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 12 December 2021 to 10 December 2022, unless otherwise stated. Standard abbreviations are explained in General Information.

Map references for each route entry are given in parentheses ( ). References prefixed "ERA-E" refer to the European Railway Atlas (All-Europe Edition) by M.G. Ball. References prefixed "ERA-R" refer to the European Railway Atlas (Regional Series - Germany) by M.G. Ball. References prefixed "S+W", or in italic, refer to Eisenbahnatlas Deutschland by Schweers + Wall.

Obscure services

Saline – Westen

(ERA-E 42B3; ERA-R 87C5; S+W 9B3) DE22/151

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

[395,396] (ERA-E 42A1; ERA-R 87B4; S+W 18B4) DE22/152

This branch line is used by trains connecting with the ferry to and from Borkum. Dates and times of operation vary considerably. There are several RE services, mainly to and from Münster (Westf) Hbf or Bremen Hbf, and a few IC services with various origins and destinations. Times are shown in DB Kursbuch Table 396 and the Westfalen Bahn timetable.

Hamburg-Harburg – Buchholz (Nordheide) via Jesteburg

[120, 123] (ERA-E 45C4-43B1; ERA-R 89A4-89B4; S+W 21D2-21C2) DE22/153

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.

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

[380] (ERA-E 43A1 not shown; ERA-R 88B3 not shown; S+W 9C2-9B2) DE22/154

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: Ottersberg (Han.) (Abzw. Sagehorn) – Dreye (Abzw. Bremen-Gabelung)

[120, 385] (ERA-E 43A1; ERA-R 88B3-88B2; S+W 9D1-9C3) DE22/155

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

SSuX ICE1031 Hamburg-Altona – 06:11 Hamburg Hbf – Köln Hbf
ICE1021 Ostseebad Binz/Stralsund Hbf/Hamburg-Altona – 16:09/16:10 Hamburg Hbf – Nürnberg Hbf
IC2409 Lübeck Hbf – 18:08 Hamburg Hbf – Köln Hbf
ICE1038 Köln Hbf – 07:04 Essen Hbf – Hamburg-Altona
IC2408 Köln Hbf – 11:47 Münster (Westf) Hbf – Lübeck Hbf
ICE1020 Passau Hbf/Regensburg Hbf/Nürnberg Hbf – 13:47 Münster (Westf) Hbf – Hamburg-Altona
FSuO ICE732 Köln Hbf – 15:47 Münster (Westf) Hbf – Hamburg-Altona
ICE730 Köln Hbf – 19:47 Münster (Westf) Hbf – Hamburg-Altona

Flixtrain services between Hamburg and Köln formerly used this route but these trains now all call at Bremen Hbf.

Lüneburg Westseite (West station)

[110] (ERA-E 43C1 not shown; ERA-R 89B3; S+W 22C3) DE22/156

This is a separate station to the west of the main station. Connections to north and south link the Westseite station to the main Hamburg to Hannover line.

The north-end connection is used by most Hamburg local trains (RB31) starting or terminating at Lüneburg. A few late evening and early morning trains run to and from the main station. Services using the Westseite are those shown as using platforms 6 or 7 in the DB journey planner.

Both connections are used by the following service:

SSuX RB81607 Hamburg Hbf – 05:16 Bardowick – Uelzen

The Westseite is also used to by all trains to and from Dannenberg Ost.

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

[385] (ERA-E 47B4; ERA-R 96C5; S+W 40C3) DE22/157

This is a curve from the high level station at Osnabrück to the Hannover line. Click on the thumbnail for a full size diagram.

