Route numbering system in Germany

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Route numbers are used to designate and identify railway lines or individual sections of them. In Germany and at Deutsche Bahn there are a total of three different numbering systems that differ according to their area of ​​application. In addition, there are the numbers of the book timetables that are not considered here.

STREDA route number (VzG route number)

STREDA stands for the DB route data system, in which all railway routes in Germany are stored.

VzG stands for directory of locally permissible speeds . These are internal documents of the regional areas of DB Netz , in which the maximum permissible speed is recorded in sections for each route of the corresponding regional area. It serves as a working basis for the timetable publication ( book timetable ) for the train drivers .


The numbering system used in STREDA and VzG was developed between 1970 and 1975 by the surveying service of the Deutsche Bundesbahn . Based on this number system, the DB database application in 1984 DB line data - abbreviated STREDA - developed and introduced nationwide 1989th

The route numbers of the Deutsche Reichsbahn were integrated into the DB system in 1993 by introducing the number 6 to the existing DR route numbers . The numbers of some cross-border routes in the area of ​​the Federal Railroad were also adjusted, for example:


The STREDA numbering system enables any infrastructure elements of a route such as operating points , bridges , tunnels , signals , etc. to be clearly assigned using the four-digit VzG route number and the route kilometers . The VzG contains all routes that meet the requirements for the implementation of scheduled or planned train traffic. STREDA includes planned, under construction, closed, dismantled, sold and non-built routes, insofar as rights or legal obligations are assigned to the railway.

The STREDA route numbers are therefore the only official route numbers. They are unique and, unlike the course book number, do not change over time. STREDA route numbers are therefore also used outside of Deutsche Bahn AG for tenders for construction work, planning of buildings, spatial planning, etc.


The STREDA route numbers are classified according to the federal state in which the route begins as follows:


Here are a few examples from practice to illustrate:

Course book number

In the course book , the course book sections (KBS) are sorted according to three-digit numbers. They serve to make it easier for passengers to find their way around the timetable tables in the timetable. The course book sections are therefore classified and numbered according to local and traffic-related aspects, such as B. Train runs. The numbering of the course book routes has been changed to a large extent since the Second World War in 1950, 1972 (start of the summer timetable May 28) and 1992. There are always minor changes when the timetable changes.

The course book route numbers are therefore not always unique in terms of time and location. Strictly speaking, a route book route conceals a traffic-wise summary of VzG routes or parts thereof over which the trains of a route book route travel.


The rough division of the course book lines at the hundreds is partly based on the earlier borders of the directorates of the former Deutsche Bundesbahn and Deutsche Reichsbahn .

Museum and park railways are sometimes also listed in the timetable. Your numbers are five digits.


Many trains run over several VzG routes, although they are assigned to a continuous timetable. The KBS 310 Hanover – Braunschweig – Magdeburg includes, as an example, the following VzG routes in whole or in part:

  • 1730: Hannover Hbf – Lehrte – Braunschweig Hbf
  • 1900: Braunschweig Hbf – Abzw Weddel – Helmstedt
  • 6400: Helmstedt – Eilsleben (near Magdeburg)
  • 6110: Eilsleben (b Magdeburg) –Magdeburg Hbf

La route number

Like the course book route numbers, the task of slow speed route numbers is to summarize several VzG routes or sections of them traveled during a train journey from A to B in a meaningful traffic and operational sense. They serve as a working aid for easier orientation for the driver on the routes that he often travels one after the other.


The numbering and classification of the La route numbers are not subject to a consistent or clear system. In addition, the numbering is not unique across the entire DB Netz route network. In the area of ​​the former Deutsche Reichsbahn with the East and Southeast branches of DB Netz, the La route numbers are always three-digit and, in the hundreds, are subject to a certain local system, similar to the course book route numbers. There is also no numbering across branch boundaries. Nevertheless, the La route numbers are only unique here for one branch.

