S-Bahn Mitteldeutschland

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S-Bahn Mitteldeutschland
Number of lines 7
Number of stations 107
Number of vehicles 51 Bombardier Talent 2
System length 430 km (270 mi)
Train of the S-Bahn Mitteldeutschland in Leipzig

S-Bahn Mitteldeutschland represents an enlargement of the previous Leipzig-Halle S-Bahn. It is an electric rail public transit system operating in the metropolitan area of Leipzig-Halle, Germany. This S-Bahn (German abbreviation for Stadtschnellbahn - literally, "urban rapid [rail]road") network had developed from two separate S-Bahn networks of Halle (Saale) and Leipzig, which were established separately in 1969 and then linked in 2004. With the opening of the Leipzig City Tunnel on December 15, 2013 as a new artery, the network was extended the federal states of Thuringia and Brandenburg. The locomotive-hauled double-decker trains had been replaced by electric multiple unit Bombardier Talent 2 trains.

It is operated by DB Regio Südost, Verkehrsbetrieb Mitteldeutschland mainly on behalf of Zweckverband für den Nahverkehrsraum Leipzig (ZVNL) and Nahverkehrsservicegesellschaft Sachsen-Anhalt GmbH (nasa), but also another four public transport authorities in Saxony, Thuringia (Nahverkehrsservicegesellschaft Thüringen) and Brandenburg (Verkehrsverbund Berlin-Brandenburg).

Network of the S-Bahn Mitteldeutschland[edit]

The following lines constitute the S-Bahn Mitteldeutschland network:

Line Route
S 1 Leipzig Miltitzer Allee – Leipzig-LeutzschLeipzig-GohlisCity Tunnel – Leipzig-Stötteritz – WurzenOschatz - Riesa
S 2 BitterfeldDelitzschLeipzig-MesseCity Tunnel – Leipzig-Connewitz – Markkleeberg – Markkleeberg-Gaschwitz
S 3 Halle (Saale)SchkeuditzLeipzig-GohlisCity Tunnel – Leipzig-Stötteritz
S 4 HoyerswerdaTorgauEilenburgTaucha – Leipzig-Mockau – City Tunnel – Leipzig-Connewitz – MarkkleebergBornaGeithain
S 5 Leipzig/Halle AirportLeipzig-MesseCity Tunnel – Leipzig-Connewitz – MarkkleebergAltenburgZwickau
S 5X Halle (Saale)Leipzig/Halle AirportLeipzig-MesseCity Tunnel – Leipzig-Connewitz – MarkkleebergAltenburgZwickau
S 7 Halle-Trotha – Halle (Saale)Halle-NeustadtHalle-Nietleben

It is run on a 30-minute basic schedule. On individual external branches, such as Taucha–Hoyerswerda and Borna–Geithain, services are less frequent. On the common sections, such as Leipzig-Messe–Gaschwitz (S2, S4, S5, S5X) and Leipzig-Gohlis–Leipzig-Stötteritz (S1 and S3), line overlaps result in compressed train frequencies. Through the area of the City Tunnel, the S-Bahn trains run as frequently as every 5 minutes.

The Europe-wide call for tender took place in August 2008, with service originally intended to begin in December 2011.[1] But the start of service was suspended by two correction notices to December 2013 (as of January 2010).[2]

After expiration of the appeal period given by the regional transport authorities on 21 September 2010, the final running of the restructured network, now known as S-Bahn Mitteldeutschland, was awarded to the Deutsche Bahn subsidiary S-Bahn Mitteldeutschland GmbH. The competitor, Veolia, raised no objection against this but criticized the DB for its calculation on the basis that the proposed vehicle - the Bombardier Talent 2 - had not yet been approved.[3]

History of the S-Bahn Mitteldeutschland[edit]

The roots of S-Bahn Mitteldeutschland go back to two separate S-Bahn networks in Halle and Leipzig, which were established separately in 1969 and then linked in 2004.

