from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Early vehicle type of the Berlin S-Bahn, the origin of all S-Bahn systems
Munich S-Bahn to Dachau at Munich Marienplatz station
A class 420 railcar of the Cologne S-Bahn as S12 in the Cologne Messe / Deutz station (May 2016).
Elektritschka suburban train in Russia

An S-Bahn is a mostly electrically operated railway that is used to transport people in and around large cities. In addition, in Germany, Austria and Switzerland the term describes a type of train used in local rail transport or regional transport . Technically, the S-Bahn is a traffic system in agglomerations (suburban railway, English suburban railway ), which also offers inner-city connections. S-Bahn systems usually stand out from other regional transport through their homogeneity, otherness, a higher specific transport performance and the higher quality market positioning of the offer, without requiring a complete technical delimitation.

The term “S-Bahn” was coined between 1928 and 1930 in Berlin , most likely as an abbreviation for the new “ Stadtschnellbahn ” there, the archetype of all S-Bahn systems. The names "Stadtbahn" (for the Berlin Stadtbahn ) and "Schnellbahn", which are often assumed to be the root word, were already used for other purposes. However, the term " Stadtbahn " has acquired a further meaning regionally as a further development of the tram ( express tram , underground tram , light rail) and can denote a separate transport system that exists alongside the S-Bahn. S-web is as a label for the individual vehicle (S rail cars, train-train), and as shorthand for a used only by tram trains railway track as well as a suburban train line used.

Delimitation of the range of services

Compared to conventional regional rail transport , the S-Bahn occurs almost exclusively in metropolitan areas and is characterized above all by its higher specific transport performance. In addition, at least in Germany, there are limited legal regulations as well as the deliberate presentation of the offer as “S-Bahn” on the part of the operator, which leads to increased awareness in politics and the public.

S-Bahns have developed from the classic railway as a special form of operation . They are therefore often operated by state railways or their subsidiaries. In London , the railways also became the subways . In recent times these have been supplemented by lines from the Overground , with some of the former lines from the Underground being used. In London there are routes that are used by both the underground and the S-Bahn, e.g. T. on the same track.

Generous platform systems and special railcars for fast passenger changes as well as mixed use with long-distance traffic, here a class 423 railcar in Mainz-Kastel station in the greater Rhine-Main area

The S-Bahn usually differs from conventional SPNV offers by:

  • a cycle timetable with frequent trains and extended operating times
  • comparatively small distance between stops, both compared to the long-distance train and to the previous traffic
  • Pronounced networking with the other means of transport in local public transport
  • special multiple units, which are designed for high transport capacities (electric operation, high acceleration values, reduced number of seats) and fast passenger changes (many and wide doors)
  • Usually barrier-free and generously dimensioned access systems for the stepless and thus the fastest possible passenger change, even with high traffic
  • especially in the case of heavily traveled sections of the route, also through separate routing, sometimes in connection with different technical infrastructure (power supply or train protection)
  • often separate company organization, separate from the long-distance railway
  • At least in Germany there are special, deviating legal regulations in the railway building and operating regulations for structures and vehicles of light rail vehicles
  • special expenses for the marketing of the offer as well as targeted presentation of the offer under a brand name such as "S-Bahn", the associated increased public awareness and the political prestige associated with the offer, often in connection with a transport association
Not all of the features described can always be found, as is the case here with the Dresden S-Bahn ...
... or on the S5 Esko Prague in the direction of Kladno .

With regard to the differentiation from conventional railways, not all features are always implemented with the same consistency. Particularly in areas with a significant investment backlog in rail infrastructure, it can happen that, apart from the brand name, practically none of the features mentioned can be found. Above all, the political and public perception of the offer as a modern means of transport plays a role here, and not the actual improvement of it compared to the previous transport.

