France (Grand Est) - Lines with Obscure or Sparse passenger services

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Obscure Services

Raccordement Trois Puits: Champagne-Ardenne TGV – Trois Puits [ – Reims]

[ERT 389, fiche C01 Sedan - Charleville-Mézières - Reims - Paris, C09 Reims - Champagne-Ardenne TGV - Épernay] (ERA-E 31A1; ERA-R 71B4; S+W 17A4-17B4) FR201

This grade separated link with the LGV Est is unusual in that the ground level north side track is used by non-TGV shuttle trains (navettes) between Reims and Champagne-Ardenne TGV and vice versa as well as towards Paris TGV's, whereas the flyover is used only by through TGV services between Paris Est and Reims.

Attigny - Voncq - Challerange

(ERA-E 30C2 - 31A2; ERA-R 71B5; S+W 18B3) FR23/202

CFT du Sud des Ardennes currently operates between Amagne Village and Attigny during the summer season. Trains used to run regularly to Vouziers, but only during the Fête du Rail weekend, usually in mid-August, did they continue to the end of the line at Challerange. It appears likely that in the immediate future any operations beyond Attigny will run only as far as Voncq. The future of the line between Voncq, Vouziers and Challerange is under consideration.


[ERT 379] (ERA-E 31B4; ERA-R 72C1 inset; S+W 69B1) FR203

Three possible routes exist for TGVs between Strasbourg and Belfort-Montbéliard TGV (or beyond) to traverse the Mulhouse area. Most trains use the original main line via Mulhouse-Dornach, with reversal in Mulhouse Ville. Those taking 46 minutes or less to/from Strasbourg are highly likely to take this route.

Contournement de Mulhouse and Raccordement de Wanne: Lutterbach (Haut-Rhin) (Bifurcation de Lutterbach) – Mulhouse (via Mulhouse Nord)


This route enables these trains to avoid reversal at Mulhouse. Trains from Mulhouse have been noted using a route around the north side of some parts of Mulhouse yards, trains to Mulhouse a route around the south side of some parts of Mulhouse yards. More than 10 tracks separate the two routes.

Most TGV services between Strasbourg and Lyon call at Mulhouse Ville for only 3 or 4 minutes, which is hardly enough time for reversal, so regularly use this route as did the 09.04 Strasbourg to Marseille TGV on 10 April 2023. On 29 November 2023 TGVs 5516/2242 and 2239/5537, Nice - Strasbourg/Nancy and v.v. were noted taking this route.

The compilers would welcome additional reports of specific trains running this way..

Click on the thumbnail for a full size map.

Mulhouse-Dornach – Brunstatt


This direct curve, to the west of Mulhouse, between the Colmar line near Mulhouse-Dornach and the Belfort line near Brunstatt, enables trains to avoid Mulhouse altogether. All trains are scheduled to call at Mulhouse from December 2019, so the curve is not currently used.

Click on the thumbnail for a full size map.

(Flüh [Switzerland] –) frontier – Leymen – frontier (– Rodersdorf [Switzerland])

(ERA-E 31C5, not shown; ERA-R 134A3; S+W 69C2) FR22/206

BLT operate through France - see Swiss table 50.010 - over this route which is not linked to the French national network.

(Vendenheim –) Mundolsheim – Strasbourg via ligne 1 bis on the west side of Hausbergen Yard

[fiche A03] (ERA-E 31A5, not shown; ERA-R 72C5; S+W 39B1-39B2) FR20/207

Track 1 bis runs on the west side of the main lines, veering away at Mundolsheim station to run on the far side of Hausbergen yard. It comes back alongside the main lines at the south end of the yard, near the PRS / Poste 1. This line has been known to be used by trains booked more than the usual 12 minutes between Brumath or Stephansfeld and Strasbourg. There are none in the 2020 timetable.

In the opposite direction, track 2 bis runs on the east side of the yard, close to the main lines. It seems most unlikely it would be used as there is no operational reason for this and it creates further conflictions at Vendenheim.

On 29 November 2023 830305 14:42 Metz to Strasbourg was noted using this line

The compilers would welcome reports of use of this route in either direction.


