Essen Stadtbahn

The light rail is a food belonging to the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan railway rapid transit system in North Rhine- Westphalian city food as well as the two neighboring cities of Mülheim an der Ruhr and Gelsenkirchen. Similar to the U -Bahn Frankfurt This is a mixed system of light rail, and ( full) underground, since a total of three lines ( U18) runs completely free of intersections, and thus is independent from the rest of the road; but added also the partially mixed operation with the tram to underground routes. The tram lines have only a few intersection-free sections. The Essenes light rail, as well as the rest of the urban public transport in Essen, from Essen Transport AG ( EVAG ) operated. Some lines also transport companies from neighboring communities are involved as Mitkonzessionär.

  • 4.1 LRVs B
  • 4.2 LRVs P86/P89


For the actual rail Food includes three standard gauge lines: U11, U17 and U18. In addition, Essen also has a "classic" tram lines with seven to around 52 kilometers of track length. This tram runs on meter gauge tracks and will run underground in the city center of Essen. While you use the previously built for the planned urban rail system tunnels and stations, but consistently have low-floor vehicles -facing platforms. An exception is the southern route to Bredeney where a mixed operation with the underground required a special solution.

The four-track station Essen Hauptbahnhof is the most important point of intersection between the three light rail and four, sometimes five dar. tram lines where a train platform the same switch between light rail and tram is possible. For this purpose the two different heights are connected to the platform halves levels and ramps. The assignment of the platforms is arranged so that the north is a direct transition from the tram lines from the south to the subways. For a comfortable and handicapped transfer in the opposite direction elevators and a bridge that spans the entire underground station provide. Otherwise, the tram and the tram, however, several stations use. Only the two lines 101 and 107 drive on one of the southern sections of the metro, from Essen Main Street to Martin. They use the high platforms of the subway. Therefore, on these two lines of high-floor tram cars come with fold-up steps are used. Due to the different track widths this route is equipped with three- rail tracks.

All three light rail lines run in the same cycle: Each line will be operated during peak hours in 10 -minute intervals, evenings and on weekends or public holidays at 15- minute intervals, and late in the evening in 30 -minute intervals. During trade fairs, on line U11 on weekends at 10- minute intervals, between Mass and Berliner Platz sometimes even in 5 -minute intervals. The operation is concluded on all three rail lines - the Essen concept of day or night following network - already around 23 clock.


During the first tram was built in Essen in 1893, began the planning for a partially underground rail until decades after the Second World War. The first delay line of the present city train emerged from the early 1960s, were partly laid as tram tracks on the median strip of the Ruhr fast way, exactly, that is, where the line path of today's U18 runs. In this case, an underground city railway was initially not planned. Construction work on the tram route in Ruhrschnellweg were made ​​simultaneously with the expansion of the Ruhr Quick path itself, since the latter up to this time only three lanes and level crossings had same and because of the strong increase in traffic was not powerful enough. Following the expansion of other ways to keep a public rapid transit agent on the Ruhrschnellweg were discussed, including some express buses on a separate lane. Ultimately, however, sat the variant with the traffic-related rapid tram in center position by. Thus arose parts of today's food - Mülheim route, which were initially connected by temporary exit ramps with the rest of the tram network.

The plans for a tunnel under the center of Essen by there before overground traffic streetcar began in 1961 Again, there were the considerations to relieve the above-ground road, crucial as well as the -. Around 1,400 × 700 meters quite small - Essen city center suffered from increasing traffic. The initial solutions ranged similarly from the retention of the tram at the surface with the creation of a new centralized switch station, up to the creation of a pure metro system in the Berlin or Hamburg. For various reasons, however, it was agreed to build an underground tram with possibility of future expansion to full metro. The idea at once to create a pure metro system was a result of in this case impossible, but necessary due to the existing passenger flows linking the system rejected the tram systems of the neighboring cities of the Ruhr.

Soon after that started with the actual planning of underground tunnels in the city center. Here, the planning extended simultaneously, include the construction of a highway tunnel to Ruhrschnellweg underneath downtown. In the end, put a so-called "Y- Resolution" by which it provided for the station Essen Hauptbahnhof as a central, four-track junction point of all lines and north of a branch and three ramps. The first construction project was 1964, the establishment of the station Planckstraße in the shell; here the connection to the existing above-ground tram line was provided to Margarethenhoehe for a later date. The first went into operation in underground tram route, however, was opened on October 5, 1967 552 -meter-long urban tunnel section with the station hall building. This was also the beginning for the entire metro light rail network of the Rhine -Ruhr region, since the station hall building was also the first underground railway station in North Rhine -Westphalia.