The Halle Network[edit]

Train at opening on 27 September 1969
Southern portal of the S-Bahn tunnel in Halle

The Halle network connects the northern district of Trotha in a U-shaped route through the main train station with the residential suburb of Halle-Neustadt on the western bank of the Saale and then on to the last stop Halle-Dölau. Currently, the route only runs to Halle-Nietleben.

The Leipzig Network[edit]

Train of the S-Bahn line 1 at the end-station Miltitzer Allee

The Leipzig route network started northward from the main train station (a terminal station) going around on both sides of the city and joining in the south in Markkleeberg. This distinctive heart-shape was driven as a circular line in both directions, which ran to Gaschwitz in the south. Later lines were built out to Wurzen in the east and Grünau in the West.

On 29 February 1968, the Leipzig Bezirk government decided to build an S-Bahn network. Already at the spring trade fair, the "S-Bahn-style rapid transit" system was demonstrated between the main station and the newly established Messegelände (Exhibition Center) stop. By 12 July 1969, the S-Bahn network was expanded to the entire heart shape, in order to cope with traffic volume of the 5th East-German Gymnastics and Sports Festival (German: Turn- und Sportfest der DDR). The two branches were named S1 and S2. For the first two days the trains were free, which led to overcrowding. The fare then set absurdly high, with a single ride costing 50 Pfennig, a short distance ride up to five stations costing 30. Changing to transportation run by the of the Leipziger Verkehrsbetriebe (LVB), or motorized transport required a new ticket, although combined monthly tickets were issued. In contrast, a single ride ticket in the city of Berlin (with transfer) only cost 20 Pfennig and the rides on the LVB could be as low as 16.7 Pfennig, with the use of multiple-ride cards.

Connecting both networks to Leipzig-Halle S-Bahn[edit]

Lettering on an S-Bahn car Halle–Leipzig
S-Bahn network 2009–2011

Although dense suburban traffic between Leipzig and Halle had already existed for decades (from 1928, powered coaches and later series ET 41 ran on this route), a special tariff was never introduced on the line.

On 19 March 2002, construction work began in Halle for the new commuter train route between the two cities. The commissioning of the 234-million-euro project was planned for December 2004. The construction costs were raised primarily by the German federal government (135 million euros) and the states of Saxony-Anhalt (39 million euro) and Saxony (34 million euro).[4] The project was successfully completed on schedule on 12 December 2004.

In Leipzig, the route leads from the main station directly over the original route used for the decades only by freight trains of the Magdeburg-Leipzig Railway Company to Leipzig-Wahren. The existing RegionalBahn line 56 via Wiederitzsch was replaced by the S-Bahn line. As a result, the travel time of 36 minutes is unchanged, despite five stops being added. Since the 5 December, the RB 56 route has been reactivated in a trial run with passengers. In addition, the RegionalExpress line 5 trains took over the role of an "Express S-Bahn" which has run since 30 June 2003, in a special hourly service to the Leipzig/Halle Airport. It was not necessary to introduce a special tariff because of the existence of the Mitteldeutschen Verkehrsverbundes since August 2001.

Routes until April 2011[edit]

In the times of the GDR, Leipzig had three lines designated A, B and C. These were later changed to S 1, S 2 and S 3. The S 2 line (known as the "Forest Railway") was shut down in 2002. The S 1 line was then in 2004 divided into the lines S 1 and S 2 so that the platform ramps in the tunnel do not have to cross unnecessarily often.

  • S 1, formerly A: Leipzig Miltitzer Avenue - Leipzig-Plagwitz - Leipzig main station - Markkleeberg-Gaschwitz - Borna; since 2009 MRB 2.
  • S 2, formerly C ("Forest Railway"): Leipzig-Plagwitz - Markkleeberg-Gaschwitz
  • S 3, S 11, formerly B to Wurzen; since 2009 the MRB 11.

