Executive summary by darmansjah
HEIDELBERG is a city in south-west Germany. The fifth-largest city in the State of Baden-Württemberg after Stuttgart, Karlsruhe, Mannheim and Freiburg im Breisgau, Heidelberg is part of the densely populated Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region. In 2011, over 149,000 people lived in the city. Heidelberg lies on the River Neckar in a steep valley in the Odenwald.
A former residence of the Electorate of the Palatinate, Heidelberg is the location of Heidelberg University, well known far beyond Germany's borders. Heidelberg is a popular tourist destination due to its romantic and picturesque cityscape, including Heidelberg Castle and the baroque style Old Town.
The main transport hub of Heidelberg is the Bismarckplatz. Several main thoroughfares of the city intersect here and one of the longest pedestrian streets in Europe, the Hauptstraße (main street) runs from here through the entire old town of Heidelberg. Heidelberg Central Station was nearby for many years, which was a combined terminal and through station. In 1955, it was moved about 1.5 km further to the west, which removed the necessity for trains continuing to the south or from the south to the north to reverse. The new central station became the second major transport hub of Heidelberg.
Heidelberg has had a public transport service since 1883, when horse-drawn trams were established. Due to the rapidly rising patronage it was decided on 20 December 1901 to convert the Heidelberg tramway network to electrical operation. On 16 March 1902, the first electric tram ran on Rohrbacher Straße, sharing use of the suburban tracks built by the Deutsche Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft in 1901 between Heidelberg and Wiesloch. Until the 1950s, the tram network was expanded a bit at a time. The rapidly growing popularity of car transport presented the operator of the trams with increasingly difficult problems and the tram network was gradually dismantled. It was not until 10 December 2006 that the network was extended again with the opening of a new tram line from Kirchheim. Tram and bus services are now operated by Rhein-Neckar-Verkehr (RNV). Since 1989, all fares are set under a uniform scheme by the Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Neckar (Rhine-Neckar Transport Association, VRN). Carsharing increasingly provides a complement to public transport. More than 50 car-sharing stations are available to users in 12 of the 14 districts of Heidelberg offering a total of more than 100 cars.
Since 14 December 2003, Heidelberg has been connected to the network of the Rhine-Neckar S-Bahn, which opens up the entire Rhine-Neckar region, with lines connecting with the Palatinate, the Saarland and southern Hesse.
The Heidelberger Bergbahn (Heidelberg Mountain Railway) has run since 2005 with new cars on the lower part from Kornmarkt to Molkenkur and historic cars built in 1907 on the upper section of the funicular from Molkenkur to Königstuhl. It is one of the most popular means to reach the Heidelberg Castle. The first plans for the funicular were drawn up in 1873. Due to a lack of funds was the first section of the funicular was not opened until 1890. In 2004, the upper section of the funicular was listed as part of the heritage of the state of Baden-Württemberg.