The M train ( maglev ) in Berlin was a track-guided transport system to track network, which was used from 1984 in the experimental farm and 1989-1991 in passenger service.

Principle of operation

When driving the M -Bahn used a linear motor in the long-stator construction. The infrastructure put one hand the track for driving, on the other hand at the same time a portion of the drive ( linear motor) represents the box-shaped double cabins had neither engines nor braking systems: Strong permanent magnets under the cabin contributed 85 % of the vehicle weight. M web was performed both horizontally and vertically by small wheels. As engine had laid between the rails windings: They created a traveling magnetic field, which drew the crowds like on an invisible cushion forward and also slowed.

The weight and driving forces of the M -Bahn were thus transmitted magnetically, mechanically executives. Due to the predominantly magnetic support they reached a flat and therefore very favorable load introduction into the driveway.

The fully automatic Berlin maglev was quiet, energy-saving ( they consumed 20 percent less than a subway) and almost came ( which accounts for public transport usually 70 percent of the cost ) without staff. It carried three million passengers and was the world's first urban Passenger commercially (July 1991) maglev used (after the Birmingham Maglev as an airport shuttle). Your track record is not saved the M -Bahn yet because they had to make way for the reconstruction of the subway line 2 after the reunification, on the track body of the infrastructure was partly.


1975 in Brunswick built by the Technical University of Braunschweig a test track for a magnetic path, the driving principle is based on the 1973 developed by the physicist Götz Heidelberg " traveling wave technology with permanent- magnet excitation ". Three years later, the company AEG got into the business with the magnetic -Bahn GmbH. Their experiences with the train automation and energy supply proved very soon to be essential and valuable. In close co-operation of AEG, the TU Braunschweig and Berlin Transport Authority (BVG ), the M -Bahn was designed and planned. 1982 received the M -Bahn company the contract for a demonstration plant in Berlin. In the spring of 1983, the Federal Research Ministry issued the final permit decision. Planned 50 million D- Mark cost of field testing were applied by the federal government 75 percent, the rest by the Berlin Senate. The plan was to take a trial run at the end of 1984 on a 600 m long section of the 1.6-kilometer route in operation. Subsequently, a two-year trial run is recommended.

Construction of the Berlin M -Bahn began in December 1983, the trial operation on 28 June 1984, still without passengers. The start of regular operation was delayed by a committed on April 18, 1987 arson attack in the station track triangle with two cars were destroyed, as well as by an accident on December 19, 1988: A test train that day was given a test run with unadjusted rate in the terminus Kemperplatz retracted and had broken through the glazed exterior wall. The travel computer had been turned off for this ride to ride the train for a test at a higher speed manual can be used as provided by the system. A car failed in this accident on the concrete floor of the track and was destroyed, the second hung for several days in six-meter height until he was taken away by a flatbed truck.

The pilot plant was therefore released only on 28 August 1989, the free passenger transport. The 1.6 km long route for the then conceived as a new mass transit system maglev was partly due to the used until the construction of the Berlin Wall on 13 August 1961 by the Metro low-profile track from the track triangle to Potsdamer Platz, then waved but over the breakpoint Bernburger road to Kemper place at the Philharmonic. On 18 July 1991, the final approval was granted as a new passenger transport system by the technical supervisor. This officially ended the trial operation and a timetable excessive traffic began ( the usual fare BVG ).

Due to the successful trial run at the Berlin plant, which was visited by professionals from many countries planned German and other cities the construction of M- rail lines, the city of Frankfurt am Main as the shuttle to the airport. In Las Vegas, USA, in early 1989 began the construction of a two-kilometer track that should get four stations. That particular purpose, a subsidiary of AEG was founded.

The M -Bahn was closed down in order to get ready for the route made ​​possible by the fall of the Wall on 9 November 1989 re-opening of metro line 2 can Already on 31 July 1991. On 17 September 1991, the route disassembly, which was completed by the end of February 1992 began. Originally, it was intended for reconstruction as a feeder to Schönefeld Airport, this intention, however, was later dropped and the stored route parts were scrapped. The Maglev Vehicle No. 06 was to visit the Nuremberg Transport Museum on a piece of the original roadway before it was placed in the location Lichtenfels of the DB Museum in September 2009. Since spring 2012, the vehicle is in railroad technology museum Rügen.

Some technical data

  • Type designation of a car: M 80
  • Weight of a car: 10 tons
  • Number of passengers per car: 80
  • Maximum speed for use in Berlin: 80 km / h
  • Driverless operation
  • Kilometers driven on the test track in Berlin: more than 100,000 km by the end of 1989