H-Bahn (Dortmund ) and SkyTrain ( Dusseldorf ) are automatically controlled large cabins monorails. Developers and original manufacturer of this system is the Siemens company, which had referred the product as SIPEM (Siemens People Mover ). In Germany the system of tram construction and operation order ( BOStrab ) is subject to and is according to § 4 para 2 BOStrab as ( from other traffic ) independent path which accordingly automatically, ie may be operated without drivers in the vehicles.

  • 6.1 Dortmund
  • 6.2 Dusseldorf
  • 6.3 Erlangen


The vehicles of the H-Bahn hang with two bogies on a bottom slotted box girder, inside which the drive, leadership, and power supply are housed weatherproof. Support and drive function is provided by two on the left and right of the slot on the bottom of the hollow box girder running wheels. Leadership roles at the lower and upper edge of the inner sides of the carrier provide for the horizontal guide. About four side-mounted busbars three-phase alternating current ( phase current) is transmitted at a voltage of 400 volts, which can be taken without converters and own substations directly from the public network. Above are line manager for wireless transmission of data between the vehicle and the control center. Switches allow branches of the travel.

The H-Bahn is monitored from a central control station and thus comes without drivers on the trains. You can, depending on the workload, are used in clock or calling operation, in which latter the passenger cabin as a passenger elevator push of a button "ordered" to.

In 1973, the then Federal Ministry for Research and Technology about 22 million DM for the promotion of this system ready. On July 21, 1975, inaugurated on the premises of DUEWAG in Dusseldorf, with the participation of the then Minister Hans Matthöfer a 180 -meter-long trial and demonstration route. A 1.5 -kilometer route was commissioned in 1976 on the premises of Siemens in Erlangen in operation.


Since 2007, Siemens markets the system no longer active to be in this market segment Léger exclusively on the system Véhicule automatique (VAL ) to focus, which had been developed by the now taken over by Siemens Transportation Division of Matra, but the technology is available for further installations available.

In 2009, the system for a new office in Moscow city was offered, with the Dortmund operating company acted as technical advisor. The system was not there for the course.

At the same address as the H-Bahn - Gesellschaft Dortmund Ltd. a company Air Train International GmbH is registered since May 2009, with the business purpose " distribution of H-Bahn systems and support in their construction, especially in the territory of the People 's Republic of China ". In China, a company strives called Air Train International Co Shanghai for contracts for the construction of an H- web. According to " People's Daily " this company has an improved version of the control software of Siemens and indicates to be able to establish infrastructure as well as vehicles to 95% in China itself.

Existing installations


Construction and expansion of the route network

The first publicly commissioned in H-Bahn located since 1984 on the campus of the Technical University of Dortmund, where she first joined the North with the South Campus. Was opened the route on May 2 by the then Minister Heinz Riesenhuber. The track had a length of 1.05 kilometers and was first navigated by two vehicles. The costs amounted to 24 million DM, of which 75% from the federal government, 20 % by the State and 5% were borne by the city. The maximum span length is 38.5 meters, this is required when crossing the street university. To avoid entering the track area at the stations, the platforms are separated by glass walls of the roadways. Once the vehicles reach the intended position in the station, the platform screen doors and vehicle doors open automatically only.

After three years of construction in 1993, a first 900 -meter-long extension with a new diversion and two new stations in Eichlinghofen and the S- Bahn stop Dortmund University, completed. Further, the power converted installed a modular operating system and route equipped with a positioning system. The tracking system can determine a position to within three inches too closely. These modifications allowed a higher speed and a tighter headways, since until then the vehicles had to grope to the station. Three new vehicles were supplied by Siemens and took the place of the previously used.

A further 1212 meters long extension in the nearby Technology Park was opened on 19 December 2003. The entire route network has now, after the first final piece was realized, a track length of 3.162 km. The construction of this section cost 15.5 million euros, 1.5 million euros for another vehicle, the vehicle Dessau AG (FTD ) are included, which now bears the establishment number 4 and has a modern interior with digital interior displays.


On line 1 of the Technology Park after Eichlinghofen commute during the day two passenger cabins in 10 -minute intervals, each in the stop Universität (S ) meet, where every 20 minutes connection is to the S -Bahn in Dortmund Hbf and Bochum. A third vehicle commutes than line 2 every 5 minutes on the oldest route between North Campus and South Campus. As a reserve, a fourth vehicle is available. If necessary, a line 3 is used by campus north to Eichlinghofen instead of line 2. Furthermore, there is another vehicle for maintenance. This is also used for evacuation in case of failure of the cars on the track. In the year to be covered in 3,700 hours of operation with the vehicles around 200,000 miles and it carried approximately 1.6 million passengers.

In order to use two vehicles at a time on line 2, the station South Campus in 2011 was expanded to three platforms. The transport association Rhein-Ruhr ( VRR) has granted 2.7 million euros for this purpose. This expansion was due to capacity problems in the peak hours of the University of operation - including after closure of the cafeteria at South Campus - necessary. If too many people crowd into the car, the doors can not close and the driving comes from the clock, thereby precipitating one or more trips. After the opening of this extension a second vehicle is used on the line 2 in the peak hours, this is the reserve vehicle. Thus, transport of up to 2160 passengers per hour is possible.

