Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany with approx. 1. 8 million inhabitants. The U-Bahn (underground) network has an extension of some 105 kilometres and is served by four lines (U1-U4). About 60 percent of the ways run overground (mainly on dams and viaducts) and only approx. 40 percent in tunnels. The Hamburg U-Bahn and the city buses are operated by → "Hamburger Hochbahn AG".
The Hanseatic City of Bremen has over 500,000 inhabitants. Together with Bremerhaven, which is located 50 kilometres to the north, it forms the federal state of Bremen, which is surrounded by Lower Saxony. Bremen's tram network consists of 8 lines, which run on a network of approx. 90 km. Operator of the tram and city buses is the → BSAG (Bremer Straßenbahn AG).
Hanover, the capital of the German federal state Lower Saxony with a population of more than 500,000 inhabitants, has a light rail network called "Stadtbahn" with a system length of more than 120 kilometres. While the Stadtbahn trains runs predominantly subsurface in the inner city, the routes outside the inner city as well as in the neighboring communities are arranged above ground, partly embedded in the roadway. The Stadtbahn and buses are operated by → üstra.
The city of Braunschweig (also called "Brunswick" in English) has a population of approx. 250,000 inhabitants. It is located in the eastern part of the German federal state Lower Saxony and has an about 40 kilometres long tram network. As the only city in Germany, the Braunschweig tram runs on the unusual track gauge of 1,100 millimetres (formerly also Lübeck and Kiel, both trams were scrapped in the last century). The network is operated by → Braunschweiger Verkehrs-GmbH.
Rostock is the largest city in the German federal state Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Mecklenburg-West Pomerania) with about 200,000 inhabitants. Beside the capital Schwerin (which has only about half as much inhabitants), it is the only tram network in the federal state. The network has a route length of some 35 kilometres. Trams and city buses are operated by → RSAG (Rostocker Straßenbahn AG).
The capital of the German federal state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Mecklenburg-West Pomerania) has a relatively small tram network with a system length of approx. 20 kilometres. Unfortunately, the long intervals require a lot of patience - the trams run only every 15 to 30 minutes, on weekends partly even only every 60 minutes. The network is operated by → NVS (Nahverkehr Schwerin GmbH).
The Cologne light rail network has a length of almost 200 kilometres (as of 2016), of which approx. 30 kilometers are underground. The lines 1, 7, 9, 12 and 15 are operated with low floor vehicles (35 cm floor height), the other lines belong to the hight-floor network with a floor height of one metre. Three interurban routes are partly operated as railways: Two run from Cologne to Bonn and one connects of Cologne with Frechen. The light rails as well as the buses are operated by KVB (Kölner Verkehrs-Betriebe AG).
The former capital of germany, now called 'Federal City', has a population of 300,000. It has a light rail network with a route length of more than 95 kilometres, which reaches far into the neighboring districts and to the city of Cologne (routes 16 and 18). Additionally, there are two low-floor tram lines with almost 30 kilometres in length. Operator of the light rail and the tram is → Stadtwerke Bonn (SWB Bus und Bahn).
The capital of the German federal state North Rhine-Westphalia has a low-floor tram system with a route length of approx. 50 kilometres as well as a high-floor light rail system with a system length of approx. 70 kilometres. It is connected by two interurban routes to neighboring transport companies: the U79 connects Duisburg with Duisburg, on this line also cars of the DVG Duisburg are in service. The U76 makes a connection to Krefeld. Since the Krefeld tram runs on metre-gauge, it can only run on the route to Rheinstraße in Krefeld, which is equipped with a mixed-gauge track. The Düsseldorf tram also runs to the neighboring city of Ratingen. Operator of the light rail and trams as well as most bus routes is the → Rheinbahn AG.
