Prussian Eastern Railway
|Berlin – Eydtkuhnen|
The station building built under Prussian aegis
in Braniewo (Braunsberg),
today the Polish border station to Russia
|Route number (DB) :||6006 Berlin – Strausberg
6078 Berlin – Kostrzyn
|Route number :||
203 Kostrzyn – Tczew|
9 Tczew – Malbork
204 Malbork – Mamonowo
|Course book section (DB) :||200.5 Berlin – Strausberg 209.26 Berlin – Kostrzyn
|Course book range :||345 Kostrzyn – Piła 426 Piła Gł – Tczew 400 Tczew – Malbork 505 Malbork – Braniewo
|Route length:||724.3 km|
(Berlin – Kaliningrad) 1435 mm
(Braniewo – Kybartai) 1520 mm
|Power system :||
(S-Bahn Berlin) 750 V =
(Tczew – Bogaczewo) 3 kV =
|Power system :||(Fernbahn Berlin) 15 kV 16.7 Hz ~|
|Top speed:||120 km / h|
Prussian Eastern Railway , Royal Prussian Eastern Railway or short- Eastern Railway in the narrower sense, the 740 km long rail link from Berlin via Königsberg to Eydtkuhnen on the border of Russian Empire . In a broader sense, it also includes other state-run railway lines in the eastern Prussian provinces of Brandenburg , Pomerania , Posen , West Prussia and East Prussia .
With all branch and parallel lines, the "Ostbahn" comprised a route network of 2210 kilometers in March 1880, making it one of the most important parts of the Prussian state railways .
In 1945 the Berlin – Königsberg – Eydtkuhnen line lost its function as a transit route due to the new borders between Germany (then the Soviet occupation zone ) and Poland ( Oder-Neisse border ) and between Poland and Russia (then the Soviet Union ).
The formerly continuous route Berlin – Eydtkuhnen is now operationally divided into six individual routes by the railway companies in Germany, Poland and Russia:
- Küstrin-Kietz border - Tczew
- Tczew - Malbork, today section of the Warsaw – Gdańsk railway line
- Malbork - Braniewo - border
Fight for funding
The Prussian Army wished to 1,840 from strategic reasons urgently a railway connection to the Russian border. In addition, the railway was seen early on as a means of opening up the structurally weak Pomeranian and East Prussian areas. In the absence of private interested parties, in 1845 King Friedrich Wilhelm IV initiated the preparatory work for the construction of the Eastern Railway “for the account of the future company”. However, the construction was immediately stopped again when the members of the state parliament refused the king's consent to borrowing. At the United Landtag convened in April 1847 , the members of parliament voted on June 8th with a two-thirds majority against a government loan for the Eastern Railway Project. A sentence by MP David Hansemann developed into a catchphrase from the debate at that meeting: “When it comes to money, cosiness ends”.
It was not until the events of the March Revolution of 1848/1849 and the appointment of the banker August Freiherr von der Heydt as Prussian trade minister - and thus responsible for the railways - that things got moving. In August 1849, v. d. Heydt presented a draft law on the construction of the Eastern Railway, which was passed on December 7, 1849. Before that, on November 5, 1849, the "Royal Direction of the Eastern Railway" had been set up in Bromberg . Minister v. d. Heydt then initiated the resumption of the construction of the Eastern Railway with funds from the "Railway Fund".
Construction of the main line
The planned line crossed the Stargard – Posen line, which was completed in 1848 by the private Stargard-Poznan Railway Company, roughly in the middle at Lukatz . A short section of this north-south running route was swiveled in an east-west direction and a through station suitable for the planned eastern line was built on it. This station near Lukatz was later called " Kreuz ", which from 1936 also became the official name of the place. Kreuz developed into an important railway junction . From here the connection in the direction of Berlin should go out via Landsberg an der Warthe and Küstrin an der Oder . First, however, the 145 kilometer long first section of the Lukatz - Schneidemühl - Bromberg Ostbahn was built in the direction of Königsberg and put into operation on July 27, 1851. On August 6, 1852, the 161 kilometer extension Bromberg - Dirschau - Danzig was completed. At that time, the connection between Berlin and Danzig was guaranteed via the Berlin-Szczecin Railway to Szczecin and then via Stargard to Kreuz.
In the direction of Königsberg, the Ostbahn does not run from Gdansk, but from Dirschau to the south. However, further construction was initially carried out from across the Vistula and its Nogat estuary , namely from Marienburg .
