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Old September 13th, 2015, 10:53 PM   #1061
Wilhem275
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Ancient dilemma, the small profile network... a lot of branches on the west side, just two towards the east.

But it is true, you can't reroute U1 to U2 without major works under Kleiststr.
Many solutions discussed: extension of U1 to Westkreuz/Halensee, extension of U3 to the north... but all expensive and far in time.

About U3, I have an idea (well, better call it a fantasy). Since the existing part of U3 is Kleinprofil, pretty much the width of a tram, would it be crazy to operate a complete line Mexicoplatz - Weissensee with an hybrid tram/train?
As happens for example in Frankfurt, with the common U-bahn running like a tram outside the center.
This should shave a lot of building costs, leaving Nollendorfpl. - Potsdamer Pl. - Rotes Rathaus on the road like a tram (5 km), going under Alexanderplatz using the U3/U10 structures, and then taking the path of M4 with raised and stretched platforms.

This would connect two populated parts of the city with an interesting route through the center.
The concept would be to operate M4 with faster and longer vehicles as a tram, and later (if/when needed) excavate it as a U-Bahn, like the Brussel premetro concept.

I see that declaring 5 km of new tram tracks "cheap" might sound like a joke, after the Hbf extension

Is U3 usually operated with 8-cars sets?
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Old September 14th, 2015, 01:19 AM   #1062
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What is the idea about building a bike path along S1 , or U1 of 8,5 km in SW Berlin ?
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Old September 14th, 2015, 08:00 AM   #1063
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@ Wilhelm275: Yes, better call it a fantasy. Wheelchair accessibility would turn into a complete mess. On the one hand, Berlin has put immense effort introducing low-floor streetcars (Flexity) into the city, on the other hand, subways are the traditional high floor variety. Also, introducing a prémetro scheme into a city that has a well-institutionalized rapid transit system next to a likewise tram system is foolhardy at best and political suicide at worst. All negatives aside, the positive thing is that disturbances in one systen won't affect the other. Tram-trains destroy that. Not that there's anything wrong with them, I live next to a likewise station and it's like a present from heaven to me.
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Old September 14th, 2015, 05:12 PM   #1064
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Originally Posted by Wilhem275 View Post
About U3, I have an idea (well, better call it a fantasy). Since the existing part of U3 is Kleinprofil, pretty much the width of a tram, would it be crazy to operate a complete line Mexicoplatz - Weissensee with an hybrid tram/train?
As happens for example in Frankfurt, with the common U-bahn running like a tram outside the center.
This should shave a lot of building costs, leaving Nollendorfpl. - Potsdamer Pl. - Rotes Rathaus on the road like a tram (5 km), going under Alexanderplatz using the U3/U10 structures, and then taking the path of M4 with raised and stretched platforms.

This would connect two populated parts of the city with an interesting route through the center.
The concept would be to operate M4 with faster and longer vehicles as a tram, and later (if/when needed) excavate it as a U-Bahn, like the Brussel premetro concept.
It is not only platform heights which makes such a proposal impractical. The length of the platforms and trains don't fit as well. Trams are restricted to a length of 75 m. This length would be too short for the 110 m long platforms in the underground sections and would probably require platform lengthening for existing tram stops.
Electrification is another issue.
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Old September 15th, 2015, 03:57 AM   #1065
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Wheelchair accessibility would turn into a complete mess. On the one hand, Berlin has put immense effort introducing low-floor streetcars (Flexity) into the city, on the other hand, subways are the traditional high floor variety.
I don't see a big problem with high platforms. Many places use high platforms in overground contexts (I recall Amsterdam, Bonn, Frankfurt just to name some), some even mix low and high platforms at the same stop (Amsterdam, Den Haag, Bonn).

Yes, platforms along the M4 route must be rebuilt, but they don't have a problem with spaces there... out of Alexanderplatz, that line runs almost completely independent from roads and other trams. And that path already shows a high demand.

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Also, introducing a prémetro scheme into a city that has a well-institutionalized rapid transit system next to a likewise tram system is foolhardy at best and political suicide at worst. All negatives aside, the positive thing is that disturbances in one systen won't affect the other. Tram-trains destroy that. Not that there's anything wrong with them, I live next to a likewise station and it's like a present from heaven to me.
Well, I understand it would be very non-canon for the traditional planning of Berlin. But in the end they're just categories, users just want to go from A to B, and this is a very cheap way of getting a strong through line out of two trunks.
I don't see a big risk of spreading disturbances, because U3 is independent from the other U-lines and M4 doesn't suffer from many disruptions along its route. Anyway, if anything goes wrong in the tram section you can still easily cut the line at Alexandeplatz or Greifswalder Str., and still enjoy much more than what you have today when M4 is interrupted.

