Essen Standtbahn es la red de tren ligero que funciona en Essen, Gelsenkirchen y Mülheim an der Ruhr ciudades del estado federado de Renania del Norte-Westfalia en Alemania. El sistema está integrado en la red Stadtbahn del Rhin-Ruhr y es conocido localmente como U-Bahn.
At present, Essen Stadtbahn is operated through 3 lines, namely, U11, U17 and U18. Together they cover 45 stations. The track length is nearly 20 km. Essener Verkehrs-AG (EVAG), a public undertaking under Essen city authority, operates the lines in collaboration with transport companies of the other two cities.
After the World War II, planning started to construct an underground tramway as a solution to the road traffic congestion. It was later supposed to be upgraded to a U-Bahn system. The construction started in the early 1960s and the first section, an 8 km long track between the Essen inner city and Mülheim-Heißen was opened for revenue service on 28 May 1977. Further stations and lines were added subsequently and the system achieved its current length in September 2011.
Construction of the Essen Standtbahn was vital to facilitate connectivity within the Rhein-Ruhr region. As the system started operation,
- Northern suburbs of Essen got easily connected to Gelsenkirchen.
- Altenessen was directly connected to Mülheim and the Rhein-Ruhr-Zentrum.
- Students got a convenient connection between Essen Hauptbahnhof and the University of Essen.
Hours of Operation
On weekdays, U-Bahn runs from 4:30 AM till 11 PM. On Saturdays, the system operates from 7 in the morning and on Sundays and holidays, from 8 in the morning. On weekdays, the headway is 10 minutes and on weekends and holidays 15 minutes.
Get the timetables for each line here.
Lines and Stations
The system is partly underground, partly elevated. 9.8 km of the total track lies at the underground level. This section runs under the city center area. The section between Berliner Platz and Essen Hauptbahnhof is covered by all three lines. Between Karl Platz and Berliner Platz, only U11 and U17 are operational. The areas between Bismarkplatz and Essen Hauptbahnhof are served by both U17 and U18. The rest of the sections have only one line.
U18 runs completely segregated from other lines and offers no transfer possibilities to any other mode of public transport. For the other two lines, only the elevated tram lines allow interchange. Passengers can transfer to other U-Bahn, tram, bus and railway lines.
The lines are numbered such a way that they indicate the type of transport (U-Bahn), the number of the area served (1 for Essen and Mülheim) and the number of the tram line (1, 7 and 8 respectively).
This line serves as an important mode of transport between Gurga Park, Messe and Altenessen. There are total 23 stations along this line including: Messe, Rüttenscheid , Essen Hauptbahnhof , Altenessen, E-Karnap, GE-Buerer Strasse.
The line connects Margarethenhoehe in the south of Essen to Karlsplatz in Altenessen. It is a relatively shorter line and connects only 17 stations. Main stations along the line are: Margarethenhöh, Holsterhausen, Essen Hauptbahnho, Berliner Platz, Karlsplatz
It runs from Essen to Mulheim an der Ruhr. It is more of a rapid transit line with mostly above ground sections. Mülheim Hauptbahnhof is the most important station on this line offering transfer to Duisburg tram lines. Giving easy access to many of popular shopping areas of the region, the line got its nickname Shopping Line. It also runs through 17 stations including: Mülheim Hauptbahnhof, Ruhr-Zentrum , MH-Rhein, Essen Hauptbahnhof, Berliner Platz
There are plans to expand the system further.
- U17 may be extended after Margarethenhoehe another three new stations.
- U11 may also be extended in the southern direction.
- In place of high-floor trams, low-floor trams will be introduced.
- Essen Stadtbahn, in near future, is going to connect to Düsseldorf International Airport.
Fare and Ticket
The fare of the system is calculated similarly to any other Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr transport system. There are fare slabs that vary with the distance traveled. For traveling up to 3 stations, passengers can use short distance tickets for 1.60 Euro each. For the entire city, there is the class A ticket, which costs 2.60 Euro. With class D ticket, a passenger can travel to any area within the VRR region. Children aged between 6 to 14 years pay the same fare, irrespective of the distance traveled.
VRR offers varied ticketing options including single journey tickets, day tickets, semester tickets, 7-day tickets etc. Tickets can be purchased either online or from ticket vending machines located at the stations. Remember, Stadtbahn drivers sell no tickets.
View details of Essen Stadtbahn’s fare calculation and ticket options here.
Facilities and Services
EVAG makes available some facilities and services in order to ensure better riding experience for the passengers.
- The system is fully accessible. Even the high platforms are disabled-friendly.
- Announcements are in German and English.
- Ticket vending machines have instructions in English also.
- All the stations and the trains have large displays of the system map.
- For strollers, wheelchairs and bikes, the Standtbahn cars have reserved places.
To let the system function smoothly, the authority has set certain rules. These rules also apply to other EVAG transport systems.
- A day ticket is valid from the time of purchase till 3 AM on the next day.
- To buy tickets using your mobile, you have to register yourself in the EVAG database.
- Smoking is generally prohibited on platforms and on the U-Bahn. To smoke while in the platform, you must go to the designated areas.
Here are few tips for an enjoyable journey through Essen Stadtbahn.
- Rather buying single journey tickets multiple times, buy booklets of 4 single-journey tickets or 10 single journey tickets. You’ll be able to save on the fare price.
- Before commencing your journey, it is better to check once the EVAG website for updates on any route change or cancellation.
- If you are a tourist, interested to explore city’s attractions, buy an Essen Welcome card. You would be able to ride U-Bahn for free.
Connection to the airport
The nearest airport to Essen is Düsseldorf International Airport. This airport has international and domestic flights from Dusseldorf,Germany and is 34 km from the center of Essen.
Another airport is Dortmund Airport which has international and domestic flights from Dortmund and is 50 km from Essen.