Written by: TrainSim-James
Train Sim World: Rapid Transit is coming December 14th, and with it comes the 70 km that forms the modern-day S2 Line of the Mitteldeutschland S-Bahn.
In 1969, separate commuter networks were established for both Halle and Leipzig. The Halle network started as a U-shaped railway, connecting local residents to the city, while Leipzig was treated to heart-shaped trackage which emerged north and spurred in both directions, heading south clockwise and anti-clockwise encapsulating the city, joining again at Markkleeberg.
Together, the early S-Bahn networks of Halle and Leipzig formed the basis of what would become an interconnected hub of activity. In fact, the Leipzig network became overcrowded within two days, although this was due to complimentary free travel upon opening.
After the turn of the 21st Century, it was decided to link the two S-Bahn networks of Halle and Leipzig with a brand new commuter line between the 2 cities, which started construction in 2002. The new line would see rapid services operate from Halle to Leipzig and back, replacing regional trains, adding extra stops, yet keeping similar journey times between the termini.
The new link opened in 2004, and the separate S-Bahn networks were joined to form the Leipzig-Halle S-Bahn. While a key link, its full potential would not be reached for some time, and in actuality, the S-Bahn would dwindle while it waited for a major development project to break ground. The three former lines of Leipzig would be reduced to only one, being replaced by extra bus and tram timetables as work on the Leipzig City Tunnel got its footing.
Leipzig and the City Tunnel
To revolutionise the enlarged S-Bahn network, and attempt to alleviate the sheer volume of road traffic clogging up the roads of Leipzig, it was decided to carve a new tunnel under the core of the city, serving a handful of new stations in the process and unlocking connections to southernmost communities.
The new 3.9 km long tunnel was not the first to be proposed for the city of Leipzig, however this modern take would see multiple brand new S Lines provide a frequent service through the heart of the city, before branching out and heading north and south.
Tunnelling for the twin-bore path started in 2003, and would take 5 years to complete. Meanwhile the 4 new stations, Leipzig Hbf, Leipzig Markt, Leipzig Wilhelm-Leuschner-Platz, Leipzig Bayerischer Bahnhof, along the tunnel were also excavated and constructed. Each station is bespoke in design, modern marble to tubular trimmings, and really bring a sense of vibrancy to the new-era network.
A New Network
It was always the plan that the Leipzig-Halle S-Bahn was to be transformed by the opening of the Leipzig City Tunnel in December 2013, and in fact, it was renamed entirely as the Mitteldeutschland (Central Germany) S-Bahn, and a whole new range of S Lines were defined, most of which serve the new tunnel as part of their route.
One of the key routes in particular is the S2, which generally operates between Markkleeberg-Gaschwitz in the south, and Dessau Hbf in the north (via the City Tunnel and Bitterfeld). Combined with the modern DB BR 1442 fleet, which you can read about in “Leipzig’s Got Talent Too”, the Mitteldeutschland S2 Line provides a totally accessible, frequent and reliable journey between Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt, and contributes greatly to the ridership of 57,000 passengers which use the S-Bahn daily.
With Train Sim World: Rapid Transit, the Mitteldeutschland S2 Line will await in its entirety, packed full with unique details raring to be explored and it will offer a fantastic environment in which you can be that key connection for commuters. Take a walk, find a good place to spot at one of the multitude of stations, and even go on the hunt for a whole new range of collectables should you desire. To get on-board, make sure you get your ticket to be the first to play when Train Sim World: Rapid Transit goes live on December 14th! ■
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24 Stations | 70+ Kilometers | 60+ Trains a Day | Incredible Detail Throughout
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