Marienburg - Elbing - Braunsberg ; 83.75 kilometers, opening on October 19, 1852.
Braunsberg – Königsberg: 62 kilometers, opening on August 2, 1853.
The railway bridges over the Vistula and the Nogat were completed in September 1857.
Dirschau – Marienburg: 18 kilometers, opening on October 12, 1857.
From Königsberg the line was extended to the border with Russia in 1860. On June 6, 1860, the section to Stallupönen went into operation , and on August 15 to the imperial border at Eydtkuhnen .
The trains from Germany drove to the Russian border station Wirballen (Russian Вержболово). There the border clearance and transfer and reloading took place on the broad gauge tracks of the Russian railways. In the opposite direction, the Russian trains drove to the German border station Eydtkuhnen, where they changed to the German trains.
At the same time, the western section to Küstrin was opened. Berlin could be reached via the Küstrin-Kietz – Frankfurt / Oder railway line, which was also completed at that time, with a detour (Küstrin – Frankfurt – Berlin) via the Lower Silesian-Märkische Railway . With the latter railway company, the Prussian state had already taken over the management of the company in 1850 after acquiring a block of shares and in 1852 by purchasing the entire property.
In 1866 the railway line was extended from Kiez (branch of the Küstrin – Frankfurt / Oder line) in the direction of Berlin to Gusow and in 1867 finally to Berlin.
Kietz – Gusow: 18 kilometers, opening on October 1, 1866.
Gusow – Strausberg – Berlin: 64 kilometers, opening on October 1, 1867. The
end point of the line in Berlin was the Ostbahnhof north of the Silesian Railway Station (which took the name Ostbahnhof in 1950 ) .
In 1871 the 34 kilometer shorter parallel route Schneidemühl – Konitz – Dirschau was built, which bypassed Bromberg (additional parallel and shortened routes were added). The two-track expansion from Küstrin to the east was then started. The Küstrin – Berlin line had already been built with two tracks.
In 1853 Eduard Wiebe became head of the Ostbahn management in Bromberg. He was involved in route planning as early as the 1840s, and from 1849 he was in the technical management of the Eastern Railway Directorate. One of his successors (from 1863 to 1867) was Albert von Maybach , previously chairman of the board of directors of the Upper Silesian Railway .
As early as November 5, 1849, the "Royal Direction of the Eastern Railway" with its seat in Bromberg was established; it took over the tasks of the former Prussian Commission for the Eastern Railway with its seat in Schönlanke .
On April 1, 1880, the direction was renamed "Königliche Eisenbahndirection zu Bromberg" (KED Bromberg)
In 1885, the organization of the Prussian Eastern Railway from ten consisted operating offices in Olsztyn , Berlin , Bydgoszcz , Gdansk , Konigsberg , Posen , Schneidemühl , Szczecin , Slupsk and Thorn , who were subordinated to the Directorate in Bydgoszcz.
In accordance with the highest decree of December 15, 1894 as part of the Prussian administrative reform, the administrations were reorganized on April 1, 1895, with the district of Bromberg being divided into the four independent railway directorates KED Bromberg, KED Königsberg (Ostpr) , KED Danzig and KED Posen.
On January 24, 1920, the Prussian Minister of Public Works , Rudolf Oeser , issued a decree , according to which the railway directorates in Bromberg, Danzig and Posen ceased to exist as authorities of the now Prussian-Hessian State Railway Administration on January 10, 1920 . The remaining on German territory stretches of the Prussian Eastern Railway, to ceded areas of KED Berlin , the railway administration Wroclaw and Szczecin Reichsbahndirektion were in Berlin-Charlottenburg on 19 December, 1919 near the Zoologischer Garten furnished Eisenbahndirektion Eastern assigned.
Significance for Prussia
With the completely expanded line, the Ostbahn opened up the Prussian provinces east of Berlin. The volume of freight traffic exceeded the forecast quantities many times over. It was mainly agricultural products such as cattle, grain and vegetables. The frequently low water levels of the Oder, Vistula or Warta rivers or their freezing in the winter months ensured that freight traffic on the Eastern Railway was regularly stimulated.
The Eastern Railway itself became an essential economic factor. What was significant for the time with the prevailing economic crisis was that large-scale jobs were created with the construction of the Eastern Railway. In June 1851, at the height of development, 12,000 workers were busy building the line. In 1880 their vehicle fleet included 265 passenger and express train locomotives, 320 freight locomotives and 93 tank locomotives.
