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Old December 2nd, 2016, 12:46 AM   #1261
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Originally Posted by tunnel owl View Post
No, unfortunately. It´s because of U-Bahn is always seen as to expensive in Berlin. Every other city in Europe expand every systems (tram, metro, urbanrail) if they have so. But let´s wait. At the moment this city is ruled by a bunch of left-winged hardliners without competence but with a lot of ideology.
This policy may be ideologically motivated, but it doesn't necessarily have to be. Berlin is fairly well equipped with an extensive urban rail network and existing lines barely run at capacity. The U5 extension is taken into service by the end of the decade. The pressure to built more metro lines is simply not there. Hence the focus on turning heavily used bus lines into tram lines instead.
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Old December 2nd, 2016, 11:41 AM   #1262
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The issue is that some of the busier tram lines should be converted into heavy subway to speed them up, instead of just getting the flawed "Zurich treatment" of more signal priority and longer trams.
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Old December 2nd, 2016, 01:23 PM   #1263
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Only one of the tram lines operates near capacity. And not even for that one is it possible to derive a necessity to replace it by a metro. The gains are simply too small and too little to make it economical.
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Old December 2nd, 2016, 10:21 PM   #1264
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The idea would be to build more U-Bahn lines and then heavily develop the areas surrounding the stations with high-rises, to help pay for construction costs.
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Old December 3rd, 2016, 09:49 AM   #1265
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How different would it be? Line 21 already has two stops at Neue Bahnhofstraße and Marktstraße which are fairly close to Ostkreuz. Is this rerouting supposed to change the route so that it uses either Sonntag- or Simplonstraße?
It should go through Sonntagstraße and have a direct exchange near the northern inbound S-Bahn-platform at Ostkreuz. At the moment tram-stops seem to be somewhat near Ostkreuz but for daily users it could be much better.
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Old December 3rd, 2016, 09:55 AM   #1266
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This policy may be ideologically motivated, but it doesn't necessarily have to be. Berlin is fairly well equipped with an extensive urban rail network and existing lines barely run at capacity.
This is basically correct for former West-Berlin parts of the city. There could be plenty of possible tram corridors in Spandau, Neukölln, but that´s not the focus at the moment, unfortunately. The U-Bahn-network is nearly sufficient as the Munich, Hamburg and Nürnberg one is (if it comes to coverage of the city, not talking about relieving Munichs U-Bahn trunk-route). As we know East-Berlin only did little with it´s U-Bahn and the future extensions should be there. This is a logic I often hear from non-Berliners to me as a Berliner. I always wondered how Berlin-policy is that stupid not looking at this fact.

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Old December 3rd, 2016, 10:05 AM   #1267
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Only one of the tram lines operates near capacity. And not even for that one is it possible to derive a necessity to replace it by a metro. The gains are simply too small and too little to make it economical.
You often quote things as if there is a proven argument or examination for it, but it isn´t. In fact we are talking about M4 to Weißensee, the tram-line which would have been converted into U-Bahn in 1968 or 1980 if they would have the money and capacity in the GDR. We have a frequent interval of 3-3-4 with 46 m trams. Now they talk about extending to 60 m and expanding infrastructure (current-transmission). This comes very close to Budapest frequent tram-lines. It is basically possible but not the adequate service on the long run.

Probably not known is the fact, that passenger-traffic on M4 is fairly comparable to a medium U-Bahn-service on it´s stretch between Alexanderplatz and Weißensee with about 50.000 daily users between two stops and growing demand (as the focus on building new apartments is in the Northeast of Berlin due to available place).
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Old December 4th, 2016, 11:36 PM   #1268
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This is basically correct for former West-Berlin parts of the city. There could be plenty of possible tram corridors in Spandau, Neukölln, but that´s not the focus at the moment, unfortunately. The U-Bahn-network is nearly sufficient as the Munich, Hamburg and Nürnberg one is (if it comes to coverage of the city, not talking about relieving Munichs U-Bahn trunk-route). As we know East-Berlin only did little with it´s U-Bahn and the future extensions should be there. This is a logic I often hear from non-Berliners to me as a Berliner. I always wondered how Berlin-policy is that stupid not looking at this fact.
But East-Berlin also kept its tram network. While this is actually a plus, in case of replacing the M4 by a metro, however, it is a big obstacle rather. To create an economic case for a Weissensee metro line, it needs to be better than the status quo by more than the additional expenses that it takes to built and to operate the new line. And this is difficult as the existing tram line, while not exactly perfect, provides still a decent service.

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You often quote things as if there is a proven argument or examination for it, but it isn´t. In fact we are talking about M4 to Weißensee, the tram-line which would have been converted into U-Bahn in 1968 or 1980 if they would have the money and capacity in the GDR. We have a frequent interval of 3-3-4 with 46 m trams. Now they talk about extending to 60 m and expanding infrastructure (current-transmission). This comes very close to Budapest frequent tram-lines. It is basically possible but not the adequate service on the long run.
I do recognise that the Weissensee line could be metro. It is probably a borderline decision at the moment with growing arguments in favour of a metro. The tight finances of Berlin and the reluctance of its government to invest are, however, persevering forces that are not easy to overcome.

