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 Nordrhein-Westfalen . Germany

Essen Stadtbahn Network

Click here for full Essen-Mülheim-Oberhausen network map!

New book!



With some 600,000 inhabitants, Essen is among Germany's ten largest cities and the geographical heart of the Rhein-Ruhr-Area. Construction of a Stadtbahn network started in the early 1960's and included regauging of many routes from former 1000 mm to standard 1435 mm and the construction of underground sections in the city centre. The first 600 m underground section opened in 1967 along Huysenallee with one station, Saalbau. In the early 1970's a Stadtbahn network was planned for the whole Rhein-Ruhr area and the fast tram link between Essen and Mülheim was chosen as the first to be upgraded. It opened in 1977, partly underground and partly on the surface in the middle strip of the A40 motorway. Subsequently a small underground network was realised.

In 2017, Essen's EVAG and Mülheim's MVG merged to become known as 'RUHRBAHN'.


U11 and U18 can be considered real metro lines as they run independent from road traffic all along their routes. U11 is almost entirely underground. Ex-Docklands Light Rail vehicles, many of them repainted yellow, are in use in Essen. The section between Hauptbahnhof and Martinstraße is also used by some 1000 mm tramway lines (3-rail-tracks), which stop at high-level platforms here. Since the mid-1990's the northern route was extended in two stages, first to Altenessen Bahnhof (1998) and further on to II.Schichtstraße from where U17 trains continue on the surface to Buerer Straße in Gelsenkirchen. U11 trains terminate at Karlsplatz. The surface on-street section of U17 to Margarethenhöhe was upgraded in 2002 with high platforms at all stops, which will allow the use of ex-Docklands P89 rolling stock.

- Stadtbahn route length - 21.5 km (of which 1.9 km are shared with trams)
- Rolling stock - DUEWAG B-cars (1976-1985); ex-DLR P86 and P89 cars (1986-1989)


Altenessen Mitte  © R. Schwandl Kaiser-Wilhelm-Park © R. Schwandl Martinstraße © R. Schwandl E-Hauptbahnhof © R. Schwandl Margarethenhoehe © R. Schwandl Messe Süd West / Gruga
Photos 2005 © Robert Schwandl (UrbanRail.Net)

Besides the Stadtbahn, Essen boasts several tram lines which all run through some underground section at some stage. The route between Essen Hauptbahnhof and Martinstraße is equipped with 3-rail tracks for use by Stadtbahn and high-floor tram cars.

- tram route length approx. 54 km (of which 1.9 km are shared with Stadtbahn)
- 8 lines, with line 107 running through to neighbouring Gelsenkirchen, and line 104 entering Essen from neighouring Mülheim
- Rolling stock: DUEWAG M8S (1975-76); DUEWAG M8C (1979-1989, high-floor with folding steps for lines 101 and 107); DWA/Adtranz M8DNF (low-floor, 1999-2000); Bombardier Flexity Classic (2014-)

19-10-2014: ThyssenKrupp - Alfred-Krupp-Schule (Line 109, 1.3 km)


 History of Stadtbahn and tram tunnel sections

Rheinischer-Platz © R. Schwandl05 Oct. 1967 - Saalbau (now Philharmonie/Saalbau)
28 May 1977 - U18 - Wiener Platz (now Hirschlandplatz) - Heißen (8.2 km, 2 km underground)
28 May 1977 - Saalbau - Hauptbahnhof - Porscheplatz (2 km)
27 Nov 1981 - U17 - Universität - Planckstr. - Margarethenhöhe (3.6 km underground)
27 Sept 1985 - Porscheplatz - Viehofer Platz - Schützenbahn ramp
31 May 1986 - U11 Saalbau - Gruga and Florastr. (3-rail-section)
09 Nov 1991 - Porscheplatz - Berliner Platz
24 May 1998 - Universität - Altenessen (2.5 km)
29 Sept 2001 - U11/U17 Altenessen - Karlsplatz - ramp - GE-Fischerstraße
27 Jun 2004 - U17 GE-Fischerstraße - GE-Buerer Straße



U17 may be extended on the surface 3 stations towards the south from Margarethenhöhe to Hatzper Straße.



RUHRBAHN (Essen/Mülheim Transport - official)

VRR (Tariff System Rhein-Ruhr) incl. maps and timetables

Trambilderbuch incl. many photos

EVAG at Wikipedia.de

Essen Track Map at gleisplanweb.de


New book!New book!

Tram Atlas DeutschlandRobert Schwandl:


- 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.