Due to the needs of the Eastern Railway, a local railway industry established itself. 1855 Union Foundry Konigsberg began construction of locomotives, the Schichau works of Ferdinand Schichau in Elblag followed their example in 1860. The Königsberg agricultural machinery factory L. Steinfurt built freight and passenger cars.
In terms of traffic, the main line of the Eastern Railway was one of the most important railways in Europe and one of the main axes of east-west traffic. Various international express trains such as the D 1 Berlin – Königsberg – Eydtkuhnen and the legendary luxury train Nord-Express ran on it , this one in its “heyday” up to the First World War . By expanding with main and branch lines, the network grew to 4,833 kilometers by 1895.
At that time, seven long-distance freight trains from East Germany reached Berlin every day, and fifteen long-distance passenger trains went to East Prussia every day. In 1892 express trains were introduced in the German Empire ; they also drove on the Eastern Railway.
After the First World War , the Prussian State Railways and thus the Eastern Railway, like all other German state railways, were incorporated into the newly created Deutsche Reichsbahn . With the creation of the Polish Corridor in 1919, the Eastern Railway became an important transit link between East Prussia, which had become an exclave , and the rest of Germany. On the other hand, the 1000 meter long steel Vistula Bridge near Münsterwalde , built from 1905 to 1909, called Most w Opaleniu in Polish , was dismantled from 1927 to 1929, as there was no use in Poland for a bridge over to Marienwerder in East Prussia .
The 1939 summer timetable indicated four pairs of express trains, twelve pairs of express trains and one long-distance train pair from Berlin to Königsberg. The latter required a journey time of 6 hours and 36 minutes for the 590 kilometer route from Königsberg to Berlin Schlesischer Bahnhof.
The railway network of the former Prussian provinces in the east was 4176 kilometers long in 1937. On January 22nd, 1945 the last train ran from Königsberg to Berlin, after which there was no more continuous rail traffic on this route.
After the Second World War
After 1945, the second track of the long-distance line was dismantled in the area of the Soviet occupation zone , but not that of the S-Bahn. During the GDR era, the second track was not rebuilt because there was no need for it.
Due to the border shifts that followed after the German defeat in World War II , the Eastern Railway was divided on the one hand between Germany / the GDR and Poland and on the other hand between Poland and the Soviet Union / Russia. Some of the once important international train stations such as Eydtkuhnen no longer exist or only play a very subordinate role.
After the Second World War, the border crossings were only used for goods traffic. For several decades there was neither between the GDR and Poland nor between Poland and the Soviet Union public transport on the Eastern Railway. It was not until the 1990s that cross-border passenger traffic was resumed. The only regular international long-distance train since 1945 on the section of the Eastern Railway between the Berlin outer ring and Kostrzyn was the D448 / 449 "Stanislaw Moniuszko", which ran from 2007 to 2009 and used the Eastern Railway between Berlin-Lichtenberg and Piła Główna. Today only regional trains run between Germany and Poland via the Eastern Railway.
In regional traffic on the German side, the series 118 , 772 and V100 were used in the early 1990s . In the late 1990s the "Ludmilla" dominated . In the early 2000s, v. a. 219s used. From the end of 2001 to the end of 2003, Cottbuser 624s were also used, before the 628 handled regional traffic between Kostrzyn and Berlin until the NEB took over .
A daily pair of trains ran through the Polish-Russian border crossing at Braniewo, some of which also carried through coaches from Berlin via Frankfurt (Oder). After 2010 this train was discontinued.
Status after 2010
The Berlin – Küstrin-Kietz – Polish border, located within the current borders of Germany, is now a largely single-track, non-electrified main line. Only the sections between Berlin-Lichtenberg and the Biesdorfer Kreuz, Strausberg and Rehfelde, Trebnitz and Seelow-Gusow and from Küstrin-Kietz to the border are double-track.
In regional traffic, this section is served every hour, since December 10, 2006 the Niederbarnimer Railway has been running there with diesel multiple units of the Bombardier Talent type and since 2016 with Pesa Link . Since December 22, 2006, this route between kilometers 75.0 and 80.7 can be driven again at 120 km / h after more than 60 years.
A line of the Berlin S-Bahn runs parallel to the long-distance tracks from Berlin to Strausberg station.
