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Old March 1st, 2010, 07:01 PM   #441
WotaN
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I have walked along the tunnel from Bundestag to Hauptbahnhof. Quite fun This is Bundestag station:

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Old March 2nd, 2010, 04:04 PM   #442
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I read somewhere that this is the slowest rail line under construction in the world. As Dan78 asks, where is German efficiency. Well, one of the first things I learnt when I arrived in this country is that stereotype, like many other is quite false. First of all, Germans have a great sense of humour, second, this is one of the least efficient developed country's I have been to. Well, Greece was quite a bit worse, but I think you get my point.

Such a pity this line is so slow to construct for a couple of reasons. One, I guess this means that for the next 7 years at least, Berlin's proud and beautiful boulevard, Unter den Linden will be a construction site and second, it is plain embarrassing for Germany.

How these politicians could accept the U55 as a viable construction is beyond belief. And as the federal capital, and Germany's face to the world, the national government should step in and help fund this to get it finished quicker.

I always wondered as well about the economics of building subways slowly. Surely it must cost more in the long run to do it this way.

And it's not only China that can build metro's quickly. Madrid done a magnificent job enlarging their network recently, at a speed that seemed not too different to what China pulls off. Maybe we should get the Spanish to build rail networks around the rest of Europe.
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 04:24 PM   #443
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Quote:
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And as the federal capital, and Germany's face to the world, the national government should step in and help fund this to get it finished quicker.
germany's politicians don't think that far nowadays. They only think until the next elections which happen to be somewhere in the country and about their clients.
Also if the national government steps in here, other regions in Germany would cry something like "Oh well, Berlin gets the money from other states AND gets the subway paid by the national government? That is unfair! We want the national government to build our local street rotunda too!"

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I always wondered as well about the economics of building subways slowly. Surely it must cost more in the long run to do it this way.
That's right, but our politicians in charge don't think that far.

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Madrid done a magnificent job enlarging their network recently, at a speed that seemed not too different to what China pulls off.
1. because lots of it was funded with EU-money, and lots of the EU-money comes from Germany.
2. Probably a more efficient planning process, while in Germany even projects under construction could be put on hold because just one Nimby is going through all juridical instances to stop that project. (I don't know if that has completely changed to the better recently in german planning law).
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 05:13 PM   #444
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This is similar to the situation in the U.S.A., there's quite a bit of whining from some circles that Washington D.C. gets too much federal tax money and resources. Even amongst transit advocates, there's some resentment that Washington's new heavy rail corridor (Silver Line) is getting some federal funding. Luckily, the current administration is transit-friendly, so additional money has been made available for urban transit projects around the country. We also have a tremendous amount of NIMBYism in the U.S.

In the case of Berlin, the city leaders should just "bite the bullet" and ask for the additional money, political consequences be damned. It's the national capital, and it needs major infrastructure investment, more so than putting new flower beds along the streets of Augsburg or Kassel. Connecting U5 to U55 would go a long way toward making the city more tourist-friendly, which would increase local revenues.

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germany's politicians don't think that far nowadays. They only think until the next elections which happen to be somewhere in the country and about their clients.
Also if the national government steps in here, other regions in Germany would cry something like "Oh well, Berlin gets the money from other states AND gets the subway paid by the national government? That is unfair! We want the national government to build our local street rotunda too!"
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 05:40 PM   #445
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1. because lots of it was funded with EU-money, and lots of the EU-money comes from Germany.
Actually, I believe the EU funds were not used for the Madrid public transport system.

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Also if the national government steps in here, other regions in Germany would cry something like "Oh well, Berlin gets the money from other states AND gets the subway paid by the national government? That is unfair! We want the national government to build our local street rotunda too!"
I'm sure you are correct here. But it is not uncommon in other country's for the federal government to spend money on the federal capital. But the argument I suppose goes the other way as well. I'm sure federal money is spent here in Hessen or other parts of the country as well.
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 06:57 PM   #446
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Quote:
I read somewhere that this is the slowest rail line under construction in the world. As Dan78 asks, where is German efficiency. Well, one of the first things I learnt when I arrived in this country is that stereotype, like many other is quite false. First of all, Germans have a great sense of humour, second, this is one of the least efficient developed country's I have been to. Well, Greece was quite a bit worse, but I think you get my point
Which developed countries do you consider to be efficient?
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 09:49 PM   #447
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One big problem in the construction of the U55 is that it's build by digging through the Berlin sandy underground rather than opening up the street, putting the subway line under it, and closing it again.

The later would be much quicker and is in fact the way all of the Berlin subway system was built. But Unter den Linden is already riddled with other tunnels (Tram, S-bahn, sewers) so the U55 has to be constructed underneath those.

It's still way too slow, though.
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 12:24 AM   #448
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan78 View Post
In the case of Berlin, the city leaders should just "bite the bullet" and ask for the additional money, political consequences be damned. It's the national capital, and it needs major infrastructure investment, more so than putting new flower beds along the streets of Augsburg or Kassel. Connecting U5 to U55 would go a long way toward making the city more tourist-friendly, which would increase local revenues.
How do you know that this underground line actually needed? Berlin saw major infrastructure investment in the last two decades. Which were quite substantial. And so is their achievement. Berlins transport infrastructure is fairly good.

