Difference between revisions of "Germany - General Information"

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==Language==
 
==Language==
German
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German.
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Upper and Lower Sorbian are Slavic languages, related to Czech and Polish, spoken in eastern Germany in the areas round Bautzen and Cottbus respectively. They have official status as protected minority languages. Travellers are most likely to encounter these languages on signs and notices, including station nameboards where they appear alongside German.
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North Frisian is a minority language in the north-west of the mainland of Schleswig-Holstein, and on the islands of Sylt, Amrum and Föhr. Station nameboards in this area are also bilingual.
  
 
==Currency==
 
==Currency==
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==Ticketing==
 
==Ticketing==
DB offers its own [https://www.bahn.de/p/view/angebot/regio/index.shtml?dbkanal_007=L01_S01_D001_KIN0001_top-navi-flyout_angebote-regio_LZ01 network tickets], which give much better value than the standard One Country passes if travel is entirely by local trains.  
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DB offers its own [https://www.bahn.com/en/view/offers/regional/index.shtml?dbkanal_007=L04_S02_D002_KIN0059_FLYOUT-ANGEBOTE-REGIONAL-ANGEBOTE_LZ01 network tickets], which give much better value than the standard One Country passes if travel is entirely by local trains.
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Among the most useful tickets is the ''Quer-durchs-Land Ticket'', which gives unlimited travel throughout Germany for up to five people travelling together on all local trains (''S-Bahn'', ''RB'', ''RE'' and ''IRE'') on any day of the week. This includes almost all private companies that run scheduled local train services. Tourist and preserved railways, including most steam railways that operate a regular service, are not included. Use of ''ICE'' and ''IC'' trains, while not generally allowed, is permitteed between Stuttgart and Konstanz, and west of Bremen. A few lines that cross into Austria, Switzerland  and Poland are included. The ticket is however NOT valid on tram, ''U-Bahn'' and local bus services, although it is valid on 'tram-train' services in certain areas. It is valid from 09.00 on Mondays to Fridays, and from midnight at weekends, until 03.00 on the day following the day of validity. The number of people travelling must be specified when booking - there is a base fare for one passenger with each additional passenger (up to five in total) being charged a small extra amount. Tickets are best purchased online or from a ticket vending machine as there is a EUR 2 surcharge when they are bought at a ticket office. The names of all the passengers in the group need to be written on the ticket. It is permitted for people to join the main party later on the journey as long as the names of the whole group are shown on the ticket from the outset, and all the passengers have been paid for.
  
Among the most useful tickets is the ''Schönes-Wochenende Ticket'', which gives unlimited travel for up to five people travelling together on all local trains (''S-Bahn'', ''RB'', ''RE'' and ''IRE'') on a Saturday or Sunday. This includes almost all private operators (except most tourist and preserved railways). A few lines that cross into neighbouring countries are included. The ticket is also valid on many tram, U-Bahn and bus services, but not all. One notable exception is the RMV area (Frankfurt-am-Main and Wiesbaden). The ticket is valid from midnight at the start of one day until 03.00 on the following day. The number of people travelling must now be specified when booking - there is a base fare for one passenger with each additional passenger (up to five in total) being charged a small extra amount. Tickets are best purchased online or from a ticket vending machine as there is a EUR 2 surcharge when they are bought at a ticket office.
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Full validity information can be checked on the [https://www.diebefoerderer.de/tarife/ Die Beförderer website], the tariff website of the TBNE organisation of German train operating companies.
  
The weekday equivalent of the ''Schönes-Wochenende Ticket'' is the ''Quer-durchs-Land Ticket''.  It is valid on all local trains after 09.00 on a weekday until 03.00 the following day. It is however not valid on local city transport (trams, buses and U-Bahn services). The base fare is the same as the ''Schönes-Wochenende Ticket'' but the add-on for each additional passenger is higher.  It costs EUR 2 extra to buy this ticket at a ticket office.
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The former weekend-only ''Schönes-Wochenende Ticket'' has been withdrawn, with the ''Quer-durchs-Land Ticket'' becoming the weekend as well as the weekday option. There is therefore no pan-German ticket which allows use of local city transport, although regional tickets do, as mentioned below.
  
There are suggestions that DB may withdraw the ''Schönes-Wochenende Ticket'' during 2019, with the ''Quer-durchs-Land Ticket'' becoming the weekend ticket as well as the weekday one.
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''Länder-Tickets'' give unlimited travel for up to five people for one day throughout the ''Land'' [region] concerned on local trains, and in some cases a neighbouring ''Land'' as well. Most ''Länder'' also offer a cheaper ticket for one person. ''Länder-Tickets'' include tram, ''U-Bahn'' and most local bus services within their area of validity. They are occasionally valid on some Intercity services, for example in the Berlin area, and west of Bremen.  
  
''Länder'' Tickets give unlimited travel for up to five people for one day throughout the ''Land'' [region] concerned on local trains, and in some cases a neighbouring ''Land'' as well. Most ''Länder'' also offer a cheaper ticket for one person. Most urban areas have their own ''Tarifverbund'' or ''Verkehrsverbund'' in which local fares apply. Nearly all of these offer day tickets or other concessions.
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Validity details for each ''Länder-Ticket'' can be checked on the [https://www.diebefoerderer.de/tarife/ Die Beförderer website].
  
''Länder'' Tickets are occasionally valid on some express services. Official validity information is best obtained from the [http://www.diebefoerderer.de/Tarife.122.0.html Die Beförderer website], the tariff website of the German train operating companies.
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All urban areas are part of a ''Verkehrsverbund'' which co-ordinates public transport in that area and in which an integrated ticketing system applies. These can cover just the area round a town, or an entire region such as Berlin and Brandenburg. These normally offer day tickets for various areas which can sometimes be better value than a ''Länder-Ticket'', or have no start time restriction.
  
 
Bargain tickets include ''Sparpreis'' and ''Super Sparpreis'' which are the equivalent of British 'Advance' tickets, and are subject to similar restrictions. They are only available on journeys that involve at least one leg on an ''IC/EC'' or ''ICE'' service, and on those services the specified train must be used. Local connecting services as part of the through journey are not time-restricted; although a suggested service may be shown, this is not binding. For journeys of over 100km, ''Sparpreis'' tickets include a "City-Ticket" at origin and destination (if a large town or city) which gives free travel to and from the origin and destination stations on local public transport in the towns concerned. City-Tickets are shown by the designation "+ City" after the name of the town. ''Super Sparpreis'' tickets are cheaper, only available in limited quantities, and do not include City-Tickets.
 
Bargain tickets include ''Sparpreis'' and ''Super Sparpreis'' which are the equivalent of British 'Advance' tickets, and are subject to similar restrictions. They are only available on journeys that involve at least one leg on an ''IC/EC'' or ''ICE'' service, and on those services the specified train must be used. Local connecting services as part of the through journey are not time-restricted; although a suggested service may be shown, this is not binding. For journeys of over 100km, ''Sparpreis'' tickets include a "City-Ticket" at origin and destination (if a large town or city) which gives free travel to and from the origin and destination stations on local public transport in the towns concerned. City-Tickets are shown by the designation "+ City" after the name of the town. ''Super Sparpreis'' tickets are cheaper, only available in limited quantities, and do not include City-Tickets.
Line 110: Line 116:
 
There are three levels of on-the-day fares - the dearest, for ''ICE'' services, a slightly cheaper rate for ''IC/EC'' services, and the cheapest, valid on local trains (DB and non-DB) only. If purchasing a ticket for a route on which various types of train operate it is important to specify which type of train it is intended to use. Tickets for a higher price-band can also be used on cheaper trains without penalty. Tickets at the local rate cannot be upgraded - a new ticket must be purchased to travel on an ''IC/EC'' or ''ICE'' service, except in the event of service disruption or cancellation, where at the conductor's discretion local tickets may be accepted. Tickets for travel on local trains only are often identifiable by having the words ''"Nur Gültig in Zügen des Nahverkehrs"'' or ''"...in NV"'' on them.
 
There are three levels of on-the-day fares - the dearest, for ''ICE'' services, a slightly cheaper rate for ''IC/EC'' services, and the cheapest, valid on local trains (DB and non-DB) only. If purchasing a ticket for a route on which various types of train operate it is important to specify which type of train it is intended to use. Tickets for a higher price-band can also be used on cheaper trains without penalty. Tickets at the local rate cannot be upgraded - a new ticket must be purchased to travel on an ''IC/EC'' or ''ICE'' service, except in the event of service disruption or cancellation, where at the conductor's discretion local tickets may be accepted. Tickets for travel on local trains only are often identifiable by having the words ''"Nur Gültig in Zügen des Nahverkehrs"'' or ''"...in NV"'' on them.
 
   
 
   
DB tickets and Interrail/Eurail passes are not valid on Flixtrain long distance services.
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DB tickets and Interrail/Eurail passes are not valid on ''Flixtrain'' long distance services.
  
 
==Infrastructure==
 
==Infrastructure==
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The German railways were never entirely nationalised, with various independent lines surviving, particularly in Baden-Württemberg. ''Länder'' are responsible for tendering the operation of local passenger services, and many independent operators have won tenders in competition with DB.  In some cases these are long-established, local railway companies, expanding out of their own network.  Some operators are entirely new and others are subsidiaries of foreign companies or the state railways of other European countries.
 
The German railways were never entirely nationalised, with various independent lines surviving, particularly in Baden-Württemberg. ''Länder'' are responsible for tendering the operation of local passenger services, and many independent operators have won tenders in competition with DB.  In some cases these are long-established, local railway companies, expanding out of their own network.  Some operators are entirely new and others are subsidiaries of foreign companies or the state railways of other European countries.
  
