History of HOCHBAHN


HOCHBAHN was founded in 1911. Well over a century later, HOCHBAHN has evolved into one of the most successful local public transport companies anywhere in Europe.

1906 Hamburg’s regional parliament (the “Bürgerschaft”) authorises the construction of both an elevated and underground railway system.
1912 The elevated and underground railway in Hamburg begins operation on 1 May. Ten years after Berlin, Hamburg thereby became the second German city to embark on the “adventure of the future“ by building a metro line.
1921 Omnibus operation starts.
1933 The Boards of the Hamburger Hochbahn AG (HOCHBAHN) are fired or put on indefinite leave along with several hundred of their employees for “political” or “racial” reasons.
1934 The underground station Jungfernstieg is opened on 28 April, featuring escalators for the first time.
1947 HOCHBAHN first reaches the milestone of 200 million passengers transported each year.
1957 HOCHBAHN hosts the UITP World Congress, led by CEO Dr.-Ing. Friedrich Lademann.
1965 The Hamburg Public Transport Association (“Hamburger Verkehrsverbund” – HVV) is founded.
1978 Tram services are discontinued in Hamburg on 1 October.
1989 The first underground rolling stock of the new DT4 generation enters into service.
1997 Introduction of the “train infoscreen” in metro trains to keep passengers informed during their journey.
2002 HOCHBAHN fleet is now made up of 100 percent low-floor buses.
2006 HOCHBAHN has the largest fleet of fuel cell buses worldwide.
2007 Germany’s largest underground rail project, the construction of the U4 metro line, gets underway in the HafenCity.
2011 The zero-emission “CleanBus” with hybrid propulsion technology commences regular services. This brings HOCHBAHN one step closer to a zero-emission future.
2012 The major Hamburg “Lift Programme” is launched with the aim of making all metro and urban rail stations disabled-friendly by fitting them with elevators and other facilities.
2013 Mobility – newly facilitated by HOCHBAHN: the “switchh” pilot project combines the car and bike sharing options offered by its partner providers and connects them with public transport services.
2014 Trials begin to test a range of innovative drives in regular bus services on the “Innovation Line 109”.
2016 HOCHBAHN begins a comprehensive digitalisation process.
2017 Real-time data is displayed for passengers on bus and rail services via screens, websites and an app.


Off to film! Time travel through Hamburg's history ...

Episode 1: the bus spin test.

© Hamburger Hochbahn AG 2021

Episode 2: Time travel with the line 102

© Hamburger Hochbahn AG 2021

Episode 3: Hamburg and the Alster ships

© Hamburger Hochbahn AG 2021

Episode 4: Wandsbek Market Opening 1962

© Hamburger Hochbahn AG 2021

Episode 5: The Urbanbus from the 70s

© Hamburger Hochbahn AG 2021
Management board of HOCHBAHN Hamburg

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