Munich S-Bahn

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S-Bahn München
ET 423 244 MHAB.jpg
S-Bahn train at Hackerbrücke (Br 423)
Locale Munich
Transit type Rapid Transit, Regional rail
Number of lines 10
Number of stations 150[1]
Daily ridership 800,000[2]
Began operation 28 May 1972
Operator(s) S-Bahn München
System length 442 km (275 mi)
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) (standard gauge)
Electrification 15 kV, 16.7 Hz AC Overhead lines
System map

Map of the Munich S-Bahn system.

The Munich S-Bahn (German: S-Bahn München) is an electric rail transit system in Munich, Germany. "S-Bahn" is the German abbreviation for Stadtschnellbahn (literally, "urban rapid rail"), and the Munich S-Bahn exhibits characteristics of both rapid transit and commuter rail systems.

The Munich S-Bahn network is operated by S-Bahn München, a subsidiary of DB Regio Bayern that is itself a subsidiary of the German national railway. It is now integrated into the Munich Transport and Tariff Association (Münchner Verkehrs- und Tarifverbund, MVV) and interconnected throughout the city with the locally-owned Munich U-Bahn. Today, the S-Bahn covers most of the populated area of the Munich Metropolitan area of about 2.7 million inhabitants.

The Munich S-Bahn was established on 28 May 1972. It was intended as part of the scheme to provide an adequate transport system during the 1972 Summer Olympics held in Munich by connecting the pre-existing suburban rail services in the west and east of the city via a new tunnel section from Hauptbahnhof to München Ost station (Ostbahnhof).



Network of the Munich S-Bahn since 2009

The system has seven branches in the west, which were originally numbered from north to south from the S 1 (to Freising) to the S 7 (Wolfratshausen). As a result of operational requirements, which have since changed several times, particularly as a result of line extensions, these are coupled with the five eastern branches. This results in random numbering in the east. Two lines end at Munich East station (Ostbahnhof), these are currently S 1 and S 6. The first change was made in June 1991 when the branch to Ebersberg changed from S 5 to S 4. The line to Wolfratshausen was first called the S 10, but when it was connected to run over the trunk line it was changed to the S 7.

The S-Bahn branch in the east via Ismaning to the airport was designated as the S 8. Later this was combined with the original line S 3, which shared part the route of the S 8, and the new route is called the S 8. This eliminated route S 3. The old route S 5 was later largely replaced by the current S 3, so there is currently no line S 5.

In addition there are lines S 20 and S 27, which run from Munich Central Station (Hauptbahnhof) and Pasing to Deisenhofen. These two lines do not run through the trunk line tunnel. The numbers beginning with 2 comes from the time of the introduction of these lines, as the line to Holzkirchen via Deisenhofen still had the number S 2 (instead of the current S 3). These lines cross the Isar via Großhesselohe Bridge.

The diesel-powered line running over the Dachau–Altomünster railway is also part of S-Bahn network and is designated as S-Bahn line A. It starts from the S 2 in Dachau and runs to Altomünster. It is proposed that it be electrified and integrated as a branch of the S 2 as part of a € 520 million development program.

In the Deutsche Bahn time table, the S-Bahn lines are numbered from 999.1 to 999.8 and 999.20; line A is numbered as 999.30.


The basic interval of the Munich S-Bahn is one train every 20 minutes. On parts of some branches during peak hours there is a 10 minute frequency produced by added trains. A special case is the line to Erding, where on weekdays a mix of express trains from Erding and normal S-Bahn trains from Markt Schwaben runs in the morning peaks, producing a 10 minute frequency west of Munich East station. There are also occasional additional trains on the western section of the S4 and on the S1 between Freising and Munich during the peak hour, which do not continue past the Hauptbahnhof (not run through the trunk line tunnel). One of three trains do not run to the end some branches at off-peak times, so that on these outer sections trains run at 20 or 40 minutes alternatively.

