Allgäu-Swabia cycle

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The Allgäu-Schwaben-Takt is the oldest implementation of an integral clock timetable (ITF) on a regional rail network in Germany, apart from S-Bahn systems. It was realized in 1993. The network of the Allgäu-Schwaben-Takt is limited by the railway nodes Ulm , Augsburg , Munich , Garmisch-Partenkirchen , Aulendorf and Lindau (Lake Constance) .

Preliminary planning

The previously only theoretically determined benefit of an integral cycle timetable has been demonstrated for the first time in Germany with the Allgäu-Swabian cycle. The determined prior to breakeven for the economy (increased revenues by 29 percent) was achieved within a few years. The number of passengers carried increased considerably (between 1993 and 2003), for example on the Württemberg Allgäu Railway between Aulendorf and Kißlegg by 386 percent, and further on the section to Memmingen by 68 percent and on the Illertalbahn between Memmingen and Kempten by 34 percent.

After the south-west German area had initially been selected for the introduction of an integral cycle timetable in Germany, due to the support of the federal states of Rhineland-Palatinate, Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria, the decision was made to use the Allgäu-Swabia sub-area (south of the line Radolfzell – Sigmaringen – Ulm – Augsburg – Munich). The line planning was preceded by extensive market studies and an evaluation of the 1987 census .

The planning showed that the crossing possibilities in the train stations Durach, Pfronten-Steinach and Wolfegg had to remain, so that the already decided deconstruction was stopped. In Großaitingen and Oberreitnau, some block signals that had been dismantled shortly before had to be rebuilt.


With the introduction of the so-called preliminary stage in the Allgäu-Oberschwaben sub -area , the train service was expanded by 50 percent in two steps on May 23, 1993 (weekend service) and in autumn 1993 (service until midnight). The implemented cycle timetable was associated with some restrictions in the preliminary stage . There were also some gaps and deviations from the clock and the stopping policy could not yet be fully systematized. This was partly due to the dismantling of the infrastructure in previous years and old signaling technology. Various small measures on the infrastructure were necessary for the implementation of the preliminary stage; major adjustments to the infrastructure were not possible.

The number of train kilometers has been increased by 53 percent. An hourly service was introduced on all lines of the network, with two two-hour lines often overlapping at hourly intervals. In the catchment areas from Augsburg and Munich (to Bad Wörishofen, Kaufbeuren and Landsberg), there was a half-hourly offer due to overlapping lines. Memmingen (symmetry minute 30), Kempten, Aulendorf and Radolfzell (symmetry minute 0 each) became almost ideal junction stations .

For the ITF preliminary stage, 29 percent more drivers and no additional vehicles were required. Only 22 local transport cars had to be converted into control cars . This enabled the maneuvering work to be reduced by 40 percent. Due to the short planning lead, no large vehicle purchases were possible. However, the company benefited from the ongoing modernization of the local transport vehicles, as well as the procurement of new class 628 local railcars , which replaced the last rail buses in the region.

Because of the outdated technology, however, were the network side longer necessary as 50 additional employees for the expansion of supply in off documents and weekends. In order to further increase customer benefit, train stations and vehicles should also be modernized.

The introduction was accompanied by a new interregional line to Oberstdorf and a new route for Eurocity traffic between Munich and Zurich , which from then on was routed via Memmingen instead of Kempten. For these measures, a new planning of the regional traffic would have been necessary anyway.

In 1994, the preliminary stage of the integral timetable was extended to the Werdenfels regions and the Ausserfernbahn . For marketing reasons, these were called “Werdenfels-Takt” and “Ausserfern-Takt”.

In addition to the regular trains, a touristic- oriented bicycle express was also introduced. This ran outside the cycle and had longer stopping times to make it easier to load the bicycles. The free bicycle transport in the Oberallgäu district was financed by the district itself.


Due to improved connections , travel time savings of up to 27 minutes were achieved in some cases, and the number of inexpensive connections in some cases more than doubled. The number of direct connections also increased due to the structure of the branch network.

With the introduction of the Allgäu-Schwaben-Takt, ticket revenues should be increased by 37 percent in the three to four-year introductory phase. Ticket machines were planned as the main sales channel, as well as person-operated sales by local signal box staff . In the long term, ticket machines should also be used in trains due to the fact that there will be no on-site staff, which requires only half as many machines as a stationary solution and reduces maintenance and repair costs. Possible interactions with the BahnCard , which was introduced shortly before on October 1, 1992, were not calculated. This contrasted with investments of around DM 60 million. Additional compensation payments from the local authorities were initially not required.

In the first year of operation, the number of passengers rose by 25 percent. The goal of the Deutsche Bahn has thus already been slightly exceeded. These were particularly evident at the stations served at least every hour. Only stations served every two hours had stagnating numbers of passengers.

Since there were fears that this system would be very susceptible to delays , the intention was already in the planning phase to have this examined scientifically. These concerns were not confirmed in the first year of operation. The connection security was 99 percent during this time.

The success of both the Allgäu-Swabian cycle and the Rhineland-Palatinate cycle introduced in 1994 meant that most of the German federal states developed integral cycle timetables within a few years.

Current status

The offer has since been reduced again. After 8:00 p.m., the Munich – Buchloe and Augsburg – Buchloe routes no longer run every 30 minutes, and the Memmingen – Hergatz and Aulendorf – Kißlegg routes are thinned to a two-hour cycle. On the Leutkirch– and Wangen – Kißlegg – Aulendorf routes, the hourly service was reintroduced with the 2011/2012 timetable change.

With the introduction of the tilting technology timetables in 2011, the clock rate was further diluted. This means that there is not much left of the regular timetable on some routes, although the train density has not decreased per two hours. In 2013 the trains from Buchloe to Augsburg run at minutes 0x.09, 0x.18, 0y.00, 0y.24, 0y.52.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b c Deutsche Bahn AG, local traffic division (Ed.): The manual for the new local traffic . S. 20th f . (around 1995).
  2. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Andreas Schulz: The "Allgäu-Schwaben-Takt" . In: Deutsche Bahn . tape 69 , no. 5 , 1993, p. 363-370 .
  3. a b c Rudolf Göbertshahn: The integral cycle timetable . In: Deutsche Bahn . tape 69 , no. 5 , 1993, p. 357-362 .
  4. a b c d e Andreas Schulz: The integral cycle timetable in Germany . In: Eisenbahn-Revue International . No. 9 , 1994, pp. 277-284 .