New Subway Line U4

From November 28 2012, the new U4 subway which runs to Billstedt, via Jungfernstieg, calling at Central Station and Berliner Tor, will also stop in the new Elbe-side city district. Trains initially only travel to Überseequartier station, but later include HafenCity University in central HafenCity

Visiting the tunnel of the new subway line U4 was a unique experience for many people (© ELBE&FLUT)

A new U4 subway for Hamburg and HafenCity: the new U4 subway goes into service after five years under construction. The inauguration ceremony is on November 28, 2012. With the launch of the new timetable on December 9, regular services get under way via Jungfernstieg to Central Station and Berliner Tor, and on to Billstedt. Special trips will be offered during the interim period.

Initially the U4 will terminate at the new Überseequartier station which is at the interface between western and central HafenCity, areas already full of life. Once HafenCity University opens its doors in 2013, the HafenCity University subway station will start functioning too. One further station will be constructed at Elbbrücken in the east by 2017/18. The plan is to connect it up with a new rapid transit (S-Bahn) station to the north of Elbbrücken.

When operations begin, up to 35,000 people are expected to use the line every day. But full capacity is expected to be reached earlier when events such as the Port of Hamburg Birthday take place. On such occasions the ten-minute rhythm of train services can be geared up accordingly. Under normal circumstances, services will benefit the 450 businesses in HafenCity and their approx. 9,000 employees, the 1,800 local residents and the thousands of visitors every day. 

Although the subway track is only 30 meters wide, during construction an area of around 20 hectares was required for logistics and construction activities – more than double the surface area of Überseequartier in which the first subway station is situated. By summer 2013 Grasbrookpark will be laid out above the western exit and the tracks.

Complementing the U4 subway, the public bus network continues services. The first ferry and launch landing stage near the Elbphilharmonie is also built. Another two follow – at HafenCity University and at Elbbrücken. In addition there will be various launch jetties, in Magdeburger Hafen and Baakenhafen basins, for example.

Planning and construction of the complex infrastructure projects (except on private land) is the responsibility of the developer, city-owned HafenCity Hamburg GmbH. Financing is covered exclusively by sales of land in the planning zone. However, the new U4 is an exception: it has been planned and realized by Hamburger Hochbahn AG, comes out of budgetary funds of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg as well as federal subsidies. The cost of external access to HafenCity, the planned reconstruction of Deichtorplatz, as well as bridges to be built between HafenCity and other city neighborhoods, is also financed out of Hamburg’s state budget.