(ERA-E 72A4; ERA-R 72A4; S+W 36A1)

East of Onville the old main line from Paris Est to Metz makes a triangular junction with the line from Nancy to Metz. West of Onville there is a triangular junction where the line to Conflans-Jarny joins the line from Paris. There are trains between Metz and Nancy, avoiding Onville to the east, half hourly on weekdays and hourly at weekends. There are no passenger trains between the Paris line and Conflans-Jarny, avoiding Onville to the west.

Click on the thumbnail for a full size map.

The four curves from Onville are used thus:

Onville - Pagny-sur-Moselle

[ERT 392, fiche L25 Nancy - Longwy] FR23/208

The curve to the southeast is used by trains between Nancy and Conflans-Jarny.

From Nancy: 08:39 SuX, 12:39, 16:26/16:39 SuO, 17:39 SSuX, 18:39, 19:54 D FO

From Conflans-Jarny: 06:48 SSuX, 07:48 SuX, 11:48 SSuO, 13:48 SSuX, 15:48 SSuX, 17:44 SSuO, 19:46 SuO, 20:27 SuO

Onville - Thiaucourt

[Fiche L28 Metz - Bar-le-Duc] FR22/209

The curve to the southwest is used by trains between Metz and Bar-le-Duc.

From Metz: 08:26 SSuX, 12:36 SO, 14:04 D SSuX, 17:24 SuO, 18:00 SO, 18:31 SSuX

From Bar-le-Duc: 07:16 SuX, 13:14 SSuX, 16:46 SO, 17:16 SX, 19:16 SuO

Onville - Conflans-Jarny

[ERT 392, fiche L25 Nancy - Longwy and L30 Metz - Verdun] FR23/210

The curve to the northwest is used by trains from Metz or Nancy to Conflans-Jarny, if not via Hagondange. It is used by trains listed under route FR23/208 and by:

From Metz: 06:06 SSuX, 18:21 SSuX

From Conflans-Jarny: 07:20 SSuX, 18:50 SSuX

Onville - Metz

[Fiche L28 Metz - Bar-le-Duc and L30 Metz - Verdun] FR23/211

The curve to the northeast is used by trains between Metz and Bar-le-Duc or Conflans-Jarny, if not via Hagondange. It is used by trains listed under route FR23/209 and by:

From Metz: 06:06 SSuX, 18:21 SSuX

From Conflans-Jarny: 07:20 SSuX, 18:50 SSuX

Bouzonville – Niedaltdorf (Germany)

(ERA-E 30C4-31A4; ERA-R 72A5-72B5; S+W 20B3-20C2) FR212

This line has no regular service but a special shuttle service has operated from Dillingen in conjunction with the Good Friday market at Bouzonville - see Germany route Niedaltdorf – Bouzonville (France) for details and train timings.

Sarrebourg avoiding line: Sarraltroff – Réding

[ERT 383, fiche A14 Strasbourg - Metz] (ERA-E 31A4; ERA-R 72B4; S+W 37B3) FR23/213

See the map in the next entry.

This is used by 'classic' trains between Metz and Strasbourg not calling at Sarrebourg. Non-stop TGVs run via the LGV Est.

For the other two sides of the triangle:

  • [Berthelming -] Sarraltroff - Sarrebourg: see fiche A14 Strasbourg - Metz
  • Sarrebourg - Réding: see fiche A13 Strasbourg - Nancy for TER services and the next entry for TGV services.

Raccordement de Réding: (Nancy -) Sarrebourg - Raccordement de Réding - LGV Est Européenne (- Strasbourg)

[ERT 383, fiche A13 Strasbourg - Nancy] (ERA-E 31A4; ERA-R 72B4; S+W 37B3 (Not shown)) FR23/214

This is the lengthy connection from Sarrebourg, on the classic route from Nancy to Strasbourg, onto the LGV Est Européenne to Strasbourg.

Click on the thumbnail for a full size map.

Since December 2021 two daily TGV services have taken this route.

