top of page
1956 – 1964: Expansion of tramway and traffic chaos 

The head of the public transport company, dr. Baumeister, therefore, presented in the city council a five-year program for the expansion of the tram network. In addition to new lines, the fleet should be further rejuvenated. On July 21, 1956 opened the first new line of Munich tram after the war: an extension of the line 29 to Michaelibad. With her began the gradual expansion of the Munich tram to a modern means of transport.

The car procurement of the early 1950s was mainly used to replenish the decimated by the action of the war fleet and absorb the worst effects of the onset of traffic chaos. From April 4, 1957, the first wagons of the 3rd procurement program were delivered. The commissioning of these trains now made it possible to finally weed out the last, completely obsolete, class A railcar and the associated c-sidecar. These vehicles no longer met the requirements with their open platforms, which were still equipped with folding safety gates. Since they had no rail brakes, they also did not meet the more stringent operating rules, which were set by the from 1960 valid construction and operation rules for trams.


The further expansion of the Munich tram met with undivided approval. On July 14, 1958, the city council commissioned the 5th car procurement program. In addition to 23 M / m trains, two P1 articulated railcars were ordered as prototypes for the planned underground.


On October 20, 1958, the new line 9 line was opened by the Westendstraße and Langbehnstraße after Kleinhadern. With this line conceptions of the later rapid-transit railway courses were taken up for the first time: a largely intersection-free routing on own track body. The expansion of the Munich tramway now took shape in the previously neglected northern city districts. In September 1959, the extension of Lines 3 and 8 was taken as a new line from Cologne Square to Scheidplatz in operation. There, a purpose-designed turning plant was built, which was already designed for further expansion direction Harthof. The Scheidplatz was connected from the south via another new line through the Belgradstraße to the Kurfürstenplatz. This route was used by the now redirected line 8.

Since 1961 articulated busses replacing the tram lines.

Archiv MVG

Already in 1959, under the direction of Lord Mayor Thomas Wimmer, the city council of Munich commissioned the relevant units to plan a light rail system that was independent of the rest of the traffic. In the city center, the tram was to disappear underground on a total of four tunnels and reappear in the suburbs in order to continue on aboveground on existing or newly constructed shielded tracks. This project, in which one saw the lifeline for the daily Verkehrsmisere, called then still "Tiefbahn", "Unterpflasterstrassenbahn" or short "U-Strab". While the tram on the periphery should be expanded and the plans for numerous extension routes ran at full speed, the old line 5 (Viktualienmarkt - Candidplatz) was sacrificed on June 7, 1960, the growing traffic and converted as the first tram route to bus operation - other branches should soon consequences.

The first new construction line constructed on the basis of the "Tiefbahn" was officially opened on June 16, 1962: Mayor Dr. Ing. Hans-Jochen Vogel, Old-OB Thomas Wimmer and Werkreferent Dr. Anton Riemerschmid sent line 6 from Freimann-Süd via a crossing-free route that ran partly in short underpasses to Freimann-Nord.

Stadtbaurat Jensen presented at the beginning of 1963 before the "urban development plan", which provided a deep-rail system of 14 lines. After many years of fierce dispute between the city of Munich and the German Federal Railways finally received the train to the "classic route" to build on the route Hauptbahnhof - Karlsplatz - Marienplatz - Isartorplatz - Ostbahnhof a connecting tunnel line on which the western and eastern suburban lines should be combined to a rapid-transit railway system. On June 7, 1963, the wagon construction company Rathgeber received an order for the production of two prototype short-slewing trains based on the model of a Bremen Bremer Straßenbahn AG vehicle model, each consisting of a four-axle railcar and sidecar. Even during the development phase of the prototype trains for the Munich Tiefbahn the city council made a momentous decision, which caused a repudiation of all previous projects. After months of discussions between experts and decision-makers, the plenum of the city council decided on January 24, 1964 instead of a subway system to realize a real subway system. The underground railway plans were stopped immediately.

Visualization of a planned subway route at Sonnenstraße in 1961.

Archiv MVG

At 1965 the Munich tramway network had the biggest expansion ever: 21 lines  operating on a 134,6 km network. 

Drawing:Peter-Michael Hübner

Visualisierung der geplanten Tiefbahn in der Sonnenstraße, 1961. Archiv MVG tram münchen
Ab 1961 ersetzen neue Gelenkbusse gewohnte Trambahnlinien. Archiv MVG münchen tram trambahn
1965 hat die Trambahn ihren größten Ausbauzustand erreicht: Es verkehren 21 Trambahnlinien auf 134,6 km Streckenlänge. Zeichnung Peter-Michael Hübner münchen tram

Quickly opened further new lines: On 31 October 1963, the line 6 was extended from Waldfriedhof to Lorettoplatz, on 8 November 1963, the commissioning of the crossing-free route followed from Scheidplatz to Harthof, which was served by the line 8. On October 31, 1964 reached the line 8 in the southwest, the new endpoint Fürstenried -West, on December 18, 1964 was followed by the northern extension line to Hasenbergl. With a total length of 20.8 kilometers, Line 8 had become the most important north-south connection in Munich and at the same time the longest tram line.

At the turn of the year 1964/65, the Munich tram with a route network length of 134.6 kilometers reached the absolute high point of its history. On the 21 tram lines had to be used at peak time 339 trains. From now on, it should go downhill steadily with the Munich tram. The future clearly belonged to the new rapid transit systems U- and S-Bahn, whose plans ran at full speed.

Translated by Google

Weiter: 1965 – 1986: U-Bahn-Euphorie und

              Rückbau der Trambahn

Autor: Klaus Onnich FMTM eV., Leiter Fahrdienst Bus Ost und

stv. Betriebsleiter BO Kraft der Stadtwerke München GmbH

Just become a city of millions, Munich had to endure more and more traffic. Since no ring road systems and city highways existed, thousands of automobiles tormented daily through the narrow city center of Munich.


At Karlsplatz, the traffic regularly collapsed completely, the "Stachus", as it is popularly called, was awarded the title "Europe's busiest square", which is by no means exaggerated. Due to the increasing prosperity of the population, the number of motor vehicles jumped and the sheet metal avalanche also paralyzed the Munich tram, for which the advance in the center was becoming increasingly difficult. At the "peak times", Munich's city center was always transformed into a seething cauldron, and it should be clear to every "newcomer" at the latest where the Munich term for the "rush hour" comes from.


From the Munich suburbs, numerous commuters arrived by rail, which had to change to the tram in Pasing, at the east or central station, causing them to overflow.

bottom of page