Essen, the second largest city in the Ruhr area with about 600,000 inhabitants, has a metre-gauge tram network of about 50 kilometres length. In addition, there are the three light rail lines (U11, U17 and U18), which run on a standard-gauge tracks (1,435 mm) and have a length of about 20 kilometres. The light rail routes are served by vehicles with a floor height of 1,000 mm. A special feature are the vehicles bought from the London Docklands Light Railway, which have been retrofitted with drivers cabs (the cars were operated automatically in London) as well as pantographs on the roof. The public transport in Essen is operated by → Ruhrbahn GmbH. Essen is connected to the Mülheim / Oberhausen tram network by the lines 104 and U18 and the line 107 leading to Gelsenkirchen establishes a connection between the Essen and the Bochum / Gelsenkirchen metre-gauge network.
The tram network in Bochum and Gelsenkirchen has a route length of almost 85 kilometres. It has a track gauge of 1,000 millimetres (metre-gauge) and is connected to the Essen metre-gauge network by the line 107 (Gelsenkirchen Hbf - Essen-Bredeney). A special feature is the light rail line U35 (Bochum-Querenburg - Herne), which is the only route in standard-gauge and runs mostly underground. It has no track connection to other lines. The network is operated by → BOGESTRA (Bochum-Gelsenkirchener Straßenbahn AG).
The network of the Dortmund Stadtbahn (light rail) has a system length of about 75 kilometres, 20 kilometres run subsurface. It is served by high-floor light rail vehicles, except for the two east-west lines U43 and U44, which are served by low-floor cars. In contrast to most other operators in the Rhine-Ruhr region, there is no connection to the networks of other cities, so that only vehicles of the 'Dortmunder Stadtwerke' run on it, which operate under the brand name → DSW21. A special feature is the H-Bahn in the west of Dortmund, a suspension railway, which has of two routes: one connects the northern and the southern campus of the university, the other the district of Eichlinghofen with the S-Bahn station Universität and the technology centre.
The Wuppertal Suspension Railway (Wuppertaler Schwebebahn) is unique and the most famous attraction of the city. It was opened in 1901, since 1997 it has been declared a Historic Monument. The line has a length of 13.3 kilometres and runs from Vohwinkel via Elberfeld (central station) to the Oberbarmen station. 10.6 km of the route run above the Wupper river, on the last 2.7 km before the Vohwinkel terminus the suspension railway follows the course of several streets and also crosses the A46 motorway. The Suspension Railway is operated by → WSW (Wuppertaler Stadtwerke).
The city of Duisburg is located at the mouth of the river Ruhr into the Rhine. It has almost half a million inhabitants, but only two tram lines (901, 903) and a light rail line (U79). Two of the three lines connect Duisburg with neighboring cities: the U79 suburban train runs to Düsseldorf, the tram line 901 has its terminus in Mülheim an der Ruhr. Both systems, which have a total length of almost 45 kilometres and the city buses are operated by → DVG (Duisburger Verkehrsgesellschaft).
Mülheim (Ruhr), Oberhausen
The Mülheim an der Ruhr and Oberhausen trams have a system length of 36 kilometres. The line 112 leading to Oberhausen is operated jointly by → Ruhrbahn (Mülheim) and → STOAG (Stadtwerke Oberhausen). Since Oberhausen owns only 6 vehicles, the Oberhausen trams are maintained in the Mülheim Depot.
The city of Krefeld (North Rhine-Westphalia) has about 220,000 inhabitants. It has a metre-gauge tram network with a system length of 35 kilometres, which is operated by → SWK (Stadtwerke Krefeld AG). In addition, the Düsseldorf light rail line U76 goes to Krefeld. The 1.2 kilometre long section from Rheinstraße via Main Station to the intersection from the Krefeld tram network near the Voltastraße stop is equipped with a mixed-gauge track with four rails for the standard-gauge Düsseldorf Light Rail vehicles.
The Bielefeld tram was opened in 1900. From the 1970s, most sections were reconstructed as a "Stadtbahn" (light rail) system on segregated tracks. The reconstruction was completed in 1991 with the opening of the tunnel under the city centre. The section between Rathaus and Hauptbahnhof is used by all four lines. The system length of the Stadtbahn Bielefeld totals approx. 30 kilometres. The transport subsidiary of the municipal works Bielefeld are bearing the strange name → "moBiel" since the year 2000.
