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A new Variobahn train on the U35 line.
|Locale||Bochum/Herne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany|
|Transit type||Light rail (Stadtbahn)|
|Number of lines||1|
|Number of stations||21 (15 underground)|
|Began operation||2 September 1989|
|System length||approx. 15 km (9 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)
The Bochum Stadtbahn is a light rail line, linking the cities of Bochum and Gelsenkirchen and the surrounding cities of Herne, Hattingen and Witten. It is operated by BOGESTRA. It consists of a single Stadtbahn line, which includes some underground tunnel sections beneath the city centers of Bochum and Gelsenkirchen.
The Bochum Stadtbahn opened on 2 September 1989, then operating a route between Castle Herne Strünkede and Bochum Central Station. An extension of the line from the Bochum Central Station south to the Ruhr-University Bochum and to Hustadt opened for service on 28 November 1993. Planned sections of the Bochum Stadtbahn northwest to Recklinghausen and southeast to Witten were never implemented due to the associated costs to these respective municipalities.
Route and operations
The Bochum Stadtbahn route is called the U35 line. It runs north-south for approximately 15 kilometers (9 mi) from Schloss Strünkede in Herne, via the city center of Bochum and the Ruhr University Bochum, to Querenburg in Bochum. More than two-thirds of this line runs underground. Only the southernmost six stations are at grade, in the portion of the U35 line that runs in the median of a highway. On this section, there are three at-grade road crossings, which renders it not a true metro system but a light rail one. The U35 is by far the busiest public transport line in the BOGESTRA service area – it is the only rail line to run every 5 minutes on weekdays and the only one on which the trains consist of two coupled-car trainsets.
The other Stadtbahn lines that were planned for the Bochum Stadtbahn system were never finished, but portions of those planned lines were built and are in use by transit. In Bochum, two more tunnels were built under the city center, one east-west tunnel and one northeast-southwest tunnel. Both of these have four underground stations. In Gelsenkirchen, a tunnel was built as well – it begins at the train station and from there heads north, via the city center.
The U35 line uses the Stadtbahnwagen B cars, which are currently being replaced by new Variobahn trainsets. For light rail, Variobahn trains are built with a high-floor design, while for the tramway operation they are built with a low-floor design.
The tramlines in the Bochum area currently operate using R1.1 cars (based on their use in Bonn tramway's system). These are also being replaced by Variobahns trams, with the first of those to be operated on the 306 tramline.
- Schwandl, Robert (2012). Schwandl's Tram Atlas Deutschland (3rd ed.). Berlin: Robert Schwandl Verlag. pp. 16–19. ISBN 9783936573336. (German) (English)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bochum Stadtbahn.|
- BOGESTRA Homepage (German)