Berlin subway

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Berlin subway

The Berlin U-Bahn , together with the S-Bahn and the Metrobus lines for trams and buses, form the backbone of Berlin's local public transport . The subway was opened in 1902 as an "elevated and subway" and today has 173 stations, three more stations are under construction. The Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG), an institution under public law , operates nine underground lines totaling 146.6 kilometers in length, both small and large . 1272 vehicles are used here. As traction current one is DC voltage of 750  volts is used.

In 2018, the BVG recorded around 1.102 billion passengers (2011: 937 million), of which 583.0 million (2011: 507.3 million), i.e. a good half of them, used the subway. In line traffic, the underground trains covered 21.6 million commercial train kilometers in 2016 (2011: 20.9 million commercial train kilometers).

In terms of route length and number of stations, the Berlin U-Bahn maintains the largest subway network in German-speaking countries .


Train of the underground line U1 on the Oberbaumbrücke
Development of the Berlin subway network since 1902

The first subway in Berlin was built in 1895 as a connecting tunnel between two AEG factories. Nevertheless, Siemens later prevailed with its cheaper model in tunnel construction. In 1902, the first electric subway for public passenger transport went into operation in Berlin. The railway, which was largely designed as an elevated railway, extends from Berlin to the then independent neighboring city of Charlottenburg . For a short while she also touched the territory of the then still independent city of Schöneberg .

Only the Potsdamer Platz station with a short stretch of tunnel in front and the line on the Charlottenburg area with its three stations Wittenbergplatz, Zoologischer Garten and Knie were used as underground lines.

The city of Schöneberg opened Germany's first municipal subway in 1910. Hamburg (1912), Munich (1971) and Nuremberg (1972) followed as further German cities with underground trains .

The underground expansion is generally divided into three development phases:

  1. until 1913 (construction of the small-profile network in Berlin, Schöneberg , Charlottenburg , Wilmersdorf and Dahlem in the German Empire ) - in this network, the car width is based on tram dimensions, i.e. 2.3 meters
  2. until 1930 (construction of the large-profile network in Greater Berlin during the Weimar Republic ) - with this network, the width of the wagons is 2.65 meters
  3. from 1953 (network expansion after the Second World War )

At the end of the 19th century, people began to look for solutions to the traffic problems in Berlin and the surrounding area that was later incorporated. After many proposals had been submitted and rejected, the first line (trunk line) between Stralauer Thor (not far from today's Warschauer Strasse station ) and Zoologischer Garten station was inaugurated on February 15, 1902 ; it got a branch to Potsdamer Platz . It was still largely designed as an elevated railway. Plans for further compounds followed immediately: in particular, the then still independent cities Wilmersdorf, Schöneberg and Charlottenburg began to design, which soon up to Dahlem in the southwest, the own routes German stadium in the West as well (for now) the Spittelmarkt in Berlin city should lead .

Even before the First World War and the amalgamation of many independent communities to form Greater Berlin in 1920, plans were drawn up for a city-owned subway route between Wedding and Tempelhof or Neukölln , the so-called North-South Railway , and a few stations and tunnel sections finished in shell. This includes, for example, the Leopoldplatz station (meanwhile extensively rebuilt, today U6). The AEG took its own underground, the GN-Bahn from Gesundbrunnen on Alexanderplatz to Leinestraße in Neukölln in attack. However, the construction of these new lines was slow due to the global economic crisis and hyperinflation . In the 1930s, an underground line was added between Alexanderplatz and Friedrichsfelde . All of these new lines - in contrast to the existing ones - were built for a larger car profile (large profile) .

Large parts of the subway network were damaged or destroyed during the Second World War . In addition, there was a water ingress due to the blasting of the tunnel ceiling of the north-south tunnel of the Berlin S-Bahn under the Landwehr Canal , which flooded large parts of the subway tunnels via a connecting passage at Friedrichstrasse station. Nevertheless, the war damage was repaired quickly, so that the subway could soon run again on the entire route network.

The next crisis was followed by the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961, which the West from the eastern part separated the city. Today's U2 underground line was also separated into a western and an eastern part. The north-south lines ran without stopping through the so-called “ ghost stations ” in the eastern part. The Friedrichstrasse station was an exception . It was a border crossing to East Berlin and a transfer point to the north-south S-Bahn and light rail. For the volume of traffic within what was then the city district of Mitte, which was served by the two north-south lines until the border was closed, two bus lines were set up following the course of the underground.

Especially after the building of the wall, the S-Bahn belonging to the Deutsche Reichsbahn was largely boycotted by the West Berliners (“The S-Bahn driver pays the barbed wire”) and the U-Bahn became even more important for mass traffic in the island city.

During the Cold War , the underground network in West Berlin was therefore greatly expanded. A north-south connection was created with the underground line U9, bypassing the eastern part of the city; the U7 established a connection between Rudow in the southeast and Spandau in the west. The lines U6 (former north-south railway ) and U8 (former GN railway ) have also been expanded. In East Berlin, on the other hand, only the large-profile line E (today: U5 ) was extended out of town; in 1973 the Tierpark station was reopened. In 1988/1989, line E was extended to the outskirts of Hönow to develop the large new building areas . However, as in the western part of the city, there were generous subway plans, such as a line to Weißensee .

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the separate subway networks were reconnected and the “ghost stations” in the eastern part of the city reopened. Since then, some routes have been extended, mainly to create connections to the S-Bahn. In addition, the plans to extend the U5 to the north-western center of the city, which had existed since the 1930s, were taken up again. The route, also known as the “ Chancellor U-Bahn ”, which has only been running between the Brandenburg Gate via the Bundestag and the main train station since August 8, 2009 - separated from the rest of the network - is called the U55 until it connects with the U5 line coming from Alexanderplatz . The link between the U55 ( Hauptbahnhof - Brandenburg Gate ) and the U5 (Alexanderplatz - Hönow) is expected to be under construction until 2020.


The underground lines since May 7, 2018

Current lines

The Berlin underground network was operated with a few line branches in earlier times. In the post-war period , however, almost all lines were rebuilt so that they now run independently of each other and without crossing. The only exception today is the section between Wittenbergplatz and Warschauer Straße, which is shared by the U1 and U3 lines.

During the rush hour , the lines are used every 4 or 5 minutes, in the off- peak time every 5 or 10 minutes. There are also since 2003 in the nights from Friday to Saturday and from Saturday to Sunday at an underground night traffic at 15-minute intervals. Except for the U4, all lines will then run. On the remaining nights, night buses run every 30 minutes parallel to the underground lines.

The subway network comprises nine lines:

line route profile Installation Length in km Stations Travel time in min Average
speed in km / h
U1 Uhlandstrasse - Warschauer Strasse Small profile 1902-1926 9.0 13 21st 26.3
U2 Pankow - quiet life Small profile 1902-2000 20.7 29 47 26.4
U3 Warschauer Strasse - Krumme Lanke Small profile 1913-1961 18.9 24 40 28.4
U4 Nollendorfplatz - Innsbrucker Platz Small profile 1910 2.9 5 6th 28.6
U5 Alexanderplatz - Hönow Large profile 1930-1989 18.4 20th 33 33.6
U6 Alt-Tegel - Alt-Mariendorf Large profile 1923-1966 19.9 29 38 31.4
U7 Town hall Spandau - Rudow Large profile 1924-1984 31.8 40 57 33.7
U8 Wittenau - Hermannstrasse Large profile 1927-1996 18.0 24 36 30.1
U9 Rathaus Steglitz - Osloer Strasse Large profile 1961-1976 12.5 18th 23 32.7
Underground train ( series HK ) of the U12 line on the
Warschauer Straße viaduct

U12The U12 line was a night service from 1993 to 2003. For relevant occasions such as construction work or major events, a U12 line ran from Warschauer Straße in the direction of Ruhleben later (most recently: 2015) .

U55The U55 line was operated between 2009 and 2020 between the main train station and the Brandenburg Gate.

The lines with the most passengers are the large-profile lines U7 and U9, followed by the U6. In the small profile, the U2 transports the most passengers, while the U4 has the least in the overall network.

The changeover of the line designations from letters to numbers took place in West Berlin on March 1, 1966. At that time, in the small-profile network, the main route of line B with line branch A I became line 1, A II became line 2, and B II became line 3 , the B I to line 4 and the A III to line 5. In the large-profile network, the trunk line of line C with line branch C II became line 6, line branch C I became line 7, line D became line 8 and line G. for line 9. In 1984, in the course of the takeover of the S-Bahn by the BVG, the U-Bahn lines were prefixed with the letter “U” (or “S” for the S-Bahn), for example, the line became that way 1 the U1.

Planned line expansion

Expansion of the Berlin high-speed rail network according to the FNP plan drawing of the January 2019 work card with an expected number of 2021

The map on the right and the following table show the long-term plans and route clearances for the Berlin subway network in accordance with the Berlin land use plan (new stations are shown in italics in the table ):

line Planned final result
U1 Frankfurter Tor - Mexikoplatz 26 stations approx. 20.5 km

According to the valid work card of the zoning plan from 2019, the current U1 from the eastern terminus Warschauer Straße is to be extended by one station to the Frankfurter Tor underground station ( U5 ). However, newer BVG ideas from 2014 instead provide for the line to be extended by two stations via Modersohn Bridge to Ostkreuz . In the west, the Wittenbergplatz - Uhlandstrasse route is to be separated (converted to a large profile) and integrated into a new U3 line (see there). The existing U3 line would then be part of the U1 and in the future be expanded by one station in the southwest to the Mexikoplatz S-Bahn station ( S1 ). Older plans included a further extension to the Düppel S-Bahn station , which, however, has not been reopened since its closure in September 1980.

U2 Pankow Church - outskirts street 38 stations approx. 28.8 km

In 2000, the extension of the U2 to Pankow station ( S2 / S8 / S85 ) was completed. In the future, this route is to be extended by one station in the north to Pankow Church. The plans for an extension via Ossietzkyplatz and Schillerstraße to Rosenthaler Weg have been abandoned. In the west, the line has not yet got beyond the Ruhleben station , but an extension to the outskirts of the city in Spandau is planned. The following stations are planned from Ruhleben : Ruhlebener Straße (possibly transition to the S-Bahn), Schulenburgstraße, Spandau Town Hall ( U7 , platforms for the U2 are already there), Askanierring , Zeppelinstraße, Recklinghausener Weg, Posthausweg and Falkenhagener Feld (Stadtrandstraße) .

U3 Adenauerplatz - Falkenberg 25 stations approx. 19.0 km

A new large-profile line is planned under the name U3. This should be from Adenauerplatz (U7) via Wielandstraße , Uhlandstraße (U1), Kurfürstendamm (U1), Wittenbergplatz (U1, U2, U3), Lützowplatz , Magdeburger Platz , Kulturforum , Potsdamer Platz (U2, S1, S2, S25), city center / Leipziger Straße (U2, U6), Dönhoffplatz , Rotes Rathaus (U5), Alexanderplatz (U2, U5, U8, S3, S5, S7, S9), Mollstraße / Am Friedrichshain (planned U11 ), Immanuelkirchstraße , Danziger Straße , Greifswalder Straße ( S41, S42, S8, S85), Ostseestraße , Antonplatz , Buschallee , Rathaus Weißensee , Ribnitzer Straße , Zingster Straße , Hohenschönhausen (S75) to Falkenberg . The plan to run this route westwards via Joachim-Friedrich-Straße , Westkreuz and Messe Nord / ICC to Theodor-Heuss-Platz (U2) is no longer included in the land use plan (FNP). In the 1950s, thought was even given to extending this extension via Pichelsdorf and Spandau to Hakenfelde . Likewise, the previously planned branch line from the Weißensee town hall via Malchow-West and Blankenburg-Ost to Karow-Süd (U35) was taken out of the planning.

U4 Genthiner Strasse - Innsbrucker Platz 6 stations approx. 3.7 km

At the southern end of the route, an extension would be technically very complex - the previously existing tunnel to Eisackstrasse had been interrupted during the construction of the city ​​motorway tunnel at Innsbrucker Platz . In the north, the route of the U4 is to be expanded by one station, so a junction station with the future Weißensee U-Bahn (see U3 plans) could be built at Magdeburger Platz.

