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Travel News Temporary changes to routes taken by many ICE trains
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Temporary changes to routes taken by many ICE trains

Due to work on the Hannover - Kassel - Fulda - Wurzburg high speed line, many ICE routes are being altered until Dec 9th.

| Last Updated: about 2 months ago

Until December 9th, a key section of the primary north<>south high-speed line in Germany is closed due to renewal works.
During the this time, the ICE trains travelling between Kassel and Fulda will be diverted on to the older classic line, which the high-speed route avoids.

This includes the (Kiel) - Hamburg or Bremen - Hannover - Kassel - Wurzburg - Nurnberg - (Augsburg) - Munchen trains.
During this time these trains will mainly depart at their usual time and operate at their usual schedules between Munchen and Fulda when heading north; and between Hamburg/Bremen and Kassel when heading south, but the diversion will add around 60 mins to the journey time.
As a result trains from Munchen will arrive at Kassel, Gottingen, Hannover, Bremen, Hamburg and destinations north of Hamburg around an hour later than the usual timetable.
In the opposite direction heading south, trains from Bremen, Hamburg and Hannover, will arrive into Fulda, Wurzburg, Nurnberg and Munchen, an hour later than the usual time.

However, in order to minimize disruption to arrival and departures at the extremities of the ICE routes, particularly in Switzerland, the long-standing routes of many ICE services are to be drastically altered from until December 9th.
A summary of the key changes during this time are:

  • Berlin and Leipzig l have regular daytime connections with Zurich and Chur instead of Hamburg and Hannover - see the note below re: services to and from Switzerland.
  • Bern and Interlaken have regular daytime connections with Hamburg and Hannover instead of Berlin and Leipzig
  • Hannover won't be linked to Frankfurt Flughafen/airport by direct trains.

The route alterations

  1. ICE route 12 is the Berlin - Wolfsburg - Braunschweig - Kassel - Frankfurt (Main) ↔ Mannheim - Karlsruhe, Freiburg - Basel - Olten Bern - Interlaken route.
    However, until Dec 9th the trains on this route will be turned around in Frankfurt (Main); and the trains are taking an alternative route between Kassel and Frankfurt.

  2. ICE route 20 is the Hamburg - Hannover - Kassel - Frankfurt (Main) ↔ Mannheim - Karlsruhe, Freiburg - Basel - Zurich - Chur route.
    However, it has had its Swiss destinations switched, as it has taken over the Germany ↔ Olten - Bern - Interlaken service of route 12, instead of its calls in Zurich, Landquart and Chur.
    See the note below re: services to and from Switzerland.
    It will also be around 45 mins slower on the part of the route between Hannover and Frankfurt (Main).
    So the usual 1 x train per day on the Hamburg ↔ Interlaken route has become a three trains per day service, with other departures being turned around in Basel.

  3. The Germany ↔ Zurich - Landquart - Chur service usually provided by route 20 has been covered by a major change to route 11.
    Route 11 usually takes a Berlin - Leipzig - Erfurt - Frankfurt (Main) ↔ Mannheim - Stuttgart - Ulm - Augsburg - München route.
    However, from April 1st it will be taking a Berlin - Leipzig - Erfurt - Frankfurt (Main) ↔ Mannheim - Karlsruhe - Freiburg - Basel - Zurich - (Landquart - Chur) route.
    As a result the Germany ↔ Zurich route will be covered by trains which won't be on a route impacted by the works on the high-speed line.
    See the note below re: services to and from Switzerland.

  4. The usual Frankfurt (Main) ↔ München section of route 11 is to be covered by a change to route 22.
    Instead of being a Hamburg - Hannover - Kassel - Frankfurt (Main) - Frankfurt Flughafen - ↔ Mannheim - Stuttgart route, it is already a
    Hamburg - Hannover - Kassel - Frankfurt (Main) ↔ Mannheim - Stuttgart - Ulm - Augsburg - München route.

  5. So that a direct service can be maintained between Berlin and the airport in Frankfurt, route 15 is extended beyond Frankfurt (Main) to provide a Berlin - Erfurt - Frankfurt (Main) - Frankfurt Flughafen ↔ Mannheim - Stuttgart route.

  6. The route 13 service of Berlin - Kassel - Frankfurt (Sud) - Frankfurt Flughafen is being withdrawn on many dates.

Permanent changes which came into effect back in December

(1) The majority of the services in both directions, on the Basel - Freiburg - Karlsruhe - Mannheim - Frankfurt Flughafen - Köln Hbf route (route 43) have been extended to/from Hamburg with departures from Hamburg Hbf at 08:45; 10:45; 12:45 and 16:45.
These extensions will therefore be providing a hugely enhanced service between Switzerland and multiple major stations in north-west Germany including Bremen Hbf, Dortmund Hbf, Essen Hbf and Dusseldorf Hbf.
Until December 9th, they will also provide the bulk of the direct trains between Frankfurt flughafen/airport and Hamburg.

(2) The trains on route 47, Dortmund ↔ Stuttgart, have extended to/from München/Munich with calls in Ulm and Augsburg.
So these three cities have gained up to six additional direct links per day with Köln/Cologne, Dusseldorf, Essen and Dortmund.
These trains also use the brand new section of high-speed line which has opened between Ulm and Wendlingen, a town which is located between Stuttgart and Ulm.
They ensure that, until the usual service is resumed on Dec 9th, Frankfurt flughafen/airport will maintain an hourly link to and from Stuttgart, Ulm and Augsburg.

Trains to and from Switzerland

Despite the temporary amendments to the timetable, many ICE trains have been late on arrival in Basel, Switzerland.
Hence the Swiss national rail operator, SBB, has made further adjustments, which will therefore apply until further notice:

Trains to Germany:

For connections towards Germany, all trains run continuously, with the exception of the ICE 376 at 3:00 p.m. from Interlaken Ost (departure Bern at 4:04 p.m.), which requires a change at Basel SBB.

Trains to Switzerland:

For connections to Switzerland, the following trains run as planned

  • ICE 271 Frankfurt (5:50 a.m.) – Basel SBB (9:06 a.m.) – Zurich (10:07 a.m.) – Chur
  • ICE 3 Karlsruhe (5:56 a.m.) – Basel (8:06 a.m.) – Zurich
  • EC 9 Hamburg-Altona (6:27 a.m.) – Basel SBB (4:06 p.m.) – Zurich
  • EC 151 Frankfurt (8:06 a.m.) – Basel SBB (10:03 a.m.) – Lucerne (12:18 p.m.) – Milan
  • ICE 79 Berlin (1:26 p.m.) – Basel SBB (9:06 p.m.) – Zurich

For all other connections from Germany to Switzerland, you have to change at Basel SBB. All ICE trains that end up unscheduled in Basel SBB will be replaced by replacement trains within Switzerland, so that the regular timetable will remain in place.


Simon Harper

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