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WIEN
 Austria

Vienna U-Bahn Map © UrbanRail.Net

 System

Vienna (in German Wien) is the capital of Austria and has about 1.8 million inhabitants. Famous as a city of classical music, it is also home to the United Nations Office at Vienna.

Vienna's modern underground network actually goes back to the 19th century, when a system of urban steam railway lines was built to connect the various mainline railways serving the once large Austro-Hungarian Empire. Three Stadtbahn lines opened in stages between 1898 and 1901, with stations and viaducts designed by Otto Wagner, the outstanding art-nouveau (Jugendstil) architect. Two of these lines were later upgraded to become today's U4 and the central section of U6, and the third, a suburban line, was converted into Schnellbahn in the 1980's (S45). The first two lines were electrified in 1925 and operated as a rapid tramway on independent right-of-way, either elevated along the Gürtel (a kind of ring road > now U6) or in an open tunnel along the Danube Canal and the Wien River (> now U4).

In 2017, the Vienna U-Bahn system comprises 5 lines with a total length of approx. 84 km and 109 stations.

 U-Bahn Lines
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Linie U1
Leopoldau – Oberlaa
 19.2 km - 24 stations

Line U1 constitutes Vienna's major north-south trunk route which links the districts on the eastern side of the Danube to the city centre and the populous southern district of Favoriten. A southern extension to Oberlaa opened in 2017 after construction had started in early 2012, while the formerly planned terminus at Rothneusiedl is now an option for a future branch. On U1, every other southbound train terminates at Alaudagasse.

U1 U1

More U1 photos

 

 
Linie U2
Karlsplatz – Seestadt
 16.7 km - 20 stations

Starting as an underground tram route on the western side of the city centre back in the 1960s, line U2 has gradually been upgraded and is now an important east-west route that links the city centre to the stadium and fairgrounds, as well as the new development areas across the Danube River. It reached its eastern terminus Seestadt in October 2013 (the intermediate station An den alten Schanzen will be completed at a later date as soon as the area starts redevelopment). Every other train terminates at Aspernstraße.

U2 U2

More U2 photos

 

 
Linie U3
Ottakring – Simmering
 13.5 km - 21 stations

Line U3, like the U1 a completely newly-planned line, runs from the western districts to the southeastern parts of the city, serving Westbahnhof (West Railway Station), the city's major shopping artery Mariahilfer Straße (Zieglergasse & Neubaugasse stations), the city centre proper as well as the important railway hub Landstraße/Wien Mitte.

U3 U3

More U3 photos

 

 

 
Linie U4
Hütteldorf – Heiligenstadt
 16.4 km - 20 stations

The entire line U4 was developed out of the old Stadtbahn Wiental-Donaukanal line (WD), which had opened in as early as 1898. Initially steam-operated, the line was upgraded to electric operation in 1925 before becoming a modern U-Bahn line in stages between 1976 and 1981. Line U4 runs mostly on the surface, with several short intermediate sections; between Schwedenplatz and Friedensbrücke, the route is covered, though open on the side of the Danube Canal.

U4 U4

More U4 photos

 

 
Linie U6
Floridsdorf – Siebenhirten
 17.5 km - 24 stations

Like the U4, the central part of line U6 was also part of the old Stadtbahn system. But whereas line U4 was converted to full U-Bahn standard, the Gürtel line (G) has continued being operated with light rail vehicles, but using 110 m long trains and the line being fully segregated, it can be classified as a full-scale metro line. Despite by-passing the city centre, it is one of the busiest lines on the Vienna U-Bahn system.

 

 Evolution of the U-Bahn System

Phase 1: 

In 1968 the city decided to build a full metro system which included the new U1, the semi-circular-line U2 upgraded from a tram tunnel which had opened in 1966, and U4 which was totally converted from the former WD Stadtbahn - W stands for 'Wiental' along the Wien River, and D for 'Donaukanal' (Danube Canal). Construction started at Karlsplatz where all three lines meet. In 1978 the first part of U1 (Reumannplatz - Karlsplatz) and U4 (Heiligenstadt-Schottenring) opened. By 1982 the initial 3-line network had been completed:

U1 - 10 km, 14 stations (on a viaduct between Donauinsel and Kagran, crossing the Danube inside the rebuilt Reichsbrücke)
U2 - 3.6 km, 7 stations (all underground); Babenberger Straße was renamed Museumsquartier in 2000. By 2002, platforms had been extended in all stations to 115 m to allow for the future use of 6-car trains, except for Lerchenfelder Straße, which was situated between Rathaus and Volkstheater and closed in 2003.
U4 - 16.4 km, 19 stations (mainly in a cutting parallel to Wien and Danaukanal rivers); Spittelau station was added later to provide transfer to the extended U6.