The line is double-tracked in Poland from Kostrzyn to Piła except for a short section in the eastern station exit of Gorzów. The line is single-track from Piła to Gutowiec. From Gutowiec to Bogaczewo the line is double-tracked again, from Bogaczewo to the state border with Russia in Braniewo it is single-track. Furthermore, a Russian broad gauge track was laid from Elbląg to Kaliningrad, this has been dismantled in the area from Elbląg to Bogaczewo and is only in operation from Wielkie Wierzno. The route from Tczew to Bogaczewo is operated electrically.
The section from Mamonowo (German Heiligenbeil ) to shortly before Kaliningrad has a mainline track in Russian wide and regular gauge. While the broad gauge track on the traditional route reaches the Kaliningrad Südbahnhof (formerly Königsberg Hauptbahnhof ) from the west, the standard gauge track is routed south around the city and reaches the station from the east.
The route from Kaliningrad to Kybartai in Lithuania still has an important function as a transit route to the Russian heartland. The former Eydtkuhnen station - today Chernyshevskoye - was completely dismantled after the war due to the lack of border controls in the Soviet Union and the proximity to the first station in Lithuania. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Russian railways used the Nesterow station as a border station with Lithuania. Due to its limited capacity, a new border station was built in Chernyshevskoye, which went into operation in 2017.
Modernization after 1990 and further planning
In recent years, the section of the route in Germany has been gradually modernized. The infrastructure between Rehfelde and Küstrin-Kietz was renewed, including the train stations in this section. An electronic interlocking was built in Küstrin-Kietz in 2006 , followed by another in Müncheberg / Trebnitz in 2011. A total of 40 million euros was invested.
It was originally planned in 2013 to build a second track on the Strausberg – Rehfelde section and to disentangle regional and S-Bahn traffic in Strausberg station. The two-track expansion of a three-kilometer section between Strausberg and Rehfelde finally began in 2017, the cost of almost ten million euros was shared by the state of Brandenburg two-thirds and Deutsche Bahn one-third. As a result of the expansion of the route - with the completion of the renovation of the Berlin Ostkreuz station - the regional train line RB 26 can be accelerated and extended to that point. The renovation of the Strausberg station with the construction of separate platforms for S-Bahn and regional traffic also took place in 2017.
As part of the project to rebuild Berlin Ostkreuz station , regional traffic from Berlin-Lichtenberg station was extended to there. For this purpose, the track systems in this area were modernized by 2018 and two regional platforms were built at Ostkreuz on the tracks of the Ostbahn.
A new platform for regional trains went into operation in Berlin-Mahlsdorf in December 2017.
On September 3, 1907, after 11:00 p.m., a train from Insterburg derailed near the Herrensee stop , which was built later, and overturned in parts. The cause was a deliberately loosened splint.
On October 8, 1916, there was a priority on the D 24 express train from Eydtkuhnen to Berlin . Its locomotive was damaged near Landsberg (Warthe) . In order not to stop the following main train of the D 24, a block attendant prematurely set the signal covering the first train to "clear travel". The main train drove on the privilege. 12 people died and 15 others were injured. The Prussian State Railroad then reminded its employees of the measures to be observed if a train breaks down.
On July 30, 1918, a serious railway accident occurred near Zantoch / Santok : The breaking piston rod of a steam locomotive damaged the track in the opposite direction that the D 22 was currently traveling on. The express train derailed, five of its wagons were thrown against the freight train and caught fire. At least 40 people died and 43 were injured.
On January 20, 1920, when the Schneidemühl attack occurred, three perpetrators loosened the screws on the rails and derailed a freight train. A subsequent express train drove into the rubble. The attack left 18 dead and 20 injured. The assassins were caught.
On the night of April 30th to May 1st, 1925, the corridor express train Insterburg – Königsberg – Berlin between Swaroschin and Preußisch Stargard derailed, killing 29 people.
On March 16, 1939, an express train to Berlin and a passenger train to Schneidemühl collided head- on near Müncheberg while operating at times on a single track. The driver of the passenger train was killed and 66 people, including the driver of the express train and the stoker of the passenger train, were injured, some seriously. The cause of the collision was a technical defect in the block equipment and an illegally issued order to the driver of the express train.
On June 24, 1942, an unmanned locomotive ran into a stopping passenger train in Werbig . Ten dead and 23 injured were mourned.
On January 18, 1944, after a mistake by the dispatcher, the D 52 crashed into a stationary passenger train. 56 people died, 159 were also injured.
