Underground line 1 (Berlin)

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Line Berlin U-Bahn small profileU1
Route of the underground line 1 (Berlin)
Route length: 9.0 km
Gauge : 1435 mm ( standard gauge )
Power system : side busbar painted above
750 V  =
8.7 Warschauer Strasse (WA)
S3 S5 S7 S9 U3
BSicon uSTR.svg
to the parking area Warschauer Straße
Osthafen until 1945
7.9 Silesian Gate (S)U3
7.0 Görlitzer Bahnhof (Gr)U3
6.3 Kottbusser Tor (Kbo)U3 U8
5.4 Prinzenstrasse (Pr)U3
4.4 Hallesches Tor (Ho)U3 U6
3.9 Möckernbrücke (Mon)U3 U7
formerly for route A
3.3 Track triangle (Go)U2 U3
2.2 Kurfürstenstrasse (Kus)U3
Transition track to route B
1.7 Nollendorfplatz (Nu / Nm)U2 U3 U4
Branch line U2
Wittenbergplatz (Wt)U2 U3
Branch route A
Branch route A
0.8 Kurfürstendamm (Kfo)U9
1.2 Uhlandstrasse (U)
1.4 Uhlandstrasse sweeping system

The U1 line of the Berlin subway has 13 stations and is 9.0 kilometers long. The route used was designated from 1928 with the letter "B". It extends in an east-west direction, they immediately south of the route of the historic Silesian Railway (extension of light rail ) on the S-Bahn station Warschauer Straße begins Kreuzberg crosses and the Wittenbergplatz the Kurfürstendamm reached. The U1 runs through the districts of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg , Mitte , Tempelhof-Schöneberg and Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf . The eastern section of the U1, a raised elevated railway , is the oldest underground line in Berlin. Like the U2 , U3 and U4 lines , it belongs to the sub-network of the Berlin underground that was opened before 1914, which because of the narrower vehicles and tunnels than " Small profile network" is called.

While the main section Wittenbergplatz - Schlesisches Tor has had the number 1 (from 1984 with a "U" in front of it) since the line names were changed from letters to numbers in 1966, the western end point changed twice. At the time when the musical Line 1 was written (1986), the U1 trains still ran from Ruhleben to the Schlesisches Tor. Since 1993, this route has only been used temporarily by the U12 line. From 1993 to 2004 the U15 line ran on the Uhlandstraße - Schlesisches Tor route (initially only to Kottbusser Tor ), while the U1 line, now coming from Krumme Lanke , only served the section east of Nollendorfplatz at certain times from 2003. Until 2003 the trains of the U15 ended outside the rush hour at Wittenbergplatz.


The beginnings

The trunk line
Elevated railway line under construction at Wassertorplatz , 1901
The old bridge over the Landwehr Canal , 1986

The increasing traffic problems in the metropolis of Berlin led to the search for new, efficient means of transport at the end of the 19th century. Inspired by the suggestion made by Werner Siemens (from 1888: by Siemens ) to break new ground in 1880 , numerous ideas arose for a suspension railway , as it was later built in the form of the Wuppertal suspension railway, or a tube railway like the London Underground . Finally, Siemens presented the city fathers of Berlin with a plan for an elevated railway modeled on New York . However, they found it unaesthetic to build an elevated railway in posh Friedrichstrasse , as Siemens had suggested. The AEG submitted interesting project ideas. But the Berlin city administration resisted subway trains because they feared damage to the sewer system that had just been built . In the meantime, the AEG built the so-called Spree tunnel between Stralau and Treptow . During the construction of this tunnel, shield driving was used for the first time . Even if the tunnel was then used by a tram , it can be seen as a forerunner of a subway.

The construction of elevated railways through the narrow Friedrichstrasse and Leipziger Strasse was not permitted. Finally, after many years and negotiations, Siemens prevailed with an elevated railway line from the Warschauer Brücke over Hallesches Tor and Bülowstrasse . The resistance to the new type of transport in Berlin appeared to be surmountable with this route, and it also promised to expand the tram into an inner ring. The private company Siemens & Halske also carried out all construction work as the client. The first groundbreaking was on September 10, 1896 in Gitschiner Strasse. The construction work had to go quickly, because the contract concluded with Berlin when the concession was awarded stipulated that the route had to be completed within two years, otherwise there would have been a fine of 50,000  marks (adjusted for purchasing power in today's currency: around 361,000 euros).

