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Deutsche Bahn AG ([http://www.deutschebahn.com DB]).  
Deutsche Bahn AG ([http://www.deutschebahn.com DB]).  
===National Railway Operator===
===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:
Deutsche Bahn AG (DBAG) 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 are:


* DB Fernverkehr AG: InterCity and other long-distance passenger services
* DB Fernverkehr AG: Long-distance (''IC/ICE'') passenger services
* DB Regio AG: Local passenger services
* DB Regio AG: Local and regional passenger services
* DB Vertrieb GmbH: Passenger marketing and sales
* DB Vertrieb GmbH: Retail sales and systems
* DB Cargo Deutschland AG: Freight services
* DB Cargo Deutschland AG: Freight services
* DB Netz AG: Infrastructure
* DB Netz AG: Infrastructure
* DB Station&Service AG: Stations
* DB Station&Service AG: Stations
* DB Fahrzeuginstandhaltung GmbH: Maintenance


DB Regio AG has numerous wholly-owned subsidiaries including many bus companies and:  
DBAG has many interests in other countries. Passenger rail and bus services in 14 European countries outside Germany are operated by its Arriva subsidiary, with headquarters in Sunderland, UK.
 
Subsidiaries of DB Cargo AG in Germany include RBH Logistics GmbH and an 80% holding in Mitteldeutsche Eisenbahn (MEG). Outside Germany it has 100%-owned subsidiaries in several European countries under the DB Cargo name, and part-ownership of several railfreight firms such as Transfesa.
 
DB Regio AG is subdivided into the following regional units:
 
* DB Regio Baden-Württemberg
* DB Regio Bayern
* DB Regio Mitte (including S-Bahn RheinNeckar)
* DB Regio Nord (including DB Regio Schleswig-Holstein)
* DB Regio Nordost
* DB Regio NRW
* DB Regio Südost
* S-Bahn München
* S-Bahn Rhein-Main
* S-Bahn Stuttgart
 
DB Regio AG also has numerous wholly-owned subsidiaries including many bus companies and:  


* DB RegioNetz Verkehrs GmbH
* DB RegioNetz Verkehrs GmbH
* DB ZugBus Regionalverkehr Alb-Bodensee GmbH
* DB ZugBus Regionalverkehr Alb-Bodensee GmbH
* Regionalverkehre Start Deutschland GmbH
* S-Bahn Berlin GmbH
* S-Bahn Berlin GmbH
* S-Bahn Hamburg GmbH  
* S-Bahn Hamburg GmbH  
* Vorpommernbahn GmbH
* Usedomer Bäderbahn 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.
DB RegioNetz Verkehrs GmbH is the holding company for several semi-autonomous regional networks:
 
* Erzgebirgsbahn
* Kurhessenbahn
* Oberweißbacher Berg- und Schwarzatalbahn
* Südostbayernbahn
* Westfrankenbahn.


==Language==
==Language==
German
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==
==Currency==
Line 38: Line 67:
==Timetable==
==Timetable==
===Journey Planner===
===Journey Planner===
*PC: [http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en]
*PC/laptop: [http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en]
*Mobile Phone: [http://www.bahn.de/p/view/buchung/mobil/mobile-apps.shtml DB Navigator] (for iPhone, Blackberry, Android etc.)
*Smartphone: [http://www.bahn.de/p/view/buchung/mobil/mobile-apps.shtml DB Navigator]
 
===Actual Train Times===
* [https://www.zugverfolgung.com/db-deutsche-bahn Zugverfolgung.com] Note that this site seems to offer tracking for Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland as well.
* [https://marudor.de/ BahnhofsAbfahrten] This site provides a real time view of departure information for the selected station
* [https://dbf.finalrewind.org/ DBF] an unofficial site providing a real time view of departure information for trains within Germany


===Downloadable Timetable===
===Downloadable Timetable===
[http://kursbuch.bahn.de/hafas/kbview.exe/d.&rt=1&mainframe=tab_main kursbuch.bahn.de/hafas/kbview.exe/d.&rt=1&mainframe=tab_main]
[http://kursbuch.bahn.de/hafas/kbview.exe/d.&rt=1&mainframe=tab_main kursbuch.bahn.de/hafas/kbview.exe/d.&rt=1&mainframe=tab_main]


This gives options to search by:
If the table number is known, it can simply be inserted in the ''Kursbuchstreckennummer'' search box at top left.
 
Otherwise, the left-hand column has various ways of searching for the desired table:
 
The "Kursbuchtabellensuche" button gives options to search by:
* Bahnhof/Halt (Station/Halt)
* Bahnhof/Halt (Station/Halt)
* Liniennummer (Line Number. Note this is '''not''' the table number, but the ''S-Bahn'' line number)
* Liniennummer (Line Number. Note this is '''not''' the table number, but the ''S-Bahn'' or ''RB/RE'' line number. These are duplicated across Germany, so a search for (e.g.) ''S2'' or ''RB40'' will produce results from many different areas, from which one can pick the desired route)
* Kursbuchstreckennummer (Timetable table number)
* Kursbuchstreckennummer (Timetable table number)
* Zugnummer (Train number e.g. IC 1234)
* Zugnummer (Train number e.g. ''IC1234'')


Alternatively, click on "Tabellenübersichten" in the left hand column. This contains further sections:  
There is also the option of an interactive map - select "Interaktive Streckenkarte" and a more-or-less up-to-date passenger network map is shown. By using the arrows at the edge of the map, one can scroll to the desired area. By clicking on the timetable number next to a line, that line's tables will be displayed.
* Regionaltabellen (In spite of its name, a complete table list)
 
* Bustabellen (Bus services)  
Alternatively, click on "Tabellenübersichten". This contains further sections:  
* Schifffahrtstabellen (Shipping services)  
* Regionaltabellen (In spite of its name, a complete table list - but see note on omitted tables below)  
* Bergbahnen (Mountain railways)  
* Schifffahrtstabellen (Shipping services - although none currently shown)  
* Museums- und Nostalgiebahnen (Preserved railways)  
* Bergbahnen (Mountain railways - although none currently shown)  
* Museums- und Nostalgiebahnen (Preserved railways - only a very few shown)  
from which one can select the desired table number.
from which one can select the desired table number.
Unfortunately, some services, particularly in the Berlin area, provided by operators other than DB are not included in the electronic ''Kursbuch''. Details of omitted tables are in the 'Lines with Obscure or Sparse Passenger Services' section under [https://egtre.info/wiki/Germany_-_Lines_with_Obscure_or_Sparse_passenger_services#Regular_services_not_in_the_Kursbuch 'Regular Services Not in the ''Kursbuch'' '].
While ''IC/EC'' and ''ICE'' services appear in many tables alongside regional services, there are many routes where ''IC/EC'' or ''ICE'' services operate but only the regional services are shown in the tables. For full timetables of long-distance services, the [http://www.europeanrailtimetable.eu/ European Rail Timetable] is recommended.


===Printed Timetable===
===Printed Timetable===
Line 64: Line 107:
[http://bauarbeiten.bahn.de bauarbeiten.bahn.de] in German only.
[http://bauarbeiten.bahn.de bauarbeiten.bahn.de] in German only.


The DB Bahn website now offers an [http://www.bahn.de/i/view/GBR/en/services/overview/echtzeitinformation.shtml 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 DB engineering works app [https://inside.bahn.de/db-bauarbeiten-app/?dbkanal_006=L01_S01_D088_KTL0005_INSIDE-BAHN-2016_TWITTER-DB-BAUARBEITEN-_LZ01 DB Bauarbeiten] is available in both Android and iPhone versions but only in German.
 
A new app [https://inside.bahn.de/db-bauarbeiten-app/?dbkanal_006=L01_S01_D088_KTL0005_INSIDE-BAHN-2016_TWITTER-DB-BAUARBEITEN-_LZ01 DB Bauarbeiten] is available in both Android and iPhone versions but may not be available outside Germany.


The APKPure [https://m.apkpure.com/db-bauarbeiten/de.bauarbeiten.bahn DB Bauarbeiten] app gives a number of options.
The APKPure [https://m.apkpure.com/db-bauarbeiten/de.bauarbeiten.bahn DB Bauarbeiten] app gives a number of options.
Line 73: Line 114:
The [[#Journey Planner|Journey Planner]] (above) selects bus services if they provide the best journey.
The [[#Journey Planner|Journey Planner]] (above) selects bus services if they provide the best journey.


[http://www.bahn.com/i/view/USA/en/prices/europe/ic-bus.shtml DB IC Bus] provides some useful routes such as Hahn Airport - Trier.
==Maps==


==Maps==
===Printed Maps===
===Printed Maps===
*''Eisenbahnatlas Deutschland'' (ISBN 978-3-89494-136-9), published by Verlag Schweers + Wall GmbH ([http://www.schweers-wall.de website] in German, English and Italian) shows railways at 1:300.000 scale, with enlargements for the Ruhr and principal cities. Single and double-track lines, electrified and freight-only railways are distinguished. Private lines are identified and named, DB lines used by other passenger train operators are marked and the gauge of narrow-gauge lines is stated. Lines out of use and those entirely closed are also shown. Details can be confused in congested areas, particularly because parallel lines are used to show railways with more than two tracks. Rivers, canals and forests are marked.
*[[Printed Maps#SW-DE | Eisenbahnatlas Deutschland]] by Schweers + Wall.
*DB's ''Offizielle Streckenkarte der Deutschen Bahnen'', which is widely available, shows all German railways on a sheet map at a scale of 1:750.000, with a 1:375.000 enlargement of the Ruhr area. This distinguishes single and double track lines, narrow gauge and electrified railways. Depiction of complex areas can be confusing, particularly because four-track railways are marked as two adjacent double track lines. Colouring indicates lines used by express trains and the frequency of service. Rivers, canals and autobahnen are marked, with shading to indicate hills and mountains.
*[[Printed Maps#ERA-E | European Railway Atlas (All-Europe Edition)]] by M.G. Ball.
*''Fahrplankarte für Bus und Bahn Deutschland'' published by ''Verkehrsclub Deutschland'' is a geographically-representative network diagram at a scale of 1:750.000, with enlargements for various city areas. Colour is used to indicate the nature of a service along a railway, and the thickness of the line indicates service frequency. Railways used by several different services are depicted by a parallel line for each. Use of pale green to indicate S-Bahn services means that these are hardly visible. Non-passenger lines are not marked, but inter-urban bus routes are. Rivers, canals and relief are shown.
*[[Printed Maps#ERA-R-DE | European Railway Atlas (Regional Series - Germany)]] by M.G. Ball.
*European Railway Atlas: Denmark, Germany, Austria, Switzerland by M.G. Ball (1993) (ISBN 0-7110-2116-3)
* The DB ''Karte für den Personenverkehr Deutschland'', which showed all German railways on a sheet map at a scale of 1:1,200,000, has now been withdrawn.
*[http://www.europeanrailwayatlas.com European Railway Atlas] by M.G. Ball (2008 onwards)
*RV Verlag road maps and atlases at 1:200.000 scale show railways generally comprehensively and accurately. Closed railways may remain marked for some time after track has been lifted. RV Verlag publications are widely available in Germany, including at station bookshops.


