High-speed rail line Lübeck – Rostock

This Lübeck – Wismar – Rostock high-speed rail line (HSL) is part of a series of proposals for the triangle Hamburg – Berlin – Szczecin. Read first the introduction: New rail infrastructure north of Berlin.

The new HSL would link three historic cites along the Baltic coast, Lübeck (population 210 000), Wismar (population 45 000), and Rostock (population 203 000).

HSL (ABS/NBS) Lübeck - Wismar - Rostock

There is no through rail line at present, and there never was. The line east from Lübeck does not go to Wismar: instead it turns inland to Bad Kleinen, a junction station. There it connects with the Schwerin – Rostock line, and the line to Wismar, both electrified.

The line Lübeck – Bad Kleinen, map by NordNordWest, under CC 3.0 licence..

From Wismar, there is also a single-track diesel line to Rostock. A new HSL, parallel to the coast, would avoid the detour via Bad Kleinen. The main problem is the station location at Wismar, where there is no clear east-west alignment available. The HSL could form part of a longer high-speed corridor to Stralsund, but only the Lübeck – Rostock section is considered here. (The line can also be combined with a high-speed route Lübeck – Schwerin, using a new western bypass of Bad Kleinen).

From Lübeck Hauptbahnhof, the existing line to Grevesmühlen would be upgraded as Ausbaustrecke. (East of both Lüdersdorf and Schönberg stations, a new alignment would be needed). East of Grevesmühlen, the existing line turns toward Bad Kleinen: the HSL would run straight to Wismar on a new alignment. The HSL described here would not follow the the A20 Autobahn, which has a sinuous alignment. (An alternative along the A20 south of Wismar, is described separately).

HSL Lübeck - Wismar, alignment east of Grevesmühlen.

At Wismar, the line could run south of the town, with a new station where it crosses the line from Schwerin. A better option is a line in tunnel, with a station close to the centre. There are several possible alignments: the one shown below passes the south-eastern edge of the historic centre. It would be partly in tunnel, but would run alongside the existing road viaduct over the rail line (Dr.-Leber-Strasse / Rostocker Strasse). The existing station would be relocated southwards, creating a single new station, at the crossing with the old line. Trains from Schwerin could use an additional viaduct with platforms, to run through to Rostock. The HSL would rejoin the existing alignment near Hornstorf.

HSL Lübeck - Rostock with new alignment in tunnel through Wismar.

East of Wismar, the line would first follow the existing line to Rostock, and then diverge onto a new alignment. (The A20 is too far south in this case). The HSL would rejoin the existing line, on the outskirts of Rostock. The section into Rostock Hauptbahnhof is curved, and would need local realignment. The station itself is adequate for new traffic: it is close to the historic city centre, although Rostock has expanded northwards toward Warnemünde.

HSL Lübeck - Rostock, line into Rostock.

Rostock has a small S-Bahn network, and would be the terminus of a proposed HSL route from Berlin. East of Rostock, the HSL can be extended to Stralsund, following the existing line, which is relatively direct.

The new line from Lübeck to Wismar would be 60 km long, and the new Wismar – Rostock section about 50 km. With one stop, journey time for the 110 km Lübeck – Rostock line, should be just under 40 minutes.

High-speed rail line Lübeck – Rostock

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