Intersection U2 and U5

The U2/U5 intersection is part of the public transport investment package for the coming decade, providing relief to heavily used lines and enabling commuters and inhabitants to look forward to shorter journey times.

U2 and U5 lines: the overall project

Vienna is growing – and so is the public transport network

In 2030, over two million people will be living and working in Vienna. In order to keep pace with this growth, public transport services also need to be expanded and improved. Following on from large urban development projects, such as the U2 extension to Aspern, the U2/U5 intersection will close a major gap in the inner-city underground network. After all, not only do we want to transport people into the city centre, but also make sure they reach their final destination. We also want to ensure that there is enough space available, even at peak times, and that Vienna can continue to grow.

More convenience

Every third Wiener Linien passenger travels in the catchment area of the 13A, 43, 6, U6 and U3 lines. The U2 line extension and the new U5 will provide major relief to these lines in particular, bringing with them a greater degree of comfort for all passengers. Another possibility to change from the suburban railway line to the underground will be created at Matzleinsdorfer Platz, in addition to the connections at Meidling Railway Station and the Main Railway Station (Hauptbahnhof). This will help spread the flow of passengers more evenly across the entire network.

More e-mobility

More environmentally-friendly urban mobility is the key to future quality of life in the city – and this is on track(s). Vienna has already achieved an e-mobility share of almost 50 percent with its underground and tram networks. The city has been following a clear strategy here for decades, consistently investing in the network, shortening intervals, extending existing lines and creating new connections to make public transport even more attractive. With considerable success. Today, there are more annual passes in circulation in Vienna than cars registered.

More jobs

Not only does the underground bring positive effects for passengers and the environment, but it also creates and safeguards thousands of jobs over many years. Around 1,700 full-time jobs can be created with an investment of EUR 100 million. Therefore, in terms of the first construction phase – the U2 extension to Matzleinsdorfer Platz and the construction of the U5 to Frankhplatz / Altes AKH – an investment of around EUR 950 million translates into over 16,000 jobs.

More on the topic

Do you have any questions about the project? If so, please write to the following address: U2U5@wienerlinien.at

Why not get a hands-on insight into the project by visiting the infocenter? It boasts the model of a tunnel excavator and the reproduction of a future U5 underground station. The interactive exhibition offers many fun-to-know facts about the planning, construction and operation of the new underground lines.

  • Location: U3 underground station Volkstheater (mezzanine floor, exit Burggasse)
  • Opening times: Tuesday and Thursday (if workdays) from 4 to 7 pm

The future of the underground in pictures

It will be a little while before the U2/U5 intersection actually enters service. However, the following film will help you get an idea of what the future of Vienna’s underground will look like.

New southbound branch for the U2 underground line

Following on from the extension to Aspern in the north-east of the city, a completely new southbound branch will be added to the U2 from the Rathaus station. Work on extending the U2 from Rathaus (U5) will begin in 2018 and go via

  • Neubaugasse (U3)
  • Pilgramgasse (U4)
  • Reinprechtsdorfer Straße

to the provisional final stop at Matzleinsdorfer Platz, where passengers will able to change to suburban trains. This new section is scheduled to open at the end of 2023. A further extension of the new U2 southbound line via Gußriegelstraße to Wienerberg is planned for a later phase.

Not only will the extension of the U2 create a new line crossing Vienna from north to south, but also key underground intersections and another connection to suburban trains. This will result in shorter travelling times, fewer changes and greater convenience for all passengers.

Turquoise underground line for the northwest of Vienna

The U5 will be Vienna’s first fully automated underground line. It will take over the U2 section between Rathaus and Karlsplatz from 2023 and initially operate to Frankhplatz, next to Altes AKH.

The underground line will then be extended to Hernals in the next phase of expansion. Talks regarding funding are already being held between the federal government and the City of Vienna.

  • The plan is to build a station near Anne-Carlsson-Park (Spitalgasse/Währinger Straße), connecting seven tram lines (5, 33, 37, 38, 40, 41, 42) to the underground ground network at once.
  • It is then planned to extend the line to the future final stop at Elterleinplatz via Michelbeuern, creating a second underground connection to Vienna General Hospital (AKH).

Fully automated into the future

The U5 represents the start of a new technological age in Vienna. The new underground trains will be fully automated, bringing with them many advantages:

  • Shorter intervals: two-directional trains make it possible to change direction more quickly.
  • Greater levels of safety thanks to platform doors, creating a barrier between passengers and the tracks. Similarly, delays caused by items on the tracks will be a thing of the past.
  • Greater flexibility: It will be easier to respond to a brief surge in demand. Regular train services will also be restored more quickly after disruptions.

State-of-the-art technology and passenger comfort

Wiener Linien is in the process of purchasing new trains that can operate in a fully automated way. The tendering process for this is already under way. What is already clear is that passengers will be able to walk all the way along the train and that the trains will be barrier-free. Moreover, they will be equipped with air conditioning, video surveillance and modern passenger information systems.

The aim is to provide more service and information to our passengers. Our drivers will, in future, be closer to our customers, making their job more service-oriented and varied. There will, of course, be trained drivers available, even with fully automated operations, who will be able to respond quickly in the event of a breakdown.

Built to last forever

Transport structures present architects with planning challenges, but this is also what makes them particularly enticing. After all, new underground lines are not built every day and they shape the image of a city for decades. It is important to strike a balance between timeless aesthetics and functionality to ensure that passengers feel comfortable at the stations for a long period of time. Since construction work began on the underground network, Vienna has set store by a standard design, in addition to colours, for the lines, to make orientation easier – all stations on the same line should have the same appearance.

U5: Modern design re-interprets Vienna’s underground tradition

33 architects from across Europe responded to Wiener Linien’s invitation to submit proposals for the design of the U5. A working group comprising the young Viennese architectural office ‘YF Architekten’ and ‘Franz Architekten’ were able to win over the international jury with their proposal.

The U5 line’s design is a contemporary interpretation and further development of the well-known and proven basic design of Vienna’s underground network originating in the 1970s. The design concept is minimalistic and, at the same time, elegant. By using fewer materials, the focus of attention is directed to that which is important. Overall, the modern, bright and friendly design enhances the comfort factor and, thus, the perception of safety among passengers.

U2: The name is the programme

Two architects with two different design proposals won the second architecture competition in the history of the Vienna underground, following the one for the construction of the basic network. Together they shaped the violet line.

Paul Katzenberger is responsible for the aboveground stations, while the underground stations were designed by Gerhard Moßburger. The new stations will also follow this concept.

Back to the future

In the multimedia magazine ‘Gebaut für die Ewigkeit’ [Built to last forever], we present the winning project to you, along with all the submitted architectural designs for the U5. We also take a look back at the beginnings of Vienna’s underground architecture.