===Web-based Maps===
===Web-based Maps===
*[http://www.sporenplan.nl/ 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.
*[http://www.sporenplan.nl/ Sporenplan] has a series of on-line maps and schematic track diagrams. Click on "Sporenplannen" on the left-hand side, then on Germany on the map, then "Actuele tekeningen - simpel" for a map showing coverage of the current network. This is limited to most of the former West Germany with no coverage in the eastern ''Länder''.
*Thorsten Büker's [http://www.bueker.net/trainspotting/maps_germany.php Map of Germany], with enlargements of [http://www.bueker.net/trainspotting/maps_hamburg-area.php Hamburg], [http://www.bueker.net/trainspotting/maps_berlin-area.php Berlin], [http://www.bueker.net/trainspotting/maps_rhein-ruhr-area.php the Rhein-Ruhr area] and [http://www.bueker.net/trainspotting/maps_main-neckar-area.php the Main-Neckar area].
*Thorsten Büker's [http://www.bueker.net/trainspotting/maps_germany.php Map of Germany]. This is no longer being updated.
*[[Maps and Plans#Germany|Maps and Plans - Germany]]
*[[Maps and Plans#Germany|Maps and Plans - Germany]]
* [http://www.bahn.de/p/view/buchung/karten/streckennetz.shtml 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 [https://fahrweg.dbnetze.com/fahrweg-en/customers/network_statement/infrastructure_register/interactive_map-1394746 Infrastructure Register]. It is based around an [https://geovdbn.deutschebahn.com/pgv/public/map/isr.xhtml interactive map] which is optimised for Google Chrome.
* The DB Netz [http://www.db-netz.de/fahrweg-en/start/network_access/infrastructure_register/ Infrastructure Register]. It is based around an [http://stredax.dbnetze.com/ISRViewer/public_html_en/svg/index.html 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 [http://www.db-netz.de/fahrweg-de/start/nutzungsbedingungen/infrastrukturregister/TEN_Spurplaene/ 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.
* The [https://www.bahn.de/p/view/service/fahrplaene/streckennetz.shtml DB website] has downloadable schematic maps of local services for all ''Länder'' except Hessen. It also has very general maps showing the ''ICE'' and ''IC/EC'' networks.


==Ticketing==
==Ticketing==
DB offers its own network tickets, which give much better value than the standard One Country passes.


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.
===''Quer-durchs-Land Ticket''===
 
The ''Quer-durchs-Land Ticket'' is a very useful bargain ticket. It gives one day's 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. 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 being charged a small extra amount. Tickets are best purchased online or from a ticket vending machine as there is a EUR 2 surcharge at ticket offices. 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.
 
The ''QdL Ticket'' is valid on almost all non-DB companies that run scheduled local train services. Tourist and preserved railways, including most steam railways that operate a regular service, are not included. The ticket is not valid on local urban tram and ''U-Bahn'' services or on any buses, although it is valid on certain 'tram-train' services where they have railway-like characteristics. Use of ''ICE'' and ''IC'' trains, while not generally allowed, is permitted between Stuttgart and Konstanz, and west of Bremen. A few lines that cross into Austria, Switzerland  and Poland are included. 
 
Much useful information is on the [https://www.bahn.com/en/view/offers/regional/day-ticket-for-germany.shtml?dbkanal_007=L04_S02_D002_KIN0060_REGIO-INDEX-QDL-DESKTOP_LZ01 DB website] and 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 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 ''Länder-Tickets'' do, as mentioned below.
 
===''Länder-Tickets''===
 
''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. Tram, ''U-Bahn'' and most local bus services within the area of validity are also included. They are valid from 09:00 on weekdays and all day at weekends and on national or regional holidays.
 
Sachsen, Sachsen-Anhalt and Thüringen count as the one area, and a ticket for any one of these ''Länder'' is valid in all three. The same principle applies to Saarland and Rheinland-Pfalz. Note however that while a ''Schleswig-Holstein-Ticket'' is valid in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the converse is not true, although both are valid in Hamburg. A ''Niedersachsen-Ticket'' is valid in Hamburg and in Bremen, which are both separate ''Länder''.
 
Certain ''Länder-Tickets'' are valid on Intercity services, for example in the Berlin area, and west of Bremen. Most ''Länder-Tickets'' now have a base fare with a small extra amount for each additional passenger. Only Berlin/Brandenburg and Hessen still charge a flat price while Nordrhein-Westfalen has one-person and two-to-five-person versions. A few ''Länder'' offer First Class and/or evening (''Nacht'' - valid after 18:00) versions as well as the basic version.


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). It costs slightly more, both for the base fare and for each additional passenger, than the ''Schönes-Wochenende Ticket''.  It costs EUR 2 extra to buy this ticket at a ticket office.
Validity details for each ''Länder-Ticket'' can be checked on the [https://www.diebefoerderer.de/tarife/ Die Beförderer website]. Maps and other useful information are on the [https://www.bahn.com/en/view/offers/regional/regional-day-tickets.shtml?dbkanal_007=L04_S02_D002_KIN0060_REGIO-INDEX-LAENDERTICKETS-DESKTOP_LZ01 DB website]


[http://www.bahn.de/i/view/GBR/en/prices/germany/laender-ticket.shtml ''Länder'' Tickets] give unlimited travel for up to five people for one day throughout the ''Land'' (and in some cases a neighbouring ''Land'' as well) concerned on local trains. 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.
Some areas offer an add-on to other countries for an extra cost, for example the ''Niedersachsen-Ticket'' has an optional extension to Groningen (NL) and the ''Sachsen-'' and ''Bayern-Tickets'' have a version which is also valid in Bohemia (''Böhmen'') in the Czech Republic. Note that the ''Sachsen-Böhmen-Ticket'' is not valid in Sachsen-Anhalt or Thüringen.


''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 TBFE website], the website of the German train operating companies.
===''Verkehrsverbund'' tickets===


Bargain tickets include ''Sparpreise'' 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.
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 may be better value than a ''Länder-Ticket'', or have no weekday start time restriction.
 
===''Sparpreis'' and ''Super Sparpreis''===
 
''Sparpreis'' and ''Super Sparpreis'' tickets are quota-controlled tickets, often much cheaper than the full fare. They must have at least one leg on a long-distance service (''ICE/ECE'' or ''IC/EC''). The tickets are only valid on the specified long-distance train or trains. Local connecting services, if shown on the itinerary, are only suggested services and those particular local train(s) need not be used.
 
''Sparpreis'' and ''Super Sparpreis'' tickets can be booked for travel on the same day as well as in advance, subject to availability.  
   
   
Special fares are payable on ''ICE'' services; 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.
For journeys of over 100 km, ''Sparpreis'' tickets include a "City-Ticket" at origin and destination (if a large town or city) which gives one free single journey to the origin station and from the destination station 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.
 
===''Flexpreis''===
   
   
DB tickets were valid on HKX long distance services but this ceased from 31 Aug 2016. Negotiations are still ongoing regarding Interrail and Eurail tickets. See [http://www.hkx.de/index.php/ticketinfo/db-ticket-im-hkx DB-Ticket im HKX].
There are three levels of flexible full-price (''Flexpreis'') fares - the dearest, for ''ICE/ECE'' services, a slightly cheaper rate for ''IC/EC'' services, and the cheapest, valid on local trains only. If purchasing a ''Flexpreis'' 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. ''Flexpreis'' 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 ''ICE/ECE'' or ''IC/EC'' 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.
 
===''BahnCards''===
 
Regular travellers may wish to purchase a ''BahnCard'', which is an annual discount railcard. The ''BahnCard 50'' gives 50% discount on ''Flexpreis'' tickets but only 25% discount on ''Spar/Super Sparpreis'' tickets. The ''BahnCard 25'' gives a 25% discount on all tickets. Both the ''BahnCard 50'' and ''BahnCard 25'' come in First Class and cheaper Second Class versions. The First Class version can also be used to obtain a discount on Second Class fares. Cheaper versions of all ''BahnCards'' are available for those under the age of 26 or over 65.
 
Note that some local fares in urban areas do not attract a ''BahnCard'' discount.
 
There is also a ''BahnCard 100'' which allows unlimited travel throughout Germany for one year, including on local urban transport in the central areas of large towns.
 
''BahnCards'' are sold on a subscription basis so a new one will automatically be sent out (and have to be paid for) shortly before the expiry of the existing card, unless the subscription has been cancelled.
 
All ''BahnCards'' have a ''Probe'' (trial) version which is valid for three months. After the three months has expired, an annual subscription will commence unless the trial version has been cancelled at least six weeks before its expiry.
 
''Bahncard'' details are available on the [https://www.bahn.com/en/view/offers/bahncard/bahncard.shtml DB website].
 
===''Flixtrain'' tickets===
 
''Flixtrain'' tickets must be booked from the [https://www.flixtrain.com/ Flixtrain website] or a Flixtrain office. DB tickets and Interrail/Eurail passes are not valid.


==Infrastructure==
==Infrastructure==
Line 115: Line 194:


===Network Statement===
===Network Statement===
[http://fahrweg.dbnetze.com/fahrweg-en/start/ DB Netz AG] ''> Network Statement 2014''
[https://fahrweg.dbnetze.com/fahrweg-en/customers/network_statement DB Netz AG] ''> Network Statement''


===Gauge===
===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.
Standard. There are various narrow-gauge private lines, including former DB/DR operated ones at Dresden, Fichtelberg, the Harz, Radebeul, Molli, Weißeritz Valley and Zittau. DB operates a metre gauge line on the island of Wangerooge. A number of tramway systems are metre gauge. 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===
===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.
15 kV 16.7 Hz ac.  
 
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 Elbingerode and Kalkwerk Homberg, which has been freight-only since 2005, is 25kV 50Hz ac. (The line between Kalkwerk Homberg and Königshütte closed to all traffic in 2000 and is now lifted).


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).
The following cross-border lines have sections within Germany that use the other country's electrification system. Distances shown are the sections within Germany between the frontier and the electrification changeover point:
 
Hengelo (NL) - Bad Bentheim: 8.1 km at 1500 V dc<br>
Arnhem/''Betuweroute'' (NL) - Emmerich: 5.6 km at 25 kV ac (see ''Note'' below)<br>
Welkenraedt/''LGV'' (BE) - Aachen Hbf: 7.4 km at 3 kV dc<br>
Węgliniec (PL) - Horka: 1.5 km at 3 kV dc<br>
Rzepin (PL) - Frankfurt (Oder): 1.7 km at 3 kV dc.
 
''Note'': The line between Emmerich and the Netherlands border was 1500 V dc but has been converted to 25 kV ac for easier operation of ''Betuweroute'' freight traffic. This means that trains between Emmerich and Arnhem must be able to operate under three different electrification systems.


===Rule of the road===
===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.
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.  There is also left-hand running on the Hamburg S-Bahn between Altona and Holstenstraße, to assist reversal.


===Distances===
===Distances===
The Schweers + Wall ''Eisenbahnatlas Deutschland'' (ISBN 978-3-89494-136-9) is the best source of distance information.
The Schweers + Wall ''Eisenbahnatlas Deutschland'' (11th Edn. ISBN 978-3-89494-149-9) is the best source of distance information.


==Other Railways==
==Other Railways==
Line 135: Line 224:


==Tourist lines==
==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.
Very few tourist lines run frequently - fortnightly or monthly 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 [http://www.eisenbahnwelt.com/deutschlandkarte.html Eisenbahn Vereinskarte Deutschland] comprises an interactive map of Germany showing most preserved railways.
A German language site [http://www.eisenbahnwelt.com/deutschlandkarte.html Eisenbahn Vereinskarte Deutschland] comprises an interactive map of Germany showing most preserved railways.
An [http://sinfin.net/railways/world/germany/touristde/index.html 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.
An [http://sinfin.net/railways/world/germany/touristde/index.html English language site] gives an overview map split by ''Länder'', with a list of many lines in alphabetical order in each ''Land'' section. Both give direct links to the various railways' homepages/timetables.
The DB website gives timetables for a number of preserved lines in its [http://kursbuch.bahn.de/hafas/kbview.exe/d.?rt=1&dosearch=1&searchmode=tableplus&controlpattern=P.12ddd&table_nr=12&mainframe=utable&tocinfo=mus_tab Museums- und Nostalgiebahnen section], sometimes in a more easily intelligible form than the railways’ own websites.
The DB ''Kursbuch'' site gives timetables for a small number of preserved lines in its [http://kursbuch.bahn.de/hafas/kbview.exe/d.?rt=1&dosearch=1&searchmode=tableplus&controlpattern=P.12ddd&table_nr=12&mainframe=utable&tocinfo=mus_tab 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 [http://www.eisenbahn-kurier.de Eisenbahn Kurier], EK-Verlag GmbH, Lörracher Str. 16, 79115 Freiburg, tel +49 761 703100).
 
