Study Tours
Europe's Continental Northwest and more...

High Quality Public Transport in cities and regions

This page is hosted by LRNL and compiled by Dr Rob van der Bijl (Amsterdam, Netherlands - RVDB) and Dipl.-Ing. Axel Kuehn (Karlsruhe, Germany).
(C) Van der Bijl & Kuehn Amsterdam/Karlsruhe 2003-2008

Japan Tour... Warsaw: urban planning, transport, culture...
LA-Houston Tour...
Latest update: April 15, 2008 - Study Tour to Japan
Previous update: August 8, 2007 - Study Tour to Los Angeles and Houston/Texas
Older update:
April 22, 2006 - Study Tours to Warsaw and other Polish cities

[Study Tour Table] [Tours à la Carte] [Tour of the Year] [Other Tours]
or read introduction below first)


Study Tour Sites

Northwestern Europe
The study tours are prepared for both professionals, politicians and laymen who are interested in high quality public transport. We have selected examples regarding smaller cities and their regions, as well as large cities or metropolitan areas, owning heavier systems like full metro. Therefore we didn't neglect important bigger ones, like Amsterdam. All systems of our first - 'home made' - package are located in the northwestern section of continental Europe. Due to practical reasons we've ruled out the UK in this package (however UK is part of our 'Other Tours') and limited most of the sites to the corridor Amsterdam (Netherlands) - Geneva (Switserland). To cover all relevant themes and topics we did also include some remote destinations like Dresden and Zwickau in eastern Germany and Grenoble in France.

More tours
Since we are familiar with many problems, topic and issues, as well as many sites and projects elsewhere, like USA, Australia, Southern & Eastern Europe, we offer two more tour packages. 'Tours à la Carte' contains several study themes, while the 'Other Tours' covers all relevant systems in the world outside Northwestern Europe (but including UK, Ireland and Scandinavia).

Van der Bijl and Kuehn will develop and guide the study tours, using their world-wide network of agents and local practicians. Each tour is tailor-made, focused on one particular city, region, or theme. Through our experience and our national/international network we are able to organise nearly every tour thinkable. Please, don’t hesitate to ask for exotic issues, since we like that!
Van der Bijl & Kuehn are experienced in study tours. Both did start organising tours in the mid eighties. Van der Bijl took his first 'students' to Italy in 1984 - Kuehn has been taking around visitors in Karlsruhe since 1986.

They are experienced in:
Many sites in Europe, America and elsewhere
A wide range of clients
All relevant themes and topics
Success by thorough preparation

They are happy to offer:
Series of tailor-made study tours
All tours geared to relevant practices and themes
Reasonably prized due to already prepared packages
No waste of travel costs and participants' time
Reliable existing relations; motivated local hosts & contacts
Using & combining serious own experience's of Van der Bijl/Kuehn
Independently comparison of different sites
Unbiased view beyond any local press-release storytelling
A nice and instructive time


Study Tour Table

KEY SITES... ... very nice examples, specially selected by Van der Bijl and Kuehn!

Fine cities & their trams

Amsterdam, Strasbourg, Grenoble, Freiburg, Basel
Regions & their railways Euregiobahn (Aachen), Kaarstbahn (Düsseldorf), Saarland (Saarbrücken), Enschede-Gronau, TER (Lille), Vogtlandbahn (Zwickau)
THEMES... ...according to the 5 "Strands" of HiTrans.
Land use planning Enschede-Gronau, Kassel, Strasbourg,
Public Transport Networks Strasbourg, Basel, Mulhouse
Urban design Amsterdam, Grenoble, Freiburg
Technical solutions Euregiobahn (Aachen), Kassel, Oberhausen, Dresden, Nancy
Qualities required by users Basel, Strasbourg, Saarbrücken, Hasselt
ALL MODES... ...relevant to medium sized, or just larger cities and their regions.
Tram (traditional & new) Amsterdam, The Hague, Belgian Coast, Ghent, Oberhausen, Düsseldorf, Dresden, Strasbourg, Grenoble, Freiburg, Basel
TramTrain (state of the art) Gouda-Alphen, Karlsruhe, Heilbronn, Kassel, Saarbrücken, Mulhouse, Geneva
(light rail, 'S-Bahn', VAL, Metro)
Maastricht-Heerlen-Kerkrade, Euregiobahn (Aachen), DKB (Düren), Kaarstbahn (Düsseldorf), S-Bahn Ruhr Area, Basel Region, Enschede-Gronau, Vogtlandbahn (Zwickau), Lille Region, Rotterdam
(HQ, Trolley, 'Free', Guided, 'Mix')
Zuidtangent/Amsterdam, Oberhausen, Ghent, Hasselt, Nancy
[Introduction] [Information & Links] [HiTrans]