The engineers developed special elevated piers for the elevated railway. Since the Berliners did not like this at all, the architect Alfred Grenander was commissioned in 1902 to come up with an artistic solution to this problem. The Swede Grenander remained the “house architect” of the elevated and underground railways for almost 30 years.

After tough negotiations with the city of Charlottenburg , it was decided not to build an elevated railway on Tauentzienstrasse, but to build a sub-paved railway and run the route to the knee (today's Ernst-Reuter-Platz ). So the requirement to complete the line by January 1, 1900 could not be met. The recently replaced top management of the Berlin City Planning Office viewed the subject of the underground with significantly greater benevolence. Since the subway obviously did not cause any damage to the then new sewer system, an underground branch to Potsdamer Platz was to be created. A further extension to what was then Berlin's city center was now possible at any time. The state approval for the planning changes went to the elevated railway company in an addendum on November 1, 1900.

The entire project of the elevated and underground railway now had a length of 10.1 kilometers. The largest part of the route, around eight kilometers, was to be built on viaducts and connect eleven elevated stations. There were also two kilometers of tunnels with three underground stations. The planners at the time could not imagine that 8-car trains would later be required, they had the platforms built with a length of 80 meters. This was just enough for 6-car trains.

In the first year after the turn of the century, a six-kilometer route was completed. After about five and a half years of construction, the main line was ready. On February 15, 1902, the so-called ministerial trip took place on the route Potsdamer Platz - Zoological Garden - Stralauer Tor - Potsdamer Platz. This was called because many Berlin personalities took part in the opening trip, including the Prussian Minister for Public Works, Karl von Thielen . On February 18, 1902, the first section of the Berlin subway was officially opened (Stralauer Tor - Potsdamer Platz). The western trunk line to the zoological garden was opened in March and was extended to the knee on December 14th (it ran between Gleisdreieck and Wittenbergplatz, however, on the route of today's U2 ). On August 17, the route to Stralauer Tor was extended by 380 meters to the Warsaw Bridge. There was a connection to the Flachbahn , a tram line that was also operated by the elevated railway company.

There were two lines:

  • Warschauer Brücke - Potsdamer Platz junction - Zoological Garden
  • Warsaw Bridge - directly without a branch - Zoological Garden

U-Bahn to Dahlem and the branch to Uhlandstrasse

In the summer of 1907, the elevated railway company proposed to the young city of Wilmersdorf to build an underground train through the Wilmersdorf area. A route was planned to Nürnberger Platz and, if Wilmersdorf paid for it, further to Breitenbachplatz . Since the community of Wilmersdorf had poor transport links, the Wilmersdorf city fathers were pleased to accept this suggestion. The Royal Domain of Dahlem , which was south of Wilmersdorf and was still undeveloped, was also very interested in an underground connection. This wanted to build the planned route from Breitenbachplatz to Thielplatz.

However, a big problem arose. The future route would partially run over the Charlottenburg area . And this then independent city saw in the also independent city of Wilmersdorf a competitor in the settlement of financially strong taxpayers. Long negotiations were carried out until a proposal finally prevailed in the summer of 1910: In addition to the one that had already been planned, another line was to be built under Kurfürstendamm with the Uhlandstrasse terminus .

Construction work for this began that same summer. Only the Uhlandstraße station was built on today's U1 line; the Kurfürstendamm intermediate station did not exist until decades later. From 1966 to 1992, the section to Uhlandstrasse station was designated as the 3 or U3 line, then the U15 line until 2004.

Entrance of the Uhlandstraße underground station (towards the east)

The previously double-track Wittenbergplatz underground station, which was equipped with only two side platforms, had to be completely rebuilt. A train station with five tracks was built, a sixth was prepared and a vestibule was built. The communities of Wilmersdorf and Charlottenburg submitted many proposals. Finally, however, the royal police chief recommended the idea of ​​the house architect of the elevated railway company, Alfred Grenander .

The additional line to Uhlandstrasse, which Charlottenburg had won in negotiation poker, consisted of just one train station. The line branched off at Wittenbergplatz and drove under Kurfürstendamm to the Uhlandstraße underground station. An extension to Halensee was still planned , but the line only got another station, the Kurfürstendamm underground station, in 1961 with the construction of the U9 line. Until today there are plans to extend the line to the west. For this purpose, building preparations were made during the construction of the ICC in the course of Neue Kantstrasse . The shell of another station is also under the U7 Adenauerplatz station.

After a relatively short construction period, the Kurfürstendamm line, as it was then called, was opened together with the Dahlem line on October 12, 1913. Both routes together were about ten kilometers long. This was the last subway construction in Berlin before the First World War , which began on August 1, 1914. The next subway section was only opened ten years later.