Open access long-distance passenger and freight operation is possible in Germany.  Increasing numbers of open access freight operators are running trains, but there has been limited success with passenger services, despite DB Netz having been ordered to charge the same prices for track access to DB and non-DB operators alike. Georg Verkehrs (of Germany) and [http://www.snalltaget.se/en Snälltåget] (of Sweden - a subsidiary of Transdev) operate overnight trains between Berlin and Malmö for a limited summer season each year. Transdev also operate the [https://www.hex-online.de/ Harz-Berlin Express] between Goslar/Thale and Berlin.
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Open access long-distance passenger and freight operation is possible in Germany.  Increasing numbers of open access freight operators are running trains, but there has been limited success with passenger services, despite DB Netz having been ordered to charge the same prices for track access to DB and non-DB operators alike.   [http://www.snalltaget.se/en Snälltåget] (a subsidiary of Transdev) operate overnight trains between Berlin and Malmö for a limited summer season each year. Transdev also operate the [https://www.hex-online.de/ Harz-Berlin Express] between Goslar/Thale and Berlin.  
 
 
The only other non-DB long-distance services (apart from cross-border trains such as Thalys) are operated by [https://www.flixtrain.com/ Flixtrain], a joint venture between German long-distance coach firm Flixbus and Czech coach and open-access rail company LEO Express. One train pair runs 4-5 times per week between Köln and Hamburg (the former Hamburg-Köln Express (HKX) service) and one pair runs daily between Stuttgart and Berlin via Frankfurt (Main) Süd (the former Locomore service). There is also a Hamburg-Lörrach overnight car-carrying service in the summer months (the former Bahn Touristik Express service).
 
  
Other former long-distance operators include Eurobahn, Vogtlandbahn and InterConnex.
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The only other non-DB long-distance services (apart from cross-border trains such as Thalys) are operated by [https://www.flixtrain.com/ Flixtrain], a joint venture between German long-distance coach firm Flixbus and Czech coach and open-access rail company LEO Express. Flixtrain services link Köln and Hamburg, Köln and Berlin via Dortmund, and Berlin and Stuttgart via Frankfurt am Main Süd. There are generally one or two trains each way per day on each route. They also run a Hamburg-Lörrach overnight car-carrying service in the summer months (the former Bahn Touristik Express service).
  
 
===Openings===
 
===Openings===
 
====Forthcoming Openings====
 
====Forthcoming Openings====
  
The Hamburg ''U-Bahn'' line U4 was extended around 1km from HafenCity Universität to Elbbrücken, by Abzw. Hamburg-Oberhafen on the main line, on 7 December 2018. A nearby Elbbrücken ''S-Bahn'' station is also planned to open at a later date.
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An extension of the Stolberg (Rheinland) to Stolberg Altstadt passenger service to Breinig was planned for December 2020, but will now open in June 2021. A further extension to Walheim, on the Belgian border, is scheduled for 2022.
 
 
An extension of the Stolberg (Rheinland) to Stolberg Altstadt passenger service to Breinig is planned for December 2019. A further extension to Walheim, on the Belgian border, is scheduled for 2022.
 
 
 
The Böblingen to Dettenhausen ''Schönbuchbahn'' is closed for electrification with completion not now expected until December 2019. A partial reopening between Holzgerlingen and Dettenhausen took place in February 2019 with diesel units.
 
  
The Kiel to Schönberger Strand branch, which is currently only a tourist line beyond Kiel-Oppendorf, is planned to be reopened to normal passenger services in March 2020.
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The Kiel to Schönberger Strand branch, which is currently only a tourist line beyond Kiel-Oppendorf, was planned to be reopened to normal passenger services in March 2021; however this date has slipped until late 2021.
  
 
The first stage of the Berlin S-Bahn line ''S21'', linking the ''Innenring'' with Berlin Hbf by curves from both Wedding and Westhafen stations, is due to open in December 2020. Further plans are to extend the line to Yorckstraße via Potsdamer Platz, thus creating a second north-south ''S-Bahn'' line through central Berlin.
 
The first stage of the Berlin S-Bahn line ''S21'', linking the ''Innenring'' with Berlin Hbf by curves from both Wedding and Westhafen stations, is due to open in December 2020. Further plans are to extend the line to Yorckstraße via Potsdamer Platz, thus creating a second north-south ''S-Bahn'' line through central Berlin.
Line 191: Line 191:
 
The reopening to passengers of the first part of the ''Weststrecke'' in Trier, across the Mosel from the existing passenger line via Trier Hbf is planned for December 2020, between Ehrang and Trier West.
 
The reopening to passengers of the first part of the ''Weststrecke'' in Trier, across the Mosel from the existing passenger line via Trier Hbf is planned for December 2020, between Ehrang and Trier West.
  
The ''Eifel-Bördebahn'' between Düren and Euskirchen, which currently has a weekend- and holiday-only service of four train pairs under the designation ''RB28'', was due to regain a daily service (six train pairs SX; four SSuO) in December 2018; however this has been delayed until December 2019 owing to signalling issues. The end-to-end journey time will be reduced from 60 to 50 minutes. In 2022 an hourly service is planned with a journey time of 35 minutes. This will be possible with automation of level crossings and a modest line-speed increase. This will make avoiding Köln Hbf an attractive option for journeys such as Aachen to Trier.
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Gelsenkirchen-Buer Nord - Recklinghausen Hbf was due to reopen to passengers on 1 May 2020 but this has been delayed because of Coronavirus. The local VRR transport association has given the operator Abellio until 15 September to commence service. The intermediate stations at Herten-Mitte, Herten-Westerholt and Gelsenkirchen-Buer Nord (main line platforms) are not scheduled to open before December 2022.
 
 
Gelsenkirchen-Buer Nord - Recklinghausen Hbf, part of the ''Hamm-Osterfelder Bahn'', will reopen to passengers in December 2019, forming a second branch of the ''S9'' service which currently terminates at Haltern am See; however the intermediate stations at Herten-Mitte, Herten-Westerholt and Gelsenkirchen-Buer Nord (main line platforms) are not scheduled to open before December 2022.
 
  
The extension of the ''S28'' Kaarster See - Neuss - Düsseldorf - Mettmann service to Wuppertal-Vohwinkel and Wuppertal Hbf is under construction. It uses the existing freight-only route between Mettmann and Dornap-Hahnenfurth (which will be doubled) and is new construction from there to a junction with the Velbert - Wuppertal line just north of Wuppertal-Vohwinkel. Doubling of the Neuss - Kaarster See section is also planned, along with electrification of both the western (Neuss - Kaarster See) and eastern (Düsseldorf-Gerresheim - Dornap-Hahnenfurth [- Wuppertal]) arms.  Completion of the entire project is not now expected until December 2020.
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The extension of the ''S28'' Kaarster See - Neuss - Düsseldorf - Mettmann service to Wuppertal-Vohwinkel and Wuppertal Hbf is under construction. It uses the existing freight-only route between Mettmann and Dornap-Hahnenfurth (which is being doubled) and is new construction from there to a junction (Abzw. Wuppertal-Dornap) with the Velbert - Wuppertal line just north of Wuppertal-Vohwinkel. Doubling of part of the Neuss - Kaarster See section is also under construction. The completed project is scheduled to open in December 2020, but may be delayed. Electrification of both the western and eastern arms of the route was initially planned to take place at the same time as the reconstruction but this has been shelved owing to lack of funds, so the new service will use diesel units for the foreseeable future.
  
Dombühl - Dinkelsbühl was planned for reopening to passengers in December 2019, but this has been deferred.
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Dombühl - Dinkelsbühl was planned for reopening to passengers in December 2019, but this has been deferred. The previous infrastructure owner BEG closed the entire line between Dombühl and Nördlingen on 25 January 2019. However, the new infrastructure and operating company, MFEG (Mittelfränkische Eisenbahngesellschaft) is due to commence passenger services between Dombühl and Wilburgstetten, between Dinkelsbühl and Nördlingen, by 2024 at the latest. Occasional freight services between Wilburgstetten and Nördlingen resumed on 3 May 2020.
  
The new Berlin Brandenburg Airport (''Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg Willy Brandt''), a southward expansion of the existing Schönefeld airport, was scheduled to open on 3 June 2012. However, this was postponed owing to delays in commissioning the fire safety system. The new terminal is to the south of the runways. A new east-west line, underneath the terminal complex and parallel to the existing ''Berliner Außenring'', was completed in 2011. At its eastern end it uses part of the former Berlin-Schöneweide (Abzw Grünau) – Berlin ILA-Bahnhof (Schönefeld Flughafen Süd) line. At its western end it curves northwards towards the ''Außenring'', which it joins by means of a triangular junction, with curves facing both east and west. The east curve will carry only S-Bahn services, an extension of lines S9 and S45 from the existing Schönefeld-Flughafen station, which will terminate at the new station. The west curve and the line eastwards to Abzw Grünau will handle IC, ICE, RE and RB services to a variety of destinations. According to the airport website, the date for opening is October 2020.
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The new Berlin Brandenburg Airport (''Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg Willy Brandt''), a southward expansion of the existing Schönefeld airport, is due to open on 31 October 2020, over nine years after the original scheduled date of March 2011. The new terminal is to the south of the runways. A new east-west line, underneath the terminal complex and parallel to the existing ''Berliner Außenring'', was completed in 2011. At its eastern end it uses part of the former Berlin-Schöneweide (Abzw Grünau) – Berlin ILA-Bahnhof (Schönefeld Flughafen Süd) line. At its western end it curves northwards towards the ''Außenring'', which it joins by means of a triangular junction, with curves facing both east and west. The east curve will carry only ''S-Bahn'' services, an extension of lines ''S9'' and ''S45'' from the existing Schönefeld-Flughafen station, which will terminate at the new station. The west curve and the line eastwards to Abzw Grünau will handle ''IC'', ''ICE'', ''RE'' and ''RB'' services to a variety of destinations.  
  
Calw - Weil der Stadt is due to reopen in December 2020, two years later than planned. The line will be known as the ''Hermann-Hesse-Bahn''. Trains will run through to Renningen, sharing tracks with the S6 from Weil der Stadt.
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Calw - Weil der Stadt is due to reopen in December 2020, two years later than planned. The line will be known as the ''Hermann-Hesse-Bahn''. Trains will run through to Renningen, sharing tracks with the ''S6'' from Weil der Stadt.
  
 
A diversion of the Sande - Esens line is under construction to improve access for freight to Jade-Weser-Port in Wilhelmshaven. A new 4.7km double-track alignment from Sande towards the junction with the port line at Abzw. Weißer Floh will run to the east of the existing single-track line through Sanderbusch. On completion, targeted for the end of 2021, the existing line will be closed and the halt at Sanderbusch abandoned.  
 
