Trams and RegioTrams
Kassel has a fine system of eight tram (streetcar) lines, all of which go through the city center and then fan out in different directions.
This particular tram is advertising the summer festival in nearby Bad Hersfeld.
Kassel is also starting to build a modern light-rail system called RegioTram which will run on tram lines in the city and switch to normal railroad tracks in the countryside, much like the system that is already operating very successfully in Karlsruhe, for example.
The first line of the North Hessen RegioTram system goes from Kassel to Hofgeismar and Warburg, and began operations on May 8, 2005. They have also begun building a tunnel under the Kassel Main Station, which will eventually be used by all four of the RegioTram lines.
Trains at Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe
This new railroad station at Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe was opened in 1991 as part of the first high-speed InterCityExpress line from Hannover to Würzburg.
The station is practical and convenient but very windy, so dress up warmly if you have to change trains here in the winter.
Here you can get trains going north to places like Bremen, Hamburg and Berlin, or going south to Frankfurt am Main, Mannheim, Stuttgart and Munich, for example.
Second photo: The tram stop out in front of the railroad station at Kassel-Wilhelmshoehe. Here there are frequent connections to the city center.
Third photo: Two ICE trains at Kassel-Wilhelmshoehe, one arriving (three white lights at the front) and one departing.
Kassel Main Station
This is a dead-end station (Kopfbahnhof), meaning that all the tracks end here, so the trains have to go back out the same way they came in. Local and regional trains still stop here, but to get a long-distance train you have to go to the new station at Kassel-Wilhelmshoehe.
The inside of the main station has been nicely refurbished in recent years, and parts of it are now used as a venue for cultural events and exhibitions, including part of the Documenta.
Second photo: Front view of the Kassel Main Station. From the outside, the station still exudes all the quaint charm of jerry-built post-war architecture.
Public transport in Kassel is somewhat strange: On the one hand, the city has probably more different bus lines than all other cities of this size. On the other hand, buses run pretty seldom, just like once or twice an hour. Compared with Chemnitz, the city I live in now, it is just horrible. Compared with American cities, however, it may be paradise!
Almost all buses and trams go through the centre and stop at Königsplatz/Mauerstr. or somewhere in the same area. Prices are quite high (2,30 € for a single ticket). A day ticket is available for 5,40€.
Getting there by car
Kassel has excellent transport connections. You can enter Kassel by autobahns A7, A44 and A49. The picture to the left was taken from autobahn A7 coming from Frankfurt towards Kassel.
Parking: You easily find parking lots and parking garages. Fees are quite moderate. Paid less then €2.00 for over two hours.
- Road Trip
I like travelling by train....
I like travelling by train. Kassel's accessibility by express trains is great. It's 1h25 from Frankfurt, 0h50 from Hannover, 2h00 from Hamburg and only 2h40 from Berlin.
The photo on the left shows Kassel's central rail station, the Bahnhof (station) Wilhelmshöhe.
Take tram and busses for trips in Kassel and the near surrounding. It's operating at good frequencies, it's safe and reliable. A lot of locations and towns in the vicinity are accessable by train services.
(I have to admit I'm professionally occupied with public and rail transport; ask me if you need further infos).
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