Hamburg S-Bahn

Hamburg S-Bahn

Other plans, which are currently shelved, would have the S-Bahn network dramatically increased. S-Bahn trains would go as far as Kaltenkirchen (the private AKN Eisenbahn currently connects to Kaltenkirchen from Eidelstedt).

An expansion plan which has been discussed for some time is the opening (or reopening) of a line S4. Plans for this have been around since the 1960s.Whilst planning the city S-Bahn and network extensions of the 1960s, the German railway thought of building an S-Bahn line 4. This line should have left Altona in a north westerly direction towards Lurup. To the east of the city, the new line should have travelled with the current S1 and S11 to Hasselbrook and from there further to the east and finally in a northerly direction via Wandsbek to Ahrensburg along the existing regional train line R10.

In the end, only the eastern part of the line from Hauptbahnhof was implemented, and this was only in the from of a regional railway line, which was designated a S-Bahn line, since the HVV did not offer travel with regional railways at the time, but wanted its fare system to be valid on the new line. Neither is it the case that new stations were built along the regional line. This made sense, because the diesel-driven S-Bahn locomotives had poor acceleration and decreased distance between stations would have been uneconomical, since the trains would have had to brake, even before they had reached a high speed.

Since September 2000, a popular initiave in Stormarn is working for the improvement of the S4, today the R10. The initiave are currently basing their arguments on a feasibility study, which was ordered by S-Bahn Hamburg GmbH in the year 2002 and in principle dusted off the plans from the 1960s. According to the study, the extension involves improving the line to a proper S-Bahn line, served by electric trains and the addition of extra stations. The first step would be the improvement of the line as far as Ahrensburg with a further intended step being the continuation to Bad Oldesloe. Dual system trains would be necessary for the new line like those to be used on the extensions to Stade. A third rail would be built as far as Ahrensburg, from where the trains would use the overhead lines.

Despite large amounts of interest from the areas of Hamburg surrounding the proposed route, as well as neighbouring communities and the positive feasibility study, the Hamburg city council has yet to take any steps to put the realisation of this proposal in action.

Rolling stock

The Hamburg S-Bahn uses three-car electrical multiple units (EMUs). They are driven by direct current supplied via third rail. The rolling stock consists of 447 vehicles of the following types:

*Type 470 (built from 1959 until 1970, in service until 2002, central carriage of type 870)
*Type 471 (built from 1939 until 1958, in service until 2001, central carriage of type 871)
*Type 472 (built from 1974 until 1984, central carriage of type 473)
*Type 474 (built from 1996, central carriage of type 874)

Single three-carriage trains are designated "short train" in service. Several units can be combined to form a so-called "full train" with six carriages or a "long train" with nine carriages.

Until 2001, Hamburg's S-Bahn system used to be one of very few suburban railway systems to offer two classes of service. A quieter and cushier first class was available to passengers willing to pay a 50% supplement on the traditional (2nd) class fare.

Of the different train types, only type 472 and type 474 trains are found in current regular service. The last remaining type 470 and type 471 trains have been permanently removed from service in 2002 and 2001 respectively. The new type 474 trains primarily serve the lines S1, S11, S3 and S31, whereas type 472 trains are generally used for lines S2 and S21.

With the expansion of the S-Bahn network to Stade, new dual-system trains will be deployed. These are identical to the type 474 units, with an additional pantograph on top of the central carriage to collect 15 kV alternate current from overhead lines.

With the introduction of type 474 trains, the colour scheme of beige and marine blue, which had been used previously on Hamburg's S-Bahn, has been replaced by a colour called "Transport Red" (RAL 3020). External advertising covering the entire bodies of trains was also abandoned at this time.

The implementation of a consistent corporate design led to type 472 trains also being updated with the new colour scheme. This has left the Berlin S-Bahn as the only German S-Bahn train types with an individual design.

Type 474 trains were initially provided with the very same colour scheme as the type DT4 trains of the Hamburg U-Bahn (white, grey, red). This early experiment was quickly given up, and all of Hamburg's S-Bahn trains now appear in the shiny "Transport Red".


The Hamburg S-Bahn network currently has 67 stations, of which nine are fully underground. These are the five stations along the so-called City-S-Bahn ("Jungfernstieg", "Stadthausbrücke", "Landungsbrücken", "Reeperbahn" and "Königstraße"), the S-Bahn area of "Altona" station as well as the three stations in the centre of Harburg ("Harburg", "Harburg Rathaus" and "Heimfeld"). At the Hauptbahnhof (Hamburg Central Station), the platforms heading west are also located in a tunnel.After completion of all current plans, the number of stations will increase to 68 by 2008. One of the new stations, the one at Hamburg Airport, will also be situated in a tunnel.

Most stations of the S-Bahn network consist of a single island platform. At the interchange stations "Hauptbahnhof" and "Altona" there are two island platforms: one for trains heading to the city centre and one for the other direction. At the terminal stations "Neugraben" and "Pinneberg" the two S-Bahn tracks are located between a side platform and an island platform, on the other side of which regional rail trains stop. Side platforms can also be found at the triple-track stations "Bergedorf", "Berliner Tor (lower level)", "Blankenese" and "Harburg Rathaus", the twin-track station "Billwerder-Moorfleet" and at the only single-track station, "Iserbrook".

All stations have electronic passenger information systems, which inform passengers about the line, destination route, length and stopping position of the next train, missed connections and temporary disturbances to service.During the last hundred days before the opening of the World cup 2006, the systems also displayed a countdown of the remaining days.

Some stations, for example "Landungsbrücken" and "Harburg Rathaus", are designed as civilian shelters. Observant passengers may notice the heavy protective entrance doors as the only sign of this dual use.

ervice time and intervals

Trains run daily from about 04:30 to 01:00. There is a nightly service during the nights before Saturdays, Sundays, and the public holidays in Germany.

The base interval for lines S1, S21, S3 and S31 during the day is 10 minutes. Before 06:00, after 23:00 and during weekend night service, the interval is 20 minutes. Multiple lines running on the same tracks through the city centre cause shorter intervals. Peak-time lines S2 und S11 further decrease intervals in the morning and afternoon.

See also

* Hamburg U-Bahn
* AKN Eisenbahn
* List of rapid transit systems



* Erich Staisch: "Die Hamburger S-Bahn. Chronik eines modernen Verkehrsmittels.", Hamburg 1984, ISBN 3-455-08874-0
* Erich Staisch (Hrsg.): "Die Hamburger S-Bahn. Geschichte und Zukunft.", Hamburg 1996, ISBN 3-89234-694-1
* Wolfgang Pischek, Jan Borchers, Martin Heimann, "Die Hamburger S-Bahn. Mit Gleichstrom durch die Hansestadt.", München 2002, ISBN 3-7654-7191-7
* Michael Braun: "Hamburg lernt von Berlin. Punktsieg für Gleichstrom", in: "LOK MAGAZIN" Nr. 259, München 2003, S. 68-77, ISSN|0458-1822

External links

* [ Official Homepage of the S-Bahn Hamburg GmbH (German)]
* [ "Die Hamburger S-Bahn" by Martin Heimann (German)]
* [ S-Bahn Hamburg by Robert Schwandl (German)]
* [ Hamburg Network Visions by R. Arndt, L. Gilliard and C. Luschnat]

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