The first tests of electric traction on Berlin's standard gauge began on 1 May , with overhead supply and in with chemical accumulators , were not very successful.
Definitively, electric traction of standard-gauge trams in Berlin was established in The first tram line with an overhead track supply ran in an industrial area near Berlin-Gesundbrunnen station. The first line in more a representative area took place with accumulators for its first year, but got a catenary, too, four years later.
In , the electrification with overhead wiring had been completed, except for very few lines on the periphery. On 28 December , it became possible to travel underground, even under the Spree , upon completion of the Spreetunnel between Stralau and Treptow. Owing to structural problems, it was closed on 25 February From to , the tram had a second tunnel, the Lindentunnel , passing under the well-known boulevard Unter den Linden.
The history of tramway companies of the Berlin Strassenbahn is very complicated. Besides the private companies, which often changed because of takeovers , mergers , and bankruptcies , the cities of Berlin , Spandau , Köpenick , Rixdorf ; the villages Steglitz , Mariendorf , Britz , Niederschönhausen , Friedrichshagen , Heiligensee and Französisch Buchholz , and the Kreis Teltow Teltow district had municipal tramway companies.
The following table includes all companies that operated tramways in today's Berlin before the formation of the BVG. On the day of its formation, the BVG had 89 tramway lines: In the early s, the Berlin tramway network began to decline; after partial closing of the world's first electric tram in , on 31 October , the oldest tramway of Germany followed.
Juni was rebuilt by Nazi planners following a monumental East-West-Axis, and the tramway had to leave. Consequently, the bus network was extended during this time. During World War II, some transport tasks were given back to the tramway to save oil. Thus an extensive transport of goods was established. Bombings from March on and the lack of personnel and electricity caused the transportation performance to decline. Due to the final Battle for Berlin, the tramway system collapsed on 23 April On 14 October , traffic on the lines from West Berlin to the Brandenburgian suburbs Kleinmachnow and Schönefeld stopped, and on 15 January , traffic over the downtown sector border did, too.
From to , both companies exchanged the Thomson-Houston type trolley poles of their tramcars line by line for pantographs. From onwards, a shift took place in the public transit plans of West-Berlin. From that moment, plans aimed at discontinuing the tramway service and replacing it with extended underground and bus lines.
The tramway was considered old-fashioned and unnecessary since Berlin already had a well-developed underground network. From to numerous tram lines were replaced with bus routes and extended underground lines and stops. Today, many MetroBus lines follow the routes of former tram lines. The separation of the city resulted in many problems and difficulties for the public transportation system. Soviet Moscow was, with its tram-free avenues, the role model for East-Berlin's transport planning.
The car-oriented mentality of West Berlin also settled in the East since a lot of tram lines closed here as well in the s and s. Those lines were built in order to connect the new housing estates Marzahn , Hohenschönhausen , and finally Hellersdorf to the city's tram network from the late s to the early s:. Following which, some of them are closed, and that is too near to the Berlin Wall:. In addition to bus and subway lines, the new BVG also ran the trams, which now only circulated in the former East Berlin districts.
There was an attempt to shut down the tram routes running to Pankow, because the trams in Schönhauser Allee run parallel to the U2 line, which does not run to Rosenthal, however. Previously, passengers changing between modes of transport here had to take a long walk to get to the restored train station. Since then, the trams terminate along the reversing loop "Am Kupfergraben" near the Humboldt University and the Museum Island. The following year saw the re-opening of tram facilities at Alexanderplatz.
The increase of tram accident victims in the pedestrian zone feared by critics has not occurred. Since there is no room for a return loop, a blunt ending track was established. In order to accomplish this, bi-directional vehicles were procured.
However, the tracks, which were further extended in to the Oberbaumbrücke, have not yet been expanded to Hermannplatz as had been planned long before. The main focus was the introduction of Metro lines on densely traveled routes, which do not have any subway or suburban traffic. In the tram network, therefore, nine MetroTram lines were introduced and the remaining lines were partially rearranged.
