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 Berlin . Germany

Berlin U-Bahn and S-Bahn Network - Click to expand!

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U7 Rathaus SpandauIK trainBerlin was restored as the German capital right after the unification of the two German states in 1990 and has about 3.8 million inhabitants. The city has one of the oldest and most extensive metro networks in Europe. The rapid transit network actually comprises two separate systems, the U-Bahn with 9 lines, and the S-Bahn. In 1993 the Verkehrsgemeinschaft Berlin-Brandenburg (VBB) was founded to organize all public transport both in Berlin and the surrounding State of Brandenburg.

In West Berlin, the present line numbers were assigned in 1966, replacing the previously used letters. The prefix 'U' was added in 1984 to distinguish the U-Bahn lines from the S-Bahn lines taken over by the BVG. In East Berlin, however, no numbers were used on maps, neither for U-Bahn nor for S-Bahn lines. The Berlin U-Bahn system consists of two types of lines, both of which have the same track gauge of 1435 mm:

1) Small-profile lines : with 2.3 m wide and 12.8 m long cars (married pairs); normally operating as six or eight-car trains (in the case of the newer HK & IK stock, two 4-car trainsets); third-rail power supply, with current being collected from the top side of the power rail; rolling stock: A3, HK and IK

2) Large-profile lines : with 2.65 m wide and 15.5 m long cars (married pairs); normally operating as six-car trains (off-peak also 4-car trains). Trains of the newer H stock consist of six cars totalling 98.7 m, with gangways between carriages. On large-profile lines, power is also supplied via a third-rail, but with current being collected from the bottom side of the power rail. Temporarily, on line U5 also small-profile IK trains with side boards are in service.


- The first U-Bahn line opened in 1902 between Warschauer Brücke (now Warschauer Straße) and Knie (now Ernst-Reuter-Platz), with a branch to Potsdamer Platz. This first line (view map) was mainly elevated. In the following years the network grew steadily towards the west (today's west and west) and branches were built to the south (now and ). The original line was also extended into the city centre from Potsdamer Platz as far as Spittelmarkt (). At the beginning of World War I in 1914, Berlin's U-Bahn network already had a total length of 37.8 km. The older lines belong to the small profile network. (view network map 1920)

U-Bahn- In 1923 the first section of a new north-south line opened (former Line C, now ) between Seestraße and Hallesches Tor right through the city along Friedrichstraße. This was the first of the large profile lines. From then on Berlin's U-Bahn grew again very fast until 1930, when lines had mostly been completed as we know them today (then operated as Line A and B), and the first sections of several new lines had been opened, too:
(Alexanderplatz to Friedrichsfelde - Line E), (Seestraße to Tempelhof - Line C), (Mehringdamm to Grenzallee, as a branch of Line C), and (Gesundbrunnen to Leinestraße - Line D).
(view network map 1940).

- After the World War II, the U-Bahn and S-Bahn kept running from one side of Berlin to the other until the Wall was built in 1961, when today's was split into two lines, line was curtailed at Schlesisches Tor, and lines and began travelling through East Berlin skipping all stations on GDR territory (ghost stations). An exception was Friedrichstraße (), which was a border crossing point for pedestrians and a transfer point to the S-Bahn. See individual lines for details.

- While Berlin was a divided city (view network map 1961), on the eastern side of the Wall only line was extended, mainly on the surface, towards the east to new residential areas (1973 Tierpark, 1989 Hönow). In the west, a new line was added, a north-south link avoiding the historic centre: (opened between 1961 and 1976). Line (opened between 1972 and 1984) turned out to be an important link between the southeastern and the western districts.

- After the Berlin Wall was torn down in Nov. 1989, all ghost stations were reopened as soon as possible, line was restored and re-opened in 1993, and two years later, in 1995, also returned to its original terminus at Warschauer Straße, across the traditional Oberbaum Bridge.