An S-Bahn can usually be distinguished from an underground or metro in the following ways:

  • The route network emerged from the long-distance railway network, including the suburban lines close to the city, and was not specially built from scratch. The exception for numerous S-Bahn networks are complex, underground or elevated routes through the city centers for better access to the main business areas.
  • Technical parameters such as track spacing, curve radii, vehicle dimensions and power supply are completely or at least largely in line with those of the long-distance railway, so that mixed use of the routes with the long-distance railway is basically possible. Berlin and Hamburg are an exception to this.
  • S-Bahn route networks are usually more spacious, so that the radius of action extends far beyond individual city limits. Often times, S-Bahns are only used to a limited extent for local development, which is noticeable in relation to undergrounds in the greater distances between stops in inner-city areas.
  • In Germany in particular, S-Bahn trains, in contrast to U-Bahns, are considered to be railways in the true sense of the word according to the General Railway Act. The railway building and operating regulations are therefore the authoritative legal basis for operation and not the tram building and operating regulations as is the case with the subway. The legal situation in Austria is similar. In Switzerland, however, there is no such legal distinction; this also applies to other countries such as the USA.
  • The infrastructure, vehicles and operating company are mostly owned by the long-distance railway companies concerned, while the subways are usually in municipal hands.

As with the demarcation to the railroad, the transitions to the underground , light rail or tram are more fluid. In some cases the S-Bahn, like an U-Bahn, is practically completely independent of the other rail traffic on its own tracks and has an incompatible infrastructure, such as the S-Bahn Berlin or the S-Bahn Hamburg . The Karlsruhe model , however, is an example of the deliberate overcoming of the boundaries between S-Bahn and tram. And Sydney's CityRail system is a hybrid system of underground, suburban and regional trains.

Development history

Starts with steam

The increasing local traffic with steam-hauled trains on the railways in and around the growing young German capital Berlin prompted the Prussian State Railways to build their own tracks for suburban traffic, separated from long-distance traffic. In terms of urban planning, the Berlin Stadtbahn was built in 1882 with separate pairs of tracks for suburban and long-distance traffic as a trunk line that continues to collect suburban traffic from different directions to this day. The Ringbahn , which had already been put into operation, and the railway lines to the Berlin suburbs also received separate suburban tracks in sections.

On October 1, 1891, the railway introduced a special tariff for steam trains on the Berlin city, ring and suburban railway , as the system was henceforth called. This local transport tariff was not permitted for the use of long-distance trains. In addition, the suburban railways increasingly stood out from long-distance traffic in terms of traffic due to the density of the train sequence.

The development in Hamburg was similar . Under the name Hamburg-Altonaer Stadt- und Vorortbahn , the Prussian Railway Directorate Altona opened passenger transport with steam-hauled trains between the cities of Blankenese , Altona (Elbe) and Hamburg in 1906 .

Direct current

As long as the electric drive was still in development, steam power dominated rail traffic. Electric rail traffic with 15,000  volts AC from the overhead line was still rare at the beginning of the 20th century. In Berlin , like the rest of the railway, the Stadtbahn was operated with steam locomotives. The Berlin suburban traffic should be made more economical and modern, as the pollution of the city by the emissions of steam locomotives was perceived as a nuisance. The results of numerous tests with alternating current as well as direct current , which was more commonly used in trams and underground trains, turned out differently for local and long-distance railways due to the state of the art at the time. The Deutsche Reichsbahn finally decided to electrify the Berlin urban, ring and suburban railway for direct current of 800 volts, which is fed to the new multiple units via a power rail attached to the side of the track . The entire fleet had to be renewed anyway. From 1924, the first electrified S-Bahn line went into regular operation in Berlin.

In 1940, direct current operation with 1200 volts was introduced in Hamburg  from a busbar that was painted on the side, similar to the principle of the Berlin S-Bahn. The aim was to replace the system with alternating current overhead lines that had existed in Hamburg since 1907 after a short transition period. However, due to the effects of the Second World War , the parallel (on the same track) operated AC operation still existed until 1955.

Brand and symbol

In order to underline the modernity of the new Berlin urban and suburban railway network, which was competing with the underground , it was named S-Bahn for urban rapid transit from December 1930 . Thus, after the electrification of the city, ring and suburban railways (from 1924) in Berlin, the abbreviation “S-Bahn” was introduced as a brand . In addition - for the first time for Germany - a new symbol ( logo ): the white S on a green background, as a counterpart to the white U on the blue background of the underground . In Austria , the white S has been introduced in various forms on a blue background. Vienna as federal capital has the oldest of the Austrian S-Bahn networks and therefore the oldest logo with the characteristic square S . This logo is still in use in Vienna, but it is often already replaced or used side by side with the more modern round S , which is used in Austria's younger S-Bahn (e.g. Graz). An Austria-wide standardization of the logos was originally planned, but has only been partially implemented to this day. In Switzerland there is no uniform identification.

