Germany (Nordrhein-Westfalen) - 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: Lines with regular use

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

[427, 455] (ERA-E 46C5; ERA-R 98A4; S+W 138D3) DE22/351

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

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

[438] (ERA-E 46C5; ERA-R 98B3; S+W 139C3) DE22/352

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, Brilon Stadt or Willingen, approximately hourly, except for trains at 21:23, 22:23 and 23:23 from Dortmund Hbf, also 00:23 SSuO and 01:23 SSuO, which reverse at Schwerte (Ruhr).

Hagen-Vorhalle – Abzw Hagen-Hengstey – Schwerte (Ruhr) (Westhofen(Westf))

[438] (ERA-E 46C4; ERA-R 98A3-98B3; S+W 139A4-139B4) DE22/353

This line allows trains to run between the Witten and Schwerte lines without reversing at Hagen Hbf. It is used by winter sports trains to Winterberg (Westf). In 2020 these trains were scheduled to run from 29 February to 14 March 2020, plus additional Saturdays if snow conditions were suitable. It is believed that these trains did not run in 2021 owing to Covid-19 restrictions. It is not clear whether they will run in 2022.

Hohenlimburg (Hagen-Kabel) – Hagen-Vorhalle

[440] (ERA-E 46C4; ERA-R 98A3-98B3; S+W 139B4) DE22/354

This curve allows trains to run between the Siegen and Witten lines avoiding Hagen Hbf. It is used by a new series of IC34 trains between Frankfurt (Main) and Dortmund Hbf or Münster (Westf) Hbf.

SSuX IC2328 Siegen Hbf – 06:22 Letmathe – Dortmund Hbf/Münster (Westf) Hbf
SuX IC2326 Stuttgart Hbf (SSuX)/Siegen Hbf (SO) – 08:23 Letmathe – Dortmund Hbf
IC2324 Frankfurt (Main) Hbf (SuX)/Siegen Hbf (SuO) – 10:23 Letmathe – Dortmund Hbf/Münster (Westf) Hbf
IC2320 Frankfurt (Main) Hbf – 14:23 Letmathe – Dortmund Hbf
IC2323 Münster (Westf) Hbf – 15:14 Witten Hbf – Frankfurt (Main) Hbf
IC2325 Dortmund Hbf – 17:14 Witten Hbf – Frankfurt (Main) Hbf
IC2327 Münster (Westf) Hbf/Dortmund Hbf – 19:14 Witten Hbf – Frankfurt (Main) Hbf

Hohenlimburg (Hagen-Kabel) – Schwerte (Ruhr) (Westhofen (Westf))

[440] (ERA-E 46C4; ERA-R 98A3-98B3; S+W 139B4) DE22/355

This curve allows trains to run between the Siegen and Schwerte lines avoiding Hagen Hbf. It is used by a pair of Frankfurt (Main) to Norddeich Mole IC services.

IC2322 Frankfurt (Main) Hbf – 12:13 Letmathe – Norddeich Mole
IC2321 Norddeich Mole – 13:30 Schwerte (Ruhr) – Frankfurt (Main) Hbf

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

(ERA-E 46B5-46C5; ERA-R 98A4; S+W 138C3-139A3) DE22/356

This connection links Bochum Hbf with Dortmund Signal Iduna-Park via the goods lines which run parallel to the main Bochum to Dortmund line, thus avoiding Dortmund Hbf.

RE11 services between Düsseldorf Hbf and Paderborn Hbf or Kassel Wilhelmshöhe now run via this route rather than via Hamm (Westf). These generally run hourly. Eastbound services depart Bochum Hbf from platform 5, which means that they must run via the main Bochum to Dortmund line and gain the goods lines via a connection from Bochum-Langendreer to Langendreer Ost. Westbound services arrive at Platform 2, which means that they must run via the freight lines all the way to Abzw Bochum Prinz von Preußen, thence by a single-track connection to platform 2.

The line is also used by football specials which operate between Duisburg and Dortmund Signal Iduna-Park when Borussia Dortmund are playing at home.

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

[495] (ERA-E 46A4; ERA-R 97A1; S+W 140C3) DE22/357

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

Neuss Pbf – Neuss Am Kaiser (Abzw Erftkanal)

[450.8/11/28, 485, 488] (ERA-E 46A3 not shown; ERA-R 97A1; S+W 140C3-140C4) DE22/358

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.