The new track triangle

Gleisdreieck: Bridge put into operation in May 1913 to the west of the upper platform, siding with class A I train , in the background the tunnel mouth of Dennewitzstraße (house passage)

One of the most dangerous parts of the entire subway network was the Gleisdreieck , which connected the main line between Warschauer Brücke and Zoologischer Garten with the branch line to Potsdamer Platz. This junction was secured by signals alone, so that an inattentive train driver could trigger a disaster. Such a disaster happened on September 26, 1908. A subway train hit another train in the flank and pushed two cars off the track. One of the cars fell off the viaduct . 21 passengers were killed. A reconstruction of the track triangle was then ordered.

Construction work began in May 1912. Instead of a triangular track, a cross-shaped layout with a new Gleisdreieck underground station was planned. There is only a connecting track between the two lines for internal purposes. The renovation was basically carried out during full operation, with various lines being temporarily shut down. Gleisdreieck station was opened on November 3, 1912, but construction work lasted until August 1913.

The connecting track of the track in the direction of Pankow in the direction of Warschauer Straße existed until reopening after the political change as a feed for construction vehicles. The route is still in place today.

Last openings in the small profile - also on today's U1

During the Weimar Republic , the small profile network was only slightly expanded. So the - already existing - new Gleisdreieck was finally completed, i.e. the relief stretch from Gleisdreieck via Kurfürstenstraße to Nollendorfplatz was opened on October 24, 1926. The sparingly designed underground station Kurfürstenstraße bears witness to the difficult financial situation of the time. In connection with the construction of the relief line, the Nollendorfplatz underground station was also to be extensively rebuilt and redesigned, as the Schöneberg underground was still operated independently, although it had belonged to the city of Berlin since 1920.

Enclosed ramp between the train stations Gleisdreieck and Kurfürstenstraße , 1987

The Nollendorfplatz station was opened together with the relief line. Since then he has had two platforms in the tunnel, which are directly one above the other and look identical. The trains from Schöneberg end in the upper tunnel and enter from the direction of Wittenbergplatz. The trains to Schöneberg and Wittenbergplatz stop in the lower tunnel. It is therefore a train station with one- way traffic , where the platforms are one above the other. The elevated station of today's U2 line remained completely unchanged. The imposing dome was destroyed in the Second World War and only rebuilt in a simplified manner for the hundredth anniversary of the underground railway in 2002.

To the west of the Gleisdreieck, the line crosses the former railway area, today's western part of the Park am Gleisdreieck , and then goes underground via a ramp. First, Dennewitzstraße is crossed on a converted bridge , then a residential building is crossed in an elevated position. The following ramp to the Kurfürstenstrasse tunnel station is enclosed along its entire length .

War damage

Due to the severe destruction in World War II , the Osthafen high station was abandoned.

On May 2, 1945, the SS blew up the north-south tunnel of the S-Bahn under the Landwehr Canal . The crossing bridge of the elevated railway was affected. Until it was restored on April 27, 1947, traffic at Gleisdreieck was broken. The section between Uhlandstrasse and Wittenbergplatz was also temporarily under water as a result of the demolition.

A new train station on the Kurfürstendamm route

Due to the new sector administration in Berlin, the West Berliners fixed themselves on buses and trams that bypassed the eastern sector during the post-war reconstruction . In addition, the densely populated districts of Steglitz , Wedding and Reinickendorf needed an express train connection to the then newly emerging center around the zoological garden . However, these traffic requirements could not be met with route extensions, so that a new building was necessary. Therefore, line G (today: U9) was designed according to the letter concept that was in effect at the time. It was to be led from Osloer Strasse via the Weddinger Zentrum on Leopoldplatz , the Moabiter Zentrum on Turmstrasse , the West Center with the zoo and Kurfürstendamm , the Bundesallee and Schloßstrasse to the Steglitz Town Hall . This line was now the third north-south line, after lines C (U6) and D (U8).

In addition to the newly built line G, an underground station was to be opened on the then U3 (today: U1). After all, this was where the new center of West Berlin emerged; the former centers in the east such as Potsdamer Platz , Schönhauser Allee or Alexanderplatz had become unattractive due to the political situation. A relatively simple method was chosen for the construction of the Kurfürstendamm train station: instead of building the train station while it was still in operation, which, by the way, would have been very costly, the “stub line” was not served during the construction period. The transfer station could be built at the intersection of Joachimsthaler Straße and Kurfürstendamm.

