Germany (Nordrhein-Westfalen) - Lines with Obscure or Sparse passenger services

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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: Lines with regular use

Löhne (Westf) – Kirchlengern

[370, 375] (41B2-41A2) DE18/351

This line no longer appears in the DB Kursbuch, but is used by IC trains between Osnabrück and Hannover, normally every two hours.

Dortmund Hbf (Abzw Lütgendortmund) – Witten Hbf (Abzw Stockumer Straße)

[427, 455] (138D3) DE18/352

This east to south curve is used by trains running non-stop between Dortmund Hbf and Witten Hbf or Hagen Hbf. There are hourly services of IC/ICE trains to Hagen and RE trains to Witten.

Dortmund Aplerbeck Süd (Abzw Schwerte Heide) – Fröndenberg (Schwerte Ost)

[438] (139C3) DE18/353

This north to east curve connects the Dortmund and Brilon Wald lines east of Schwerte (Ruhr). It is used by through trains between Dortmund Hbf and Bestwig, Brilon Wald or Winterberg (Westf), approximately hourly, except for late evening and night trains at 23 minutes past the hour from Dortmund Hbf, which reverse at Schwerte (Ruhr).

Bochum Hbf (Abzw Prinz von Preußen) – Abzw Dortmund-Dorstfeld – Dortmund Signal Iduna Park (Abzw Schnettkerbrücke)

(138C3-139A3) DE18/354

These connections (DB Netz lines 2151 and 2120), providing direct access to Dortmund Signal Iduna Park from the west, connect only with the goods lines west of Dortmund (and not the main or S-Bahn lines) and thus avoid Dortmund Hbf.

Specials operate between Duisburg and Dortmund Signal Iduna Park when Borussia Dortmund are playing at home. On 26 August 2017, the inwards working was Duisburg Hbf (16:34), Mülheim(Ruhr) (16:41), Essen Hbf (16:47, Wattenscheid (16:54), Bochum Hbf P2 (17:02) and arriving at Dortmund Signal Iduna Park at 17:23. The return working departed Dortmund Signal Iduna Park at 21:09, calling at Bochum Hbf P4 (21:30), Wattenscheid (21:34), Essen Hbf (21:42), Mülheim(Ruhr) (21:49) and Duisburg Hbf (21:54). They were shown in the journey planner and the mobile app as well as on posters at Bochum Hbf. VRR fares apply. Use of platform 2 at Bochum Hbf suggests diving down to join the goods lines immediately east of Bochum Hbf before they pass under the main lines.

Kick-off times vary. See the Borussia Dortmund website for dates and times of home matches.

Between 14 July and 9 September, the two-hourly RE11 service between Düsseldorf Hbf and Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe will be diverted to run directly between Bochum Hbf and Soest via this route, calling additionally at Dortmund-Hörde, Unna and Werl. The following trains are also diverted this way between 14 July and 9 September:

D IC2013 Leipzig Hbf/Magdeburg Hbf/Braunschweig Hbf – 09:15 Hamm (Westf) – Oberstdorf
D FSuO IC1040 Berlin Ostbf - 14:29 Hamm (Westf) – Düsseldorf Hbf
D FO IC1913 Berlin Ostbf - 16:27 Hamm (Westf) - Köln Hbf
D FSuO IC1952 Leipzig Hbf - 21:50 Dortmund-Hörde – Köln Hbf
D FO IC2426 Köln Hbf – 12:42 Essen Hbf - Ostseebad Binz
D FSuO IC1922 Stuttgart Hbf – 14:42 Essen Hbf - Berlin Ostbf
D MTSX IC1914 Köln Hbf – 16:42 Essen Hbf - Berlin Ostbf
D FSuO IC1043 Düsseldorf Hbf - 17:34 Bochum Hbf - Berlin Ostbf
D IC2012 Oberstdorf - 17:32 Duisburg Hbf - Hannover Hbf/Magdeburg Hbf/Leipzig Hbf
D SO IC1102 Basel SBB - 21:59 Essen Hbf - Hannover Hbf

Düsseldorf Flughafen Terminal – Kalkum

[415.1] (140D2) DE18/355

The original Düsseldorf Flughafen station, now known as Düsseldorf Flughafen Terminal, is at the end of a short branch off the main line from Düsseldorf to Duisburg. Since the new Düsseldorf Flughafen station opened on the main line on 28 May 2000, there has been no direct S-Bahn service between the old station and Duisburg. The only train now to use the west to north curve off the branch to Düsseldorf Flughafen Terminal is

SSuX RE10162 Dortmund Hbf – 03:22 Duisburg Hbf – Düsseldorf Hbf

Neuss avoiding line: Neuss Am Kaiser (Abzw Erftkanal) – Meerbusch-Osterath (Abzw Weißenberg)

[495] (140C3) DE18/356

This east to north curve is used by trains between Düsseldorf Hbf and Krefeld not calling at Neuss Hbf. These comprise the half-hourly (hourly at weekends) service between Düsseldorf Hbf and Kleve.

