InTramCities with Ian Stewart

Berlin, Germany : 1987
East Berlin : Friedrichstrasse and Oranienburger Strasse



West Berlin

sBerlin 3344 in 1987.jpg

sBerlin Bus KaDeWe 1987.jpg

sBerlin U bahn Zoo 1987.jpg

The large tram network which existed in the western sector of the city was closed in 1967, but 20 years later, retained tram 3344 was operating a "heritage" service on an abandoned U-Bahn viaduct between Nollendorfplatz (used as a "Turkish Bazar" flea-market) and Bulowstrasse.

Street level transport was turned over to buses, many of which were double-deckers, unusual in Germany and more familiar to British travellers. This example is seen approaching Wittenbergplatz on Tauentzienstrasse, with the Kaiser-Wilhelm Memorial Church in the far distance.

West Berlin inherited the majority of the city's underground railway (U-Bahn) and concentrated its investment in developing and expanding the network. This view is taken at Zoologischer Garten in the heart of the "city centre" established after the historic centre was sealed off behind the Berlin wall.

sBerlin Steglitz 1987.jpg

sBerlin S Bahn Zoo 1987.jpg

sBerlin Wall.jpg

The extensive local railway (S-Bahn) remained in the hands of the East German State Railways but was largely isolated from the rest of the network. It suffered from inadequate investment, little patronage on most of its routes and, at one point, a boycott by users.

The western part of the elevated "Stadtbahn", seen here at Zoo was still a popular route to the new centre. Trains continued into East Berlin through the checkpoint at Friedrichstrasse - a far less busy part of the line but one of two crossing points for western visitors.

The wall blocked off old tramlines - but a graffiti artist has mentioned "The Promise". Whatever he was waiting for, Berliners had a little over two years to wait until the wall was breached, the country reunited soon after and trams symbolically extended into the west.

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