Line G was scheduled to go into operation on September 2, 1961. But on August 13, the GDR government closed the sector border and erected the wall . Therefore, the opening date was brought forward to August 28th, which proved the necessity of this new underground route. As a result, the reopening of the Kurfürstendamm line was brought forward.

Fall of the wall and reunification of the networks

"Wall" on the route to the Oberbaumbrücke , 1990
Since 1995 the subway over the Oberbaumbrücke has been in operation again

After the Berlin Wall fell on November 9, 1989 and the GDR joined the Federal Republic of Germany on October 3, 1990 , there was a need to reunite the two underground railway companies from East and West. While the U2 trains ran through again from 1993, the U1 still ended at Schlesisches Tor station.

When the continuously used route of the U2 was reopened in November 1993, it was decided to redesign the underground network at the same time. U1 and U2 exchanged their western branches and the U3 was replaced by the U15, which, together with the U1 from the Wittenbergplatz underground station , continued to the Schlesisches Tor, initially only during rush hour . At the same time the U12 was introduced.

U-Bahn trains on the Oberbaum Bridge

The section from the Schlesisches Tor to the Warschauer Brücke, opened in 1902, was discontinued in August 1961 due to the construction of the wall. After that, the trains ended at the Schlesisches Tor, as the Warschauer Brücke station belonged to East Berlin . Over the years this station fell into disrepair, even if it was partially used by companies in the GDR. Even an inclusion in the list of “National Cultural Heritage of the GDR” could not stop the decline.

In 1992, the first construction work began to reopen the line. Numerous renovation work had to be carried out, including new buildings, as some of the station buildings had been demolished in GDR times. First, the Oberbaum Bridge , which was in a very desolate condition, was renovated. The Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava won the tender and drafted the plans for the renovation of the bridge. In addition to this, the station itself with its three platform edges, the old signal box and the car hall on Rudolfstrasse had to be repaired. On October 14, 1995, the first train drove back to today's station, which as Warschauer Strasse station was at least nominally declared to be a transfer station for the U-Bahn and S-Bahn. The planned approach of the underground platforms to the S-Bahn has not yet been implemented and was postponed during the renovation of the S-Bahn station for financial reasons. Instead, an extended pedestrian walkway should make it easier to change between the railways.

Information poster about the line changes of U1 and U3 in March 2013

With the reopening of the line over the Oberbaumbrücke, the two elevated railway lines at that time, the U1 and U15, were also extended to Warschauer Straße. Now the route was mainly served by the U1 on the entire route, under the line number U15 the trains only ran between Uhlandstrasse and Wittenbergplatz except during rush hour. From 2003 the U15 also ran in night traffic and was also led to Warschauer Straße at all times. In contrast, the U1 was withdrawn to Nollendorfplatz, where all trains now ended outside of rush hour. When the timetable changed in 2004, the “BVG 2005 plus” traffic concept came into force, which provided for a restructuring of the Berlin subway network. The U15 was replaced by the U1, the previous section of the U1 between Nollendorfplatz and Krumme Lanke has been served by the U3 since then. An exception to this was the period from March 4 to 7, 2013, during which the U1 trains ran again between Warschauer Strasse and Krumme Lanke due to construction work on the Uhlandstrasse - Wittenbergplatz section. Unlike in comparable cases (U12), no corresponding line designation (for example: U13) was introduced here.


line Mon-Fri
(4:00 a.m. -0: 30 a.m.)
(5:30 am - 0:30 am)
Sundays and public holidays
(7:00 a.m. - 0:30 a.m.)
Night Fri / Sat and Sat / Sun as well as on the nights before public holidays
(Fri / Sat 0: 30-5: 30 a.m. and Sat / Sun 0: 30-7: 00 a.m.)
Warschauer Strasse

5 min 5 min 5 min 10 min
On the nights from Friday to Saturday and Saturday to Sunday, the trains of the U1 line run every 15 minutes from 0:30 a.m. to around 4:30 a.m. between Uhlandstrasse and Warschauer Strasse. On the other nights, the N1 night bus takes over the tasks of the U1 line.

Until May 6, 2018, the U1 ran every 5 minutes during the day (or on Sunday afternoons). Since May 7, 2018, the U1 has only been running every 10 minutes in daytime traffic due to the extension of the U3 to Warschauer Straße , so that the U1 and U3 between Wittenbergplatz and Warschauer Straße complement each other at 3/3/4-minute intervals .

