Public Transit in Cologne

Public transit in the German city of Köln (Cologne in English) is the responsibility of Kölner Verkehrs-Betriebe AG, which is responsible for operating the light rail and bus system and the subway (U-Bahn). Collectively the public transit network is known as the Cologne Stadtbahn.

When we were in Cologne in early December 2021, we used the trams and subway. I don’t believe we used a bus.

Trams in Köln

The tram network in Köln was largely destroyed during WW2, as was much of the city. After the war, much of the network was not restored. Over time a new light rail network was built which serves Cologne and the neighbouring city of Bonn – the former capital of West Germany.

The network is not exactly symmetrical – see maps here – but consists of a couple of concentric arcs along with some lines radiating out from the centre.

Note the KVB (for Kölner Verkehrs-Betriebe) beside the door of the vehicle above.

Our hotel – the Motel One Cologne-Neumarkt – was next to the important Neumarkt transit hub. I went out one night to photograph some light rail vehicles by the Christmas market there.

Cologne runs Bombardier Flexity light rail vehicles. According to this 2020 article, they ordered 6 additional FLEXITY LRVs to add to the existing 287 LRVs in the area. Most are Flexity Swift LRVs manufactured between 1995 and 2007.

I played a bit with panning.

The Köln Subway

The “subway” in Cologne is really more like an underground tram network. It’s called the U-Bahn.

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