- In the meantime was extended towards the north to Wittenau (1994) and south to Hermannstraße (S-Bahn-Ring, 1996). In October 1998, a new station called Mendelssohn-Bartholdy-Park, was added to line between Gleisdreieck and Potsdamer Platz to improve access to the new Potsdamer Platz area. After some years of construction, a short extension from Vinetastraße to Pankow was eventually opened on 16 Sept. 2000, with the new terminus station situated right under the S-Bahn station.

- After 9 years of existence, line U15 disappeared from the map, instead the number was re-introduced on 12 Dec 2004, now serving the Nollendorfplatz - Krumme Lanke stretch.

U-Bahn- In August 2009, three new stations opened on an isolated line, temporarily referred to as line . This line was actually the first section of a western extension, the construction of which was initiated during the 1990s in combination with the new government district around the Reichstag and the new central station, which opened in 2006. While the bored tunnels between Brandenburger Tor and Hauptbahnhof, as well as the station boxes at Hauptbahnhof and Bundestag were completed together with the government buildings, the construction of Brandenburger Tor station only began in 2004. The short line used to be operated by a shuttle service on a single-track before it closed in spring 2020. More info and photos here.

- On 7 May 2018, line was extended to Warschauer Straße, sharing tracks with line between Wittenbergplatz and the eastern terminus.

- The missing section on line , Alexanderplatz - Brandenburger Tor, eventually opened on 4 Dec 2020, most probably the last U-Bahn extension for many years.

In Dec 2020, Berlin's U-Bahn network has a total length of roughly 150 km and 9 lines, with line being the longest at 32 km and the shortest at only 2.9 km.

U-Bahn Detailed History

U2 Schönhauser Allee

U2 Deutsche Oper

U3 Heidelberger Platz

U6 Otisstraße

Uhlandstraße — Warschauer Straße

8.9 km (3.1 km underground) - 13 stations

Line U1 starts underground at Uhlandstraße below Berlin's famous Kurfürstendamm. While the section to Wittenbergplatz hat already been opened in 1913, an additional station was added in 1961 to provide transfer to the new north-south line U9. At Nollendorfplatz, line U1 shares the 4-track underground station with lines U3 and U4 (between Wittenbergplatz and Nollendorfplatz, lines U1 and U3 share tracks). Between Nollendorfplatz and Gleisdreieck (upper level), line U1 runs along the so-called 'relief route' opened in 1926 to allow a direct line from Kreuzberg towards Wittenbergplatz, after the triangular junction at Gleisdreieck had been rebuilt into a two-level crossing in 1912. From Gleisdreieck to Warschauer Straße, line U1 uses the elevated route as opened in 1902, Berlin's oldest metro line. Due to the erection of the Berlin Wall, the line was curtailed at Schlesisches Tor between 1961 and 1995.

More about line


U1 Hallesches Tor
Ruhleben — Pankow

20.7 km (14.5 km underground) - 29 stations

From Ruhleben, line U2 runs on an embankment to Olympia-Stadion, before entering the first tunnel section, which runs through the district of Charlottenburg to a point between Wittenbergplatz and Nollendorfplatz. The section between Ernst-Reuter-Platz (formerly Knie) and Potsdamer Platz is part of the original U-Bahn opened in 1902.
The line enters the next underground section right after Mendelssohn-Bartholdy-Park and winds its way through the city centre on a rather indirect route. After Senefelderplatz, it emerges from the tunnel to continue on an elevated structure along Schönhauser Allee, before re-entering the tunnel between Schönhauser Allee and Vinetastraße stations, the latter remaining the northern terminus from 1930 until 2000, when the line was finally extended to Pankow S-Bahn station.
What is now line U2, was split into two separate lines when the Wall was erected in 1961. The elevated section between Nollendorfplatz and Gleisdreieck was out of service from 1972 until 1993.

