junction at Hastedt but, if the departure signal at Bremen Hbf platforms 1, 2 or 3 shows speed restriction 4 (= 40 km/h), that may indicate use of this route. There is no passenger use of the connections between Bremen-Hemelingen and Bremen Hbf via Abzw. Vahr known to the compilers.

Bremen avoiding line: Sagehorn – Dreye (Abzw. Bremen-Gabelung)

[120, 385] (9D1-9C3) DE18/154

Most trains between Hamburg and Osnabrück call at Bremen Hbf, but this route enables those that do not to avoid a lengthy detour.

FSSuX ICE1099 Hamburg-Altona – 06:12 Hamburg Hbf – Köln Hbf
FO IC2401 Hamburg-Altona – 06:12 Hamburg Hbf – Köln Hbf
D TWSuX FLX1803 Hamburg-Altona – 09:01 Hamburg-Harburg – Köln Hbf
D FO IC2417 Fehmarn-Burg - 11:17 Hamburg-Harburg – Köln Hbf
D SO FLX1805 Hamburg-Altona – 13:01 Hamburg-Harburg – Köln Hbf
D SO IC2405 Stralsund Hbf – 15:12 Hamburg-Harburg – Köln Hbf
SuO IC2409 Stralsund Hbf – 16:08 Hamburg-Harburg – Köln Hbf
SSuX IC2195 Hamburg-Altona - 16:10 Hamburg-Harburg – Köln Hbf
D TSX FLX1807 Hamburg-Altona – 17:01 Hamburg-Harburg – Köln Hbf
SuO IC2197 Hamburg-Altona – 18:10 Hamburg-Harburg – Köln Hbf
FSSuX ICE1098 Köln Hbf – 07:03 Essen Hbf – Hamburg-Altona
D MSO FLX1800 Köln Hbf – 09:14 Osnabrück Hbf – Hamburg-Altona
D IC2410 Köln/Bonn Flughafen – 09:05 Gelsenkirchen Hbf - Fehmarn-Burg
D MWSX FLX1802 Köln Hbf – 13:16 Osnabrück Hbf – Hamburg-Altona
D MThO FLX1804 Köln Hbf – 17:14 Osnabrück Hbf – Hamburg-Altona
SX IC2196 Köln Hbf – 17:02 Essen Hbf – Hamburg-Altona
D FO FLX1808 Köln Hbf – 18:44 Münster (Westf) Hbf – Hamburg-Altona
D SuO FLX1806 Köln Hbf – 21:14 Osnabrück Hbf – Hamburg-Altona

Days and dates of operation of Flixtrain services vary; to check timings see their website

Kirchweyhe – Kirchweyhe BTE

(20B4) DE18/155

This south to west curve provides the only usable connection between DB and the Bremen-Thedinghauser Eisenbahn. BTE runs excursions, mostly during the summer, from Leeste to destinations on the DB network. See www.pingelheini.de.

Lüneburg Westseite (West station)

[110] (22C3) DE18/156

This is a separate station, west of the main line, which is used by most Hamburg local trains starting or terminating at Lüneburg. Those using the main station are departures at 04:32 SuX, 05:32 and 05:52/05:58 SSuX and arrivals at 03:59 SSuO, 05:21 SSuX and 06:22 SuX. The Westseite is also used by all trains to and from Dannenberg Ost.

Uelzen W750 - Uelzen W23 (Veerßer Kurve)

[305] (32C1) DE18/157

The Stendal - Salzwedel - Uelzen - Bremen line crosses under the Hannover - Hamburg main line just south of Uelzen and curves north to serve the west side of Uelzen station. A new direct curve (the Veerßer Kurve) from the Stendal line to the east side of Uelzen station, giving a non-conflicting connection towards Hamburg, was opened in November 2013.

Most trains between Stendal and Uelzen use the original line to and from the west side of Uelzen station. However, IRE services from Berlin to Hamburg (introduced on 15 April 2014) normally use the Veerßer Kurve in this direction only to call at platform 102 on the east side of the station.

Osnabrück Schinkel and Löhner Curves: Osnabrück ob Bf – Wissingen (Bbf Lüstringen)

[385] (40C3) DE18/158

This is a curve from the high level station at Osnabrück to the Hannover line.

SuX IC2241 Münster (Westf) – 06:04 Osnabrück Hbf – Berlin Ostbahnhof
SuO IC2343 Münster (Westf) - 08:04 Osnabrück Hbf – Berlin Ostbahnhof
SX IC1926 Köln Hbf - 16:57 Osnabrück Hbf – Berlin Ostbahnhof
FSSuX IC1929 Berlin Ostbahnhof - 10:41 Bünde (Westf) - Köln Hbf
IC2242 Berlin Ostbahnhof – 21:35 Bünde (Westf) – Münster (Westf)
SuO IC2240 Berlin Ostbahnhof – 23:35 Bünde (Westf) – Münster (Westf)

Ahlten (Abzw. Lehrte West) – Aligse (Lehrte Nordgruppe, former Stw Lnf)

[360.6.7] (122D4) DE18/159

This west to north curve is used by trains between Hannover and Burgdorf which run non-stop between Hannover Karl-Wiechert-Allee and Aligse. There is an hourly S-Bahn service between Hannover and Celle by this route. The curve is also used by IC/ICE trains between Hamburg and Hannover Messe/Laatzen from 1 to 14 October, when the usual stop at Hannover Hbf is omitted.