The previous suburban railways already had functions of today's city high-speed railways, for example, frequent regular traffic. A first own suburban tariff, which was cheaper than the normal rail tariff, had already been introduced on October 1, 1891. From 1934, the Hamburg-Altona city and suburban railway also used the name and the S-Bahn symbol .

The term S-Bahn was registered as a word mark for Deutsche Bahn AG in the register of the German Patent and Trademark Office . At the request of a local transport association, the trademark was canceled by the patent office. The Federal Patent Court essentially confirmed the deletion with a ruling dated March 14, 2012. The Deutsche Bahn had levied a license fee of 0.4 cents per train-kilometer for the use of the brand and thus raised millions of euros annually.

The word-image mark S-Bahn-Logo.svg is still owned by Deutsche Bahn. The Deutsche Bundesbahn had it protected by the German Patent and Trademark Office in 1980 and has since been extended three times, most recently in 2019 for a term of protection until 2029.

Different systems

Monocentric S-Bahn network with main line compared to underground networks

While Berlin and Hamburg had largely their own track networks for the S-Bahn from the start, in other regions the S-Bahn traffic mostly had to be set up on long-distance tracks. Frankfurt am Main, Leipzig, Stuttgart, Munich and Zurich all received monocentric systems. All five cities have a terminus station , whereby a tunnel for the S-Bahn serves to guide the suburban traffic on a common trunk line through the city center in order to use the existing rail network again on the other side of the center. In the Ruhr area, on the other hand, you have a polycentric network with the purpose of connecting several large cities with their suburbs. The lines in the Rhine-Ruhr area are significantly longer compared to the other networks and the number of passengers on the individual sections is very different. A S-Bahn network is usually operated by just one company. Exceptions here are the Rhine-Ruhr S-Bahn , the Salzburg S-Bahn , the S-Bahn Upper Austria , the S-Bahn Styria and most commuter trains in Switzerland.

S-Bahn in Germany

S-Bahn and Tram-Train networks in Germany

In December 1930 the name S-Bahn and the symbol of a white S on a green background for the city, ring and suburban railways were introduced in Berlin . Hamburg took over the Berlin term S-Bahn from 1934 for its urban and suburban railway. The remaining suburban lines, operated not with electric railcars but with steam trains, were integrated into the network and tariff of the S-Bahn and some were later electrified. Today, the S-Bahn tariffs have been replaced by network tariffs with other local means of transport. It was not until the 1960s that other S-Bahn systems emerged in Germany.

S-Bahn train in Hamburg with a
busbar running to the side
S-Bahn train as used in Munich, Cologne, Frankfurt (Main) and Stuttgart

The first S-Bahn trains in the two largest cities of Berlin and Hamburg were able to fall back on well-developed suburban tracks from the steam train era. From 1907 the city and suburban railways in Hamburg and Altona were electrified with an alternating current system with overhead lines that corresponded to the state of the art at the time. For the (second) electrification, the direct current supply with feed via the side busbar was chosen because larger new buildings such as bridges and tunnels could be made smaller, which reduced construction costs. In addition, this allowed AC and DC vehicles to be operated in parallel, so the conversion could take place in stages. The common use of the tracks by railways with alternating current railcars (in Hamburg), steam or diesel locomotives and direct current S-Bahn trains occurred here just as with the later S-Bahn trains.

The S-Bahn Berlin and S-Bahn Hamburg gradually gave up this mixed operation with the rest of the rail traffic . The later built AC power supply via overhead line for the "ordinary" railway is technically so complex on the same track with direct current that a complete separation of the systems into S-Bahn and long-distance railway tracks made the most sense for traffic reasons. As a result, the suburbs could continue to be supplied with S-Bahn connections well and from the outside without disruption.

All other S-Bahn trains in Germany are supplied with alternating current via overhead lines, just like the railways. These networks could be opened up quickly on a large scale without having to wait for the extensive construction of special tracks. For example, many trains of the Munich S-Bahn run on the end sections of regular rail routes. However, the S-Bahn traffic is prone to disruption in the case of delayed regional or long-distance trains and its regular schedule can hardly be condensed. This is why special S-Bahn tracks are being added to the AC S-Bahn networks.

