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Germany - DB Diversions

Diversions caused by engineering work

Trains are regularly diverted because of engineering work, for periods which can vary from a single weekend to several months. In general, IC and ICE trains are more likely to be diverted. Local trains are often replaced by buses, unless the work is long-term and a reasonably convenient alternative route is available. Details of engineering work alterations can be found on the DB website. There are links from this page to information for each Land and for long-distance trains (Fernverkehr) throughout Germany.

The compilers may indicate when diversions are to take place, but do not undertake to do so on a comprehensive basis and users should make their own enquiries. It should be noted that diversions may be implemented or cancelled at short notice.

The following are routes which do not normally have any scheduled passenger service, but may be used for diversions:

  • Kiel avoiding line: Flintbek (Meimersdorf) - Kiel-Hassee Cittipark (118B2): This curve is used by passenger trains, usually overnight only, when engineering work blocks the main line between Neümunster and Flensburg.
  • Osnabrück Schinkel and Stahlwerks Curves: Osnabrück ob Bf – Osnabrück unt Bf (40C3): These curves allow trains to run between the Münster and Rheine lines, passing through both the high-level and low-level platforms at Osnabrück. They may be used when the direct line between Münster and Rheine is blocked, resulting in an extended journey time.
  • Nörten-Hardenberg (55B1-55B2) and Edesheim (Leine) (55B1): There are connections between the old main line and the Schnellfahrstrecke south and north of Northeim (Han), at Nörten-Hardenberg and Edesheim (Leine) respectively. They are sometimes used by IC/ICE trains between Kassel and Hannover or Hildesheim during engineering work on the Schnellfahrstrecke. This results in an extended journey time, but only if the DB website says where the work is taking place is it possible to deduce from public information which connection may be used.
  • Berlin: The extensive and complex nature of the railway network in the Berlin area provides many options for diversions. In particular, trains can use the Außenring to switch between one route and another on the approach to the city. Most diversions involve routes used by other passenger trains. Trains calling at the low-level platforms at Berlin Hbf instead of the high-level, or vice-versa, or omitting stops at stations including Berlin-Gesundbrunnen, Berlin Südkreuz, Berlin Ostbahnhof or Berlin Zoologischer Garten normally indicate a diversion.
  • Berlin-Grunewald Gds – Berlin-Halensee Nordkopf - Berlin-Jungfernheide (128A3-128B2): This is the north-western quadrant on the Ringbahn. It is used when trains to and from Berlin-Wannsee or Potsdam Hbf are advertised not to stop at Berlin Zoologischer Garten and to use the low-level platforms at Berlin Hbf instead of those on the Stadtbahn.
  • Brieslang – Brieslang-Hasselberg and Wustermark Awf – Elstal (124A3-124A4): These curves on and off the Außenring may be used when the direct line between Berlin-Spandau and Brieslang is blocked. This route is likely to be used if local trains via Falkensee are replaced by buses, but longer-distance trains are still running. There may be no change in the advertised times of ICE trains between Berlin and Hamburg when this happens.
  • Saarmund – Michendorf (126C4-126B4): This connection between the Außenring and the Belzig line is used by trains between Berlin-Schönefeld Flughafen and Potsdam Hbf when there is work between Saarmund and Golm. Use of this route is indicated by trains not calling at Golm.
  • Ferch-Lienewitz (Abzw Lienewitz Lia) - Beelitz Heilstätten (47A1): This north to south-west curve is occasionally used by RE7 services between Dessau and Berlin if engineering work is taking place on the direct line between Seddin and Griebnitzsee Ost. On such occasions trains are not advertised to make the usual stops between Beelitz Heilstätten and Berlin-Wannsee.
  • Minden (Westf) – Hamm (via Goods Line) (41C1-52B1): 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 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. It is unusual for the full length of the goods line to be used for a single diversion.