A diversion of the Sande - Esens line is under construction to improve access for freight to Jade-Weser-Port in Wilhelmshaven. A new 4.7km double-track alignment from Sande towards the junction with the port line at Abzw. Weißer Floh will run to the east of the existing single-track line through Sanderbusch. On completion, targeted for the end of 2021, the existing line will be closed and the halt at Sanderbusch abandoned.  
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====Projected Developments====
 
====Projected Developments====
Rebuilding of Ducherow – Świnoujście (Poland) and Barth – Zingst (and possibly to Prerow) are included in the Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan, but funds are not allocated to the projects. The Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Development Plan now includes extension of the Mecklenburg Bäderbahn (Bad Doberan – Kühlungsborn West) westwards to Rerik and eastwards to Warnemünde. No announcements on progress on these developments have been made in recent years so it may be assumed that the projects have stalled or been abandoned.
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<i>Land</i> Mecklenburg-Vorpommern has stated its intention to reopen the Barth - Zingst - Prerow <i>Darßbahn</i> as far as Bresewitz, halfway between Barth and Zingst, by 2022. Tripartite funding, split between the federal government, the <i>Land</i> and the Usedomer Bäderbahn was agreed in early 2020 for the reconstruction of the road/rail bridge at Meiningen, which will allow reopening of the entire line to Prerow by 2027.
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It is planned to reopen the first 2.9km of the Wrist - Itzehoe line as far as Kellinghusen. Financing has apparently been agreed in December 2019 after years of prevarication, but a firm date for reopening has not yet been announced.
  
 
A new ''S-Bahn'' line between Fürth Hbf and Eltersdorf via Fürth-Steinach is planned but construction has been delayed by legal challenges. The new ''S-Bahn'' lines will be brought into use where they run parallel to the main lines, but the original line between Fürth-Stadeln and Königsmühle will remain a two-track bottleneck until the ''S-Bahn'' deviation to the east via Steinach is eventually opened.
 
A new ''S-Bahn'' line between Fürth Hbf and Eltersdorf via Fürth-Steinach is planned but construction has been delayed by legal challenges. The new ''S-Bahn'' lines will be brought into use where they run parallel to the main lines, but the original line between Fürth-Stadeln and Königsmühle will remain a two-track bottleneck until the ''S-Bahn'' deviation to the east via Steinach is eventually opened.
  
Contract negotiations have started for replacement of the Puttgarden - Rødby train ferry with the Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link, which will include the world's longest immersed tube tunnel. Completion is due in 2028, but the train ferry ceases operation in December 2019 because the railway on the German side is closing for reconstruction.
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Train-ferry operations between Puttgarden and Rødby ceased in December 2019, as part of preparations for the construction of the Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link, which will include the world's longest immersed tube tunnel. Completion is due in 2028. The railway on the Danish side is closing for reconstruction in 2020. The existing DB line to Puttgarden will close north of Neustadt (Holst.) in mid-2021 for rebuilding on a new alignment, in part alongside the A1 ''Autobahn''. The new line is not expected to open until 2026.
   
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Plans exist to reopen the section of KBS 732 (''Ablachtalbahn'') between Stockach and Mengen although it is not yet clear whether this will be for regular or occasional services. In December 2019 some vegetation clearance was taking place between Sauldorf and Schwackenreute.
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The Warnetalbahn GmbH, which operates the museum line between Salzgitter-Bad and Börßum, has taken a lease in December 2019 of the section of KBS592 between Rottleberode and Stolberg (Harz), presumably with a view to reintroducing tourist services. The branch from Berga-Kelbra, which latterly only had weekend services, closed to passengers in December 2011 and has been completely out of service north of the gypsum works at Rottleberode since then.  
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A west-to-south curve is planned to link the Lübeck - Bad Kleinen line with the main line to Schwerin, avoiding Bad Kleinen. This would allow direct trains to run between Lübeck and Schwerin. This is currently in the planning/financing phase and no start or end date has yet been announced.
 
A west-to-south curve is planned to link the Lübeck - Bad Kleinen line with the main line to Schwerin, avoiding Bad Kleinen. This would allow direct trains to run between Lübeck and Schwerin. This is currently in the planning/financing phase and no start or end date has yet been announced.
 
   
 
   
Financing is agreed for Electrification from Ulm via Friedrichshafen to Lindau for completion by 2021. As a consequence this may become the last line to use Class 218 Diesels.
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Electrification is underway from Ulm via Friedrichshafen to Lindau for completion by 2021.  
 
 
The DB subsidiary ''Euregiobahn'' has published plans to extend its ''RB20'' service (KBS482) by 5km from Stolberg Altstadt to Stolberg-Breinig. Electrification of this line, the ring line through Alsdorf and the ''Eschweiler Talbahn'' to Langerwehe is also planned.
 
 
 
Land Schleswig-Holstein intends to reopen fully the line from Kiel Hbf to Schönberger Strand (KBS133), which currently only has seasonal tourist trains beyond Kiel-Oppendorf.
 
  
Land Brandenburg plans to reopen the following lines by 2022:
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''Land'' Brandenburg plans to reopen the following lines by 2022:
  
 
Bad Saarow Klinikum - Bad Saarow Süd (1.6km extension over former line to Beeskow);
 
Bad Saarow Klinikum - Bad Saarow Süd (1.6km extension over former line to Beeskow);
Line 233: Line 234:
  
 
The Niederbarnimer Eisenbahn is to rebuild the line from Berlin-Wilhemsruh to Wilhelmsruher Damm, therefore reopening the line from Bornholmer Straße to Schönwalde (Barnim) to passenger service for trains from Berlin-Gesundbrunnen to Basdorf and beyond. This is planned for 2023. Some redoubling of the existing lines from Schönholz to Wilhelmsruh and north of Schildow is required to bring the lines into passenger use at the planned 30-minute frequency. The existing line via Berlin-Karow will be retained with trains planned to terminate at the projected Karower Kreuz interchange station. Reopening of the line from Wensickendorf to Liebenwalde has been proposed.
 
The Niederbarnimer Eisenbahn is to rebuild the line from Berlin-Wilhemsruh to Wilhelmsruher Damm, therefore reopening the line from Bornholmer Straße to Schönwalde (Barnim) to passenger service for trains from Berlin-Gesundbrunnen to Basdorf and beyond. This is planned for 2023. Some redoubling of the existing lines from Schönholz to Wilhelmsruh and north of Schildow is required to bring the lines into passenger use at the planned 30-minute frequency. The existing line via Berlin-Karow will be retained with trains planned to terminate at the projected Karower Kreuz interchange station. Reopening of the line from Wensickendorf to Liebenwalde has been proposed.
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Reopening of the Berlin S-Bahn ''Siemensbahn'' branch (Jungfernheide to Gartenfeld), closed in 1980, is planned for 2025. This may involve a new-build line beyond Gartenfeld to Hakenfelde.
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A temporary weekend- and holiday-only passenger service will run in summer 2020 from Duisburg and Moers to Kamp-Lintfort Süd in connection with a garden festival, thus reintroducing trains to the former colliery branch from Rheinkamp. Full passenger services are planned for 2026, via a new south to west curve at Rheinkamp. The branch will be extended to a new Kamp-Lintfort station, beyond the former mine area.
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The Prime Minister and Transport Minister of <i>Land</i> Mecklenburg-Vorpommern restated in early 2020 their commitment to the rebuilding of Ducherow – Świnoujście/Swinemünde (Poland) but as this project would involve complete reconstruction of the bridge at Karnin between the mainland and the island of Usedom, this would appear to be a long-term aspiration.
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The ''Potsdamer Stammbahn'' (Zehlendorf to Griebnitzsee) is under consideration for reopening, to give a more direct route between Berlin and Potsdam either for S-Bahn or regional trains, or both. This may not occur until the early 2030s.
 +
 +
Other projects in the [https://www.i2030.de/ i2030 scheme] for rail development in Berlin and Brandenburg include:
 +
 +
* Extension of the ''S2'' from Blankenfelde to Rangsdorf along the ''Dresdner Bahn'', in conjunction with the rebuilding of the long-distance lines north of Blankenfelde
 +
* Extension of the ''S21'' from Teltow Stadt over a new-build line to Stahnsdorf
 +
* Extension of the ''S5'' from Spandau to Nauen, parallel to the existing line, with a possible branch over part of the Johannesstift freight line to Falkenseer Chaussee
 +
* Extension of the ''S75'' along the Außenring to Karow
 +
* Reinstatement of regional tracks between Schönholz and Hennigsdorf, to give a direct route to the Kremmen/Wittstock/Pritzwalk line, and extension of the S-Bahn (''S25'') over this line as far as Velten (Mark).
  
