As one of the most industrial countries in Europe, Germany has long relied on its extensive and modern rail system to facilitate the transport of both people and freight across the country. Deutsche Bahn, the national railway operator, has 27,000 miles of track. Deutsche Bahn also operates the ICE, Germany’s high speed train, which debuted in 1981 and operates throughout the country following the merger of the formerly separate West German and East German national rail networks.
In many cities, the most common form of local rail transportation is the S-Bahn, which operates commuter rail type service with high densities of stops within the city cores and then extending out to the suburbs. Cities with S-Bahn systems include Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Stuttgart, and Nuremberg. Only Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, and Nuremberg have subways, or U-Bahn systems. Far more cities had tram systems historically, though many have been abandoned. The Munich and Nuremberg U-Bahns were meant to replace trams, but this has yet to happen and probably never will. Stuttgart’s tram system operates underground in the city center and is advertised as a U-Bahn, but it is really a tram system with underground running. Other cities with tram systems still in service today include Berlin, Bonn, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich, and Nuremberg.