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Trams are restricted to a length of 75 m.
By who? Also, we're not sure U3 currently uses full 8-cars sets. But even if it does... there's no technical limit to a tram's lenght.

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Electrification is another issue.
Not really, the voltage is similar (Strausberg's trams even run with 750V) and there are systems with vehicles equipped for both overhead and third rail feeding (Amsterdam, Frankfurt)

This is an example in Frankfurt's suburbs:
https://www.google.it/maps/@50.15682...8i6656!5m1!1e2

I don't see a big problem in having the same in Greifswalder Straße.

I mean, I'm not saying this is a walk in the park. But the cost/benefit ratio seems worth of keeping this solution into account, to me.
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Old September 15th, 2015, 11:05 AM   #1066
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Unlike many West German cities, Berlin has developed metros and trams along very different technical specifications. I agree with most people here that merging the two systems creates more problems than it solves. At Wittenbergplatz, all small profile lines meet and can change onto the other lines (except U4, which terminates one station before at Nollendorfplatz. It would be entirely possible to have the following routes: U1 Warschauer Straße to Ruhleben; U15 Warschauer Straße to Uhlandstraße (this should roughly correspond to the higher demand in Kreuzberg compared to Charlottenburg); U2 Pankow to Krumme Lanke, creating a straight Northeast to Southwest line, rather than a parallel to the Stadtbahn, which runs from Alexanderplatz to the Zoo in 20 minutes rather than the S-Bahn's 12 minutes. And with some serious reconstruction at Gleisdreieck, every second metro on that line could run Pankow to Innsbrucker Platz, thus giving the U4 stub some more purpose. However it is of course a question whether this benefit for Schönebergers would justify the expense of reconstructing Gleisdreieck.
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What is the idea about building a bike path along S1 , or U1 of 8,5 km in SW Berlin ?
Bike riding has become immensely popular in the past years in Berlin. However Berlin has been slow to create appropriate cycle paths; mostly the senate still prefers to mark off a small portion of overcrowded sidewalks, creating conflicts with pedestrians and bus stops.
One of the few routes where cyclists can ride on good wide paths independent of road traffic is the abandoned freight rail yard of Gleisdreieck, which has been converted to a park. Continuing this route towards the Southwest parallel to S1 would give cyclists a long continuous highway, which would also be useful to access the Freie Universität.
On the downside, although the bike path is labeled as "temporary", it would probably destroy the possibility forever of reactivating the Stammbahn, the oldest railway route in Germany (Potsdamer Platz-Zehlendorf-Potsdam). Trains Berlin to Potsdam, both S-Bahn and RegionalExpress and Regionalbahn, are constantly full, mostly due to commuting students, and a new and faster route to link the two cities could be very useful, especially since it also would provide new rail access to some suburbs such as Klein-Machnow.
The plan was investigated, met with some noisy NIMBY protest in the late 1990s, then was shelved indefinitely. Both the senate and DB never scratched it, but neither consider it a priority at the moment.
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Old September 15th, 2015, 03:30 PM   #1067
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I don't see a big problem with high platforms. Many places use high platforms in overground contexts (I recall Amsterdam, Bonn, Frankfurt just to name some), some even mix low and high platforms at the same stop (Amsterdam, Den Haag, Bonn).
Mixed platform heights are extremely unsatisfactory. They are almost always temporary solution.

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Yes, platforms along the M4 route must be rebuilt, but they don't have a problem with spaces there... out of Alexanderplatz, that line runs almost completely independent from roads and other trams. And that path already shows a high demand.

Well, I understand it would be very non-canon for the traditional planning of Berlin. But in the end they're just categories, users just want to go from A to B, and this is a very cheap way of getting a strong through line out of two trunks.
I don't see a big risk of spreading disturbances, because U3 is independent from the other U-lines and M4 doesn't suffer from many disruptions along its route. Anyway, if anything goes wrong in the tram section you can still easily cut the line at Alexandeplatz or Greifswalder Str., and still enjoy much more than what you have today when M4 is interrupted.
The U3 shares tracks with the U1 in Wittenbergplatz station.. The M4 too shares tracks with lots of other trams lines. You can't just rebuilt platforms for one of the two line without a knock-on effect on other line of the wider network.