Hilden – Opladen

[415] (ERA-E 46B3-47A1; ERA-R 97B1-104A2; S+W 141B4-147C2) DE22/359

This freight line forms part of an alternative route between Düsseldorf and Köln, and is frequently used for diversions. There are no permanent services in this timetable period, so the entry has been moved to the Engineering Work section as DE22/390B.

Köln Südbrücke

[472] (ERA-E 42A5-B4; ERA-R 104A1; S+W 146A3-148D2) DE22/360

The Südbrücke provides an alternative route across the Rhein to the Hohenzollernbrücke at Köln Hbf. It has north- and south-facing connections to the main lines on both sides of the river. It is mainly used by freight.

Köln Süd – Troisdorf (via Köln-Bonntor and Gremberg Rbf): This north-west to south-east route enables trains via Troisdorf, but not Köln/Bonn Flughafen, 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.

The following services run this way. The trains to and from Amsterdam and Bruxelles use the curve from Köln West to Köln-Ehrenfeld (DE22/361), the Amsterdam trains calling at Köln-Ehrenfeld instead of Köln Hbf.

TThSuO NJ490 Wien Hbf – 05:13 MWFO Koblenz Hbf – Bruxelles Midi
D1 SSuO ICE712 Mainz Hbf – 07:21 Siegburg/Bonn – Köln Hbf
D2 Daily/SSuO ICE156 Frankfurt (Main) Hbf – 11.42 Frankfurt (Main) Flughafen Fernbahnhof – Amsterdam Centraal
D2 Daily/SSuO ICE154 Frankfurt (Main) Hbf – 13.42 Frankfurt (Main) Flughafen Fernbahnhof – Amsterdam Centraal
D3 SX ICE710 Stuttgart Hbf – 17:39 Siegburg/Bonn – Köln Hbf
Note SSuX ICE711 06:00 Köln Hbf – Stuttgart Hbf
D2 Daily/SSuO ICE155 Amsterdam Centraal – 15:15 Köln-Ehrenfeld – Frankfurt (Main) hbf
D2 Daily/SSuO ICE157 Amsterdam Centraal – 17:15 Köln-Ehrenfeld – Frankfurt (Main) Hbf
MWFO NJ425 Bruxelles Midi – 21:39 Aachen Hbf – Wien Hbf

Note: Public departure time is 06:00 but working time is 06:02

D1: Not 27 June to 5 August 2022

D2: Daily 12-19 December 2021, 7-20 March, 27 August - 9 September 2022; SSuO 19 February - 6 March, 26 March - 3 April, 7-8 May, 11-19 June 2022

D3: 9 May - 24 June; 8 August - 6 September 2022

On 6 and 7 August 2022, the two-hourly ICE services between Bruxelles, Aachen and Frankfurt (Main) Hbf are diverted via the curve from Köln-Ehrenfeld and this route. This can be seen by these services calling at Köln-Ehrenfeld instead of Köln Hbf.

Köln Süd – Troisdorf (via Köln-Bonntor and Köln-Kalk Süd): This alternative north-west to south-east route enables trains via Köln/Bonn Flughafen to arrive and depart at the west end of Köln Hbf. It is used by the following service:

D4 SSuX ICE710 Stuttgart Hbf – 17:49 Köln/Bonn Flughafen – Köln Hbf

D4: 13 December 2021 - 6 May 2022; 19 September - 9 December 2022

This route must also be used by any services diverted via the Südbrücke calling at, or running through the two platform tracks at Porz [Rhein] as it is then impossible to travel via Gremberg Rbf. Such use occurred between 4-6 June 2022 by diverted RE9's Siegen - Aachen services.

Köln Süd – Köln-Mulheim (via Köln-Bonntor and Köln-Kalk): This north-west to north-east route enables trains via Leverkusen Mitte or Solingen Hbf to arrive and depart at the west end of Köln Hbf. No services are currently known to be routed this way.

Troisdorf – Hürth-Kalscheuren (Köln Eifeltor) (via Köln-Kalk and Köln Bonntor): This south-east to south-west route is rarely used by passenger trains. It was last used by diverted passenger trains in October 2020.

Köln-Mülheim – Hürth-Kalscheuren (Köln Eifeltor) (via Köln-Kalk and Köln Bonntor): This north-east to south-west route is rarely used by passenger trains. It was last used by diverted passenger trains in October 2020.