Timetables and other information about tourist lines are published annually in ''Kursbuch der deutschen Museums-Eisenbahnen'' (now published by [http://www.eisenbahn-kurier.de 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.
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 [http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parkeisenbahn Wikipedia].
A special category are ''Parkeisenbahnen'', which are complex miniature railways where operations closely follow the prototype. A comprehensive list of these is given in [http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parkeisenbahn Wikipedia].


Rail cycling ('Draisinenfahrten') is possible on a number of lines; see the [http://www.draisinenfahrten.de/index.html 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.
Rail cycling (''Draisinenfahrten'') is possible on a number of lines; see the [http://www.draisinenfahrten.de/index.html 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==
==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, Düsseldorf, Duisburg, Essen, Frankfurt am Main, Gelsenkirchen, Hannover, Kassel, Köln, Ludwigshafen, Mannheim, Mühlheim (Ruhr) and Stuttgart.
Berlin, Hamburg, München, Nürnberg. A number of other cities have underground tram routes, known as U-Bahn or Stadtbahn, including Bielefeld, Bochum, Bonn, Dortmund [http://egtre.info/wiki/Germany_-_Tram_services_over_obscure_routes#Dortmund:_DSW21 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 [http://www.gleisplanweb.eu/ Gleisplanweb site] or [http://www.doprava.unas.cz/schemata/kolejova/zahranici.html. Doprava]
Track plans for most or all metro and tram systems in Germany are available on the [http://www.gleisplanweb.eu/ Gleisplanweb site] or [http://www.doprava.unas.cz/schemata/kolejova/zahranici.html. Doprava]


==Trams==
== Trams/LRT-Systems ==
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.
Augsburg, Bad Schandau, Berlin, Bielefeld, Bochum, Bonn, Brandenburg, Braunschweig, Bremen, Chemnitz, Cottbus, Darmstadt, Dessau, Dortmund, Dresden, Düsseldorf, Duisburg, Erfurt, Essen, Frankfurt am Main, Frankfurt an der 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, Naumburg (Saale), Nordhausen, Nürnberg, Oberhausen, Plauen, Potsdam, Rostock, Rüdersdorf, Saarbrücken, 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 [http://www.gleisplanweb.eu/ Gleisplanweb site] or on the [http://www.doprava.unas.cz/schemata/kolejova/zahranici.html Doprava] website.  
Track plans for most or all tram systems in Germany are available on the [https://www.gleisplanweb.eu/ Gleisplanweb site] or on the [http://www.doprava.unas.cz/schemata/kolejova/zahranici.html Doprava] website or the [http://www.urbanrail.net/eu/de/germany.htm UrbanRail,net] site.  


See also [[Germany_-_Tram_services_over_obscure_routes|Germany - Tram services over obscure routes]]
See also [[Germany_-_Tram_services_over_obscure_routes|Germany - Tram services over obscure routes]]
Line 160: Line 250:
==Recent and Future Changes==
==Recent and Future Changes==
===General===
===General===
In recent years DB has been re-organised on a divisional basis, as a prelude to privatisation, but with strong central control. Plans to float parts of DB, particularly the long-distance business, have been disrupted because forecast profits have not been made.  DB as a whole is suffering unexpectedly high losses, principally due to overspending on major infrastructure projects.  Notwithstanding this, DB is acquiring 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 Kreis (Districts). Western Länder are generally supportive of rail. Baden-Württemberg and Rheinland-Pfalz, in particular, have been active in promoting rail re-openings.
The German railways were never entirely nationalised, with various independent lines surviving, particularly in Baden-Württemberg. Now Länder are 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 foreign companies have taken responsibility for some services.
Open access long-distance passenger and freight operation is possible in Germany.  Increasing numbers of open access freight operations are starting, but there has been limited success with passenger services, despite DB Netz having been ordered to charge independent operators the same prices for track access as the train-operating divisions of DB, which had received substantial discounts.  Georg Verkehrs (of Germany) and [http://www.snalltaget.se/en Snälltåget] (of Sweden - a subsidiary of Transdev, formerly Veolia Transport) have operated overnight trains between Berlin and Malmö for a limited summer season since 2013, replacing the previous Georg Verkehrs/SJ operation. Transdev also operate the [https://www.hex-online.de/ Harz-Berlin Express] between Goslar/Thale and Berlin.


Other private long-distance services include [https://www.hkx.de/en/ Hamburg-Köln-Express (HKX)], which started a Hamburg to Köln service on 23 July 2012 and [https://locomore.com Locomore], which commenced operations between Stuttgart and Berlin on 14 December 2016. These ventures have not been particularly successful; the original three daily HKX train pairs have been gradually reduced to one train each way on Fridays to Sundays only, and Locomore services were suspended after 12th May 2017. Former long-distance operators include Eurobahn, Vogtlandbahn and InterConnex (another Veolia/Transdev brand).
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 rate of closures has slowed considerably in recent years, and the federal government is making funds available to the ''Länder'' for re-opening schemes. While there have been numerous lengthy lists published of closed lines which are possible candidates for re-opening, only those proposals which are likely to be progressed with are mentioned below.


===Openings===
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.
====Forthcoming Openings====
The ''Weißeritztalbahn'' narrow-gauge line from Freital-Hainsberg regained its service between Dippoldiswalde and Kurort Kipsdorf from 19th June 2017, some 15 years after the line was destroyed by flooding. The current six train pairs between Freital and Dippoldiswalde were replaced by two through to Kipsdorf and one to Dippoldiswalde.


Meinerzhagen - Brügge will reopen to passengers on 10 December 2017; the hourly RB25 service from Köln will then be extended to Lüdenscheid.
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, Malmö and Stockholm for a limited summer season each year. Transdev also operate the [https://www.hex-online.de/ Harz-Berlin Express] between Goslar/Thale and Berlin.  


A short link between the Gera - Saalfeld and Gera - Weischlitz lines near Wolfsgefarth opened on 25 October 2016. See 'Closures' below.
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 subsidiary of German long-distance coach operator Flixbus. Flixtrain services run on the following routes:
* Kiel - Hamburg - Berlin - Leipzig (- Jena - München (overnight))
* Köln - Hamburg
* Aachen - Köln - Dortmund - Berlin
* Berlin - Frankfurt (Main) - Stuttgart
* München - Frankfurt (Main)


Tracklaying is complete on the high speed line between Erfurt and Ebensfeld, north of Bamberg, and test running has now started. The line is due to open in December 2017. It is unlikely that any other high speed lines will be built for some time, on environmental and financial grounds.
There are generally one or two trains each way on certain days only on each route.  


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 indefinitely owing to delays in commissioning the fire safety system.
Flixtrain also run a Hamburg-Lörrach overnight car-carrying service in the summer months (the former Bahn Touristik Express service).
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. Press reports in June 2017, quoting internal briefings, suggest that the expected opening date will be late 2019 at the earliest.
 
The ''Ilmebahn'' from Einbeck-Salzderhelden will reopen to passengers as far as Einbeck Mitte (4.2km) in December 2017. From December 2018, trains will run through to Göttingen.
 
Calw - Weil der Stadt will reopen in December 2018; 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.
 
The ''Bentheimer Eisenbahn'' will reopen to passengers in December 2018 from Bad Bentheim as far as Neuenhaus.
 
Gelsenkirchen-Buer Nord - Recklinghausen Hbf will reopen to passengers in December 2019, forming a second branch of the S9 service which currently terminates at Haltern am See.
 
Dombühl - Dinkelsbühl is planned for reopening to passengers in December 2019; depending on whether or not the infrastructure is ready, this date may be deferred.
 
The extension of the S28 Kaarst - 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 - Kaarst section is also planned, along with electrification of both the western (Neuss - Kaarst) and eastern (Düsseldorf-Gerresheim - Dornap-Hahnenfurth [- Wuppertal]) arms.  Completion of the entire project is expected in December 2019.
 
====Projected Developments====
Rebuilding of Ducherow – Świnoujście (Poland) and Barth – Zingst (and possibly to Prerow) are included in the Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan, although Land Mecklenburg-Vorpommern has now said it intends to close Velgast - Barth in December 2017. The Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Development Plan now includes extension of the Mecklenburg Bäderbahn (Bad Doberan – Kühlungsborn West) westwards to Rerik and eastwards to Warnemünde. Niedersachsen has agreed that Salzgitter-Lebenstedt - Salzgitter-Fredenberg should be reopened (targeted for December 2018).
 
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. A double-track electrified line on a new alignment would be built between Lübeck and Puttgarden, replacing the existing single-track route, which would be closed.
 
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.
 
To improve access for freight to Jade-Weser-Port in Wilhelmshaven, the Sande - Esens line (line 1540) is planned to be diverted over a new 4.7km double-track alignment from Sande towards the junction with the port line at Abzw. Weißer Floh. This will run to the east of the existing single-track line through Sanderbusch, which will be closed and the halt at Sanderbusch abandoned.


===Openings===
====Actual Openings====
====Actual Openings====
=====2016=====
=====2021=====
{| width="85%"  
{| class="osstable3"  
| 225
| 12146
| Brieske – Hosena temporarily (until 24 September 2016) owing to closure of Ruhland - Hosena for engineering work
| Süderbrarup - Kappeln (summer weekend services through to/from Eckernförde)
| 30 January
| 17 July
|-
| 482
| (Alsdorf Poststrasse -) Eschweiler-St.Jöris - Stolberg (Rheinl) Hbf
| 12 June
|-
|-
| 908
| 732
| Gotteszell - Viechtach [initially for a 2-year trial period]
| Mengen - Stockach (summer Sunday services)
| 13 September
| 18 July Mengen to Sauldorf; 8 August to Stockach (delayed by flood damage)
|}
|}


=====2015=====
=====2020=====
{| width="85%"  
{| class="osstable3"  
| 680
| 424
| Heimbach (Nahe) – Baumholder [deferred from 14 December 2014 by lack of sufficient crew to operate the service]
| [Moers –] Rheinkamp – Kamp-Lintfort Süd (temporary weekend-only service until 4 October for NRW Garden Festival)
| 23 February
| 16 May
|-
| former 172; 174
| Parchim - Karow (Meckl.) - Plau am See ''and'' Inselstadt Malchow - Karow (scheduled summer weekend services)
| 21 May
|-
| 450.9
| Gelsenkirchen-Buer Nord Recklinghausen Hbf (without intermediate stations which are not due to open until 2024)
| 11 September
|-
| 200.9
| Flughafen BER Terminal 5 (Schönefeld) - Flughafen BER Terminal 1-2 (''S-Bahn'')
| 26 October
|-
|-
| 622
| 207, 209.9/14/22
| Frankenberg (Eder) - Korbach
| Abzw Glasower Damm Ost - line 6151 - Flughafen BER Terminal 1-2 - Abzw Bohnsdorf Nord
| 14 September
| 31 October
|-
|-
| 209.23
| 207
| Ferch-Lienewitz – Beelitz-Heilstätten  (temporary diversion of Michendorf service until 10 December 2016)
| Abzw Selchow - Abzw Selchow Süd
| 13 December
| 31 October, but in regular use from 13 December  
|-
|-
| 209.24
| 209.22
| Berlin Grünau – Berlin-Schöneweide – Berlin Ostkreuz – Berlin Lichtenberg
| Abzw Bohnsdorf West - Abzw Bohnsdorf Süd
| 13 December
| 31 October
|-
|-
| 230.5
| 203.Sued
| Görlitz – Zgorzelec (Poland)
| Abzw Doberlug-Kirchhain Nord - Abzw Hennersdorf West
| 13 December
| 13 December
|-
|-
| 580
| 450.28
| Erfurt-Linderbach – Gröbers [- Leipzig] / Halle-Ammendorf
| Mettmann Stadtwald - Abzw Wuppertal-Dornap [- Wuppertal-Vohwinkel]
| 13 December
|-
| 720
| Konstanz – Kreuzlingen Hafen (Switzerland)
| 13 December
| 13 December
|-
|-
| 858
| 970
| Selb-Plößberg – Aš (Czech Republic)
| Lindau-Aeschach - Lindau-Reutin (Lindau avoiding line)
| 13 December
| 13 December
|}
|}