The study tour table backs all of our tailor-made study tours. Key cities and regions, basic themes and all relevant modes serve as ingredients of each tour.










Tours à la Carte

TOURS   Please, check the main example of each tour...
Tour 1

Fine cities

Famous! - Strasbourg, Other cities: Grenoble, Freiburg, Basel and possibly Amsterdam.
Tour 2 Region's railways Advanced but 'low key': Euregiobahn (Aachen), Euregiobahn in the boarder region of Aachen. Other sites in this tour: Maastricht-Heerlen, TER (Region of Lille), Regiobahn (Region of Düsseldorf), Enschede-Gronau, Rurtalbahn (formerly 'Dürener Kreis Bahn'), Vogtlandbahn (Zwickau).
Note: Vogtlandbahn
also available in additional regional package.
Tour 3 Land use planning Reuse of the railway and new HQ-bus: Enschede-Gronau And some more nice examples of land use planning and PT: Kassel's RegioTram, Euregiobahn, HQ-bus in the region of Amsterdam, the city of Freiburg, Stuttgart and more...
Tour 4 PT Networks The network of Strasbourg is already mature, but still growing - in the city, but soon also in the region. Other (large) networks in this tour: Amsterdam, Kassel, Karlsruhe, Basel.
Tour 5 Urban design Amsterdam's masterpiece: the Leidsestraat in the historic centre. High capacity combined with splendid design of public space. Also in this tour: HQ bus (road and stations) in the region of Amsterdam. And: Freiburg, Heilbronn, Karlsruhe's suburbs, ... French examples will complete this tour, e.g. Strasbourg and Grenoble.
Tour 6 Technical solutions The 'Dresden Kombi Bord' (like the 'Kasseler Bord') represents another technical feature, which allows levelless boarding of buses, as part of the use of tram-bus shared platforms. Other examples in this tour: Kassel, Karlsruhe, Saarbrücken, Oberhausen, Aachen (Euregiobahn), RijnGouwelijn (Gouda-Leiden), and more ...
Tour 7 Client oriented The Basel-system represents a traditional tram. However, its patronage is fantastic due to a severe client oriented policy. Freiburg, Saarbrücken, Oostend (Belgian Coast) and Ghent are other examples in this program.
Tour 8 City & politics

The French offer nice examples regarding smart and consistent politics and advanced administration. Lille serves as a fine example, like Grenoble and Strasbourg. Other sites in this tour: Ghent, Hasselt, Kassel, Aachen.