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Probably not known is the fact, that passenger-traffic on M4 is fairly comparable to a medium U-Bahn-service on it´s stretch between Alexanderplatz and Weißensee with about 50.000 daily users between two stops and growing demand (as the focus on building new apartments is in the Northeast of Berlin due to available place).
Let the area grow for another 5 years and with a different senate in charge there might be enough arguments to start planning the Weissensee metro by then. But for the next 5 years there will be no metro extension other than the U5 in the centre.
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Old December 5th, 2016, 04:51 AM   #1269
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The good news is that a hypothetical U10 could be relatively cheap and fast to build, compared to the difficult works needed for U5 in recent years.
The wide median of Greifswalder Str. should allow for a simple cut-and-cover building at least up to Antonplatz, and M4 could be rerouted via M13+M2 during the works to guarantee a still decently fast link to Alex (plus a bus to cover the interrupted segment).

The station at Alex is pretty much already there.

Another interesting point is what to do with this line once it reaches Alex. There were some intense plans for U10 in the city center and towards the west, but compared to U5's cost and time they appear as pure fantasy today.

I think a dirty but very practical trick would be to just route it into the new U5 to Hbf, doubling the inner city service. Maybe not the optimal routing, but it would be immediately effective with no additional expenses (and delays), as the station is already designed to do so; and still leaving the door open for future evolutions.
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Old December 5th, 2016, 05:16 AM   #1270
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It is a fallacy that cut-and-cover is less expensive than TBM on urban areas, if the soil is already full of utilities, cables etc.
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Old December 5th, 2016, 07:10 PM   #1271
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The good news is that a hypothetical U10 could be relatively cheap and fast to build, compared to the difficult works needed for U5 in recent years.

I think a dirty but very practical trick would be to just route it into the new U5 to Hbf, doubling the inner city service.
This would make sense as it is not useful to substitute M4 only, without offering a non-transfer service further into the city. Signalling allows in principal 90 s headway, making 120 s possible to have U5 and Weißensee-line running at 4-Min. interval.

Since at least 50 years the eastern lane and the median-stripe of Greifswalder Straße is kept free from sewage-pipes and other heavy pipes as it is done in other parts of the city for keeping place for the metro. But in theory, building such a long thing probably would be better with TBM. Surprisingly (or not) the cost of TBM-tunnels on U5-extension was about 40 Mill. Euro for about 1,6 km twin-tunnel which is 1/10 of the whole budget. The longer the to be build strecth is, the more economic should be the use of TBM.
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Old December 5th, 2016, 07:20 PM   #1272
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Let the area grow for another 5 years and with a different senate in charge there might be enough arguments to start planning the Weissensee metro by then. But for the next 5 years there will be no metro extension other than the U5 in the centre.
That´s it. Basically the idea of having U8 extended to Märkisches Viertel was not bad (1 km tunnel missing) but still fairly more underrated is a possible 0,6 km extension of U2 to Pankow-Kirche in addition with a long planned tram-tangent from Pankow-Niederschönhausen to Heinersdorf, crossing the Stettiner Bahn. This would relieve the tram-bottleneck at Pankow Berliner Straße where all tram-lines have to pass and it would give the opportunity for further tram-development in Pankow. I suppose it will turn out, that you can´t have one without the other, it´s ridicoulous 600 m missing which could help much for the local Pankow-network of trams/busses.
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Old December 5th, 2016, 07:24 PM   #1273
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Going at it again: excavating a tunnel is actually a relatively cheap part of subway projects. Excavating underground stations cost much more than the tiny bores that carry the trains... Just take a look of how cheap the Gotthard tunnel in Switzerland is, despite the very harsh environment, up to 2400m of rock above it, multiple access tunnels to speed the project, massive water table issues, hot materials etc.

Barcelona used an interesting system that might have applications in Berlin: a very wide TBM builds tunnels that allow each track to be in a different level (stacked over each other), and near stations the track is pushed outward so that the rest of the cylinder section of the tube is used for platforms. This do away with most excavation of ' station caverns', which is where expenses really pile up (such as the Bundestag station).
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Old December 5th, 2016, 09:21 PM   #1274
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Barcelona used an interesting system that might have applications in Berlin: a very wide TBM builds tunnels that allow each track to be in a different level
No way, I know Barcelone L9/10 tunnels and the whole thing should have been cheaper than to bore two tunnels. In fact it wasn´t cheaper in Barcelona at all. Furthermore this alignment only makes sense if there is no place for stations in an open cut and the terrain is hilly. The huge TBM needs to be operated in greater depth like a single bored tunnel and there is no big flexibility with the alignment.
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Old December 6th, 2016, 01:57 AM   #1275
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Considering how wide Greifswalder Straße is, it would probably make sense to build the line immediately under the road and build the stations with no mezzanines, just one island platform with stairs leading to the road median (similar to U6 in the city center), possibly with a canopy.
I don't want to claim which solution is better because I have no data, but this kind of solution should cut a lot of the cost for stations.

