Rhine-Ruhr S-Bahn

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S-Bahn Rhein-Ruhr
S-Bahn Rhein-Sieg / S-Bahn Köln
DB X-wagen.jpg
X-Wagen coaches of S-Bahn Rhein-Ruhr
at Cologne central station
Locale Rhine-Ruhr, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Transit type S-Train
Number of lines 13
Number of stations 124
Annual ridership 130 million
Düsseldorf/Rhine-Ruhr: 98 million[1]
Cologne: 32 million[2]
Headquarters Düsseldorf, Germany
Website www.s-bahn-rhein-ruhr.de
Began operation 1967
Operator(s) Deutsche Bahn AG-Logo.svg DB Regio NRW, Regiobahn (S28)
Headway 20 min.
System length 676 km (420.05 mi)
System map
Rhine-Ruhr S-Bahn network map

The Rhine-Ruhr S-Bahn (German: S-Bahn Rhein-Ruhr) is a polycentric and electrically driven S-Train network covering the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Region in the German federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia. This includes most of the Ruhr (and cities such as Dortmund, Duisburg and Essen), the Berg cities of Wuppertal and Solingen and parts of the Rhineland (with cities such as Cologne and Düsseldorf). The easternmost city within the S-Bahn Rhine-Ruhr network is Unna, the westernmost city served is Mönchengladbach.

The Rhine-Ruhr S-Bahn network operates in the areas of the Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr (VRR) and Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Sieg (VRS) tariff associations, touching areas of Aachener Verkehrsverbund at Düren and Verkehrsgemeinschaft Ruhr-Lippe at Unna. The network was established in 1967 with a line connecting Ratingen Ost to Düsseldorf-Garath. Currently, the system consists of 13 lines (11 lines operated by DB Regio NRW, S28 operated by Regiobahn and S7 operated by Abellio Rail NRW). The S13/S19 runs 24/7 between Cologne Hbf and Cologne/Bonn Flaughafen.


A Class 111 locomotive leads an orange-and-white S-Bahn service across the Hohenzollernbrücke into Köln Hauptbahnhof in 1985

The predecessor of the S-Bahn was the so-called Bezirksschnellverkehr between the cities of Düsseldorf and Essen, which consisted of steam-powered push-pull trains, mainly hauled by Class 78 and Class 65 engines.

The first S-Bahn lines were operated using Silberling cars and Class 141 locomotives, however these were not suited for operations on an urban network and were soon replaced by Class 420 electric multiple units. In the mid-1970s, the Class 420 was decided to be unsuitable for the network as well[citation needed], mainly due to being uncomfortable and lacking a lavatory[citation needed], since one could travel rather long distances on the Rhine-Ruhr network, which wasn't the case on the Munich S-Bahn for which the class 420 were originally designed. At first an improved version of the 420, the Class 422, was discussed, but in 1978 the Deutsche Bundesbahn commissioned a batch of coaches from Duewag and MBB, called the x-Wagen (the x-car) after its classification code Bx. In late 1978, the first prototypes (the 2nd class cars of type Bx 794.0 and the cab car Bxf 796.0) were handed over to the DB, the 1st/2nd class cars ABx 791.0 following in early 1979. The prototypes were successful, and so from 1981 to 1994 several series were commissioned, first to be hauled by the Class 111 engines, but after the German reunification the surplus Reichsbahn engines of Class 143 replaced the 111s on the S-Bahn network.

Rolling stock today[edit]

S-Bahn Rhein-Ruhr Series-422

On much of the network, Class 143 locomotives are used along with the specially developed Bx (second class) and ABx (second and first class) cars and cab cars (Bxf). The Class 420 electric multiple units previously belonging to the Munich, Stuttgart and Frankfurt networks which had operated the S7 and S9 services were finally retired at the beginning of 2009, and have been replaced with the new DBAG Class 422, while Class 423 EMUs can be found on the S11, S12 and S13 lines. The S28 is not operated by DB Regio NRW, but by the Regiobahn, which uses Bombardier TALENT DMUs on the line. The S7 uses Alstom Coradia LINT DMUs while operated by Abellio Rail NRW. New rolling stock for the S5 and S8 lines was introduced in December 2014 after being tested on the S68 since October 2014. These Alstom Coradia trains are operated by DB Regio NRW, a special feature of these trainsets are on-board toilets.

All trains of Rhine-Ruhr S-Bahn run with the red DB livery except for the S7 and S28 trainsets which are painted in the colours of their operators. In 2019, there will be a major operator change: Several lines will no longer be operated by DB Regio NRW but by Abellio Rail NRW and Eurobahn.[3] Simultaneously, the livery of the trains will change to a green-white livery to keep a uniform appearance although the trains will be run by different operators.[4]


The region's lines were mainly built by three railway companies (the Cologne-Minden Railway Company, the Bergisch-Märkische Railway Company and the Rhenish Railway Company), giving the Rhine-Ruhr S-Bahn a variety of lines to use for its routes. This means that the S-Bahn lines use up to five different railways to run over.