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U2 Ramp Senefelderplatz - Eberswalder Str.
Krumme Lanke — Warschauer Straße

18.7 km (~8 km underground) - 24 stations

Line U3 basically serves the Wilmersdorf-Dahlem U-Bahn, which, though connected to the Berlin U-Bahn from the beginning, was built by the then independent municipalities of Wilmersdorf and Dahlem, and therefore stations have designs different from the typical Berlin underground stations from that period. On the surface section, all stations have individually designed entrance buildings at street level. While the outer section through Dahlem runs in an open cutting, the route through Wilmersdorf is underground. From the 1960s, the Krumme Lanke branch was operated as line U2, but became line U1 in 1993, when the present U2 alignment was re-established. But in 2004, line number U3 was re-introduced and assigned to this leg. In May 2018, line U3 was extended to Warschauer Straße, sharing tracks with line U1 between Wittenbergplatz and the eastern terminus.

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U3 Dahlem Dorf
Innsbrucker Platz — Nollendorfplatz

2.9 km (underground) - 5 stations

Line U4 was originally built by the city of Schöneberg as an isolated U-Bahn line, but to the same parameters used on the Berlin lines. It was eventually connected to the Berlin small-profile system in 1926, when the station at Nollendorfplatz was rebuilt, and through operation on the route to Warschauer Straße was introduced. In the 1980s, driverless automatic operation was tested on line U4.

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U4 Rathaus Schöneberg
Hauptbahnhof — Hönow

22 km (8.5 km above ground) - 26 stations

The present U5 consists of an underground section opened in 1930, a short underground section from 1973, an eastern surface extension completed in 1988/89, the former U55 (Hauptbahnhof - Brandenburger Tor) and the final intermediate section (Alexanderplatz - Brandenburger Tor). Line U5 was once entirely located in East Berlin and was the only large-profile line in that part of the city. Although a western extension had been envisaged from the 1930s, this was only completed in 2020. According to the old 200-km masterplan, line was to continue westwards from Hauptbahnhof via Turmstraße () to Jungfernheide () and the former Tegel Airport (TXL), but this project is no longer pursued.

On line U5, every other train terminates at Kaulsdorf-Nord during off-peak hours.

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U5 Hauptbahnhof
Alt-Tegel — Alt-Mariendorf

19.9 km (17 km underground) - 29 stations

Line U6 was the first large-profile line when it opened in 1923. It runs along Friedrichstraße, Berlin's major north-south axis in the city centre. Initially the former Line C had two southern branches, but the eastern branch from Mehringdamm to Britz-Süd was transferred to the new line U7 in 1966. In the 1950s and 1960s, line U6 was extended at both ends to become Berlin's busiest north-south line. The northern extension to Tegel includes a 3-station elevated section.

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U6 Alt-Mariendorf
Rathaus Spandau — Rudow

31.8 km (underground) - 40 stations

Running below ground for approximately one hour, line U7 is Berlin's longest metro line. Its oldest part is the stretch through Kreuzberg/Neukölln from Mehringdamm to Grenzallee, which opened in the 1920s as a branch of the former line C (now U6). In 1966, line U7 became a separate line and was subsequently extended at the both ends. The western extension runs through Schöneberg, Wilmersdorf and Charlottenburg and eventually reached Spandau in 1984, at a time when there was no S-Bahn service to this area. Line U7 turned out to be an important cross-city line in what was formerly West Berlin.

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U7 Hermannplatz
Wittenau — Hermannstraße

18.2 km (underground) - 24 stations

Line U8 is completely underground and comprises the Gesundbrunnen-Neukölln U-Bahn line (Line D) opened in the 1920s. During the times of the city's division, U8 trains ran through East Berlin skipping all stations from Bernauer Straße to Heinrich-Heine-Straße. All 'ghost stations' were re-opened in the months following the fall of the Wall in Nov. 1989. The construction of a northern extension began in the 1970s and eventually reached Wittenau in 1994, although the initially 2-3 station extension to Märkisches Viertel was later shelved due to other priorities after the unification of the city. In the south, a 1-station extension was finished to provide interchange with the S-Bahn ring line which had re-opened in 1993.