Köln-Ehrenfeld – Köln West

(ERA-E 42A5; ERA-R 104A1; S+W 146A2-146A3) DE22/361

This west to south curve links the Aachen and Koblenz lines west of Köln Hbf. It was formerly used by Alpen Express winter sports trains between Den Haag and Alpine resorts but these now run via, and call at, Köln Hbf. It is often used to enable trains which have been diverted over the Südbrücke to reach the Aachen line when they are unable to run via Köln Hbf. It is used by the following scheduled services:

TThSuO NJ490 Wien Hbf – 05:13 MWFO Koblenz Hbf – Bruxelles Midi
D2 Daily/SSuO ICE156 Frankfurt (Main) Hbf – 11.42 Frankfurt (Main) Flughafen Fernbahnhof – Amsterdam Centraal
D2 Daily/SSuO ICE154 Frankfurt (Main) Hbf – 13.42 Frankfurt (Main) Flughafen Fernbahnhof – Amsterdam Centraal
D2 Daily/SSuO ICE155 Amsterdam Centraal – 15:15 Köln-Ehrenfeld – Frankfurt (Main) hbf
D2 Daily/SSuO ICE157 Amsterdam Centraal – 17:15 Köln-Ehrenfeld – Frankfurt (Main) Hbf
MWFO NJ425 Bruxelles Midi – 21:39 Aachen Hbf – Wien Hbf

D2: Daily 12-19 December 2021, 7-20 March, 27 August - 9 September 2022; SSuO 19 February - 6 March, 26 March - 3 April, 7-8 May, 11-19 June 2022

On 6 and 7 August 2022, the two-hourly ICE services between Bruxelles, Aachen and Frankfurt (Main) Hbf are diverted via this curve and the Südbrücke (DE22/360). This can be seen by these services calling at Köln-Ehrenfeld instead of Köln Hbf.

Horrem

[481] (ERA-E 52C5; ERA-R 104C4; S+W 63A2) DE22/362

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

(ERA-E 53A5; ERA-R 105A4; S+W 149A4-149B4) DE22/363

Trains operated by Rhein-Sieg-Eisenbahn usually provide a passenger service over this line in connection with the annual Pützchens Markt early in September. Timings are expected to be published on the Rhein-Sieg-Eisenbahn site in due course. This entry will be updated with the timings once they are available.

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

Buke – Langeland (Altenbeken Kurve)

[360.5, 430] (ERA-E 48A2; ERA-R 99B3; S+W 53C1) DE22/381

This south to east curve enables trains to run between the Warburg and Hameln lines without reversing at Altenbeken. It is used, particularly by overnight trains, when the classic line from Hannover via Göttingen is unavailable.

This route will be used on 30 July 2022, after 09:00, by diverted ICEs between Hannover Hbf and Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe because of the closure of Göttingen station for disposal of a WWII bomb.

Münster (Westf) avoiding line: Südmühle – Münster Kanal – Münster-Lechtenberg

[385, 410] (ERA-E 47B3; ERA-R 96B3; S+W 134C1-134C2) DE22/382

This line passes to the east of Münster and enables trains between the Osnabück and Hamm lines to avoid the Hauptbahnhof. It is used occasionally by diverted IC/ICE services between Hamburg and Köln.

Minden (Westf) – Hamm (via Goods Line)

[370, 400] (ERA-E 48A4-47B2 not shown; ERA-R 99B5-96B3 not shown; S+W 41C1-52B1) DE22/383

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. Numerous crossovers allow trains to switch between the passenger and goods lines, so the full length of the goods lines is rarely used by diverted passenger trains.

Hamm (Westf) avoiding line: Nordbögge (Hamm Rbf Hso) – Welver (Abzw Hamm Gallberg)

[415] (ERA-E 47B2; ERA-R 98C5; S+W 134B4) DE22/384

This curve (line 2921) links the lines from south and west of Hamm with the line to Soest and enables trains to run between the Dortmund area and Soest without reversing at Hamm (Westf) Bf.