 
====Actual Openings====
 
====Actual Openings====
 +
=====2020=====
 +
{| class="osstable3"
 +
| 424
 +
| [Moers –] Rheinkamp – Kamp-Lintfort Süd (temporary weekend-only service until 11 October for NRW Garden Festival)
 +
| 16 May
 +
|-
 +
| former 172 and 174
 +
| Parchim - Karow (Meckl.) - Inselstadt Malchow ''and'' Karow - Plau am See (scheduled summer weekend service)
 +
| 21 May
 +
|-
 +
| <!---450.9
 +
| Gelsenkirchen-Buer Nord – Recklinghausen Hbf
 +
| Planned for 1 May but deferred to an unknown date because of Coronavirus
 +
|--->
 +
|}
 +
 
=====2019=====
 
=====2019=====
 
{| class="osstable3"  
 
{| class="osstable3"  
Line 241: Line 274:
 
| 6 July but 7 July for revenue earning services
 
| 6 July but 7 July for revenue earning services
 
|-
 
|-
 +
| -
 +
| Flensburg Weiche Süd - Flensburg Friedensweg (diversion of Hamburg - København services away fron Puttgarden - Rødby)
 +
| 15 December
 +
|-
 +
| 209.24
 +
| Berlin Bornholmer Straße - Schönhauser Allee ''and'' Frankfurter Allee - Ostkreuz (oben)
 +
| 15 December
 +
|-
 +
| -
 +
| Düren - Euskirchen (regular service instead of weekend-only service)
 +
| 15 December
 +
|-
 +
| 645.8/9
 +
| Frankfurt (Main) Stadion - Gateway Gardens - Frankfurt (Main) Flughafen Regionalbahnhof
 +
| 15 December
 
|}
 
|}
  
Line 308: Line 356:
 
| Wünschendorf Nord - Gera-Zwötzen (0.5km connection to allow closure of line via Gera-Liebschwitz)
 
| Wünschendorf Nord - Gera-Zwötzen (0.5km connection to allow closure of line via Gera-Liebschwitz)
 
| 25 October
 
| 25 October
|}
 
 
=====2015=====
 
{| class="osstable3"
 
| 680
 
| Heimbach (Nahe) – Baumholder (deferred from 14 December 2014 by lack of crew)
 
| 23 February
 
|-
 
| 622
 
| Frankenberg (Eder) - Korbach
 
| 14 September
 
|-
 
| 209.23
 
| Ferch-Lienewitz – Beelitz-Heilstätten  (temporary diversion of Michendorf service until 10 December 2016)
 
| 13 December
 
|-
 
| 209.24
 
| Berlin Grünau – Berlin-Schöneweide – Berlin Ostkreuz – Berlin Lichtenberg
 
| 13 December
 
|-
 
| 230.5
 
| Görlitz – Zgorzelec (Poland)
 
| 13 December
 
|-
 
| 580
 
| Erfurt-Linderbach – Gröbers [- Leipzig] / Halle-Ammendorf
 
| 13 December
 
|-
 
| 720
 
| Konstanz – Kreuzlingen Hafen (Switzerland)
 
| 13 December
 
|-
 
| 858
 
| Selb-Plößberg – Aš (Czech Republic)
 
| 13 December
 
 
|}
 
|}
  
 
===Closures===
 
===Closures===
  
The line between Neustadt (Holstein) and Puttgarden is to close on and from the 15 December 2019, to allow complete reconstruction. The railway is to be substantially re-aligned and electrified, with the work taking at least six years. This is in preparation for opening of the Fehmarnbelt Tunnel to Denmark.  Meantime, through trains between Hamburg and København are diverted via Padborg and other services are replaced by buses. This will mean a reinstatement of services over the Flensburg avoiding line.
+
The line between Neustadt (Holstein) and Puttgarden is to close in mid-2021, to allow complete reconstruction. The railway is to be substantially re-aligned and electrified, with the work taking at least six years. This is in preparation for opening of the Fehmarnbelt Tunnel to Denmark.   
 
   
 
   
The Wuppertal Schwebebahn was closed on 18 November 2018, when several sections of conductor rail fell into the street and the river. Services resumed on 1 August 2019.
+
Hamburg Altona is scheduled to close in 2023 with a replacement main line through station being built roughly on the site of the current Diebsteich S-Bahn station. However an ongoing legal challenge by the Verkehrsclub Deutschland (VCD) has paused the project for the time being.
 
 
Hamburg Altona is scheduled to close in 2023 with a replacement main line through station being built roughly on the site of the current Diebsteich S-Bahn station.
 
 
 
There have been numerous deviations of railways to allow open-cast mining.  The latest proposal is for significant re-routing of the Görlitz to Cottbus line, which will involve the closure of around 10km of the existing line between Weißwasser and Rietschen, to be replaced by a 13km-long deviation to the east.
 
 
 
The VRR (''Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr'') have announced that they intend to close the very lightly-used ''RB37'' service between Duisburg Hbf and Duisburg-Entenfang from December 2019. Services will be replaced by a higher frequency on existing bus route 928. The VRR say that this closure will not prejudice plans to reopen the ''Ratinger Weststrecke'' between Düsseldorf-Rath and Duisburg, but the line is needed for diversionary use during the line upgrades for the RRX (Rhein-Ruhr Express) project.
 
  
The current S-Bahn line between Frankfurt am Main Stadion and Frankfurt am Main Flughafen Regionalbahnhof is to be re-routed via a new station at Gateway Gardens, which is a commercial development of the former US military part of the airport. Opening of the new line and closure of the original route is expected in December 2019.  
+
There have been numerous deviations of railways to allow open-cast mining. There has been a proposal for significant re-routing of the Görlitz to Cottbus line, which would involve the closure of around 10km of the existing line between Weißwasser and Rietschen, to be replaced by a 13km-long deviation to the east. This may not happen owing to environmental concerns.
  
The ''Zwönitztalbahn'' between Chemnitz and Aue (Sachs.) (KBS524) closed completely on 15th September 2018 for conversion to tram-train service under the ''"Chemnitzer Modell"'' Stage 2, to be introduced in December 2019. Initial plans were to retain only the stretch from Chemnitz as far as Thalheim, but current plans envisage the conversion and reopening of the full line.
+
The ''Zwönitztalbahn'' between Chemnitz and Aue (Sachs.) (KBS524) closed completely on 15th September 2018 for conversion to tram-train service under the ''"Chemnitzer Modell"'' Stage 2, to be introduced in December 2020.
  
The ''Niederlausitzer Museumseisenbahn'' has announced that they are suspending service on their preserved line from Finsterwalde to Crinitz after a final day of service on 30th December 2018. This is because there is substantial work required on the line, which the society are not in a position to fund. They are not ruling out eventual reinstatement of the service once funding has been secured but this is a long-term aspiration.
+
The ''Niederlausitzer Museumseisenbahn'' closed their preserved line from Finsterwalde to Crinitz after a final day of service on 30th December 2018. This is because there is substantial work required on the line, which the society were not in a position to fund. Some repair work has taken place so there are hopes of a reinstatement of services in the near to medium term.
  
The ''Teckelfahrten'' tourist operation from Hagen to Ennepetal did not resume in 2017, but they have announced that a limited service on three Sundays will operate in 2019. See [http://ruhrtalbahn.de/fahrplan-fahrpreise-linie-teckel.html].
+
The ''Teckelfahrten'' tourist operation from Hagen to Ennepetal did not operate in 2017 or 2018, but a limited service was planned for three Sundays in 2019. However in July 2019 the Ruhrtalbahn announced an end to their operations on the Teckel and Ruhrtal (Hagen - Hattingen) routes as a result of severe mechanical problems with their <i>Schienenbus</i>. They hope to resume operations in 2020 with hired-in stock but this is by far from definite. See [https://ruhrtalbahn.de/ the Ruhrtalbahn website]
  
The ''Museums-Eisenbahn-Club Losheim'' was closed suddenly in April 2017 by the authorities because of the condition of the track. In 2019 trains are running only between "Großer Wald" (west of Losheim) and Dellborner Mühle whilst relaying is in progress.
+
The ''Museums-Eisenbahn-Club Losheim'' was closed suddenly in April 2017 by the authorities because of the condition of the track. In 2019 trains only ran between "Großer Wald" (west of Losheim) and Dellborner Mühle whilst relaying is in progress.
  
 
The ''Wachtl-Bahn'' tourist operation did not resume in 2017 as it did not pass an official inspection. The service is currently suspended but the organisation has been restructured and work is underway to allow a resumption of services.
 
The ''Wachtl-Bahn'' tourist operation did not resume in 2017 as it did not pass an official inspection. The service is currently suspended but the organisation has been restructured and work is underway to allow a resumption of services.
Line 373: Line 380:
 
The line between Ihrhove and Nieuweschans closed after a ship hit and destroyed the main span of the bridge over the River Ems on 3 December 2015. DB is reconstructing the bridge, but the line is not expected to re-open until 2024. The train service on the German section west of the bridge, between Nieuweschans and Weener, resumed on 30 October 2016.
 
The line between Ihrhove and Nieuweschans closed after a ship hit and destroyed the main span of the bridge over the River Ems on 3 December 2015. DB is reconstructing the bridge, but the line is not expected to re-open until 2024. The train service on the German section west of the bridge, between Nieuweschans and Weener, resumed on 30 October 2016.
  
The preserved service on the ''Bremen-Thedinghausener Eisenbahn'' (''"Pingelheini"'') between Bremen-Kirchhuchting and Leeste (b. Bremen) ceased at the end of the 2015 season. It was planned to convert the Bremen - Leeste line between Moordeich and Leeste to an extension of Bremen tram route no. 8, but local opposition to the tram service has delayed the project indefinitely. From the start of the 2019 season on 1 May, it was intended that ''Pingelheini'' services would resume to Stuhr, only 4.5 km from Kirchhuchting, however as at August 2019 this has not yet happened.
+
The preserved service on the ''Bremen-Thedinghausener Eisenbahn'' (''"Pingelheini"'') between Bremen-Kirchhuchting and Leeste (b. Bremen) ceased at the end of the 2015 season. It was planned to convert the Bremen - Leeste line between Moordeich and Leeste to an extension of Bremen tram route no. 8, but local opposition to the tram service has delayed the project indefinitely. It is intended to recommence services as far as Stuhr, only 4.5 km from Kirchhuchting, on 1 June 2020, with further dates planned for July and August.
  
The service on the cross-border section of KBS 236 between Varnsdorf Pivovar Kocour (CZ) and Seifhennersdorf (2.1km) was withdrawn at short notice and replaced by a minibus shuttle on 13th March 2015, because of problems with the German infrastructure owner DRE not being able to meet the operational requirements for cross-border services. The passenger service on the line has not been officially withdrawn - the 'temporary' service suspension is extended year by year in the timetable.
+
The service on the cross-border section of KBS 236 between Varnsdorf Pivovar Kocour (CZ) and Seifhennersdorf (2.1km) was withdrawn at short notice and replaced by a minibus shuttle on 13th March 2015, because of problems with the German infrastructure owner DRE not being able to meet the operational requirements for cross-border services. A solution to the bureaucratic issues has apparently been reached and accordingly a resumption of services is planned for some time in 2020.
  
