|Nordrhein-Westfalen . Germany|
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With almost 1 million inhabitants, Cologne (Köln) is Germany's fourth largest city. In the 1960s, Köln decided to build an underground tram system (like Stuttgart or Hanover) instead of a full metro (like Nuremberg or Munich). The first underground stretch opened in 1968. Most tunnel sections in the city centre were built until 1974, and in the 1980s and 90s the tunnel network was gradually expanded. Currently the system includes 44.5 km of metro-like routes, either underground, elevated (L13) or at grade. This is complemented by 48 km of conventional railway lines (Lines 16 and 18 to Bonn) and 94 km of tram-like routes. The total length of the network is 188 km (12/2010).
The system is a true network with many lines sharing certain stretches. In 1994 it was decided that the east-west lines shown in red on the map will not be converted to Stadtbahn operation with high-floor vehicles. Instead new low-floor trams were acquired which offer the same accessibility (35 cm). From Dec. 2003, also the "ring lines" (shown in green) were added to the low-floor network, whereas all other lines will eventually be converted to Stadtbahn lines similar to the networks in Stuttgart or Frankfurt with high platforms (90 cm) and mainly separate right-of-way when running at grade. Most underground stations have been rebuilt with high platforms in recent years, but some still have low platforms only (e.g. Appellhofplatz-Zeughaus, Reichenspergerplatz).
In Aug. 2007, the line layout was simplified, with several line numbers (6, 8, 17, 19) having disappeared.
For Bonn click here.
|History of underground sections and recent extensions|
- Friesenplatz - Dom/Hauptbahnhof
From Breslauer Platz/Hauptbahnhof to Bonner Wall, a 3.9 km long north-south tunnel is under construction running via Heumarkt, Severinstraße and Chlodwigplatz. It will be used by lines 5 and 16. This section is mostly being excavated by tunnel-boring machines, with some stations being of the tube-type. South of Bonner Wall, a surface alignment will take line 5 to Arnoldshöhe, whereas line 16 will rejoin its present alignment along the River Rhine.
KVB Kölner Verkehrsbetriebe (Official Page)
VRS Info Page (Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Sieg - Official page)
Nord-Süd-Stadtbahn (Official site)
Stadtbahn Köln at Wikipedia.de
Stadtbahn Bonn at UrbanRail.Net
Betriebshof Köln (incl. large photo gallery)
Cologne Track Map at gleisplanweb.de
in Deutschland, Band 6
Seiten | pages
3 936573 07 7
Published December 2005
Höltge, Axel Reuther: Straßenbahnen
und Stadtbahnen in Deutschland, Bd.7, Köln, Düren, Aachen. - 312
p., EK Verlag, Freiburg, 2001, ISBN: 3882553383
|Rudolf Schmidt: Fupp do kütt sie öm de Eck. Mit der Elektrischen durch das Köln der Jahrhundertwende. - 132 p., Emons Vlg., Köln, 1999, ISBN: 3897051001|
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