High-speed rail line Schwerin – Lübeck

This Schwerin – Lübeck high-speed rail line (HSL) is part of a series of proposals for the triangle Hamburg – Berlin – Szczecin. Read first the introduction, on new rail infrastructure north of Berlin. At present there is no direct rail line from Schwerin to Lübeck: passengers must change at Bad Kleinen.

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

All that is required for a direct link is a new south- to west curve, west of Bad Kleinen. That can be combined with two previous proposals:

The remaining section, from Grevesmühlen to Bad Kleinen via Bobitz, is at present single-track. It would also be upgraded.

Pattern of new high-speed rail lines into Schwerin, with regional lines.The combined proposals would create a regional HSL between Schwerin (population 95 000) and Lübeck (population 210 000), and a longer high-speed route from Berlin to Lübeck via Schwerin – using the existing Berlin – Hamburg HSL to Ludwigslust, and its branch to Schwerin.

The only completely new alignment on the Schwerin – Lübeck HSL, is the curve from the Schwerin – Wismar line toward Grevesmühlen. Its function is to bypass Bad Kleinen, and the southern section would be identical with the bypass toward Wismar, proposed earlier. Combining the projects requires an additional grade-separated junction on the bypass.

The line out of Wismar would be upgraded as far as Lübstorf station. The existing line turns north-east toward Bad Kleinen, a lakeside village on the Schweriner See. The new line would run north on higher ground, and then split – one branch to Wismar, and one toward Grevesmühlen and Lübeck. The Grevesmühlen branch would rejoin the existing alignment, at the Dambecker See.

Most of the alignment from there to Grevesmühlen can be upgraded for higher speeds, but there are curves on either side of Plüschow station. A bypass could run close to Naschendorf, but it is also possible to realign the section at Plüschow itself. East of Grevesmühlen, the line would join the proposed high-speed line from Rostock.

High-speed rail line Schwerin - Lübeck, with double bypass of Bad Kleinen.

The upgrading of the 39-km line from Grevesmühlen to Lübeck Hauptbahnhof is not considered here. It would probably require new alignments, east of Lüdersdorf and east of Schönberg. The new high-speed route Schwerin – Lübeck would be 74-75 km long, and journey time would be about 35 minutes.

It would be logical for regional trains from Lübeck to also bypass Bad Kleinen, and run directly to Schwerin via Lübstorf. A separate Lübeck – Wismar inter-regional service could run via the HSL, stopping only at Grevesmühlen. Bad Kleinen would still be served by Schwerin – Wismar trains and the regional lines from Schwerin to Rostock and Neubrandenburg. It was never a logical location for a railway junction, and there is no reason to maintain it as such.

Introduction of a high-speed route from Berlin to Lübeck, via Schwerin, would create problems in Schwerin itself. The railway is double track, but curved, with several level crossings. A tunnel under the existing line seems the only option – preferably four-track, but space is limited.

High-speed rail line Schwerin – Lübeck

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