Lehrte (Abzw Lehrte West) – Misburg – Abzw Waldheim – Hannover Messe/Laatzen (Hannover Wülfel)

(122D4-122D3) DE18/160

This route forms the eastern part of the ring line round the south side of Hannover. It is used by the following trains to avoid reversal at Hannover Hbf.

MThFSO FLX1817 Berlin-Lichtenberg - 08:38 Lehrte - Stuttgart Hbf
SX FLX1819 Berlin-Lichtenberg - 16:36 Lehrte - Stuttgart Hbf
SuX FLX1818 Stuttgart Hbf - 10:54 Hannover Messe/Laatzen - Berlin-Lichtenberg
FO IC1970 Stuttgart Hbf - 15:50 Göttingen - Stralsund Hbf
MThFSO FLX1816 Stuttgart Hbf - 18:58 Hannover Messe/Laatzen - Berlin-Lichtenberg

Days and dates of operation of Flixtrain services may vary; to confirm timings and to make bookings, see the Flixtrain website.

The trains between Paris and Moskva were diverted this way when departure from Moskva was on 24 April and from Paris on 26 April.

This route is also used by diverted IC/ICE trains between Lehrte and Hannover Messe/Laatzen from 1 to 14 October, when the usual stop at Hannover Hbf is omitted. This includes trains to and from Hamburg via the west to north curve at Lehrte.

Lehrte – Sehnde

[360.3] (122D4) DE18/161

East of Lehrte, the lines from Braunschweig and Hildesheim join with the line from Gifhorn in a complex flying junction. Trains from Lehrte towards Braunschweig or Hildesheim dive under the Gifhorn line and follow the original alignment of the Braunschweig line. Trains towards Lehrte diverge to the north and fly over the Gifhorn line about ½ km further north.

As an exception to this, any train from Hildesheim that terminates at Lehrte platform 3 will use the south side of the flying junction in the inbound direction.

Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe (Abzw Siekweg) – Göttingen east side platforms

(55A2-55B2) DE18/162

This 2km link (line 1803) leaves the Kassel Schnellfahrstrecke south of Göttingen and then crosses the Eichenberg line before joining the eastern platforms at Göttingen. It is normally used by northbound trains stopping at platform 4 at Göttingen. Click on the thumbnail for a full size diagram

Gottingen1.jpg

The following train is booked to use platform 4 at Göttingen, but may not always do so.

SSuX ICE272 Zürich HB - 22:45 Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe - Hamburg-Altona

(Eichenberg –) Friedland(Han.) (Abzw. Grone) – Göttingen east side platforms

(55A2-55B2) DE18/163

Trains to and from the Eichenberg line at Göttingen mostly use platforms 4 and 5 and generally use this previously freight-only connection. Click on the thumbnail for a full size diagram.

Gottingen2.jpg

Obscure services: Lines used on an occasional basis for engineering work diversions

Osnabrück Schinkel and Stahlwerks Curves: Osnabrück ob Bf – Osnabrück unt Bf

[385] (40C3) DE19/181

These curves allow trains to run between the Münster and Rheine lines, passing through both the high-level and low-level platforms at Osnabrück. The route may be used by IC trains if the direct line between Münster (Westf) and Rheine is blocked. This is indicated by an extended journey time and local trains being replaced by buses. Such diversions took place between 5 and 13 August 2017.

Lehrte (Abzw Lehrte West) – Misburg – Abzw Waldheim – Hannover-Linden - Wunstorf

(31D4-31B4) DE19/182

This is a ring line around the south side of Hannover. It is occasionally used by diverted IC trains between the Lehrte and Osnabrück lines, this being indicated by omission of the usual stop at Hannover Hbf.

Hannover Hbf (Hannover Kurve) - Ahlem - Empelde

[360.5] (122B2-122D3) DE19/183

This route forms part of the ring line round the south side of Hannover, with the curve to the Hameln line. The hourly S5 trains between Hannover Hbf and Paderborn and a few overnight trains were diverted this way between 1 and 14 October 2018.

Northeim (Han) - Edesheim (Leine)

(55B1) DE19/184

Connections between the old main line and the Schnellfahrstrecke at Edesheim (Leine), north of Northeim (Han), are sometimes used by IC/ICE trains during engineering work. Use of the old main line instead of the Schnellfahrstrecke results in an extended journey time between Göttingen and Hannover, but it is not normally possible to tell from public information which connection is being used. Many trains were diverted via the old main line between Göttingen and Edesheim (Leine) between 12 and 28 August 2017.

Norten-Hardenburg - Northheim (Han)

(55B1-55B2) DE19/185

Connections between the old main line and the Schnellfahrstrecke at Norten-Hardenberg, south of Northeim (Han), are sometimes used by IC/ICE trains during engineering work. Use of the old main line instead of the Schnellfahrstrecke results in an extended journey time between Göttingen and Hannover, but it is not normally possible to tell from public information which connection is being used.

See also