Phase 2:

U3 - This east-west line is almost entirely underground and newly built. The first part (Erdberg-Volkstheater) through the city centre opened in 1991, two years later it reached Westbahnhof and in 1994 Johnstraße. The permanent terminus in the west at Ottakring was inaugurated on 5 Dec. 1998. After Kendlerstraße the line leaves the tunnel and arrives at Ottakring on a viaduct. This is an interchange station to S45. The southeastern extension to Simmering opened on 2 Dec. 2000. The line is now 13.5 km long and has 21 stations. This line is nicknamed 'the culture line' because of special station designs (especially Volkstheater with a huge wall frieze) and architectural and historical buildings along the line.

U6 - This line was converted from the former G-Stadtbahn (G for Gürtel - ring road) and is an up-and-down line. The central historic section from the 19th century runs mainly on a viaduct although trains go underground for the main railway station Westbahnhof, which was rebuilt when the interchange to line U3 was built in the early 1990s. To the south of this station the line comes back to the surface before reaching the historic station at Gumpendorfer Straße and crossing the Wien River on the marvellous bridge designed by Otto Wagner. After the bridge there is a steep gradient into Längenfeldgasse station, where cross-platform interchange with line U4 is provided. From here the line continues in a new tunnel to Philadelphiabrücke (now Bahnhof Meidling) and then heads south on the surface to Siebenhirten, partly on a viaduct previously used by a fast tram line. The northern section opened in 1996 as a mainly underground extension crossing the Danube on a bridge to Floridsdorf.

Phase 3:

The third phase of U-Bahn construction in Vienna included the northern U1 extension and the 9 km U2 eastern extension.

Construction work on the 4.6 km U1 extension to Leopoldau began in 2001 once U3 had reached Simmering. The new section includes 5 stations and was opened on 2 Sept. 2006. While Kagraner Platz and Großfeldsiedlung stations lie underground, Rennbahnweg is elevated and Aderklaaer Straße at grade; the terminus at Leopoldau actually also lies at grade, but it is intergrated into a building with a car park on top of it. The design of the new stations is almost identical to that of the older stations, following the concept of the 'Architektengruppe U-Bahn'.

Phase 3 also included the long discussed U2 extension from Schottenring to Praterstern and Stadion, and in a second stage across the Danube to Donaustadt and Aspern (total length from Schottenring is 9 km). Along the original line which was initially opened in 1966 as a tram tunnel, platforms were lengthened from 75 m to 115 m, and Lerchenfelder Straße was closed as Volkstheater station was too close. For the new alignment, Schottenring, which previously offered cross-platform interchange with U4, had to be rebuilt so that U2 can pass under U4 in an L-shaped station located under the Danube Canal. The next station is the deep-level Taborstraße station before crossing line U1 at Praterstern. The line runs underground to Messe (fairgrounds) and then elevated. The first stage to the stadium (4.2 km) was opened in May 2008 for the European Football Championship, while the next section across the Danube to Aspern followed in October 2010, and the final section to Seestadt in October 2013. Line U2 runs on an elevated structure from Krieau to Seestadt.

Phase 4:

The fourth phase initially envisaged a southern U2 extension from Karlsplatz to Gudrunstraße via Schwarzenbergplatz, Rennweg, St. Marx and Arsenal, but this was later shelved. The second project of this phase, the southern U1 extension, however, was realised with a new, partly surface route from Reumannplatz to Oberlaa, opened in Sept 2017, although initially the line was meant to continue straight from Alaudagasse to Rothneusiedl, but was later modified.

 

 History

08 May 1976: U4 Heiligenstadt - Friedensbrücke (trial operation)
25 Feb 1978: U1 Reumannplatz - Karlsplatz
03 Apr 1978: U4 Friedensbrücke - Schottenring
15 Aug 1978: U4 Schottenring - Karlsplatz
18 Nov 1978: U1 Karlsplatz - Stephansplatz
24 Nov 1979: U1 Stephansplatz - Nestroyplatz
30 Aug 1980: U2 Karlsplatz - Schottenring
26 Oct 1980: U4 Karlsplatz - Meidling
28 Feb 1981: U1 Nestroyplatz - Praterstern
31 Aug 1981: U4 Meidling - Hietzing
20 Dec 1981: U4 Hietzing - Hütteldorf
03 Sept 1982: U1 Praterstern - Kagran

07 Oct 1989: U6 Philadelphiabrücke (now Bahnhof Meidling) - Heiligenstadt + U4 Längenfeldgasse station added
06 Apr 1991: U3 Erdberg - Volkstheater
04 Sept 1993: U3 Volkstheater - Westbahnhof
03 Sept 1994: U3 Westbahnhof - Johnstraße
15 Apr 1995: U6 Philadelphiabrücke (now Bahnhof Meidling) - Siebenhirten
07 Oct 1995: U4 Spittelau station added
04 May 1996: U6 Nussdorfer Straße - Floridsdorf (Nussdorfer Str. - Heiligenstadt closed)
05 Dec 1998: U3 Johnstraße - Ottakring
02 Dec 2000: U3 Erdberg - Simmering