Route planning

U1 Eastern expansion planning
Frankfurter Tor (FTO)
BSicon uexSTR.svg
BSicon uexSTR.svg
Warsaw Bridge
S3 S5 S7 S9
BSicon uexSTR.svg
Warschauer Strasse (WA)
Silesian Gate (S)
existing route towards Wittenbergplatz

The eastern terminus on Warschauer Straße is a transfer station to the local S-Bahn . In the course of the renovation of the S-Bahn station by 2018 [obsolete] , the transfer situation to the subway should also improve.

At the Warschauer Straße underground station , an extension to the north to the Frankfurter Tor underground station on the U5 line is planned, but its realization is questionable.

In 2014, an alternative concept study became known to extend the line parallel to the S-Bahn eastwards to Ostkreuz station. The local S-Bahn junction is currently being expanded and will also receive a regional train connection. With this extension, the U1 could connect large parts of Kreuzberg to the eastern S-Bahn ring and to regional traffic. According to the BVG, there is sufficient space available for an above-ground and therefore inexpensive construction. The project could be implemented after 2020. If necessary, an intermediate station can be created at the Modersohn Bridge.

In the western area there is a long-term plan to extend the previous route to the Adenauerplatz underground station ( U7 ) and further to the Theodor-Heuss-Platz underground station ( U2 ). Despite certain preliminary construction work on Messedamm , implementation is not expected in the foreseeable future. This route is planned in the large profile under the working title Line U3 , whereby the existing section between U-Bahn station Kurfürstendamm and Uhlandstraße station would have to be rebuilt.

Opening dates

  • February 18, 1902: Stralauer Thor - Gleisdreieck
  • August 12, 1902: Warsaw Bridge - Stralauer Thor
  • 0November 3, 1912: Gleisdreieck underground station
  • October 12, 1913: Wittenbergplatz - Uhlandstrasse
  • October 24, 1926: Gleisdreieck - Wittenbergplatz
  • August 28, 1961: Kurfürstendamm underground station

The Osthafen underground station , originally Stralauer Thor , was located between the Warschauer Brücke and Schlesisches Tor. Due to its proximity to the Warsaw Bridge, it was not rebuilt after the Second World War. The Warschauer Brücke underground station was renamed Warschauer Straße to reopen after the political change due to its proximity to the S-Bahn station of the same name .


  • Fritz Eiselen: The electric elevated and underground railway in Berlin from Siemens & Halske . In: Deutsche Bauzeitung , Volume 35 (1901), Sp. 505–508, 517–522, 529–532, 561–564, 569–573, 583–587, 589–591, 595–599, 609–614, 617 -618. Digitized
  • U1 - story (s) from the underground . January 1998, Berlin, GVE eV, ISBN 3-89218-031-8
  • B. Jäger, G. Wachter (Ed.): Demolition or Enhancement. A contribution to the discussion about listed iron structures using the example of the Berlin elevated railway . Vice-Versa-Verlag, Berlin 1999, ISBN 3-9803212-9-0
  • Alexander Seefeldt: U1 trunk line through Kreuzberg . 1st edition. Robert Schwandl, Berlin 2016, ISBN 978-3-936573-51-0 .

Web links

Commons : U-Bahn-Linie U1 (Berlin)  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Johannes Bousset: Die Berliner U-Bahn , Verlag von Wilhelm Ernst & Sohn, Berlin 1935, p. 4
  2. Berlin elevated and underground railway . (PDF) In: Deutsche Straßen- und Kleinbahn-Zeitung , Volume 26, No. 20 (May 20, 1913), p. 321
  3. ^ Hans D Reichardt: Berliner U-Bahn , 6th edition 1979, p. 85
  4. Neue Bauwelt 3/1946, p. 7 ff.
  5. ^ Michael Braun: Nordsüd-S-Bahn Berlin , p. 203
  6. Michael Braun: Nordsüd-S-Bahn Berlin , p. 194
  7. Switching made easy. In: Der Tagesspiegel . January 14, 2013, accessed August 10, 2017 .
  8. See: Senate Department for Transport and Companies, as of 1995 ( Memento from March 4, 2016 in the Internet Archive )
  9. U1 extension to Ostkreuz - With the subway to the secret main train station of Berlin . In: Der Tagesspiegel , November 21, 2014
  10. Written question from MP Stefan Gelbhaar (GREEN): U1 extension to Ostkreuz: Nebelkerze or top project? (PDF) Berlin House of Representatives, December 2, 2014, accessed on December 13, 2014 (Drucksache 17/14988).