 
''Land'' Bayern may withdraw funding from lines that have fewer than 1,000 passengers per day.  On the basis of data from 2016 these are:
 
''Land'' Bayern may withdraw funding from lines that have fewer than 1,000 passengers per day.  On the basis of data from 2016 these are:
Line 531: Line 538:
 
| Fröttstädt - Friedrichroda
 
| Fröttstädt - Friedrichroda
 
| (section Waltershausen to Friedrichroda only)
 
| (section Waltershausen to Friedrichroda only)
 +
|}
 +
 +
The following line closed on 18 March 2019:
 +
{| class="osstable3"
 +
| 447
 +
| Duisburg Hbf - Duisburg Entenfang
 +
| The final day of service was 30 November 2019, when three farewell round trips operated. The service otherwise was by replacement bus from 18 March until 14 December 2019, the official closure date.
 
|}
 
|}
  
Line 552: Line 566:
 
| Pritzwalk West - Putlitz
 
| Pritzwalk West - Putlitz
 
|
 
|
|}
 
 
The following lines closed on 13 December 2015:
 
 
{| class="osstable3"
 
| 209.23 (part)
 
| Ferch-Lienewitz – Seddin
 
| Trains temporarily diverted to Beelitz-Heilstätten until December 2016
 
|-
 
| 506 (part)
 
| Döbeln Hbf – Roßwein – Nossen – Meißen Triebischtal
 
|}
 
 
The following line closed on 26 September 2015:
 
 
{| class="osstable3"
 
| R61 [WEG]
 
| Hemmingen – Heimerdingen –  Weissach
 
| Hemmingen – Heimerdingen however reopened on 12 September 2018 after track renewals.
 
|}
 
 
The following line closed to regular services on 12 April 2015:
 
 
{| class="osstable3"
 
| 337
 
| Klostermansfeld - Wippra
 
| However a summer weekend service operates
 
|}
 
 
The following line closed on 1 April 2015:
 
 
{| class="osstable3"
 
| 172 (part)
 
| ''Mecklenburgische Südbahn'': Parchim - Inselstadt Malchow
 
|
 
|}
 
 
The following line closed on 1 March 2015:
 
 
{| class="osstable3"
 
| 230
 
| Görlitz - Zgorzelec (Poland)
 
| The Dresden - Wrocław service was withdrawn owing to a reduction in funding for Przewozy Regionalne. Services were reintroduced from 13 December 2015.
 
 
|}
 
|}
  

Latest revision as of 19:06, 24 May 2020

Country Name

Germany (Deutschland)

National Railway System

Deutsche Bahn AG (DB).

National Railway Operator

Deutsche Bahn AG is a company wholly owned by the German government. It functions through a large number of subsidiary companies. The principal ones, responsible for railway operations in Germany, and their particular activities are:

  • DB Fernverkehr AG: InterCity and other long-distance passenger services
  • DB Regio AG: Local passenger services
  • DB Vertrieb GmbH: Passenger marketing and sales
  • DB Cargo Deutschland AG: Freight services
  • DB Netz AG: Infrastructure
  • DB Station&Service AG: Stations

DB Regio AG has numerous wholly-owned subsidiaries including many bus companies and:

  • DB RegioNetz Verkehrs GmbH
  • DB ZugBus Regionalverkehr Alb-Bodensee GmbH
  • S-Bahn Berlin GmbH
  • S-Bahn Hamburg GmbH
  • Vorpommernbahn GmbH

DB Regio AG is also part owner of numerous other transport companies. Most DB local train services are the responsibility of DB RegioNetz Verkehrs GmbH.

Language

German.

Upper and Lower Sorbian are Slavic languages, related to Czech and Polish, spoken in eastern Germany in the areas round Bautzen and Cottbus respectively. They have official status as protected minority languages. Travellers are most likely to encounter these languages on signs and notices, including station nameboards where they appear alongside German.

North Frisian is a minority language in the north-west of the mainland of Schleswig-Holstein, and on the islands of Sylt, Amrum and Föhr. Station nameboards in this area are also bilingual.

Currency

Euro

UIC codes

  • Deutsche Bahn AG: numeric 80, alpha DB.
  • Ahaus Alstätter Eisenbahn GmbH and Bentheimer Eisenbahn AG: numeric 68, alpha AAE.

The former Deutsche Reichsbahn code was 50, but this will now be seen only on withdrawn or museum vehicles. UIC code 50 now applies to ŽFBH, the railway of the Muslim-Croat Federation of Bosnia-Hercegovina.

Timetable

Journey Planner

Downloadable Timetable

kursbuch.bahn.de/hafas/kbview.exe/d.&rt=1&mainframe=tab_main

This gives options to search by:

  • Bahnhof/Halt (Station/Halt)
  • Liniennummer (Line Number. Note this is not the table number, but the S-Bahn line number)
  • Kursbuchstreckennummer (Timetable table number)
  • Zugnummer (Train number e.g. IC 1234)

Unfortunately the electronic Kursbuch is far from comprehensive. Many services provided by operators other than DB are not included, nor are all IC and ICE services shown.

Alternatively, click on "Tabellenübersichten" in the left hand column. This contains further sections:

  • Regionaltabellen (In spite of its name, a complete table list)
  • Bustabellen (Bus services)
  • Schifffahrtstabellen (Shipping services)
  • Bergbahnen (Mountain railways)
  • Museums- und Nostalgiebahnen (Preserved railways)

from which one can select the desired table number.

Printed Timetable

DB no longer provides a hard-copy national timetable. The 2007-8 Kursbuch was the last one available for general sale. Some Länder have continued to sponsor the production of printed timetable books in Kursbuch format, but only for those tables traversing the relevant Land: Baden-Württemberg, Thüringen, NRW and Bayern (only via mail order) have been observed.

Engineering Information

bauarbeiten.bahn.de in German only.

The DB Bahn website now offers an Alternative train connections service: "Detour recommended: Now you know which connection will get you to your destination in the event of delays or disruptions".

A new app DB Bauarbeiten is available in both Android and iPhone versions but may not be available outside Germany.

The APKPure DB Bauarbeiten app gives a number of options.

Bus Information

The Journey Planner (above) selects bus services if they provide the best journey.

DB IC Bus provides some useful routes such as Hahn Airport - Trier.

Maps

Printed Maps

  • Eisenbahnatlas Deutschland (10th Edn 2017, ISBN 978-3-89494-146-8), published by Verlag Schweers + Wall GmbH (website) with key in German and English shows railways at 1:300.000 scale, with enlargements for most large towns and cities. Single and double-track lines, electrified and freight-only railways are distinguished. Non-DB passenger train operators are noted next to lines that they use and privately-owned lines and those leased from DB are shown, with the operator as well if different. The gauge of narrow-gauge lines is stated. Lines out of use and those entirely closed are also shown. Details can occasionally be confused in congested areas, particularly because parallel lines are used to show railways with more than two tracks. Built-up areas, motorways, rivers, canals and forests are depicted.
  • DB's Karte für den Personenverkehr Deutschland, which is available from DB travel centres and agencies, shows all German railways on a sheet map at a scale of 1:1,200,000. A new edition is issued with each December timetable change. It currently costs EUR4.
  • European Railway Atlas (latest edition Sep 2017) and the more detailed European Railway Atlas: Germany (July 2016), by M.G. Ball. The German atlas shows all passenger, freight and proposed lines (some metros are excluded or simplified) and all stations on the national network. Heritage railways and draisine lines are also depicted. Electrification systems and track gauges are marked, and main lines are distinguished from secondary and single track distinguished from multiple. There is a full index of stations and heritage railways, together with weblinks. They are available from the European Railway Atlas website.

Web-based Maps

  • Sporenplan has a series of on-line maps and schematic track diagrams. Click on "Sporenplannen" on the left hand side for a map showing the countries covered.
  • Thorsten Büker's Map of Germany, with enlargements of Hamburg, Berlin, the Rhein-Ruhr area and the Main-Neckar area.
  • Maps and Plans - Germany
  • DB Network diagrams show lines with regular local passenger service in each federal state. The graphical style and level of detail varies slightly from state to state; S-Bahn services and local services by other train operators are often shown with less detail. Lines used only by long-distance trains are usually omitted.
  • The DB Netz Infrastructure Register. It is based around an interactive map which, although a good source for junction names and line numbers, can be misleading at small scales due to extreme stylization. Each named Bahnhof is shown as a point even though it may be geographically extensive relative to nearby lines, so if for example two corners of a triangular junction are signaled as part of the same Bahnhof the interactive map will show it as two parallel lines with no indication that they connect to the Bahnhof in different directions. The interactive map does lead to more accurate track diagrams for most larger stations, though. Double-clicking on one of the small circles with the "Selektion" tool opens a list of further links, in which the "Serviceeinrichtungen" link, if present, leads to a PDF containing a track diagram on one of the last pages. The "Detailplan" link will show an SVG diagram which is often garbled and of little use. The Infrastukturregister contains a third set of track diagrams under the TEN Spurpläne heading. These are also in SVG format, but less likely to be garbled than the ones accessible from the interactive map. On the other hand, many larger stations are split into multiple named parts each with a separate diagram, and it can be difficult to figure out how they fit together without crossreferencing with the Serviceeinrichtungen diagram for the entire station. As such they are most useful for figuring out where in the station a particular named part is.

Ticketing

DB offers its own network tickets, which give much better value than the standard One Country passes if travel is entirely by local trains.

Among the most useful tickets is the Quer-durchs-Land Ticket, which gives unlimited travel throughout Germany for up to five people travelling together on all local trains (S-Bahn, RB, RE and IRE) on any day of the week. This includes almost all private companies that run scheduled local train services. Tourist and preserved railways, including most steam railways that operate a regular service, are not included. Use of ICE and IC trains, while not generally allowed, is permitteed between Stuttgart and Konstanz, and west of Bremen. A few lines that cross into Austria, Switzerland and Poland are included. The ticket is however NOT valid on tram, U-Bahn and local bus services, although it is valid on 'tram-train' services in certain areas. It is valid from 09.00 on Mondays to Fridays, and from midnight at weekends, until 03.00 on the day following the day of validity. The number of people travelling must be specified when booking - there is a base fare for one passenger with each additional passenger (up to five in total) being charged a small extra amount. Tickets are best purchased online or from a ticket vending machine as there is a EUR 2 surcharge when they are bought at a ticket office. The names of all the passengers in the group need to be written on the ticket. It is permitted for people to join the main party later on the journey as long as the names of the whole group are shown on the ticket from the outset, and all the passengers have been paid for.

