INTRO: Both the S-Bahn and U-Bahn network in the Bavarian capital are reaching their optimal size. Ralf Roman Rossberg examines plans for an extensive light rail network to complement the existing rail corridors

TOGETHER with the long-established city centre trams, well-used U-Bahn and S-Bahn networks form the backbone of public transport in München, capital of the Land of Bavaria. Buses generally act as feeders to the rail services.

Further development of the network is now vital as many routes, particularly on the S-Bahn, have reached the limits of capacity, and use of private cars is continuing to rise. The rail users’ lobby organisation Pro Bahn has put forward proposals for an extensive light rail network with through running of trams on main line railways, as successfully pioneered in Karlsruhe and later introduced in Saarbrücken. Significant elements of these proposals have been incorporated in the city’s official development plan, which enjoys the support of the Bayerische Eisenbahn Gesellschaft, charged by the Bavarian Ministry of Transport with planning rail services.

The Pro Bahn proposals envisage four phases of development: