San Francisco cable car ‘big’ 19 on a test run. (Muni
On 29 February the German city of Essen in the Ruhr held a groundbreaking ceremony at Hoillestrasse for its new 5.5km tramline named Citybahn. This is designed to bring a surface tramway back to the city centre. 
The network was placed underground in tram subways in the 1970s, but the current two-minute headway cannot be reduced any further. Approved in 2017, and given planning permission in 2020, the new tramway will run from th Ruhrbahn depot via Hollestrasse and Hachestrasse to Frohnhauser Strasse/Bertholds-Beitz-Boulevard and Bergmühle, serving the new ESSEN 51 district and passing across the forecourt of the main railway station, where the last tram ran in 1974.  
There will be 10 stops on line 105 and the aim is to increase the public transport modal split to 25%. The first passengers should be able to ride the new tramway in 2026. The project cost is EUR 180M, with EUR 151M for the tramway infrastructure. 75% supper comes from the federal government of the province of Nordrhein-Westfalen. 
Thomas Kufen, mayor of the City of Essen, said, ‘We want to constantly expand and improve our public transport offer. In this way we are creating a real alternative to get seamlessly from A to B. The CITYBAHN is an important component of a good mobility offer and thus supports the mobility transition’. 
The dual-gauge Essen tramway/Stadtbahn has links to the neighbouring cities of Mülheim an her Ruhr and Gelsenkirchen. There is 21.5km of standard gauge (three lines) and 52.5km of metre gauge (eight lines), with dual gauge in the city subway. 
Standard-gauge cars include 31 Stadtbahn-B and 21 ex-London Docklands P86/89. Metre-gauge trams are 21 Stadtbahn-M with folding steps, 93 Bombardier Flexity. Trams have operated in Essen since 1893, with standard gauge arriving in 1977 as part of the Ruhr Stadtbahn. 
The surface tramway will return to Essen city centre. (VRR) 
Tagged as: Essen, Stadtbahn
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