S-Bahn systems often have platform heights adapted to the S-Bahn trains . These are 76 cm or 96 cm above the upper edge of the rail . The stepless entry and exit is intended to accelerate the change of passengers so that the trains can continue to move after a few seconds. In the East German S-Bahn systems, particularly low platforms used to predominate, here mostly double-decker cars are used. Some S-Bahns are gradually introducing the usual platform height of 76 cm in regional traffic (e.g. S-Bahn Rhein-Ruhr or S-Bahn Nuremberg ), which is proving to be the best possible solution due to the mixed operation with regional trains.

In Germany, S-Bahn lines usually run at rush hour in the core area at least every 20 minutes. The parallel running of several lines on the same route sections results in train sequences of up to around two minutes. The offer is extended to the line endpoints in the surrounding area. A better access offer can usually only be achieved here by having your own railway body.

With the end of steam traction, the general spread of network tariffs and the introduction of the regular timetable for large parts of rail traffic, the distinction between S-Bahn and other regional trains became blurred. On the Hanover S-Bahn , for example, the S5 line only runs every hour through the sparsely populated Weser Uplands to Paderborn. The Magdeburg S-Bahn had only one line that ran every hour until 2014. The S2 of the Rostock S-Bahn runs between Rostock Hbf and Güstrow via Schwaan only every 2 hours.

There are other S-Bahn routes that only serve one line and are not part of a network. For many decades, the route between Verden via Bremen main station and Bremen-Vegesack was served mostly every half hour without its own logo and had station distances of around 1 km in the northwestern part. From the late 1990s onwards, double-decker cars similar to those used on the Magdeburg S-Bahn operated here. Since December 2011, the line has been part of the Bremen / Lower Saxony regional S-Bahn .

The Breisgau S-Bahn runs partly still with diesel railcars, but every half hour, and especially in Freiburg small city distances between stops.

In Germany there are the following electrified S-Bahn networks with more than one route:

There are also cross-border S-Bahn trains in Germany

The following networks are in the planning phase:

The Karlsruhe Regional Stadtbahn uses a green S-Bahn logo, but uses the Stadtbahn brand in network maps and other publications . An underground light rail logo would hardly be appropriate due to the lack of tunnel sections, although construction of the light rail tunnel began in early 2010, which is intended to move all inner-city traffic underground.
→ See also the Karlsruhe model .

With the Ortenau S-Bahn in Offenburg , with its long cross-country routes and train frequencies of less than one pair of trains per hour, the S-Bahn brand is only part of the name of a regional train with an effective advertising effect .

S-Bahn in Austria

S-Bahn train in the Vienna Praterstern station
S-Bahn logo Vienna

The first S-Bahn network in Austria - the name Schnellbahn was mostly used until 2005 - was set up in Vienna in the 1960s ( S-Bahn Wien ). A white, sharp-edged "S" on a blue background serves as the symbol. The shape of the S is intended to stylize the main route through Vienna. Above all, however, the angular shape was chosen because a normal, round-shaped S stood for the Viennese electric light rail until 1989 . In contrast to Berlin and Hamburg, the Vienna S-Bahn is not an independent system, but uses, apart from the main line in the city center, largely normal railway lines. Until recently, the S-Bahn railcars were clearly recognizable by their own blue color scheme. In the meantime, all local transport has been given a uniform ÖBB color scheme, mainly in red. The S-Bahn in Vienna runs on the main route in 3 to 7½ minutes. Interval.

S-Bahn logo Salzburg

The Salzburg S-Bahn was partially opened in 2004, but it has not yet been fully expanded. It is the first Euregio S-Bahn in Austria, i.e. a cross-border S-Bahn that also includes the Salzburg suburbs on the German side. The routes are operated by three different companies (ÖBB, Salzburg AG and Berchtesgadener Land Bahn ). The ÖBB lines use the conventional railway network and only run above ground. Two further lines are operated by Salzburg AG, but due to a symmetry minute that deviates significantly from the rule, they do not offer optimal connections. You reach the main station in the tunnel. A curved white "S" on a light blue background is used here as a common symbol.

S-Bahn logo Tirol

The S-Bahn Tirol was opened at the same time as the S-Bahn Steiermark as the third S-Bahn system in Austria and is still in the expansion phase. From December 9, 2007, the first S-Bahn line connected the state capital between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. at 30-minute intervals, initially via the stops along the Inntal axis in the agglomeration of Völs, Westbahnhof, Hauptbahnhof and Rum with the surrounding communities Telfs and Hall.