Line Route Frequency
S1 Freising – Pulling – Neufahrn Every 20 or 40 minutes alternatively
Munich Airport – Flughafen Besucherpark – Neufahrn – Eching – Lohhof – Unterschleißheim – Oberschleißheim – Feldmoching – Fasanerie – Moosach – Laim – Hirschgarten – Donnersbergerbrücke – Hackerbrücke – Hauptbahnhof – Karlsplatz (Stachus) – Marienplatz – Isartor – Rosenheimer Platz – Ostbahnhof Every 20 minutes
S2 Petershausen – Vierkirchen-Esterhofen – Röhrmoos – Hebertshausen – Dachau Every 20 or 40 minutes alternatively
Altomünster – Kleinberghofen – Erdweg – Arnbach – Markt Indersdorf – Niederroth – Schwabhausen – Bachern – Dachau Stadt – Dachau Every 60 minutes,
every 30 minutes in the peak hour
Dachau – Karlsfeld – Allach – Untermenzing – Obermenzing – Laim – Hirschgarten – Donnersbergerbrücke – Hackerbrücke – Hauptbahnhof – Karlsplatz (Stachus) – Marienplatz – Isartor – Ostbahnhof – Leuchtenbergring – Berg am Laim – Riem – Feldkirchen – Heimstetten – Grub – Poing – Markt Schwaben Every 20 minutes
Markt Schwaben – Ottenhofen – St. Kolomann – Aufhausen – Altenerding – Erding Every 20 or 40 minutes alternatively
S3 Mammendorf – Malching – Maisach Every 20 or 40 minutes alternatively
Maisach – Gernlinden – Esting – Olching – Gröbenzell – Lochhausen – Langwied – Pasing – Laim – Hirschgarten – Donnersbergerbrücke – Hackerbrücke – Hauptbahnhof – Karlsplatz (Stachus) – Marienplatz – Isartor – Rosenheimer Platz – Ostbahnhof – St.-Martin-Straße – Giesing – Fasangarten – Fasanenpark – Unterhaching – Taufkirchen – Furth – Deisenhofen (*) Every 20 minutes
Deisenhofen – Sauerlach – Otterfing – Holzkirchen Every 20 or 40 minutes alternatively
S4 Geltendorf – Türkenfeld – Grafrath (– Schöngeising – Buchenau) Every 20 or 40 minutes alternatively
(Grafrath – Schöngeising –) Buchenau – Fürstenfeldbruck – Eichenau – Puchheim – Aubing – Leienfelsstraße – Pasing – Laim – Hirschgarten – Donnersbergerbrücke – Hackerbrücke – Hauptbahnhof – Karlsplatz (Stachus) – Marienplatz – Isartor – Rosenheimer Platz – Ostbahnhof – Leuchtenbergring – Berg am Laim – Trudering – Gronsdorf – Haar – Vaterstetten – Baldham – Zorneding – Eglharting – Kirchseeon – Grafing station Every 20 minutes
Grafing station – Grafing Stadt – Ebersberg Every 20 or 40 minutes alternatively
S6 Tutzing – Feldafing – Possenhofen – Starnberg Every 20 or 40 minutes alternatively
Starnberg – Starnberg Nord – Gauting – Stockdorf – Planegg – Gräfelfing – Lochham – Westkreuz – Pasing – Laim – HirschgartenDonnersbergerbrückeHackerbrücke – Hauptbahnhof – Karlsplatz (Stachus) – Marienplatz – Isartor – Rosenheimer Platz – Ostbahnhof Every 20 minutes
Ostbahnhof (– Leuchtenbergring – Berg am Laim – Trudering – Gronsdorf – Haar – Vaterstetten – Baldham – Zorneding Every 20 minutes in the peak hour
S7 Wolfratshausen – Icking – Ebenhausen-Schäftlarn – Hohenschäftlarn – Baierbrunn – Buchenhain – Höllriegelskreuth Every 20 or 40 minutes alternatively
Höllriegelskreuth – Pullach – Großhesselohe Isartalbahnhof – Solln – Siemenswerke – Mittersendling – Harras – Heimeranplatz – Donnersbergerbrücke – Hackerbrücke – Hauptbahnhof – Karlsplatz (Stachus) – München Marienplatz station – Isartor – Rosenheimer Platz – Ostbahnhof – St.-Martin-Straße – Giesing – Perlach – Neuperlach Süd – Neubiberg – Ottobrunn – Hohenbrunn – Wächterhof – Höhenkirchen-Siegertsbrunn Every 20 minutes
Höhenkirchen-Siegertsbrunn – Dürrnhaar – Aying Every 20 or 40 minutes alternatively
Aying – Peiß – Großhelfendorf – Kreuzstraße Hourly
S8 Herrsching – Seefeld-Hechendorf – Steinebach – Weßling Every 20 or 40 minutes alternatively
Weßling – Neugilching – Gilching-Argelsried – Geisenbrunn – Germering-Unterpfaffenhofen – Harthaus – Neuaubing – Westkreuz – Pasing – Laim – Hirschgarten – Donnersbergerbrücke – Hackerbrücke – Hauptbahnhof – Karlsplatz (Stachus) – Marienplatz – Isartor – Rosenheimer Platz – Ostbahnhof – Leuchtenbergring – Daglfing – Englschalking – Johanneskirchen – Unterföhring – Ismaning – Hallbergmoos – Flughafen Besucherpark – Munich Airport Every 20 minutes
S20 Pasing – Heimeranplatz – Mittersendling – Siemenswerke – Solln – Großhesselohe Isartalbahnhof – Pullach – Höllriegelskreuth Hourly (Mo-Fr)

