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A RegioTram at the low platforms of Kassel Hauptbahnhof.
|Locale||Kassel, Hesse, Germany|
|Number of lines||3|
|Operator(s)||Regionalbahn Kassel (RBK)|
|Number of vehicles||28 vehicles (see below)|
|System length||184 km (114 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge|
|Electrification||600 V DC/15 kV AC (18 vehicles)|
600 V DC/on-board diesel engine (10 vehicles)
Kassel's tram-train system follows the Karlsruhe model, and has been in full operation since 2007. With special RegioTram tramcars, continuous trips between the Deutsche Bahn regional train network and Kassel's city tram network are easily possible, thus avoiding transfers requiring long walking distances between trains of the regional rail system and trams of the Kassel city system.
The operator of the RegioTram network was, until December 2013, RegioTram mbH, a joint venture between Regionalbahn Kassel (RBK) a subsidiary of Kasseler Verkehrs-Gesellschaft, and DB Regio. In addition, the Nordhessische Verkehrsverbund is involved in the organization of RegioTram. Since 9 December 2013, Kassel's RegioTram is operated by a consortium of Kasseler Verkehrs-Gesellschaft (KVG) and Hessische Landesbahn (HLB).
The implementation of the RegioTram project includes various interlocking measures to improve local public transport in Kassel. The aim of the project is to link Kassel's local tram network with the regional rail network so that tram-train vehicles can travel from the city's tram network into the surrounding countryside on regional railroad tracks. The core component of the Kassel RegioTram project is a newly created link between the two rail systems at the Kassel Hauptbahnhof. The development of the infrastructure required to allow for a 30-minute headways on all lines will be implemented by 2014 at the earliest.
Kassel is served by the three lines of the RegioTram system, which operate on 184 kilometers (114 mi) of rail route of which only 6 kilometers (3.7 mi) is newly built rail route (mostly to link the regional rail network to Kassel city's tram network).
|Line RT1||Hofgeismar-Hümme – Kassel|
|Line RT4||Wolfhagen – Kassel|
|Line RT5||Melsungen – Kassel|
RegioTram operates using 28 tramcars from Alstom RegioCitadis delivered in 2004. There are two versions of these tramcars: 18 dual voltage tram-trains for use on the electrified network in and outside of Kassel, and 10 hybrid tram-trains (DC/diesel) for use with a diesel engine outside Kassel on the section around Wolfhagen. Similar vehicles of the same model are also in use on RandstadRail in the Netherlands.
Preliminary operations started on 10 June 2001, initially with six borrowed Saarbahn tramcars, on the Warburg-to-Kassel Hauptbahnhof rail route. Thus, the previous regional railway timetable was now being served by the new vehicles. RegioTram operation with 30-minute headways was realized. RegioCitadis type vehicles manufactured by Alstom in Salzgitter were delivered in July 2004, and took over the operation on this line on 8 May 2005; the borrowed Saarbahn tramcars were then returned. This route is now served by RegioTram Line 3 (RT3).
Starting on 29 January 2006, the first RegioTram operations began on the Kassel tram rail network itself. The hybrid RegioTram vehicles joined the tram tracks in the downtown core of Kassel on the Lossetalbahn to Hessisch Lichtenau during peak hours, the terminus of the tram line. The diesel-electric vehicles used a direct route over the Waldkappel rail line between Ober- and Nieder-Kaufungen which is not electrified. This meant, in contrast to the trams which served all stops, a reduction in journey time. In August 2007, the switch to the continuous use of conventional tramcar vehicles on this line was made. The former tram-train runs over the non-electrified railway through Waldkappel were replaced by tram "express" trips that do not operate at all stops along the route.
Between 16 September 2007 and the timetable change in December 2007, the RegioTram Line 9 (RT9) operated in advance from Kassel Hauptbahnhof to Treysa.
RegioTram routes in Kassel changed 19 August 2007 (RT4), 16 September 2007 (RT3 and RT5) and December 20097 (RT9) from running to the Innenstadtring (Inner Rign Road) in downtown, and instead to Leipziger Straße. The full development of the infrastructure to allow for a 30-minute headways on all lines will be implemented by 2014 at the earliest.
On the lines RT3 and RT4, new stops at Kassel-Jungfernkopf, and Vellmar-Osterberg/EKZ on the Harleshäuser Kurve, were put into operation on 13 December 2008. On 25 April 2009, a new station Kassel-Kirchditmold was also added to the same section. In Melsungen, a new stop at Melsungen-Bartenwetzerbrücke was put into operation on Line RT5 on 20 May 2011.
- "Die neue Infrastruktur: Begrenzter Aufwand-großer Nutzen" [The new infrastructure: Large benefits for a limited investment] (in German). Nordhessischer Verkehrsverbund (NVV). 2013. Archived from the original on 2013-06-04. Retrieved 2014-07-16.
- "RegioTram" [RegioTram] (in German). Nordhessischen VerkehrsVerbund (NVV). Retrieved 2017-11-15.
Media related to Kassel RegioTram at Wikimedia Commons
- Kasseler Verkehrs-Gesellschaft (KVG) – official site
- Kassel database / photo gallery and Kassel tram list at Urban Electric Transit – in various languages, including English.