The next phase of construction, the continuous rail link from Essen to Mülheim along the Ruhr express way has been realized, at which, as already mentioned, was partially built back in the 1960s. This route was considered a " model line " for the other light rail construction projects. With the made ​​on 28 May 1977 Opening of a nearly eight -kilometer-long, continuous connection between Mülheim -Hot and Essen city center, including the underground stations Hot Church on Mülheim city and the metro stations Bismarck Platz, Essen Central Station and Vienna (today Hirschlandplatz ) in Essen, the first rail line of the network was opened, which was completely independent traced out by the road. Also on May 28, In 1977, the city railway station Porsche Course ( now the town hall food) in operation, which was operated by trams ( and still is ). The commissioning of the remaining five Mülheim underground stations followed on November 3, 1979.

In 1981, the route of line U17 was taken Margarethenhoehe including the Already in the 1960s, built in the shell Metro Station Planckstraße and the associated ramp in operation. The surface stops initially received low platforms that were raised in 2002 and placed in central position. At the same time, the two metro stations Berliner Platz and Essen University went to the grid; the first and last stop for the U18 and the second for the U17.

The next construction phase is now included for the first time from the construction of a tunnel section in the outskirts of Essen, namely the so-called southern route of the existing station hall building in direction Messe / Gruga or Bredeney. This route has been set up to Martin Street Station for the joint operation of three bar light rail and tram; south of that station branch the meter-gauge and standard gauge track pairs. It originated here four underground stations for the U11 and south of the junction of underground street station Florastraße. 1986, the traffic was recorded.

As far last major phase of construction, finally, the northern Außenast, carried out in two stages, added. In 1998, the tunnel from the station was completed by the University of Essen Essen Old Station, three years later the section was followed to Karlsplatz and on to the ramp II Schichtstraße. The U11 ended on Karlsplatz, while the U17 on up to Gelsenkirchen wrong from there, the aboveground portion north of Karlsplatz was expanded to 2001 based on an earlier tram line for the standard gauge rail operation. The Gelsenkirchen range of U17 ended 2001-2004 at the stop street Fischer, 2004 an additional two stations ( Schloss Horst and Buerer road ) were taken in Gelsenkirchen in operation. Since January 2010, now operates the line U11 to Gelsenkirchen Buerer street and replaces the line U17, which now runs only until Berliner Platz. The line U18 was for that purpose " line shopping " and continues from then until breakpoint Karlsplatz. Since September 2011, the line runs U11 continue to Gelsenkirchen Buerer road that line U17 replaced the U18 to stop Karlsplatz. The " line shopping " U18 wrong since September 2011 between Mülheim Hauptbahnhof and Berliner Platz in Essen.

Lines and stations

The Essen Stadtbahn system includes an underground trunk line in the center of Essen and four outer branches, each of which is traversed by a, sometimes even two lines. The main route is the section between Essen Main Station and Berliner Platz, the use all three lines. The northern section between Berlin and Karlsplatz is traversed by the lines U11 and U17. The distance between the stations Essen main railway station and Bismarck space is serviced by lines U17 and U18, on other lines operates only one line.

The lines in detail

The line numbering follows the allocation system of the VRR after the light rail lines are composed as follows: The preceding " U" makes it clear that it is a largely or completely independently propelled from private rail and not tram or bus. This is followed by a number that represents the traffic area of the lines in Essen and Mülheim, this is the first, the second digit finally the actual line number that are not assigned in ascending order with the Essen lines, but be replaced or similar running after the is tram lines addressed.

U11 GE -Horst Buerer Str - E- Fair West South / Gruga

The line corresponds to U11 since the timetable change in January 2010 no full - subway more, since they partially reversed with the rest of traffic. It runs from the ramp II Schichtstr. to Messe Ost / Gruga completely underground, only the southern terminus Messe Süd / Gruga is in a cut. The U11 is an important quick connection between the northern district of Essen and the exhibition grounds and the Grugapark the southern urban area with your listening route it passes under the city center with the two switch node to the tram, Berliner Platz and Essen Central Station. The U11 serves a total of 23 stations.

