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The Hamburg U-Bahn is a rapid transit system serving the cities of Hamburg, Norderstedt and Ahrensburg in Germany. Although technically an underground, most of the system's track length is above ground as with many other U-Bahn networks in Germany. The network is interconnected with the city's S-Bahn system, which also has underground sections. It is operated by Hamburger Hochbahn and belongs to the Hamburger Verkehrsverbund (HVV). It was opened in February 1912 and comprises three lines with a length of 101 km (Script error mi) in 2006.

History Edit

In 1906 the Hamburg Senate awarded a contract for the Over and Underground Rail to Siemens & Halske and AEG of Berlin. The first stretch was completed on 7 October 1906. This was followed in 1911 with the founding of the Hamburger Hochbahn Aktiengesellschaft (HHA). Thus Hamburg became the third German city (after Berlin, 1902 and Schöneberg, 1910) to have a U-Bahn (then known as the High and Underground Railway (Hoch- und Untergrundbahn) as it is largely either elevated or in tunnels - not much at street level).

The construction of such a railway had long been discussed, meanwhile an elevated train was also considered. In 1906 a circular route was begun, connecting Hamburg Hauptbahnhof – Berliner Tor – Barmbek (earlier spelling: Barmbeck) – Kellinghusenstraße – Schlump – Landungsbrücken (earlier designation: Hafentor) – Rathaus – Hauptbahnhof with branches to the quarters of Eimsbüttel, Ohlsdorf and Rothenburgsort. On 15 February 1912 the first stretch of the future Ringbahn (Circle railway) between Rathaus station und Barmbek was inaugurated. The stretch included both underground and elevated sections.

Network development Edit

Hamburger Hochbahn - Entwicklungsgeschichte

Map showing the network development

Hamburg U-Bahn DT4

U-Bahn Hamburg rolling stock type DT4

Hamburg U-Bahn Hochbahn

Hamburger Hochbahn on the Vorsetzen

By 1915 the Ringbahn and the three spurs, from Kellinghusenstraße to Ohlsdorf, from Schlump to Hellkamp (today: disused station between Oster- and Lutterothstraße) and from central station to Rothenburgsort were completed. By 1934 the extensions from Ohlsdorf to Ochsenzoll (Langenhorner Bahn), from Kellinghusenstraße to Jungfernstieg (KellJung line), and the Walddörferbahn (Forestvillages line) from Barmbek to Großhansdorf and Ohlstedt were completed.

In 1943, during the Second World War the subway was badly damaged during 'Operation Gomorrah,' the RAF bombing of Hamburg that summer. The stretch from Hauptbahnhof to Rothenburgsort was not repaired because the district it passed through had been completely destroyed. It was five more years before the remaining network was once more completely intact.

Further additions to the network were made, starting in 1960. The KellJung line was extended via Meßberg to the central station (Hauptbahnhof). Later in 1962 the extension reached Wandsbek Markt and in 1963 Wandsbek-Gartenstadt. The total network length was 67.9 kilometres (Script error mi).

The construction of a Durchmesserstrecke (diameter route) began in 1963. The plan was to connect Billstedt with Stellingen. The Eimsbüttel branch formed the western part of the line. The branch was extended up to Hagenbecks Tierpark in 1966. The existing terminus at Hellkamp was withdrawn from service and a new station was built at Lutterothstraße further northwest.

The connection between Berliner Tor and Horner Rennbahn was opened in 1967. In the same year this eastern branch was extended to Legienstraße. Further extensions took place in 1969 to Billstedt and in 1970 towards Merkenstraße. The extension Ochsenzoll – Garstedt came into service in May 1969. Thus, the network total length reached 88.5 km (Script error mi).

A new core stretch of the line U2, between Schlump and Berliner Tor, became a direct connection through the city centre. Next to be brought into service were sections from Hauptbahnhof Nord to Berliner Tor in 1968, and from Schlump (low) to Gänsemarkt in 1970, then the last section, with two new platforms at the station Jungfernstieg under the Binnenalster, in 1973. This station, as well as Hauptbahnhof Nord, was developed as part of the U4 line that was planned at that time.

In 1985 the section to Hagenbecks Tierpark was extended to Niendorf Markt and again in 1991 as far as Niendorf Nord. In 1990 the extension Merkenstraße – Mümmelmannsberg was opened. The most recent line extension opened in 1996 between Garstedt and Norderstedt Mitte, which replaced the southern part of the Alsternordbahn. With that, the network reached its current status.

In 2005 the Hamburg U-Bahn had a length of some 100.7 kilometres (Script error mi), of which 40 km (Script error mi) are underground. It had 89 station stops.