The numbering scheme is based on that of , but has undergone minor adjustments. MetroTram and MetroBus lines carry a "M" in front of the line number. Single metro lines operate on the main radial network; As a rule the line number corresponds to that of ; The M4 from the lines 2, 3 and 4, the M5 from the 5, and so on. In addition, the two Pankow lines 52 and 53 were included as a line M1 in the scheme.
The supplementary lines of these radials continue to carry 10 numbers, unless they have acted as amplifiers of the respective metro service. Metro services of the ring and tangential net received a number in the 10er range, the supplementary lines retained the 20er number. An exception is the subsequently established line 37, which, together with the lines M17 and 27, travels a common route. Of the 50 lines the only remaining was the 50, the 60 lines remained largely unaffected by the measures.
The route with three newly built stops cost 13 million euros and was first operated by the lines 60 and 61 in the overlapping minute intervals.
Since 13 December , the line 63 runs instead of the line 60 to Karl Ziegler Street. Originally, the connection should already be completed in However, the plan approval procedure was only completed in Shortly before the plan approval decision expired after five years, the project was approved on August 9, , and soon after the first masts for the overhead line were set up. It is expected to have passengers per working day. The double-track line is 2. This is followed by the 1.
The planned opening date has already been postponed several times. Originally planned to complete in However, the plan was caught by the Administrative Court in and revised to either and However, the first 80 metres of the track has already been built during the construction of Berlin Hauptbahnhof. A new approval procedure was completed on 15 January In April , the preparatory construction work had begun.
The Ministry of Transport revised the 50 metres of the length, a two-meter-wide strip of garden to the state of Berlin to provide enough space for all road users. The commissioning of the new line was initially only with the line M5. With the restoration of the connection from the Nordbahnhof to the underground station Naturkundemuseum, the new line from 28 August could also be used by the lines M8 and M The first horse-drawn tramlines did not use any special labeling as they were radially inferior from the respective endpoints in the center and thus had few points of contact with other lines.
Only with the expansion of the network into the city center was there a need to distinguish the lines from each other. From the s, most major German cities therefore used colored target signs or signal boards, sometimes both together.
In Berlin, these were always kept in the same combination. As identification colors red, yellow, green and white were used, from additionally blue. However, the number of signal panels used was not sufficient to equip each line with its own color code. In addition, crossing or side by side lines should run with different signal panels.
This meant that individual lines had to change their color code several times in the course of their existence. With a view of the Hamburg tram, where in the summer of for the first time in German-speaking countries line numbers were introduced, experimented the GBS from also with the numbers.
In the timetables of this time, the lines were numbered, but could change their order every year. The numbering scheme should include not only the GBS but also its secondary lines.
At the same time, letter-number combinations as they appeared in the timetable booklet should be avoided. The scheme introduced on May 6, was relatively simple: Initially, the tens gave information about where the line was going; 10 lines were to be found in Moabit, 60 lines in Weissensee and 70 lines in Lichtenberg. The lines of the West Berlin suburban railway were assigned the letters A to M, the Berlin-Charlottenburg tram the letters N to Z and the lines of the Southern Berlin suburban railway were numbered with Roman numerals.
The colored signal panels remained in parallel until about In addition, the lines created during this period were still colored signal panels with new, sometimes even three-color color combinations.
Insertors were marked separately from the March They bore the letter E behind the line number of their main line. In later years, these lines increasingly took over the tasks of booster drives and were therefore shown in the timetables as separate lines.
On April 15, , the GBS introduced the first line with three-digit number. The was created by extending the 64, which was maintained in parallel. In the following months more lines were provided with numbers or newly set up, usually as a line pair to the existing line. The surrounding businesses were not affected by the change in May and set on their own markings. The lines of the urban trams and the meterspurigen lines of the Teltower circular orbits were still marked with signal panels, on the other hand, the BESTAG and in Heiligensee, not the lines, but only the targets were marked with different colored signs.
In Cöpenick, the lines were marked from with numbers, from additionally with colored signal panels for the individual routes red lines to Friedrichshagen, etc. The other companies, including the standard-gauge lines of the Teltower Kreisbahnen, did not use a line marking. With the merger of companies for the Berlin tram, the GBS's numbering scheme was extended to cover the rest of the network.
