The Stadt-Express (SE), formerly City-Bahn (CB), is a train category in Germany, that links conurbations with the outer reaches of the surrounding countryside. The name literally means "City Express".
While Deutsche Bahn no longer offers Stadt-Express services, the Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund tariff association still orders them. As a consequence, there are Stadt-Express lines in the RMV-area, but they are categorized by the Deutsche Bahn as either Regionalbahn or Regional-Express.
The Stadt-Express has the role of linking cities to those areas outside their immediate surroundings; it therefore stops at every station in the outlying region. However in the 'core' area of the conurbation, served by other local passenger trains like the S-Bahn and Regionalbahn trains, it runs faster, like a Regional-Express, and therefore only stops at the most important stations.
While there are no more Stadt-Express services in Germany (except for the RMV-area as stated above) several Regionalbahn or Regionalexpress services still follow the concept: For example, the RE 22 (Eifel-Express) stops from Cologne Messe/Deutz to Kall only at important stations, thereafter it stops at every station on the way to Gerolstein, like a Regionalbahn train, a service not provided on this section of the line. After Gerolstein it changes its designation to "RB 83" and runs officially as a Regionalbahn to Trier.
Not all Stadt-Express routes followed this concept exactly; several services stopped at all stations even in the core area.
The Stadt-Express category was classified as a local service (Nahverkehr) and therefore could be used without supplementary fare.
- There is a relevant English-language forum at Railways of Germany