This fast Schwerin – Wismar rail route is part of a series of proposals for the triangle Hamburg – Berlin – Szczecin. Read first the introduction: New rail infrastructure north of Berlin.
The route would include upgraded existing lines, and some new alignments. It would connect to the proposed Lübeck – Rostock high-speed line (HSL), and has little logic without that line.
Together, the two lines create a new high-speed route Schwerin – Rostock, shorter than the existing line via Bad Kleinen and Bützow. That would also form part of a longer high-speed route: Hamburg – Schwerin – Rostock – Stralsund, in combination with the proposed Rostock – Stralsund HSL.
Primarily, the upgraded line would link Schwerin and Rostock. With an alternative Lübeck – Rostock alignment south of Wismar, that would be more obvious. Nevertheless, the line would also be the logical route, for any high-speed trains from Berlin to Wismar via Schwerin.
The existing rail line Schwerin – Wismar is 32 km long, and relatively direct. For historical reasons there is a railway junction at Bad Kleinen (population 3700), with the single-track line from Lübeck, and the line to Rostock.
The large junction station at Bad Kleinen, image by Bk1086 under CC 3.0 licence…
Schwerin (population 95 000), is built around several small lakes, west of the larger Schweriner See. The rail line from the south curves to avoid the lakes, and then passes through the city centre, where the alignment is often confined between buildings. Upgrading of the line in the centre is not considered further here.
North of the main station, the alignment has more room for expansion and upgrading. A new alignment around Bad Kleinen would begun near Lübstorf station, and run on higher group west of Bad Kleinen. (This new line can also have a branch toward Grevesmühlen, for a high-speed route to Lübeck).
The new section could rejoin the existing alignment at Petersdorf station (which is in fact nearer to Moidentin). The alignment beyond this point depends on the alignment of the Lübeck – Rostock HSL. The version initially proposed would run at the edge of Wismar city centre, via a tunnel from the south-west. It would have a new station, at the road viaduct over the railway (Dr.-Leber-Strasse / Rostocker Strasse).
In that case, the logical option is an additional south-to-east viaduct with platforms, at that new station. Trains from Schwerin would then use the same exit line towards Rostock, as trains from Lübeck. To reach the new station, the line between Petersdorf and Wismar would be doubled and upgraded.
A central Wismar HSL alignment…
On the other hand, if the Lübeck – Rostock HSL runs south of Wismar, a new curve is needed, northeast from Petersdorf. It would turn toward the Autobahn A20, and then cross it to join the HSL bypass of Wismar. This option is shown in purple, on the overview map. In this case, only some fast trains would serve Wismar, terminating there. The existing line from Petersdorf into Wismar would be doubled and upgraded.
Doubling and some upgrading of the Schwerin – Wismar line, would be justified in itself, for more intensive regional services. However, upgrading for high speeds, on a 32-km line, would not be justified solely to serve Wismar. The proposal is essentially a bypass of Bad Kleinen, with a link to a high-speed line toward Rostock. As part of a wider regional network of high-speed lines, this would make sense. Regional trains from Wismar could run via Schwerin to Ludwigslust or Hagenow, or on a new route to Lüneburg.