Sunday, January 22, 2012

Dortmund Light Rail Developments, Germany

Aside from plentiful services on the IC/ICE networks centred on the soon-to-be rebuilt Dortmund Hauptbahnhof (handling 150,000 daily); heavy rail routes provide much local transport through DB's S-Bahn and regional operations. However, higher frequencies and closer stops are available on the commuter services of the local utilities group, Dortmunder Stadtwerke AG, branded as DSW21.
With so many interests in the area, including 'Dortmund Airport 21', 13km (8 miles) to the east and the suspended H-Bahn system at Dortmund University, DSW21 has a clear view of its role: "To set the city in motion. Over 127 million customers use the well-structured network of buses, trams and trains every year".
Less overtly anti-car than is normal when public transport is being promoted, the authority operates a parking guidance system to direct drivers to one of 7,600 parking places in 14 multi-storey or underground car parks.

Inside a Dortmunder U-Bahn wagon, line 42, Grevel-Hombruch, developed in 1980s

DSW21's rail-based transport is of two standard gauge types. The majority stems from the attempt in the 1960s to establish an inter-urban light rail system (Stadtbahn) to connect and pass through the centres of adjoining cities in the Rhein-Ruhr region.
Although not realised on the regional front, as with fellow NRW city Düsseldorf, the scheme did yield a core high-floor 'supertram' operation largely devoid of road conflicts and only emerging from tunnels (totalling 17.5km) when away from the city centre.
Routes are on two in-tunnel lines that cross at Stadtgarten Interchange in central Dortmund, linked at the southern end near the Westfalenhallen and Westfalenstadion (Signal Iduna Park) entertainments area just to the south. This link avoids reversal, with routes switching identities as they return along the tunnel opposite that on which they arrived. Branches from the two core lines provide six 'U'-designated Stadtbahn routes.
The other mode is represented by the two tram routes on a branching double-track section on an east-west axis, survivors of a vastly bigger system. Segregated from the Stadtbahn except at the common Dorstfeld depot, the 403/404 services (to be re-designated as U43/U44) are due to be being rerouted in 2008 via a new 2.3km (1.4 mile) tunnel between Ostentor and and Heinrichstrasse. 

more about Germany:

The Münster Application for the European Green Capital Award

Bicycle policies of the European principals: continuous and integral

Artbase Grabowsee – Urban Art Festival

The International Doctorate Programme European Urban Studies (IPP-EU), Bauhaus University, Weimar, Germany

The streets of central city of Aachen, Germany

The pedestrian streets of Bochum central city


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