U5 Airport Berlin-Tegel - Hönow 33 stations approx. 29.6 km

In the east there will probably be no extension, because the city limits are already reached with the Hönow underground station . In the west, on the other hand, the route of the U5 line will be extended in December 2020 from the Alexanderplatz underground station via the Rotes Rathaus , Museumsinsel , Unter den Linden (transition to the U6) to the Brandenburger Tor station to the section of the route that was already in operation in August 2009, the is now served by the interim line U55 . This route of the U55 (the so-called "Kanzler-U-Bahn") is then served by the extended U5 and this leads to the main station (S3, S5, S7, S9). The construction of the missing section from Alexanderplatz to the Brandenburg Gate began in 2011. There are plans for a further western extension of the U5 via Fritz-Schloß-Park to Turmstraße ( U9 ) and further via Waldstraße , Wiebestraße to Jungfernheide ( U7 , S41, S42) identified in the FNP as an urgent requirement, but its implementation was abandoned in favor of a tram line under construction. The further extension via Heckerdamm to Tegel Airport is also unlikely. A previously planned further extension via Cité Pasteur Nord , Scharnweberstraße ( U6 ), Eichborndamm to Reinickendorfer Rathaus ( U8 ) is no longer included in the current FNP .

U6 Alt-Tegel - Alt-Mariendorf 29 stations 19.9 km

No extensions are planned for this line at the north and south ends. Demands to extend the line south from Alt-Mariendorf to Lichtenrade were never included in a plan. However, there are considerations, which are advocated by site developers, after the final shutdown of Tegel Airport and the associated construction of a high-tech center "Urban Tech Republic", branch off the U6 from Kurt-Schumacher-Platz station and continue west onto the airport site. A feasibility study from 2020 presented five variants under the working title U65, specifying 15,000 passengers per day. As part of the extension of the U5, the Französische Straße station will be closed and replaced by the new Unter den Linden junction station, where a transition to the U5 will be possible.

U7 Rudolf-Wissell-Siedlung - Berlin Brandenburg Airport 48 stations approx. 40.8 km

In the south-east, an extension of the U7 south to Berlin Brandenburg Airport is planned in the long term. The following stations are planned from Rudow: Lieselotte-Berger-Platz , Schönefeld-Nord , Schönefeld (S45, S9) and Berlin Brandenburg Airport (S45, S9). However, this extension is no longer included in the current cost estimates for the airport expansion. Considerations on this were made in 2003 when the urban development plan for traffic was drawn up, but implementation was refrained from due to the development of the airport by S-Bahn and airport express. The U7 is to be extended step by step: After closing the gap between the Rudow underground station and the Schönefeld S-Bahn station, “the line can be extended to the BER terminal in a second step,” they say. In the northwest, plans envisage that the route of the U7 to the Rudolf-Wissell-Siedlung in Staaken will be extended. From the Spandau town hall the stations Seeburger Straße, Melanchthonplatz , Fahremundstraße and Rudolf-Wissell-Siedlung are planned in the FNP . A feasibility study from 2020 presented an estimate of the southern expansion to Schönefeld-Nord (without connection to BER), and indicates 20,000 passengers per day.

U8 Märkisches Viertel - Hermannstrasse 26 stations approx. 19.7 km

A further extension to the south beyond the Hermannstraße underground station is not planned. In the 1950s and 1960s they wanted to extend this route to Britz and at times even to Buckow. In the north, it was planned for years to extend the subway by two stations (Eichhorster Weg and Märkisches Viertel) to the densely populated Märkisches Viertel ; the route will also be kept free for the short extension in the future. A feasibility study is examining an extension by one or two stations under Wilhelmsruher Damm as well as an extension to Senftenberger Ring . Between the stations Rathaus Reinickendorf and Wittenau , another station called Alt-Wittenau has been prepared. This can be completed at short notice if required. A feasibility study from 2020 examined three variants, and indicates 25,000 passengers per day.

U9 Osloer Strasse - Lankwitz Church 22 stations approx. 15.7 km

For years, the people of Lankwitz have been waiting for an extension of the U9 from Steglitz Town Hall via Neue Filandastraße , Halskestraße to Lankwitz S-Bahn station (S25) and on to Lankwitz Church . But not much has happened to this day - on the contrary: plots of land that had been kept free for the extended route for a long time, such as Mittelstrasse, have meanwhile been developed. Another previously planned extension via Gallwitzallee, Tautenburger Strasse and Maximilian-Kaller-Strasse to Marienfelde , Waldsassener Strasse (where a depot should also be built) has not been planned for a long time. The shell of the future Rathaus Steglitz platform is finished. A northern extension of the U9 via Wollankstraße to Pankow , which would create transfer options to the northern branches of the S-Bahn and in Pankow also to the U2 and the tram, is being considered in the public transport requirement plan. Previous plans included an end point at Pankow Church for both the U9 and the U2 . With the possible extensions in the north as well as in the south, it has not yet been decided whether a subway and / or a tram should be built on these axes.

U10 Weißensee - Drakestrasse ... stations approx. ... km

The route of what would later be called the U10 subway line was a re-planning that began in the late 1920s. The route was to run from Weißensee via the Alexanderplatz underground station to Berlin-Schöneberg in the Potsdamer Strasse street . The planning was later extended to Steglitz in the south . At times it was even planned to run this line to Drakestrasse in Lichterfelde ( 200-kilometer plan from 1977). The line color black was even assigned by the BVG. The planning has since been abandoned. However, there are a number of preliminary construction work according to the original plans, so that this line was nicknamed the "phantom line". Alexanderplatz station has the necessary tracks. The Rotes Rathaus station has a second platform in the shell, the Potsdamer Platz station is prepared for a U10. The shell of the Kleistpark and Innsbrucker Platz stations has been completed. The Schloßstraße including the train station was expanded to two floors. The part of the Rathaus Steglitz underground station planned for the U10 is currently used by the U9. The section from Weißensee to Potsdamer Platz is still included in the current plans (see U3).

U11 Central station - Glambecker Ring 21 stations approx. 15.8 km

The subway line U11 is also a completely new plan and, according to the current work card of the zoning plan from 2019, should lead from the main station to Glambecker Ring in Marzahn . A start of construction is not planned yet, the route is not classified as urgent due to a well-developed tram route. The route would have the following stations: Hauptbahnhof (planned S21 , S3, S5, S7, S9 and U5), Natural History Museum (U6), Nordbahnhof (S1, S2, S25 and S26), Rosenthaler Platz (U8), Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz (U2), Mollstraße / Am Friedrichshain (planned extension of U3 ), United Nations Square , Langenbeckstraße , Landsberger Allee (S41, S42, S8 and S85), Franz-Jacob-Straße , Weißenseer Weg , Vulkanstraße , Arendsweg , Rhinstraße , Bürknersfelde (S75), Marzahn (S7), Marzahner Promenade , Allee der Kosmonauten , Ringenwalder Straße and Glambecker Ring .


The Berlin underground network has a route length of around 146.6 kilometers and 173 underground stations. The U7 line runs on the longest stretch of 32 kilometers. It is the longest rail line in Germany that runs completely in the tunnel. The shortest route at 1.8 kilometers is used by the U55 line, which was provisionally set up since it opened in August 2009. Similar to the London network, there are two different clearance profiles, the so-called small and large profiles, for routes and vehicles with wagon widths of 2.30 and 2.65 meters.

The structures of the Berlin subway are assigned to the routes. The total length of the structures in 2001 was 46.195 km in the small profile and 106.577 km in the large profile. The structures on route E that were built with the opening of the U55 underground line in 2006 are not yet included in the statistics.

A distinction between the route and line names did not emerge until 1966, when the West Berlin BVG introduced continuous numbering of the lines with Arabic numerals to simplify passenger information . The U-Bahn line on the Kreuzberg trunk line, the oldest section of the Berlin elevated and underground railway, became Line 1 (previously: Line B). The inner city line built later became line 2 (previously: line A). The line numbers 3, 4 and temporarily 5 were assigned to the small-profile lines in the west of Berlin connected to this network.

The first large profile line in Berlin (with branches C I and C II ) from the 1920s, which was built later, was consequently given the name Line 6 . The branch to Neukölln (branch C I ) was expanded to become an independent line 7 at the time the line names were changed. The route structure of line 7 was renamed H for better delimitation and to reflect the new independence.

The other large profile routes in West Berlin, those of line 8 (route D) and line 9 (route G), were numbered consecutively according to their opening years. Since the small profile line 5 no longer existed at the time of the reunification of the two halves of the city, the former line E , which ran in East Berlin, was assigned the U5.

The construction of the Weißensee – Alexanderplatz – Schöneberg line was closely linked to the establishment of line E in the 1920s. This route was the construction of the community station under the Alexanderplatz considered as constructed provisions and hence the name given line F . Even after the division of the city, the West Berlin Senate pursued the old plans for Line F, so that further storage buildings were built on Line F, which is now being planned as far as Steglitz. A joint structure for the F and G routes was built under Steglitzer Schloßstraße . A special feature of the current changes here subway line U9 for a short distance on the structure of the route F .

The subway lines have the following names:

route Endpoints Clearance profile Driving
on line
Building length
A. Pankow - Wittenbergplatz Small profile U2 (A, A I , A II ) 33.516 km
A I Wittenbergplatz - Ruhleben Small profile U2
A II Wittenbergplatz - Krumme Lanke Small profile U3
B. Warschauer Strasse - Nollendorfplatz Small profile U1 U3 (B, B I , B II ) 12.679 km
B I Nollendorfplatz - Innsbrucker Platz Small profile U4 approx. 2.9 km
B II Nollendorfplatz - Uhlandstrasse Small profile U1 U3
C. Alt-Tegel - Alt-Mariendorf Large profile U6 20.712 km
D. Wittenau - Hermannstrasse Large profile U8 18.899 km
E. Alexanderplatz - Hönow Large profile U5 19.614 km
E. Central station - Brandenburg Gate Large profile Out of service 1,898 km
E. Brandenburg Gate - Alexanderplatz Large profile under construction 1,867 km
F. Walther-Schreiber-Platz - Steglitz Town Hall Large profile U9 1.536 km
G Osloer Strasse - Steglitz Town Hall Large profile U9 13.048 km
H Rudow - Spandau Town Hall Large profile U7 32.768 km

The route A III (Deutsche Oper - Richard-Wagner-Platz) was closed for passenger traffic in 1970. It now serves as an operating route between the small and large profile networks.

The operations control center of the Berlin U-Bahn is located in a building in the U-Bahn workshop in Friedrichsfelde. From there, operations are monitored and intervention is made in the event of malfunctions.

Train stations

The hermannplatz ( U7 )

In addition to its designation, each station is provided with an abbreviation consisting of one to four letters, which is intended for internal purposes. The abbreviations are used, among other things, to precisely identify the platform level, for example at crossing stations. The abbreviations of older stations were given a capital letter and possibly the following lower case letters, whereas the stations that have been newly opened or renamed since German reunification only have abbreviations with capital letters.

Among the 173 high and underground stations there are some that stand out from others due to their special features:

The comparatively highly frequented Hermannplatz transfer station resembles a sacred building in its design . The station is seven meters high, 132 meters long and 22 meters wide. It was built in connection with the construction of the north-south subway. Since the Karstadt department store was opened on Hermannplatz during the construction , the Karstadt Group paid a comparatively large sum of money to design this building and was given direct access to the bus stop, which still exists today. Another special feature is that the first escalators for the underground were opened here. Today the lines U7 and U8 meet here.

Alexanderplatz underground station ( U8 ) before its renovation, here in 2004/2005

Even the Alexanderplatz has some special features. The number of underground lines (U2, U5, U8) running there is comparatively high at three, only the Nollendorfplatz underground station has more lines with four lines (U1-U4). The first part of the station was built in 1913 on the route of today's U2 line. In the 1920s, the square was completely redesigned both above and below ground, because at that time the platforms for the lines D (now line U8) and E (now U5) were built. The renovation of the station was designed by the main underground architect Alfred Grenander . The result was a sober, blue-green subway station. When it was built, Berlin's first underground shopping mall was opened, which can be seen today when changing between lines U2 and U8.