Osnabrück.png
SuX IC2241 Münster (Westf) Hbf – 06:04 Osnabrück Hbf – Berlin Ostbahnhof
SuO IC245/2245 Münster (Westf) Hbf – 08:04 Osnabrück Hbf – Berlin Ostbahnhof
D1 SuX IC245 Amsterdam Centraal – 09:03 Osnabrück Hbf – Berlin Ostbahnhof
D2 SuO IC141 Amsterdam Centraal – 11:03 Osnabrück Hbf – Berlin Ostbahnhof
D2 SuO IC143 Amsterdam Centraal – 13:03 Osnabrück Hbf – Berlin Ostbahnhof
D1 IC145 Amsterdam Centraal – 15:03 Osnabrück Hbf – Berlin Ostbahnhof
D1 IC147 Amsterdam Centraal – 17:03 Osnabrück Hbf – Berlin Ostbahnhof
D1 IC149 Amsterdam Centraal – 19:03 Osnabrück Hbf – Berlin Ostbahnhof
D1 IC241 Amsterdam Centraal – 21:03 Osnabrück Hbf – Hannover Hbf/Berlin Ostbahnhof (SuO)
D2 SuO IC243 Amsterdam Centraal – 23:03 Osnabrück Hbf – Hannover Hbf
D1 SuX IC242 Hannover Hbf – 06:30 Bünde (Westf) – Amsterdam Centraal
D1 IC240 Berlin Ostbahnhof – 08:30 Bünde (Westf) – Amsterdam Centraal
D1 IC148 Berlin Ostbahnhof – 10:30 Bünde (Westf) – Amsterdam Centraal
D1 IC146 Berlin Ostbahnhof – 12:30 Bünde (Westf) – Amsterdam Centraal
D2 SuO IC144 Berlin Ostbahnhof – 14:30 Bünde (Westf) – Amsterdam Centraal
D1 IC142 Berlin Ostbahnhof – 16:30 Bünde (Westf) – Amsterdam Centraal
D1 IC140 Berlin Ostbahnhof – 18:30 Bünde (Westf) – Amsterdam Centraal
IC2242 Berlin Ostbahnhof – 21:35 Bünde (Westf) – Münster (Westf) Hbf
SuO IC2240 Berlin Ostbahnhof – 23:35 Bünde (Westf) – Münster (Westf) Hbf

D1: 25 June – 4 August 2022

D2: 26 June – 31 July 2022

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

[360.6.7] (ERA-E 48B4; ERA-R 100A5; S+W 122D4) DE22/158

This west to north curve is used by the hourly S6 service between Hannover and Celle which runs non-stop between Hannover Karl-Wiechert-Allee and Aligse. Note that the S7 service which alternates with the S6 reverses at Lehrte and thus does not use this curve.

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

(ERA-E 48B4; ERA-R 100A5; S+W 122D4-122D3) DE22/159

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.

D3 NJ470 Zürich HB – 03:16 Göttingen – Berlin Hbf
D3 ICE876 Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe – 07:06 Göttingen – Berlin Ostbahnhof
D4 SSuX ICE1598 05:58 Frankfurt (Main) Hbf – Berlin Ostbahnhof
D3 MO ICE998 Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe – 08:09 Göttingen – Berlin Ostbahnhof
D3 ICE270 Basel SBB (MO) / Karlsruhe Hbf (MX) – 09:06 Göttingen – Berlin Ostbahnhof
D3 ICE374 Basel SBB – 11:06 Göttingen – Berlin Ostbahnhof
D3 ICE372 Interlaken Ost – 13:06 Göttingen – Berlin Ostbahnhof
D3 ICE370 Basel SBB – 15:06 Göttingen – Berlin Ostbahnhof
FSuO IC1174 Stuttgart Hbf (FO) / Basel SBB (SuO) – 15:50 Göttingen – Berlin Ostbahnhof
D3 ICE278 Interlaken Ost – 17:06 Göttingen – Berlin Ostbahnhof
D3 ICE276 Basel SBB – 19:06 Göttingen – Berlin Ostbahnhof
D3 ICE794 Frankfurt (Main) Flughafen Fernbf – 18:09 Göttingen – Berlin Ostbahnhof
D3 ICE792 Frankfurt (Main) Flughafen Fernbf – 20:09 Göttingen – Berlin Ostbahnhof
D3 ICE274 Basel SBB – 21:06 Göttingen – Berlin Ostbahnhof
D3 SuO ICE292 Zürich HB – 23:04 Göttingen – Berlin Ostbahnhof
D3 SSuX ICE275 Berlin Ostbahnhof – 05:38 Wolfsburg Hbf – Interlaken Ost
D3 ICE277 Berlin Ostbahnhof – 07:38 Wolfsburg Hbf – Basel SBB
D3 ICE791 Berlin Ostbahnhof – 07:47 Berlin-Spandau – Frankfurt (Main) Flughafen Fernbf
D3 ICE279 Berlin Ostbahnhof – 09:38 Wolfsburg Hbf – Basel SBB
D3 ICE371 Berlin Ostbahnhof – 11:38 Wolfsburg Hbf – Interlaken Ost
D3 ICE373 Berlin Ostbahnhof – 13:38 Wolfsburg Hbf – Interlaken Ost
D3 ICE375 Berlin Ostbahnhof – 15:38 Wolfsburg Hbf – Basel SBB
D3 ICE377 Berlin Ostbahnhof – 17:38 Wolfsburg Hbf – Basel SBB
D3 ICE877 Berlin Ostbahnhof – 19:38 Wolfsburg Hbf – Frankfurt (Main) Hbf (SX) / Karlsruhe Hbf (SO)
D3 ICE997 Berlin Südkreuz – 19:46 Berlin-Spandau – Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe
D3 SO ICE879 Berlin Ostbahnhof – 21:38 Wolfsburg Hbf – Karlsruhe Hbf
D3 NJ471 Berlin Hbf – 21:03 Berlin Südkreuz – Zürich HB