=====2014=====
=====2019=====
{| width="70%"  
{| class="osstable3"  
| 247
| 376
| Dolni Poustevna ČD - Sebnitz   
| Bad Bentheim – Neuenhaus
| 5 July
| 6 July but 7 July for revenue earning services
|-
|-
| 305
| -
| Uelzen W750 - Uelzen W23 (Veerßer Kurve)
| Flensburg Weiche Süd - Flensburg Friedensweg (diversion of Hamburg - København services away fron Puttgarden - Rødby)
| 15 April
|-
| 482
| Alsdorf Poststraße - Eschweiler-St.Jöris
| 15 June
|}
 
=====2013=====
{| width="70%"
| 485
| Lindern – Heinsberg (Rheinl)
| 15 December
| 15 December
|-
|-
| 501
| 209.24
| Leipzig Nord/Leipzig-Gohlis – Leipzig Hbf (tief) – Leipzig-Stötteritz/Leipzig-Connewitz
| Berlin Bornholmer Straße - Schönhauser Allee (diversion of ''RB24'' until 9 July 2021).
| 15 December
| 15 December
|-
|-
| 501.1
| 209.24
| Leipzig Stötteritz – Leipzig Engelsdorf
| Berlin Frankfurter Allee - Ostkreuz (oben) (initially by diverted ''RB24'' but now used permanently by ''FEX'' airport trains)
| 15 December
| 15 December
|-
|-
| 710.41
| former 12474
| Heilbronn Harmonie - Neckarsulm
| Düren - Euskirchen (regular service instead of weekend-only service)
| 15 December
| 15 December
|-
|-
| 976
| 645.8/9
| [Ulm] - Senden - Weißenhorn
| Frankfurt (Main) Stadion - Gateway Gardens - Frankfurt (Main) Flughafen Regionalbahnhof
| 15 December
| 15 December
|}
|}


=====2012=====
=====2018=====
{| width="80%"  
{| class="osstable3"  
| 703
| 209.63
| [Müllheim(Baden) -] Neuenburg(Baden) - Mulhouse (France):. [full service in lieu of the former seasonal service]
| Templin Stadt - Joachimsthal
| 9 December
|-
| 227
| Hoyerswerda – Horka (Abzw. Muckenhain) [- Görlitz] (after long-term closure for rebuilding)
| 9 December
| 9 December
|-
|-
| 703
| 351
| Bad Bellingen - Efringen-Kirchen via new Katzenberg tunnel
| Einbeck Salzderhelden – Einbeck Mitte
| 9 December
| 9 December
|-
|-
| 790.6
| 471
| Maichingen - Renningen
| Mainz Hbf (Abzw Kaiserbrücke Ost) - Hochheim (Main) (Abzw Kostheim) (used by new service ''RE4'' between Frankfurt and Mainz)
| 9 December
| 9 December
|-
| 930
| Neufahrn avoiding curve
| 9 December
|-
|}
|}


=====2011=====
=====2017=====
{| width="70%"  
{| class="osstable3"
| 751
| 513
| Laupheim West south curve
| Dippoldiswalde – Kurort Kipsdorf (reopening after 2002 flood damage)
| 12 June
| 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
|-
|-
| 209.35
|}
| Bad Saarow - Bad Saarow Klinikum
 
| 24 October
=====2016=====
{| class="osstable3"
| 225
| Brieske – Hosena temporarily (until 24 September 2016) owing to closure of Ruhland - Hosena for engineering work
| 30 January
|-
|-
| 482  
| 482
| (Herzogenrath -) Alsdorf-Annapark - Alsdorf-Mariadorf - Alsdorf-Poststraße
| [Alsdorf Poststrasse -] Eschweiler-St.Jöris - Stolberg (Rheinl.) Hbf
| 11 December
| 12 June
|-
|-
| 650.1
| 908
| Darmstadt-Eberstadt - Pfungstadt
| Gotteszell - Viechtach (trial service now until September 2022)
| 11 December
| 12 September
|-
|-
| 439
| 541
| Brilon Wald - Brilon Stadt
| Wünschendorf Nord - Gera-Zwötzen (0.5km connection to allow closure of line via Gera-Liebschwitz)
| 11 December
| 25 October
|}
|}


===Closures===
'''In the "tourist/museum line" sector:
 
The ''Bremen-Thedinghauser Eisenbahn'' (''"Pingelheini"'') service resumed from Leeste (b. Bremen) as far as Stuhr, 4.5 km from Kirchhuchting, on 22 August 2021. The line had been closed west of Leeste since the end of the 2015 season to allow construction of an extension of Bremen tram route no. 8. A resumption of the ''Pihgelheini'' service as far as Bremen-Kirchhuchting is expected at some point. Once the tram service starts it is expected that trams and ''Pingelheini'' trains will share the tracks.
 
====Forthcoming Openings====
 
Work to reopen a further 1.3 km section of the Furstenwalde (Spree) to Beeskow line between Bad Saarow Klinikum and Bad Saarow-Pieskow Süd is underway, with reopening planned for December 2021. The line south of Bad Saarow is owned by the Scharmützelseebahn GmbH, who are organising the reopening works.
 
A new ''IC'' service will commence in December 2021 between Frankfurt (Main) Hbf, Münster (Westfalen) and Norddeich Mole. This will introduce passenger services to the south to west curve from Hagen-Kabel on the Siegen line to the Dortmund line at Hagen-Vorhalle, and the south to east curve from Hagen-Kabel to the Hamm line at Westhofen (Westf.). It will also introduce regular services to the Gießen avoiding line which currently only sees one weekday peak train each way per day (DE21/505).
 
An extension of the Stolberg (Rheinland) to Stolberg Altstadt passenger service to Breinig is now due to open in December 2021. Reopening has been delayed by the need to lower the trackbed under a road bridge at Stolberg Altstadt to provide the required safe clearance for the overhead wires. A further extension to Walheim, on the Belgian border, is still scheduled for December 2022.
 
The ''Zwönitztalbahn'' between Chemnitz and Aue (Sachs.) (KBS524) is due to reopen in December 2021. It was closed on 15th September 2018 for conversion to tram-train service under the ''"Chemnitzer Modell"'' Stage 2, which has taken much longer than expected.
 
A diversion of the Sande - Esens line is under construction to improve access for freight to Jade-Weser-Port in Wilhelmshaven. A new 4.7 km 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.
 
The new high-speed line (''NBS'') between Ulm Hbf and Stuttgart Hbf, which is being constructed as part of the "Stuttgart 21" programme, is now due to open in December 2022.
 
The first stage of the Berlin ''S-Bahn'' line ''S21'', linking the ''Innenring'' with Berlin Hbf (Invalidenstraße) by an east to south curve from Wedding is due to open, belatedly, in December 2022. A west to south curve from Westhafen to Invalidenstraße is expected to open later, and plans are to extend the line to Yorckstraße via Potsdamer Platz, thus creating a second north-south ''S-Bahn'' line through central Berlin.
 
The bridge over the Belzig - Berlin line between Beelitz Stadt and Ferch-Lienewitz (Abzw Beelitz Bea - Abzw Lienewitz Lia) was reinstated in April 2021 and is to be used by a new Jüterbog to Potsdam service commencing in December 2022.
 
The Kiel to Schönberger Strand branch, which is currently only a tourist line beyond Kiel-Oppendorf, is now due to reopen in December 2022.
 
Calw - Weil der Stadt looks unlikely to open before December 2022 at the earliest. The project has been considerably delayed by legal action, which has now been dismissed, and the decision to build a new section of line in tunnel to shorten the route between Ostelsheim and Weil der Stadt. The line will be known as the ''Hermann-Hesse-Bahn'' and run through to Renningen, sharing tracks with the ''S6'' from Weil der Stadt.
 
The Niederbarnimer Eisenbahn is rebuilding the line from Berlin-Wilhelmsruh to Wilhelmsruher Damm, therefore reopening the ''Heidekrautbahn'' between Bornholmer Straße and 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 a new Karower Kreuz interchange station. Reopening of the line from Wensickendorf to Liebenwalde has been proposed.
 
Dombühl - Dinkelsbühl was planned for reopening to passengers in December 2019, but this has been deferred until possibly 2024.
 
The reopening to passengers of the first part of the ''Weststrecke'' in Trier, across the Mosel from the existing passenger line via Trier Hbf between Ehrang and Trier West has been delayed until the end of 2024.
 
Reopening of the northern section of the Gessertshausen - Markt Wald ''Staudenbahn'' as far as Langenneufnach has been agreed, but this is not now due to happen until the end of 2024.
 
The ''Bentheimer Eisenbahn'' from Bad Bentheim to Coevorden (NL), which was reopened in 2019 as far as Neuenhaus, is to be reopened through to Coevorden by 2025.
 
Reinstatement of main line tracks (closed 1952) alongside the S-Bahn on the ''Dresdner Bahn'' from Berlin Südkreuz to Blankenfelde (Kr. Teltow-Fläming) 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.
 
The Barth - Zingst - Prerow <i>Darßbahn</i> is to be reopened. Tripartite funding, split between the federal government, <i>Land</i> Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and the Usedomer Bäderbahn has been agreed for the reconstruction of the ''Meiningenbrücke'' road/rail bridge just north of Bresewitz, which will allow reopening of the entire line to Prerow by 2028.
 
Preliminary work has started on the reconstruction of the 4.5 km Berlin ''S-Bahn'' branch from Jungfernheide to Gartenfeld. Known as the ''Siemensbahn'', as it served the large factory of that firm, it closed in 1980. With the closure of the factory in 2018, a research campus and large residential development is being built on the site. Reopening of the line is planned for Autumn 2029. A study is underway for a possible new-build extension to Hakenfelde.
 
====Projected Developments====
 
It is planned to reopen the first 2.9km of the Wrist - Itzehoe line as far as Kellinghusen. Financing was apparently agreed in December 2019 after years of prevarication, but a firm date for reopening has not yet been announced.
 
The reopening of Homburg (Saar) to Zweibrücken is planned for 2025.
 
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.
 
The [https://www.warnetalbahn-gmbh.de/ Warnetalbahn GmbH], which operates the museum line between Salzgitter-Bad and Börßum, took a lease in December 2019 of the section of KBS592 between Rottleberode and Stolberg (Harz), with the intention to run freight (timber) trains and occasional tourist passenger 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. Unfortunately because of the condition of a bridge over the river Thyra at Rottleberode, the reintroduction of services to Stolberg has been postponed indefinitely.
 
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.


The [http://www.ilztalbahn.eu Ilztalbahn] between Passau and Freyung was blocked by a landslip in April 2017 and it is not clear when, or if, the summer weekend service will be able to commence.
''Land'' Brandenburg plans to reopen the Priort - Wustermark Rbf Wot south to east curve to be used by a new Potsdam to Berlin service by the end of 2022.


Brieske – Hosena (KBS225) closed on 25 September 2016 having reopened temporarily from 30 January owing to closure of Ruhland - Hosena for engineering work.
Plans to re-open the line between Salzgitter-Lebenstedt and Salzgitter-Fredenberg appeared to have been abandoned, but in March 2021 it was announced by the local traffic authority (''Regionalverband'' Braunschweig) that further consideration is being given to this proposal.