  • Hilden – Opladen (141B4-147C2): This freight line forms part of an alternative route between Düsseldorf and Köln, and is sometimes used for diversions. Use of this route may involve a slight retiming of trains.
  • Düsseldorf-Eller - Düsseldorf-Rath - Duisburg-Wedau – Oberhausen Hbf Obn or Obo (141A4-137A2): 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.
  • Köln-Nippes - Köln-Ehrenfeld (146A2): This north to west curve links the Neuss and Aachen lines west of Köln Hbf. It is rarely used for passenger diversions, but Thalys services not calling at Köln Hbf used this route in October 2017.
  • Köln-Mülheim – Köln-Kalk – Südbrücke – Köln Süd (146C2-146A3): This is an alternative route into Köln from the Düsseldorf and Hagen lines. Diversion may result in a slight extension to the journey time. In the case of trains from Köln diversion is also indicated by departure towards Hansaring instead of via Köln Messe/Deutz. Note that in the case of Düsseldorf trains retiming and departure via Hansaring may alternatively mean diversion via Neuss.
  • Frankfurt am Main Hbf avoiding line: Frankfurt am Main West (Galluswarte) – Frankfurt-Niederrad or Main Neckar Brücke (151C3-151B4): These lines provide a link between Frankfurt West and lines to the south, for trains not calling at the Hauptbahnhof. Use of this route is indicated by trains calling at Frankfurt am Main West instead of Frankfurt am Main Hbf.
  • Burgsinn Bbf (78C3): There are connections between the old main line and the Schnellfahrstrecke south of Burgsinn. They are sometimes used by IC/ICE trains during engineering work on the Schnellfahrstrecke, resulting in an extended journey time. In the case of trains between Kassel and Würzburg it is possible to deduce from public information which connection may be used only if the DB website says where the work is taking place. The northern connection is used when trains between Frankfurt am Main and Würzburg are diverted via Schlüchtern, resulting in a significantly extended journey time and omission of a stop at Aschaffenburg. The southern connection is used when trains between Frankfurt am Main and Fulda are diverted via Langenprozelten (below).
  • Langenprozelten – Rieneck (Gemünden Zollberg) (78C3): This west to north curve enables trains to run between the Aschaffenburg and Fulda lines without reversing at Gemünden (Main). It is used by IC/ICE trains between Frankfurt am Main and Fulda when the route via Wächtersbach is blocked. This is indicated by a significantly extended journey time and buses replacing local trains for at least part of the way between Hanau and Fulda.
  • Groß Gerau – Groß Gerau-Dornberg (154A2): IC and EC trains between Mainz and Mannheim (not calling at Frankfurt am Main Flughafen) normally run via Worms, but may be diverted via Groß Gerau. Following signalling alterations at Mannheim Hbf, it is no longer possible to determine there whether a train to Mainz is to run via Groß Gerau, but the diversion can be expected if local trains via Worms are replaced by buses. Relief IC/ICE trains may run this way even when the Worms route is open.
  • Nürnberg (162B3-162D4): The ring line round the south side of Nürnberg connects with all routes from the city except those via Hersbruck. Diversions are indicated by calls at Nürnberg Hbf being omitted. It is also possible for trains via Treuchtlingen, Ansbach or Fürth to run via the ring line, arriving and departing at the east end of Nürnberg Hbf instead of the west end. An extended journey time can be expected in this event.
  • München (166B2-167B3): The ring line round the north side of München connects with the Augsburg to Rosenheim main line and routes to the north. Diversions this way are rare, because they involve a significantly extended journey time if a call is to be made at München Hbf. If a train omits a call at München Hbf, but its overall schedule is unchanged, it can be expected to run direct between München-Pasing and München Ost.
  • Lindau avoiding line: Lindau-Aeschach - Lochau-Hörbranz (Lindau-Reutin) (112D3): This west to east curve allows trains to run between Germany and Austria without reversing at Lindau Hbf. EC trains between München and Zürich are occasionally diverted via this route, omitting the normal stop at Lindau Hbf.