Usually, those numbers are assigned, whose lines were continued during the World War I. For example, it came about that the lines operating in Köpenick received mainly 80s numbers. Letters were still awarded to the tram lines in the BVG until , after which it was reserved for the suburban tariff buses.
With the outbreak of the Second World War, the Berlin public transport companies had to stop a large part of the bus traffic to save fuel. Tram traffic has been extended accordingly. The newly established amplifier lines contributed to the distinction of the master lines and numbers. From , the night routes of the bus and the tram networks were later classified into the series numbers. The measures were existed until the end of the war.
The last numbers were renumbered in May 31, After the administrative separation of the BVG initially only changed the numbering scheme. Tram lines running from the east to the west of Berlin kept their number after the grid separation in and as a result of network thinning, individual lines were disappeared.
While in the west tram traffic was stopped 15 months later, the passenger in the east could not tell from the line number whether it was a tram or bus line. The Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe therefore planned to systematise their network in the s. In , line U7 became a separate line and was subsequently extended at the both ends.
The western extension runs through Schöneberg, Wilmersdorf and Charlottenburg and eventually reached Spandau in , at a time when there was no S-Bahn service to this area. Line U7 turned out to be an important cross-city line in what was formerly West Berlin. All 'ghost stations' were re-opened in the months following the fall of the Wall in Nov. The construction of a northern extension began in the s and eventually reached Wittenau in , although the initially station extension to Märkisches Viertel was later shelved due to other priorities after the unification of the city.
In the south, a 1-station extension was finished to provide interchange with the S-Bahn ring line which had re-opened in Line U9 was opened shortly before the Berlin Wall was erected in It runs entirely on former West Berlin territory and is an important north-south axis bypassing the historic city centre.
It is completely underground, and thanks to its straight alignment one of Berlin's fastest lines. In the city centre, around the Reichstag, new governmental buildings and a major railway station at Lehrter Stadtbahnhof were constructed. The overall project for Berlin as Germany's capital city included the construction of a western extension: While the section between Brandenburger Tor and Hauptbahnhof finally opened on 8 Aug , construction of the missing section between Brandenburger Tor and Alexanderplatz has officially started in April for completion currently envisaged in !
U-Bahn Berlin at Wikipedia. Die Berliner Untergrundbahn by Marcus Schomacker incl. Berliner Verkehrsseiten by Markus Jurziczek. Berlin Transport Page by Ralf Müller incl. Bwald - Bibliography about the Berlin U-Bahn. U1 - Stammstrecke durch Kreuzberg.
U8 - Von Gesundbrunnen nach Neukölln. U7 - Quer durch den Westen. Berliner U-Bahn-Linien - U6: Die "Nordsüdbahn" durch Mitte. Berliner U-Bahn-Linien - U9: Nord-Süd durch die City-West. Berliner U-Bahn-Linien - U5: Von Ost nach West. U-Bahn - Stadtbahn - S-Bahn. Arbeitsgemeinschaft Berliner Nahverkehr e. Licht und Farbe im Berliner Untergrund. Geschichte n aus dem Untergrund.
Zwischen 'Alex' und Hönow. Susanne Hattig, Reiner Schipporeit: Pioniere der Berliner U- Bahn. Geschichte n für unterwegs. Sigurd Hilkenbach, Uwe Poppel: Gauglitz, Gerd and Holger Orb: In Fahrt seit hundert Jahren.
A good book that illustrates the history of Berlin's underground with lots of color and black and white photographs. Illustrates the history of all Berlin underground stations in the first years.
V, pages, Nov. Geschichten aus dem Untergrund. Well illustrated survey of the history of the Berlin Subway and Elevated Railway. Eine Geschichte in Streckenplänen. Excellent book showing all Berlin Network maps from until in full colour. U- und S-Bahn-Fahrzeuge in Deutschland. ISBN German metro and suburban rail rolling stock, pages. Durch Berlin mit der U- Bahn. Horst Bosetzky, Uwe Poppel: Andreas Biedl, Norbert Walter: Net by Robert Schwandl.