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North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Date of opening11 Oct 1968
Network length47.4 km (29.46 mi)
Lines15        Line history
Stations per line3.67
Avg. station distance1,185 m (0.74 mi)
Avg. line length3.16 km (1.96 mi)
*with transfer stations counted once
Numerical data by J. Serradell, 16 Feb 2016
Approx. 45 km metro-like. 30 km underground.
System typeLRT, known as Stadtbahn
Daily ridership
Fare collectionHonour system
TrackRight, gauge: 1435 mm
Power supplyOverhead wire, 750 V
Air-conditioned trainsNew light rail trains only
Walk-through trainsYes
Rubber-tyred trains
Driverless lines
Platform screen doors
World Metro Database

Official map
Source: pdf, © 2010

To-scale map

Disclaimer: Maps are copyrighted. The previews on this page are for informational purposes only. Please respect copyright and always refer to original maps.

Transit mapsSystem map imagesö - moving trains

Latest Openings

Jul 2016 – A section of the new North-South line: Line 17 from Severinstrasse via Kartäuserhof and Chlodwigplatz to Bonner Wall and onwards. 4 stations.
15 Dec 2013 – A section of the new North-South line: Line 5 extends from Rathaus to Heumarkt. 1 station.
9 Dec 2012 – A section of the new North-South line: Line 5 extends from Dom/Hauptbahnhof to Rathaus. 1 station.

Self-Guided Tour

Try the following tour, recommended by residents or metro enthusiasts:

Explore the diversity of the Cologne Light Rail, going underground (lines 3, 4, 5, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18), elevated (line 13), overland on abandoned railway routes (lines 16, 18 to Bonn; line 7 partly), on roads far out into suburbs (lines 3, 4), on roads using low-floor vehicles (lines 1, 7, 9).


Right in the city centre, the construction of a 4 km long North-South light-rail tunnel between 2004 and 2010 means digging in an area of 30 km2. This spawned the biggest archaeological project ever in Cologne [20], while construction costs skyrocketed. Science determines the pace of construction here, and a team of up to 100 scientists and technicians has unearthed many archaeological artifacts from the city's Roman history, including a 2000 year-old wreck of a Roman freight ship and the remains of Roman wharfs [19].

Other Rail Transport in Cologne

S-Bahn (suburban metro)

Metro City Hopping

Cologne is part of the Rhine-Ruhr cluster of metro/subway cities with the following urban rail connections:

  Bochum    Tram line 302 (tram)    Gelsenkirchen      7 km
  Cologne    Line 16 or 18 (LRT)    Bonn      24 km
  Cologne    Lines S6 or S11 (commuter metro)    Duesseldorf      34 km
  Dortmund    Line S1 (commuter metro)    Bochum      18 km
  Duesseldorf    Line U79 (LRT)    Duisburg      23 km
  Duesseldorf    Line S8 (commuter metro)    Wuppertal      28 km
  Duisburg    Tram line 901 (tram)    Muelheim      8 km
  Essen    Line U11 or tram 107 (LRT)    Gelsenkirchen      10 km
  Essen    Line U18 (metro)    Muelheim      9 km

Relationships with Other Metros

Rhine-Ruhr LRT family
Members: Bochum, Bonn, Cologne, Dortmund, Duesseldorf, Essen, Muelheim,
Characteristics: Using very similar (Type B) trains.

24-Hour Services

Friday, Saturday night: LRT.

Departure Procedure and Sounds

No sound, each set of doors has sensors and closes when no one is between them.

Stadtbahn line 3 train departing from Koernerstr. station.

Duration: 0:20 

More videos...


  Cologne photo gallery.

Handpicked Resources Official website
Dietmar, Carl; Marcus TrierMit der U-Bahn in die Römerzeit. Ein Handbuch zu den archäologischen Ausgrabungsstätten rund um den Bau der Nord-Süd-Stadtbahn. KiWi, 2006. (In German)
Trier, Marcus; L. TempelCologne’s North-South Urban Light Railway. Part II – The Archaeology. Tunnel 7/2005. (PDF)

Generic Links for Cologne Stadtbahn

Wikipedia entry at entry at
Railway Gazette search at
Discussion at
System photos at Google Images
City information at

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