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ICE of Deutsche Bahn

Photo: Jan Woitas/ picture alliance/dpa

On the railway line between Hamburg and Berlin, construction work will lead to detours and longer travel times for months in the coming year. From August 16 to December 14, 2024, 100 switches and 74 kilometers of track are to be renewed, Deutsche Bahn announced. Long-distance traffic must therefore be diverted, and longer travel times are to be expected. "There will also be restrictions in regional and freight traffic – also on the further route in the direction of Hamburg," the state-owned group announced.

Earlier construction work resulted in 30 minutes more travel time

With 230 ICE, regional and freight trains and up to 30,000 passengers per day, the route between the capital and Hamburg is one of the most important direct city connections in Germany. During extensive construction work on the line in autumn and winter 2021, long-distance traffic was diverted via Stendal and Uelzen, resulting in 30 minutes more travel time. The railway has not yet given any exact figures on the delays in the coming year, the timetables are still being drawn up.

The construction project is not part of the general renovation concept, with which numerous routes are to be fundamentally modernized in the coming years and closed for around six months each. The Hamburg – Berlin route is to be completely renovated in 2025, so it will be closed again in the year from 6 June to 13 December. According to Deutsche Bahn, the work now pending cannot be postponed to 2025: "There are clear deadlines for the maintenance of the infrastructure. Therefore, the construction measures must take place in the coming year," it said.