(*) Terminus of extra services in peak. Up to here services in the peak run at 10-minute intervals.

(+) Occasional additional services to create 10 minute frequency.


The S-Bahn partly operates on its own routes (one or two tracks), parts of it are double-track lines where S-Bahn operations are mixed with other traffic (passengers and freight), and in some cases more than two tracks are available. In the latter case one-or two tracks are set aside for the S-Bahn operations only and the two other tracks are used for the remaining traffic.

In the following table, the route length is shown from Munich Hauptbahnhof or from Ostbahnhof (Munich East station) because it reflects the chainage officially applied to the lines. An exception is S27 where the chainage starts at Pasing.

Line Route and
Distance from Hbf or Ostbf Other traffic Infrastructure
S1 to S8 Trunk line
11.4 km Between Pasing and Hauptbahnhof some trains are operated between Donnersbergerbrücke and Hauptbahnhof by Bayerische Oberlandbahn Three stations with three or more platform tracks, three stations using Spanish solution.
S1 West Munich–Regensburg railway
40.7 km Regional and Interregional (ALEX, DIX (Donau-Isar-Express)) services, as well as freight traffic. Two tracks in mixed operation for 34.5 km.
S1 West Neufahrn Link
Neufahrn–Airport West (7.3 km)
40.8 km S-Bahn only, except for occasional freight trains Two tracks.
S2 West Munich–Ingolstadt line
36.4 km Intercity-Express services to Berlin and Hamburg as well as Frankfurt via Nuremberg, Regional services to Nuremberg and Ingolstadt and freight traffic. Separate S-Bahn (one or two tracks) in addition to high-speed tracks for ICE and other traffic.
S2 West Dachau–Altomünster railway
47.7 km S-Bahn only Single track
S3 West Munich–Augsburg railway
31.0 km Regional, long-distance and freight traffic. This is one of the busiest lines in Germany, so it was upgraded to four tracks for the S-Bahn. Separate tracks for the S-Bahn (two to Maisach, then one to Mammendorf).
S4 West Allgäu Railway
42.1 km Various regional services every two hours, two hourly EuroCity service to Zürich, diverted long distance services from Augsburg-Munich line Two tracks mixed operations for 34.7 km. Electrified for the S-Bahn to Geltendorf.
S8 West
Munich–Herrsching railway
38.3 km Only S-Bahn services. Two tracks to Weßling, then single track.
S6 West Munich–Garmisch-Partenkirchen railway
39.6 km Regional services and occasional long distance trains to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Two separate S-Bahn tracks to Gauting, then two tracks in mixed operation.
S7 West Isar Valley Railway
31.3 km Only S-Bahn services. Two tracks to Höllriegelskreuth, then single track.
S8 East Airport line
33.1 km Freight traffic between Daglfing and North Ring. Continuous two tracks, some in mixed operation with freight.
S2 East Munich–Mühldorf railway and Markt Schwaben–Erding railway
Ostbahnhof–Markt Schwaben–Erding
34.7 km Freight and regional traffic towards Mühldorf and Freilassing to Markt Schwaben, then only S-Bahn traffic. Two tracks in mixed operation to Markt Schwaben, then single track to Erding.
S4 East Munich–Rosenheim railway and Grafing–Wasserburg railway
31.0 km Regional services to Rosenheim and Wasserburg, long distance services to Salzburg, as well as freight traffic. Four tracks to Grafing (S-Bahn operations separated), then single track with mixed traffic.
S7 East Munich East–Deisenhofen railway and Munich-Giesing–Kreuzstraße railway
30.1 km S-Bahn only. Single track.
S3 East Munich East–Deisenhofen railway and Munich–Holzkirchen railway
31.2 km S-Bahn only to Deisenhofen. The Bayerische Oberlandbahn also operates between Deisenhofen and Holzkirchen. Two tracks.
S20 Sendling Clasp
Pasing–Mittersendling–Höllriegelskreuth (8.8 km)
20.5 km Runs in part over freight tracks to/from Munich Laim marshalling yard and between Mittersendling and Solln over the Bayerische Oberland Bahn. Single track to Mittersendling, then continuing on double track in mixed operation.