Full validity information can be checked on the Die Beförderer website, the tariff website of the TBNE organisation of German train operating companies.

The former weekend-only Schönes-Wochenende Ticket has been withdrawn, with the Quer-durchs-Land Ticket becoming the weekend as well as the weekday option. There is therefore no pan-German ticket which allows use of local city transport, although regional tickets do, as mentioned below.

Länder-Tickets give unlimited travel for up to five people for one day throughout the Land [region] concerned on local trains, and in some cases a neighbouring Land as well. Most Länder also offer a cheaper ticket for one person. Länder-Tickets include tram, U-Bahn and most local bus services within their area of validity. They are occasionally valid on some Intercity services, for example in the Berlin area, and west of Bremen.

Validity details for each Länder-Ticket can be checked on the Die Beförderer website.

All urban areas are part of a Verkehrsverbund which co-ordinates public transport in that area and in which an integrated ticketing system applies. These can cover just the area round a town, or an entire region such as Berlin and Brandenburg. These normally offer day tickets for various areas which can sometimes be better value than a Länder-Ticket, or have no start time restriction.

Bargain tickets include Sparpreis and Super Sparpreis which are the equivalent of British 'Advance' tickets, and are subject to similar restrictions. They are only available on journeys that involve at least one leg on an IC/EC or ICE service, and on those services the specified train must be used. Local connecting services as part of the through journey are not time-restricted; although a suggested service may be shown, this is not binding. For journeys of over 100km, Sparpreis tickets include a "City-Ticket" at origin and destination (if a large town or city) which gives free travel to and from the origin and destination stations on local public transport in the towns concerned. City-Tickets are shown by the designation "+ City" after the name of the town. Super Sparpreis tickets are cheaper, only available in limited quantities, and do not include City-Tickets.

There are three levels of on-the-day fares - the dearest, for ICE services, a slightly cheaper rate for IC/EC services, and the cheapest, valid on local trains (DB and non-DB) only. If purchasing a ticket for a route on which various types of train operate it is important to specify which type of train it is intended to use. Tickets for a higher price-band can also be used on cheaper trains without penalty. Tickets at the local rate cannot be upgraded - a new ticket must be purchased to travel on an IC/EC or ICE service, except in the event of service disruption or cancellation, where at the conductor's discretion local tickets may be accepted. Tickets for travel on local trains only are often identifiable by having the words "Nur Gültig in Zügen des Nahverkehrs" or "...in NV" on them.

DB tickets and Interrail/Eurail passes are not valid on Flixtrain long distance services.

Infrastructure

Infrastructure Authority

DB Netz AG, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn AG, is responsible for track and infrastructure.

The Eisenbahn-Bundesamt (EBA) is a government agency tasked with regulatory oversight of safety and some other matters, independent of DB.

Network Statement

DB Netz AG > Network Statement 2014

Gauge

Standard. There are various narrow-gauge private lines. DB operates a metre-gauge line on the island of Wangerooge. The train ferry terminal at Sassnitz Fährhafen (Mukran) has 1524 mm gauge tracks to receive and despatch wagons from and to Klaipeda, in addition to the standard gauge tracks. The funicular section Obstfelderschmiede - Lichtenhain is 1800 mm gauge.

Electrification

15 kV 16.7 Hz. The line between Emmerich and the Netherlands border was 1500 V dc but has now been converted to 25 kV ac for easier operation of Betuwelijn freight traffic. This means that trains between Emmerich and Arnhem must be able to operate under three different electrification systems.

The Berlin S-Bahn is 800V dc third rail, and the Hamburg S-Bahn is 1200V dc third rail. Obstfelderschmiede to Cursdorf is 500V dc overhead and Blankenburg (Harz) to Königshütte is 25kV 50Hz (This line is out of use between Königshütte and Elbingerode).

Rule of the road

Right. A short piece of the Aachen - Liège main line has left-hand running between the west end of the Busch Tunnel and the Belgian border. There is also left-hand running between a flyover at Nürnberg-Reichelsdorf and Nürnberg Hbf, in order to facilitate reversal at the latter by trains between the Treuchtlingen and Würzburg lines.

Distances

The Schweers + Wall Eisenbahnatlas Deutschland (ISBN 978-3-89494-136-9) is the best source of distance information.

Other Railways

See separate document.

Tourist lines

Very few tourist lines run frequently - fortnightly during the summer is quite common, although some operate only two or three times a year. In many cases these are weekend operations over private freight lines. Whilst many tourist trains are steam-worked, numerous preserved railbuses and diesel locomotives are also used. A German language site Eisenbahn Vereinskarte Deutschland comprises an interactive map of Germany showing most preserved railways. An English language site gives an overview map split by Lander, with a list of many lines in alphabetical order in each Lander section. Both give direct links to the various railways' homepages/timetables. The DB website gives timetables for a number of preserved lines in its Museums- und Nostalgiebahnen section, sometimes in a more easily intelligible form than the railways’ own websites. Timetables and other information about tourist lines are published annually in Kursbuch der deutschen Museums-Eisenbahnen (now published by Eisenbahn Kurier, EK-Verlag GmbH, Lörracher Str. 16, 79115 Freiburg, tel +49 761 703100). Owing to the very large number of tourist lines in Germany, no one source appears to give a comprehensive list of every operation, so it is suggested that each of the above sources is consulted.

A special category are Parkeisenbahnen, which are complex miniature railways where operations closely follow the prototype. A comprehensive list of these is given in Wikipedia.

Rail cycling ('Draisinenfahrten') is possible on a number of lines; see the IG Draisinenfahrten website. Click on 'Deutschland' to obtain a list of operations in geographical order with some useful information. Click on 'International', followed by 'Draisinenlinks' to obtain website details.

Metro

Berlin, Hamburg, München, Nürnberg. A number of other cities have underground tram routes, known as U-Bahn or Stadtbahn, including Bielefeld, Bochum, Bonn, Dortmund see TSUL for Signal-Iduna-Park service , Düsseldorf, Duisburg, Essen, Frankfurt am Main, Gelsenkirchen, Hannover, Kassel, Köln, Ludwigshafen, Mannheim, Mühlheim (Ruhr) and Stuttgart.

Track plans for most or all metro and tram systems in Germany are available on the Gleisplanweb site or Doprava

Trams

Augsburg, Bad Schandau, Berlin, Bielefeld, Bochum, Bonn, Brandenburg, Braunschweig, Bremen, Chemnitz, Cottbus, Darmstadt, Dessau, Dortmund, Dresden, Düsseldorf, Duisburg, Erfurt, Essen, Frankfurt am Main, Frankfurt am Oder, Freiburg (Breisgau), Gelsenkirchen, Gera, Görlitz, Gotha, Halberstadt, Halle (Saale), Hannover, Heidelberg, Jena, Karlsruhe, Kassel, Köln, Krefeld, Leipzig, Ludwigshafen, Magdeburg, Mainz, Mannheim, Mülheim (Ruhr), München, Nordhausen, Nürnberg, Plauen, Potsdam, Rostock, Rüdersdorf, Schwerin, Strausberg, Stuttgart, Ulm, Woltersdorf, Würzburg, Zwickau. Many neighbouring systems are interlinked. It is possible to travel entirely by tram, changing cars and gauge several times, all the way from Benrath (south of Düsseldorf) to Witten (east of Bochum). This is reputed to be the longest possible journey by tram anywhere in the world.

Track plans for most or all tram systems in Germany are available on the Gleisplanweb site or on the Doprava website.

See also Germany - Tram services over obscure routes

Recent and Future Changes

General

In the early 2000s DB was re-organised on a divisional basis, as a prelude to privatisation, but plans to float parts of DB, particularly the long-distance business, were shelved after the worldwide financial crisis of 2007. DB has acquired many interests abroad (for example, in UK alone: DB Cargo, Chiltern Railways and Arriva).

The funding of local transport, including railways, now rests with the Länder (Provinces) and in some areas responsibility has been devolved to the Kreise (Districts). Western Länder are generally supportive of rail and many lines have been re-opened in the last couple of decades. However in the eastern Länder many lines have been closed as a result of depopulation and increasing car ownership since reunification, and lack of funds to support such a dense network of local services. The trends of re-openings in the west and closures in the east look likely to continue, though some Länder in the west, particularly Bayern, are questioning the funding of lightly-used lines.

The German railways were never entirely nationalised, with various independent lines surviving, particularly in Baden-Württemberg. Länder are responsible for tendering the operation of local passenger services, and many independent operators have won tenders in competition with DB. In some cases these are long-established, local railway companies, expanding out of their own network. Some operators are entirely new and others are subsidiaries of foreign companies or the state railways of other European countries.

Open access long-distance passenger and freight operation is possible in Germany. Increasing numbers of open access freight operators are running trains, but there has been limited success with passenger services, despite DB Netz having been ordered to charge the same prices for track access to DB and non-DB operators alike. Snälltåget (a subsidiary of Transdev) operate overnight trains between Berlin and Malmö for a limited summer season each year. Transdev also operate the Harz-Berlin Express between Goslar/Thale and Berlin.

The only other non-DB long-distance services (apart from cross-border trains such as Thalys) are operated by Flixtrain, a joint venture between German long-distance coach firm Flixbus and Czech coach and open-access rail company LEO Express. Flixtrain services link Köln and Hamburg, Köln and Berlin via Dortmund, and Berlin and Stuttgart via Frankfurt am Main Süd. There are generally one or two trains each way per day on each route. They also run a Hamburg-Lörrach overnight car-carrying service in the summer months (the former Bahn Touristik Express service).

Openings

Forthcoming Openings

An extension of the Stolberg (Rheinland) to Stolberg Altstadt passenger service to Breinig was planned for December 2020, but will now open in June 2021. A further extension to Walheim, on the Belgian border, is scheduled for 2022.

The Kiel to Schönberger Strand branch, which is currently only a tourist line beyond Kiel-Oppendorf, was planned to be reopened to normal passenger services in March 2021; however this date has slipped until late 2021.

The first stage of the Berlin S-Bahn line S21, linking the Innenring with Berlin Hbf by curves from both Wedding and Westhafen stations, is due to open in December 2020. Further plans are to extend the line to Yorckstraße via Potsdamer Platz, thus creating a second north-south S-Bahn line through central Berlin.

