Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Berlin U-Bahn, owned and operated by the Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG), is a rapid transit (Metro) system consisting of 9 lines, mostly running underground, although some lines run partially above ground or are even elevated.
The network is heavily interconnected with the S-Bahn system and is also a part of the Verkehrsverbund Berlin Brandenburg (VBB), which is responsible for public transport in Berlin and the region of Brandenburg. All means of public transport, including trains, trams, buses and even ferries, can be used with the same ticket within the VBB area.
- U1 Warschauer Straße <> Uhlandstraße
- U2 Pankow <> Ruhleben
- U3 Nollendorfplatz <> Krumme Lanke
- U4 Nollendorfplatz <> Innsbrucker Platz
- U5 Alexanderplatz <> Hönow
- U6 Alt-Tegel <> Alt-Mariendorf
- U7 Rathaus Spandau <> Rudow
- U8 Wittenau <> Hermannstraße
- U9 Osloer Straße <> Rathaus Steglitz
Frequency of trains varies from one every three minutes at rush hour on workdays to one every ten minutes in the evening and on weekends. Operations cease shortly after midnight. However, on Friday and Saturday and before public holidays services operate at 15-minute intervals throughout the night except on the U3 and U4 and certain sections of other lines.
A new line U55 Hauptbahnhof (Lehrter Bahnhof) <> Unter den Linden is currently under construction.
The U-Bahn consists of two separate networks: the so-called "small profile" (Kleinprofil) lines, and the "large profile" (Großprofil) lines. The small profile lines U1 to U4 (the oldest lines) were built for trains with a comparatively narrow profile and has an exposed third-rail power supply. From the 1920s onwards all new lines were built to accommodate wider trains and a protected third-rail power supply.
After the construction of the Berlin Wall, the U-Bahn network was divided between East and West Berlin. The eastern end of the U1 between Schlesisches Tor and Warschauer Straße was abandoned, while the current U2 was divided into two parts, forcing the abandonment of the stretch between Gleisdreieck and Mohrenstraße. The U6 and U8 continued to pass through relatively short stretches of East German territory; trains did not stop at the East Berlin stations, which were called ghost stations, on these lines, with the exception of Friedrichstraße, where stopping was permitted as of 1972 to allow a connection with two West Berlin S-Bahn lines also at Friedrichstraße, and to provide a checkpoint between East and West Berlin. There was also an Intershop located at Friedrichstrasse where one could buy cheap goods from the Eastern Bloc (including vodka) without passing through East German border controls.
Following the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 several stations were reopened to provide additional border crossings. All of the U-Bahn ghost stations were reopened by July 1990. Those lines which had been physically divided (the current U1 and U2) were reopened somewhat later.
The U-Bahn's long history and the division of Berlin means there has always been a wide variety of vehicles in use. There are separate designs of vehicle for the small and large profile lines. Small profile rolling stock has gauge clearance for large profile lines but cannot run under their own power due to different power supply systems.
- Up to date map (PDF)
- BVG.de German/English
- Berlin U-Bahn at UrbanRail.Net
- Berlin U-Bahn Maps 1989 & 1999
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