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By who? Also, we're not sure U3 currently uses full 8-cars sets. But even if it does... there's no technical limit to a tram's lenght.
I recommend you to take a look into the legal framework of the operation of trams, premetros and metro. This is the BOStrab in case of Germany. And there you find the limit for the length of trams which is set at 75 m.

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Not really, the voltage is similar (Strausberg's trams even run with 750V) and there are systems with vehicles equipped for both overhead and third rail feeding (Amsterdam, Frankfurt)
You seem to be completely oblivious of the geometric demands that derive from electric traction. The current tram fleet is already too tall for the U3 tunnels. Add to this the requirement of pantographs on top of the roof and you realise that it will extremely challenging to design fitting vehicles.

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This is an example in Frankfurt's suburbs:
https://www.google.it/maps/@50.15682...8i6656!5m1!1e2

I don't see a big problem in having the same in Greifswalder Straße.

I mean, I'm not saying this is a walk in the park. But the cost/benefit ratio seems worth of keeping this solution into account, to me.
The cost-benefit ratio would be utterly terrible exactly because of the enormous technical obstacles that have to be overcome. And references to others city's premetro aren't helpful either. These system were designed as premetros right from the start. Hence it works for them. In Berlin, however, there is a clear line between tram and metro. Both have different technical standards which work fine for each system. They just don't match. And because they do not match there will never be a cross-system line in Berlin. The same can be said about any other city with separate tram and metro networks like Wien, München or Praha.
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Old September 15th, 2015, 08:46 PM   #1068
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There is no point in such a merge. It would prevent future automation of U3 (or any other line). All U-lines in Berlin can be ultimately automated and converted to UTO (unmanned train operation), trams obviously can't and they belong elsewhere.
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Old September 15th, 2015, 09:13 PM   #1069
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I recommend you to take a look into the legal framework of the operation of trams, premetros and metro. This is the BOStrab in case of Germany. And there you find the limit for the length of trams which is set at 75 m.
There are hardly any examples of typical tram systems with trains longer than 75 m worldwide. I remember some japanese lines (I guess one in Kyoto). Maybe some LRT-systems in the USA but they would not refer to a typical tram as the part of separate right-of-way usually is very high. There are some exceptions of the BOStrab-rule in Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf and Bochum and it´s only possible with additional preparations and will always be an exception.

Having trams longer than 75 m in street-running is nearly impossible, on street running without mixed traffic is hard to do. Main issue is the crossing at traffic lights, you would completely disorder the crossing. So, in conclusion it would be better to have fenced crossings and that is already railway. Also such long trams require metro-like operation to survey passenger dwelling at stops. Energy-consumtion for long trams requires catenery overhead-wires which have a certain visual impact often not wanted by planners and authorities (at least in Europe).
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Old September 16th, 2015, 08:41 AM   #1070
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Firstly a thing about the extension to Hauptbahnhof in general and closing the gap near Naturkundemuseum in particular. Even if the gap closure costed a bigger fraction of a likewise subway construction, it was definitely worth it. The city should actually be accessible to someone descending at the biggest rail hub in the city and the three tram lines, though still too few, will do that job better than the current U55 or the eventual U5 after 2020.

The supposed dick move by Deutsche Bahn to close Zoo Station for intercity travel in order to forcefeed Hauptbahnhof and the combined shopping mall inside definitely urged Berlin to create transport links that it other hadn't. Berlin got money to construct the current U5 extension and is building it because it can't afford to pay the money back. But the enlarged U5 has the potential to become a major trunk line, I miss it everytime when something is wrong with the S-Bahn, be it maintenance issues or strikes or whatever.

If it were completed beyond Hauptbahnhof, that is. The S-Bahn takeover didn't stop West Berlin from building new subways, they could've stopped U8 extension after completing the stretch to Paracelsus-Bad in 1987 and then build a small western U5 from Tegel via Jungfernheide (U7) to Turmstraße (U9) instead, Reinickendorf be damned as it's got the S-Bahn around it. After the end of Berlin's division, there would've much less bitching about closing the big gap in the middle. In that perfect world, it may be completed today and relieve the Stadtbahn from a lot of strain. That the tram shall take the course envisioned for the westernmost U5 extension is actually alright, but it shouldn't be thought of as a substitute for the U5, but rather a supplement, a vacuum cleaner for surface-level traffic at that corridor that's too short for using rapid transit.