The Frankfurt tram has a system length of almost 70 kilometres. In addition, there is a light rail system, called Underground, even if it mostly runs aboveground and often tramway-like outside the inner city. It has a network of about 65 kilometers. Both are operated by → VGF (Verkehrsgesellschaft Frankfurt). At the Frankfurt Airport, there also is an automatic so-called PeopleMover, called "SkyLine" by the operator, which is also a tram by law and was opened in 1994. The PeopleMover is free of charge and also open for visitors.
The North Hessian city of Kassel has a tram network with an extension of about 93 kilometres. There is an interface to the railway network of Deutsche Bahn at the central station, which enables the so-called RegioTrams to continue their journey on the railway tracks to the surrounding towns. The RegioTram headway is 30 minutes to 1 hour. In addition, two railway lines were integrated into the regular tram network and electrified with 750 Volts DC. These are the outer branches of routes 4 (Hessisch Lichtenau) and 5 (Baunatal). The trams are operated by → KVG (Kasseler Verkehrs-Gesellschaft), the RegioTrams by a joint venture of KVG and the railway company HLB (Hessische Landesbahn).
The city of Darmstadt (about 150,000 inhabitants) is located in the German federal state of Hesse. It has a metre-gauge tram network with a system length of approx. 40 kilometres. A special feature is the express tram No. 6 to Eberstadt, which runs from Monday to Friday every 15 minutes ans passes doen´t call at eight stops. The Darmstadt tram is operated by → HEAG mobilo GmbH, a subsidiary of HEAG Holding.
Mainz is the capital of the German federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, is located about 20 kilometres west of Frankfurt (Main) and has approx. 200,000 inhabitants. It has an some 30 kilometres long, metre-gauge tram network. A special feature is the very narrow and steep section between Schillerplatz and Am Gautor in the inner city: the two tracks run partly in parallel streets and have a maximum gradient of 9.5 %. The trams and city buses are operated by → Mainzer Verkehrsgesellschaft (MVG).
The city of Saarbrücken in the southwest of Germany has almost 180,000 inhabitants. It had a metre-gauge tram network since 1890 which was shut down in 1965. In 1997, the Saarbahn was opened as a modern light rail system based on the tram-train concept. So the tramway - now standard gauge - returned to the city centre of Saarbrücken after 32 years. Outside of the city, the trams run on railway lines to Lebach and across the French border to Sarreguemines. The Saarbahn is operated by the eponymous company → Saarbahn GmbH.
The German capital has a tram network of about 190 km, which runs mainly in the former eastern part of the city. In the former western part, the subway dominates, with a total length of almost 150 km. Operator of the Tramway, Underground and City Buses is → Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe BVG
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Strausberg, Schöneiche, Woltersdorf
In the Greater Berlin area, there are three small tram operators east from Berlin, which offer a nice contrast to the urban traffic in the city. The first is the 6 kilometre long → Strausberg railway, which is still called "railway", because it has emerged from a freight railway branch line. There is also an interurban tram from Berlin-Friedrichshagen to Rüdersdorf, the → Schöneiche-Rüdersdorf tram. The 14 kilometre long line is the only route with metre-gauge tracks in and around Berlin. The third is the → Woltersdorf tram, which runs on an approx. 6 kilometre long route from Berlin-Rahnsdorf to the Woltersdorf water lock.
The city of Brandenburg an der Havel in the German federal state of Brandenburg has about 70,000 inhabitants. Its metre-gauge tramway network has a system length of approximately 18 kilometres. The trams are operated by → Verkehrsbetriebe Brandenburg an der Havel GmbH (VBBr).
The city of Cottbus has a population of almost 100,000 inhabitants. It posseses a tram network with a system length of some 20 kilometres. Only Tatra KT4D vehicles of the Czech manufacturer CKD, which were rebuilt to KTNF6 type, are used in the regular service. The Trams and city buses are operated by → Cottbusverkehr GmbH.
The city of Frankfurt an der Oder is located in the east of the German federal state of Brandenburg directly on the border with Poland. It has a population of 50,000. The tram network with an extension of almost 20 kilometres is built of metre-gauge tracks. It is operated by → SVF, written-out Stadtverkehrsgesellschaft Frankfurt (Oder).
