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]

[fiche C01 Sedan - Charleville-Mézières - Reims - Paris; C09 Reims - Champagne-Ardenne TGV - Épernay] (ERA 31A1; 17A4-B4) FR350

This link with LGV Est is unusual in that through Paris <=> Reims TGVs (not calling at Champagne-Ardenne TGV) use it, as also do non-TGV shuttle trains (navettes) making connections at Champagne-Ardenne TGV - using bay platforms there.

Raccordement direct de Chalindrey (Culmont-Chalindrey avoiding line): Andilly (Culmont-Chalindrey Bifurcation Raccordement Est) – Le Pailly (Culmont-Chalindrey Bifurcation Raccordement Sud)

[fiche 07, ERT379] (ERA 31B3; 67B1) FR20/351

This route was used by servics between Nancy and Dijon not scheduled to call at Culmont-Chalindrey. There are no such trains in the current timetable.

Vouziers - Challerange

(ERA 30C2 - 31A2; 18B3) FR18/352

Used until 2017 by CFT du Sud des Ardennes trains as an extension of their normal operations only during their Fête du Rail weekend - usually in mid-August. The line is owned by SNCF Réseau and, in view of the condition of the track, permission to operate has not been given for 2018. The line is expected to transfer to other (presumably local authority) ownership, when CFTSA hope to resume operations over the Attigny - Vouziers - Challerange section.

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

(ERA 16B2; 18B1) FR18/353

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 are diverted this way between 15 April and 17 May 2019, omitting the normal stop at Charleville-Mézières. This is unlikely to be repeated.


(ERA 31B4; 69B1) FR19/1

Three possible routes exist for TGVs between Strasbourg and Belfort-Montbéliard TGV (or beyond) to traverse the Mulhouse area.

  • (a) by means of the original main line via Mulhouse-Dornach, with reversal in Mulhouse Ville

Trains with a stop of 9 minutes or more at Mulhouse and taking 46 minutes or less to/from Strasbourg are highly likely to take this route.

  • (b) via the 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 and trains to Mulhouse have been noted using a route around the south side of some parts of Mulhouse yards. More than 10 tracks separate the two routes.

It may be assumed that trains spending only 3-5 minutes at Mulhouse Ville run this way as they do not have time for a reversal. The compilers would welcome confirmation (or contradiction) that the following trains take this route. Trains marked "(*)" were noted in 2019 as taking this route.

TGV6827 Nancy - 13:47 Strasbourg - Nice
TGV Inoui9580 Frankfurt (Main) Hbf - 16:12 Strasbourg - Marseille St-Charles (*)
TGV6831 Metz Ville - 18:33 Colmar - Lyon Part Dieu
TGV9896 Montpellier Saint Roch - 11:23 Mulhouse Ville - Luxembourg (*)
TGV Inoui9582 Marseille St-Charles - 12:55 Mulhouse Ville - Frankfurt (Main) Hbf
TGV9898 Marseille St Charles - 15:01 Mulhouse Ville - Luxembourg (*)
TGV6866 Marseille St-Charles - 21:03 Mulhouse Ville - Strasbourg

Click on the thumbnail for a full size map.

Mulhouse 1.jpg

  • (c) via 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 no longer used.

Click on the thumbnail for a full size map.

Mulhouse 3.jpg

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

(ERA 31C5 not shown; 69C2) FR19/2

BLT operate through France - see Swiss table > 505 - 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 31A5, not shown; 39B1-B2) FR20/3

Track 1 bis runs on the west side of the main lines, veering away at Mundolsheim station to run "behind" Hausbergen yard and coming 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, virtually parallel 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.

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

Novéant – Onville

[fiches L28 and L30] (ERA 72A4; 36A1) FR550

This section of the former Paris - Metz main line has a service of trains direct between Metz and Onville, some continuing to Bar le Duc (fiche L28) and others to Conflans-Jarny and either Verdun or Longwy (fiche L30).

Bouzonville – Niedaltdorf (Germany)

(ERA 72A5-B5; 20B3-C2) FR18/551

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). However, freight traffic ceased in 2013 on this line, of which the German section is reportedly to be sold or closed completely. The 2019 service, which was similar to that in previous years, ran on 19 April every two hours from 09:10 to 17:10 from Dillingen (Saar) and 10:15 to 16:15, then 17:45 from Bouzonville.

Sarrebourg avoiding line: Sarraltroff – Réding

[fiche L19 Strasbourg - Metz section] (ERA 72B4; 55B3) FR552

This is used by 'classic' trains between Metz and Strasbourg not calling at Sarrebourg. Non-stop TGVs run via the LGV Est; see FR553.

For the other two sides of the triangle:

  • [Berthelming -] Sarraltroff - Sarrebourg: see fiche L19 Strasbourg - Metz section
  • Sarrebourg - Réding: see fiche L19 Strasbourg - Nancy section

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

(ERA 72A4; 36C2) FR553

This north west <=> 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).


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

[CFL website plus fiche L01B Metz - Hagondange - Thionville - Luxembourg] (ERA 63C2, 20A3) FR554

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 are likely to be repeated during a long blockade in July-August 2018.

Contournement de Metz: Metz Ville – Woippy

[fiche L01B Metz - Hagondange - Thionville - Luxembourg] (ERA 72A4; 20A4) FR555

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.

Metz 2.jpg

It is possible that the following trains run this way. 837680 is the only stopping train not to call at Metz Nord and 837682 was observed to use this route in April 2018. The routing of the trains to and from Verdun has not been confirmed.

SSuO 833445 Verdun - 11:48 Hagondange - Metz Ville
SO 833440 08:55 Metz Ville - Verdun
SSux 837724 09:03 Metz Ville - Thionville
SO 833448 12:55 Metz Ville - Verdun
SSuX 837680 13:48 Metz Ville - Thionville
SSuX 837682 14:09 Metz Ville - Thionville
SO 833456 18:55 Metz Ville - Verdun

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 72A4, not shown; 20A3) FR555A

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 FR555, may also use this route.

Click on the thumbnail for a full size map.

Metz 1.jpg

(Esch sur Alzette [Luxembourg] – ) frontier – Audun-le-Tiche

(ERA 72A5; 19C2) FR556

CFL > Télécharger les horaires > Trains nationaux > Afficher > 60c operate into France over a route not linked to French national network.

(Dudelange-Usines [Luxembourg] – ) frontier – Volmerange-les-Mines

(ERA 72A5; 19D2) FR557

CFL > Télécharger les horaires > Trains nationaux > Afficher > 60A operate into France over a route not linked to French national network.

(Lasauvage Carreau [Luxembourg] – ) frontier – Saulnes

(ERA 72A5, not shown; 19C2) FR558

Minièresbunn Doihl asbl (MBD) operates a 700mm gauge preserved mining line into France.