Compare it to London: They built Victoria Line for relief of Piccadilly Line, Jubilee Line for relief of Bakerloo Line (and later DLR and Central Line), Crossrail for relief of everything on its course. The only comparable measure for Berlin was the Entlastungsbahn (relief rail) that unbundled much of the small-profile network or at least what constituted line A or U2 from the rest. And maybe U6 finding its relief in the Nord-Süd-S-Bahn and that finding relief in the S21 project. I see no reason why such a thing shouldn't be done for the relief of the Stadtbahn by finishing the U5.
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Old September 16th, 2015, 02:13 PM   #1071
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If it were completed beyond Hauptbahnhof, that is. The S-Bahn takeover didn't stop West Berlin from building new subways, they could've stopped U8 extension after completing the stretch to Paracelsus-Bad in 1987 and then build a small western U5 from Tegel via Jungfernheide (U7) to Turmstraße (U9) instead,
The decision to take U8 to the Märkisches Viertel settlement instead of U5 was taken in 1969 in a very complex manner of investigations at that time. Unfortunately, after they decided to go ahead with U8-Nord they created a new-route for it, more expensive and longer than the old one planned. What is stil missing is to finish that line with additional two stations into the MV settlement, still about 40.000 People living there.

U5 would have been nice an I believe that if anyone creates ideas about the usage of former airport-land it´s obvious that U5 would be the right thing for it. In a country like Spain, they would have done so without big discussion.

The relieve of the Stadtbahn was debated and people often talked about trains but it´s also about capacity of stations like Alexanderplatz, Friedrichstraße and Zoo.
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Old September 17th, 2015, 06:14 AM   #1072
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I know, MV was actually built in order to house, among others, many Kreuzbergers whose homes were supposed to be demolished in order to build an autobahn through it. Then again, the Wittenau extension was built in spite of threats from Bonn that they'd demand their money back as there's so much S-Bahn to rebuild and that building exactly alongside it were more than counter-productive. It was finished in 1994, quite a few years after the basis of transaction (or whatever you name it) was gone. But of course, this thing was inevitable, it's easy to banter with the privilege of hindsight.

On the other hand, who would've thought after the end of the Cold War that Tegel Airport would still be in use today? The world isn't doomed just because an airport is only accessible by car or bus, but you may wonder if that airport can really be considered as part of the city that way.
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Old September 17th, 2015, 07:58 AM   #1073
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It was finished in 1994, quite a few years after the basis of transaction (or whatever you name it) was gone. But of course, this thing was inevitable, it's easy to banter with the privilege of hindsight.
Yes, but it was built to reach MV in mind, it would have never been done without that task. If it´s done one day this line makes sense anyway.
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Old September 18th, 2015, 09:10 AM   #1074
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I guess it's not just Berlin, but civil engineering projects like underground railroads will always be in desperate need for handouts from the national treasury. If a city manages to pay for that totally on its own, it must be a very rich city and it's not going to pay for a whole new trunk line. MV is in something of a limbo. Wilhelmsruher Damm is sandwiched between the ends of a western U-Bahn and an eastern tram line. Closing that gap from both sides is desired, but as Berlin is broke, this isn't going to happen.

If I remember how the lines in West Berlin were built, it seems like they always built two lines at a time, though I don't know how much of it was done with TBMs if at all. West Berlin was a spoiled child, but Crossrail in London on the other hand got pampered with eight TBMs.

A rough timeline might have been this, correct me wherever I'm wrong:
1955-61: Line 6 and 9 u/c; 1962-66: Line 6 and 7 u/c; 1966-76: Line 7 and 9 u/c; 1976-84: Line 7 only u/c; 1985 onwards: U8 and the S-Bahn u/c.

If the S-Bahn takeover, let alone the end of the Iron Curtain hadn't happened, things might have turned that way:
1985-98: U8 and U10 u/c. After 1998: Which direction to go for U10 behind Kulturforum/Nationalgalerie and is U5 from Tegel really worth it?
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Old September 18th, 2015, 11:02 PM   #1075
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If the S-Bahn takeover, let alone the end of the Iron Curtain hadn't happened, things might have turned that way:
1985-98: U8 and U10 u/c. After 1998: Which direction to go for U10 behind Kulturforum/Nationalgalerie and is U5 from Tegel really worth it?
Interesting figure. Yes, without S-Bahn U8 would have reached MV possibly in 1994. Hard to say what would have happened to U10. Probably linked with the western part of U5 to Turmstraße. This was a real subject of negotiation in 1980/81. Moreover interesting to study what would have happend without reunification. It was a task to open a part of metro-network each three years. After BVG took over S-Bahn-service, they planned some addition for U-Bahn-network, too, whereas U10 was scrapped. That would have been U8 to MV , than U8 to Hermannstraße, U9 to Lankwitz-Kirche, U 3 to Adenauerplatz and U2 to Mexikoplatz. That would have garanteed work for tunnel-constructors in the island-city.