Tour 9 Region & politics Geneva develops its international region. The 'TramTrain' from Geneva to La Plaine, as well as to Bellegarde in France is just one of the many projects. Similar examples can be found in the regions of Grenoble, Strasbourg, Saarbrücken (Saarland), Stuttgart, Hanover, Frankfurt, Basel, Salzburg, and Lille. Other examples: the regions of Maastricht and Enschede. A particular bad example: Amsterdam.
Tour 10 Big TramTrain Tour
Regular update of all (new) systems. Under construction: Paris (2005) and Mulhouse (2007). Excisting or enlarged: Karlsruhe, Heilbronn, Saarbrücken, Kassel ('TramTrain' in almost all forms), Zwickau (train-tram diesel style), Nordhausen (metre-gauge style, Combino Diesel tram, small vehicles only 17m long!), Chemnitz (conversion style), RijnGouwelijn (Leiden-Gouda), and more...
Tour 11 Metro Cities Some examples in Northwestern Europe: Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Bruxelles, Lille, Munich, Nurnberg, Oslo, Vienna, Rennes, Copenhagen, Hamburg, as well as Paris and London.
Tour 12 Bus Systems Innovative bus systems for smaller cities, in need for clever solutions and low key approaches. Examples in Dutch, Belgian, French and German cities and their regions.
Tour 13 Transfer Park & Ride, Kiss & Ride, Bicycle parkings, and other transfer issues in Dutch, Belgian, French and German cities.
Tour 14 Stations Urban planning and architecture of stations and stops. Examples in Dutch, Belgian, French and German cities.
Tour 15 Accessibility & safety Stations and their environments in some major European cities.
Tour 16 Cross-border (light) rail Light Rail integration/operation, as well as issues like through tickiting. Examples: Sarrebruck-Sarreguemines; Strasbourg-Kehl-Offenbourg; Basle; Enschede-Gronau; Aachen-Heerlen/Liège; Salzburg; Geneva; Malmö-Copenhagen.
Tour 17 Private railways German excursions on private railway's efficiency for regional transport. Examples: AVG/Karlsruhe; Breisgau S-Bahn/Freiburg; Nord-Ostsee-Bahn/Kiel; Regiobahn Kaarst-Mettmann; Schönbuchbahn/WEG/Stuttgart, CityBahn Chemnitz etc.
Tour 18 "More to come..." Please, mail your preferences...













Tour of the Year by Axel Kuehn


Kassel, Nordhausen, Zwickau (Vogtlandbahn), Chemnitz.
See also:

Most professionals and amateurs with some interest in TramTrain issues have visited Karlsruhe, the "big mama" of this passenger transport genre. Much less people know that the four "grown up TramTrain-children" Kassel, Nordhausen, Zwickau and Chemnitz nowadays are perfect (better) studytour destinations to see the developments in TramTrain's 2nd generation!
Check for some more background on 2nd generation TramTrain.

Axel Kuehn, our TT-cosmopolitan from Karlsruhe and experienced studytour organiser, has been guiding quite a few groups during the last two years to some or all of these four locations:
CENTRO, Birmingham/UK in view of the Coventry-Nuneaton project,
Aarhus County, Aarhus Municipality and Trafikstyrelsen from Denmark in view of the Aarhus light rail plans,
An international group from the HiTrans project (,
Telemark County and Skien/Porsgrunn municipality from Norway in view of "Grenland Bybane"

Interested to follow those? Contact him here...

Zwickau historic centre Time to relax! You may see 6 rails late at night! Well deserved beer in front of your hotel!

You will need 3.5-4 days with three overnight stays but on your way back you can be sure to have widened your scope of modern TramTrain or more general, modern passenger rail solutions for small and medium sized urban regions.

You will also see that former East Germany no more is a dark country full of dusty industries but a more and more beautiful and enjoyable part of Germany with restored historic buildings and lively city centres.

Axel Kuehn will care for your travel from/to airports and between sites, as well as for quality hotels and restaurants on the tour and - promised!! - he is not only an expert for HQPT, but also for HQF&D.

If you fly in there are many options: Frankfurt, Hanover, Leipzig-Halle or Nuremberg airports are all in easy reach by ICE train services, also Berlin is still near enough. Altenburg is a nearby regional airport served by Ryan Air from London Stansted (

Think about it!

You will not be lost on remote railway platforms! Some more time to relax! You can also take a bus between sites! We can also hire this one …

"More to come..."

Please, mail your preferences...

[Introduction] [Information & Links] [HiTrans]






Other Tours

TOURS If available, do check the LRNL/LIGHT RAIL ATLAS LINK of your tour...