The TBM would probably be necessary north of Antonplatz, where the road gets narrower.

I wonder if, with "U10" operative, M4 should be rebuilt or not, for shorter connections. Maybe a M bus could suffice there.
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Old December 6th, 2016, 08:01 AM   #1276
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The alignment still kept free in the so called FNP (Flächennutzungsplan) is with following stations: Mollstraße, Immanuelkirchstraße, Danziger Straße, S Greifswalder Straße, Ostseestraße, Antonplatz (a Little bit east from it), Buschallee, Gehringstraße.

Building stations without mezzanines could be an Option at Immanuelkirchstraße, Greifswalder Straße and Ostseestraße. Others have not enough space or it is needed to create a transfer-corridor to tram. As you can see, dictance between stations is bigger in the North as M13 should run parallel from Ostseestraße (tram rerouted from Langhansstraße) until Buschallee. It would make no sense have tram running from Ostseestraße to Alexanderplatz again. Journey time for Rathaus Weißensee to Alexanderplatz was calculated with 11 Min. based on 60 km/h, let´s say it´s 10 Min. with 70 km/h. Tram Needs 22 Min. for this.

Concerning TBM: It would be needed between Ostseestraße and Buschallee and between Alexanderplatz and Mollstraße. They are building a Hotel at the Mollknoten actually and the foundation has to take respect of a future Metro.
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Old December 6th, 2016, 05:20 PM   #1277
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This policy may be ideologically motivated, but it doesn't necessarily have to be. Berlin is fairly well equipped with an extensive urban rail network and existing lines barely run at capacity. The U5 extension is taken into service by the end of the decade. The pressure to built more metro lines is simply not there. Hence the focus on turning heavily used bus lines into tram lines instead.
OK but what about extensions like U3 Krumme Lanke - Mexikoplatz; U6 U Tegel - S Tegel; U1 U Warschauer Str. - S Warschauer Str. (- Frankfurter Tor); U2 S Pankow - Pankow Kirche?
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Old December 6th, 2016, 07:19 PM   #1278
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U3 Krumme Lanke - Mexikoplatz
This extension falls short of bearing a benefit-cost-ratio above 1,0. One would need a drastically changed environment to get this project going, I'm afraid.

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U6 U Tegel - S Tegel
The S-Bahn station could be moved by 200 metres. But I struggle to imagine a joint station of S- and U-Bahn in Tegel.

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U1 U Warschauer Str. - S Warschauer Str. (- Frankfurter Tor)
Would have been a nice addition. But the way the S-Bahn station Warschauer Str is being built right now terminates all thoughts of an extension for decades.

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U2 S Pankow - Pankow Kirche
I can't say much about this one.

There is one thing that all of these extension have in common though. They should have been along with the other sections of their line. This window of opportunity was missed. Now it is difficult to create an economic case for a one station extension.
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Old December 7th, 2016, 01:03 PM   #1279
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This extension falls short of bearing a benefit-cost-ratio above 1,0. One would need a drastically changed environment to get this project going, I'm afraid.


The S-Bahn station could be moved by 200 metres. But I struggle to imagine a joint station of S- and U-Bahn in Tegel.


Would have been a nice addition. But the way the S-Bahn station Warschauer Str is being built right now terminates all thoughts of an extension for decades.


I can't say much about this one.

There is one thing that all of these extension have in common though. They should have been along with the other sections of their line. This window of opportunity was missed. Now it is difficult to create an economic case for a one station extension.
How about Uhlandsstrasse - Adenauerplatz - Westkreuz?

There are so many gaps to be filled. The Berlin U-bahn network seems so incomplete many places.

The least they could do was to extend U1 to Adenauerplatz, U3+U4 (in a common tunnel) from Nollendorfplatz to Potsdammerplatz and U5 to Turmstrasse. Closing the gaps, getting a more coherent network and exploit the already prepared stations.
That would also give better use for the spare capacity at U3 and U4 and a better access to the traffical hubs at Hauptbahnhof and Potsdammerplatz.
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Old December 7th, 2016, 07:49 PM   #1280
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How about Uhlandsstrasse - Adenauerplatz - Westkreuz?
There are so many gaps to be filled. The Berlin U-bahn network seems so incomplete many places.
Well it is, but we have to differ in terms of useful and necessary. From that point of view the corridor from Steglitz via Kleistpark, Potsdamer Platz and Alexanderplatz to Weißensee is really the only one which is obviously fitted with the wrong means of public-transport and it´s necessary to do something. Other projects like substitute bus with tram or having U-Bahn extended is useful, but priority of financing is not given. Berlin is really in deep financial troubles still.
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