The Tyrolean S-Bahn now supplies the suburbs of Innsbruck and more distant communities in all four directions on six lines and runs in the central section from Hauptbahnhof to Hall at 15-minute intervals. On the lines S3, S4 and S5 there are more frequent intervals and fast routes due to overlapping with REX trains. As further expansion measures, several new stations (Sieglanger, WIFI, Messe, Hall duty-free zone) are to be built in the Innsbruck agglomeration and existing ones are to be relocated for better connection to the IVB network (Allerheiligen, Hötting). With the 2012 timetable change, the 15-minute interval is to be extended eastwards to Jenbach.

Styria S-Bahn logo

The S-Bahn Styria was opened in December 2007 at the same time as the S-Bahn Tirol as the third S-Bahn system in Austria with six lines and was in the expansion phase until 2016. Work on this project has been going on since 1998. It went into operation on December 9, 2007. The S-Bahn offers better connections every 15 minutes. A total of 11 S-Bahn lines are in full operation in the greater Graz area and central Upper Styria. The S-Bahn is a cooperation between the railway companies ÖBB , StB and GKB .

Carinthia S-Bahn logo

The Carinthia S-Bahn started operating on December 12, 2010 with the S1 line (Lienz – Spittal / Millstättersee-Villach – Klagenfurt – St.Veit-Friesach). In 2011 the two lines S2 (St.Veit – Feldkirchen – Villach) and S3 (Weizelsdorf – Klagenfurt) followed. The second part of the S2 (Villach-Rosenbach) went into operation in 2012. The S4 (Villach-Hermagor) followed in 2016, and the second part of the S3 (Klagenfurt-Wolfsberg) in 2017. However, the S3 trains are not tied through from Weizelsdorf to Wolfsberg. In the summer of 2018, trains will run for the first time on weekends between Villach and Tarvisio (Italy), which are listed as S41 in the timetable. Also in the summer months, three night lines are in operation on weekends and public holidays (S1, S2 and S4 Nightline, same as the daily routes). The operator of all lines is the ÖBB.

Vorarlberg S-Bahn logo

Since December 11, 2012 , trains in the Vorarlberg Rhine Valley that have been provided with an S-Bahn logo for some time on the S1 ( Lindau - Bregenz - Dornbirn - Feldkirch - Bludenz ) and S3 (Lindau-Bregenz- St. Margrethen ) lines have been known as S. -Bahn Vorarlberg . The S4 ( Schruns -Bludenz) followed a year later . A Bodensee S-Bahn (Vorarlberg, Germany, Switzerland; currently planned as an extension of the S6 line of the St. Gallen S-Bahn ) and a FL.A.CH S-Bahn (Liechtenstein, Austria, Switzerland; the designation is intended to be S2 ) are being planned. The realization of the project is very likely dependent on a referendum in Liechtenstein. The Feldkirch section to the Liechtenstein border (Feldkirch- Tosters ) is currently the subject of an environmental impact assessment in Austria.

Upper Austria S-Bahn logo

Since December 12, 2016, the S-Bahn Upper Austria has been serving the areas around the provincial capital Linz , the main hub being Linz Central Station . When the S-Bahn OÖ started, five lines were introduced: S1 (Linz - St. Valentin - Garsten , on the western line to St. Valentin, then Rudolfsbahn ), S2 (Linz HBF - Wels HBF on the western line west of Linz), S3 (Linz HBF - Pregarten , on the Summerauerbahn ), S4 (Linz HBF - Kirchdorf / Krems , on the Pyhrnbahn ) and the S5 (Linz HBF - Eferding , on the Linz local train ). With the exception of the S5, all lines are operated by ÖBB , the S5 by Stern & Hafferl Verkehr . In the future, the existing Mühlkreisbahn will be integrated into the system as the S6 to Rottenegg and the not yet built route via Engerwitzdorf to Pregarten as the S7.

S-Bahn in Switzerland

The Swiss S-Bahn are often operated by several companies and in some cases also on narrow gauge. They usually run at least every 30 minutes during rush hour. In German-speaking Switzerland , the term S-Bahn was only used with the opening of the Zurich S-Bahn in 1990 and translated into Réseau Express Régional ( RER ) for bilingual publications in French . In timetables, the S-Bahn lines appear language-independent with S and the line number.