D3: 14 October – 10 December 2022

D4: 13 December – 15 July; 4 - 14 October 2022

Lehrte – Sehnde

[360.3] (ERA-E 48B4 partly shown; ERA-R 100A5; S+W 122D4) DE22/160

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 generally diverge to the north and fly over the Gifhorn line about 500m further north, although they have been reported to use the south side of the junction on occasions.

Conversely, trains from Hildesheim that terminate at Lehrte platform 3 will use the south side of the flying junction in the inbound direction. These are at 14:04 and hourly to 17:04 (all SSuX) from Hildesheim Hbf.

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

(ERA-E 48B2 not shown; S+W 55A2-55B2) DE22/161

This 2 km 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.

D5 SuX ICE272 Zürich HB – 22:45 Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe – Hamburg-Altona

D5: Not 7-28 January 2022

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

(ERA-E 48B2 not shown; ERA-R 100A2; S+W 55A2-55B2) DE22/162

Trains to and from the Eichenberg line at Göttingen mostly use platforms 5 and 6 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] (ERA-E 47B4; ERA-R 96C5; S+W 40C3) DE22/181

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. Click on the thumbnail for a full size diagram.

Osnabrück.png

Osnabrück Münster Curve: Wissingen (Lüstringen Bbf) – Hasbergen (Osnabrück ob Bf Süd)

[375] (ERA-E 47B4; ERA-R 96C5; S+W 40C3) DE22/182

This is an alternative route from the Hannover line to the Münster line at Osnabrück, instead of via the Löhner and Schinkel curves (DE22/157). Use of this route means that trains cannot call at Osnabrück Hbf.

Click on the thumbnail for a full size diagram.

Osnabrück.png

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

(ERA-E 48B4; ERA-R 100A5; S+W 31D4-31B4) DE22/183

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

Hannover Hbf (Hannover Kurve) – Ahlem – Empelde

[360.5] (ERA-E 48B4; ERA-R 100A5; S+W 122B2-122D3) DE22/184

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 may be diverted this way if the route via Hannover-Linden is blocked. This occurs between 2 and 19 April and between 6 May and 11 June 2022.

Northeim (Han) – Edesheim (Leine)

(ERA-E 48B2; ERA-R 100A2; S+W 55B1) DE22/185

Connections between the old main line and the Schnellfahrstrecke at Edesheim (Leine), north of Northeim (Han), are sometimes used by 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.

Norten-Hardenburg – Northeim (Han)

(ERA-E 48B2 not shown; ERA-R 100A2; S+W 55B1-55B2) DE22/186

Connections between the old main line and the Schnellfahrstrecke at Norten-Hardenberg, south of Northeim (Han), are sometimes used by 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.

Uelzen W750 – Uelzen W23 (Veerßer Kurve)

[305] (ERA-E 48C5; ERA-R 89C2; S+W 32C1) DE22/187

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 direct curve (the Veerßer Kurve) from the Stendal line to the east side of Uelzen station was opened in November 2013, giving a non-conflicting connection towards Hamburg.

All RE20 trains between Stendal and Uelzen use the original line to and from the west side of Uelzen station. With the withdrawal of the IRE services between Berlin and Hamburg now permanent, no services are booked to use the Veerßer Kurve. It is occasionally used by diverted EC/IC/ICE services between Berlin and Hamburg when the usual route via Ludwigslust is not available; however no such services have been identified in the current timetable.

See also