Berlin, Germany

From nycsubway.org


Berlin U-Bahn line U1 train on the Oberbaumbrücke. Photo by David Pirmann, August 2009.

Berlin, the largest city in Germany, hosts extensive U-Bahn (subway), S-Bahn (suburban railways) and trams. In all cases, these are the largest such networks in the country. In the case of the U-Bahn and the trams, Berlin can claim firsts regarding the year of their birth, with the first electric streetcar in the world beginning operations in 1881.

The S-Bahn can be called a suburban commuter system similar to Paris' RER. It is operated by S-Bahn Berlin GmbH, a subsidiary of the Deutsche Bahn. There are 15 routes that connect the city's main train stations and major U-Bahn transfer points, including Charlottenburg, Zoologischer Garten, Hauptbahnhof, Friedrichstraße, and Alexanderplatz. The 15 routes are arranged into three major "lines": the east-west Stadtbahn, a north-south "Nordsüd", and a ring line known as the Ringbahn.

The U-Bahn is a rapid transit system that includes substantial underground portions. The first line opened in 1902 and now services 170 stations. The U-Bahn was mostly constructed prior to World War II and the postwar rise of the Berlin Wall. The U-Bahn lines in East Germany were severed from the West, and two West Berlin lines passed through East Berlin territory without stopping. The system was reconnected after German reunification. The Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) operates the U-Bahn service as well as the Strassenbahn and bus lines.




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