Berlin-Blankenheim railway

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Berlin–Blankenheim or Wetzlar Railway
Native name Wetzlarer Bahn
Locale Berlin, Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt
Line number
  • 6118
  • 6024 (S-Bahn)
Line length 188.1 km (116.9 mi)
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Route number 200.7, 207, ex258, 335
Route map

Operating points and lines[1][page needed]

from Zoologischer Garten Berlin S3.svgBerlin S5.svgBerlin S7.svgBerlin S75.svg
11.2 00.0 Berlin-Charlottenburg
to Westend (to 1944), to Halensee
12.6 00.0 Berlin WestkreuzRingbahn Berlin S41.svgBerlin S42.svgBerlin S46.svg
Ringbahn freight tracks
A 100
to Spandau Berlin S3.svgBerlin S75.svg
14.6 00.0 Berlin-Grunewald
4.0 Berlin-Grunewald Gds junction
22.5 00.0 Nikolassee
from Zehlendorf Berlin S1.svg
Wannseebahn freight tracks
A 115
24.1 12.7 Berlin-Wannsee
B 1
to Stahnsdorf (until 1961)
Berlin-Kohlhasenbrück(1945 only)
Teltow Canal
Berlin-Kohlhasenbrück(1945 only)
BerlinBrandenburg state border
16.5 Griebnitzsee Ostto Potsdam Berlin S1.svgBerlin S7.svg
Berlin-Potsdam-Magdeburg railway
crosses border twice
18.7 Potsdam Medienstadt Babelsberg
21.7 Rehbrücke
24.3 Bergholz(until 1998) outer ring
25.1 Wilhelmshorst junctionfrom Potsdam
25.5 Wilhelmshorst
B 2
from Saarmund
A 10
28.5 Michendorf
to Jüterbog and Seddin freight yard
32.6 Seddin
from Seddin freight yard
34.7 to Potsdam
freight bypass (until 1998)
from Potsdam
37.9 Beelitz-Heilstätten
A 9
43.9 Borkheide
52.1 Brück
B 246
57.9 Baitz
B 102
Brandenburg Towns Railway (until 2003)
from Brandenburg and Treuenbrietzen
(until 2003)
65.2 Belzig
72.7 Borne(until 1991)
77.8 Wiesenburg
to Dessau
BrandenburgSaxony-Anhalt state border
B 246
92.9 Nedlitz(until 2003)
97.6 Deetz(until 2003)
102.0 Lindau (Anhalt)(until 2003)
B 184
110.2 to Biederitz
111.5 Güterglück(until 2003) Biederitz–Dessau
112.6 from Dessau
Animal feed plant siding
120.2 Barby(passenger trains until 2004)
124.4 Werkleitz junctionto Magdeburg
126.8 Tornitz junctionfrom Calbe Ost
130.7 Calbe West
to Bernburg
A 14
B 71
137.6 Neugattersleben(until 1994)
143.9 Rathmannsdorf(until 1998)
B 185
from Magdeburg and Bernburg
147.3 Güsten
150.6 Giersleben Stellwerk GOto Aschersleben
B 6
from Aschersleben
163.4 Sandersleben(Keilbahnhof)
to Halle
169.8 Hettstedt
Hettstedt copper and brass works
to Gerbstedt
173.2 Siersleben(until 1993)
B 180, B 242
from Wippra
179.0 Klostermansfeld(formerly Mansfeld)
181.3 Helbra
184.8 Hergisdorf
from Halle
188.1 Blankenheim junction station
to Sangerhausen

The Berlin-Blankenheim railway or Wetzlarer Bahn ("Wetzlar Railway") is a railway line in the German states of Berlin, Brandenburg and Saxony-Anhalt. It is a section of the Kanonenbahn (Cannons Railway) between Berlin and Metz, built between 1877 and 1882. Wetzlar used to be an important rail junction on the Kanonenbahn. The Berlin-Blankenheim line originally ran from Berlin, via Bad Belzig, Güsten, Sandersleben to Blankenheim, where a remnant of it still joins the Halle–Kassel line. The WiesenburgGüsten section has carried no traffic since 2004 and is now closed. Only the Berlin–Wiesenburg section is electrified. The Sandersleben–Blankenheim section has only a single track, while the remainder of the still-operating parts of the line is duplicated.