The line between Pritzwalk and Putlitz closed on 31 July 2016, with the last trains running on 29 July.
A temporary weekend- and holiday-only passenger service ran 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.


A ca 4 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.
DB announced in 2021 that it intends to reopen 20 lines to passenger traffic. These are at various stages of the planning/implementation process and some may not be proceeded with. Those not mentioned individually above are:


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.
* Buchholz (Nordheide) - Hamburg-Harburg via Jesteburg
* Calbe (Saale) Stadt - Barby - Güterglück over the ''Elbbrücke'' (part of the ''Kanonenbahn'')
* Oberhausen - Spellen (''Walsumbahn'')
* Duisburg Hbf - Düsseldorf-Rath (''Ratinger Weststrecke'')
* Blankenstein - Marxgrün (''Höllentalbahn'')
* Eisfeld - Coburg (''Werratalbahn'')
* Ludwigsburg - Markgröningen
* Breisach - Colmar (F)
* München northern ring line (''Münchener Güternordring'').


Land Sachsen has said that the following lines would have to be considered for closure if insufficient funding is available to support passenger services. The federal government has given an additional EUR 200m to the ''Neue Länder'' and some services previously thought to be at risk have now been retendered.
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.
{| class="osstable3"
| 229
| Hoyerswerda – Niesky – Abzw Mückenhain [Kodersdorf]
| Currently bus substituted
|-
| 248
| Pirna – Neustadt (Sachs) – Sebnitz (Sachs)
| Neustadt – Sebnitz is the most likely line to close; Pirna – Neustadt may survive
|-
| 523
| St Egidien  Stollberg (Sachs)  
|
|-
| 524
| Aue (Sachs) – Thalheim
| Was planned to close in December 2017 but latest plans imply that it may survive as a tram-train service under the ''"Chemnitzer Modell"'' Stage 2, to be implemented in 2019
|
|-
| 539
| Falkenstein – Klingenthal
|
|-
| 544
| Adorf (Vogtl) – Bad Brambach
|
|}


The following lines are planned for closure in December 2017:
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.
{| class="osstable3"
| 173
| Waren (Müritz) - Inselstadt Malchow
|
|-
| 192
| Velgast - Barth
|
|-
| 594 (part)
| Buttstädt - Großheringen
|
|-
|}


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. According to a press release from DB in October 2016, the bridge will be completely rebuilt with the damaged or destroyed sections replaced, and the rest refurbished, including the piers. The new bridge is intended to be in service by 2021 at the latest, but if tests go well, it is hoped that this date can be brought forward to late 2020.  The train service on the German section west of the bridge, between Nieuweschans and Weener,  resumed on 30 October 2016.
Other projects in the [https://www.i2030.de/ i2030 scheme] for rail development in Berlin and Brandenburg include:


The preserved service on the ''Bremen-Thedinghausener Eisenbahn'' (''"Pingelheini"'') between Bremen-Kirchhuchting and Leeste (b. Bremen) ceased at the end of the 2015 season. Services still operate between Leeste and Thedinghausen. It is planned to convert the Bremen - Leeste line between Moordeich and Leeste to an extension of Bremen tram route no. 8, although local opposition to the tram service has delayed the project indefinitely. If the tramway goes ahead, the ''Pingelheini'' hopes to resume service to Bremen, sharing the track with the trams.
* 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).


The current S-Bahn line between Frankfurt am Main Stadion and Frankfurt am Main Flughafen Regionalbahnhof is to be replaced by a new railway on a different route, probably from December 2019.
===Closures===
====Permanent closures====


The following lines closed on 13 December 2015:
Note that in most cases the lines remain available for freight, diversionary or charter services.


The following lines closed to regular services on 31 October 2020:
{| class="osstable3"
{| class="osstable3"
| 209.23 (part)
| 207, 209.14
| Ferch-Lienewitz – Seddin
| Berlin Grünauer Kreuz Nord - Grünauer Kreuz Süd
| Trains temporarily diverted to Beelitz-Heilstätten until December 2016
| Almost all services diverted via Flughafen BER Terminals 1-2. A residual late-night service of a few ''RE7'' trains continued until 12 December 2020.
|-
|-
| 506 (part)
| 209.22
| Döbeln Hbf – Roßwein – Nossen – Meißen Triebischtal
| Berlin-Grünau - Abzw Selchow
| Almost all services diverted via Flughafen BER Terminals 1-2. A residual late-night service of a few ''RB22'' trains continues to run on Monday nights only.
|}
|}


The following line closed on 26 September 2015:
The following line closed on 13 June 2020:
{| class="osstable3"
| 415.1
| Düsseldorf Flughafen - Düsseldorf Flughafen Terminal
| The one very early morning train diverted to run direct to Düsseldorf Hbf
|}


The following line closed on 14 December 2019:
{| class="osstable3"
{| class="osstable3"
| R61 [WEG]
| 140
| Hemmingen – Heimerdingen –  Weissach
| Fehmarn-Burg avoiding line
| Hemmingen – Heimerdingen is a temporary closure owing to engineering work
| Hamburg - København ''IC'' services ceased running via Puttgarden - Rødby; the remaining ''RB'' services to Puttgarden all reverse at Fehmarn-Burg.
|}
|}


The following line closed to regular services on 12 April 2015:
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.
|}


The following line closed on 10 December 2017:
{| class="osstable3"
{| class="osstable3"
| 337
| 594 (part)
| Klostermansfeld - Wippra
| Buttstädt - Großheringen
| However a summer weekend service operates
|
|}
|}


The following line closed on 1 April 2015:
The following line closed on 24 October 2016:
{| class="osstable3"
| 541
| Gera Süd (Abzw. Gera Debschwitz) - Wünschendorf Nord
| 4.7 km section of route replaced by a short link to the Gera - Saalfeld line near Wolfsgefärth, owing to the poor condition of a viaduct at Liebschwitz.
|}


The following line closed on 25 September 2016:
{| class="osstable3"
{| class="osstable3"
| 172 (part)
| 225
| ''Mecklenburgische Südbahn'': Parchim - Inselstadt Malchow
| Brieske - Hosena
|  
| Closed after temporary diversion of Ruhland - Hosena services for engineering work ended. A summer weekend service from Dresden via Kamenz still runs via this line.
|}
|}


The following line closed on 1 March 2015:
The following line closed on 31 July 2016:
 
{| class="osstable3"
{| class="osstable3"
| 230
| 209.70
| Görlitz - Zgorzelec (Poland)
| Pritzwalk West - Putlitz
| The Dresden - Wrocław service was withdrawn owing to a reduction in funding for Przewozy Regionalne. Services were reintroduced from 13 December 2015.
|
|}
|}


The following line closed on 31 December 2014:
'''In the "tourist/museum line" sector:'''
 
In July 2019 the Ruhrtalbahn announced an end to their operations on the Hagen - Hattingen route as a result of severe mechanical problems with their <i>Schienenbus</i>. Operations resumed in 2021 under the auspices of the ''Eisenbahnmuseum Bochum'', but only as far as Wengern-Ost, leaving the section between there and Hagen-Vorhalle without regular services.
 
The ''Niederlausitzer Museumseisenbahn'' closed their 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. It looks increasingly unlikely that this line will reopen.
 
The ''Wachtl-Bahn'' 900 mm gauge line from Kiefersfelden to Wachtl ceased operations at the end of the 2016 season as it did not pass an official inspection in 2017. There does not appear to be any sign of a resumption of service.
 
The ''Teckelfahrten'' service from Hagen to Ennepetal ceased operation at the end of the 2016 season.


{| class="osstable3"
====Planned permanent closures (without replacement)====
| 218
| Pratau – Bad Schmiedeberg Kurzentrum
| However a summer weekend service operates
|}


The Paris - Hamburg/Berlin/München overnight service was withdrawn at the December 2014 timetable change.
No current specific closure proposals are known, but some ''Länder'' have been reviewing their funding of relatively lightly-used lines:


The following lines closed on 14 December 2014:
''Land'' Bayern was reportedly examining withdrawing funding from lines that have fewer than 1,000 passengers per day but no action to close any line has been taken so it would appear that this review is dormant. 
<!--On the basis of data from 2016 these are:


{| class="osstable3"
{| class="osstable3"  
| 517
| 781
| Cranzahl – Vejprty (Czech Republic)  
| Miltenberg - Wertheim
| However a summer weekend service operates
|-
| 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 was reviewing services on lines which have fewer than 500 passengers per weekday but again no closure action has been taken on any line.
<!--{| class="osstable3"
| 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]
|-
|-
| 588
| 606
| Merseburg – Schafstädt
| Fröttstädt - Friedrichroda
|  
| (section Waltershausen to Friedrichroda only)
|}
|}-->
 
====Planned permanent closures (with replacement)====
 
The existing DB line to Puttgarden will close north of Neustadt (Holst.) at the end of 2021 for rebuilding as an electrified line on a new alignment, in part alongside the A1 ''Autobahn''. The new line is not expected to open until 2026. From 2028 it will form part of a new high-speed line to København via the Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link, which will include the world's longest immersed tube tunnel. The railway on the Danish side closed for reconstruction in April 2021.
 
The main-line terminus station at Hamburg-Altona is due to close with a replacement through station being built roughly on the site of the current Diebsteich ''S-Bahn'' station. The low-level ''S-Bahn'' station at Altona will remain. ''S-Bahn'' services will not serve Diebsteich for one year from October 2022. According to the [https://bahnprojekt-hamburg-altona.de/ project website] the planned opening date of the new Altona main-line station is 2027.
 
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.
 
====Temporary closures====
 
Following the serious floods of mid-July 2021 in western Germany, DB has announced that the following stretches of line in Nordrhein-Westfalen and Rheinland-Pfalz have sustained serious damage and need major repairs. They are expected to be back in service by the end of 2021:
 
* ''Eifelstrecke'' (northern end): [Köln -] Erftstadt - Euskirchen. Reopened 7 September 2021, one day later than planned owing to strike action.
* ''Voreifelbahn'' (eastern end): Bonn Hbf - Rheinbach. Reopened 30 August 2021.
* ''S9'': Wuppertal-Vohwinkel - Essen-Steele
* ''Volmetalbahn'' (northern end): Hagen - Rummenohl - Lüdenscheid-Brügge [- Lüdenscheid]. Hagen to Rummenohl is expected to reopen at the December 2021 timetable change, but Rummenohl to Lüdenscheid-Brügge is not expected to reopen until December 2022.
* ''Ruhr-Sieg-Strecke'' (northern end): Hagen - Werdohl [- Siegen]. This line is expected to reopen at the December 2021 timetable change.
* [Aachen -] Herzogenrath - Geilenkirchen [- Mönchengladbach]
* ''Ahrtalbahn'' (eastern end): Remagen - Walporzheim. A single line is due to reopen by end 2021.
* Stolberg (Rheinl) Hbf - Eschweiler-Talbahnhof - Langerwehe
* Stolberg (Rheinl) Hbf - Stolberg Altstadt
* Bad Dürkheim - Freinsheim. Expected reopening postponed until 14 November 2021.
 
The following lines have been extensively damaged and need to be completely rebuilt in many places. They are not expected to reopen until 2022 at the earliest:
 
* ''Erfttalbahn'': Euskirchen - Bad Münstereifel. A date for the reopening of this line is not yet available.
* ''Voreifelbahn'' (remainder): Rheinbach - Euskirchen. A date for the reopening of this section is not yet available.
* ''Eifelstrecke'' (remainder): Euskirchen - Ehrang [- Trier]. Dates for reopening of this section of line are:
** By end 2021: Ehrang - Auw
** Early 2022: Auw - Kyllburg; Euskirchen - Mechernich
** Summer 2022: Kyllburg - Gerolstein - Nettersheim; Mechernich - Kall
** Summer 2023: The final section between Kall and Nettersheim.
 