In 2009, the U3, beginning in Barmbek, traversed the complete ring line, thereby taking over the stretch between Berliner Tor and Barmbek, which was formerly served by the U2. In order to realise a problem-free service, a redesign of the current track layout to the west of Berliner Tor was necessary. An originally planned grade separated crossing of the two lines was realised, which was left undone before due to cost. Trains coming from the city centre leave the ring at Barmbek and continue via the viaduct stretch to the end stations. One branch leads via the Walddörferbahn to Wandsbek-Gartenstadt, a stretch formerly served by the U2.[1]

Future development Edit

Abandoned projects Edit

Hamburg U-Bahn Beimoor

Remains of the U-Bahn station Beimoor

Hamburg U-Bahn Hauptbahnhof Nord 2

Type DT4 in Hauptbahnhof Nord

The eastern branch of the "Walddörferbahn" was originally intended to terminate at the station Beimoor, just to the north of Großhansdorf, in order to connect a proposed housing development to the public transport system. By the time work was abandoned, the station platform had already been finished and tracks had been laid. Today the remains of the station are used as a winter home for bats in the middle of a dry grass biotope.

Plans for a fourth line have been discussed since the 1970s. In those days it was planned for the line to lead from City Nord and Uhlenhorst via the city centre and Altona to Lurup and Osdorfer Born. In order to link the green-field housing development at Osdorfer Born to the rest of the city as quickly as possible, a limited service on the stretch between Altona und Osdorfer Born was planned. Until the connection with the rest of the network was ready, it was intended to transport trains with flatbed trucks for maintenance in the service depot in Barmbek. Platforms and track beds for this stretch were completed in the stations Hauptbahnhof Nord and Jungfernstieg. Preparations for tunnel constructions were made in the area of Hamburg-Altona railway station and under the motorway A 7 in Bahrenfeld. In preparation for the junction with the U1, an extra platform was built at the new station Sengelmannstraße. All these constructions remain unused to this day. The northern surplus platform area at Hauptbahnhof Nord is currently used for the art installation Sterne by Raimund Kummer and Stefan Huber. Here several concrete stars lie over the whole platform area as if they had fallen from the sky.

Projects in progress Edit

Another project was presented in 2002. According to current plans from the beginning of 2008, the new line U4 will connect HafenCity (2 Stations) with the city centre. The new line will meet the U2 at Jungfernstieg and together they will continue via Hauptbahnhof and Berliner Tor onto the Billstedter line, along which the U2 currently runs. The branch will leads via a new stretch to Steilshoop and Bramfeld (some four stations). More detailed plans were begun in 2003. The new line will open to public in 2011 at the earliest.

Network routes overview Edit

The Hamburger Hochbahn plc comprises three U-Bahn lines:

Line Stretches from
North / West
to South / East
(Terminate stations in bold)
U1 Langenhorner Bahn Norderstedt MitteRichtwegGarstedtOchsenzoll – Kiwittsmoor – Langenhorn Nord – Langenhorn Markt – Fuhlsbüttel Nord – Fuhlsbüttel – Klein Borstel – Ohlsdorf (S1, S11)
Ohlsdorf branch Ohlsdorf – Sengelmannstraße – Alsterdorf – Lattenkamp – Hudtwalckerstraße – Kellinghusenstraße (U3)
KellJung-Linie Kellinghusenstraße – Klosterstern – Hallerstraße – StephansplatzJungfernstieg (U2, U3, S1, S2, S3, Alster ferries)
Meßberglinie JungfernstiegMeßberg – Steinstraße – Hauptbahnhof Süd (U3, S1, S11, S2, S21, S3, S31)
Wandsbek extension Hauptbahnhof SüdLohmühlenstraßeLübecker Straße (U3)Wartenau – Ritterstraße – Wandsbeker Chaussee (S1, S11)Wandsbek Markt – Straßburger Straße – Alter Teichweg – Wandsbek-Gartenstadt (U3)
Walddörferbahn Wandsbek-Gartenstadt – Trabrennbahn – Farmsen – Berne – Meiendorfer Weg – Volksdorf
Volksdorf – Buckhorn – Hoisbüttel – Ohlstedt
Volksdorf – Buchenkamp – Ahrensburg West – Ahrensburg Ost – Schmalenbeck – Kiekut – Großhansdorf
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U2 Niendorf extension Niendorf Nord – Schippelsweg – Joachim-Mähl-Straße – Niendorf Markt – Hagendeel – Hagenbecks Tierpark
Eimsbüttel branch Hagenbecks Tierpark – Lutterothstraße – Osterstraße – Emilienstraße – Christuskirche – Schlump (U3)
Diameter route Schlump – Messehallen – Gänsemarkt – Jungfernstieg (U1, S1, S2, S3, Alster ferries)Hauptbahnhof Nord (S1, S11, S2, S21, S3, S31)Berliner Tor (U3, S1, S11, S2, S21)
Billstedt branch Berliner Tor – Burgstraße – Hammer Kirche – Rauhes Haus – Horner Rennbahn – Legienstraße – Billstedt – Merkenstraße – Steinfurther Allee – Mümmelmannsberg
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U3 Ring
(Circle Line)
Barmbek (U3, S1, S11)Saarlandstraße – Borgweg – Sierichstraße – Kellinghusenstraße (U1) – Eppendorfer Baum – Hoheluftbrücke – Schlump (U2)Sternschanze (S11, S21, S31) – Feldstraße – St. PauliLandungsbrücken (S1, S2, S3, Elbe ferries) – Baumwall – Rödingsmarkt – Rathaus (Jungfernstieg: U1, U2, S1, S2, S3) – Mönckebergstraße – Hauptbahnhof Süd (U1, S1, S11, S2, S21, S3, S31)Berliner Tor (U2, S1, S11, S2, S21)Lübecker Straße (U1) – Uhlandstraße – Mundsburg – Hamburger Straße – Dehnhaide – Barmbek (U3, S1, S11)
Walddörferbahn Barmbek – Habichtstraße – Wandsbek-Gartenstadt (U1)
Hamburger Hochbahn - Linienplan (mit Tunnels)