In 2009, the operation of the line that runs eastwards from the Leipzig main station was awarded to the Mitteldeutsche Regiobahn thus effectively reducing the size of the S-Bahn network. On the routes concerned, the timetable did not change.

Because of cost cutting, the remaining S 1 line between Leipzig Miltitzer Allee and Leipzig Hauptbahnhof was cancelled on 30 April 2011. As a replacement, two bus routes as well as additional tram services are being offer by the LVB.[5] The S 1 line was to be reopened with finishing the City-Tunnel Leipzig and opening the new S-Bahn Mitteldeutschland network in December 2013.

Routes May 2011 - December 2013[edit]

S-Bahn Leipzig-Halle 2011-2013
S10 Gröbers.jpg
A line 10 train of the Leipzig S-Bahn stops at Gröbers, headed for Halle
Locale Leipzig, Halle
Transit type Rapid Transit, Regional rail
Number of lines 2
Number of stations 24
Operator(s) DB Regio Südost
System length 52 km (32 mi)
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) (standard gauge)
Electrification 15 kV, 16.7 Hz AC Overhead lines

The S-Bahn Leipzig-Halle, which was still operated by DB Regio then, comprised the two lines, the S 7 and S 10. Trains run about every 30 minutes.

Line Route Line length
S 7 Nietleben – Südstadt – Halle HbfTrotha 19.5 km
S 10 Halle HbfDieskauGröbersSchkeuditzGohlisLeipzig Hbf 33.0 km

The former lines S 2 Leipzig Hauptbahnhof - Borna (- Geithain) and S 11 Leipzig Hauptbahnhof - Wurzen (- Oschatz) had been operated since 2009 by Mitteldeutsche Regiobahn (MRB) as lines MRB 2 resp. MRB 11 and were therefore not officially designated as S-Bahn routes any more. On weekend nights only, DB run a few services on the line 11 as S 11.

The Future[edit]

At the end of 2013, the ongoing full electrification of the railway line Leipzig-Hof (as part of Saxony-Franken-Magistrale) south of Reichenbach im Vogtland was completed. This coincided with the opening of the Leipzig City Tunnel, allowing for the possibility that S-Bahn trains could also connect the Upper Franconian city of Hof (Saale). With regard to this, a forking of S5x line in Werdau is in discussion, however the final decision has not yet been made. If the change happens, Reichenbach im Vogtland and Plauen would then be connected to Leipzig without the need to change trains. Trains from Leipzig will no got through to Hof before December 2015. At least until then a diesel unit will serve the Werdau–Plauen–Hof section, in Werdau passengers may change from current line S5X to that shuttle service.[6]

S-Bahn Mitteldeutschland 2015[edit]

In Mid-2011, the Transportation Service Company of Saxony-Anhalt, NASA, announced the tender of the second stage of the S-Bahn Mitteldeutschland network. Starting from December 2015, the transport company which wins the tender will provide service for nine years. In addition to various regional railway lines and the RE-line Magdeburg-Dessau-Leipzig, the tender also includes the extended S2 and the new S8 line.[7]

From December 2015, the network will thus also include the following new/extended lines:

Line Route
S 2 Dessau-Roßlau / Lutherstadt WittenbergBitterfeldDelitzschLeipzig-MesseCity-Tunnel – Leipzig-Connewitz – Markkleeberg – Markkleeberg-Gaschwitz
S 8 Dessau-Roßlau / Lutherstadt WittenbergBitterfeldHalle (Saale)

The S-Bahn trains will run in 30-minute intervals on the line. On the outer branches between Bitterfeld and Dessau as well as Wittenberg each hour. This should be formed by changing features of the S2 and S8.