* ''Ahrtalbahn'' (remainder): Walporzheim - Ahrbrück - on the entire branch seven bridges over the river Ahr and 24 km of track will have to be replaced. This may take several years.
 
Because of the poor condition of the ''Salzbachtalbrücke'' bridge which carries the A66 ''Autobahn'' over the railway line between Wiesbaden Ost and Wiesbaden Hbf, the line between these stations has been closed since 18 June 2021. The bridge will need to be demolished and rebuilt. The demolition is not expected to take place until November 2021 so the railway will have to remain closed until at least then. As a result, ​there are no train services between Wiesbaden Hbf and Wiesbaden Ost until further notice. ''S-Bahn'' services ''S1'' and ''S8'' are turning round at Wiesbaden Ost and ''S9'' at Mainz-Kastel. ''RB10'' services between the Rhine right-bank line (''Rechte Rheinstrecke'') and Frankfurt Hbf are diverted via the Wiesbaden avoiding line (DE21/525). The only services using Wiesbaden Hbf are ''RB21'' to/from Niedernhausen (Taunus) and Limburg (Lahn) and the morning ''ICE'' service to Köln Hbf and evening return (DE21/524).


The København - Basel/Amsterdam/Praha overnight service was withdrawn on 1 November 2014
The cross-border line between Küstrin-Kietz and Kostrzyn (PL) closed on 13 December 2020 for two years while the bridge over the river Oder/Odra is replaced by a new structure.


The following line closed on 15 December 2013:
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.


{| class="osstable3"
The service on the cross-border section of KBS 236 between Varnsdorf Pivovar Kocour (CZ) and Seifhennersdorf (2.1 km) 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 been reached and scheduled services are now due to resume on 12 December 2021.
| 519
| Pockau-Lengefeld – Marienberg (Sachs.)
|
|}


The following lines closed on 9 December 2012:
'''In the "tourist/museum line" sector:'''


{| class="osstable3"
The ''Museums-Eisenbahn-Club Losheim'' was closed suddenly in April 2017 by the authorities because of the condition of the track. At present trains are only running between "Großer Wald" (west of Losheim) and Dellborner Mühle whilst relaying is in progress.
| 183
| Rostock Hbf – Rostock Seehafen Nord
|
|-
| 539
| Adorf (Vogtl.) – Zwotental
|
|}


===Older Changes===
===Older Changes===
Line 484: Line 789:
==Special notes==
==Special notes==


DB trains are divided into a number of distinct categories, thus:
Train services in Germany are divided into a number of distinct categories:
* S (S-Bahn): Regular interval local trains in urban areas, generally using segregated tracks  
* ''S'' (''S-Bahn''): Regular interval local trains in urban areas, generally using segregated tracks.
* RB (Regionalbahn): Basic local services.  
* ''RB'' (''Regionalbahn''): Basic local services.  
* RE (RegionalExpress): Regular interval local or semi-fast trains calling at fewer stations than RB 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.  
* ''IRE'' (''Inter-RegionalExpress''): Long-distance semi-fast trains. This designation is quite rarely used; it currently appears only in Baden-Württemberg and on Berlin - Hamburg services.
* IC (InterCity): Long distance expresses, making limited stops.  
* ''IC'' (''InterCity''): Long-distance expresses, making limited stops.  
* EC (EuroCity): Similar to IC, but for international journeys.  
* ''EC'' (''EuroCity''): Similar to ''IC'', but for international journeys.  
* RJ (Railjet): High speed Austrian Railways trains on the München – Wien - Budapest route.  
* ''RJ'' / ''RJX'' (''Railjet'' / ''Railjet Xpress''): High-speed Austrian Railways (ÖBB) trains to and from München via Salzburg.
* 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.  
* ''ICE'' (''InterCity Express'') & ''ICE Sprinter'': High-speed, long-distance electric trains worked with dedicated ''ICE'' trainsets. These are the only trains to operate on certain stretches of high-speed line (''Schnellfahrstrecken'') such as between Frankfurt (Main) and Köln and between Hannover and Würzburg.
* THA (Thalys): High speed trains on the Köln - Brussels - Paris route, managed by the French and Belgian railways.  
* ''ECE'' (''EuroCity Express''): Trains between München and Zürich are designated ''ECE'' and are operated by Swiss Railways (SBB) high-speed trainsets.
* ICN (InterCityNight) and CNL (CityNightLine): Categories of overnight train.  
* ''THA'' (''Thalys''): High-speed trains on the Köln - Brussels - Paris route, managed by the French and Belgian railways.  
* 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.
* ''NJ'' (''Nightjet''): Almost all of the remaining sleeper trains to and from Germany are operated by ÖBB (Austrian Railways) and branded as "Nightjet", the exceptions being the services to and from Moskva which retain the designation ''EN'' (''EuroNight'').
* ''D-Zug'': This designation is derived from ''Durchgang'', the German for corridor. Its use for regular passenger trains is now very rare - the only remaining instances are on the seasonal Berlin - Malmö - Stockholm overnight services. It may still be used within Germany for an excursion or other special passenger train.
A few services operate only during school term time, or are extensively altered during school holidays. The dates of holidays varies from ''Land'' to ''Land''.
 
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 [http://www.zugfinder.de/ Zugfinder] which displays the position of trains along each line.
Train running can be observed on [http://www.zugfinder.de/ Zugfinder] which displays the position of trains along each line.

Latest revision as of 14:07, 23 September 2021

Country Name

Germany (Deutschland)

National Railway System

Deutsche Bahn AG (DB).

National Railway Operator

Deutsche Bahn AG (DBAG) 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 are:

  • DB Fernverkehr AG: Long-distance (IC/ICE) passenger services
  • DB Regio AG: Local and regional passenger services
  • DB Vertrieb GmbH: Retail sales and systems
  • DB Cargo Deutschland AG: Freight services
  • DB Netz AG: Infrastructure
  • DB Station&Service AG: Stations
  • DB Fahrzeuginstandhaltung GmbH: Maintenance

DBAG has many interests in other countries. Passenger rail and bus services in 14 European countries outside Germany are operated by its Arriva subsidiary, with headquarters in Sunderland, UK.

Subsidiaries of DB Cargo AG in Germany include RBH Logistics GmbH and an 80% holding in Mitteldeutsche Eisenbahn (MEG). Outside Germany it has 100%-owned subsidiaries in several European countries under the DB Cargo name, and part-ownership of several railfreight firms such as Transfesa.

DB Regio AG is subdivided into the following regional units:

  • DB Regio Baden-Württemberg
  • DB Regio Bayern
  • DB Regio Mitte (including S-Bahn RheinNeckar)
  • DB Regio Nord (including DB Regio Schleswig-Holstein)
  • DB Regio Nordost
  • DB Regio NRW
  • DB Regio Südost
  • S-Bahn München
  • S-Bahn Rhein-Main
  • S-Bahn Stuttgart

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

  • DB RegioNetz Verkehrs GmbH
  • DB ZugBus Regionalverkehr Alb-Bodensee GmbH
  • Regionalverkehre Start Deutschland GmbH
  • S-Bahn Berlin GmbH
  • S-Bahn Hamburg GmbH
  • Usedomer Bäderbahn GmbH

DB RegioNetz Verkehrs GmbH is the holding company for several semi-autonomous regional networks:

  • Erzgebirgsbahn
  • Kurhessenbahn
  • Oberweißbacher Berg- und Schwarzatalbahn
  • Südostbayernbahn
  • Westfrankenbahn.

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

Actual Train Times

  • Zugverfolgung.com Note that this site seems to offer tracking for Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland as well.
  • BahnhofsAbfahrten This site provides a real time view of departure information for the selected station
  • DBF an unofficial site providing a real time view of departure information for trains within Germany

Downloadable Timetable

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

If the table number is known, it can simply be inserted in the Kursbuchstreckennummer search box at top left.

Otherwise, the left-hand column has various ways of searching for the desired table:

The "Kursbuchtabellensuche" button gives options to search by:

  • Bahnhof/Halt (Station/Halt)
  • Liniennummer (Line Number. Note this is not the table number, but the S-Bahn or RB/RE line number. These are duplicated across Germany, so a search for (e.g.) S2 or RB40 will produce results from many different areas, from which one can pick the desired route)
  • Kursbuchstreckennummer (Timetable table number)
  • Zugnummer (Train number e.g. IC1234)

There is also the option of an interactive map - select "Interaktive Streckenkarte" and a more-or-less up-to-date passenger network map is shown. By using the arrows at the edge of the map, one can scroll to the desired area. By clicking on the timetable number next to a line, that line's tables will be displayed.

Alternatively, click on "Tabellenübersichten". This contains further sections:

  • Regionaltabellen (In spite of its name, a complete table list - but see note on omitted tables below)
  • Schifffahrtstabellen (Shipping services - although none currently shown)
  • Bergbahnen (Mountain railways - although none currently shown)
  • Museums- und Nostalgiebahnen (Preserved railways - only a very few shown)

from which one can select the desired table number.

Unfortunately, some services, particularly in the Berlin area, provided by operators other than DB are not included in the electronic Kursbuch. Details of omitted tables are in the 'Lines with Obscure or Sparse Passenger Services' section under 'Regular Services Not in the Kursbuch '.

While IC/EC and ICE services appear in many tables alongside regional services, there are many routes where IC/EC or ICE services operate but only the regional services are shown in the tables. For full timetables of long-distance services, the European Rail Timetable is recommended.

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.

A DB engineering works app DB Bauarbeiten is available in both Android and iPhone versions but only in German.

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.

Maps

Printed Maps

Web-based Maps

  • Sporenplan has a series of on-line maps and schematic track diagrams. Click on "Sporenplannen" on the left-hand side, then on Germany on the map, then "Actuele tekeningen - simpel" for a map showing coverage of the current network. This is limited to most of the former West Germany with no coverage in the eastern Länder.
  • Thorsten Büker's Map of Germany. This is no longer being updated.
  • Maps and Plans - Germany
  • The DB Netz Infrastructure Register. It is based around an interactive map which is optimised for Google Chrome.
  • The DB website has downloadable schematic maps of local services for all Länder except Hessen. It also has very general maps showing the ICE and IC/EC networks.

Ticketing

Quer-durchs-Land Ticket

The Quer-durchs-Land Ticket is a very useful bargain ticket. It gives one day's 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. 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 being charged a small extra amount. Tickets are best purchased online or from a ticket vending machine as there is a EUR 2 surcharge at ticket offices. 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.

The QdL Ticket is valid on almost all non-DB companies that run scheduled local train services. Tourist and preserved railways, including most steam railways that operate a regular service, are not included. The ticket is not valid on local urban tram and U-Bahn services or on any buses, although it is valid on certain 'tram-train' services where they have railway-like characteristics. Use of ICE and IC trains, while not generally allowed, is permitted between Stuttgart and Konstanz, and west of Bremen. A few lines that cross into Austria, Switzerland and Poland are included.

Much useful information is on the DB website and 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 Länder-Tickets do, as mentioned below.

Länder-Tickets

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. Tram, U-Bahn and most local bus services within the area of validity are also included. They are valid from 09:00 on weekdays and all day at weekends and on national or regional holidays.

Sachsen, Sachsen-Anhalt and Thüringen count as the one area, and a ticket for any one of these Länder is valid in all three. The same principle applies to Saarland and Rheinland-Pfalz. Note however that while a Schleswig-Holstein-Ticket is valid in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the converse is not true, although both are valid in Hamburg. A Niedersachsen-Ticket is valid in Hamburg and in Bremen, which are both separate Länder.