United Kingdom

Learn to know UK's commercial approach. All Light Rail and HQ-bus cities. London, Leeds, Birmingham, Manchester, Sheffield, Nottingham and more... See also:
Ireland (Dublin) Dublin as a notorious example of our 'city & politics' theme. But still 'Luas', the Irish word for speed, is the name of the new Light Rail-system in Dublin. Dublin-LINK...


Our program covers all Light Rail, tramway and HQ-bus cities. See also our French page:
Cascadia (USA/CAN) Cascadia - a super border region - stands for an urban consciousness in which nature, wilderness, nevertheless is comfortably near. Cascadia's cities are all in their own way working on managing urban growth and improving all modes of public transport.
Portland (OR), Eugene (OR), Tacoma/Seattle (WA), Vancouver (BC).Cascadia-LINK... & Portland-LINK...
California (USA) Light Rail American Style - San Francisco (CA), Los Angeles (CA), Ocean Side (CA), San Diego (CA), San Jose (CA), Sacramento (CA). Los Angeles-LINK...
East Coast (USA) Old and new public transport - Boston (MA), New York (NY), Newark (NJ), Hudson-Bergen (NJ), Trenton (NJ), Philadelphia (PA), Baltimore (MD), Washington D.C., Charlotte (NC), Tampa (FL), Miami (FL).
Big Tour USA's metros American Metro Cities - San Francisco/BART (CA), Los Angeles (CA), Chicago (IL), Detroit (MI), Cleveland (OH), Pittsburgh (PA), Boston (MA), New York (NY), Philadelphia (PA), Baltimore (MD), Washington D.C., Atlanta GA), Miami (FL) CANADA BONUS: Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver.
USA's new city tramways (streetcars) San Francisco (CA), Portland/Streetcar (OR), Tacoma/LINK (WA), Kenosha (WI), Tampa (FL), New Orleans (LA), Memphis (TE), Little Rock (AK), Dallas (TX).
South America All modes, including famous HQ-bus of Curitiba (BR). Other cities: Sao Paulo (BR), Rio de Janeiro (BR), Buenos Aires (AR).
BONUS: La Paz (BO) & Mexico City (MX).
Spain & Portugal All new Light Rail schemes: Sevilla (ES), Valencia (ES), Alicante (ES), Barcelona (ES), Bilbao (ES), Almada-Seixa (PT), Porto (PT). See our Spanish page:
BONUS: Metro of Madrid (ES) & Lisbon (PT) with its Metro and its 'Eléctricos'.
Italy All new Light Rail schemes: Milan, Turin, Genova, Bergamo, Rome, Napels, Messina, Sassari.
BONUS: HQ-bus of
Padova & Bologna.
Scandinavia Cities & their politics: Oslo (NO), Trondheim (NO), Stockholm (SE), Gothenborg (SE), Norrkoping (SE), Helsingborg (SE), Malmö (SE), Copenhagen (DK), Helsinki (FI).
Central Europe Fine, historic cities and their tramways: Krakow (PL), Prague (CZ), Vienna (AT), Linz (AT), Graz (AT), Budapest (HU), Zagreb (HR).
Poland Large PT Networks: Poznan (PL), Lodz (PL), Warsaw (PL), Krakow (PL).
Former Sovjet Union Cities & their politics: Sankt Petersburg (RU), Moscow (RU), Noginsk (RU), Kolomna (RU), Nizhny Novgorod (RU), Kiev (UA), Dnepropetrovsk (UA), Tashkent (UZ), and many more... LINK to our Russian pages...
Japan Some of our major themes: Land use planning, PT Networks, & Technical solutions in: Tokyo, Yokohama, Kyoto, Hiroshima, and more... Tokyo Urban Region-LINK...
China & Philippines
Fine Cities? Excursions on PT and high density in: Hong Kong/city, (CN), Hong Kong / Tuen Mun (CN), Manilla (PH) and more...
Australia All new Light Rail schemes: Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide.
Egypt Improving public transport under Third World conditions - Al-Qahira / Cairo, Al-Iskandariya / Alexandria. BONUS: Tunis (TN).
South Africa PT for lower-income groups in the cities of: Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, Capetown (including its 'Metrorail' system).
BONUS: Heritage tramway of Kimberley. And: South Africa's breathtaking landscape and nature!
"More to come..." Please, mail your preferences...

