Monorails of Europe

Dortmund University, Germany

Opened 1984

3.0 km 

5 stations 

5,000 / day 

In 1973, the Siemens Research Center in Erlangen began tests of a 1.4-km test track of a suspended peoplemover-scale monorail. With wheels and running surfaces inside a steel beam, the German monorail is a close cousin to the Safege Monorail developed in France (see Monorails In History-Part II). With knowledge gained at the test track, the first revenue passenger service "H-Bahn" opened at Dortmund University in 1984. The initial line was only 1 km long but connected two segments of the Universtity separated by a valley and a major roadway. The system was so popular with students and faculty that more than five million passengers had been carried by 1991 (in complete safety). With this success came backing for extensions. Additional track was added at both the south and north end. A spur line and switch was added which allows passengers to transfer to an urban rail line directly below the DO-Universität station. A new 1.2 km line to a nearby science park opened in 2003. Top speed of the the vehicles is 65 kph. With a minimum frequency of 40 seconds there are 36 scheduled runs per hour. Further extensions are being planned. (See our Links Page to go direct to the Dortmund H-Bahn Site)

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