Certain Länder-Tickets are valid on Intercity services, for example in the Berlin area, and west of Bremen. Most Länder-Tickets now have a base fare with a small extra amount for each additional passenger. Only Berlin/Brandenburg and Hessen still charge a flat price while Nordrhein-Westfalen has one-person and two-to-five-person versions. A few Länder offer First Class and/or evening (Nacht - valid after 18:00) versions as well as the basic version.

Validity details for each Länder-Ticket can be checked on the Die Beförderer website. Maps and other useful information are on the DB website

Some areas offer an add-on to other countries for an extra cost, for example the Niedersachsen-Ticket has an optional extension to Groningen (NL) and the Sachsen- and Bayern-Tickets have a version which is also valid in Bohemia (Böhmen) in the Czech Republic. Note that the Sachsen-Böhmen-Ticket is not valid in Sachsen-Anhalt or Thüringen.

Verkehrsverbund tickets

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 may be better value than a Länder-Ticket, or have no weekday start time restriction.

Sparpreis and Super Sparpreis

Sparpreis and Super Sparpreis tickets are quota-controlled tickets, often much cheaper than the full fare. They must have at least one leg on a long-distance service (ICE/ECE or IC/EC). The tickets are only valid on the specified long-distance train or trains. Local connecting services, if shown on the itinerary, are only suggested services and those particular local train(s) need not be used.

Sparpreis and Super Sparpreis tickets can be booked for travel on the same day as well as in advance, subject to availability.

For journeys of over 100 km, Sparpreis tickets include a "City-Ticket" at origin and destination (if a large town or city) which gives one free single journey to the origin station and from the destination station 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.

Flexpreis

There are three levels of flexible full-price (Flexpreis) fares - the dearest, for ICE/ECE services, a slightly cheaper rate for IC/EC services, and the cheapest, valid on local trains only. If purchasing a Flexpreis 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. Flexpreis 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 ICE/ECE or IC/EC 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.

BahnCards

Regular travellers may wish to purchase a BahnCard, which is an annual discount railcard. The BahnCard 50 gives 50% discount on Flexpreis tickets but only 25% discount on Spar/Super Sparpreis tickets. The BahnCard 25 gives a 25% discount on all tickets. Both the BahnCard 50 and BahnCard 25 come in First Class and cheaper Second Class versions. The First Class version can also be used to obtain a discount on Second Class fares. Cheaper versions of all BahnCards are available for those under the age of 26 or over 65.

Note that some local fares in urban areas do not attract a BahnCard discount.

There is also a BahnCard 100 which allows unlimited travel throughout Germany for one year, including on local urban transport in the central areas of large towns.

BahnCards are sold on a subscription basis so a new one will automatically be sent out (and have to be paid for) shortly before the expiry of the existing card, unless the subscription has been cancelled.

All BahnCards have a Probe (trial) version which is valid for three months. After the three months has expired, an annual subscription will commence unless the trial version has been cancelled at least six weeks before its expiry.

Bahncard details are available on the DB website.

Flixtrain tickets

Flixtrain tickets must be booked from the Flixtrain website or a Flixtrain office. DB tickets and Interrail/Eurail passes are not valid.

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

Gauge

Standard. There are various narrow-gauge private lines, including former DB/DR operated ones at Dresden, Fichtelberg, the Harz, Radebeul, Molli, Weißeritz Valley and Zittau. DB operates a metre gauge line on the island of Wangerooge. A number of tramway systems are metre gauge. 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 ac.

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 Elbingerode and Kalkwerk Homberg, which has been freight-only since 2005, is 25kV 50Hz ac. (The line between Kalkwerk Homberg and Königshütte closed to all traffic in 2000 and is now lifted).

The following cross-border lines have sections within Germany that use the other country's electrification system. Distances shown are the sections within Germany between the frontier and the electrification changeover point:

Hengelo (NL) - Bad Bentheim: 8.1 km at 1500 V dc
Arnhem/Betuweroute (NL) - Emmerich: 5.6 km at 25 kV ac (see Note below)
Welkenraedt/LGV (BE) - Aachen Hbf: 7.4 km at 3 kV dc
Węgliniec (PL) - Horka: 1.5 km at 3 kV dc
Rzepin (PL) - Frankfurt (Oder): 1.7 km at 3 kV dc.

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

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. There is also left-hand running on the Hamburg S-Bahn between Altona and Holstenstraße, to assist reversal.

Distances

The Schweers + Wall Eisenbahnatlas Deutschland (11th Edn. ISBN 978-3-89494-149-9) is the best source of distance information.

Other Railways

See separate document.

Tourist lines

Very few tourist lines run frequently - fortnightly or monthly 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 Länder, with a list of many lines in alphabetical order in each Land section. Both give direct links to the various railways' homepages/timetables. The DB Kursbuch site gives timetables for a small 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/LRT-Systems

Augsburg, Bad Schandau, Berlin, Bielefeld, Bochum, Bonn, Brandenburg, Braunschweig, Bremen, Chemnitz, Cottbus, Darmstadt, Dessau, Dortmund, Dresden, Düsseldorf, Duisburg, Erfurt, Essen, Frankfurt am Main, Frankfurt an der 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, Naumburg (Saale), Nordhausen, Nürnberg, Oberhausen, Plauen, Potsdam, Rostock, Rüdersdorf, Saarbrücken, 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 or the UrbanRail,net site.

See also Germany - Tram services over obscure routes

Recent and Future Changes

General

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 rate of closures has slowed considerably in recent years, and the federal government is making funds available to the Länder for re-opening schemes. While there have been numerous lengthy lists published of closed lines which are possible candidates for re-opening, only those proposals which are likely to be progressed with are mentioned below.

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, Malmö and Stockholm 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 subsidiary of German long-distance coach operator Flixbus. Flixtrain services run on the following routes:

  • Kiel - Hamburg - Berlin - Leipzig (- Jena - München (overnight))
  • Köln - Hamburg
  • Aachen - Köln - Dortmund - Berlin
  • Berlin - Frankfurt (Main) - Stuttgart
  • München - Frankfurt (Main)

There are generally one or two trains each way on certain days only on each route.

Flixtrain also run a Hamburg-Lörrach overnight car-carrying service in the summer months (the former Bahn Touristik Express service).

Openings

Actual Openings

2021
12146 Süderbrarup - Kappeln (summer weekend services through to/from Eckernförde) 17 July
732 Mengen - Stockach (summer Sunday services) 18 July Mengen to Sauldorf; 8 August to Stockach (delayed by flood damage)
2020
424 [Moers –] Rheinkamp – Kamp-Lintfort Süd (temporary weekend-only service until 4 October for NRW Garden Festival) 16 May
former 172; 174 Parchim - Karow (Meckl.) - Plau am See and Inselstadt Malchow - Karow (scheduled summer weekend services) 21 May
450.9 Gelsenkirchen-Buer Nord – Recklinghausen Hbf (without intermediate stations which are not due to open until 2024) 11 September
200.9 Flughafen BER Terminal 5 (Schönefeld) - Flughafen BER Terminal 1-2 (S-Bahn) 26 October
207, 209.9/14/22 Abzw Glasower Damm Ost - line 6151 - Flughafen BER Terminal 1-2 - Abzw Bohnsdorf Nord 31 October
207 Abzw Selchow - Abzw Selchow Süd 31 October, but in regular use from 13 December
209.22 Abzw Bohnsdorf West - Abzw Bohnsdorf Süd 31 October
203.Sued Abzw Doberlug-Kirchhain Nord - Abzw Hennersdorf West 13 December
450.28 Mettmann Stadtwald - Abzw Wuppertal-Dornap [- Wuppertal-Vohwinkel] 13 December
970 Lindau-Aeschach - Lindau-Reutin (Lindau avoiding line) 13 December
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 (diversion of RB24 until 9 July 2021). 15 December
209.24 Berlin Frankfurter Allee - Ostkreuz (oben) (initially by diverted RB24 but now used permanently by FEX airport trains) 15 December
former 12474 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 now until September 2022) 12 September
541 Wünschendorf Nord - Gera-Zwötzen (0.5km connection to allow closure of line via Gera-Liebschwitz) 25 October

In the "tourist/museum line" sector:

The Bremen-Thedinghauser Eisenbahn ("Pingelheini") service resumed from Leeste (b. Bremen) as far as Stuhr, 4.5 km from Kirchhuchting, on 22 August 2021. The line had been closed west of Leeste since the end of the 2015 season to allow construction of an extension of Bremen tram route no. 8. A resumption of the Pihgelheini service as far as Bremen-Kirchhuchting is expected at some point. Once the tram service starts it is expected that trams and Pingelheini trains will share the tracks.

Forthcoming Openings

Work to reopen a further 1.3 km section of the Furstenwalde (Spree) to Beeskow line between Bad Saarow Klinikum and Bad Saarow-Pieskow Süd is underway, with reopening planned for December 2021. The line south of Bad Saarow is owned by the Scharmützelseebahn GmbH, who are organising the reopening works.

A new IC service will commence in December 2021 between Frankfurt (Main) Hbf, Münster (Westfalen) and Norddeich Mole. This will introduce passenger services to the south to west curve from Hagen-Kabel on the Siegen line to the Dortmund line at Hagen-Vorhalle, and the south to east curve from Hagen-Kabel to the Hamm line at Westhofen (Westf.). It will also introduce regular services to the Gießen avoiding line which currently only sees one weekday peak train each way per day (DE21/505).

An extension of the Stolberg (Rheinland) to Stolberg Altstadt passenger service to Breinig is now due to open in December 2021. Reopening has been delayed by the need to lower the trackbed under a road bridge at Stolberg Altstadt to provide the required safe clearance for the overhead wires. A further extension to Walheim, on the Belgian border, is still scheduled for December 2022.

The Zwönitztalbahn between Chemnitz and Aue (Sachs.) (KBS524) is due to reopen in December 2021. It was closed on 15th September 2018 for conversion to tram-train service under the "Chemnitzer Modell" Stage 2, which has taken much longer than expected.

A diversion of the Sande - Esens line is under construction to improve access for freight to Jade-Weser-Port in Wilhelmshaven. A new 4.7 km 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.

The new high-speed line (NBS) between Ulm Hbf and Stuttgart Hbf, which is being constructed as part of the "Stuttgart 21" programme, is now due to open in December 2022.

The first stage of the Berlin S-Bahn line S21, linking the Innenring with Berlin Hbf (Invalidenstraße) by an east to south curve from Wedding is due to open, belatedly, in December 2022. A west to south curve from Westhafen to Invalidenstraße is expected to open later, and plans are to extend the line to Yorckstraße via Potsdamer Platz, thus creating a second north-south S-Bahn line through central Berlin.

The bridge over the Belzig - Berlin line between Beelitz Stadt and Ferch-Lienewitz (Abzw Beelitz Bea - Abzw Lienewitz Lia) was reinstated in April 2021 and is to be used by a new Jüterbog to Potsdam service commencing in December 2022.

The Kiel to Schönberger Strand branch, which is currently only a tourist line beyond Kiel-Oppendorf, is now due to reopen in December 2022.

Calw - Weil der Stadt looks unlikely to open before December 2022 at the earliest. The project has been considerably delayed by legal action, which has now been dismissed, and the decision to build a new section of line in tunnel to shorten the route between Ostelsheim and Weil der Stadt. The line will be known as the Hermann-Hesse-Bahn and run through to Renningen, sharing tracks with the S6 from Weil der Stadt.

The Niederbarnimer Eisenbahn is rebuilding the line from Berlin-Wilhelmsruh to Wilhelmsruher Damm, therefore reopening the Heidekrautbahn between Bornholmer Straße and 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 a new Karower Kreuz interchange station. Reopening of the line from Wensickendorf to Liebenwalde has been proposed.

Dombühl - Dinkelsbühl was planned for reopening to passengers in December 2019, but this has been deferred until possibly 2024.

