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KÖLN
 Nordrhein-Westfalen . Germany

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Deutsch

 System

Dom/HauptbahnhofWith just over a 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 1990s the tunnel network was gradually expanded. Currently the system includes some 50 km of metro-like routes, either underground, elevated (L13) or at grade. This is complemented by 45 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 approx. 195 km (2016).

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 tracks mainly on a separate right-of-way when running at grade.

In Aug. 2007, the line layout was simplified, with several line numbers (6, 8, 17, 19) having disappeared.

A new line 17 was introduced in Dec. 2015, when the southern part of the north-south tunnel was brought into service. This new cross-city route from Breslauer Platz/Hauptbahnhof to Bonner Wall (3.9 km) has been delayed by many years following the collapse of the tunnel and the city's Archives on 3 March 2009. The north-south tunnel was mostly excavated by tunnel-boring machines, with some stations being of the tube-type. South of Bonner Wall, a surface route will eventually continue to Arnoldshöhe, whereas line 17 rejoins the existing alignment along the River Rhine. The missing gap between Severinstraße and Heumarkt might not be opening until the mid-2020s.

For Bonn click here.

 Photos
 History of underground sections and recent extensions

1968 - Friesenplatz - Dom/Hauptbahnhof
1969 - Appellhofplatz - Barbarossaplatz
1970 - Poststraße - Severinstraße and Dom/Hbf - Breslauer Platz (- ramp Turiner Str.)
1973 - Chorweiler subway
1974 - Breslauer Pl. - Ebertplatz - Neusser Str/Gürtel (3.6 km); Hansaring - Reichenspergerstr. (2.8 km); elevated "Gürtel"-route Nußbaumerstr. - Mülheim Bridge (Line 13 - 5.9 km)
1976 - underground station Fuldaer Str. (650 m)
1983 - Deutz subway
1985 - Friesenplatz - H.Böckler-Platz - Gutenbergstr.
1987 - Hansaring - Rudolfplatz - Zülpicher Platz
1989 - H.Böckler-Platz - Venloer Str./Gürtel
1992 - Venloer Str./Gürtel - Bocklemünd
1997 - Mülheim Bridge - Bf. Mülheim
27 May 2000 - Line 1 extended underground (500 m) at its eastern end to Bensberg
15 June 2002 - Line 1 Junkersdorf - Weiden-Schulstraße (2.7 km)
   
   - Line 3 Bocklemünd - Mengenich-Ollenhauerring

16 June 2003 - Line 4 rebuilt to Stadtbahn standard between Keupstraße and Odenthaler Straße
28 May 2006 - Line 1 Weiden-Schulstraße - Weiden West (1 km)
12 Dec 2010 - Line 5 Rektor-Klein-Str. - Butzweilerhof (1.8 km)
09 Dec 2012 - Line 5 Dom/Hbf - Rathaus
15 Dec 2013 - Line 5 Rathaus - Heumarkt
13 Dec 2015 - Line 17 Severinstraße - Bonner Wall - Schönhauser Straße (2.4 km)

Leyendecker Str. © R. Schwandl
Photos © (1) Thomas Schunk, (2-4) Paul Lohkemper, (5) Robert Schwandl | More Photos

 Projects

Southern surface extension from Bonner Wall to Arnoldshöhe

 

 Links

KVB Kölner Verkehrsbetriebe (Official Page)

VRS Info Page (Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Sieg - Official page)

Nord-Süd-Stadtbahn (Official site)

Stadtbahn Köln at Wikipedia.de

Rheinsiegbahn

Stadtbahn Bonn at UrbanRail.Net

UrbanRail.Net > North-South Line Gallery

Betriebshof Köln (incl. large photo gallery)

Cologne Track Map at gleisplanweb.de

Read your webmaster's impressions of Cologne's Stadtbahn (Dec. 2015)

 

 Books
Köln/Bonn Stadtbahn AlbumChristoph Groneck:

Köln/Bonn Stadtbahn Album
The Cologne/Bonn Light Rail Network

Nahverkehr in Deutschland, Band 6
Urban Transport in Germany, Vol. 6

144 Seiten | pages
17x24 cm
3 Netzpläne | 3 Network maps
ca. 350 Farbfotos | colour photos
Text deutsch & English

ISBN 3 936573 07 7
19.50 EUR

Published December 2005

More info and sample pages | Mehr Info und Probeseiten


Dieter 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
 Books

Tram Atlas DeutschlandRobert Schwandl:Robert Schwandl:

TRAM ATLAS DEUTSCHLAND 4

- 4th edition - June 2016, Berlin, ISBN 978 3 836573 49 7.

- Detailed colour maps for more than 50 German tramway cities, illustrated with numerous photos - More details

Schnellbahnen in Deutschland/Metros in GermanyRobert Schwandl:

Schnellbahnen in Deutschland
Metros in Germany

U-Bahn - Stadtbahn - S-Bahn.

- April 2007, Berlin, ISBN 978 3 836573 18 3

- Anything you need to know about German metro and light rail systems, with detailed maps and hundreds of colour photos; 192 pages; Text German and English - More details

 

 


2004 © UrbanRail.Net by Robert Schwandl.