Hamm (Westf) (Hamm Rbf Hde) – Horstmar – Recklinghausen Ost (Abzw Recklinghausen Blumenthal) [– Gelsenkirchen-Buer Nord]

[415, 450.9] (ERA-E 47B2-46B5; ERA-R 98C5-97C5; S+W 52B1-51B2) DE22/385

This east-west freight line runs to the north of the Ruhr conurbation. Trains between Hamm and Dortmund may be diverted via Abzw Horstmar and Lünen Preußen when the main line via Kamen is blocked.

Trains between Hamm and Gelsenkirchen may be diverted via Recklinghausen Ost and Wanne-Eickel. Trains not stopping between Hamm Hbf and Bottrop Hbf or Oberhausen Hbf are likely to run via Gelsenkirchen-Buer Nord.

From 11 September 2020, S9 services commenced running between Recklinghausen Hbf and Gladbeck West, thus restoring passenger service over the western end of this line between Abzw Recklinghausen Blumenthal and Gelsenkirchen-Buer Nord.

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

[411, 416] (ERA-E 46C5; ERA-R 98A4-98B4; S+W 139A1-139B2) DE22/386

This freight line round the north side of Dortmund links the lines to Wanne-Eickel and Münster. It may be used by trains diverted away from Dortmund Hbf.

Oberhausen West – Duisburg-Wedau – Düsseldorf-Rath – Düsseldorf-Eller

[415] (ERA-E 46A5-46A3; ERA-R 97B4-97B1; S+W 141A4-137A2) DE22/387

This line, together with Hilden – Opladen, forms a freight route between Köln and Oberhausen, only limited sections of which are used by passenger trains. From Oberhausen West trains may run to a variety of places, including the Emmerich line, Bottrop Hbf, Gelsenkirchen-Bismarck and Essen-Bergeborbeck. The following routes, among others, are possible:

Essen-Bergeborbeck – Oberhausen West – Duisburg Hbf

Used by diverted trains between Gelsenkirchen Hbf and Duisburg Hbf, omitting Oberhausen Hbf.

Bottrop Hbf – Essen Prosper-Levin – Oberhausen West – Duisburg Hbf

Used by diverted trains between Hamm, Dortmund, Recklinghausen or Münster, running via DE22/385, and Duisburg Hbf, omitting calls in the Ruhr up to Oberhausen Hbf.

Oberhausen-Sterkrade – Oberhausen West – Duisburg Hbf

Used by diverted trains between the Emmerich line and Duisburg Hbf, omitting Oberhausen Hbf. It is used on 29 and 30 January 2022 by the hourly RE19 services between Arnhem (NL) and Düsseldorf Hbf, which run non-stop between Oberhausen-Sterkrade and Duisburg Hbf.

Essen-Bergeborbeck – Oberhausen West – Duisburg-Wedau – Düsseldorf-Rath

Used by diverted trains between Gelsenkirchen Hbf and Düsseldorf Hbf, omitting both Oberhausen Hbf and Duisburg Hbf.

Gelsenkirchen-Bismarck – Essen Prosper-Levin – Oberhausen West - Duisburg-Wedau – Düsseldorf-Rath

Used by diverted trains between Wanne-Eickel Hbf and Düsseldorf Hbf, omitting Gelsenkirchen Hbf, Oberhausen Hbf and Duisburg Hbf.

Bottrop Hbf – Essen Prosper-Levin – Oberhausen West – Duisburg-Wedau – Düsseldorf-Rath

Used by diverted trains running via DE22/385, not stopping until Düsseldorf Hbf.

Oberhausen-Sterkrade – Oberhausen West – Duisburg-Wedau – Düsseldorf-Rath

Used by diverted trains between the Emmerich line and Düsseldorf Hbf, omitting Oberhausen Hbf and Duisburg Hbf. It is used on 29 and 30 January 2022 by the two-hourly ICE services from Düsseldorf Hbf towards Amsterdam, reportedly in that direction only.

Bottrop Hbf/Oberhausen Hbf – Oberhausen West – Moers (Meerbeck) and Trompet - Krefeld-Uerdingen

[415, 490] (ERA-E 46B5-46A4; ERA-R 97B4-97A4; S+W 137A2-136C4) DE22/388

This route which crosses the Rhein by the Haus-Knipp-Brücke avoids the Duisburg area and is only occasionally used for passenger trains. At its eastern end it has connections towards Bottrop Hbf and Oberhausen Hbf.