Intra-Urban Long-Distance Lines[edit]

The little known connection between the Ostbahnhof and the Hauptbahnhof, called the "Suedring" runs south from Ostbahnhof, bends westward, passing over Kolumbusplatz, the Isar river, Poccistraße and Heimeranplatz to arrive at the Hauptbahnhof without any stops in between. Trains travelling on this route (DB50) are included in the MVV tariff scheme and offer a view of the city in only slightly more time than in the Stammstrecke tunnel.

Additional regional lines make calls at stations also served by the S-Bahn, but provide an effective skip-stop/express functionality for MVV patrons. Examples include:

  • Garmisch-Partenkirchen to Munich, calling at Tutzing (S6) and Pasing (Stammstrecke)
  • Augsburg to Munich, calling at Mammendorf (irregularly) and Pasing (Stammstrecke)
  • Regensburg to Munich, calling at Moosburg, and Freising (S1)
  • Rosenheim to Munich, calling at Grafing Bf (S4) and Ostbahnhof (Stammstrecke)
  • Various southern lines of the BOB, calling at Holzkirchen (S3), and regional variants from Rosenheim calling at Kreuzstraße (S6) and Holzkirchen (S5) through Großhesselohe
  • Lindau to Munich, calling at Geltendorf (S4)
  • Nürnberg to Munich, calling at Petershausen (S2) and Dachau Bf (S2)

Expansion plans announced by the MVV include a series of "Express S-Bahns" dedicated skip-stop lines that would operate through the second planned "Stammstrecke."


S-Bahn station Marienplatz with S7 to Munich East
Munich S-Bahn trunk line
Route number: 999
Line number: 5540 (Pasing–Hbf (low level))
5550 (Hbf (low level)–Ostbahnhof)
Line length: 11.4
Voltage: 15 kV, 16.7 Hz AC
Maximum incline: 4.0  %
Maximum speed: 120
S3, S4, S6, S8
0.0 Pasing
Separation of S1 and S2
3.3 Laim
4.5 Hirschgarten
Separation of S7, S27 and BOB
5.8 Donnersbergerbrücke
Separation of S27 and BOB
6.6 Hackerbrücke
7.4 Hauptbahnhof (tief)
7.9 Karlsplatz (Stachus)
8.7 Marienplatz
9.4 Isartor
10.3 Rosenheimer Platz
Separation of S3 and S7
11.4 München Ost
S2, S4, S6, S8

An underground railway line for Munich was first proposed in 1928 in a report on the "relocation of traffic centres". An underground route would allow "direct long distance traffic to and through the city centre".

On 22 May 1938, the first tunnel, which was part of the north-south route, was started in the Lindwurmstraße, between the present-day underground stations Sendlinger Tor and Goetheplatz. In the speech of Julius Dorpmüller, the general director of Deutsche Reichsbahn, the project was called "S-Bahn" for the first time. Due to World War II the construction and plans for the Munich S-Bahn were set aside.

In 1965, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Free State of Bavaria, the state capital of Munich and the Deutsche Bundesbahn signed a contract on the construction of the Munich S-Bahn. The further development was most influenced by a decision made in Rome on 26 April 1966: the International Olympic Committee chose Munich over Detroit, Madrid and Montreal as the location for the 1972 Summer Olympics, resulting in a tight schedule of only six years to complete the Munich S-Bahn network.

Not only did the tunnel through the city centre have to be built, the full railway infrastructure had to be expanded. The network of suburban lines had to be changed over and modernized. A large number of stations had to be upgraded; platforms were extended to a length of 210 metres (690 ft) to allow for three-unit trains, and the platform height was raised to 76 centimetres (2 ft 6 in). However, the floor height of trains used then and now is at approximately 1 metre (3 ft 3 in), which makes boarding difficult for people with wheelchairs or prams. Tunnel stations and platforms updated recently where no freight trains run do feature a height of 96 centimetres (3 ft 2 in), however.

On 25 February 1971 the topping-out ceremony could be celebrated in the core route tunnel. In May the first S-Bahn train of the ET 420 series was put into service on the route between Pasing and Gauting. On 1 September 1971 a regular advance service was started on that route.