[Introduction] [Information & Links] [HiTrans]
















Amsterdam's masterpiece: the Leidsestraat in the historic centre. High capacity combined with splendid design of public space.

[Study Tour Table] [Tours à la Carte] [Tour of the Year] [Other Tours] [Introduction]







Euregiobahn (Aachen)

Advanced but 'low key': Euregiobahn in the boarder region of Aachen.
Check for more information on this case at:!

[Study Tour Table] [Tours à la Carte] [Tour of the Year] [Other Tours] [Introduction]








The Basel-system represents a tradditional tram. However, its patronage is fantastic due to a severe client oriented policy.

[Study Tour Table] [Tours à la Carte] [Tour of the Year] [Other Tours] [Introduction]








Chemnitz is more then Karl Marx (Stadt), but have brought serious innovation to TramTrain by adapting and widening of the original Karlsruhe idea..

[Study Tour Table] [Tours à la Carte] [Tour of the Year] [Other Tours] [Introduction]







A Volkswagen plant in the heart of the city of Dresden uses a tram shuttle service between the factory (Called 'Glass Palace') and a TramTrain transfer facility at the edge of the town.

>>>Dresden second part









Dresden has developed the 'Dresdner Kombibord', a sophisticated tool for achieving good accessibility for bus and tram in mixed stations.

[Study Tour Table] [Tours à la Carte] [Tour of the Year] [Other Tours] [Introduction]






DKB (Düren)

Düren shows an improved diesel service, using Light Rail trains, can be a success.

[Study Tour Table] [Tours à la Carte] [Tour of the Year] [Other Tours] [Introduction]







A cross-border project. Light Rail-trains serve a new station in the region of Enschede. Fine example of the reuse of a railway, as well as the introduction of a new HQ-bus, in support of land use planning.

[Study Tour Table] [Tours à la Carte] [Tour of the Year] [Other Tours] [Introduction]







Geneva develops its international region. The 'TramTrain' from Geneva to La Plaine, as well as to Bellegarde in France.

[Study Tour Table] [Tours à la Carte] [Tour of the Year] [Other Tours] [Introduction]







Grenoble: one of the first new city tram systems in France.

[Study Tour Table] [Tours à la Carte] [Tour of the Year] [Other Tours] [Introduction]







Kassel and its region show 'TramTrain' in almost all forms. The 'Kasseler Bord' represents another technical feature, which allows levelless boarding of buses.

[Study Tour Table] [Tours à la Carte] [Tour of the Year] [Other Tours] [Introduction]






Lille Region (VAL)

The VAL is an automatic, rubber-tired mini-metro. Lille has been the pioneer city of this new mode of PT. The French offer nice examples regarding politics and administration. Lille serves as a fine example.

[Study Tour Table] [Tours à la Carte] [Tour of the Year] [Other Tours] [Introduction]







'Tram-sur-Pneu', not a tram or not? Technically not very reliable.

[Study Tour Table] [Tours à la Carte] [Tour of the Year] [Other Tours] [Introduction]










Nordhausen: narrow-gauge TramTrain using hybrid (diesel)trams; remarkable is the size of Nordhausen with 46.000 inhabitants.

[Study Tour Table] [Tours à la Carte] [Tour of the Year] [Other Tours] [Introduction]







Tram and bus share their infrastructure.

[Study Tour Table] [Tours à la Carte] [Tour of the Year] [Other Tours] [Introduction]






Gouda-Alphen (RGL)

Trams on railtracks. The Dutch experiment with 'TramTrain'.