Meerbusch-Osterath (Krefeld-Lohbruch) – Krefeld-Linn

(ERA-E 46A4; ERA-R 97A2; S+W 140C1) DE22/389

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 run via Hilden (DE22/359). Trains starting or terminating in Köln Hbf may use either route but ones coming up the Rhein valley from Koblenz without sufficient time to reverse in Köln Hbf are more likely to use DE22/359.

On 6 and 7 August 2022, RE5 services between Wesel and Koblenz Hbf are diverted via this route, only calling at Neuss Hbf between Duisburg Hbf and Köln Süd. They therefore also use the Köln western avoider (DE22/394).

Witten Hbf – Hagen-Vorhalle

(ERA-E 46C4; ERA-R 98A3; S+W 138D4-143A1) DE22/390

There are two routes between Witten Hbf and Hagen-Vorhalle. Passenger trains normally use the line via Wetter (Ruhr) to the east of the River Ruhr but may occasionally be diverted via the freight line west of the river.

Siegen avoiding line: Siegen-Weidenau – Wilnsdorf-Rudersdorf (Siegen Ost Gbf)

[440, 445] (S+W 64C2) DE22/390A

This connection links the Hagen and Gießen lines, avoiding Siegen Hbf. It is heavily used by freight trains, but only has a passenger service when trains are diverted away from Siegen Hbf. It was scheduled to be used by two IC services on 30 January 2022.

Also note if the 2-hourly Frankfurt Main - Siegen Hbf, points north IC's or vv are running late they have been known to drop the Hbf calls and stop at Siegen-Weidenau instead. This happened to at least two services on 7 June 2022 with the DB App updated to show this.

D SuO IC2227 Hamm (Westf.) Hbf - 10:56 Siegen-Weidenau - Frankfurt (Main) Hbf
D SuO IC2321 Norddeich Mole - 14:54 Siegen-Weidenau - Frankfurt (Main) Hbf
Note A SuMX IC2324 Frankfurt (Main) Hbf - 08:36 Dillenburg - Münster(Westf) Hbf

Note A: 14 - 23 April 2022

It was also used on 24 April 2022 by northbound IC services (only) from Frankfurt (Main) Hbf towards Dortmund Hbf or Hamm (Westf) Hbf.

Hilden – Opladen

[415] (ERA-E 46B3-47A1; ERA-R 97B1-104A2; S+W 141B4-147C2) DE22/390B

This freight line forms part of an alternative route between Düsseldorf and Köln, and is frequently used for diversions.

It was planned to be used by diverted RE1 services between 1 and 18 March 2022, but the DB journey planner, while listing this diversion as taking place, still shows trains calling at Düsseldorf-Benrath and Leverkusen Mitte. It is therefore unclear whether or not this diversion is occurring.

RE1 services are diverted this way, calling at Opladen, between 8 and 11 April 2022.

Köln-Ehrenfeld – Köln-Nippes

(ERA-E 42A5; ERA-R 104A1; S+W 146A2) DE22/391

This west to north curve links the Aachen and Neuss lines west of Köln Hbf. It is used by services between Aachen and Düsseldorf if they are unable to run via Köln Hbf.

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

(ERA-E 42A5 not shown; ERA-R 104A1; S+W 146C2-146C3) DE22/392

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. No trains have been identified as using it in the current timetable.

Köln Frankfurter Straße (Abzw Vingst) – Köln-Kalk Nord – Köln-Mülheim

(ERA-E 42A5; ERA-R 104A1-104B1; S+W 146C4-146C2) DE22/393

This is an alternative route route between Porz-Wahn and Köln-Mülheim which is more direct than that via Köln Messe/Deutz. No services have been identified as using it in the current timetable.

Köln-Longerich – Köln West

(ERA-E 42A5; ERA-R 104A1; S+W 146A2-146A3) DE22/394

This line links the Neuss and Koblenz routes to the west of Köln Hbf. It was used during 2021 by certain late evening RE5 services between Koblenz and Wesel, which ran via Neuss Hbf and did not call at Köln Hbf. These diversions have now ceased and the line is currently not used for passenger services.

Viersen (Viersen Helenabrunn) – Wickrath (Rheydt Gbf) (Mönchengladbach avoiding line)

[490] (S+W 50C4) DE22/395

This line avoiding Mönchengladbach Hbf links the line from Krefeld and Venlo with the Aachen line. It is used if there are engineering works in the area of Mönchengladbach Hbf.

See also