Entrance of the Wittenbergplatz underground station ( U1 , U2 and U3 )

The Wittenbergplatz station was built in 1902 according to plans by Paul Wittig as a simple station with two side platforms. In 1912, the station was completely redesigned based on designs by Alfred Grenander , as two new lines, in the direction of Dahlem and Kurfürstendamm , had been added. Now a train station was built with five tracks and three adjacent platforms, a sixth track had been prepared. This redesign also included the new reception building, which was built in a representative manner to match Wittenbergplatz and the nearby Kaufhaus des Westens (KaDeWe). Today the lines U1, U2 and U3 come together here.

Gleisdreieck - platform of the U2 (lower platform)

The name of the Gleisdreieck station goes back to a track layout that no longer exists today. The triangle itself was built until the opening year 1902. There were plans for a conversion early on, as the layout of the route no longer met the needs. The decisive factor was an accident on September 26, 1908, in which between 18 and 21 people died. The renovation and expansion of today's tower station lasted with ongoing operations until 1912. After the Second World War , operations were resumed on October 21 (lower platform) and November 18 (upper platform) 1945. However, the line to Pankow was interrupted in August 1961 by the construction of the wall . From 1972 onwards there was no longer any train running on the lower platform, because the operation of the U2 line to Gleisdreieck was not worthwhile due to the parallel traffic with the U1 line. The lower platform was reactivated as early as 1983, when the test track of the driverless maglev train ( M-Bahn ) was built from Gleisdreieck to Kemperplatz station. However, this was dismantled after the fall of the Wall , as it blocked the operation of the through-going U2 that was to be reopened. The U2 and U1 trains have been crossing here again since 1993.

The stations of the U3 line (formerly: Line A) of the city ​​of Wilmersdorf , which was independent until the regional reform of 1920, are strikingly beautifully designed between Hohenzollernplatz and Breitenbachplatz . The Heidelberger Platz subway station stands out with its cathedral-like hall construction. Of the old train stations, it is the only one that has a double height, which resulted from the fact that the circular railway crossed in a lower position at the southern exit. The direct transition to the S-Bahn was not set up until it was restarted in 1993. The Dahlem-Dorf underground station has a thatched half-timbered reception building.

In the early days of the subway, platforms were built with different lengths, sometimes even with different lengths on one line. In the meantime, all stations have been expanded so that six-car trains (train length around 100 meters) can run on all large-profile lines and eight-car trains (train length around 110 meters) can run on the heavily used small-profile lines. New buildings have only been built to this standard since the 1950s.

From August to October 2015, the BVG experimented with free WiFi access in the Osloer Straße underground station . After a positive response and a successful test phase, the extension to the remaining underground stations in the route network followed. Since July 2016, the stations have been continuously connected to the free WiFi, so that only 13 stations are missing (as of January 2, 2017). The access points are usually in the middle of the platform. The free offer is also intended to appeal to tourists in Berlin who do not have a mobile phone contract with a German provider, thus further stimulating Berlin tourism. The costs for this first expansion stage amount to around 4.9 million euros.

Route expansion

Since August 8, 2009, the U55 underground line has been running between the Hauptbahnhof , Bundestag and Brandenburg Gate stations . In May 2010, preparatory work for the extension of the U5 line on the 2.2 kilometer section from Alexanderplatz to the Brandenburg Gate began. The symbolic groundbreaking ceremony was set at the Rotes Rathaus . According to the capital city contract, the construction work should and must be completed by 2020 . The planned new stations are Rotes Rathaus , Museuminsel and Unter den Linden as a junction station for the U6, which will then replace the Französische Straße underground station due to the short distance . The short line U55 merges with the U5. According to this, the BVG expects 100,000 passengers a day. With the exception of the Museum Island train station, the opening is on December 4, 2020.

Feasibility studies are currently being carried out for further expansions. In particular, the Berlin Senate is examining the extension of line 7 from Rudow to BER Airport .

Since the 1990s, barrier-free , i.e. unimpeded usability for people with wheelchairs, prams or walkers has been primarily established in Berlin's local transport , which is evident on the one hand in the level of vehicles and platforms, for buses and trams on low-floor vehicles, and on the other hand in the construction Requires appropriate ramps and elevators at the train stations and stops. The latter should be completed by 2020 for all 173 stations of the subway network, in mid-January 2020 this was fulfilled for 131 stations. In addition to the relevant standards, a guidance system for the blind is also installed.

Former train stations

Hochbahnhof Stralauer T (h) or am Osthafen in the opening year 1902

Stralauer Tor is the name of a former underground station in Berlin , located on the northern side of the Spree between the stations Warschauer Straße and Schlesisches Tor . It opened in 1902 and renamed Osthafen in1924before beingcompletely destroyedin World War II. Today only the pillars on the viaduct can be seen . As the only underground station destroyed in the war, it was not rebuilt.

The Potsdamer Platz underground station, which opened on February 18, 1902 , was closed on September 28, 1907. As a replacement, a new train station called Leipziger Platz was opened around 120 meters north , which was later renamed Potsdamer Platz . The old platform was demolished. Today there is a siding on this area.

The Nürnberger Platz underground station was closed on July 1, 1959 because the Spichernstraße station was built in the immediate vicinity as a transfer option to the new line G (today: U9 ) using the wide sweeping track tunnel of the Nürnberger Platz station (direction Hohenzollernplatz ). Today there is nothing left of this subway station. The greater width of the tunnel due to the former platform was used for the construction of two sweeping tracks at Spichernstrasse station. The new Augsburger Strasse station was built to replace the demolished station .

From May 14, 1906 to May 1, 1970, there was an underground station at Richard-Wagner-Platz in Charlottenburg, which was called Wilhelmplatz until January 31, 1935 and was then called Richard-Wagner-Platz . The line was put into operation in 1906 as an extension from the Knie train station (today: Ernst-Reuter-Platz underground station ); after the Bismarckstraße station (today: Deutsche Oper underground station ) it turned off towards Wilhelmplatz. The former western end point of the main line was only served by shuttle trains between the last two stations in the post-war period, initially under the name A III, and from 1966 as line 5 . On May 2, 1970, the station was closed due to the construction of the U7 and replaced by the Richard-Wagner-Platz underground station that opened on this line on April 28, 1978 . The former mainline tracks still run as operating tracks as far as the southern entrance to the station.

Unused stations and tunnels

The unused subway station Oranienplatz
Construction work for a route extension is under the pedestrian underpass on Masurenallee at the corner of Messedamm

In Berlin there are already numerous preliminary construction work for planned underground lines. The shell of an underground station for a future line from Charlottenburg to Weißensee is located at Potsdamer Platz . However, the chances of realization are very slim. In the course of temporary use, events are often held in the underground station .

A planned station Oranienplatz (Dresdener Straße) was built during the construction of the former line D (today's U8 ) . For a long time it was used as a switch point by the energy supplier Bewag . The straight line of the underground line under Dresdener Straße was discarded in favor of a connection to Moritzplatz . This explains the 90-degree curve between the Moritzplatz and Kottbusser Tor train stations . At that time, the section of the tunnel under Dresdener Strasse was only partially single-track. Today it is divided into three parts, because during the GDR times this tunnel was closed with a wall on the above-ground border line. Another concrete wall separates the tunnel from the aforementioned Oranienplatz station. Due to static problems and the insufficient load-bearing capacity for the Dresdener Straße above, the tunnel was filled in by July 2015.

For an underground line U10 planned earlier, but discarded after the political change, train stations or porches were completed at the underground stations Rathaus Steglitz , Schloßstraße , Walther-Schreiber-Platz , Innsbrucker Platz and Kleistpark . The Schloßstraße station was designed as a transfer station with directional platforms one above the other. On one side, the U9 line leads to Rathaus Steglitz or Osloer Straße in the Gesundbrunnen district , but it runs on the tracks that were actually intended for the U10 and uses the platform and the associated sweeping system at the Rathaus Steglitz terminus. The other platforms are unused and can sometimes be visited during tours.

At the Jungfernheide underground station , a two-story underground station has been built for the extended U5 , similar to the one under Schloßstraße . The unused platform sides are cordoned off with fences. The tunnel connection in the direction of Tegel Airport , which has already been built , is used as a fire service training facility.

Another tunnel that once connected the route of today's U4 line with a workshop in Otzenstrasse ( Schöneberg ) still partially exists. The siding at Innsbrucker Platz train station was demolished during the construction of the motorway tunnel in the early 1970s. The adjoining tunnel, starting under Eisackstrasse, is still about 270 meters long and ends at the former exit to the Schöneberger Linie workshop in Otzenstrasse. Today there is a school on the site of the former workshop.

A section of tunnel about 60 meters long is located at the intersection of Masurenallee / Messedamm at the International Congress Center (ICC). It was built together with the large pedestrian underpass there directly below and is held for a connection Uhlandstraße - Theodor-Heuss-Platz, which is long-term past the Adenauerplatz underground station and extended as a newly planned underground line U3 , and is used as a warehouse during this time. At the Adenauerplatz underground station itself, there is already a shell for this line, which was part of the construction of line 7 and the road tunnel there.

At the Rathaus Spandau train station , two track troughs and platform edges were built as a preliminary service for the integration of an extended U2 line.

Clearance profiles

Different vehicle types at a glance: from the left HK , GI and AII (small profile), BII , DL and H (large profile)

The clearance profiles of the two Berlin subway systems are referred to as small profile and large profile . These subway systems themselves are usually also referred to as small and large profiles for short . With the same track width of 1435 mm ( standard gauge ) but different vehicle geometry, these are not compatible with each other. The differences between the side traction power supply and the signaling technology, on the other hand, do not represent a technical necessity, but the respective state of the art at the time of its development. In addition to their own vehicles and routes, both systems also have their own depots and workshops, so that operation is generally completely independent. Both networks were originally not connected to one another at all; For operational reasons, however, connections were established in 1952 in what was then the eastern part of Berlin and even later, in 1978, in the western part of Berlin, which of course had to remain limited to the common features of both standards. These can be used, for example, to switch diesel- powered work trains from one network to the other.

Small profile

Kleinprofilzug of the type A3 in the subway station Krumme Lanke 1987


The first (1896–1913) built routes of the Berlin subway were designed for vehicles with a width of 2.3 m, which corresponded to the width of a tram car of the time . Accordingly, the tunnel profile is small and corresponds to the vehicle dimensions customary around 1900. Since the small-profile vehicles offer less capacity than the large-profile vehicles, there were several plans to convert the entire subway network to large-profile vehicles. However, these are no longer current.

The small-profile sections are provided with a busbar attached to the side and painted from above , the polarity of which is positive. The eastern section of the U2 (then called Line A), however, was after the construction of the Berlin Wall and the sectioning Recast merger of the two sections 1993 negative polarity Operating trips to the large profile line E and the resident company workshop Friedrichsfelde changing to avoid polarity.


The lines of the small-profile subway carry the line numbers U1 to U4. The branch line line 5 (Deutsche Oper - Richard-Wagner-Platz) was discontinued with the expansion of the U7.

The platform height is around 850 mm above the top of the rail . The upper edge of the floor of the new HK and IK series is 875 mm, that of the older series is 990 mm.

The A3 series cars are 12.83 m long (length over the coupling), 2300 mm wide and 3180 mm high. The smallest operational unit that can be used in passenger transport is the double multiple unit . Up to four double railcars are coupled together in regular passenger service. The cars of the GI series are 60 mm wider and 10 mm higher. The smallest operational unit is the double multiple unit, the smallest unit that can be used in passenger transport is the four-car train. In the latest HK and IK series , four wagons are permanently coupled and can be walked through with bellows , so that only four or eight-wagon trains can be formed with these series. The length over the coupling of a four-car train is 51.59 m for the HK series and 51.64 m for the IK series. The wagons of the IK series and future JK are 10 cm wider ( cambered ) at waist height . All cars of the small profile only have seats facing the direction of travel.

Large profile

Large-profile train of the D series in the Hönow underground station


Since 1923, when the first large-profile line was opened to traffic, all new lines have been built in this profile. In contrast to the small-profile cars, the vehicles used are around 2.65 m wide.