Neuss Pbf - Neuss Am Kaiser (Abzw Erftkanal)

[415.Fer, 481] (140C3-140C4) DE18/357

Neuss station is in two parts, east and west, with separate approach tracks to each from the Düsseldorf, Grevenbroich and Köln lines. All S-Bahn trains, as well as all trains to/from Mönchengladbach, use the west side. Other trains, including all of those to and from Krefeld, use the east side. Therefore, most trains between Düsseldorf and Neuss use the west side, the exceptions using the east side being SSuX RB39 trains to and from Grevenbroich.

Köln-Mülheim (Abzw Berliner Straße) – Köln Messe/Deutz

[415.Fer] (146C2-146C3) DE18/358

There is an alternative route between Köln-Mülheim and Köln Messe/Deutz, east of the S-Bahn tracks at Köln-Mülheim, then flying over most of the layout to the high-level platforms at Köln Messe/Deutz. This is scheduled to be used by:

FSuX ICE846 Berlin-Gesundbrunnen - 20:08 Düsseldorf Hbf - Köln Hbf/Aachen Hbf

Köln Süd – Troisdorf (via Köln-Bonntor, Abzw Südbrücke and Gremberg Rbf)

[472] (146A3-148D2) DE18/359

This route over the Südbrücke enables trains via Bonn-Beuel or the Frankfurt Schnellfahrstrecke to arrive and depart at the west end of Köln Hbf.

Between Abzw Steinstraße (where the line from Südbrücke joins) and Troisdorf, trains from Südbrücke that do not use the Schnellfahrstrecke will use the goods line to the west of the high-speed line, rather than the local passenger line to the east of it.

D3 ICE522 München Hbf - 00:15 Siegburg/Bonn - Dortmund Hbf

D3: Not via this route nights of 16/17 July to 25/26 August

Köln-Ehrenfeld – Köln West

(146A2-146A3) DE18/360

This west to south curve links the Aachen and Koblenz lines west of Köln Hbf. It may be used by Alpen Express winter sports trains between Den Haag and Alpine resorts via Venlo.

Plans were announced for a private operator derschnellzug to run trains between Stuttgart and Aachen via this curve from 18 March 2016. This was postponed, because of problems in obtaining suitable train paths and rolling stock, and there is no indication when or if the service will actually operate.


[481] (63A2) DE18/361

There is a triangular junction at Horrem station. Bedburg trains terminating and starting at Horrem use platform 10 on the north to west curve. These run hourly, Mondays to Fridays. Trains between Bedburg and Köln Hbf use platform 19 on the north to east curve. These run hourly every day.

Bonn-Beuel – Hangelar

(149A4-149B4) DE18/362

Trains operated by Rhein-Sieg-Eisenbahn usually provide a passenger service over this line in connection with the annual Pützchens Markt early in September.

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

Buke - Langeland (Altenbeken Kurve)

[360.5, 430] (53C1) DE18/381

This south to east curve enables trains to run between the Warburg and Hameln lines without reversing at Altenbeken. The following trains are scheduled to be diverted this way between 31 August and 8 December, but may use an alternative, more direct, route if it is available.

D FO IC469 Flensburg - 23:59 Hannover Hbf - Basel Bad Bf
D SO IC479 Kiel Hbf - 23:59 Hannover Hbf - Basel Bad Bf
D SuO ICE1271 Hamburg-Altona - 01:10/01:14 MO Hannover Hbf - Chur
D SuO ICE590 München Hbf - 23:43 Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe - Hamburg Hbf
D SuO ICE990 München Hbf - 02:25 MO Bad Hersfeld - Hamburg-Altona
D SSuX ICE272 Zürich HB - 22:45 Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe - Hamburg-Altona

Minden (Westf) – Hamm (via Goods Line)

[370, 400] (41C1-52B1) DE18/382

Hamm to Minden is the longest quadruple line in Germany. Between Bielefeld and Gütersloh the goods lines fly over the passenger lines, and between Heessen and Ahlen they dive under. The goods lines are sometimes used by relief trains between Hannover and the Ruhr in order to overtake stopping services. They are also used when engineering work is taking place on the main line, which may be indicated by stopping trains being advertised not to call at certain stations.