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U8 Bernauer Straße
Osloer Straße — Rathaus Steglitz

12.5 km (underground) - 18 stations

Line U9 was opened shortly before the Berlin Wall was erected in 1961. It runs entirely on former West Berlin territory and is an important north-south axis bypassing the historic city centre. It is completely underground, and thanks to its straight alignment one of Berlin's fastest lines.

More about line


U9 Schlossstraße

Photos © R. Schwandl (UrbanRail.Net)

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After the opening of the western extension, there are no immediate plans to expand the U-Bahn system, although several extensions of existing lines are being discussed time and again:

U1: Warschauer Straße - Ostkreuz
U2: Pankow - Pankow Kirche
U3: Krumme Lanke - Mexikoplatz
U5: Hauptbahnhof - Turmstraße - Jungfernheide - (former) TXL Airport
U6: branch off Kurt-Schumacher-Platz to (former) TXL Airport, future Urban Tech Republic
U7: Rudow - new airport BER
U7: Rathaus Spandau - Staaken
U8: Wittenau - Märkisches Viertel
U9: Osloer Straße - Pankow

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U-BahnBVG (Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe - U-Bahn Official Site)

VBB (Tariff union Berlin-Brandenburg)

U-Bahn Berlin at Wikipedia.de

UndergroundBerlin by Christopher Land (incl. Videos & News)

Berliner Verkehrsseiten by Markus Jurziczek

Berliner U-Bahn Archiv by Axel Mauruszat (features historic documents)

Berliner Verkehr by Ralf Müller incl. map and track map

Berliner Linienchronik

Berlin U & S-Bahn Gallery incl. all underground and elevated stations

U-Bahn Opening Dates

Berliner U-Bahn.info by Patrick Popiol

U-Bahn-Museum (at U-Bahn station Olympia-Stadion - U2)

Berlin U-Bahn Signals by Wolfgang Meyenberg

Bwald - Bibliography about the Berlin U-Bahn

U-Bahn.co (Station by station gallery by Ryan Hartman)

Berliner Stadtplansammlung


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 Our books about Urban Rail in Germany

Tram Atlas DeutschlandRobert Schwandl:


- 06/2024, Berlin, ISBN 978 3 836573 74 9 .

- Detailed colour maps for more than 50 German tramway cities, illustrated with numerous photos

- Text German and English

- More details

Schnellbahnen in Deutschland/Metros in GermanyRobert Schwandl:

U-Bahnen in Deutschland

+ U-Stadtbahnen

- Feb 2019, Berlin, ISBN 978 3 836573 57 2

- Anything you need to know about German metro and light rail systems with underground sections, with detailed maps and hundreds of colour photos; 160 pages; Text German and English - More details

 Other Books from Robert Schwandl Verlag

Robert Schwandl: Berlin U-Bahn Album - All Underground and Elevated Stations in Colour. - 2nd edition, May 2013, 160 pages, German/English, ISBN 978 3 836573 39 8 More info

Robert Schwandl: U-Bahn, S-Bahn & Tram in Berlin. - 3rd edition Feb. 2023, ISBN 978 3 836573 68 8 More info


U-Bahn, S-Bahn & Tram in Berlin Berlin U-Bahn Album U1 Stammstrecke durch Kreuzberg U2 City-Linie über Zoo und Alex U3 Wilmersdorf-Dahlemer Bahn U4 Schöneberger U-Bahn U5 U6 Nordsüdbahn durch Mitte U7 Quer durch den Westen Berlin U8 - Von Gesundbrunnen nach Neukölln U9 Nord-Süd durch die City-West

 Other Books

Arbeitsgemeinschaft Berliner Nahverkehr e.V. und Berliner Fahrgastverband IGEB e.V.: Berliner U-Bahn-Chronik. - 2007, GVE-Verlag, ISBN 978-3-89218-110-1

Andreas Biedl: Die Fahrzeuge der Berliner U-Bahn, Typ B. - June 2005, Neddermeyer, Berlin, ISBN 3933254566