TGV5516 06:52 Nice Ville - 16:00 Strasbourg - Nancy
TGV5537 12:26 Nancy - Nice Ville

Raccordement de Lucy: Rémilly (Bif. km 124,255) - Lesse (Bif. km 306)

[ERT 379] (ERA-E 31A4; ERA-R 72A4; S+W 36C2) FR23/215

This north west to south east connection, south east of Rémilly, is used by TGVs between Luxembourg, Metz and Strasbourg transferring between the Alsace-Lorraine 'classic' line and the section of LGV Est east of here.

Raccordement de Lucy is the opposite angle from the curve which allows through running between Paris and the Alsace-Lorraine 'classic' line east of here, which formed the eastern exit from LGV Est until 2016 but which is now used only if LGV Est east of here is blocked.

Click on the thumbnail for a full size map. Pending redrawing of the map, note that the eastern and western junctions on LGV Est are both grade-separated (flyovers).

D1 TGV5521 05:46 Metz - Montpellier St Roch
TGV9877 Luxembourg - 08:11 Metz - Marseille St Charles
TGV9879 Luxembourg - 12:12 Metz - Montpellier Sud de France
TGV9898 Montpellier St Roch - 12:31 Strasbourg - Luxembourg
TGV5500 Montpellier St Roch - 20:24 Strasbourg - Metz
D TGV9896 Marseille St Charles - 22:14 Strasbourg - Luxembourg

D1: On days when this train leaves Metz earlier it is likely to run via the old main line and not this route.

Contournement de Metz: Metz Ville – Woippy

[fiche L01B Metz - Hagondange - Thionville - Luxembourg] (ERA-E 31A3; ERA-R 72A4; S+W 20A4) FR23/216

The original Metz - Thionville line provides an alternative route to the west of the current main line of 1908. Trains using this line arrive and depart at the south end of Metz Ville station, instead of the north. Trains taking at least 15 minutes between Metz and Hagondange may use this route.

Click on the thumbnail for a full size map.

Train 37680 from Metz to Thionville at 13:48 SSuX is the only stopping service not to call at Metz Nord, so seems particularly likely to use this route.

There is a temporary timetable between Thionville and Metz from 30 October to 24 November, probably due to engineering work. Trains from Thionville to Metz on Saturdays and Sundays are given 16-17 minutes between Hagondange and Metz, rather than the usual 11-12 minutes, so would appear likely to run via this obscure route. There are also two similarly timed trains on weekdays and these continue into the 2024 timetable. 837682 14:09 Metz - Thionville and 837699 09:24 Thionville - Metz

The compilers would welcome reports of use of this route.

Woippy – Maizières-lès-Metz (via Woippy-Triage (west side))

[fiche L01B Metz - Hagondange - Thionville - Luxembourg] (ERA-E 31A3, not shown; ERA-R 72A4, not shown; S+W 20A3) FR23/217

Some local passenger trains are scheduled to use this route (voies 1B /2B) for pathing purposes, taking slightly longer than usual between Woippy and and Maizières-lès-Metz. The actual routing is therefore particularly susceptible to the timekeeping not only of the train itself but of those around it. Trains via the Contournement de Metz, route FR23/216, may also use this route.

Click on the thumbnail for a full size map.

Lines used on an occasional basis for engineering work diversions

Racc de Mohon: Poix-Terron (Bif Km 139.6) - Lumes (Bif Km 140.6)

(ERA-E 16B2; ERA-R 71B5; 18B1) FR18/231

This south to east curve enables trains to run between Reims and Sedan without reversing at Charleville-Mézières. It is not normally used by passenger trains, but some services were diverted this way between 15 April and 17 May 2019, omitting the normal stop at Charleville-Mézières. This is unlikely to be repeated.

Raccordement d'Uckange: Uckange (Bif. d'Uckange) – Hayange (Bif. de Florange)

[CFL website plus fiche L01B Metz - Hagondange - Thionville - Luxembourg] (ERA-E 63C2; ERA-R 72A5, 20A3) FR232

This line avoiding Thionville enables trains to run direct between Metz and Longuyon.

The line between Luxembourg and Bettembourg was completely closed from 10 to 18 February 2018 and two pairs of Monday to Friday rush hour trains between Luxembourg and Metz were diverted via Rodange, Longuyon and Uckange, non-stop to/from Uckange. These diversions may have been repeated during a long blockade in July-August 2018.

See also