In September 2016 I visited Berlin and travelled around a lot with the S-Bahn. In this album I wil try to convey an impression of this highly efficient city transit system.
1 I went to Berlin to visit the Innotrans, an international exhibition of the railway related market. The connection from Amsterdam to Berlin is still serviced by a conventional loco-and-carriages train which still has the breath of a what used to be a railway adventure, including a change of loco at the German border.
2 The Berlin S-bahn (Stadtbahn = City Rail) comprises 332 km of track and 166 stations served by 15 lines. It carries above 400 million passengers per year and employs 3000. Rolling stock currently consists of approximately 2,500 coaches in 3 different classes
3 My first sighting of the S-bahn was straight from the train I was travelling in. This is the ubiquitous 481 Class travelling from Berlin Hauptbahnhof to Charlottenburg
4 The 481 class consists of 500 four car units.
5 481 in Berlin main station. The S-bahn system is powered by 750 V DC provided by a third rail.
6 After my first trip at station Charlottenburg. The large sliding doors are carried outwards. This enables larger windows and reduces maintenance costs when compared to doors that slide into a sleeve in the car's side wall.
8 On my way to my hotel I changed at Charlottenburg from the S-bahn to the U-bahn at Wilmerdorferstraße. The metro network is an integrated part of the S-bahn network and currently comropises 146 kilometers and 173 stations. It is the largest metro network in the German speaking area (DACH: D = Germany, A = Austria, CH = Switzerland)
9 This class is clearly not made for beauty, just for a job.
10 The equally business-like exit of the U-bahn. No frills.
11 The next day I took advantage of the beautiful indian summer (over 20C at the end of September!) and walked to the Innotrans fairgrounds, visible by the tower in the background. A member of the far less numerous 480 class crossing under the Kurfüstendamm viaduct in its appraoch to the Halensee station
12 A shot from a viaduct in the Halenseestraße
13 Sometime the S-bahn entrances have impressive buildings like this one at Messe Nord station.
16 Once again a member of the 480 class, easily recogniseable by the headlights in the triangles.
19 That evening I took a private trip to the north of the city. The station of Berlin Hermsdorf still breathes much of the 1930s atmosphere.
20 The next day I was washed along with the huge crowds in the rush hour at Berlin Messe
21 All dashing for Innotrans
22 After another exhausting day at Innotrans I returned via Berin Westkreuz, a station lying in a sheltered lower area.
23 Not much of an impressive station building.
24 Yet the staton itself was a moody rivetted 1930's construction. The station is, as the name Kreuz betrays, a cross of two lines on two different levels. This is the upper level, the stairs to the lower level can be seen just ahead.
25 Berlin Westkreuz on the lower level
27 My last ride to the Berlin Hauptbahnhof.
29 Travelling around in the S-Bahn is a joy. Far safer than the Metro in Paris where your chances of being robbed are substantial, it is clean and swift. For English speakers the announcements can be a source of trouble as they are invariably in German, but what the heck, this is Germany ;-). And the system is with the aid of Google Mpas very transparant so I had no trouble moving around.