This regional rail line Neuruppin – Eberswalde is part of a series of proposals, for the triangle Hamburg – Berlin – Szczecin. Read first the introduction, on new rail infrastructure north of Berlin.
The proposal is a tangential line, about 40-50 km north of central Berlin. It would combine the existing Neuruppin – Löwenberg line, with new infrastructure from Löwenberg to Ruhlsdorf.
Trains would then use the proposed regional rail line Oranienburg – Eberswalde. A Neuruppin – Eberswalde line is a logical extension of the outer-circle rail route Brandenburg – Rathenow – Neuruppin. (Only the Brandenburg – Rathenow section is in use at present, but the rest can be restored).
The proposed line roughly follows the Eberswalder Urstromtal, a linear depression formed in the Ice Age. Near Löwenberg station, the line would descend about 20 m into the depression, but there are no major topographic obstacles.
Eberswalder Urstromtal, image by Grabenstedt under CC 3.0 licence…
Neuruppin – Löwenberg
Löwenberg is a rural station on the main line north from Berlin (Nordbahn). It it the start of a branch line north to Rheinsberg, which is still in operation, although only in summer. The link from Neuruppin was added later, joining the branch line at Herzberg. It is still in use, but carries no regular service.
The 29-km Neuruppin – Löwenberg line links two radial lines out of Berlin, but does not connect regional centres: Löwenberg is only a village. The proposal is not only to reopen the line for regular traffic, but to upgrade and electrify it.
The earlier proposal for a high-speed rail line Berlin – Rostock includes upgrading of the Nordbahn for high speed. For stations like Löwenberg, that would include through tracks for high-speed trains. The platforms would then have sufficient capacity for a regional service from Neuruppin, but the junction must be grade-separated. A single-track flyover is probably sufficient.
Löwenberg – Ruhlsdorf
From Löwenberg station, a new line would run toward Liebenwalde, dropping about 20-30 m onto the floor of the depression. The alignment could run just south of Liebenberg, and then parallel to the Liebenwalde road, which descends along the escarpment (yellow line). A shorter alignment further south, would drop to the valley at Grüneberg (shown in white). The line would then cross open farmland to Liebenwalde.
The line would have a station at the edge of Liebenwalde, just south of the Voss Canal. It would then cross the canal, with two options for the alignment toward Ruhlsdorf and Marienwerder. The line could cross the old Finowkanal, and then run parallel to it, crossing it again near Zerpenschleuse (shown in white). In that case, it would have a new station at Zerpenschleuse. Alternatively, it could cross the newer Oder-Havel Canal, and run parallel to its south bank (in orange). The water authority WSA has a detailed canal map of the region.
In both cases, the line would cross the Heidekrautbahn branch to Gross Schönebeck, near the halt Zerpenschleuse – Ruhlsdorf. The new line would continue south-east, to join the proposed Oranienburg – Eberswalde line, north of Ruhlsdorf. The new alignment from Löwenberg to Ruhlsdorf would be 29-30 km long.
The shared section of line (about 15 km) would pass through the built-up area of Finowfurt, Finow, and Eberswalde, joining the Berlin – Szczecin line near Eberswalde Hauptbahnhof.
Trains could terminate at Eberswalde. A more logical option is to operate the line together with the line to Frankfurt (Oder), which would need electrification and upgrading. That would create a through tangential route Neuruppin – Eberswalde – Frankfurt. In turn, it could be linked to a restored Brandenburg – Rathenow – Neuruppin route – although probably not with through trains, since that would be a very long regional line.
The Neuruppin – Eberswalde line would be 75 km long. Much of that would be on new or fully rebuilt alignment: with relatively few stations, journey time could be close to one hour.