Finishing this underground line is the dot on the i rather than a lifeline the existence of the whole city depends on. If it takes a bit longer than necessary then be it so. Certainly no reason to make a fuss of it.
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 12:33 AM   #449
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiggerD21 View Post
germany's politicians don't think that far nowadays. They only think until the next elections which happen to be somewhere in the country and about their clients.
Also if the national government steps in here, other regions in Germany would cry something like "Oh well, Berlin gets the money from other states AND gets the subway paid by the national government? That is unfair! We want the national government to build our local street rotunda too!"
They should make Berlin a NRW exclave and their capital, so they (can I say we? ) could drain all the money to finish the subway system.

Kidding, so Justme, you're not German? Wow, that's new for me.

And about German efficiency... well I think they're quite efficient in everything they do, but they also like to enjoy life, working less hours and having different schedules during the day and so (some offices closing at 4, others at 2, others only working in the morning).
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 01:10 AM   #450
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Nope, not German. But love living here.

I think the myth of German efficiency comes from the amount of policies in place. To a casual observer from another country, it does indeed look so efficient... there is a policy for everything. The problem is, when anything needs to get done, following the rules religiously is so slow and inefficient.

There are so many things I love about living in Germany, but I have resigned to a few simple facts here. Shops will forever remain closed on Sunday, and whenever I need something in a hurry, have it shipped in from another country.
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 01:31 AM   #451
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I noticed a few days ago that they have already started working on it at the Alexanderplatz end.
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 03:32 AM   #452
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IIRC, the problems with the U5/U55 are down to money, not regulations or inefficiency. It did not take "7 years to build just 2,2km of metro" because tunnelling stopped in 1999 after only a couple of years of work.

From Wikipedia
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Quote:
In the late 1990s, construction began on the western end of this extension. However, around that time the city council suffered a major financial crisis, and in 1999 completion of the partially built extension was postponed indefinitely.

However, the city had accepted money from the German federal government for the construction work already finished, and by the terms of the agreement, the city would have had to return the money if there were no operating trains on the line. In 2004, the city and federal governments reached a compromise: the city would complete the short section of line that was largely complete between Berlin Hauptbahnhof and Unter den Linden S-Bahn stations and run it as a single-track shuttle with a single train, without any signaling. Although transit planners do not project that such a shuttle will attract a significant ridership, the city determined that the cost of building and operating the line would be less than the cost of returning the money to the federal government.
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 04:23 AM   #453
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Nope, not German. But love living here.

I think the myth of German efficiency comes from the amount of policies in place. To a casual observer from another country, it does indeed look so efficient... there is a policy for everything. The problem is, when anything needs to get done, following the rules religiously is so slow and inefficient.

There are so many things I love about living in Germany, but I have resigned to a few simple facts here. Shops will forever remain closed on Sunday, and whenever I need something in a hurry, have it shipped in from another country.
LOL! Those shops closed on Sunday made Berlin remind my home city. I think that's why almost no shops open on Sunday - it's originally a German settlement.
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 10:38 AM   #454
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Metro planning and construction in Germany is really a joke in the recent years, and it's not only the Berlin U55.
In the middle of Hamburg, a 4 km stretch of metro is under construction. A waste of money, as the tunnel goes in a huge curve without stops and with a change of direction of almost 270°, where a short straight line of 700 m would actually do to reach the destination.
In Cologne, a tunnel construction site of a short light rail extension collapsed last year, causing a historical archive to crumble. Precious documents were destroyed and restauration of the remaining ones will cost hundreds of millions of euros. A few weeks ago was discovered that construction workers had stolen up to 80% of the steel cramps from all the light rail construction sites and sold them to scrap dealers. The concrete was cast without this essential stabilization ingredient, and no construction supervision had been there to prevent it.
Only Munich seems to perform normally in terms of metro construction.
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 11:38 AM   #455
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Oh my God! They stole crucial pieces of metal to sell?? That's insane.

I wonder if they'll be caught and prosecuted. You would think construction workers would understand how important those steel cramps were... where did they import these guys from?!
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 11:51 AM   #456
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Year, that Cologne scandal surprised the hell out of me. Germany may be inefficient, but this level of corruption is not something I associate with this country. It begs the question how on earth this could have been going on without being noticed, and how many other such constructions have been built like this.

I'm sure though many heads will roll. Though likely it will be the supervisor or managers and the lower level workers who also were involved in the crime will get off scott free, or go back to their home country.
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 04:59 PM   #457
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...
I'm sure though many heads will roll. Though likely it will be the supervisor or managers and the lower level workers who also were involved in the crime will get off scott free, or go back to their home country.
So u assume they come from abroad?
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 08:31 PM   #458
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So u assume they come from abroad?
He's possibly not alone with that assumption. But more significant is that the state-run construction supervision office was in complete hibernation.
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 09:07 PM   #459
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Year, that Cologne scandal surprised the hell out of me. Germany may be inefficient, but this level of corruption is not something I associate with this country.
Corruption not, theft yes. I invite you to my university, where the only thing that doesn't grow feet is the actual scientific equipment (I guess it would be just too big of a deal). Any other thing can disappear, from laptops (nothing surprising, right?), to... office plants. One of the bosses is so lazy that he steals AA and AAA batteries for his kids; I had to label the rechargables so that our multimeters don't "run dry".

So the stolen pieces of metal are a bit surprising, but only a bit.

PS There are lots of myths and prejudices about any well-known country.
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 09:26 PM   #460
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So u assume they come from abroad?
It's simply easier.

Last edited by LMB; March 3rd, 2010 at 09:50 PM.
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