These vehicles are powered by a busbar that is also attached to the side but is coated from below. In contrast to the small-profile network, the polarity is negative.

In addition to the new construction projects, there are also plans to convert a section of today's U1 to a large profile. This will later be extended beyond Alexanderplatz . A tunnel section was widened with the construction of the U9 and the Kurfürstendamm underground station .


The large profile routes have the line numbers U5 to U9.

The platform height is around 925 mm (900 mm for old systems) above the top of the rail. The upper edge of the floor of the new H series is 950 mm, that of the older series is 1050 mm.

The F series cars are 15.85 m long; 2640 mm wide and 3400 mm high. Two to six F-cars can be operated together. While the F series mostly has transverse seats, the H series cars have longitudinal seats. The only exception is the H train number 5018, whose carriages 2 to 5 were experimentally given transverse seats and have kept them to this day. The six carriages of an H-Zug are fully accessible and 98.74 m long.

Connection points of the networks

There is a transition from the small to the large profile at two points in the network, where work vehicles can be exchanged between the network components. The first is located behind the Klosterstrasse underground station on the U2 in the direction of Alexanderplatz and leads to the Waisentunnel , which connects the U5 and U8 lines. It was inaugurated on the 50th anniversary of the underground in 1952 and is named Klostertunnel after its location . The second is between the Deutsche Oper underground station on the U2 and Richard-Wagner-Platz underground station on the U7 . This tunnel has existed since 1906 and was originally used by a small-profile line as a branch of the U2 trunk line. Since the opening of the U7, this tunnel, which has now been closed to passengers, can be used to connect the two lines.

Vehicle types

U-Bahn series AI (T4) from 1926, on a special trip in 2007

The underground network is divided into a small profile (U1, U2, U3, U4) and a large profile (U5, U55, U6, U7, U8, U9). The terms large and small profile refer to the size of the car bodies. The wagons of the large profile are 2.65 m wide and 3.40 m high, those of the small profile are only 2.30 m wide and 3.10 m high. The wagon length is also greater for the large profile than for the small profile, which has proven to be advantageous over the various train generations. A six-car train of the large profile is now about the length of an eight-car train of the small profile. Technically, there are two different rail networks. Both networks use the standard gauge (1435 mm gauge), but in contrast to the railway with rails without rail inclination and (when new) cylindrical wheel tires, and run on direct current with a nominal voltage of 750 volts. Since the large and small sections use different conductor rail constructions (the current collectors of the vehicles on the small section lines coat the conductor rail from above, those of the vehicles on the large section lines from below), joint operation on the same line is in principle not possible. However, from 1923 to 1927 on the north-south railway (today: U6) and from 1945 to 1968 on line E (today: U5), there were also small-profile wagons whose pantographs were adapted for large-profile lines and those with them additional wooden planks were provided on the side to reduce the gap between the platform edge and the train. These were mockingly called flower boards by the Berliners .

The polarity of the busbars of the two systems is different, with the small profile the busbar is the positive pole, the runways are the negative pole, with the large profile it is the other way around, whereby the runways are (of course) at ground potential . In East Berlin the polarity of the section Thälmannplatz / Otto-Grotewohl-Straße - Pankow, Vinetastraße was operated with the same polarity as for the large profile in order to facilitate the vehicle transfer to the workshop in Friedrichsfelde. After the fall of the Wall , the BVG reversed this difference in the polarity of the small profile routes, although it has technical advantages (the corrosion of the metal parts in the tunnel is less due to the polarity of the large profile).

The latest subway series is called H for the large profile and IK for the small profile, whereby trains of the IK series have also been upgraded for use on large profile lines with some conversion measures (including gap bridging). The oldest vehicles still in use are in the large profile series F74 and in the small profile series A364 / 66E.

On the Berlin subway, automatic announcements are used to draw attention to the next station as well as acoustic and optical signals to indicate that the door is closing.

A passenger TV program, the Berliner Fenster , can be received on all lines . It took a total of three years until almost all 1106 cars were equipped with the dual monitors. Only the A3E, A3L82 and HK series did not receive any monitors.

The underground trains also had smoking compartments until 1976 and separate compartments for the second and third class of cars until 1927 .

On January 1, 2016, at the instigation of Finance Senator Kollatz-Ahnen , the BVG founded the vehicle financing company (FFG) in order to take into account the ever increasing problems of vehicle shortages on the one hand and the expansion of the range on the other. Starting in 2020, BVG ordered 220 trams and 273 underground cars worth around 3.1 billion euros for the next 15 years.

The cars on the Berlin subway have not yet been air-conditioned.

Small profile types

Series for the small profile network
Type Construction year delivered / stock
AI 1901-1904 66 railcars (Tw)
+ 38 sidecars (Bw)
1906-1913 160 Tw + 137 Bw,
continuous train control
1924-1926 135 Tw + 76 Bw, steel car
AI S 1910 + 1912 18 Tw, Schöneberg
AII (Amanullah chariot) 1928/1929 96 + 10 Tw, 96 Bw
A3-60 1960/1961 8/0, double tw
A3-64 1964 25 / 0.13 double tw were upgraded to A3E
A3-66 1966 21 / 0.16 double tws were upgraded to A3E
A3E 2002-2005 29/28, upgraded from A3-64 and A3-66
A3L66 1966 4/0,
lightweight aluminum construction
A3L67 1967/1968 45/0
A3L71 1972/1973 69/32
(currently all units of this series are being retired)
A3L82 1982/1983 8/0
A3L92 1993-1995 51/50, three-phase drive
G (Gustav) 1974 4/0, double tw
GI (Gisela) 1978-1983 57/0, to North Korea
GII 1983 20/0, to Athens
GI / 1
GI / 1E
52/50 upgraded
HK 2000 2001 4/4, 4-car trains
HK 06 2006/2007 20/20, 4-car trains
IK 15 2015 2/2, 4-car trains
IK 18 2018/2019 27/27, 4-car trains

First vehicles (series AI)

AIU wagons in the
Berlin-Schöneweide freight yard

Two test vehicles were ordered from the Cologne-based van der Zypen & Charlier wagon factory for the first Berlin underground route . One of these vehicles was driven on by Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1908 and was therefore later called the Kaiserwagen . Here it was already determined that the car body should be 2.3 meters wide. At that time, the elevated and underground trains were still very much based on the tram . The first series vehicles with wooden superstructures, appropriately named AI, were built in 1901 in the Warschauer Brücke workshop . When the U-Bahn opened in 1902, 42 railcars and 21 trailer cars were ready for operation. In contrast to the two test vehicles, they had longitudinal seats. This seat shape has been retained in the small-profile cars to this day. The doors had to be closed by hand. At that time, the vehicles could go up to 50 km / h. If the railcars of the first delivery had three traction motors, the railcars were delivered with four motors from the second delivery onwards. This allowed two sidecars to be added.

From 1906 to 1913, the fifth delivery added vehicles that were given better train control. With this, the urgently needed formation of eight-car trains was finally possible.

In 1926, the 18 locomotives of the previously self-sufficient Schöneberg subway were taken over. However, since a connection to the rest of the network was always planned, the trains were built according to the dimensions of the elevated railway company. These railcars had only two instead of four engines, but they drove without a sidecar. The six railcars of the second delivery were converted into sidecars in 1928.

Series AII

From 1928 to 1929 a new, modified series of the small profile was added - the AII wagons. Their most striking feature was that they only had three windows between the two double-leaf sliding doors. In addition, instead of the tensioning buffer coupling (the so-called "elevated railway coupling ") of the AI ​​car, they had automatic Scharfenberg couplings , which also coupled the brake and control lines. These trains were called Ammanullah wagons by Berliners , as the Afghan King Amanullah Khan , who was visiting Berlin in 1928, allegedly drove one of these trains.

A3 series

A3L82 and A3 (with originally existing decorative strips) in the Schlesisches Tor underground station , 1987

After the Second World War , new vehicles were urgently needed to supplement and replace the vehicles that had been in use until then, because they had suffered a lot during the war. So the new A3 series was developed, which was strongly based on the “big brother” D in the large profile. There were three deliveries of these in 1960/1961, 1964 and 1966. However, since they were made of steel, the trains had a major disadvantage: higher power consumption than their predecessor types.

In the meantime, the vehicles of the first delivery series (A3 60) have been taken out of service, the other two delivery series were partly extensively modernized from 2003 to 2005 and the interior was adapted to the A3L92. Their lifespan was increased by a further 16 to 20 years.

A3L / A3L82 / A3L92 series

A3L : In order to save electricity through lighter trains, the A3L was developed on the basis of the A3, made of light metal. In both rows, a change was made to double railcars, in which no sidecars were provided.

A3L82 : In 1982 the modified small series A3L82 was built, which received a so-called "chopper control" (also called DC chopper or GTO thyristor control) for starting. This eliminated the loss of accelerating the train via the resistors. However, the direct current main circuit motors remained with collectors and carbon brushes as wear parts. In this series, however, care was taken to ensure that the units could still run in a train with the older A3 and A3L units.

A3L92 : Between 1993 and 1995, the last A3 series with 56 double multiple units was built for the reunified BVG to replace the GI and GII vehicles from 1974–1983, which were prone to damage. They were based on the A3L82, with now gray interior paneling and not, as in earlier trains, dark brown imitation wood. They were the first small-profile series to feature three-phase AC technology with asynchronous motors. The cars were given the designation A3L92.

G / GI / GII series

GI / 1E series train at Bombardier's Hennigsdorf plant

Prototype series G : While new vehicles were being built and driven in West Berlin , the AI ​​and AII trains from the pre-war period were still running in East Berlin . It was not until 1975 that the Thälmannplatz – Pankow line in East Berlin received four new double multiple units as prototype vehicles of the G series, popularly known in Berlin as Gustav . As before, longitudinal seats were installed. The top speed was 70 km / h. The smallest operational unit in these trains was a four-car train, consisting of two double railcars, as only every second railcar had a driver's cab.

GI : After an intensive test period, the Lokomotivbau Elektrotechnische Werke Hans Beimler Hennigsdorf (LEW) began producing the technically improved GI series from 1978. In the series vehicles now being produced, the undersides of the windows were lower and the front was changed, but technically they remained unchanged from the prototypes of the G series. By 1982 a total of 114 vehicles were produced. There were 24 other vehicles, which were initially transferred to Greece on loan for Line 1 of the Athens Metro , to bridge the gap until delivery of the 8-10 series ordered . Since there is a wider profile there, compensating beads, so-called "flower boards", had to be attached to the car bodies to bridge the gap between the train and the platform edge. The vehicles were given the designation GII and came back to East Berlin from 1985 and were then included in the GI.

Despite being partially upgraded, both series were retired due to frequent malfunctions in the 1990s and around 120 GI series cars were then shipped to North Korea , where they were used on the Pyongyang Metro .

In 1988 GI trains were delivered again, but they had different technical equipment and could therefore no longer be coupled with the older vehicles. Because of these differences, this series was given the abbreviation GI / 1. The vernacular called these trains Gisela . A special feature of the GI trains is that, like the small-profile series from the pre-war period, they only have two doors on one side of the car, while the post-war BVG vehicles always have three doors on each side. 50 double railcars were modernized and converted from 2005 to 2009; u. a. A multi-purpose area was created for bicycles, strollers and luggage. These modernized vehicles are known as GI / 1E .

It is interesting here that the almost 20 year old vehicles were "modernized" by installing almost 40 year old components (including the drive switch unit) from parked DL vehicles. The first two vehicles were presented to the public on October 25, 2005 at a festive roll-out .

The vehicles are used on the U1 and U2 underground lines .

HK series

Based on the large-profile series H, four prototype trains with the series designation HK were created for the small-profile network in Hennigsdorf in 2000 , which were previously to be referred to as A4 . These were delivered from 2001. The delivery of a further 20 four-car trains of this series began in mid-2006, but then had to be interrupted due to problems with the wheelsets. The remaining vehicles followed from July 2007 until the end of the same year.

In contrast to the prototype with the large profile, these trains are not completely accessible, two four-car trains form an eight-car train.