The reopening to passengers of the first part of the Weststrecke in Trier, across the Mosel from the existing passenger line via Trier Hbf is planned for December 2020, between Ehrang and Trier West.

Gelsenkirchen-Buer Nord - Recklinghausen Hbf was due to reopen to passengers on 1 May 2020 but this has been delayed because of Coronavirus. The local VRR transport association has given the operator Abellio until 15 September to commence service. The intermediate stations at Herten-Mitte, Herten-Westerholt and Gelsenkirchen-Buer Nord (main line platforms) are not scheduled to open before December 2022.

The extension of the S28 Kaarster See - Neuss - Düsseldorf - Mettmann service to Wuppertal-Vohwinkel and Wuppertal Hbf is under construction. It uses the existing freight-only route between Mettmann and Dornap-Hahnenfurth (which is being doubled) and is new construction from there to a junction (Abzw. Wuppertal-Dornap) with the Velbert - Wuppertal line just north of Wuppertal-Vohwinkel. Doubling of part of the Neuss - Kaarster See section is also under construction. The completed project is scheduled to open in December 2020, but may be delayed. Electrification of both the western and eastern arms of the route was initially planned to take place at the same time as the reconstruction but this has been shelved owing to lack of funds, so the new service will use diesel units for the foreseeable future.

Dombühl - Dinkelsbühl was planned for reopening to passengers in December 2019, but this has been deferred. The previous infrastructure owner BEG closed the entire line between Dombühl and Nördlingen on 25 January 2019. However, the new infrastructure and operating company, MFEG (Mittelfränkische Eisenbahngesellschaft) is due to commence passenger services between Dombühl and Wilburgstetten, between Dinkelsbühl and Nördlingen, by 2024 at the latest. Occasional freight services between Wilburgstetten and Nördlingen resumed on 3 May 2020.

The new Berlin Brandenburg Airport (Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg Willy Brandt), a southward expansion of the existing Schönefeld airport, is due to open on 31 October 2020, over nine years after the original scheduled date of March 2011. The new terminal is to the south of the runways. A new east-west line, underneath the terminal complex and parallel to the existing Berliner Außenring, was completed in 2011. At its eastern end it uses part of the former Berlin-Schöneweide (Abzw Grünau) – Berlin ILA-Bahnhof (Schönefeld Flughafen Süd) line. At its western end it curves northwards towards the Außenring, which it joins by means of a triangular junction, with curves facing both east and west. The east curve will carry only S-Bahn services, an extension of lines S9 and S45 from the existing Schönefeld-Flughafen station, which will terminate at the new station. The west curve and the line eastwards to Abzw Grünau will handle IC, ICE, RE and RB services to a variety of destinations.

Calw - Weil der Stadt is due to reopen in December 2020, two years later than planned. The line will be known as the Hermann-Hesse-Bahn. Trains will run through to Renningen, sharing tracks with the S6 from Weil der Stadt.

A diversion of the Sande - Esens line is under construction to improve access for freight to Jade-Weser-Port in Wilhelmshaven. A new 4.7km double-track alignment from Sande towards the junction with the port line at Abzw. Weißer Floh will run to the east of the existing single-track line through Sanderbusch. On completion, targeted for the end of 2021, the existing line will be closed and the halt at Sanderbusch abandoned.

Reinstatement of main line tracks (closed 1952) alongside the S-Bahn on the Dresdner Bahn from Berlin Südkreuz to Blankenfelde (Kr. Teltow-Flaming) is underway. Services on the line are due to commence in December 2025. This will speed up trains between Berlin and Dresden and also allow a fast service to Berlin-Brandenburg airport via a new north-to-east curve at Glasower Damm. This is expected to mean the end of regular passenger services over the curves from Genshagener Heide Mitte to Großbeeren Süd.

Projected Developments

Land Mecklenburg-Vorpommern has stated its intention to reopen the Barth - Zingst - Prerow Darßbahn as far as Bresewitz, halfway between Barth and Zingst, by 2022. Tripartite funding, split between the federal government, the Land and the Usedomer Bäderbahn was agreed in early 2020 for the reconstruction of the road/rail bridge at Meiningen, which will allow reopening of the entire line to Prerow by 2027.

It is planned to reopen the first 2.9km of the Wrist - Itzehoe line as far as Kellinghusen. Financing has apparently been agreed in December 2019 after years of prevarication, but a firm date for reopening has not yet been announced.

A new S-Bahn line between Fürth Hbf and Eltersdorf via Fürth-Steinach is planned but construction has been delayed by legal challenges. The new S-Bahn lines will be brought into use where they run parallel to the main lines, but the original line between Fürth-Stadeln and Königsmühle will remain a two-track bottleneck until the S-Bahn deviation to the east via Steinach is eventually opened.

Train-ferry operations between Puttgarden and Rødby ceased in December 2019, as part of preparations for the construction of the Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link, which will include the world's longest immersed tube tunnel. Completion is due in 2028. The railway on the Danish side is closing for reconstruction in 2020. The existing DB line to Puttgarden will close north of Neustadt (Holst.) in mid-2021 for rebuilding on a new alignment, in part alongside the A1 Autobahn. The new line is not expected to open until 2026.

Plans exist to reopen the section of KBS 732 (Ablachtalbahn) between Stockach and Mengen although it is not yet clear whether this will be for regular or occasional services. In December 2019 some vegetation clearance was taking place between Sauldorf and Schwackenreute.

The Warnetalbahn GmbH, which operates the museum line between Salzgitter-Bad and Börßum, has taken a lease in December 2019 of the section of KBS592 between Rottleberode and Stolberg (Harz), presumably with a view to reintroducing tourist services. The branch from Berga-Kelbra, which latterly only had weekend services, closed to passengers in December 2011 and has been completely out of service north of the gypsum works at Rottleberode since then.

A west-to-south curve is planned to link the Lübeck - Bad Kleinen line with the main line to Schwerin, avoiding Bad Kleinen. This would allow direct trains to run between Lübeck and Schwerin. This is currently in the planning/financing phase and no start or end date has yet been announced.

Electrification is underway from Ulm via Friedrichshafen to Lindau for completion by 2021.

Land Brandenburg plans to reopen the following lines by 2022:

Bad Saarow Klinikum - Bad Saarow Süd (1.6km extension over former line to Beeskow);

[Beelitz Stadt -] Beelitz Bea - Lienewitz Lia [- Ferch-Lienewitz] (reinstatement of bridge over the Belzig - Berlin line to be used by a new Jüterbog to Potsdam service);

Priort - Wustermark Rbf Wot (south to east curve to be used by a new Potsdam to Berlin service).

Plans to re-open the line between Salzgitter-Lebenstedt and Salzgitter-Fredenberg appear to have been abandoned.

The Niederbarnimer Eisenbahn is to rebuild the line from Berlin-Wilhemsruh to Wilhelmsruher Damm, therefore reopening the line from Bornholmer Straße to Schönwalde (Barnim) to passenger service for trains from Berlin-Gesundbrunnen to Basdorf and beyond. This is planned for 2023. Some redoubling of the existing lines from Schönholz to Wilhelmsruh and north of Schildow is required to bring the lines into passenger use at the planned 30-minute frequency. The existing line via Berlin-Karow will be retained with trains planned to terminate at the projected Karower Kreuz interchange station. Reopening of the line from Wensickendorf to Liebenwalde has been proposed.

Reopening of the Berlin S-Bahn Siemensbahn branch (Jungfernheide to Gartenfeld), closed in 1980, is planned for 2025. This may involve a new-build line beyond Gartenfeld to Hakenfelde.

A temporary weekend- and holiday-only passenger service will run in summer 2020 from Duisburg and Moers to Kamp-Lintfort Süd in connection with a garden festival, thus reintroducing trains to the former colliery branch from Rheinkamp. Full passenger services are planned for 2026, via a new south to west curve at Rheinkamp. The branch will be extended to a new Kamp-Lintfort station, beyond the former mine area.

The Prime Minister and Transport Minister of Land Mecklenburg-Vorpommern restated in early 2020 their commitment to the rebuilding of Ducherow – Świnoujście/Swinemünde (Poland) but as this project would involve complete reconstruction of the bridge at Karnin between the mainland and the island of Usedom, this would appear to be a long-term aspiration.

The Potsdamer Stammbahn (Zehlendorf to Griebnitzsee) is under consideration for reopening, to give a more direct route between Berlin and Potsdam either for S-Bahn or regional trains, or both. This may not occur until the early 2030s.

Other projects in the i2030 scheme for rail development in Berlin and Brandenburg include:

  • Extension of the S2 from Blankenfelde to Rangsdorf along the Dresdner Bahn, in conjunction with the rebuilding of the long-distance lines north of Blankenfelde
  • Extension of the S21 from Teltow Stadt over a new-build line to Stahnsdorf
  • Extension of the S5 from Spandau to Nauen, parallel to the existing line, with a possible branch over part of the Johannesstift freight line to Falkenseer Chaussee
  • Extension of the S75 along the Außenring to Karow
  • Reinstatement of regional tracks between Schönholz and Hennigsdorf, to give a direct route to the Kremmen/Wittstock/Pritzwalk line, and extension of the S-Bahn (S25) over this line as far as Velten (Mark).

