Anyone interested in getting an insight into the planning process and the construction work which will be done can visit the information centre at the Volkstheater station, which will be one of the stops on the new U5 line.
The centre is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays, between 4pm and 7pm. An interactive exhibition includes a reconstruction of a tunnel boring machine, complete with a drilling noise and vibrating floor, the opportunity to experiment with planning a new U-Bahn line, and a walkable model of a new U5 station.
The new U5 line will be a driverless line with a glass wall separating the platform and the tracks and automated doors which will only open and close when the train is in the station.
“We want to provide answers to people's fears and reservations, because we will be digging under many houses and squares," town councillor Ulli Sima (SPÖ) said. There have already been drilling tests for laying underground tracks in the districts of Alsergrund, Mariahilf and Favoriten.
The U2 will be extended from the Rathaus station to Matzleinsdorfer Platz. The new U5 will include the current U2 stations between Karlsplatz and Rathaus and in the first phase of construction will go as far as Frankhplatz (Altes AKH). The U2 extension will be six kilometres long and the new U5 line will be three kilometres. In total, 11 new stations will be built.
The first section of the extended U2 line and the new U5 line are due to be opened in early 2023. City officials say the positive effects of the expansion will be felt across the entire U-Bahn network.
The U1 line is also currently being extended from Leopoldau to Oberlaa, with five new stations due to open in 2017. This means that residents of the Favoriten district will be better connected to the city centre, and the thermal baths and spa at Oberlaa will be more accessible.