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Travel News Major disruption around Frankfurt (Main) from July 16th
A profile of ICE 1 train arriving at Frankfurt Flughafen

Major disruption around Frankfurt (Main) from July 16th

The railway used by ICE trains between Frankfurt Airport / Frankfurt (Main) Hbf and cities in south-west Germany is to be closed for more than 4 months!

| Last Updated: 2 months ago
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The railway which links Mannheim Hbf, which is a hub station on the German rail network, to both Frankfurt (Main) Hbf and the high-speed rail station at Frankfurt Airport, is typically used by up to 3 x ICE trains per hour each way.
It's also used by most of the trains which connect Frankfurt (Main) with France.

The high-speed rail station at Frankfurt Airport, the Frankfurt Flughagen Fernbahnhof, is at the southern end of the high speed line which links Frankfurt (Main) with Köln / Cologne - and the city centre to city centre ICE trains which use this line, also use the northern end of the line which links Mannheim to Frankfurt (Main).

However from July 16th, until the pan-European timetable refresh on December 15th, the route to /from Manheim is closed for maintenance works.
Plus from July 16th to July 29th inclusive, the line is also closed between Frankfurt Flughagen Fernbahnhof and Frankfurt (Main) Hbf, the main city centre station - though the local and regional trains, which use a separate station at the airport, will be unaffected.

As a consequence of this maintenance work:

  1. Frankfurt Flughagen Fernbahnhof will in effect be closed from July 16th to July 29th inclusive.
  2. From July 16th until December 14th inclusive, the ICE services which typically connect Frankfurt Flughagen Fernbahnhof and Mannheim, will be diverted on to longer slower routes - and most of them won't be calling at the airport station.
  3. From July 16th until December 14th inclusive, the ICE services which typically connect Frankfurt (Main) and Mannheim will be diverted on to a different route between the two cities - and will also have the start and finish points of their usual routes significantly altered.
  4. The Frankfurt ↔ Paris trains which typically travel via Strasbourg won't be available between Frankfurt (Main) and Mannheim from July 16th until December 14th; the Frankfurt ↔ Paris trains which travel via Saarbrucken are not impacted.
  5. The daily Frankfurt ↔ Marseille train will also be turning around in Mannheim during these dates.

The works will impact the usual pattern of rail services at locations beyond Frankfurt (Main) and Mannheim, with alterations to the usual timetable at stations across Germany - and during this time the ICE trains which travel between Germany and Switzerland will also be affected.

The only ICE service which typically calls in both Frankfurt Flughagen Fernbahnhof and Frankfurt (Main) hbf, which won't be significantly impacted at all from July 16th, is the Wiesbaden - Mainz - Frankfurt Flughagen Fernbahnhof - Frankfurt (Main) - Erfurt - Leipzig - Dresden route; While Frankfurt Flughagen Fernbahnhof is closed it will instead use the regional rail station at Frankfurt Airport.

The impact on rail services at Frankfurt Airport station

The high-speed rail station at Frankfurt Airport, which is named the Frankfurt Flughagen Fernbahnhof, is a hub of the German high speed rail network.
It is typically served by ICE trains which travel at least every 1 or 2 hours to and from most major German cities, including Augsburg, Baden-Baden, Berlin, Bremen, Dusseldorf, Dortmund, Dresden, Freiburg, Hamburg, Hannover, Karlsruhe, Kassel, Köln / Cologne, Leipzig, Mannheim, München /Munich, Nürnberg / Nuremberg, Stuttgart, Ulm and Wurzburg.
As Frankfurt Airport is Germany's major transcontinental long-haul airport, these trains typiclaly enable connections between these German cities and worldwide destinations.

Some of the ICE trains which serve the airport also travel beyond Germany, on routes to and from Amsterdam, Basel, Bruxelles, Linz and Wien / Vienna.

Hence the scheduled maintenance work on the railways which link Frankfurt Flughagen Fernbahnhof to both Frankfurt (Main) Hbf and Mannheim, will impact on many of these usual connections to and from the high speed ICE trains.

From July 16th until December 15th

During this time the route between Frankfurt Flughagen Fernbahnhof and Mannheim will be closed, hence the trains on many ICE routes will be diverted away from the airport.
As a consequence, between these dates, there will be no direct trains between the airport and Baden-Baden, Basel, Freiburg, Hannover, Karlsruhe, Kassel and Mannheim - and the rail services services between the airport and both Hamburg and Stuttgart will be significantly reduced.
There will be express buses which will link Frankfurt (Main) and Mannheim every 30 mins.

From July 16th until July 29th

During this time, the route between Frankfurt Flughagen Fernbahnhof and Frankfurt (Main) Hbf will also be closed, as a consequence there will also be no trains between Frankfurt Flughagen Fernbahnhof and Köln hbf between these dates.
So in addition to the service changes summarised above, from July 16th until July 29th:

  • the trains which typically travel on the Frankfurt ↔ Amsterdam and Bruxelles routes will be turning around in Köln hbf, so won't be serving Frankfurt (Main) Hbf and Frankfurt Flughagen;
  • the trains on the München - Nürnberg - Wurzburg - Frankfurt (Main) Hbf ↔ Frankfurt Flughagen - Köln Messe/Deutz - Dusseldorf - Essen route will be diverted and won't be calling at Frankfurt Flughagen Fernbahnhof;
  • the trains on the Wien - Linz - Nürnberg - Wurzburg - Frankfurt (Main) Hbf ↔ Frankfurt Flughagen - Koblenz - Bonn - Köln Hbf route will only be travelling between Wien and Frankfurt (Main).

As a consequence express buses will link the airport to Frankfurt (Main) Hbf, Köln Hbf and Mannheim Hbf.

The trains on the Wiesbaden ↔ Dresden route will be diverted to call in the airport's secondary station, the Regionalbahnhof - and seemingly early morning trains to both Amsterdam and Hamburg will also depart from this station.

Also between July 16th and August 13th the ICE trains on the München - Augsburg - Ulm - Stuttgart ↔ Frankfurt Flughagen - Köln Hbf - stations north of Köln route, will instead be taking a route via Mainz and Bonn instead of calling at Frankfurt Flughagen Fernbahnhof.

Consequences beyond Frankfurt

In order to minimise disruption to the overall German rail timetable, the entire routes of the ICE services which typically travel between Mannheim and either Frankfurt Flughagen Fernbahnhof of Frankfurt (Main) Hbf, are being altered from July 16th until December 14th inclusive.
As a consequence Frankfurt (Main) will retain the same volume of direct trains to and from Basel, Berlin, Hamburg, Hannover and Stuttgart, but the impact will actually be greater at those more distant cities.

The key changes are summarised below (not all station calls have been included).
All services operate every two hours

München ↔ Hamburg via Stuttgart and Köln Hbf

Usual route:
München - Augsburg - Ulm - Stuttgart - Mannheim ↔ Frankfurt Flughafen Fernbf - Siegburg/Bonn - Köln Hbf - Dortmund - Bremen - Hamburg

July 16th to August 12th:
München - Augsburg - Ulm - Stuttgart - Mannheim ↔ Mainz - Koblenz - Bonn - Köln Hbf - Dortmund - Bremen - Hamburg

August 13th to December 14th:
München - Augsburg - Ulm - Stuttgart - Heidelberg - Darmstadt ↔ Frankfurt Flughafen Fernbf - Siegburg/Bonn - Köln Hbf - Dortmund - Bremen - Hamburg
This will be the only service during these dates which will travel between Frankfurt Airport / Flughafen and Stuttgart, Ulm and Augsburg.
Heidelberg isn't usually connected to Frankfurt Airport / Flughafen by ICE trains.

(München) - Stuttgart ↔ Dortmund - (Hamburg) via Köln Messe / Deutz

Usual route:
(München - Augsburg - Ulm) - Stuttgart - Mannheim ↔ Frankfurt Flughafen Fernbf - Siegburg/Bonn - Köln Messe / Deutz - Dortmund - (Bremen - Hamburg)

July 16th to December 14th:
(München - Augsburg - Ulm) - Stuttgart - Mannheim ↔ Mainz - Wiesbaden - Köln Messe / Deutz - Dusseldorf

München - Stuttgart ↔ Leipzig - Berlin

Usual route:
München - Augsburg - Ulm - Stuttgart - Mannheim ↔ Frankfurt(Main) Hbf - Fulda - Erfurt - Leipzig - Halle(Saale) - Berlin

July 16th to December 14th:
München - Augsburg - Ulm - Stuttgart - Mannheim ↔ Mainz - Frankfurt(Main) Hbf - Fulda - Kassel - Hannover - Hamburg
As a consequence Ulm and Stuttgart will temporarily be deprived of direct rail links with Leipzig and Halle(Saale).

