The line is still used by regional trains on the Berlin–Angermünde route (some to or from Stralsund) and on the Angermünde–Szczecin route as well as the long-distance trains on the entire Berlin–Szczecin line. Between central Berlin and the suburban station of Bernau the line also has its own suburban tracks used by the Berlin S-Bahn. The line is also a major route for the transport of freight between Germany and Poland. Except for the section between Passow and Szczecin Gumieńce the entire route is electrified.
The route originally began at Stettiner Bahnhof (Stettin station)—renamed in 1952 as Nordbahnhof (North station)—to the north of central Berlin. The track first runs briefly to the northwest and then turns toward the northeast. Near the current Berlin Ringbahn and the Prussian Northern Railway, the line formerly had a separate alignment, but this was abandoned in 1897. Since then, the line has run along the Ringbahn and along the Northern Railway to Bornholmer Straße where it returns to the old alignment. Before reaching the Berlin city limits north of Buch, the line has no significant curves.
At Bernau the line swings briefly to the east to avoid the medieval centre. As far as Angermünde it runs largely parallel with federal highway B2, which it crosses several times. To the north of the town of Eberswalde is the tunnel under the Oder–Havel Canal (Hohenzollern Canal): one of the most important engineering structures on the line.
The last section of the line turns a little more to the east towards the Oder river. In the last few kilometres before the border with Poland the line comes within a few hundred metres of the state border of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern without actually crossing it. About three kilometres beyond Rosow, and 119.6 km from the beginning of the line, the line crosses the German-Polish border. In Szczecin-Gumieńce, the railway joins the Bützow–Szczecin railway and then runs to Szczecin central station.
The station’s placement reflects the reasons for the line’s construction: it is located on the banks of the Oder at the foot of the hill on which the centre of the city is located. The station building does not face the city, but rather the promenade next to the quay. The line was Berlin's first fast connection to the sea, which connected Prussia to the rest of world by steamship from Stettin.