Hamburg U-Bahn network with tunnel sections

The line names U1 und U2 were introduced with the timetable change on 22 May 1966, the name U3 followed on 2 January 1967. Until the completion of the direct inner-city stretch, the future U2, on 3 June 1973, the partial services on the already completed eastern (Hauptbahnhof Nord − Berliner Tor (− Barmbek) since 29 September 1968) and western (Schlump − Gänsemarkt since 31 May 1970) sections were known as U21 and U22 respectively.

U4 project Edit

In 2011 the Hamburger Hochbahn and the Hamburger Verkehrsverbund are planning to open the new line U4. There had been an ongoing discussion about the costs and the benefit of this line, but the government of Hamburg decided to build it nevertheless. The underground line will be dug using the same machinery as for the building of the new tunnel of the Elbe tunnel.[2]

Line Stops
(Terminate stations in bold)
U4 HafenCity University – Überseequartier – Jungfernstieg (U1, U2, S1, S2, S3)
JungfernstiegHauptbahnhof Nord (S1, S11, S2, S21, S3, S31)
Hauptbahnhof NordBerliner Tor (U3, S1, S11, S2, S21) – Burgstraße – Hammer Kirche – Rauhes Haus – Horner Rennbahn – Legienstraße – Billstedt

Stations Edit

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U-Bahn stations at Hamburg Hauptbahnhof Edit

Hamburg U-Bahn Hauptbahnhof Nord

Type DT3 in the station Hauptbahnhof Nord (U2)

Hamburg Hauptbahnhof is not only a central junction with the mainline railway, but also, due to the confluence of three U-Bahn lines and the S-Bahn station, an important interchange for suburban public transport.

Tunnels for the first underground railway were constructed at the same time as the Hauptbahnhof itself. The tunnels run under the mainline tracks, which are themselves below street level. The current U3 stops at this station, which, for more clarity, is now known as Hauptbahnhof Süd. There is also an underground pedestrian tunnel parallel to the U3 circle line tunnel, which, until its closure in 1991, allowed a quick connection to the mainline platforms.

The unusual width of the vaulted station is due to the fact that it originally housed four tracks; the Rothenburgsort branch, which was destroyed in World War II and never rebuilt, used to begin here. The tunnels for the U1 were driven under the mainline railway next to the U3 tunnels in 1959. The platform for the U1 lies directly south to the U3 and is accessible via the same station entrances.

The opening of the line U2 (U21 in 1969) lead to the construction of a further underground station Hauptbahnhof Nord to serve it. The station is Template:Convert/m below the surface; in the direction of the Jungfernstieg station, the tunnels pass under the Aussenalster, an artificial lake. The two outer platforms remain unused since their construction and were originally intended for a proposed U-Bahn line between Altona/Lurup and Winterhude/City Nord. According to current plans, the unused platforms will be used for the new line U4, which is scheduled to connect to the quarter HafenCity via Jungfernstieg by 2011.

Operating company Edit

The system is owned and operated by the Hamburger Hochbahn (HHA), except the Garstedt – Norderstedt Mitte section, which is owned by the Verkehrsgesellschaft Norderstedt company (VGN) but also operated by the Hamburger Hochbahn.

Service information Edit

Services operate with a 5 or 10 minute frequency with the exception of the northeastern peripheral branches of U1 that have a 10 or 20 minute frequency. Since the timetable change in December 2004 the U-Bahn operates an all-night, 20 minute service interval on Friday and Saturday nights.

See also Edit

Notes Edit

  1. Number of vehicles without maintenance trains.

References Edit

  1. Script error
  2. Website U4 project, see external links

External links Edit

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