[Study Tour Table] [Tours à la Carte] [Tour of the Year] [Other Tours] [Introduction]







The most famous example of a new city tram city in France (or perhaps the world): Strasbourg. The network is already mature, but still growing - in the city, but soon also in the region.

[Study Tour Table] [Tours à la Carte] [Tour of the Year] [Other Tours] [Introduction]






Zuidtangent (Amsterdam)

HQ-bus in the region of Amsterdam.

[Study Tour Table] [Tours à la Carte] [Tour of the Year] [Other Tours] [Introduction]






Vogtlandbahn (Zwickau)

Train-tram - Light rail train becomes tram in the streets of Zwickau.

[Study Tour Table] [Tours à la Carte] [Tour of the Year] [Other Tours] [Introduction]







Karlsruhe: Wörth - Badepark extension - just an example of TramTrain operation, using existing railway infrastructure and new tramway alignment in a (smaller) town centre.

[Study Tour Table] [Tours à la Carte] [Tour of the Year] [Other Tours] [Introduction]







New tramway through city centre and its pedestrian zone, however connected to the existing, upgraded railway (to Karlsruhe).

[Study Tour Table] [Tours à la Carte] [Tour of the Year] [Other Tours] [Introduction]







Saarbrücken's TramTrain has been built out of scratch, without any compromises.

[Study Tour Table] [Tours à la Carte] [Tour of the Year] [Other Tours] [Introduction]







A proposal for a new light rail branch, which will connect Maastricht's regional railway to Heerlen and Kerkrade with the historic centre of the city.

[Study Tour Table] [Tours à la Carte] [Tour of the Year] [Other Tours] [Introduction]











Information (Light Rail Atlas)

Light Rail Atlas provides maps of Light Rail corridors in Europe, United States and other areas in the world, using Light Rail Precedents (like Karlsruhe and Saarbrücken in Germany, as well as Portland (OR) in the States) as important examples.
Light Rail Atlas offers a feature for discussing Light Rail issues with Rob van der Bijl (the author of the site), which it is hoped will come to act as a forum for town planners, landscape architects, traffic planners, authorities and other parties involved in Light Rail systems. (RVDB's urban planning practice)

The office is presented in various ways. Read all about RVDB, his clients, examine some projects and enjoy the links, statements and graphics.Take it easy while looking around. Try to encounter new fields of information behind the 36 ones you will encounter on the main page.

Dr. Rob van der Bijl (1955) is a Dutch urban planner & designer. He is an expert on design related to public transport infrastructure. Key areas of his practice are PT & land use planning, as well urban planning & design when introducing new infrastructure.

Write to
Rob van der Bijl (Amsterdam, NL)


Dipl.-Ing Axel Kuehn (1959) is a German Civil Engineer. He is an expert on Public Transport technical solutions and network planning. His practice comprises advice on networks, methods and tools for assessing public transport schemes.

Write to
Axel Kuehn (Karlsruhe, DE)



Our UK-page:


Our French page: (in French and Dutch!)
Our French site: (in French!)

Our 'Study Tours in Holland' Page: high quality public transport in medium size cities. example of a HiTrans presentation.

Our Spanish page:

Our page on Stockholm:


Our UK-page:

Our UK-page:



HiTrans in Amsterdam - city and region, summer 2003

HiTrans is the acronym for "Development of principles and strategies for introducing high quality public transport in medium size cities and urban regions".

HiTrans is an international project focusing on high quality public transport in medium size cities. The project started October 2002 and will continue until September 2005. Rogaland County Council (South Western part of Norway) is leading the project which has partners from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, England and Scotland. .

This project aims at achieving more sustainable transport in small to medium sized European cities by facilitating the development of high quality public transport which refers to new public transport infrastructure, as for example light rail systems.

Rob van der Bijl, Axel Kuehn, and Tom Rye are appointed experts who assist the development of the project.