In February 2011, NASA announced the tender for the electrical network Saale-Thüringen-Südharz. It included services in the federal states of Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia, Saxony, Lower Saxony and Hesse, which will also run from December 2015 to 2030. The original tender included two lines on which S-Bahn routes will run. The final decision, though, was not to integrate the lines from Halle (Saale) to Naumburg and Lutherstadt Eisleben, into S-Bahn Mitteldeutschland network.[8]

Further plans[edit]

Any extension of Grünau route to Markranstädt will be considered afterwards. Because of the expense and the related abandonment of stations at Miltitz and Rückmarsdorf, this is currently only available as an option to be negotiated at a later stage and will be kept in the long-term local transit plan as before.


Leipzig City Tunnel[edit]

Main article: Leipzig City Tunnel
Completed eastern tube in May 2008

The main construction project for the new central German S-Bahn network was the City Tunnel in Leipzig. It will cost about 960 million euros (as of January 2010) and will form the main route that the S-Bahn lines S 1 to S 5 will take through the center of Leipzig. The tunnel crosses through the city for a length of 3.9 kilometers and is up to 25 meters deep. Four stations were built along the tunnel: Hauptbahnhof Tief (a "deep" section of the main station), Markt, Wilhelm-Leuschner-Platz and Bayerischer Bahnhof as well as the station Leipzig MDR/Semmelweisstraße where the tunnel surfaces in the south.

North of the main station and still underground, a cross-over separates line-sections running to Leipzig-Gohlis from those to Leipzig North/Berliner Brücke. The tunnel thus has a west and a north exit ramp at this end. Between the west ramp and station Leipzig-Gohlis, the route again separates to Schkeuditz and Leipzig-Leutzsch at a newly constructed above-ground cross-over.

For the southern exit of the tunnel, a fly-over for Richard-Lehmann street was built. The tracks towards Stötteritz pass under the tracks to and from Connewitz in an approximately 70 meter long tunnel.

Additional network enhancements[edit]

Under construction fly-over at Richard-Lehmann-Straße (September 2009)

To take full advantage of the tunnel, additional network enhancements were required.

Around the northern access to the tracks in the direction of Bitterfeld, a newly constructed S-Bahn stop Leipzig Nord on Theresienstraße has been completed. From 2013, the S 2, S 4 and S 5 trains stop here. Also planned are stations on Essener Straße and Mockauer Straße, but these will not be realized until later. In addition, Taucha train station will be completely rebuilt.

It will also be relatively complex to complete the southeast connection Gaschwitz - Engelsdorf along Leipzig–Hof railway. On the route towards Engelsdorf, the previous S-Bahn stop Leipzig-Völkerschlachtdenkmal has been abandoned and replaced by a newly built 140 meter-long center-platform directly below Prager Straße, stairs and an elevator. This is considered to provide additional access to the old fairgrounds. Also Leipzig-Stötteritz was be completely rebuilt over Papiermühlstraße with new bridges and a three-track system. This station replaced a single-track reversing system on which train can change direction or turned off the track. Stötteritz is the endpoint of the S 3 line from December 2013. The LVB built a new tram stop directly under the S-Bahn station and thus provided improved connections. The S-Bahn stop Anger-Crottendorf was rebuilt on the current cargo ring of Zweinaundorfer Straße. A reconstruction of the station Leipzig-Paunsdorf in the area of today's freight station is being considered, however it will be built later. On the route south towards Gaschwitz, the station Leipzig-Connewitz was expanded to three tracks and received a new pedestrian bridge and access platform. The station Markkleeberg Nord was newly built, the stations Markkleeberg, Markkleeberg-Großstädteln and Markleeberg-Gaschwitz remodeled in a contemporary style.

In the area of the western connection, the route Leipzig-Leutzsch–Leipzig-Plagwitz (as of fall 2010) along Leipzig–Probstzella railway was being expanded and remodeled. Bridges, signal boxes, tracks and overhead lines as well as noise barriers had been erected. The current platforms in the station of Leipzig-Leutzsch and the stop Leipzig Industriegelände West were abandoned and new platforms directly under Georg-Schwarz-Straße replaced them. At a later point, the stops Leipzig-Lindenau and travel facilities of the station Leipzig-Plagwitz were completely redone and also finished by 2013. As part of this, the platforms in Leipzig-Plagwitz had been moved directly north to Karl-Heine-Straße and received new entrances. Renewal work was also undertaken on the route Leipzig-Leutzsch–Bad Dürrenberg along Leipzig–Großkorbetha railway.