IK series

Train of the series IK on the test track of the Grunewald workshop (February 2015)

At the end of June 2012, the BVG's supervisory board decided to order two small-profile underground trains from Stadler Pankow . These prototypes have been in test use since spring 2015. Originally, the delivery of only 24 four-car trains with a total value of around 158 million euros was planned to replace the A3L71 trains. Due to the extensive shortage of vehicles, the order had already grown to a total of 58 series vehicles by October 2017.

In September 2012, the BVG announced further details on the vehicle series now known as the IK series , which belongs to the Stadler Tango product family. Like the HK series, the trains consist of four continuously accessible cars and offer space for around 330 passengers. By cambering the cross-section of the car, the passenger compartment is about ten centimeters wider than in previous vehicle types.

The first train was presented to the public on February 3, 2015. The second train was delivered a month later. This is followed by a test by the BVG. The train with car numbers 1025 and 1026 has been in passenger service as an 8-car train since September 2015. The series vehicles of the type IK18 have been delivered since the beginning of April 2018.

JK series

In October 2016, the BVG supervisory board decided to invest a total of 3.1 billion euros against the shortage of vehicles and the outdated vehicle inventory by 2035 and to tender appropriate framework agreements for this. At least 182 new cars are to be procured for the small-profile network. In total, the framework agreement includes up to 346 new cars for the small profile network. The specification sheet, which was completed in early 2017, provides for consistently accessible units for a four-car train as well as two doors on each side of the car; the car bodies are to be cambered again. The first 12 new JK cars are to be delivered in autumn 2022. Series deliveries are scheduled to begin at the end of 2023 with 4 cars per week (J and JK).

Large profile types

Series for the large profile network
Type Construction year delivered / stock
AIK (flower boards) 1923-1927
24 Tw + 24 Bw wagons of the small-profile series AI
BI (tunnel owls) 1924-1928 74 Tw + 111 Bw
BII 1927-1929 20 Tw + 30 Bw
CI (long car) 1926/1927 14 Tw + 13 Bw; To moskau
CII 1929 114 railcars; To moskau
CIII 1930 30 railcars; To moskau
CIV 1930/1931 Test car
D55 1955/1956 Test car,
actually D57
D57 1957/1958 56/2 double tw (kept by AG
Berliner U-Bahn for historical journeys)
D60 1960/1961 30/0; to Korea
D63 1963/1964 36/0; to Korea
D65 1965 22/0; to Korea
DL65 1965/1966 3/0 lightweight construction with aluminum
DL68 1968-1970 68/1
(reserve unit on the U55 )
DL70 1970-1973 30/0
EGG 1956/1957 2/0 TR prototype
EIII 1962-1990 86/0 TR + 86/0 Bw, from
S-Bahn cars
28/0, double Tw 26/25
, made from F74
39/39, upgraded from F76
F79.1 / F79.2 1979-1981 37/4
(currently all units of this series are being retired)
F79.3 1980 6/0, three-phase current
F84 1984/1985 39/39 three-phase current; one of which is a double
railcar with a passage (carriages 2770/2771)
F87 1987/1988 21/21
F90 1990/1991 30/30
F92 1992-1994 55/55
H95 1994/1995 2/2 continuous six-car trains
H97 1998/1999 24/24 trains
H01 2000-2002 20/20 moves
IK17 2016/2017 11/11, four-car trains
IK20 2020 8/8, four-car trains
(a total of 14 units are currently being delivered)

The north-south subway from Wedding (U-Bahn Seestrasse [U6]) via Kreuzberg (Mehringdamm [U6 and U7]) to Tempelhof (U6) and Neukölln (Grenzallee [U7]) was built in a wider tunnel cross-section . Vehicles with a width of 2.65 meters and pantographs that coated the conductor rails from below could be used here. The large profile was 35 cm wider than the wagons of the small profile.

As the client for the new north-south subway, the city of Berlin ordered two cars from the Linke Hofmann works in Breslau at the beginning of the 20th century . They were delivered in 1914 and tested at Siemens & Halske . With the larger cars, which had 111 passenger seats, Berlin hoped to be able to save money on the construction of the platforms, since a few cars should be enough to carry the passengers. This later turned out to be a capacity problem that could only be solved in the 1950s and 1990s by extending the platform.

Two prototypes were also ordered from the Cologne-based wagon factory Van der Zypen & Charlier for the AEG subway , today's U8 . They were built in 1916, but were never used. The Berlin Railway Directorate used the cars on the suburban route to Lichterfelde from 1921 .

Since Berlin or the Nord-Süd-Bahn AG did not yet have the necessary large-profile trains for the opening of the Hallesches Tor - Stettiner Bahnhof line, the management was handed over to the (still) private elevated railway company, which now has small-profile trains on this route attached wooden planks ("flower boards").

Series B

Train type BII on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the U8

It was not until November 1923 that hyperinflation was overcome that large-profile trains could finally be ordered. In 1924 the first 16 multiple units and 8 sidecars were delivered. Since they had large oval windows on the front, they were also called "tunnel owls". One car was 13.15 meters long and had three double sliding doors. The series was given the type designation BI.

In the years 1927/1928 a further 20 railcars and 30 trailer cars were delivered to the Nord-Süd-Bahn AG. With their improved drive they got the abbreviation BII. The last BI and BII trains were retired in the summer of 1969.

Long car series C

C series museum car in the Friedrichsfelde workshop

The first type CI cars were tested as early as 1926. They were 18 meters long. After their in-depth examination, it came to series delivery with types CII and CIII. The trains of types CII and CIII were outwardly the same, but very different in their equipment. The CII trains were given a switchgear control, the CIII a contactor control.

The first CIV cars were delivered in 1930, in which aluminum was also used as a construction material for the first time . It was possible to save 12 percent in weight. In particular, the CIII and some CII trains stationed in the Friedrichsfelde workshop were confiscated by the Soviet occupiers in 1945 and transported to the Soviet Union, where they were used in the Moscow Metro as the В (lat. W) class until 1966 .

D series in West Berlin

Class D railcars at Wilmersdorfer Strasse underground station, 1986

After the Second World War , the number of wagons in the Berlin subway was largely worn out, so that new wagons had to be purchased. Series delivery of the new BVG series D , still made of steel, began in 1957 and was used in Berlin until 1999. 108 double railcars of this type were then handed over to the Pyongyang Metro in North Korea.

In 1965 the lighter type DL was developed, which technically corresponded to the D-trains, but the car body was made of aluminum. As a result, about 26 percent weight could be saved. As with earlier trains, longitudinal seats were installed here.

Since at the end of the 1980s the BVB (Ost-Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe) needed more trains to extend the line to Hönow ( U5 ), it bought 98 BVG cars. There they were referred to as DI. They were given the then current East Berlin paintwork in ivory and yellow and the optical / acoustic door-closing warning device (still unusual for the BVG). The last trains of this type were retired at the end of 2004 / beginning of 2005. On February 27, 2005 one of the traditional farewell trips also took place for this series. Today there are still two type D double multiple units (cars 2000/2001 and 2020/2021), which are kept by the Berlin U-Bahn working group and used for historical special trips.

The BVG modernized the railcars in 2000/2001 and 2020/2021 for everyday traffic in order to counteract the vehicle bottleneck on the large-profile routes. For this purpose, the two units were equipped with modern train destination displays, video systems and new door openers. After test drives on the U5 , the D-cars were driven by low-loader to the U55 shaft north of the Hauptbahnhof subway station on March 24, 2017, where they were exchanged for the F79 vehicles that had previously been on the island route with the help of a truck-mounted crane Use were. This freed up three F79 type double railcars, which are in use in the rest of the large-profile network after the overhaul. Since then, both D-cars have been in use on the U55 between the main station and the Brandenburg Gate .

Class AI K and conversion trains E in East Berlin

Series EIII / 5U developed from Berlin S-Bahn cars

In East Berlin , the vehicle situation also looked very bad after the war. Since, as already mentioned, the C-trains were being removed, no large-profile vehicles were available for line E. Here, as in the early years of the large profile, remaining small-profile vehicles with side-mounted profiles ("flower boards") were used. These trains got the name AI K.

In 1958 VEB Waggonbau Ammendorf produced two prototypes of the new EI train type. However, since this was made of steel, it was heavy, which consumed too much energy in operation. That is why they left it with the prototypes and did not pursue the plans any further. The plans for an EII train were also discarded in 1962 due to political requirements.

Finally, those responsible in the GDR Ministry of Transport came up with the idea of converting S-Bahn cars that had been parked in West Berlin because of the S-Bahn boycott . Work began in the summer of 1962. With the exception of the last three units from the ET 168 series, the first delivery series was rebuilt in the Schöneweide raw material . Later the ET 165 and ET 169 series came into question as donor cars. After delivery of the first two delivery series of the U-Bahn type EIII by 1968, the small-profile vehicles could be withdrawn from line E and relocated to line A, where the trains were urgently needed due to the very high number of passengers in the Schönhauser Allee - Alexanderplatz area . The origin of the S-Bahn was clearly recognizable by the typical noise of the cage-bearing motors and the electro-pneumatic control of the "Stadtbahn" type.

With the extension of the underground line E in 1973 to the Tierpark , in 1988 to the Elsterwerdaer Platz underground station and in 1989 to Hönow , further deliveries of the EIII car became necessary, despite the takeover of separated D cars from West Berlin. These vehicles were based on the 275 series S-Bahn wagons and a 277 series accident vehicle . The EIII trains were taken out of service as early as 1994, because after reunification, maintenance at RAW Schöneweide was no longer possible and maintenance costs increased considerably as a result. What has been preserved is a type EIII / 5U four-car train, which is maintained by the AG Berliner U-Bahn . These are the cars 1914/1915 and 1916/1917 (Tw / Bw).

F series in West Berlin

Class F74 train on the U5 line

After delivery of the D and DL trains ended in West Berlin in October 1973, the prototype of the new F series was presented. The special thing about these trains was that they had a different seating arrangement with transverse seats (2 + 2). This was made possible by reducing the wall thickness from 13 to 7 cm and lengthening the car bodies by 20 cm. The first F74 series entered service in 1974 and was followed by the F76 and F79 series. In 1980, the new three-phase drive was tested for the first time on twelve double multiple units (F79.3) . The later series F84, F87, F90 and F92 can be recognized by the modern swing-sliding doors. A total of 257 double railcars were produced over a period of 21 years, which makes them the most extensive series to date (measured by the number of vehicles and production time) in the large profile.

Continuous train series H

Train type H97 with car transitions

In the mid-1990s, the BVG decided to commission a fundamentally new type of subway. The main reason for this was demands from politicians and passenger associations to ensure that passengers on the train felt more safe. It was therefore agreed on a construction with car crossings so that you can see and walk through the entire train inside. As was common in the past, this series received longitudinal seats and was given the designation "H". The first “H95” prototypes came to BVG in 1995. In 1998 and 2000 further series were produced by Adtranz , later Bombardier Transportation . They have the type designation "H97" and "H01". The main colors used in the interior are white and yellow. The individual cars can only be separated in the workshop.

Since the end of 2004 only trains of the F and H series have been running in the Berlin large-profile network, and since 2017 also D again on the short section of the U55.

IK series in large profile

IK17 train in the Stadler plant in Pankow, with gap bridging

When the BVG ordered new vehicles for the small profile network in June 2012, a polarity switch was added to the technical requirements. This gave the option of using these vehicles in the large-profile network if necessary. Since no new vehicles had been purchased for the large-profile network since 2002, there was a constant shortage of vehicles here (due to wear and tear and increasing numbers of passengers). Since new vehicles for the large profile network will not be available before 2021, the BVG resorted to the option of the polarity switch and ordered eleven four-car trains in July 2015, which were financed from the “Special Fund Infrastructure of the Growing City (SIWA)”. These vehicles have been used as reinforcement on the U5 large-profile line since October 2017 and have a 17.5 cm wide gap bridging between the platform and the vehicle (referred to as "flower boards 3.0"). Use on the other large-profile lines is not possible there with full trains due to the shorter platform length. The BVG reacted to the increasing shortage of vehicles in October 2017 with an "urgent procurement" without a tender for 20 additional four-car trains for the large profile, which should be available from the first half of 2019.

