GERMANY: A northern extension of the Saarbahn tram-train in Saarbrücken was inaugurated at 10.00 on October 5, with a day of music and free travel until 18.00.

The 10·4 km extension from Heusweiler Markt to Lebach-Jabach uses a former heavy rail alignment as far as DB’s Lebach branch, which it joins east of Lebach. There are seven new stops and services call at the existing Lebach and Lebach-Jabach staions.

Construction started in 2009 and cost €53·3m. A depot in Lebach opened in September 2012.

The new section is expected to increase ridership on the 44 km Saarbahn by 1·2 million passengers/year. Journey time from Lebach to Saarbrücken Hauptbahnhof is around 50 min. Services run every 30 min in the peaks and every 60 min off-peak. Residents along the route are entitled to one week of free travel on the Saarbahn and buses between October 13 and November 14.