Stuttgart - Mannheim - Frankfurt Flughafen ↔ Hannover - Hamburg

Usual route:
Stuttgart - Mannheim - Frankfurt Flughafen ↔ Frankfurt(Main) Hbf - Fulda - Kassel - Hannover - Hamburg

July 16th to December 14th:
Stuttgart - Darmstadt ↔ Frankfurt(Main) Hbf - Fulda - Kassel - Braunschweig - Wolfsburg - Berlin
As a consequence Frankfurt Flughafen / Airport will temporarily be deprived of direct rail links with Hannover.
Also the only trains which between the airport and Hamburg during these dates will be taking the longer route via Köln.

(Interlaken) - Basel ↔ Braunschweig - Berlin

Usual route:
(Interlaken - Bern) - Basel - Freiburg(Breisgau) - Offenburg - Karlsruhe - Mannheim Hbf ↔ Frankfurt(Main) Hbf - Fulda - Erfurt - Kassel - Braunschweig - Wolfsburg - Berlin

July 16th to December 14th: (see the note below)
(Interlaken - Bern) - Basel - Freiburg(Breisgau) - Offenburg - Karlsruhe - Mannheim Hbf ↔ Frankfurt(Main) Hbf - Fulda - Erfurt - Kassel - Hannover - Hamburg

Zurich - Basel ↔ Hannover - Hamburg

Usual route:
(Chur) - Zurich - Basel - Freiburg(Breisgau) - Baden-Baden - Karlsruhe - Mannheim Hbf ↔ Frankfurt(Main) Hbf - Fulda - Erfurt - Kassel - - Hannover - Hamburg

July 16th to December 14th: (see the note below)
(Chur) - Zurich - Basel - Freiburg(Breisgau) - Baden-Baden - Karlsruhe - Mannheim Hbf ↔ Frankfurt(Main) Hbf - Frankfurt(Main) Hbf - Fulda - Erfurt - Leipzig - Halle(Saale) - Berlin
When this service was altered to this route during 2023, the trains were ultimately turned around in Basel.
If this doesn't happen, Zurich will temporarily be deprived of a direct daytime rail link to/from Hannover and Hamburg, but the short term gain will be direct rail links between Switzerland's largest city and both Leipzig and Berlin.

Basel ↔ Köln - Hamburg

Usual route:
Basel - Freiburg(Breisgau) - Offenburg - Karlsruhe - Mannheim Hbf ↔ Frankfurt Flughafen Fernbf - Siegburg/Bonn - Köln Hbf - Dortmund - Bremen - Hamburg

July 16th to August 9th:
Basel - Freiburg(Breisgau) - Offenburg - Karlsruhe - Mannheim Hbf ↔ Mainz - Koblenz - Bonn - Köln Hbf - Dortmund - Bremen - Hamburg

August 10th to December 14th: (see the note below)
Basel - Freiburg(Breisgau) - Offenburg - Karlsruhe - Mannheim Hbf ↔ Weisbaden - Köln Hbf
As a consequence Frankfurt Flughafen / Airport will temporarily be deprived of direct rail links with Basel, Freiburg(Breisgau), Karlsruhe and Offenburg.
Also because this service will be turning around in Köln there will be fewer trains travelling between Frankfurt Airport and both Bremen and Hamburg.

Basel ↔ Köln - Amsterdam

From July 15th the daily ICE train which takes a Basel - Freiburg(Breisgau) - Offenburg - Karlsruhe - Mannheim Hbf ↔ Frankfurt Flughafen Fernbf - Siegburg/Bonn - Köln Hbf - Arnhem - Utrecht - Amsterdam route is to be permanently withdrawn.
It can't resume from the December 15th timetable change due to scheduled works on the line between Duisburg and Arnhem.

Also worth knowing:

1: From Aug 10th to Aug 30th the railway between Karlsruhe and Baden Baden will be closed, hence trains will be turned around in Karlsruhe, with an hourly shuttle service of ICE trains on a Basel - Freiburg(Breisgau) - Offenburg - Baden Baden route.
Buses will connect Karlsruhe with Baden Baden.

2: From September 2nd the Frankfurt ↔ Milan ECE train is scheduled to return, and in both directions it will be taking a new route of Milano Centrale - Como - Lugano - Bellinzona - Zurich - Basel ↔ Freiburg(Breisgau) - Offenburg - Karlsruhe - Mannheim - Frankfurt (Main).

Author

Simon Harper

I wanted to share my passion for train travel and explain how anyone can take the fantastic journeys I have taken.

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