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Stuttgart’s light rail reaches the airport

Parallel run of both inauguration trains | © Jörg Schneider

On the weekend of 11/12 December 2021, the timetable of the public transport operator are changed throughout Germany, and this occasion has often been used to inaugurate new lines or sections. Stuttgart is one of these operators.

With a parallel run of two light rail trains, the official opening of the new section of line U6 between the previous Schelmenwasen terminus and the new Flughafen/Messe (airport/trade fair centre) terminus took place in the early afternoon of 11 December 2021, with several authorities attending the ceremony. Passenger service began right afterwards.

Every 10 minutes during the day (every 15 minutes in the off-peak hours), the extended U6 light rail line now runs over the 3.2 km long new track. Like all Stuttgart light-rail lines, it is standard-gauge and double-tracked – the trains use their own alignment including an approximately 600-metre tunnel section to just before arriving at the new terminus. The three new stops Stadionstraße, Messe West and Flughafen/Messe are, however, all located on surface and equipped with elevated platforms according to the usual Stuttgart standard and, of course, allow completely barrier-free access. At the airport, there is a direct connection to the S-Bahn line to Filderstadt, which runs underground here. Remarkable is short section with an 8.5% gradient on the bridge over the A8 motorway.

Bridge over the motorway A8 | © Jörg Schneider

The extended U6 line will for the first time provide a direct connection from Gerlingen via Stuttgart city centre and the southern districts of Degerloch, Möhringen and Fasanenhof to the airport and the Landesmesse trade fair centre. The journey time from Stuttgart city centre is approximately 30 minutes, from Degerloch approximately 20 minutes and from Möhringen 15 minutes.

The construction work took 3 ½ years, EUR 130 million was the total investment.

Photo gallery (click to open):

The new section on the map | © Robert Schwandl (http://www.urbanrail.net/eu/de/s/stuttgart-map.htm)