The S-Bahn Zurich serves the most populous agglomeration in Switzerland and therefore also has the most lines. Not all lines of the S-Bahn Zurich lead to the main station of the city of Zurich, so the S-Bahn Zurich does not see itself as a light rail, but rather as a rapid transit system. The opening of the S-Bahn was connected with the construction of the Zürichberg tunnel as well as the opening of an underground train station under the main train station of Zürich which bears the project name Bahnhof Museumstrasse . In addition to the S-Bahn, ICE trains in the direction of Schaffhausen - Singen (Hohentwiel) ran there for a number of years . The new cross-city line Altstetten – Zurich HB – Oerlikon with the associated Löwenstrasse station, parallel to the Museumstrasse station below the main station, has been in operation since 2014 and accommodates long-distance trains as well as S-Bahn trains. Since the opening of the cross-city line, only S-Bahn trains have been running at Museumstrasse station.

Logo of the Bern S-Bahn

The Bern S-Bahn was built in stages from 1974, and the term S-Bahn has been used officially since 1995. It is the only S-Bahn in Switzerland to have the letter S on its logo. The S-Bahn covers a large part of the Bern agglomeration and transports around 100,000 travelers every day. In the bilingual canton, the S-Bahn is also translated as RER Berne . Here, too, the expansion of Bern main station is under discussion.

Logo of the trinational S-Bahn Basel The S-Bahn operates across borders in the Basel agglomeration as the trinational S-Bahn Basel also to Germany and France. In the future, a city ​​tunnel (" heart ") will serve as a trunk line to connect the two Basel railway stations, SBB and Badischer Bahnhof.

The Léman Express has been in operation on Lake Geneva ( French: Lac Léman ) since December 15, 2019 . In addition to the seven lines of the Réseau Express Vaudois around Lausanne , mainly in the canton of Vaud, a second S-Bahn node was added in Geneva . The centerpiece is the newly built Cornavin – Eaux-Vives – Annemasse (CEVA) railway .

Further S-Bahn networks were created in St. Gallen ( S-Bahn St. Gallen ), in Central Switzerland ( S-Bahn network Lucerne and Stadtbahn Zug ) and in Ticino ( S-Bahn Ticino ).

Cross-border S-Bahn connections are being discussed on Lake Constance with the neighboring federal states of Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria and Vorarlberg as well as the Swiss cantons of Thurgau and St. Gallen and in the Alpine Rhine Valley between Chur and Bregenz. Suggestions for a Lake Constance S-Bahn and an Alpine Rhine Railway are made. The Principality of Liechtenstein would like to see its traffic problems defused with an FL.A.CH S-Bahn.

S-Bahn-like suburban railway systems in other countries

Worldwide there are suburban railway systems similar to the S-Bahn systems in German-speaking countries, but some of them differ in their design from the German S-Bahn networks. The term S-Bahn is used in the German-speaking area as a brand name for suburban railway networks, abroad the respective national language uses different brand names and the criteria are different in each country. The difference between light rail and regional rapid transit is often fluid, the French RER emphasizes z. B. rather the regional character.

S-Bahn in Belgium

Logo of the Brussels S-Bahn

The Brussels S-Bahn ( Dutch S-Trein , French Train S ) has been operating in Brussels since December 13, 2015 . In this project, also known as Gewestelijk ExpresNet GEN ( Dutch ) or Réseau Express Régional RER (French), the aim is to make the suburban network in the greater Brussels area independent. There are currently 12 lines with 142 stations.

On September 3, 2018, four more networks were put into operation in the other major cities in Belgium, the S-Bahn in Antwerp , Charleroi , Ghent and Liège . Usually, however, due to hourly intervals and operational restrictions on weekends, there is no major improvement to be seen compared to the L-train connections that ran before.