Further routes of the Ostbahn
The Stargard-Posener Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft (SPE), founded in 1846, built a 170-kilometer single-track main line that connected the two provincial capitals of Szczecin and Poznan. The line crossed at the Kreuz station with the main line of the Eastern Railway. Because the company's earnings did not meet expectations in the beginning, the state intervened and made the SPE subordinate to the Royal Directorate of the Eastern Railways in Bromberg in 1851 and to the Upper Silesian Railway, which was also temporarily administered by the state, in 1857. The final date of nationalization is January 1, 1883 and July 1, 1886, although the joint-stock company still existed.
Other important routes of the Eastern Railway were:
- Danzig – Neufahrwasser (1867)
- Fredersdorf – Rüdersdorf (1872)
- Neustettin – Wangerin (1877, Pommersche Centralbahn )
- Neustettin – Konitz (1878, Pommersche Centralbahn)
- Neustettin – Belgard (1878)
- Neustettin – Zollbrück – Stolpmünde and Zollbrück – Rügenwalde (1878)
- Schneidemühl – Posen (1879)
- Schneidemühl – Neustettin (1879)
- Laskowitz – Graudenz – Jablonowo (cross connection of the routes Bromberg – Königsberg and Thorn – Insterburg, 1878/79)
- Insterburg – Goldap – Lyck (1878/79)
Berlin suburban line
While traffic in the east was mostly limited to long-distance connections, the expansion of the line began in Berlin. Initially, the line was threaded into the Lower Silesian-Märkische Eisenbahn (coming from Frankfurt / Oder ) from the intersection with the Berlin Ringbahn , which opened in 1871 . From there it went via the Silesian train station to the Berlin light rail line to the center and the lines to the west. Shortly after the ring line, another pair of tracks came from this north of the route for the suburban trains, which was run independently of the long-distance route.
Since a separate suburban track was planned for each of the two long-distance routes, the unwinding of the Eastern Railway from the Lower Silesian-Märkische Railway would have developed into an operational bottleneck. The space at the intersection with the Ringbahn would not have been sufficient, so that the long-distance line only leaves the route to Frankfurt 2 kilometers further at the Rummelsburg depot . From there it leads to the northeast and meets the trunk line shortly before Kaulsdorf . The station received another platform for this connection , called the VnK line , which was opened in 1901 . VnK had several meanings, the most common were connections to Kaulsdorf or Küstrin or from and to Kaulsdorf or Küstrin . The old platform was left to suburban traffic, which ran on the original route to the Ringbahn. Behind this, the connection with the suburban tracks of the light rail took place. Between the long-distance tracks and the light rail tracks, the Frankfurt line also received its own pair of suburban tracks in 1903. Since this should also be led into the city tracks at the same level, a link could only be made at the Silesian train station.
If there was a train station at the cross with the ring line only for the pair of city tracks, the entire system was rebuilt in 1903. The two east-west routes and the Ringbahn each received a platform for suburban traffic. This stop, called Stralau-Rummelsburg, developed into one of the largest train stations in Berlin. In 1933 the name was changed to Ostkreuz .
In the mid-1920s, extensive electrification of the Berlin suburban lines began. The eastern railway line was converted for electrical operation by November 6, 1928. Mixed operation with steam trains continued until January 1929. On December 15, 1930, the traffic of the suburban trains, called " S-Bahn " since December 1, 1930 , was extended by one station to Mahlsdorf . This is where the connection to the steam trains took place, but the Kaulsdorf long-distance platform was removed.
The Germania plans of the National Socialists provided for an extensive expansion of the route. The S-Bahn should be extended to Strausberg or Rüdersdorf south of the route. Another pair of tracks for a long-distance S-Bahn was to be built up to the Berlin city limits near Mahlsdorf. Since the Eastern Railway was a strategically important route due to its orientation, the work continued despite the Second World War . In 1944 the mostly single-track suburban line to Strausberg was put into operation. The traffic was carried out with steam trains. The electrical operation only took place between 1947 and 1948 in four steps. The train route was the following years a newly created branch line extended further to Strausberg Nord
In 1989, at the intersection with the subway line E, which was extended on the VnK route, the Wuhletal station went into operation. Since then, a platform-level changeover, unique in Berlin, has been possible between the S-Bahn and the U-Bahn. In 1992, the Birkenstein S-Bahn station followed between Mahlsdorf and Hoppegarten . At the same time, the second track on this section went into operation.
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