Germany (Niedersachsen and Bremen) - Lines with Obscure or Sparse passenger services
This list is based on the timetable dated from 9 December 2018 to 14 December 2019, unless otherwise stated. Standard abbreviations are explained in General Information. Map references relate to the 2014 issue of the Schweers+Wall Eisenbahnatlas Deutschland.
Saline – Westen
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
 (18B4) DE19/152
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.
Meckelfeld - Buchholz (Nordheide) via Jesteburg
[120, 123] (21D2-21C2) DE19/152A
This is an alternative route between Hamburg-Harburg and Buchholz (Nordheide). It is used by RB38 trains from Hamburg-Harburg to Soltau (Han) hourly 07:51 to 23:51 on Saturdays and Sundays only. This is so that the train can be overtaken by an IC or ICE train leaving Hamburg-Harburg for Bremen at 57 minutes past the hour.
Note that KBS 123 shows all trains to and from Soltau (Han) as starting and terminating at Buchholz (Nordheide), but the weekend extension to and from Hamburg-Harburg is shown in KBS 120 and the erixx timetable.
Bremen-Sebaldsbrück – Bremen Hbf (via Abzw. Vahr)
 (9C2-9B2) DE19/153
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) DE19/154
Most trains between Hamburg and Osnabrück call at Bremen Hbf, but this route enables those that do not to avoid a lengthy detour.
|D||FSSuX||IC1099||Hamburg-Altona – 06:11 Hamburg Hbf – Köln Hbf|
|FO||IC2301/2401||Hamburg-Altona – 06:12 Hamburg Hbf – Köln Hbf|
|D||TWSuX||FLX||Hamburg-Altona – 09:01 Hamburg-Harburg – Köln Hbf|
|D||FO||IC2417||Fehmarn-Burg - 11:17 Hamburg-Harburg – Köln Hbf|
|D||SuO||FLX||Hamburg-Altona – 13:01 Hamburg-Harburg – Köln Hbf|
|D||SO||IC2405||Stralsund Hbf – 15:12 Hamburg-Harburg – Köln Hbf|
|SuO||IC1909/2409||Stralsund Hbf – 16:08/16:11 Hamburg-Harburg – Köln Hbf|
|D||SSuX||IC2195||Hamburg-Altona - 16:09/16:10 Hamburg Hbf – Köln Hbf|
|D1||SuO||IC2197||Hamburg-Altona – 18:09/18:10 Hamburg-Harburg – Köln Hbf|
|D||TSX||FLX||Hamburg-Altona - 18:44 Hamburg-Harburg - Köln Hbf|
|D||FSSuX||ICE1098||Köln Hbf – 07:03 Essen Hbf – Hamburg-Altona|
|D||MSO||FLX||Köln Hbf – 09:14 Osnabrück Hbf – Hamburg-Altona|
|D||SX||IC2302||Köln Messe/Deutz - 09:29 Hamm (Westf) - Fehmarn-Burg|
|D||SX||IC2410||Köln Messe/Deutz – 09:05 Gelsenkirchen Hbf - Fehmarn-Burg|
|D||MWSX||FLX||Köln Hbf – 13:14 Osnabrück Hbf – Hamburg-Altona|
|SuO||IC2414||Köln Hbf - 17:17 Diepholz - Hamburg-Altona|
|FO||IC2404||Köln Hbf – 17:25 Diepholz - Stralsund Hbf|
|D||MThO||FLX||Köln Hbf – 17:12 Osnabrück Hbf – Hamburg-Altona|
|D||SX||IC2196||Köln Hbf – 17:02 Essen Hbf – Hamburg-Altona|
|D||FO||FLX||Köln Hbf – 18:44 Münster (Westf) Hbf – Hamburg-Altona|
|D||SuO||FLX||Köln Hbf – 21:14 Osnabrück Hbf – Hamburg-Altona|
D1: Train runs via Bremen Hbf 30 June to 27 October 2019
Days and dates of operation of Flixtrain services vary; to check timings see their website
Kirchweyhe – Kirchweyhe BTE
This south to west curve provides the only usable connection between DB and the Bremen-Thedinghauser Eisenbahn. BTE usually runs excursions, mostly during the summer, from Leeste to destinations on the DB network. However in 2019 they are not running any excursions owing to a lack of suitable available rolling stock. See their website.
Lüneburg Westseite (West station)
 (22C3) DE19/156
This is a separate station, west of the main line, which is used by most Hamburg local trains starting or terminating at Lüneburg. A few late evening and early morning trains run to and from the main station. The Westseite is also used by all trains to and from Dannenberg Ost.
Uelzen W750 - Uelzen W23 (Veerßer Kurve)
 (32C1) DE19/157
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 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)
 (40C3) DE19/158
This is a curve from the high level station at Osnabrück to the Hannover line. Click on the thumbnail for a full size diagram.
|SuX||IC2241||Münster (Westf) Hbf – 06:04 Osnabrück Hbf – Berlin Ostbahnhof|
|SuO||IC2343||Münster (Westf) Hbf - 08:04 Osnabrück Hbf – Berlin Ostbahnhof|
|SSuX||IC1926||Köln Hbf - 16:57 Osnabrück Hbf – Berlin Ostbahnhof|
|SuO||IC2326||Köln Hbf - 16:57 Osnabrück Hbf – Rostock Hbf|
|SSuX||IC1929||Berlin Ostbahnhof/Berlin Hbf - 09:56 Hannover Hbf - Köln Hbf|
|IC2242||Berlin Ostbahnhof – 21:35 Bünde (Westf) – Münster (Westf) Hbf|
|SuO||IC2240||Berlin Ostbahnhof – 23:35 Bünde (Westf) – Münster (Westf) Hbf|
The following trains are diverted via this route from 17 March until 11 October 2019, unless shown otherwise. Most are to provide additional capacity at weekends and are particularly liable to run on different days around public holidays.