U17 Karlsplatz - Margarethenhoehe

The U17 is of the three light rail lines is the shortest and has 17 stations. It runs from the Karlsplatz in old food to the stop Margarethenhoehe, a garden city in the south of Essen. The section from Karlsplatz to ramp Planck street with all intermediate stations is underground, the rest of the route is above ground and, in contrast to the U18 level several at-grade intersections. In the southern region near the terminus Margarethenhoehe parts of the route are single track. 2002, the last above-ground stations were equipped on the U17 with accessible high platforms, creating a continuous entry and exit was made possible throughout the Essen Stadtbahn system - as opposed to the tram, which runs just over the road is always reachable even in some surface stops.

U18 Berliner Platz - Mülheim Hbf

The 17 stations counted U18, since the timetable change in September 2011, the only completely non-intersecting line of Essen city railway, linking the Essen city in the east of Mulheim an der Ruhr in the West, with nine stations are given Mülheim city. This includes the four-track terminus Mülheim (Ruhr ) Hauptbahnhof, consist of the transfer facilities among other things, to the tram direction Duisburg. The line U18 has nowhere to level at-grade intersections with the road transport and thus corresponds to a full subway. Large parts of the line run but above ground. Here is the section between Church and Hot Bismarck place, which is mostly laid between the carriageways of the Ruhr fast way, and to individual smaller elevated railway sections in Mülheim. The U18 was also known as a shopping line since 7 January 2010 to September 2011 as the Allee - Center Old food, Limbeckerplatz court, held in Essen city center, on the Rhine -Ruhr -Zentrum and Forum Mülheim.

Line network before the timetable change in 2010

Before the change of timetable beginning of the year 2010, the lines reversed as follows:

  • U11 Karlsplatz - Essen- Old Food - University - Berliner Platz - Essen Hbf - Ruettenscheid - Messe / Gruga
  • U17: Gelsenkirchen -Horst - Food - Old Food - University - Berliner Platz - Essen Hbf - Holsworthy - Margarethenhoehe
  • U18: Berliner Platz - Essen Hbf - Rhein- Ruhr -Zentrum - Mülheim Hbf

Line network since January 2010

With the timetable change on January 7, 2010, the rail network was reorganized. The lines operate today as follows:

  • U11: Gelsenkirchen -Horst - Food - Old Food - University - Berliner Platz - Essen Hbf - Ruettenscheid - Messe / Gruga
  • U17: Berliner Platz - Essen Hbf - Holsworthy - Margarethenhoehe
  • U18 Karlsplatz - Essen- Old Food - University - Berliner Platz - Essen Hbf - Rhein- Ruhr -Zentrum - Mülheim Hbf

With this line, change the line loses its U11 metro character. Only the line U18 retains this, but the link to the fair for the residents of the northern city limits and the city of Gelsenkirchen is significantly improved. For residents of Old Food arises as a direct connection to Mülheim and the Rhine -Ruhr -Zentrum. With the new U18 large shopping centers of Essen and Mülheim were directly connected to each other ( Allee-Center Old food, Limbeckerplatz Place, downtown Essen, Rhine -Ruhr -Zentrum, Forum Mülheim ) for the first time. The operation of the particularly high-demand hop Essen Central Station - University of Essen in 5 -minute intervals will remain so.

For the U17 line use of a double traction is being considered only at rush hour.

According to the EVAG a triple traction on the relation Karlsplatz is - Messe / Gruga still be possible.

Line network since September 2011

In September 2011, the U17 has been around the track section Berliner Platz - extended Karlsplatz, shortens the U18 accordingly.

  • U11: Gelsenkirchen -Horst - Food - Old Food - University - Berliner Platz - Essen Hbf - Ruettenscheid - Messe / Gruga
  • U17 Karlsplatz - Essen- Old Food - University - Berliner Platz - Essen Hbf - Holsworthy - Margarethenhoehe
  • U18: Berliner Platz - Essen Hbf - Rhein- Ruhr -Zentrum - Mülheim Hbf

List of all stations

Rolling stock

On the three Essenes rail lines nowadays there are two different types of cars used.