The track was built at the instigation of the Prussian government between 1877 and 1882 as a direct militarily strategic railway, bypassing urban areas, connecting to Alsace-Lorraine, which had been acquired from France as a result of the War of 1870-71. The Berlin–Blankenheim section was the longest section of the Kanonenbahn that did not use existing lines. The building of the line away from urban areas was a disadvantage from the outset as there was little regular traffic on the line, except on a few of its sections. For long-distance traffic between Berlin and western and south-western Germany, other routes via Magdeburg, and Halle or Leipzig were more important.

In 1923, a connection was opened from Wiesenburg to Roßlau near Dessau. The section from Berlin to Wiesenburg was upgraded, but the Wiesenburg-Güsten section lost importance, since in addition to routes via Magdeburg, routes via Dessau were now available.

In 1961, the section from Drewitz (now Potsdam Medienstadt Babelsberg) to Berlin–Wannsee was closed to passenger traffic, as a result of the building of the Berlin Wall. Interzonal trains between Berlin and West Germany were rerouted via Potsdam. For freight transport this section was of great importance especially due to the Seddin freight depot.

In the 1980s it was planned to upgrade the line as an alternative to the congested BitterfeldNaumburg line for freight. Catenary stanchions for electrification were established in the Güterglück and Blankenheim areas, but no further work was carried out. Instead, the Güterglück–Berlin section was duplicated and electrified up to 1993. It was used by Intercity-Express and Intercity trains during construction work on the Berlin-Potsdam-Magdeburg line completed on 14 December 1995. For this purpose, some sections had been upgraded for a top speed of 160 km/h.

The Wiesenburg–Güsten section then experienced a gradual decline. In 1998, Regionalbahn trains stopped running between Barby and Güsten and instead ran between Güsten and Magdeburg. There still remained an InterRegio train from Berlin via Wernigerode to Aachen and a Berlin–Wernigerode weekend escape train. In 1999, these trains were canceled or diverted, leaving the Barby–Güsten section without traffic. The diversion of regional trains to Magdeburg was not successful and by 2002 only two pairs of trains on weekends were still operating; on 13 December 2003 all services were discontinued. At the same time was freight operations between Wiesenburg and Güterglück were moved to the Brandenburg–Magdeburg line. On 11 December 2004, the line was closed.

Developments in recent years[edit]

The Berlin–Belzig–Wiesenburg section has been served for several years by Regional-Express services (currently line RE 7) hourly to Belzig and every two hours continuing to Dessau. Long-distance trains were gradually reduced. With the opening of the line under the Berlin Tiergarten and the commencement of Intercity trains via Wittenberg, the last two inter-city trains via Dessau were terminated in December 2007. Since then only a few night trains run via Dessau. In contrast traffic is dense in the Berlin area. Regional services RB 22 and MR 33 (operated by Märkische Regiobahn) run between Wannsee and Michendorf or Michendorf and Seddin. In the Berlin suburbs, all S-Bahn, regional and mainline services to Potsdam run on the Berlin-Blankenheim line.

The section from Wiesenburg to Güsten is now closed. Only two short sections at Barby and Calbe are still served by regional or freight traffic. Güsten station and its former depot has been scaled back considerably. Between Güsten and Sangerhausen Regional–Express services run every two hours on the Magdeburg–Erfurt route.


  1. ^ Eisenbahnatlas Deutschland (German railway atlas). Schweers + Wall. 2009. ISBN 978-3-89494-139-0. 
  • Klee, Wolfgang (1998). Die Kanonenbahn Berlin–Metz (in German). Stuttgart. ISBN 3-613-71082-X. 
  • Krebs, Jürgen (2004). Kanonenbahn Berlin–Sangerhausen. Zwischen Fläming und Mansfelder Land (in German). Gernrode: Herdam Fotoverlag. ISBN 3-933178-09-6. 

External links[edit]