S-tog in Denmark

Logo of the S-tog

In Copenhagen ( Denmark ) there is the S-tog (in German: S-Zug or S-Bahn) based on the S-Bahn Berlin - the letter "S" is only symbolic. At the train stations, the “S” stands for station. This train service was opened in 1934. The lines are marked with letters; A, B, C, E, F and H. The network is 170 km long and has 84 stations, 32 of which are in the inner city tariff zone. The railway has its own track structure, separated from the rest of the railway traffic, with overhead lines , fed with 1500 V direct current , a voltage used in Denmark only for the S-tog. The S-tog is therefore incompatible with the rest of Denmark's rail traffic. The routes run both as an elevated railway and in tunnels. Since 2002, the rail system has been supplemented by the Copenhagen Metro (underground), which now has four lines. In the center the S-Bahn has a cycle of two to five minutes. The regional trains to southern Sweden and the suburbs of the metropolitan region are also timed. These have 35 train stations, with five train stations in the center and three on the train to Kastrup Airport . This includes the Øresund Bridge to Sweden, 7 km from the center of Copenhagen. The Copenhagen transport system also includes local railways to the suburbs. The regional train, S-Bahn and Metro (U-Bahn), local trains and buses are combined in a uniform network tariff.

RER in France

Train the line B of the Paris RER at station Châtelet - Les Halles
Logo of the RER

In Paris , the term Réseau Express Régional (RER), literally express regional network, is used. The term was coined in Paris in the 1970s for the Réseau express régional d'Île-de-France , but is now also used in other major cities in France and in francophone Switzerland for S-Bahn-like railway networks.

However, the use of the term RER is very different in Paris and the province . Many use the term exclusively for the Paris network and speak of “RER-like” networks in the provinces. Only in Paris are there underground regional train stations comparable to the tunnel stations of the underground or S-Bahn. Only since the 1990s have other major French cities been expanding their network of regional connections, which will initially and for the foreseeable future be limited to improving the range of services on existing routes. There are no concrete plans for tunnels anywhere .

An RER network is being planned in Lyon , which will probably go into operation as a tram train .

In Toulouse , line C of the Métro de Toulouse is sometimes referred to as RER toulousain , as it is operated by SNCF trains. The line has six stations over a length of seven kilometers, i.e. a station distance of 1.4 km, comparable to S-Bahn trains.

S-Bahn-like systems in Italy

In several major Italian cities and metropolitan areas there are systems that are similar to an S-Bahn and have different names depending on their orientation and concept. However, the Italian S-Bahn have normal rail tariffs; Uniform tariff systems are rarely found.

Logo treno metropolitano Trenitalia.svg

In Naples , the trains operated by Trenitalia were called Metropolitano (urban train) and therefore have the designation "M".

Linee S di Milano.svg

Szybka Kolej Miejska (SKM) in Poland

Logo of the Warsaw SKM

The Polish equivalent of the S-Bahn is Szybka Kolej Miejska , literally urban rapid transit . Networks or individual lines with this designation exist in Gdansk with neighboring cities ( Szybka Kolej Miejska w Trójmieście , "S-Bahn in the Tricity") and Warsaw , cf. Warszawska Szybka Kolej Miejska . In the Upper Silesian industrial area , the first line of the network called Szybka Kolej Regionalna (SKR, or "Regional Schnellbahn") was put into operation in 2009 . A joint S-Bahn for Bydgoszcz and Toruń is to be opened in 2014 under the name BiT-City . Another system was opened in Łódź (Lodz). In 2014 the Szybka Kolej Aglomeracyjna ("agglomeration express railway ") was opened in Krakow .

Urbanos in Portugal

Logo of the state CP, operator of the main suburban trains

In the greater Lisbon area and the greater Porto area , the state-owned railway company Comboios de Portugal (CP) operates with the Urbanos S-Bahn-like systems of suburban trains, the CP Urbanos de Lisboa and the CP Urbanos do Porto .

In the greater Lisbon area, the private Fertagus received the concession for the S-Bahn-like connections to the metropolitan area on the river bank opposite Lisbon, the Margem Sul do Tejo .

The CP operates another S-Bahn-like route with the Urbano between Coimbra and the seaside resort of Figueira da Foz .

S-Bahn in Russia

In Russia there are S-Bahn systems in several cities. In some cities, the so-called " Elektritschka " are integrated into the tariff of the subway system. B. the Moscow Small Railway Ring or Nizhny Novgorod S-Bahn . List of cities:

  • Moscow
  • Nizhny Novgorod
  • Ekaterinburg
  • Novosibirsk
  • Kazan
  • Volgograd
  • Sochi
  • Rostov
  • Voronezh
  • Chelyabinsk
  • Krasnodar
  • Ufa
  • Krasnoyarsk

Pendeltåg in Sweden

Pendeltåg logo

Pendeltåg has existed since the 1960s and, together with the various local railways and the underground ( Tunnelbana ), forms an efficient network in Stockholm . However, Pendeltåg only has three train stations in downtown Stockholm, which are separate from the underground stations. Pendeltåg is only used for passenger transport between the suburbs and the city center. The suburban commuter trains are not fundamentally different from other trains, but they are more like the S-Bahn trains in Munich or Hanover, but not those in Hamburg or Berlin.