Halle (Saale) is located in the south of Saxony-Anhalt and has about 230,000 inhabitants. The city has a metre-gauge tram network with a system length of some 90 kilometres including the approx. 25 kilometre-long interurban tram to Bad Dürrenberg via Merseburg (line 5). The trams are operated by → HAVAG (Hallesche Verkehrs-AG).
Halberstadt is located in the German federal state of Saxony-Anhalt on the northern edge of the Harz mountains. The town has some 40,000 inhabitants and two tram lines, with a together legth of almost 12 kilometres. Although the tram is constantly threatened due to financial difficulties of the city, the small tram network impresses very well-kept. The Halberstadt tram runs on metre-gauge tracks and is operated by → HVG (Halberstädter Verkehrs-GmbH).
The city of Naumburg on the Saale river is located in the German federal state of Saxony-Anhalt and has about 30,000 inhabitants. Until 1991, it had a 5.4-kilometre tram ring line. From 1994, one section was gradually restored for tourist purposes and operated with heritage trams. Nowadays (since 2007), the tram shuttles daily on a 2.5-kilometre-long route, because the ring has not been closed again. The tram is operated by → Naumburger Straßenbahn GmbH.
Erfurt, the capital the German federal state of Thuringia, has about 200,000 inhabitants. Its tram network has a system length of approx. 45 kilometres. Since most of the routes outside the inner city are running on segregated tracks, it is marketed as the 'Stadtbahn (= light rail) Erfurt'. The trams are operated by → EVAG (Erfurter Verkehrsbetriebe AG).
The city of Gotha has almost 50,000 inhabitants and is located on the edge of the Thuringian Forest. It has two inner-city tram lines (1 and 2) connecting the main station with the hospital and the east station. Both together have a length of approx. 8 kilometres. The line number 3 is only used for trips from and to the depot, therefore this line operates only once or twice per day. A special attraction is the line No. 4, the "Thüringerwaldbahn" (Thuringian Forest Tram). This interurban route runs from Gotha's main railway station on a scenic route with a length of 22 kilometres through the Thuringian Forest to Tabarz. The village of Waltershausen is connected by a two-and-a-half-kilometre-long branch line, which is designated as line No. 6. The trams are operated by → Thüringerwaldbahn und Straßenbahn Gotha GmbH (TWSB).
The city of Nordhausen is located in the German federal state of Thuringia and has about 40,000 inhabitants. It has a small tram network with a system length of 7 kilometres. In addition, there is an 11 kilometre long route to Ilfeld, where trams equipped with an additional diesel engine run on a catenary-free railway line of the Harzian narrow-gauge railways (HSB). The HSB as well as the trams run on tracks with a gauge of 1,000 millimetres. The tram system is operated by Verkehrsbetriebe Nordhausen GmbH, a subsidiary of → Stadtwerken Nordhausen (Nordhausen municipal utilities).
Dresden is the capital of Saxony in Germany and has approx. 500.000 inhabitants. It has an extensive tramway network with a route lenght of more than 130 kilometres. An unusual feature is the track gauge of 1,450 mm, this is 15 mm wider than the standard gauge. Operator of the tram and the city buses is → DVB (Dresdner Verkehrsbetriebe AG). A special attraction are the two funicular railways in the district of Loschwitz. Both start near at the bus stop Körnerplatz (or approx. 10 minutes walking distance from the tram stop Schillerplatz). The funiculars are only partly integrated into the fare system of the public transport: only weekly and monthly season tickets are accepted, otherwise seperate tickets must be bought. Therefore, the purchase of a weekly travel pass might be advisable also for a stay of two or more days in Dresden.
The city of Leipzig is located in the northwest of the German federal state of Saxony and has more than half a million inhabitants. It possesses an almost 150-kilometre-long tram network, which is the second largest in Germany after Berlin and has a special track gauge of 1,458 millimetres. The trams as well as the city buses are operated by → Leipziger Verkehrsbetriebe (LVB).