Lünen Preußen - Bergkamen - Hamm (Westf) (Hamm Rbf Hde)

[415] (52A2-52B1) DE18/383

This is part of the freight line between Gelsenkirchen Buer Nord and Hamm, together with the south to east curve from the Dortmund to Münster line at Lünen Preußen. This route provides an alternative to the passenger line between Dortmund and Hamm. The following trains are diverted this way from 14 July until 9 September:

  • ICE trains at 38 or 39 minutes past the hour from Dortmund Hbf to Hamm (Westf)
  • ICE trains at 52 or 54 minutes past the hour from Hamm (Westf) to Dortmund Hbf
D FSSuX ICE949 Köln Hbf - 00:08 MSSuX Dortmund Hbf - Berlin Ostbf
D FO ICE1049 Köln Hbf - 00:09 SO Dortmund Hbf - Ostseebad Binz
D MO IC1916 Köln Hbf - 06:45 Dortmund Hbf - Berlin Ostbf
D SSuX IC2222 Aachen Hbf - 08:31 Duisburg Hbf - Berlin Südkreuz
D FSuO IC1959 Düsseldorf Hbf - 11:11 Gelsenkirchen Hbf - Leipzig Hbf
D FSSuO IC540 Berlin-Gesundbrunnen - 00:30 MSSuO Hamm (Westf) - Köln Hbf
D SuO IC2427 Stralsund Hbf - 21:22 Hamm (Westf) - Köln Hbf

It is likely that RE trains between Dortmund and Hamm will also use this route.

Recklinghausen Süd - Bergkamen - Hamm (Westf) (Hamm Rbf Hde)

[415, 416] (51C2-52B1) DE18/384

This is a longer section of the freight line between Gelsenkirchen Buer Nord and Hamm, together with the south to east curve from the Wanne-Eickel to Münster line at Recklinghausen Süd. This route provides an alternative to the passenger line between Wanne-Eickel and Hamm.

D1 SuO IC1924 Köln Hbf - 13:30 Duisburg Hbf - Stralsund Hbf
D1 FO IC1918 Köln Hbf - 13:32 Duisburg Hbf - Dresden Hbf

D1: 14 July to 9 September

Dortmund-Mengede (Dortmund-Nette) - Dortmund-Deusen - Dortmund-Kirchderne

[411, 416] (139A1-139B2) DE18/385

This freight line round the north side of Dortmund links the lines to Wanne-Eickel and Münster.

D1 SSuX IC2222 Aachen Hbf - 08:31 Duisburg Hbf - Berlin Südkreuz
D1 FSuO IC1959 Düsseldorf Hbf - 11:11 Gelsenkirchen Hbf - Leipzig Hbf

D1: 14 July to 9 September

Düsseldorf-Eller - Düsseldorf-Rath - Duisburg-Wedau – Oberhausen Hbf Obn or Obo

[415] (141A4-137A2) DE18/386

This line, together with Hilden – Opladen, forms a freight route between Köln and Oberhausen, only limited sections of which are used by passenger trains. At the north end there are connections to the Emmerich line (Obn) and to Essen (Obo). It is very unusual for a passenger train to use the full length of the line, but omission of stops at Düsseldorf Hbf, Duisburg Hbf or Oberhausen Hbf should indicate use of at least part. An extended journey time between Düsseldorf Hbf and Duisburg Hbf may indicate that the train runs via Düsseldorf-Rath and Duisburg-Wedau. A few trains ran via Düsseldorf-Eller and Düsseldorf-Rath in May 2017 and May 2018. Trains running non-stop from Köln Hbf to Duisburg Hbf may either use this route or may run via Neuss and the Krefeld avoiding line. Trains starting or terminating in Köln Hbf may use either route but ones coming up the Rhine valley from Koblenz without sufficient time to reverse in Köln Hbf are more likely to use this route.

Hilden - Opladen

[415] (141B4-147C2) DE18/387

This freight line forms part of an alternative route between Düsseldorf and Köln, and is sometimes used for diversions. A few long-distance trains were diverted this way between 29 April and 19 May 2017.

Köln-Ehrenfeld – Köln-Nippes

(146A2) DE18/388

This west to north curve links the Aachen and Neuss lines west of Köln Hbf. It is not normally used by passenger trains, but between 9 and 15 October 2017 Thalys services to and from Düsseldorf were diverted this way, not calling at Köln Hbf. From 14-18 October 2018, Thalys services are advertised as not calling at Köln Hbf and hence may go this way as they did a year earlier.

Meerbusch-Osterath – Krefeld-Linn

() DE18/389

This part of the line from Neuss to Duisburg does not have a regular passenger service. When engineering work restricts the available paths between Köln Hbf and Düsseldorf Hbf, trains running non-stop from Köln Hbf to Duisburg Hbf may either run via Neuss and this line or use DE18/386. Trains starting or terminating in Köln Hbf may use either route but ones coming up the Rhine valley from Koblenz without sufficient time to reverse in Köln Hbf are more likely to use DE18/386. For example, on Friday May 4th 2018, the 0923 Köln Hbf - Emden Außenhafen, IC2204 (renumbered IC2504) went this way.

Hamm (Westf) (Hamm Rbf Hso) – Welver (Abzw Hamm Gallberg)

[415] (134B4) DE18/390

The following train is routed via this freight-only curve (line 2921), which links the lines from south and west of Hamm with the line to Soest. This enables it to run between the Dortmund area and Soest without reversing at Hamm (Westf) Bf.

D1 FSuO IC1959 Düsseldorf Hbf - 11:11 Gelsenkirchen Hbf - Leipzig Hbf

D1: 14 July to 9 September

See also