Line Route Railways used Length Opening date of first section[5] First section[5]
S 1 Dortmund – Bochum – Essen – Mülheim (Ruhr) Duisburg – Düsseldorf Airport Düsseldorf – Hilden – Solingen Dortmund–Duisburg, Duisburg–Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf–Solingen 97 km 26.05.1974 Bochum – DU-Großenbaum
S 2 Dortmund – Dortmund-Dorstfeld – Dortmund-Mengede – Herne – (Gelsenkirchen – (Oberhausen – Duisburg) or Essen) or Recklinghausen Dortmund–Dortmund-Dorstfeld, Dortmund-Dorstfeld–Dortmund-Mengede, Dortmund-Mengede–Herne/Gelsenkirchen/Duisburg, and part of Gelsenkirchen–Essen or Herne–Recklinghausen 58 / 42 / 33 km 02.06.1991 Dortmund – Duisburg
S 3 Oberhausen – Mülheim (Ruhr) – Essen – Essen-Steele – Hattingen (Ruhr) Mitte Oberhausen–Essen-Steele Ost, Essen-Steele Ost–Bochum-Dahlhausen, Bochum-Dahlhausen–Hattingen (Ruhr) Mitte 33 km 26.05.1974 Oberhausen – Hattingen (Ruhr)
S 4 Dortmund-Lütgendortmund – Dortmund–Dorstfeld – Unna-Königsborn – Unna Dortmund-Lütgendortmund–Dortmund Süd, Dortmund Süd–Unna-Königsborn, Unna-Königsborn–Unna 30 km 03.06.1984 DO-Germania – Unna
S 5 Dortmund – Witten – Wetter (Ruhr) Hagen (– Mönchengladbach Hbf; as S8, see below) Dortmund–Hagen 31 km 29.05.1994 Whole length
S 6 Essen – Ratingen Ost Düsseldorf – Langenfeld (Rheinl) Cologne – Cologne-Nippes Essen–Essen-Werden, Essen-Werden–Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf–Cologne, Cologne–Köln-Nippes 78 km 28.09.1967 Ratingen Ost – D-Garath
S 7 Wuppertal – Remscheid – Solingen Wuppertal–Wuppertal-Oberbarmen, Wuppertal-Oberbarmen–Solingen 41 km 15.12.2013 Whole length
S 8 (As S5, see above; Dortmund Hbf –) Hagen – Wuppertal – Wuppertal-Vohwinkel – Düsseldorf – Neuss – Mönchengladbach Hagen-Schwelm, Schwelm–Wuppertal, Wuppertal–Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf–Mönchengladbach 82 km 29.05.1988 Whole length
S 9 Haltern am See Gladbeck West Bottrop – Essen – Essen-Steele – Velbert-Langenberg – Wuppertal-Vohwinkel – Wuppertal Haltern–Essen-Dellwig Ost, Essen-Dellwig Ost–Essen West, Essen West–Essen-Steele, Essen-Steele–Wuppertal-Vohwinkel, Wuppertal-Vohwinkel–Wuppertal 90 km 24.05.1998 Haltern –
S 11 Düsseldorf Airport Terminal Düsseldorf – Neuss – Cologne-Nippes – Cologne – Bergisch Gladbach Düsseldorf Airport Terminal–Düsseldorf-Unterrath railway, Düsseldorf-Unterrath–Düsseldorf, Neuss–Cologne, Cologne–Köln-Mülheim, Cologne-Mülheim–Bergisch Gladbach 74 km 01.06.1975 K-Chorweiler – Berg. Gladbach
S 12 S-Bahn-Rhein-Sieg
Düren – Horrem – Cologne – Troisdorf – Siegburg/Bonn – Au (Sieg)
Düren–Cologne, Cologne–Au Sieg 105 km 02.06.1991 Köln-Nippes – Au (Sieg)
S 13 S-Bahn-Rhein-Sieg
(One train a day to/ from Aachen – Düren –) Horrem – Cologne – Cologne/Bonn Airport Troisdorf
Aachen–Cologne, Cologne–Troisdorf incl. Cologne Airport loop 45 km 15.12.2002 Düren – Cologne-Deutz
S 19 S-Bahn-Rhein-Sieg
Horrem – Köln Hansaring – Köln – Cologne/Bonn Airport TroisdorfSiegburg/Bonn – Hennef (Sieg)
6 pairs of services of the S 13 in the morning peak
11 pairs of services of the S 13 in the afternoon peak
Horrem–Köln, Cologne–Hennef incl. Cologne Airport loop 14.12.2014 Whole route
S 23 S-Bahn-Rhein-Sieg
Euskirchen – Rheinbach – Meckenheim – Bonn
Some trains continue from Euskirchen as RB 23 to Bad Münstereifel; all RB 23 services depart from Euskirchen as S 23 to Bonn Hbf
Euskirchen–Bonn 47 km 14.12.2014 Whole route
S 28 Mettmann Stadtwald Düsseldorf – Neuss – Kaarster See Mettmann Stadtwald–Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf–Neuss, Neuss–Kaarster See 34 km 26.09.1999 Whole route
S 68 Wuppertal-Vohwinkel – Düsseldorf – Langenfeld (Rheinl) Wuppertal–Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf–Langenfeld 39 km 13.12.2009 Whole length

Kursbuchstrecken 450.x (x is equivalent to the number of the line), as of 13 December 2009.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Press note Deutsche Bahn, 28. January 2011
  2. ^ Facts and figures S-Bahn Köln
  3. ^ Koch, Hildegard Braun, Oliver (2016-07-07). "Deutsche Bahn verliert acht VRR-Linien im Ruhrgebiet" (in German). Retrieved 2017-01-28. 
  4. ^ "VRR: Heute S-Bahnvergabeentscheidung - BAHN[berufe]". www.bahnberufe.de (in German). Retrieved 2017-01-28. 
  5. ^ a b "S-Bahn Rhein-Ruhr-Sieg - Geschichte" (in German). www.indusi.de. Retrieved 25 August 2011. 

External links[edit]