|D2||MO||IC1916||Köln Hbf - 06:43 Hagen Hbf - Berlin Ostbahnhof|
|D||SSuX||IC2222||Aachen Hbf - 08:39 Oberhausen Hbf - Berlin Südkreuz|
|D3||SO||IC2422||Köln Hbf - 10:29 Münster (Westf) Hbf - Stralsund Hbf|
|D||SuO||IC1928||Köln Hbf - 12:31 Münster (Westf) Hbf - Rostock Hbf|
|D||FO||IC2010||Tübingen Hbf - 12:31 Münster (Westf) Hbf - Berlin Ostbahnhof|
|D||FO||IC2426||Köln Hbf - 13:10 Hamm (Westf) - Stralsund Hbf|
|D||SuO||IC1924||Köln Hbf - 14:28 Münster (Westf) Hbf - Stralsund Hbf|
|D||FO||IC1944||Köln Hbf - 14:29 Münster (Westf) Hbf - Dresden Hbf|
|D||FSuO||IC1920/1922||Stuttgart Hbf - 15:11 Hamm (Westf) - Berlin Ostbahnhof|
|D||SX||IC1912/1914||Köln Hbf - 17:10 Hamm (Westf) - Berlin Ostbahnhof/Dresden Hbf|
|D||WThFSuO||IC1043/2016||Köln Hbf/Düsseldorf Hbf - 18:28 Münster (Westf) Hbf - Berlin Ostbahnhof|
|D4||SuO||IC2011||Berlin Hbf - 11:17/11:56 Hannover Hbf - Stuttgart Hbf/Tübingen Hbf|
|D||FSuO||IC1040||Berlin Ostbahnhof - 12:56 Hannover Hbf - Düsseldorf Hbf|
|D||SuO||IC1915||Berlin Ostbahnhof - 13:56 Hannover Hbf - Stuttgart Hbf/Tübingen Hbf|
|D||FO||IC1913||Berlin Hbf - 14:56 Hannover Hbf - Köln Hbf|
|D||SuO||IC1917||Berlin Hbf - 15:56 Hannover Hbf - Karlsruhe Hbf|
|D||SSuX||IC2223||Berlin Hbf - 15:56 Hannover Hbf - Aachen Hbf|
|D3||SO||IC2423||Ostseebad Binz - 15:56 Hannover Hbf - Köln Hbf|
|D||FSuO||IC1921/1941||Berlin Ostbahnhof - 16:56 Hannover Hbf - Köln Hbf|
|D||FSSuX||IC1923||Berlin Ostbahnhof - 17:56 Hannover Hbf - Köln Hbf|
|D||SuO||IC2015||Dresden Hbf - 17:56 Hannover Hbf - Köln Hbf|
|D||FO||IC2325||Stralsund Hbf - 17:56 Hannover Hbf - Köln Hbf|
|D||FSuO||IC1925/1927||Berlin Hbf - 18:56 Hannover Hbf - Köln Hbf|
|D||SuO||IC2427||Stralsund Hbf - 19:56 Hannover Hbf - Köln Hbf|
D2: Also runs via this route on Fridays 26 April to 23 August 2019
D3: Train does not operate before 6 April 2019
D4: Also runs via this route on Fridays 22 March to 7 June
Ahlten (Abzw. Lehrte West) – Aligse (Lehrte Nordgruppe, former Stw Lnf)
[360.6.7] (122D4) DE19/159
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.
Lehrte (Abzw Lehrte West) – Misburg – Abzw Waldheim – Hannover Messe/Laatzen (Hannover Wülfel)
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.
|TWX||FLX||Berlin-Lichtenberg - 08:38 Lehrte - Stuttgart Hbf|
|FLX||Berlin-Lichtenberg - 16:36 Lehrte - Stuttgart Hbf|
|D||FSSuX||IC1598||06:00 Frankfurt am Main Hbf - Berlin Ostbahnhof|
|FLX||Stuttgart Hbf - 11:00 Hannover Messe/Laatzen - Berlin-Lichtenberg|
|D||FO||IC1970||Stuttgart Hbf - 15:50 Göttingen - Stralsund Hbf|
|TWX||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.
Lehrte – Sehnde
[360.3] (122D4) DE19/161
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
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
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|
From 11 June 2019 until the end of the timetable period in December, all ICE and Nightjet services are diverted over the classic line between Göttingen and Hannover. Northbound trains are almost all booked to use platform 4 at Göttingen and those that do should use this connection.
(Eichenberg –) Friedland(Han.) (Abzw. Grone) – Göttingen east side platforms
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.
Obscure services: Lines used on an occasional basis for engineering work diversions
Osnabrück Schinkel and Stahlwerks Curves: Osnabrück ob Bf – Osnabrück unt Bf
 (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. Click on the thumbnail for a full size diagram.
Lehrte (Abzw Lehrte West) – Misburg – Abzw Waldheim – Hannover-Linden - Wunstorf
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)
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)
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.