Other construction work[edit]

Construction is already complete on the new S-Bahn line from Halle (Saale) Hauptbahnhof via Schkeuditz to Leipzig Hauptbahnhof, which already received several new stops such as Leipzig-Slevogtstraße and Schkeuditz West by 2004. From October 2008 until the summer of 2009, the tunnel station Halle-Neustadt was renovated. The total cost amounted to about 3.5 million euro. The platforms and stairways were modernized and, on the main traffic line, elevators were built. The completion of the construction work at the stops for the current S 7 and later S 3 were in the summer of 2009.

The Borna-Geithain section along Neukieritzsch–Chemnitz railway was electrified in the summer of 2010. This renovation was essential for the future use by S-Bahn line S 4.

The rebuilding and redesigning the station Merseburg started in 2011.

Further enhancements will take place in coming years.



Until December 2013, modernized double-deck cars from the 1970s had been used with control cars produced in 1992. For the S 10, new double-deck coaches were procured in 2004. These used to be usually used only on this line.


Talent 2, which will be used on all lines of the S-Bahn Mitteldeutschland from 2013

For the commissioning of the new S-Bahn network in December 2013, the S-Bahn Mitteldeutschland GmbH ordered a total of 51 Bombardier Talent 2 electric multiple units. 36 trains have three segments, 15 have four segments. The new vehicles have a top speed of 160 km/h and will be decorated in silver and green, not in the "traffic-light red" of the Deutsche Bahn. The total investment in the new trains is about 200 million euro. Talent 2 trains will also be used in central Germany on the RE routes from Leipzig to Dresden and Leipzig and Cottbus. So far, however, the Talent 2 has not met the requirements of the Federal Railway Authority and its use on these lines has been postponed. The Federal Railway Authority has now approved the 4-segment trains, with the condition that the speed limit is reduced to 140 km/h and that the vehicles are not allowed to drive in multiple-unit control.


  1. ^ Supplement zum Amtsblatt der Europäischen Union: D-Leipzig: Personenbeförderung per Bahn 2008/S 157-212269, 14. August 2008
  2. ^ Supplement zum Amtsblatt der Europäischen Union: D-Leipzig: Öffentlicher Schienentransport/öffentliche Schienenbeförderung 2010/S 3-001741, 6. Januar 2010
  3. ^ Pressemeldung des ZVNL vom 23. September 2010
  4. ^ Meldung Baubeginn für S-Bahn Halle – Leipzig. In: Eisenbahn-Revue International, Heft 5/2002, ISSN 1421-2811, S. 211.
  5. ^ Kürzungen der Finanzmittel für den öffentlichen Personennahverkehr. MDV-Pressemitteilung vom 28. April 2011
  6. ^ "Nahverkehrsjournal Vogtland – Informationen aus dem Zweckverband Öffentlicher Personennahverkehr Vogtland (40. Ausgabe)" (PDF) (in German). Zweckverband Öffentlicher Personennahverkehr Vogtland, Göltzschtalstraße 16, 08209 Auerbach. October 2, 2013. p. 7. Retrieved January 19, 2014. 
  7. ^ ÖPNV-Plan 2010–2015/2025, Plan des öffentlichen Personennahverkehrs des Landes Sachsen-Anhalt, Seite 114
  8. ^ "Zuschlag an Abellio für Bahnnetz Saale-Thüringen-Südharz erteilt" (in German). Nahverkehrsservice Sachsen-Anhalt (NASA) GmbH, Magdeburg. October 30, 2012. Retrieved January 19, 2014. 

External links[edit]