Possible extensions

As part of the update of the rail development concept several extensions of existing H -Bahn system and the construction of a new independent thereof route in terms of benefits and costs were examined in 2008. All variants were, however, rejected this because of a low cost -benefit ratio.

  • The shortest examined extension resulted from the stop technology center out to White Field. This track reached (in two design alternatives ) only a negative cost-benefit factor, that is, one would expect the nation's economy. Another planning therefore not take place. However, it is still shown in the zoning plan.
  • Also further shown in the zoning plan is a planned route from the station University (S ) east to Emil -Figge -Strasse and from the level of the student dormitories along the S- Bahn line to the bus and light rail hub car park Barop. A well planned transfer of the S-Bahn station Barop here was rejected for reasons of cost by the Deutsche Bahn AG in 2007. During an earlier standardized evaluation of this extension was been positive, after a re-evaluation also achieved a negative cost-benefit factor and therefore not pursued the project.
  • Is no longer pursuing the same reason, an extension of the University stop ( S) to the U-Bahn stop at the Palmweide ( link to the U 42 ).
  • Declined significantly over this planning, the investigation of an extension to the Märkischen road ( there link to the U.S. 41 /47) over at the Palmweide or Theodor- Fliedner-Heim (each U 42 ), Westfalenhalle ( U 45 /46) and Westphalia Park ( U 45 /49). This study carried out in two variants is also not pursued the benefits far exceeding costs due to the.
  • Also, only one study was the extension from technology center in a loop over the Witten road through the settlement upper Dorstfeld to the station Dorstfeld and tram stop Witten road ( would be where a link with the lines U 43 and U 44 is done ). In contrast to the aforementioned plans, this study achieved a positive cost - benefit ratio as this but with 0.3 ( the benefit covers only 30 % of the cost ) is too small turned out, even here the plan is discontinued. In the case of such extension, but the running costs compared to the present situation would actually decrease, since the H-Bahn could replace several bus lines at least partially.
  • A completely new building would be a links of the Dortmund airport by a H- Bahn line to the Holzwickede / Dortmund Airport train station. In contrast to the other routes that would need to be based on the clock of existing lines, a 7 -minute intervals would be provided here. These planning reached a low for a continuation of the planning cost-benefit factor 0.36.

An accident

On May 15, 2012, near the Station North Campus an accident in which the H- train collided with a container that was loaded from a demolition company occurred. In this case, 27 people were injured. As a result, long periods of time could be used only three of the four vehicles so that maintenance work on one of the vehicles, a bus replacement service between University (S ) and technology center had to be set up. Since November 2013, all four vehicles are operational again.


Since 1 July 2002 there is another plant; it is at the Dusseldorf International Airport. Construction began in November 1996. Firstly, the section between the railway station and the terminal A / B was put into operation. This trail is 2.5 km long and has up to 4% slope. The last 250 meters long section to Terminal C was opened around 1 ½ years later, with the completion of the terminal. Construction costs amounted to approximately 150 million euro, of which the airport station devoured 35 million euros. 62 % of construction costs were provided by grants.

On the route operate up to six trains of two adjacent coupled cabins that are each 18.4 meters long and 2.56 meters wide and are operated at a voltage of 400 V. Each two-car train has 64 standing and 30 seats. For a 3 -minute intervals the train carries up to 2,000 passengers per hour in each case from 3:45 bis 0:45 clock clock. The route will go through with a cruising speed of 21 km / h on average in seven minutes; Maximum speed is 50 km / h

In its initial phase, the train had multiple problems with the sensitive design of the safety systems, which were unfounded emergency braking on the open road result. This resulted in phases for controlling the operation. Alternatively, then a shuttle operation was offered. From October 31 to December 4, 2005 work was carried out at the track substantially.

After a further breakdown on 10 January 2006, in which passengers more than two hours stuck in the car, the system was again taken out of service. For the exchange of the guideway beams and for the system integration of reconditioned vehicles SkyTrain from January until September 16, 2006 stood silent again. The Siemens TS contributed the cost of which had become necessary at this time Schienenersatzverkehr. On 16 September 2006, the operation was provisionally resumed after control and Vehicles revised, accelerates the clearance at the bus stops and the operational management have been optimized so that an improved comfort, higher speed and thus higher capacity in passenger earnings were.

Four days after the preliminary re-commissioning the train was already on 20 September 2006 hanging again and twenty passengers were able to leave the vehicle only after 46 minutes, although the operational management concept had been practiced long.

On 7 December 2006, the SkyTrain was finally removed from the airport. According to the airport, a system availability of over 99% has been demonstrated before acceptance. Siemens will remain operator of the facility and shall also be liable for other failures of the web over the warranty period of 25 years.

The operators of the railway have yet pronounced during the construction of an extension of the route to the fairgrounds and to the ESPRIT arena.

The stops are announced in English and German.

Verbundtarif and special arrangements

Both tracks are included in the fare system of the VRR. Who wants to drive only with the H-Bahn in Dortmund, which runs only on the university campus so, you may purchase a ticket under special tariff, which is valid for two hours. In Dusseldorf, a corresponding parking ticket as well as tickets for the observation deck as a ticket apply.