Since the use of small-profile wagons in the large-profile network is fundamentally uneconomical and is only a temporary solution, all these trains should later be transferred to the small-profile network.

Series J

In October 2016, the BVG announced that it would purchase at least 264 new wagons for the large profile. The order is part of a EUR 3.1 billion investment program to be invested in new trams and metro cars by 2035. In total, the framework agreement includes up to 704 new wagons for the large-profile network. The specifications, completed at the beginning of 2017, provide for units that can be walked through. The planned start of operations was specified in 2021/2022. A class J six-car train consists of a four-car and a two-car unit so that the trains can be shortened during off-peak periods.

In June 2019, the decision was made for Stadler Pankow. However, the competitor Alstom had lodged an objection, which was rejected by the Berlin Court of Justice on March 20, 2020, so that the order was delayed by about a year. The framework contract has a volume of three billion euros for 1,500 cars (JK and J series), which are to be delivered by 2033. Originally, twelve small and twelve large-profile cars each should come in 2021, and these should now be delivered in autumn 2022. BVG expected 76 new cars in 2022, and 136 new cars in each of the following years by 2032. These dates have been postponed by ten months due to the legal dispute. Series delivery is now scheduled to begin at the end of 2023 with 4 cars per week (J and JK). The minimum order quantity is 606 trolleys. The total volume is 1,500 cars worth 3 billion euros. The manufacturer Stadler is obliged to deliver spare parts for 32 years.

Passenger information

Acoustic information

Formerly used announcement “Stay back please!” And door signal of a Berlin small profile train of the A3L series

In the trains, passengers are informed about the destination and the next station. This is done using German-language announcements over the loudspeaker. Only at selected stations, such as B. the Bahnhof Zoo , there are also English-language announcements. The announcements were recorded by Ingrid Metz-Neun until 2009 (with the exception of the H and HK series) . In 2009, the conversion took place in response to announcements from Helga Bayertz (next station) and Ingo Ruff (train handling), who had previously been used in the H and HK series. Only on the U55 line does Ingrid Metz-Neun continue to speak - together with Helga Bayertz - the announcement of the next station, the exit side and the check-in. Another special feature up to the exchange of the announcements was that the large and small profile vehicles (except H / HK) each had their own announcement gong.

On the platforms, passengers receive acoustic information, for example about construction work or the smoking ban, in both German and English . Information and emergency telephones with a voice connection to the control center are installed for individual information.

Visual information

Passenger information on the platform (here: Kurfürstendamm underground station , U9 )

LED -based display boards on the platforms provide information about the next trains and their expected departure time. These boards are part of the Dynamic Directory Assistance and Information System (DAISY). Signs in the center of the platform, on the walls and lobbies provide information on the station name, the operating lines, transfer options and nearby streets.

In the trains of the H and HK series there are single-line display boards that show the next stop and the transfer options during the journey, as well as the exit side at the stop and then the terminal station. With the HK series, the current date and time are also displayed.

At the beginning of 2019, the conversion of the monitors in the underground trains, which had previously only been used for the Berliner Fenster advertising format, began . These now show dynamic passenger information on one half, such as the next stations and the connections based on actual data. All Berlin subway cars equipped with monitors have been retrofitted accordingly, around 93 percent of the cars in the large profile and 52 percent in the small profile.

Infrastructure of the subway


Part of the site Grunewald, with the railway construction camp on the right-hand side and the Underground Station Olympic Stadium with the old signal box in the background, which today houses the Underground Museum is

In Berlin there is currently one small profile workshop and three large profile workshops. A distinction is made between main workshops (Hw) and company workshops (Bw). Only small jobs are carried out in company workshops, for example window replacement or graffiti removal. In main workshops, on the other hand, the main inspections that are required on a regular basis can be carried out. In addition, the subway car bodies in these workshops can also be lifted from the bogies , unlike in company workshops .

Grunewald workshop

The Grunewald workshop is currently the only small-profile workshop with the exception of Hw Seestrasse , as the small-profile trains are also subjected to a general inspection there. The workshop, which opened on January 21, 1913, is located directly at the above-ground Olympia-Stadion underground station . In 1913 the workshop was initially built with a carriage hall; The other three halls were added in the following years: Hall II (1924/1925), Hall III (1926) and Hall IV (1927). During the Second World War , most of the company premises burned down in an Allied air raid on September 3, 1943. The reconstruction - similar to the entire subway network - was completed in 1950. The workshop is called Bw Gru for short in Berlin subway jargon . In addition to the BVG training center for industrial professions, there is also a track construction warehouse on the premises of the Grunewald workshop. This track construction railway maintenance department is responsible for the maintenance and repairs to the tracks and points on the U1, U2, U3, U4, U5 and U7 lines (Spandau town hall to Richard-Wagner-Platz).

A new replacement building for Hall IV was opened in October 2013 after a construction period of 25 months. Work on the vehicles is now possible on four levels. In addition, the hall has a washing and graffiti track as well as a functional wing with offices, shunting and social room. Then Hall III, which has been used as a workshop since the 1950s, is completely rebuilt.

Main workshop in Seestrasse

Main workshop in Seestrasse

The Seestrasse workshop was gradually opened around 1923, as a workshop was required for the new large-profile route C (today: Line U6) . It is located north of the Seestrasse subway station and is accessed from there via a double-track tunnel. The main workshop was created in a four-aisled hall with two feeder tracks, the operations workshop with 20 tracks (16 of which are under two aisles) and an office building with a boiler house. The main workshop was responsible for all large profile vehicles. During the Second World War , the facility was severely damaged; most of the buildings were destroyed in a bombing raid on September 22, 1944. It was not rebuilt until 1950/1951.

A workshop concept revised in the 1990s led to the conversion and partial dismantling of the facilities. As a result, the company workshop was given up in 2007, and the main workshop for the small profile was moved here from Grunewald instead. The main workshop on Seestrasse is now responsible for the maintenance of all underground vehicles (small and large profiles). The “Schiller-Park-Center” shopping center was built on partial areas. In-service maintenance went to the Britz-Süd workshop (U7) and the Friedrichsfelde workshop (U5).

Today there are 17 tracks, two of which belong to the main workshop and 15 to the former company workshop. The abbreviation used internally is Hw See . The entire facility is under monument protection .

Company workshop in Friedrichsfelde

Car hall II of the Friedrichsfelde workshop, 2004

With the construction of the Berlin subway line E (today U5 ) was also from 1927 to 1930, the company workshop Friedrichsfelde (symbol Bw Fi ), located between the 1930 opened underground station Friedrichsfelde and in 1973 opened underground station Tierpark is . The car halls I and II, built in 1930, were among the most modern in underground operations at the time. The rail connection to the depot is directly south of the Friedrichsfelde station. In connection with the extension of the underground line to the Friedrichsfelde zoo at the end of the 1960s , the exits and some of the tracks had to be changed.

A special feature of the history of the workshop was that in East Berlin times the small-profile trains of Line A had to be brought there, as Line A did not have a workshop. For this purpose, there was a section without power rails in the connecting tunnel between the Klosterstrasse train station and the Waisentunnel , in which the small-profile pantographs were removed. The power supply was taken over by a trolley for the journey over the large-profile section, these were converted small-profile old-style railcars with large-profile pantographs and couplings suitable for the respective series. This situation only changed in 1993, when the line between Potsdamer Platz and Gleisdreieck was open to traffic again.

Between 2012 and October 2015, the use of the workshop was severely restricted due to extensive renovation work. The Friedrichsfelde workshop is responsible for the large-profile lines U5, U8 and U9.

Company workshop Britz-Süd

Works workshop Britz-Süd with siding in the middle of the picture and the track construction store in the upper part of the picture

Since new large-profile routes were always being opened in West Berlin , it was time to think about a new workshop. The extension of line 7 to Rudow was just being built at the time. It was advisable to develop a new site there. Construction began in 1969 and was completed in 1971. Since the purchased site was relatively large with an area of ​​100,000 m², one could then think of further expansion stages. In 1988 an extension of the company workshop was finally completed. It is currently the most modern and newest workshop on the Berlin subway. Its abbreviation in Berlin subway jargon is Bw Britz . Another track construction warehouse is located on the premises of the Britz workshop. This track construction railway maintenance department is responsible for the maintenance and repairs to the tracks and switches on the U6, U7 (Richard-Wagner-Platz to Rudow), U8 and U9 lines.

Other workshops

Car hall I at the Warschauer Straße station, today only used as a covered parking facility
Car hall Krumme Lanke and A3L railcars, 1987

The first workshop of the Berlin elevated and underground railway was located at the terminus at Warschauer Brücke along Warschauer Strasse in the direction of Oberbaumbrücke to the left of the route. The workshop opened in 1901 comprised a 106 m long and 16.5 m wide four-track inspection hall with space for 32 cars, and a workshop on the ground floor connected by an elevator. The tram cars of the flat railway operated by the elevated railway were also temporarily serviced there. In 1909 a large eight-track hall was added along Rudolfstrasse, which today can only be reached from the route by zigzagging across the train station and the old shed (or via the pull-out track to the right of this). With the division of the subway network on August 13, 1961, the Warschauer Brücke station and the workshop were isolated and no longer used for subway purposes. In 1995 the two halls were restored as part of the reopening of the train station, and since then they have been used as covered parking facilities. Since August 1961, workshop work has only been carried out in the Grunewald workshop.

The town of Schöneberg , which was independent until 1920 , had its own workshop on Eisackstraße for its route from Nollendorfplatz to Innsbrucker Platz (then: Hauptstraße ) . There was a three-track sweeping and parking facility in the tunnel in Eisackstrasse. The access track to the workshop branched off from the western track and swiveled in its own tunnel to Otzenstrasse , where it reached daylight on the workshop premises. The small Schöneberg workshop became dispensable with the opening of the new transfer station at Nollendorfplatz in 1926 and was therefore closed in 1932.

Another former workshop was at the Krumme Lanke underground station , today on the U3 line . This had become necessary after the extension of the Wilmersdorf-Dahlemer-Bahn from Thielplatz to Krumme Lanke, so the temporary workshop on Thielplatz could be abandoned. The small workshop was opened on December 22nd, 1929. This included a car hall for four eight-car trains and devices for repairing minor damage. To a certain extent, in the back extension of the outer track to the right of the hall, there was a turntable , which, however, was no longer usable soon after the Second World War, as the A3 and A3L double railcars appeared, which could not be separated in daily operation. As part of cost-saving measures, as well as the progressive low maintenance of newer series, the workshop was closed on May 1, 1968 and the tasks were relocated to the most important workshop of the small profile, the Grunewald workshop. The wagon hall can still be seen from the U3 line, but is no longer used for operational purposes, not even for train parking.

Since the East Berlin part of the BVG (later: VEB Kombinat Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe - BVB) no longer had a main workshop after the administrative separation in 1949 , Raw Schöneweide , which was originally only responsible for the vehicles of the Berlin S-Bahn , had to step in for general inspections. Because of to the construction of the extension to Hönow missing track connection (then at Wuhletal) the cars had to individually with Culemeyer - road scooters from the company workshop Friedrichsfelde to Bahnhof Berlin-Schöneweide be brought.

A temporary workshop was set up on the sweeping track of the Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz station for minor work on the vehicles on the small-profile line A. After closing the gap by re-opening the line between Potsdamer Platz and Gleisdreieck , it was closed again and the facilities removed.

Control centers

Workplace in the former operations control center at Kleistpark underground station

The operations control center of the subway has been located in a new building on the premises of the Friedrichsfelde workshop since August 2015. In the 400 m² control room with 21 workstations, the previously separate control centers for small and large profiles are combined for the first time. The construction work lasted around two years, and 8.9 million euros were invested in this. There, the control center employees observe the running of the underground trains and intervene in the event of operational disruptions. The control, information and security system ("LISI") is available to them. Previously, the operations control center was housed in an administration building at Kleistpark , where the BVG had rented the rooms after their administration had moved.