The Gothenburg Pendeltåg network consists of three main lines with local trains to Alingsås, Älvängen and Kungsbacka. The main difference compared to the classic S-Bahn networks in Central Europe is that there are far fewer stations in the center and that the schedules are particularly adapted to the rush hour . The Pendeltåg from Nynäshamn to Stockholm only runs once an hour at lunchtime or in the evening. In southern Sweden, from the north to Gothenburg and Kalmar , trains run to Scania and Denmark (Greater Copenhagen). These trains, which are called Öresundståg in Swedish and Øresundstog in Danish , have no S-Bahn character. Although these trains are called "Öresundståg / Øresundstog", they do not count as regional trains in Denmark. They are comparable to the Regional Express trains running in Germany. In Skåne there are also local trains called Pågatåg . City tunnels with tunnel stations exist in both Malmö and Helsingborg .

Beovoz in Serbia

Beovoz logo

In Serbia there has been the Beovoz since the early 1980s , which runs in Belgrade on the new lines in the Belgrade railway junction . Currently the five lines of the Beovoz are operated by the Železnice Srbije . An integration into the tariff system of the public transport of the GSP Beograd is planned after it has been operated by the Serbian railways since 2004. In the inner city area, the Beovoz trains run in three 30 km long tunnels.

Cercanías in Spain

Logo of the Cercanías or Rodalies

In Spain the S-Bahn is called Cercanías . There are networks of one to twelve lines in eleven cities, each of which is operated by the national railway company RENFE .

In some regions, especially in the Basque Country , in Cantabria , Comunitat Valenciana and Asturias, there are also S-Bahn-like services of the FEVE , Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat Valenciana , Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya and EuskoTren on narrow gauge , which together with the Cercanías das Form a high-speed network. In Barcelona, ​​six lines are operated by the Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya .

Esko in the Czech Republic

Esko logo

In the greater Prague / Central Bohemia area, there has also been a suburban railway system comparable to the S-Bahn since 2007 with the Esko Prague . Since December 2008 the Esko in Moravskoslezsky kraj has been operated as a second network . In some other regions, a similar numbering of the train lines is also being started, but the “Esko” logo has so far only been used in the two regions mentioned.

Similar networks in other countries


Outside of Europe


  • There is an independent S-Bahn museum for the Berlin S-Bahn. It is located in Potsdam on the site of a former S-Bahn substation at Potsdam Griebnitzsee station .
  • As train surfing is defined as a dangerous and illegal activities of mostly young males, when they cling-train S-Bahn a dare to the outer wall of a Wayfarer.

See also


Web links

Commons : S-Bahn  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: S-Bahn  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Mathias Hiller, Mike Straschewski: The word "S-Bahn" and the S-Bahnsignet., October 5, 2008, accessed on November 15, 2009 .
  2. ^ Peter Bley: Berlin S-Bahn . Alba publication, Düsseldorf 2002, ISBN 3-87094-363-7 .
  3. Kibou
  4. ^ S-Bahn Forum
  5. Chronicle
  6. Information on the S-Bahn brand  in the register of the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA)
  7. ^ Patent office follows Leipziger Zweckverband: Deutsche Bahn AG loses word mark "S-Bahn" , Leipziger Volkszeitung of February 14, 2011 according to dpa report
  8. S-Bahn; the next trademark cancellation . Website, accessed on March 17, 2012.
  9. Decision of the Federal Patent Court of March 14, 2012 (PDF; 98 kB)
  10. Transport associations welcome deletion of the word mark S-Bahn  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . In: Thüringer Allgemeine , March 19, 2012.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  11. Information on the S-Bahn brand  word / figurative mark in the register of the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA)
  12. Edict of the Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology as the highest railway construction authority of June 16, 2014, GZ. BMVIT-820.371 / 0009-IV / SCH2 / 2014
  13. Official project website at the heart of Basel. Retrieved January 31, 2017 .