On 28 May 1972, the Munich S-Bahn network was finally put into service with 360 kilometres (220 mi) of tracks and 101 trains of the ET 420 series. It was the first time a S-Bahn network that size was put into service on a single date. The route S10 to Wolfratshausen (today S7) was operated with conventional push-pull trains from the southern wing of Munich Central Station. It was electrified later and connected to the core route after the construction of a 260-metre (850 ft) tunnel crossing the large number of mainline rail tracks leading to Munich Central Station.

Three months later the German President Gustav Heinemann opened the 1972 Summer Olympics. During the Games there were two additional S-Bahn lines servicing the now-defunct station Olympiastadion (Olympic Stadium). The new S-Bahn system stood the test and transported 3.18 million passengers in 7,138 runs to and from the sports sites in only 17 days.

Since then the Munich S-Bahn network has been expanded multiple times. In 1992, the route between Ismaning and the newly opened Airport Munich II was put into service. Until 2005, there was a 266 million euro programme to substantially extend the infrastructure. For example, the route Giesing-Deisenhofen was upgraded with a second track. From 2000, trains of the type series ET 420 were gradually replaced by ET 423 trains.

The Dachau–Altomünster railway was electrified between Dachau station and Altomünster. Services commenced as part of line 2 on 14 December 2014. It had previously been operated with class 628 diesel multiple units as Line A of the S-Bahn.

Further dates:

  • 15 June 1966 - Construction of the core route tunnel begins in Arnulfstraße.
  • 28 April 1972 - first test runs on the tunnel route (Hauptbahnhof-Marienplatz-Ostbahnhof).
  • 28 May 1972 - regular service with 360 route km begins.

Rolling stock[edit]

  • ET 420 Currently withdrawn from service except for the S2 Link from Dachau to Altomünster, which was formerly the 'A' line.
  • ET 423 (since 2000)
ET 420


  • In 1989, the double decker trains used in the Netherlands were briefly used on the then S4 between Geltendorf and Ebersberg. Patrons were invited to fill out a questionnaire while onboard describing their experiences while boarding and riding the train. The concept was to increase passenger capacity at the same time as accommodating bicycles, prams, and wheelchairs with efficiency. The trains were pulled by a DB Class 120 locomotive at each end of the train.

Plans and further expansions[edit]

Current plans for further expansion include the following: [3]

  • Second core route: Nearly all lines use the core route, creating a bottle-neck responsible for long delays from even the smallest disruptions. A second tunnel through the city centre is planned, which will be about 10 km (6 mi) in length and which is supposed to be finished in 2020. It will start between the stations Laim and Donnersbergerbrücke and lie north of the current tunnel. Just before Munich East it will fork, with one fork going to Munich East and the other to Leuchtenbergring. In between, only two stations, Central Station and Marienhof (slightly north of Marienplatz), are planned. The tunnel was chosen over another variant to build an S-Bahn along the railway "south ring". It is not known if this capacity expansion will also be used for intercity traffic travelling eastwards following the cancellation of the München 21 project.[4]
  • Extension of S7 to Geretsried (Geretsried Süd railway station) via Gelting and Geretsried Mitte. (Currently in Planning / On Hold)
  • Erding Ring: connection of the ends of S1/S8 (airport) and S2 East (Erding) (Currently in Planning)
  • Possible relocation of the S2 East to the Munich International Trade Fair site. (Currently on hold)


  • Popischil, Reinhard; Rudolph, Ernst (1997). S-Bahn München (in German). Düsseldorf: Alba. ISBN 978-3-87094-358-5. OCLC 42476820. 
  • Franzke, Armin. "Im Tunnel unter City und Isar. 1972: Die S-Bahn München nimmt den Betrieb auf" [In a tunnel under the city and Isar. 1972: the S-Bahn Munich enters service]. Lok Magazin (München: GeraNova Zeitschriftenverlag). 41/2002 (251): pp. 90–97. ISSN 0458-1822. OCLC 3136408. 
  • Korhammer, Klaus-Dieter; Franzke, Armin; Rudolph, Ernst (1991). Drehscheibe des Südens: Eisenbahnknoten München [Southern hub: railway nodes in Munich] (in German). Darmstadt: Hestra Verlag. ISBN 3-7771-0236-9. 
  • Wilhelm-Stempin, Nikolaus (2009). S-Bahnhöfe in und um München [S-Bahn stations in and around Munich] (in German). Norderstedt: BoD. ISBN 978-3-8391-0927-4. 

See also[edit]


External links[edit]