Work with TBM on U8 was only done between Karl-Bonhoefffer-Nervenklinik and Rathaus Reinickendorf. They used two machines because the first proved not to cope with Berlin-soil (accidents happened). Other TBM-bored parts are Rathaus Spandau-Altstadt Spandau, Richard-Wagner-Platz - Bismarckstraße and Yorckstraße - Kleistpark. TBM was not done that much in Berlin. Besides technical aspects it were really the workers, which had to be "imported" from West-Germany. The West-Berlin construction industry got more profit from cut-and-cover.


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Old September 18th, 2015, 11:07 PM   #1076
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1955-61: Line 6 and 9 u/c; 1962-66: Line 6 and 7 u/c; 1966-76: Line 7 and 9 u/c; 1976-84: Line 7 only u/c; 1985 onwards: U8 and the S-Bahn u/c.
It´s all correct. Just U8 first part was built between 1971 and 1977, than from 1981 to 1987 (Paracelsus-Bad).
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Old September 19th, 2015, 01:19 AM   #1077
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Is it true that in the late '80s there were plans for a brand new network of tram lines in the West, starting from Zoo?
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Old September 19th, 2015, 03:01 AM   #1078
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Interesting figure. Yes, without S-Bahn U8 would have reached MV possibly in 1994. Hard to say what would have happened to U10. Probably linked with the western part of U5 to Turmstraße. This was a real subject of negotiation in 1980/81. Moreover interesting to study what would have happend without reunification. It was a task to open a part of metro-network each three years. After BVG took over S-Bahn-service, they planned some addition for U-Bahn-network, too, whereas U10 was scrapped. That would have been U8 to MV , than U8 to Hermannstraße, U9 to Lankwitz-Kirche, U 3 to Adenauerplatz and U2 to Mexikoplatz. That would have garanteed work for tunnel-constructors in the island-city.

Work with TBM on U8 was only done between Karl-Bonhoefffer-Nervenklinik and Rathaus Reinickendorf. They used two machines because the first proved not to cope with Berlin-soil (accidents happened). Other TBM-bored parts are Rathaus Spandau-Altstadt Spandau, Richard-Wagner-Platz - Bismarckstraße and Yorckstraße - Kleistpark. TBM was not done that much in Berlin. Besides technical aspects it were really the workers, which had to be "imported" from West-Germany. The West-Berlin construction industry got more profit from cut-and-cover.


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I see, Berlin could've afforded to employ TBMs but it didn't as a job-creation measure. Berlin is an old street-bound network and street are more easily torn apart than blocks of houses.

Let's say that for the sake of the argument, U10 had reached Kleistpark at the same time that U8 had reached MV, preferrably around 1994. By 2000, the Western U5 would've gotten from Tegel to Turmstraße whereas U10 would've gotten to Nationalgalerie/Kulturforum. The gap between Turmstraße and N/K may then had been closed in the early 21th century. Do you think that West Berlin still would've made for provisions at e.g. Lehrter Bahnhof in order to incorporate another line from the East? Or would it rather told such proposals to go screw themselves as this more and more hypothetical political wildcard got more and more unlikely? Don't tell me about the hangover when that wildcard eventually happens anyway and want a new main station and Lehrter Bahnhof, tearing the third true West Berlin line apart. Ouch!
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Old September 20th, 2015, 04:33 PM   #1079
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Is it true that in the late '80s there were plans for a brand new network of tram lines in the West, starting from Zoo?
never heard of it. probably no. Only project I know was to reinvent tram on Lichtenrader Damm from Alt-Mariendorf to Lichtenrade and on Heerstraße around 1980. But this was a privat investigation, never reached the status of a project.

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Old September 20th, 2015, 04:41 PM   #1080
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Originally Posted by Skalka View Post
Do you think that West Berlin still would've made for provisions at e.g. Lehrter Bahnhof in order to incorporate another line from the East?
Yes, definetely. They always kept reunification in mind until 1984. A new station around Lehrter Stadtbahnhof and a giant freight-hub around Yorckstraße was planned until 1984, though with no clear layout. 1984 could be seen as the year, when a more moderate and realistic plan went into reality. I remember that the so called Flächennutzungsplan 1984 (a plan to save land for future developping) suddenly neglected nearly all east-west streets and railways for future. They talked vaguely about keeping space free but in fact built some streets in a manner, that they would not satisfy the needs of a reunified city. After all, this probably was a necessary thing to do, no one could knew that the wall would fall down five years later.

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