Germany: Delays & disruptions

Engineering works are happening in Germany. Major disruptions are listed below. You can check the status of a train on Deutsche Bahn's website and with Deutsche Bahn's traffic forecast tool.

IN THIS ARTICLE

Current disruption

1. Line closed: Mannheim to Stuttgart

11 April to 31 October 2020

The high-speed line from Mannheim to Stuttgart is closed for rebuilding. This affects IC, ICE and TGV trains, which are all diverted by alternative routes, normally adding about 45 minutes to the journey time. Note that some services are cancelled, among them the once-daily direct TGV from Paris to Munich and back. The EC114 and EC115 from Klagenfurt and Salzburg to Cologne and the German Ruhr region and vice versa are diverted in southern Germany and will not serve Augsburg, Stuttgart and Mannheim at all. These trains will instead run via Würzburg. 

2. Electrification Work in Southern Germany

14 September to 19 December 2020

The final phase of work to electrify the mainline railway between Ulm and Friedrichshafen will take place over an 14 week period in late 2020. During this period services are operated by bus between Ravensburg and Friedrichshafen resulting in extended journey times. This is the main route used by travellers accessing the north shore of Lake Constance. Alternative routes are available via Stuttgart and Singen or via Augsburg and Lindau.

3. Major Engineering Work in Eastern Germany

5 October until mid-December 2020

A section of the route between Berlin and Bitterfeld will be temporarily closed from October 5 for planned engineering work. This will cause some significant alterations to both regional and long-distance services with most of the latter diverted via Dessau. Among the routes affected are the fast ICE sevices from Berlin to Leipzig, Erfurt, Frankfurt and Munich. On diverted long-distance services, journey times will be extended by about an hour. Many regional trains are replaced by buses.

4. Disruption to International Trains from Paris and Brussels to Germany (Thalys, ICE and Nightjet)

14 to 20 November 2020

The main line from Brussels to Cologne will be closed between Aachen and Cologne for seven full days. This affects all direct international long-distance trains from Belgium to Germany, including Thalys, ICE and Nightjet services. All trains from Brussels will call as normal as Liège and Aachen, but will then be diverted via alternative route to Cologne, adding at least 60 minutes (and in some cases as much as 90 minutes) to the journey time. Note that arrivals and departure times are altered and in some cases the normal connections to / from Eurostar trains in Brussels will not be maintained. 

This disruption also affects all direct Thalys trains from Paris to destinations in Germany. It also affect the direct overnight sleeper services from Brussels to Vienna. Munich and Innsbruck.

5. Cancellation of Night Trains

1 July until mid-December 2020

Most night sleeper services to, from or throgh Germany are now running normally following the disruptions in spring and early summer due to COVID-19. But there are a handful of exceptions. The following services have not been reinstated: the direct overnight services from Berlin to Paris, Malmö, Bratislava, Budapest, Minsk and Moscow.  Note that the overnight train from Munich to Budapest is running, but there are currently no couchettes or sleeping cars on this train. The only accommodation on board this service is regular seating. 

Among the many overnight services which are running normally, with the full range of sleeping accommodation options, are trains from Brussels, Düsseldorf and Hamburg to both Innsbruck and Vienna; Berlin to Vienna and Kraków; Berlin and Potsdam to Freiburg, Basel and Zürich. Overnight sleeper services from southern Germany to Italy and Croatia are all running normally. 

6. Advance Notice of Major Disruptions to Selected Rail Services in Germany on certain dates in 2021

Various dates in 2021

Note that this list is not exhaustive, but here we give a heads-up about major engineering projects which will lead to line closures in Germany in the calendar year 2021. Note that the dates mentioned below are based on the best information currently available, but are subject to change. It is expected that train services may be retimed, diverted or cancelled because of major projects at the following locations on or around the dates specified: 

8 January until 27 March: Between Erfurt and Nürnberg (which will affect direct trains from Berlin and Leipzig to Munich)

28 March to 21 November: Between Ingolstadt and Münich 

24 April to 16 July: Between Göttingen and Kassel (which will affect ICE services from Hamburg and Hannover to Frankfurt-am-Main, Nürnberg and Munich)

31 July to 13 September: In and around Stuttgart Hauptbahnhof 

10 September to 31 October: Between Hamburg and Schwerin (which will affect trains from Hamburg to Rostock and Stralsund)

11 September to 11 December: Between Hamburg and Berlin


What to do if you experience a delay

Please speak to staff on the train or at the station if you are delayed. They will have the most up to date information and can tell you what to do. Also ask the staff to stamp your ticket with proof of delay. This will make it easier for you to travel on later trains.

Keep all of your tickets until you return home. They can be used to submit a claim to the rail operator if you incur any unavoidable additional costs (new tickets, taxis).

For more information, please see our Help article: What happens if I miss my connection. If you need to submit a claim, see: Submitting a claim to Deutsche Bahn.

If you have tickets for onward travel on trains which are scheduled to run as normal, refunds and exchanges are only permitted as per fare conditions.

Please note that this information is provided by the rail operator and cannot be guaranteed by Rail Europe.