In addition, the BVG has built three control centers for passenger information in the Alexanderplatz , Kleistpark and Nollendorfplatz stations . They are arranged in the publicly accessible part of the train stations. In these control centers, BVG employees observe what is happening in the underground stations using video cameras. In addition, the passengers' calls for information come from the emergency and information pillars that were set up at all stations after the dispatchers left. In addition, the control center staff prepare data for display on the DAISY - train destination indicators on subway stations on.

Another control center, which is not solely responsible for the subway area, is located on Tempelhofer Ufer. This security control center coordinates the deployment of BVG's own security forces and employees on behalf of BVG, who are currently provided by the Wisag company . Six camera images of train stations are constantly shown on a video wall, changing in an adjustable rhythm. All cameras in the subway area can be observed from there, as well as the emergency calls from the emergency call and information pillars in all stations.

To monitor and switch the traction current, the subway has another control center, which is located on a BVG site at the Turmstrasse subway station .

Power supply

The current of the underground trains has a nominal voltage of 750  V ( direct voltage ). The trains get their electricity from a busbar attached to the side . Their polarity differs between the large and small profiles: In the small profile, the conductor rail is the positive pole and the track is the negative pole, with the large profile it is the other way round.

The energy consumption of the Berlin subway is almost 200 GWh per year  . The BVG draws this energy from the public power grid with 10 kV alternating voltage and converts it into 750 V direct voltage in 59  rectifier plants .

In July 2007, the Berlin U-Bahn spent 25 cents on energy for one car-kilometer, resulting in an average of 1.26 euros per train-kilometer .

Security technology

The Berlin subway runs according to fixed light signals at a fixed block distance and has punctual train control . A line train control system was also used for a short time :

  • U4 : SelTrac in trial operation in the 1980s
  • U5 : STAR in trial operation 1996–2000
  • U9 : LZB 501 in trial operation 1965–1998, in passenger operation 1976–1993

From 2025, the automatic safety technology CBTC ( Communication-Based Train Control ) will be installed on the large-profile lines U5 and U8 . This will enable a semi-automatic train operation (GoA2) in order to shorten the train headway time to 90 seconds. The new vehicles are prepared for this.

Radio networks for passengers

Cellular networks

The infrastructure for the cellular networks ( fiber optic cables , antennas , repeaters, etc.) is installed and operated by the private network operators. The supply in tunnels is technically complex and expensive. The available space for the network elements is very limited and most of the work is carried out at night in order not to disrupt the operation. In addition, the BVG collects rental fees from the mobile network operators for allowing the installation of network elements.

The supply of LTE is currently in the process of being developed , which enables transmission rates of up to 150 Mbit / s. Thanks to a cooperation with BVG, Telefónica Deutschland was able to offer its customers ( O2 and their service providers) LTE in the subway as early as 2016. In 2017, the BVG and the mobile network operators Telefónica Deutschland, Telekom Deutschland and Vodafone Deutschland agreed that Telefonica Deutschland would further expand the mobile network in the underground and that the other two network operators could use this network for a financial contribution. Instead of individual mobile radio systems, distributed over many operating rooms in the greater Berlin area, jointly operated BTS hotels should be set up. The intended completion date for this work at the end of 2018 could not be met. Due to numerous delays, the BVG and the mobile phone companies signed another agreement in August 2019 for mobile phone coverage in subways. After initial progress, the first route sections for Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone were activated in November 2019 (U7: south of Hermannplatz; U8: southern part). This expansion was originally supposed to be completed by the end of 2019. In July 2020, Telefónica Deutschland announced that it would not be able to meet the completion date, which had been postponed to the end of 2021; a new date is not yet in sight.


In addition to the existing WiFi at the stations, no WiFi is planned on the trains.

Initial and continuing education

Driving simulator for the HK series

The BVG operates the U-Bahn operating school on the premises at the Turmstrasse underground station . The facility opened in 1998 and has been gradually expanded since then. Since 2003, it has been possible to realistically simulate and train driving operations in a train driving simulator . An interlocking simulation went into operation in 2006, followed by a control center simulation in 2012. In addition, the company school has a turnout system for practice purposes and rooms for computer-based training . Another train driving simulator went into operation in January 2019, based on the mock-up of the IK train.

The fire brigade training facility of the Berlin subway is located in a part of the Jungfernheide underground station that is not used for operational purposes . It was inaugurated on July 14, 2003. The facility is 350 meters long, including a 90-meter smoke chamber.



Accident at Gleisdreieck in 1908

So far, there have been very few accidents in the history of the Berlin subway - the mode of transport is one of the safest in local transport.

The worst accident so far occurred on September 26, 1908 at the Gleisdreieck that was still in existence at the time . A railcar driver had overlooked a stop signal, and so he drove his train into the flank of another on the connecting switch, whereby the first car of the hit train fell from the viaduct : 18 people died, 21 were seriously injured. As a consequence, the often discussed Gleisdreieck was rebuilt and a tower station was built in its place . This is where the U1 , U2 and U3 lines meet at what is still called the Gleisdreieck station.

Another very serious accident happened on June 30, 1965 on line G (today U9 ). On the route Zoo - Hansaplatz a train had been left due to a brake damage. As a result, a signal fell and a relay in the responsible zoological garden signal box was in the stop position. A mechanic who was doing maintenance work in the signal box at that time was surprised by this and believed that he had caused this stop position himself through a mistake. He wanted to correct his "mistake" quickly by - illegally - "lifting" the relay again, which brought the signal back to normal.

The next train at the Zoologischer Garten station then departed and reached almost 70 km / h before the driver recognized the train that had stopped behind a long right-hand bend. Even emergency braking could not prevent the accident, in which one passenger was killed and 97 were injured, some seriously. The mechanic was sentenced to compensation of around 600,000  marks (adjusted for purchasing power in today's currency: around 1,219,000 euros), as were some of his colleagues who tried to cover him up with false statements in court.

In 1989, a train ran into a stationary train at Spittelmarkt station because the rails were slippery due to the loss of oil on a train ahead. About ten people were injured and four cars were totaled.

Another accident with a high level of property damage occurred on March 25, 2003 when two trains collided at Kurt-Schumacher-Platz . Due to construction work on the U6, a train shuttled between Kurt-Schumacher-Platz and Holzhauser Straße , while normal operation only took place between Alt-Mariendorf and Kurt-Schumacher-Platz. There the arriving trains returned via the siding and drove back to Alt-Mariendorf. The shuttle train drove on track 1 - the main line in the direction of Alt-Mariendorf - in such a way that it shared the platform track with normal operations. A service instruction regulated how to proceed and which signals were not valid for the shuttle train. The driver of the shuttle train overlooked the fact that the entrance signal to the Kurt-Schumacher-Platz station was valid for his train and that he was not allowed to run over it when the train stopped. In the midday hours on the switch in front of the station there was a flank journey with a train that was just starting towards Alt-Mariendorf. Both trains were so badly damaged that they had to be scrapped; the track system was also badly damaged. Normal operation could only be resumed after two days. It took almost 48 hours to recover the two wedged trains, which, surprisingly, were still able to roll.


In October 1972, parked vehicles caught fire in the sweeping system at Alexanderplatz station (A, today: U2). Two trains and a section of tunnel about 200 meters long were destroyed. The newly built tunnel can be clearly distinguished from the old tunnel. In 1987 another train burned out in the connecting tunnel Klosterstrasse (U2) –Alexanderplatz (U5).

On July 8, 2000, the last car of a GI / I train burned out on the U2 line in the Deutsche Oper station . Since it was at the end of the station and there was only one exit, passengers had to walk through the tunnel to the next emergency exit. The cause of the fire was a short circuit with a flame arc caused by defective pantograph material. For several weeks the trains drove through the heavily damaged station; it was not until September 1, 2000 that trains were again able to stop at this station for changing passengers. The then outgoing Portuguese Ambassador S. E. Nunes Barata presented the BVG with the tile murals ( Portuguese azulejos ) by the Portuguese artist José de Guimarães , which were specially designed for the station and were a gift from the Portuguese Embassy to the city of Berlin. The murals were installed until October 30, 2002.

As a consequence of this accident, it was decided that all stations with only one exit should be staffed until a second exit is opened. In the following years, additional exits were built for the train stations Britz-Süd , Schillingstraße , Viktoria-Luise-Platz , Uhlandstraße , Theodor-Heuss-Platz , Sophie-Charlotte-Platz , Deutsche Oper , Konstanzer Straße , Rudow and others. This initiative was completed in summer 2008. The passenger associations “pro bahn” and “IGEB” demand that the underground stations where the exits are in the middle also have additional escape routes, which, however, would require considerable financial expenditure due to the large number of stations.

Films, music and merchandising

Men's boxer shorts with the label "commuter traffic"
The BVG sold reversible plush toys in the form of an underground train that could be transformed into a bear

The Berlin subway plays at least a minor role in numerous films, as it is one of the sights of Berlin. Films in which she appears include The brave truant (1967), Beautiful Gigolo, Poor Gigolo (1978), Bang! You are dead! (1987), Otto - The Love Film (1992), Emil and the Detectives (2001), Times Change You (2010) and several Tatort episodes. Scenes from the films Resident Evil and Equilibrium were filmed in the Bundestag U55 station, which was unused at the time (the planned name was Reichstag at the time ) . The underground can also be seen in the films Run Lola Run , The Bourne Conspiracy , Berlin Calling , Flightplan - Without Any Trace and Hitman: Agent 47 .

The feature film Möbius 17 by Frank Esher Lämmer and Jo Preussler from Berlin tells the story of a subway train that races through a parallel universe after the opening of a new cross connection, trapped in a Möbius loop . This film is a remake of the Argentinian film Moebius , which is set in the Buenos Aires metro system, which is in turn a remake of the 1992 DFF production Moebius , which in turn takes place in the Berlin subway network.

The short film festival Going Underground has been held every year in the run-up to the Berlinale since 2001 . The short films are shown on the monitors of the Berlin window , one of the advertising-financed information media via screen that can be found in many means of transport nationwide. The winner of the festival is determined by a vote among the passengers.

The musical line 1 of the Berlin Grips Theater takes place entirely in the stations and trains of the Berlin subway. It has also been made into a film.

The former singer of the No Angels , Sandy Mölling , was filmed for the music video for her single "Unnatural Blonde" at the Deutsche Oper underground station . But also singers such as Helga Hahnemann , Kate Ryan , B-Tight , Sido , Annett Louisan , the band Overground , the band Sportfreunde Stiller , Xavier Naidoo , Die Fantastischen Vier and Blank & Jones used the subway and its stations for theirs Music videos. Parts of the video for Dickes B , the Berlin anthem by the band Seeed , were also filmed in Berlin's subway stations.

Oliver Koletzki and Axel Bosse wrote and sang a song for the “Yellow” and shot their video in subway stations.

In addition to the usual BVG merchandising such as mugs, T-shirts or postcards, advertising strategists came up with a very unusual idea: black and white thongs (for women) or boxer shorts (for men) and briefs (for both sexes) with embroidered U- Railway station names, for example Rohrdamm, Gleisdreieck, Onkel Toms Hütte, Krumme Lanke or Jungfernheide . A second series in blue for the 100th anniversary of the BVG has been published with inscriptions such as emergency hammer or shuttle traffic . This souvenir was considered a best seller at the BVG souvenir stands, but was withdrawn from marketing in 2004.

In March 2006 a train station quartet game was published, which contains quartet tickets for 36 underground stations (four per line). In addition to play values ​​such as “last train” and “trash can”, each card contains a short accompanying text on the history and special features of the respective station.

From 2016, the BVG launched a series of toy vehicles for common wooden rails. These are the Gustav underground , the Vicky tram and the Bolle bus .