In the area of ​​the former Deutsche Bundesbahn with the branches north, center, west, southwest and south of DB Netz, the numbering of the La routes is one to three digits. However, there are only three so-called La areas, which also assign the La route numbers. Thus, the La route numbers in the area of ​​the former Deutsche Bundesbahn are numbered across branch boundaries of DB Netz and therefore not clearly per branch. In recent times, the VzG route numbers have been used directly as the La route number in individual cases.

As a special feature, the letter a or b is used after the La route numbers to differentiate the direction of travel.


The La route 1 in the La area south runs from Mannheim Hbf via Stuttgart to Munich Hbf and includes all or part of the following VzG routes:

  • 4000: Mannheim Hbf – Heidelberg Hbf – Bruchsal
  • 4130: Bruchsal – Bretten
  • 4800: Bretten – Illingen route change 4842/4800
  • 4842: Illingen route change 4842/4800 – Sersheim route change 4800/4842
  • 4800: Sersheim route change 4800/4842 – Stuttgart Hbf
  • 4700: Stuttgart Hbf – Ulm Hbf
  • 4700/5302: Ulm Hbf – Neu-Ulm
  • 5302: Neu-Ulm – Augsburg Hbf
  • 5503: Augsburg Hbf – Munich Hbf

In addition, route 1 of the La area south includes all relevant parallel routes, such as the freight train tracks between Bruchsal and the Bruchsal Ost junction (route 4131) or the S-Bahn tracks in the Stuttgart area (routes 4801 and 4701).

Other number systems

Various projects by institutions and private individuals deal with the recording of historical railway infrastructure. For this they usually use route numbers that differ from the VzG numbers. Example of this:

Historical naming systems


A designation system was introduced in Saxony at the time of the Royal Saxon State Railways . It consisted of the respective first letters of the respective start and end points of the routes, possibly supplemented by lower case letters to avoid duplication. The system was also retained and further developed at the Dresden Reich Railway Directorate of the Deutsche Reichsbahn as the successor to the Royal Saxon State Railways.


A comprehensive list can be found on the private website

Deutsche Reichsbahn (GDR)

The Deutsche Reichsbahn had introduced a comparable system that made do with three-digit numbers, offered reserves and also included a subdivision into main and branch lines. The latter were given route numbers from 500. Some routes that had already been closed at the time of introduction and were no longer under the legal ownership of the DR were no longer included. In 1993 it was integrated into the system of the Bundesbahn-STREDA route numbers by introducing the number 6 to the existing route numbers .

foreign countries


In Denmark there is a route number directory which is contained in two pamphlets published by Banedanmark with the names Strækningsoversierter Vest and Strækningsoversierter Øst . These route directories, which are continuously updated, contain the complete track plans for the entire Danish Banedanmark route network.

In earlier years the railway lines were designated with letters. These each formed the abbreviation for the start and end stations such as For example : TdrHoj on the Tønder – Højer Sluse line or VerS on the Vester Sottrup – Skelde line .


In France there is a six-digit number for every railway line owned by the network operator SNCF Réseau :

  • 001 000 to 204 000 Est region
  • 216,000 to 328,000 North region
  • 340,000 to 554,000 Region Ouest
  • 569,000 to 790,000 South-Ouest region
  • 800,000 to 947,000 South-Est region
  • 952,000 to 990,000 Île-de-France region


In addition to the course book route numbering system, which is published by Resplus, there is a route directory that is maintained by the state authority Trafikverket . Every railway line has a two-digit number - the inland railway is an exception , which is no longer under state administration. With their route number (99), all branching routes that are not managed by Trafikverket are also included.


  • Railway Atlas Germany . 9th edition. Schweers + Wall, Aachen 2014, ISBN 978-3-89494-145-1 .
  • Ulrich Rockelmann (Ed.): The great archive of the railway lines in Germany. Deutsche Bahn - private railways - museum railways . GeraMond, Munich 2004– *, ISSN  1614-9181
  • Hans-Jürgen Geisler: DB route data - STREDA. Regulatory framework and infrastructure data for the Deutsche Bahn route . In: Railway engineer . 49, 12, 1998, ISSN  0013-2810 , pp. 18-21.

Web links

Individual evidence