27 Sept 2003: U2 Lerchenfelder Straße closed

02 Sept 2006: U1 Kagran - Leopoldau
10 May 2008:
U2 Schottenring - Stadion
02 Oct 2010: U2 Stadion - Aspernstraße
05 Oct 2013:
U2 Aspernstraße - Seestadt (4.2 km)

02 Sept 2017: U1 Reumannplatz - Oberlaa (4.6 km) - t
ake a closer look at this extension in this video:


 Projects

U2/U5:

U2 Rathaus - Matzleinsdorfer Platz (2026), via Neubaugasse (U3 and Pilgramgasse (U4); the existing section Rathaus - Karlsplatz will become part of a new line U5. U2 may later be extended south from Matzleinsdorfer Platz to Wienerberg (2028).

U5 Karlsplatz - Rathaus (now U2) - Frankhplatz (2024); in a second stage further west via Michelbeuern/AKH to Elterleinplatz (2026), and eventually to Hernals. To be operated with driverless trains.

Details have been published in various magazines at Issuu: Dec 2015 Jan 2016 Jan 2017 Jan 2018

Watch the video below to see how the U-Bahn network will change!

 Other Rail Transport in and around Vienna
 
 Straßenbahn | Tram (incl. tram tunnel)

There is an underground tram section between Hauptbahnhof (Südtiroler Platz) and Eichenstraße on tram route 18, with a short branch below Wiedner Hauptstraße (lines 1, 62 and WLB), and a southern ramp at Matzleinsdorfer Platz (lines 1 and 6). Part of the tunnel is also used by tram routes 1, 6, 62 and WLB (Badner Bahn). The underground tram system includes a total of 6 stations, Hauptbahnhof, Blechturmgasse, Kliebergasse, Matzleinsdorfer Platz, Eichenstraße and Laurenzgasse.

More about the Vienna tram system

 Wiener Lokalbahnen "Badner Bahn" (WLB)

The Badner Bahn is a light rail line, which shares tram tracks from its Vienna terminus at Kärntner Ring/Oper and Bahnhof Meidling (Philadelphiabrücke), including the underground tram section between Laurenzgasse and Eichenstraße. From Philadelphiabrücke it runs mostly on its own right-of-way south to Baden, located some 28 km south of Vienna. During peak hours, Badner Bahn trains run every 7.5 minutes to Wiener Neudorf.

Badner Bahn Badner Bahn Badner Bahn Badner Bahn
 S-Bahn (Schnellbahn)

S-Bahn Logo SchnellbahnSimilar to the S-Bahn systems in many German cities, the Schnellbahn is an important complementary rail service also within the city, especially along the north-south trunk line (Floridsdorf - Meidling), but also on other routes like the former Stadtbahn S45 as a western tangential line and the S7 to the airport. The S-Bahn is fully integrated into the Vienna tariff system, as are all other means of transport, like tram and buses. Vienna city is "Kernzone" of the regional fare system VOR (Verkehrsverbund Ost-Region).

 

S-Bahn Wien S-Bahn Wien S-Bahn Wien S-Bahn Wien S-Bahn Wien S-Bahn Wien S-Bahn Wien
 

 Links

Wiener Linien (Official Site)

Verkehrsverbund Ostregion (VOR - fares and timetables)

Wiener Lokalbahnen (Badner Bahn - Light Rail)

Magistrat Wien: U-Bahn extensions


U-Bahn Wien at Wikipedia.de

Die Wiener U-Bahn | The Vienna Metro System by Horst Prillinger

Schnellbahn Wien by Thomas Kohlwein

Architektengruppe U-Bahn

Nahverkehr.Wien by Gerardo Valido Gonzalez

Straßenbahnjournal

Wiener Untergrund by Thomas Stadler

Public-Transport.at by Steve Stipsits

BLOG: Your webmaster's personal impressions on the Vienna transport system (April 2014)

 

 Books

U-Bahn, S-Bahn & Tram in WienNEW

Robert Schwandl:

U-BAHN, S-BAHN & TRAM in WIEN

June 2018, Robert Schwandl Verlag, ISBN 978-3-936573-55-8
Text deutsch & English

(More info)

 

 

Tram Atlas Schweiz & Österreich Robert Schwandl:

   TRAM ATLAS SCHWEIZ & ÖSTERREICH

 2014 (2nd edition), Robert Schwandl Verlag, ISBN 978-3-936573-44-2 (More info)

Detailed geographically correct maps of all Swiss and Austrian tram and trolleybus systems, illustrated with numerous colour photos and enhanced with basic data about routes, lines, rolling stock, etc.

 

 


2004 © UrbanRail.Net by Robert Schwandl.