The reopening to passengers of the first part of the Weststrecke in Trier, across the Mosel from the existing passenger line via Trier Hbf between Ehrang and Trier West has been delayed until the end of 2024.

Reopening of the northern section of the Gessertshausen - Markt Wald Staudenbahn as far as Langenneufnach has been agreed, but this is not now due to happen until the end of 2024.

The Bentheimer Eisenbahn from Bad Bentheim to Coevorden (NL), which was reopened in 2019 as far as Neuenhaus, is to be reopened through to Coevorden by 2025.

Reinstatement of main line tracks (closed 1952) alongside the S-Bahn on the Dresdner Bahn from Berlin Südkreuz to Blankenfelde (Kr. Teltow-Fläming) 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.

The Barth - Zingst - Prerow Darßbahn is to be reopened. Tripartite funding, split between the federal government, Land Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and the Usedomer Bäderbahn has been agreed for the reconstruction of the Meiningenbrücke road/rail bridge just north of Bresewitz, which will allow reopening of the entire line to Prerow by 2028.

Preliminary work has started on the reconstruction of the 4.5 km Berlin S-Bahn branch from Jungfernheide to Gartenfeld. Known as the Siemensbahn, as it served the large factory of that firm, it closed in 1980. With the closure of the factory in 2018, a research campus and large residential development is being built on the site. Reopening of the line is planned for Autumn 2029. A study is underway for a possible new-build extension to Hakenfelde.

Projected Developments

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

The reopening of Homburg (Saar) to Zweibrücken is planned for 2025.

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.

The Warnetalbahn GmbH, which operates the museum line between Salzgitter-Bad and Börßum, took a lease in December 2019 of the section of KBS592 between Rottleberode and Stolberg (Harz), with the intention to run freight (timber) trains and occasional tourist passenger 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. Unfortunately because of the condition of a bridge over the river Thyra at Rottleberode, the reintroduction of services to Stolberg has been postponed indefinitely.

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.

Land Brandenburg plans to reopen the Priort - Wustermark Rbf Wot south to east curve to be used by a new Potsdam to Berlin service by the end of 2022.

Plans to re-open the line between Salzgitter-Lebenstedt and Salzgitter-Fredenberg appeared to have been abandoned, but in March 2021 it was announced by the local traffic authority (Regionalverband Braunschweig) that further consideration is being given to this proposal.

A temporary weekend- and holiday-only passenger service ran 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.

DB announced in 2021 that it intends to reopen 20 lines to passenger traffic. These are at various stages of the planning/implementation process and some may not be proceeded with. Those not mentioned individually above are:

  • Buchholz (Nordheide) - Hamburg-Harburg via Jesteburg
  • Calbe (Saale) Stadt - Barby - Güterglück over the Elbbrücke (part of the Kanonenbahn)
  • Oberhausen - Spellen (Walsumbahn)
  • Duisburg Hbf - Düsseldorf-Rath (Ratinger Weststrecke)
  • Blankenstein - Marxgrün (Höllentalbahn)
  • Eisfeld - Coburg (Werratalbahn)
  • Ludwigsburg - Markgröningen
  • Breisach - Colmar (F)
  • München northern ring line (Münchener Güternordring).

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).

Closures

Permanent closures

Note that in most cases the lines remain available for freight, diversionary or charter services.

The following lines closed to regular services on 31 October 2020:

207, 209.14 Berlin Grünauer Kreuz Nord - Grünauer Kreuz Süd Almost all services diverted via Flughafen BER Terminals 1-2. A residual late-night service of a few RE7 trains continued until 12 December 2020.
209.22 Berlin-Grünau - Abzw Selchow Almost all services diverted via Flughafen BER Terminals 1-2. A residual late-night service of a few RB22 trains continues to run on Monday nights only.

The following line closed on 13 June 2020:

415.1 Düsseldorf Flughafen - Düsseldorf Flughafen Terminal The one very early morning train diverted to run direct to Düsseldorf Hbf

The following line closed on 14 December 2019:

140 Fehmarn-Burg avoiding line Hamburg - København IC services ceased running via Puttgarden - Rødby; the remaining RB services to Puttgarden all reverse at Fehmarn-Burg.

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 24 October 2016:

541 Gera Süd (Abzw. Gera Debschwitz) - Wünschendorf Nord 4.7 km section of route replaced by a short link to the Gera - Saalfeld line near Wolfsgefärth, owing to the poor condition of a viaduct at Liebschwitz.

The following line closed on 25 September 2016:

225 Brieske - Hosena Closed after temporary diversion of Ruhland - Hosena services for engineering work ended. A summer weekend service from Dresden via Kamenz still runs via this line.

The following line closed on 31 July 2016:

209.70 Pritzwalk West - Putlitz

In the "tourist/museum line" sector:

In July 2019 the Ruhrtalbahn announced an end to their operations on the Hagen - Hattingen route as a result of severe mechanical problems with their Schienenbus. Operations resumed in 2021 under the auspices of the Eisenbahnmuseum Bochum, but only as far as Wengern-Ost, leaving the section between there and Hagen-Vorhalle without regular services.

The Niederlausitzer Museumseisenbahn closed their 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. It looks increasingly unlikely that this line will reopen.

The Wachtl-Bahn 900 mm gauge line from Kiefersfelden to Wachtl ceased operations at the end of the 2016 season as it did not pass an official inspection in 2017. There does not appear to be any sign of a resumption of service.

The Teckelfahrten service from Hagen to Ennepetal ceased operation at the end of the 2016 season.

Planned permanent closures (without replacement)

No current specific closure proposals are known, but some Länder have been reviewing their funding of relatively lightly-used lines:

Land Bayern was reportedly examining withdrawing funding from lines that have fewer than 1,000 passengers per day but no action to close any line has been taken so it would appear that this review is dormant.

Land Thüringen was reviewing services on lines which have fewer than 500 passengers per weekday but again no closure action has been taken on any line.

Planned permanent closures (with replacement)

The existing DB line to Puttgarden will close north of Neustadt (Holst.) at the end of 2021 for rebuilding as an electrified line on a new alignment, in part alongside the A1 Autobahn. The new line is not expected to open until 2026. From 2028 it will form part of a new high-speed line to København via the Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link, which will include the world's longest immersed tube tunnel. The railway on the Danish side closed for reconstruction in April 2021.

The main-line terminus station at Hamburg-Altona is due to close with a replacement through station being built roughly on the site of the current Diebsteich S-Bahn station. The low-level S-Bahn station at Altona will remain. S-Bahn services will not serve Diebsteich for one year from October 2022. According to the project website the planned opening date of the new Altona main-line station is 2027.

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.

Temporary closures

Following the serious floods of mid-July 2021 in western Germany, DB has announced that the following stretches of line in Nordrhein-Westfalen and Rheinland-Pfalz have sustained serious damage and need major repairs. They are expected to be back in service by the end of 2021:

  • Eifelstrecke (northern end): [Köln -] Erftstadt - Euskirchen. Reopened 7 September 2021, one day later than planned owing to strike action.
  • Voreifelbahn (eastern end): Bonn Hbf - Rheinbach. Reopened 30 August 2021.
  • S9: Wuppertal-Vohwinkel - Essen-Steele
  • Volmetalbahn (northern end): Hagen - Rummenohl - Lüdenscheid-Brügge [- Lüdenscheid]. Hagen to Rummenohl is expected to reopen at the December 2021 timetable change, but Rummenohl to Lüdenscheid-Brügge is not expected to reopen until December 2022.
  • Ruhr-Sieg-Strecke (northern end): Hagen - Werdohl [- Siegen]. This line is expected to reopen at the December 2021 timetable change.
  • [Aachen -] Herzogenrath - Geilenkirchen [- Mönchengladbach]
  • Ahrtalbahn (eastern end): Remagen - Walporzheim. A single line is due to reopen by end 2021.
  • Stolberg (Rheinl) Hbf - Eschweiler-Talbahnhof - Langerwehe
  • Stolberg (Rheinl) Hbf - Stolberg Altstadt
  • Bad Dürkheim - Freinsheim. Expected reopening postponed until 14 November 2021.

The following lines have been extensively damaged and need to be completely rebuilt in many places. They are not expected to reopen until 2022 at the earliest:

  • Erfttalbahn: Euskirchen - Bad Münstereifel. A date for the reopening of this line is not yet available.
  • Voreifelbahn (remainder): Rheinbach - Euskirchen. A date for the reopening of this section is not yet available.
  • Eifelstrecke (remainder): Euskirchen - Ehrang [- Trier]. Dates for reopening of this section of line are:
    • By end 2021: Ehrang - Auw
    • Early 2022: Auw - Kyllburg; Euskirchen - Mechernich
    • Summer 2022: Kyllburg - Gerolstein - Nettersheim; Mechernich - Kall
    • Summer 2023: The final section between Kall and Nettersheim.
  • Ahrtalbahn (remainder): Walporzheim - Ahrbrück - on the entire branch seven bridges over the river Ahr and 24 km of track will have to be replaced. This may take several years.

Because of the poor condition of the Salzbachtalbrücke bridge which carries the A66 Autobahn over the railway line between Wiesbaden Ost and Wiesbaden Hbf, the line between these stations has been closed since 18 June 2021. The bridge will need to be demolished and rebuilt. The demolition is not expected to take place until November 2021 so the railway will have to remain closed until at least then. As a result, ​there are no train services between Wiesbaden Hbf and Wiesbaden Ost until further notice. S-Bahn services S1 and S8 are turning round at Wiesbaden Ost and S9 at Mainz-Kastel. RB10 services between the Rhine right-bank line (Rechte Rheinstrecke) and Frankfurt Hbf are diverted via the Wiesbaden avoiding line (DE21/525). The only services using Wiesbaden Hbf are RB21 to/from Niedernhausen (Taunus) and Limburg (Lahn) and the morning ICE service to Köln Hbf and evening return (DE21/524).

The cross-border line between Küstrin-Kietz and Kostrzyn (PL) closed on 13 December 2020 for two years while the bridge over the river Oder/Odra is replaced by a new structure.

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 service on the cross-border section of KBS 236 between Varnsdorf Pivovar Kocour (CZ) and Seifhennersdorf (2.1 km) 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 been reached and scheduled services are now due to resume on 12 December 2021.

In the "tourist/museum line" sector:

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

Older Changes

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

Special notes

Train services in Germany are divided into a number of distinct categories:

  • 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. This designation is quite rarely used; it currently appears only in Baden-Württemberg and on Berlin - Hamburg services.
  • IC (InterCity): Long-distance expresses, making limited stops.
  • EC (EuroCity): Similar to IC, but for international journeys.
  • RJ / RJX (Railjet / Railjet Xpress): High-speed Austrian Railways (ÖBB) trains to and from München via Salzburg.
  • ICE (InterCity Express) & ICE Sprinter: High-speed, long-distance electric trains worked with dedicated ICE trainsets. These are the only trains to operate on certain stretches of high-speed line (Schnellfahrstrecken) such as between Frankfurt (Main) and Köln and between Hannover and Würzburg.
  • ECE (EuroCity Express): Trains between München and Zürich are designated ECE and are operated by Swiss Railways (SBB) high-speed trainsets.
  • THA (Thalys): High-speed trains on the Köln - Brussels - Paris route, managed by the French and Belgian railways.
  • NJ (Nightjet): Almost all of the remaining sleeper trains to and from Germany are operated by ÖBB (Austrian Railways) and branded as "Nightjet", the exceptions being the services to and from Moskva which retain the designation EN (EuroNight).
  • D-Zug: This designation is derived from Durchgang, the German for corridor. Its use for regular passenger trains is now very rare - the only remaining instances are on the seasonal Berlin - Malmö - Stockholm overnight services. It may still be used within Germany for an excursion or other special passenger train.

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