Christoph Brachmann: Licht und Farbe im Berliner Untergrund. - Oct. 2003, 292 p. - Mann (Gebr.), Berlin, ISBN 3786124779

Verkehrsgeschichtl. Blätter e.V.(ed.): U5. Geschichte(n) aus dem Untergrund. Zwischen 'Alex' und Hönow. - 2003, GVE, ISBN 3-89218-079-2

Susanne Hattig, Reiner Schipporeit: Großstadt-Durchbruch. Pioniere der Berliner U- Bahn. Fotografien um 1900. - 2002, 176p, Jaron Verlag, ISBN 3897730642

Jan Gympel: U-Bahn Berlin. Geschichte(n) für unterwegs. - 256p., b/w, Verlag GVE, April 2002, ISBN 3892180725

Sigurd Hilkenbach, Uwe Poppel: Ein Jahrhundert Berliner U- Bahn in Streckenplänen und Fotos. [A century of Berlin U-Bahn in network maps and photos] - 80 pages, - Jaron Vlg., Berlin, 2002 ISBN 3897730499

Gauglitz, Gerd and Holger Orb: BERLINS S- UND U-BAHNNETZ. EIN GESCHICHTLICHER STRECKENPLAN. - 2001, Edition Gauglitz, ISBN 3-933502-09-8
Similar to London's Diagrammatic History, this huge map shows all opening (and closing) dates of all Berlin transit routes and stations.

Jürgen Meyer-Kronthaler, Klaus Kurpjuweit: Berliner U- Bahn. In Fahrt seit hundert Jahren. - 2001, bebra Verlag, Berlin

Hardy, Brian: THE BERLIN U-BAHN. Capital Transport, 1996. - Well illustrated handbook.

Domke, P. und M. Hoeft: TUNNEL, GRÄBEN, VIADUKTE. - 100 Jahre Baugeschichte der Berliner U-Bahn. - Kulturbild-Verlag, 1998. A good book that illustrates the history of Berlin's underground with lots of color and black and white photographs.

Meyer-Kronthaler, J.: BERLINS U-BAHNHÖFE. - Die ersten 100 Jahre. - be.bra Verlag, 1996. Illustrates the history of all Berlin underground stations in the first 100 years.

Gympel, Jan: U4 - DIE SCHÖNEBERGER U-BAHN - Gesellschaft für Verkehrspolitik und Eisenbahnwesen e.V, 114 pages, Nov. 2000 ISBN: 3892180903

U2. Geschichten aus dem Untergrund. - GVE e. V., 1998

U1. Geschichten aus dem Untergrund. - GVE, 1998

Lemke/Poppel: BERLINER U-BAHN. - 175 p., Alba, Düsseldorf, 1996. Well illustrated survey of the history of the Berlin Subway and Elevated Railway. Black & white and colour photographs.

Gottwaldt, Alfred: DAS BERLINER U- UND S-BAHNNETZ. Eine Geschichte in Streckenplänen. - Argon, Berlin, 1994. Excellent book showing all Berlin Network maps from 1888 until 1990 in full colour.

Pabst, Martin: U- und S-Bahn-Fahrzeuge in Deutschland. München: GeraNova, 2000. ISBN 3932785185 German metro and suburban rail rolling stock, 160 pages

Günther Bellmann: Durch Berlin mit der U- Bahn. Wittenbergplatz bis Schönhauser Allee. 2001. bebra , Berlin

Handke, Stephan: BERLIN UND SEINE U-BAHN - 1994

Horst Bosetzky, Uwe Poppel: Tegel, Zurückbleiben bitte! - 135 p., Jaron Vlg., Berlin, 1999, ISBN 3897730006

Andreas Biedl, Norbert Walter: Die Fahrzeuge der Berliner U-Bahn, Typ E - 2001, ISBN 3933254175

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2004 © UrbanRail.Net by Robert Schwandl.