The rail cars were procured B 1976-1985 and are still used today on all three lines. Originally, these cars were equipped with folding steps that allow the entry and exit stops without platforms or with low platforms. However, since all stations have now been equipped with uniform high platforms, these levels are reduced in the course of the current car upgrades (which includes the incorporation of surveillance cameras in the car, some new paint and new matrix displays inside and LED display includes outside). The B-car run in food both in single and in double traction. A total of 2007 31 - B cars were in the Essen Stadtbahn in use. Seven vehicles which include the Mülheim Transport Company, but are used together with the Essenes car.

LRVs P86/P89

Since 1991, rail cars of the P86 and P89 series have been acquired. The P86 series from the production of Linke -Hofmann -Busch was originally from London's rail system Docklands Light Railway (DLR ) is purchased and used for the operation opening in 1986. However, since they did not meet the British Safety requirements for use in tunnels, the DLR could no longer use this car after the expansion of its first exclusively aboveground route network through a tunnel section without restrictions. The at that time only a few years old P86 vehicles - a total of 11 pieces - have now been sold to the EVAG who just needed more vehicles for the planned route extensions. The ten P89 - vehicles that were procured at 1989 Route extensions to the DLR, remained in London in just a few years in operation; 1995 they also had to be taken out of there, since due to strong growth in traffic and another route extensions on all routes, a new, more powerful LZB system ( Alcatel SelTrac ) was installed, which would have meant a rebuilding of the vehicle equipment. Also, they were not allowed to be used on the extended tunnel sections due to lack of front doors. As a result, sold the DLR in 1996, the ten - P89 vehicles after eating. All adopted by the DLR vehicles were converted for their use in food in order EVAG. It had, inter alia, Cab cabins and pantographs be retrofitted, as these cars were running in London in the automatic driving mode and with power purchase via a lateral current rail while in the Essen subway system the power purchase via the catenary. Furthermore and conversions in the drive control and braking system (installation of rail brakes ). The cars of the type P86 are successively modernized again in 2005 in order to be used even more years in the Essen Stadtbahn network can ( P86U ). In this case, the red and blue paint from London is replaced by the yellow- blue EVAG color scheme that carry the cars of the type P89 since the first day of operation in food. The P86 and P89 cars come in Essen on all three lines are used; not yet converted P86 due to their reduced braking delay just on the line U18.

Expansion plans

One project is the above-ground extension of the U17 from the current terminus Margarethenhoehe to three stations to the south. Alternatively, as an extension of the U11 was examined further to the south.

In addition, there are plans to replace the old high-floor trams with their folding steps as they come on the lines 101 and 107 necessarily used. As part of the southern section to Bredeney should be developed for a line U12 to standard gauge rail, which was eventually rejected by the city of Essen.

The now current plans envisage a partial lowering of the platforms in Ruettenscheider tunnel. Then the tram lines 101 and 107 could continue to operate after Bredeney, and indeed the future also with low-floor trams. The high-floor platform would slightly elevated and thus would provide for the U11 also a stepless entry and exit. However, the trade traffic with 3- car trains on the U11 could be carried out at these stations then no more. A change of line 107 are low floor trams will be possible in the medium term: From 2012, a new purchase of low-floor vehicles is planned.

Metro stations in tram forward operation

1 crossing station: metro rail above, tram down 2 sharing by U- city trains and trams on the same platform 3 common use by U- city trains and trams to different platforms

As part of the light rail planning in the 1970s another tunnels should arise, including an underground east-west connection that would have involved existing tram routes. The project as a whole consisted of about 30 kilometers of tunnels, the complete re-gauging of all railway lines on normal gauge and the elimination of all tram lines, which were not covered by the plans. The completion was targeted for 2008. Up to this point you should have already built railway stations in the city center and in Ruettenscheid still trams - used - as " rail - forward mode ". However, the plans were found to be financially ambitious and could not be pursued. With the inauguration of the Northern line in 2001 was the subway construction in Essen as officially ended. Remained so far built and used by trams in forward mode route temporaries, with all the shortcomings exist.

Tickets and fares

Apply for trips with the Essen Stadtbahn, as well as for the tram and other public transport in the city, the rates of the transport association Rhein-Ruhr ( VRR).