See also


Specialist literature

  • Uwe Poppel: Berlin U-Bahn: Contemporary history in line network plans - from 1902 to today . GVE-Verlag, Berlin 2017, ISBN 978-3-89218-488-1 .
  • Gustav Kemmann: On the opening of the electric elevated and underground railway in Berlin . Published by Julius Springer, Berlin 1902.
  • Johannes Bousset: The Berlin subway . Published by Wilhelm Ernst & Sohn, Berlin 1935.
  • Architects and Engineers Association of Berlin (ed.): Berlin and its buildings. Part X, Volume B Systems and buildings for traffic, (1) Urban transport . Verlag von Wilhelm Ernst & Sohn, Berlin 1979, ISBN 3-433-00842-6 .
  • Sabine Bohle-Heintzenberg: Architecture of the Berlin elevated and underground railways / planning - drafts - buildings . Verlag Willmuth Arenhövel, Berlin 1980, ISBN 3-922912-00-1 .
  • Christoph Brachmann: Light and color in the Berlin underground / subway stations of classic modernism . Gebr.-Mann-Verlag, Berlin 2003, ISBN 3-7861-2477-9 .
  • Biagia Bongiorno: The stations of the Berlin elevated and underground railway . Published by the Berlin State Monument Authority. Imhof, Petersberg 2007, ISBN 978-3-86568-292-5 .

Popular scientific literature

  • Working group Berlin local transport and Berlin passenger association IGEB (ed.): Berlin subway chronicle . GVE, Berlin 2007, ISBN 978-3-89218-110-1 .
  • Ulrich Lemke, Uwe Poppel: Berlin subway . alba, Düsseldorf 1992, ISBN 3-87094-346-7 .
  • Ulf Buschmann: Berlin subway stations. Berlin Underground Stations . Berlin Story Verlag, Berlin 2012, ISBN 978-3-86368-027-5 .
  • Jürgen Meyer-Kronthaler: Berlin's subway stations - the first hundred years . be.bra, Berlin 1996, ISBN 3-930863-16-2 .
  • Petra Domke, Markus Hoeft: Tunnel ditches Viaducts - 100 years of construction history of the Berlin subway . Kulturbild, Berlin 1998, ISBN 3-933300-00-2 .
  • Jürgen Meyer-Kronthaler, Klaus Kurpjuweit: Berlin subway - on the move for a hundred years . be.bra, Berlin 2001, ISBN 3-930863-99-5 .
  • Robert Schwandl: Berlin U-Bahn Album. All 192 underground and elevated stations in color . Robert Schwandl, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-936573-01-8 .
  • Toufic Beyhum: Emotions in Motion - Photographs from the Berlin subway . JOVIS-Verlag, Berlin 2007, ISBN 978-3-939633-35-8 .
  • Ulrich Conrad: Planning of the Berlin subway and other tunnel routes . Verlag Bernd Neddermeyer, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-933254-87-0 .

Web links

Commons : Berliner U-Bahn  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Construction process | Project U5. Accessed July 12, 2018 .
  2. BVG figure table 2013 (PDF) as of December 31, 2012.
  3. Figures 2019 of the Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG)
  4. Annual report 2016 of the Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) (PDF; 17 MB).
  5. Annual report 2011 of the Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) (PDF; 3.5 MB).
  6. The AEG test tunnel. Berlin Underworlds , accessed on September 18, 2017 .
  7. See this route network map from 1939 ( Memento of March 13, 2010 in the Internet Archive ).
  8. More on this under History of the Berlin U-Bahn .
  9. Small question in the Berlin House of Representatives, printed matter 16/10436 (PDF; 178 kB), March 15, 2007.
  10. Traffic report detail -, accessed on April 18, 2015 .
  11. Mobility in the city. Berlin traffic in numbers. Edition 2010. (PDF; 28.0 MB) Senate Department for Urban Development and the Environment, January 2011, p. 50 , accessed on October 29, 2012 .
  12. ↑ Land use plan as of January 2019 .
  13. Thomas Loy: With the subway to the secret main train station in Berlin at , November 21, 2014, accessed on March 15, 2015.
  14. ^ Joachim Fahrun: BVG plans: Where the Berlin subway could be extended. In: December 21, 2018, accessed January 6, 2019 .
  15. Line 10 - Berlin's Phantom Line ( Memento of the original from November 18, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. at @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  16. Route A including Spandau Town Hall, route E including Jungfernheide; Route network of the elevated and underground railways, BVG, status: January 2001.
  17. ^ A b Alfred Gottwaldt: The Berlin U- and S-Bahn network . 1st edition. Argon, Berlin 1994, ISBN 3-87024-284-1 , p. 49 .
  18. For example Innsbrucker Platz and Bayerischer Platz subway station of the Schöneberg subway, see those articles.
  19. New train station, new elevators - information on current construction work on the subway, BVG-Plus 2/2009.
  20. ^ Peter Neumann: Ice Age in the middle . In: Berliner Zeitung . February 14, 2007.
  21. Berlin-Neukölln: New citizens' initiative calls for the extension of the U7 line, , August 8, 2020, accessed on August 25, 2020
  22. Report on the planned evaluation of the subway feasibility studies (PDF), February 28, 2020, accessed on August 25, 2020
  23. Figures, data, facts on accessibility at the BVG. BVG, accessed on July 21, 2014 .
  24. elevators from V to Z .
  25. ^ Ulrich Lemke, Uwe Poppel: Berlin U-Bahn . 3. Edition. Alba, Düsseldorf 1992, ISBN 3-87094-346-7 , pp. 28 .
  26. ^ Ulrich Lemke, Uwe Poppel: Berlin U-Bahn . 3. Edition. Alba, Düsseldorf 1992, ISBN 3-87094-346-7 , pp. 74 .
  27. ^ Dresdener Strasse tunnel system in Berlin-Friedrichshain / Kreuzberg - backfilling. Senate Department for Urban Development and the Environment, accessed on December 15, 2016 .
  28. Sketch of two variants for the extension of the U10 plan ending at the Adenauerplatz underground station in the direction of Theodor-Heuss-Platz ( memento from May 13, 2014 in the Internet Archive ).
  29. a b IK17 - Icke for the large profile (technical drawing). , December 12, 2016, accessed on December 13, 2016 .
  30. HILDBURG BRUNS: BVG: Berlin gets 273 new underground and 220 trams. November 17, 2017. Retrieved October 27, 2017 .
  31. Sauna on rails
  32. The fleet of vehicles on the Berlin subway until 1930 including replicas . ( Memento from March 4, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) at
  33. Dimensional drawings and technical data of the BVG small profile vehicles .
  34. ^ U-Bahn: Stadler: Test operation for "U-Bahn Typ IK" begins in spring 2015., July 11, 2012, archived from the original on October 4, 2013 ; Retrieved October 4, 2013 .
  35. BVG supervisory board puts out new subway vehicles ., June 22, 2012.
  36. a b BVG press release of July 20, 2015
  37. New subways for Berlin required. In: Der Tagesspiegel . July 12, 2016. Retrieved November 15, 2017 .
  38. a b c The lack of vehicles is alleviated. In: Der Tagesspiegel . October 25, 2017. Retrieved November 28, 2017 .
  39. This is what Berlin's new subways will look like. Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe , September 17, 2012, accessed on September 20, 2012 .
  40. ^ U-Bahn type IK for the Berlin transport company. ( Memento from July 14, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Stadler Pankow GmbH, August 1, 2012.
  41. This is what the new BVG underground trains look like . At: , accessed on February 3, 2015.
  42. a b “Icke” trains of the BVG: U-Bahn fleet grows by more than a hundred cars. In: Berliner Zeitung . April 6, 2018, accessed April 7, 2018 .
  43. a b Step by step into the future. BVG, October 31, 2016, accessed on October 31, 2016 .
  44. a b News in brief - U-Bahn . In: Berliner Verkehrsblätter . No. 4 , 2017, p. 71 .
  45. Berliner Zeitung: The BVG is finally allowed to buy up to 1500 subway cars. Retrieved on March 20, 2020 (German).
  46. Der Tagesspiegel: Where the 1,500 new BVG underground cars are being built. August 25, 2020, accessed on August 25, 2020 (German).
  47. Klaus Kurpjuweit: BVG exchanges wagons on the U55 with a crane. In: Der Tagesspiegel. March 24, 2017. Retrieved June 17, 2017 .
  48. D for Dora - D for democracy. Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe, March 30, 2017, accessed on June 17, 2017 .
  49. a b c Chamber of Commerce decides for BVG and against Alstom. Retrieved March 20, 2020 .
  50. Decision on subway contract only in March: Court postpones hearing on Alstom complaint about BVG. In: Der Tagesspiegel , February 16, 2020.
  51. Claudius Prößer: Timetable for U-Bahn bulk deliveries: trains will soon roll off the line . In: The daily newspaper: taz . August 24, 2020, ISSN  0931-9085 ( [accessed August 27, 2020]).
  52. A full view of Berlin's underground. Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe , February 13, 2019, accessed on June 25, 2020 .
  53. ^ Opening of the underground workshop in Hall 4 in Grunewald. Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe, October 16, 2013, accessed on October 17, 2013 .
  54. a b News in brief - U-Bahn . In: Berliner Verkehrsblätter . No. 12 , 2015, p. 237 .
  55. a b c Michael Schulz: Main and factory workshop Seestrasse . In: Berliner Verkehrsblätter . No. 9 , 2012, p. 167 ff .
  56. Entry in the Berlin State Monument List with further information
  57. Ulrich Lemke, Uwe Poppel: The Berlin U-Bahn. 3rd edition, p. 130.
  58. a b J. Bousset: The Berlin U-Bahn. P. 130.
  59. ^ Ulrich Lemke, Uwe Poppel: Berlin U-Bahn. 3rd edition, pp. 4 and 30.
  60. The new nerve center of the Berlin subway. Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe , August 27, 2015, accessed on January 10, 2016 .
  61. ^ Seminar "Verkehrstechnik Berlin", BVG Netzleitstelle Turmstrasse., accessed on April 7, 2017 .
  62. Always juice on the rail . In: plus . No. 3 , 2014, p. 14 ( [PDF; accessed on March 10, 2014]).
  63. Small question in the Berlin House of Representatives, printed matter 15/13611 (PDF; 128 kB) June 27, 2006.
  64. ^ Alexander Seefeldt: Berlin subway lines / U9 / north-south through the city-west . Robert Schwandl Verlag, Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-936573-30-5 , pp. 56-67.
  65. ^ A b Peter Neumann: BVG wants subways to run every 90 seconds . Berlin newspaper. December 11, 2019.
  66. a b Ralf Reineke: BVG + S-Bahn: Driverless local public transport instead of failures due to staff shortages? from Senate . Berlin traffic. August 21, 2019 .: "The BVG announces:" The BVG is expected to begin with a partial automation CBTC (# oA2) on the U5 and U8 from 2025/2026. The automation takes place in the expansion stage GoA2, the driver remains as a fallback level for the #door control and for the #driving order. ""
  67. Printed matter 1054N - BVG vehicle procurement . Senate Department for the Environment, Transport and Climate Protection of Berlin. August 30, 2019 .: "The safety technology must be adapted to the BVG line equipment and must be prepared for a modern train control system (CBTC) so that the trains can also be run automatically"
  68. Funding: Berlin pays for complete LTE expansion in the subway - Retrieved May 18, 2019 (German).
  69. Joachim Fahrun: Fast Internet soon also in the Berlin subway. November 17, 2018, accessed December 7, 2018 (German).
  70. Second phase of the 4G expansion in the Berlin underground: Telefónica optimizes fast data services in the BVG. Retrieved July 22, 2020 .
  71. Senate wants fast internet in the subway in mid- 2019 . Accessed on May 18, 2019 .
  72. Berlin U-Bahn: LTE will also be available for Vodafone and Telekom by the end of 2019 - Retrieved on July 22, 2020 (German).
  73. LTE expansion in Berlin subway is delayed. In: Retrieved July 22, 2020 .
  75. ^ U-Bahn company school . In: plus . No. 4 , 2017, p. 10 f . ( online (PDF) [accessed April 7, 2017]).
  76. News in brief - U-Bahn . In: Berliner Verkehrsblätter . No. 3 , 2019, p. 54 .
  77. ↑ Exercise facility of the Berlin subway. Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe, archived from the original on January 13, 2013 ; Retrieved January 5, 2017 .
  78. Julia Haak: At BVG, you can sometimes drive on red. In: Berliner Zeitung. May 8, 2004, accessed February 22, 2018 .
  79. ↑ Have fun with Bolle . In: plus . No. 4 , 2017, p. 12 f . ( online (PDF) [accessed April 7, 2017]).
This article was added to the list of excellent articles on January 4, 2005 in this version .