Actual Openings

2020
424 [Moers –] Rheinkamp – Kamp-Lintfort Süd (temporary weekend-only service until 11 October for NRW Garden Festival) 16 May
former 172 and 174 Parchim - Karow (Meckl.) - Inselstadt Malchow and Karow - Plau am See (scheduled summer weekend service) 21 May
2019
376 Bad Bentheim – Neuenhaus 6 July but 7 July for revenue earning services
- Flensburg Weiche Süd - Flensburg Friedensweg (diversion of Hamburg - København services away fron Puttgarden - Rødby) 15 December
209.24 Berlin Bornholmer Straße - Schönhauser Allee and Frankfurter Allee - Ostkreuz (oben) 15 December
- Düren - Euskirchen (regular service instead of weekend-only service) 15 December
645.8/9 Frankfurt (Main) Stadion - Gateway Gardens - Frankfurt (Main) Flughafen Regionalbahnhof 15 December
2018
209.63 Templin Stadt - Joachimsthal 9 December
227 Hoyerswerda – Horka (Abzw. Muckenhain) [- Görlitz] (after long-term closure for rebuilding) 9 December
351 Einbeck Salzderhelden – Einbeck Mitte 9 December
471 Mainz Hbf (Abzw Kaiserbrücke Ost) - Hochheim (Main) (Abzw Kostheim) (used by new service RE4 between Frankfurt and Mainz) 9 December
930 Neufahrn avoiding curve 9 December
2017
513 Dippoldiswalde – Kurort Kipsdorf (reopening after 2002 flood damage) 19 June
133 [Kiel Hbf -] Kiel Schulen am Langsee - Kiel-Oppendorf 4 September
200.9 Treptower Park - Warschauer Straße (S-Bahn Berlin) 10 December
459 Meinerzhagen - Brügge (Westf) 10 December
580 Erfurt - Ebensfeld, including connections to and from Coburg (Schnellfahrstrecke) 10 December
2016
225 Brieske – Hosena temporarily (until 24 September 2016) owing to closure of Ruhland - Hosena for engineering work 30 January
482 [Alsdorf Poststrasse -] Eschweiler-St.Jöris - Stolberg (Rheinl.) Hbf 12 June
908 Gotteszell - Viechtach (trial service until 2021) 12 September
541 Wünschendorf Nord - Gera-Zwötzen (0.5km connection to allow closure of line via Gera-Liebschwitz) 25 October

Closures

The line between Neustadt (Holstein) and Puttgarden is to close in mid-2021, to allow complete reconstruction. The railway is to be substantially re-aligned and electrified, with the work taking at least six years. This is in preparation for opening of the Fehmarnbelt Tunnel to Denmark.

Hamburg Altona is scheduled to close in 2023 with a replacement main line through station being built roughly on the site of the current Diebsteich S-Bahn station. However an ongoing legal challenge by the Verkehrsclub Deutschland (VCD) has paused the project for the time being.

There have been numerous deviations of railways to allow open-cast mining. There has been a proposal for significant re-routing of the Görlitz to Cottbus line, which would involve the closure of around 10km of the existing line between Weißwasser and Rietschen, to be replaced by a 13km-long deviation to the east. This may not happen owing to environmental concerns.

The Zwönitztalbahn between Chemnitz and Aue (Sachs.) (KBS524) closed completely on 15th September 2018 for conversion to tram-train service under the "Chemnitzer Modell" Stage 2, to be introduced in December 2020.

The Niederlausitzer Museumseisenbahn closed their preserved line from Finsterwalde to Crinitz after a final day of service on 30th December 2018. This is because there is substantial work required on the line, which the society were not in a position to fund. Some repair work has taken place so there are hopes of a reinstatement of services in the near to medium term.

The Teckelfahrten tourist operation from Hagen to Ennepetal did not operate in 2017 or 2018, but a limited service was planned for three Sundays in 2019. However in July 2019 the Ruhrtalbahn announced an end to their operations on the Teckel and Ruhrtal (Hagen - Hattingen) routes as a result of severe mechanical problems with their Schienenbus. They hope to resume operations in 2020 with hired-in stock but this is by far from definite. See the Ruhrtalbahn website

The Museums-Eisenbahn-Club Losheim was closed suddenly in April 2017 by the authorities because of the condition of the track. In 2019 trains only ran between "Großer Wald" (west of Losheim) and Dellborner Mühle whilst relaying is in progress.

The Wachtl-Bahn tourist operation did not resume in 2017 as it did not pass an official inspection. The service is currently suspended but the organisation has been restructured and work is underway to allow a resumption of services.

A 4.7 km section of the Gera - Weischlitz line between Abzw. Gera Debschwitz and Wolfsgefarth closed on 24 October 2016 owing to the poor condition of a viaduct at Liebschwitz. It was replaced by a short link to the Gera - Saalfeld line near Wolfsgefarth.

The line between Ihrhove and Nieuweschans closed after a ship hit and destroyed the main span of the bridge over the River Ems on 3 December 2015. DB is reconstructing the bridge, but the line is not expected to re-open until 2024. The train service on the German section west of the bridge, between Nieuweschans and Weener, resumed on 30 October 2016.

The preserved service on the Bremen-Thedinghausener Eisenbahn ("Pingelheini") between Bremen-Kirchhuchting and Leeste (b. Bremen) ceased at the end of the 2015 season. It was planned to convert the Bremen - Leeste line between Moordeich and Leeste to an extension of Bremen tram route no. 8, but local opposition to the tram service has delayed the project indefinitely. It is intended to recommence services as far as Stuhr, only 4.5 km from Kirchhuchting, on 1 June 2020, with further dates planned for July and August.

The service on the cross-border section of KBS 236 between Varnsdorf Pivovar Kocour (CZ) and Seifhennersdorf (2.1km) was withdrawn at short notice and replaced by a minibus shuttle on 13th March 2015, because of problems with the German infrastructure owner DRE not being able to meet the operational requirements for cross-border services. A solution to the bureaucratic issues has apparently been reached and accordingly a resumption of services is planned for some time in 2020.

Land Bayern may withdraw funding from lines that have fewer than 1,000 passengers per day. On the basis of data from 2016 these are:

781 Miltenberg - Wertheim
806 Neustadt (Aisch) Bf - Steinach (b Rothenburg)
815 (part) Gemünden (Main) - Bad Kissingen
821 Forchheim - Ebermannstadt
826 Breitengüßbach - Ebern
831 Coburg - Bad Rodach
853 Münchberg - Helmbrechts
857 Hof Hbf - Bad Steben
858 Oberkotzau - Selb Stadt
860 Marktredwitz - Cheb (CZ)
862 Bayreuth Hbf - Weidenberg
867 (part) Kirchenlaibach - Weiden (Oberpf)
870 (part) Altenstadt (Waldnaab) - Neustadt (Waldnaab)
876 Cham (Oberpf) - Waldmünchen
877 Cham (Oberpf) - Lam
891.9 (part) Langenzenn - Markt Wald
905 (part) Zwiesel (Bay) - Bayerisch Eisenstein
906 Zwiesel (Bay) - Grafenau
907 Zwiesel (Bay) - Bodenmais
911 Roth - Hilpoltstein
912 Pleinfeld - Gunzenhausen
922 Wicklesgreuth - Windsbach
932 Straubing - Bogen
944 (part) Waldkraiburg - Wasserburg
945 (part) Garching - Freilassing
946 (part) Passau Hbf - Pfarrkirchen
947 (part) Traunstein - Garching
948 Ebersberg (Oberbay) - Wasserburg (Inn) Bf
949 Hörpolding - Traunreut
952 Prien a Chiemsee - Aschau (Chiemgau)
955 (part) Fischhausen-Neuhaus - Bayrischzell
959 Traunstein - Waging
963 Murnau - Oberammergau
965 Garmisch-Partenkirchen - Ehrwald (AT) Would need to remain open unless the ÖBB line to Reutte in Tirol also closed
973 Kempten (Allgäu) - Pfronten-Steinach This line is currently being electrified so seems extremely unlikely to close
978 Günzburg - Mindelheim

Land Thüringen intends to review services on the following lines which have fewer than 500 passengers per weekday:

326 Nordhausen - Ifeld
546 (part) Weida - Zeulenroda unt. Bf
555 (part) Saalfeld (Saale) - Poßneck ob. Bf
557 Hockeroda - Blankenstein (Saale)
559 Orlamünde - Poßneck unt. Bf
562 Rottenbach - Katzhütte
564 Sonneberg (Thür) - Neuhaus am Rennweg
569 Grimmenthal - Eisfeld - Sonneberg (Thür)
573 Wernshausen - Zella-Mehlis
579 Weimar - Kranichfeld
594 Sömmerda - Großheringen [Buttstädt to Großheringen closed in December 2017]
606 Fröttstädt - Friedrichroda (section Waltershausen to Friedrichroda only)

The following line closed on 18 March 2019:

447 Duisburg Hbf - Duisburg Entenfang The final day of service was 30 November 2019, when three farewell round trips operated. The service otherwise was by replacement bus from 18 March until 14 December 2019, the official closure date.

The following line closed on 10 December 2017:

594 (part) Buttstädt - Großheringen

The following line closed on 25 September 2016:

225 Brieske - Hosena Closed after temporary diversion of Ruhland - Hosena services for engineering work ended.

The following line closed on 31 July 2016:

209.70 Pritzwalk West - Putlitz

Older Changes

For details of older changes see Germany - Older General Information.

Special notes

DB trains are divided into a number of distinct categories, thus:

  • S (S-Bahn): Regular interval local trains in urban areas, generally using segregated tracks
  • RB (Regionalbahn): Basic local services.
  • RE (RegionalExpress): Regular interval local or semi-fast trains calling at fewer stations than RB services.
  • IRE (Inter-RegionalExpress): Long distance semi-fast trains.
  • IC (InterCity): Long distance expresses, making limited stops.
  • EC (EuroCity): Similar to IC, but for international journeys.
  • RJ (Railjet): High speed Austrian Railways trains on the München – Wien - Budapest route.
  • ICE (InterCity Express) & ICE Sprinter: High speed, long distance electric trains worked with special rolling stock. Special fares are payable on these trains, and if purchasing a ticket for a route on which ICE trains, operate it is important to specify which type of train it is intended to use. It is usually possible to make a slower but cheaper journey by IC or RE service.
  • THA (Thalys): High speed trains on the Köln - Brussels - Paris route, managed by the French and Belgian railways.
  • EN (Euronight): With the withdrawal of DB from sleeper services in 2016, the remaining sleeper trains, some of which are ex-DB CNL (CityNightLine) services, are operated by ÖBB (Austrian Railways) with an EN prefix but are branded as "Nightjet".
  • D-Zug: This designation is derived from Durchgang, the German for corridor. Appropriate trains were designated D-Züge when corridor coaches were first introduced, and the term remained in use until largely replaced by IC and IR. It is now hardly used by DB.

A few services operate only during school term time, or are extensively altered during school holidays. The dates of holidays vary from Land to Land.

Train running can be observed on Zugfinder which displays the position of trains along each line.

A brief Guide to German railway terminology is available.

See also