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European Railroad Discussion > Upstairs, Downstairs: Berlin Hauptbahnhof Part 1


Date: 01/05/20 18:46
Upstairs, Downstairs: Berlin Hauptbahnhof Part 1
Author: F7sForever

Berlin Hauptbahnhof is the main station in the German Capital. Sitting along the River Spree and within view of the Reichstag, the seat of German Parliament, the location plays an essential role in Berlin rail transport. It is abbreviated as Berlin Hbf in timetables, etc. and we shall do that here as well so I don't have any more opportunities to misspell it. The original station, Lehrter Bahnhof, was built in the 1870's to serve the elevated Stadbahn east-west rail lines across the city and reaching beyond, origianlly a line between Berlin and Lehrte. Like most of the rest of the German capital, Lehrter Bahnhof was decimated during WWII. After a brief restoration of service, it was finally razed in the 1950s. Post-war division and later reunification wasn't kind to Berlin, either. Still smarting from the grandeur and defeat of the war effort, Berlin was a bombed-out mess: 1/3 of the city had been leveled. What followed immediately after was a hasty and stark reconstruction, and lack of focus on architectural design led to an almost brutalist aesthetic. There's a lot of debate today over what is worthy of historical preservaton, but I don't think that there is an argument to be made that post-war Berlin can hold a candle to the elegance of some of the less-touched architecture of the German countryside or other parts of Europe.

German reunification set in motion some significant events: first, restoration began on the historic Reichstag, a building that had once been the seat of parliament, but had been abandoned since the nazi era. (East German Parliament met in a different building during its existence, while West German Parliament met in Bonn.) At the same time, another proposed north-south rail connector was proposed to improve rail traffic flow into and through the city. Given its proximity to the Reichstag, the former Lehrter station seemed like a good place to plan the convergence of the new line with the Stadbahn. Construction began on a very modern, very interesting edifice to German rail travel, and in early 2006, Berlin Hauptbahnhof opened to the public. The station is ultra-modern, with effectively five levels. Entering from streetside, passengers come into the third floor of the station, if they were to be numbered from top to bottom. The Stadbahn elevated tracks run east-west across the upper level, while one level down is a concourse level with offices and shops. Going down one floor from ground level, there is another concourse level of shops and offices, while the North-South line runs across the lowest level, fanning out to eight tracks to serve the station.

While in Berlin in November, I made two trips to Berlin Hbf to explore. The first one, presented here, was at night, so most of my time was spent admiring the high speed trains that serve the lower levels. I was at the station during the day a few days later, and spent more time upstairs. I will follow with those photos soon.

Photo 1: Train ICE1004, an ICE-3, has arrived from Munich, and terminated at Berlin. It will leave soon for servicing.

Photo 2: The first ICE-2 that I have seen. Similar to the ICE-1 described earlier, the ICE-2 is more versatile in that it is comprised of smaller train sets, and can be divided up for service on lower volume routes. As such, the ICE-2 only has a single Power Head (locomotive) with a cab on the last car at the opposite end of the train. The cab end looks very similar to the Power Heads on the ICE-1 and ICE-2, save for the telltale windows behind the cab door.

Photo 3: DB Class 112 locomotive 121 was built for East German Railways prior to reunification, and its class is a maintstay on many of the local trains that I saw. It seems fittng then, that its route from western controlled Berlin to the former East German town of Baruth is symbolic of its continued serivce bringing together a united Germany.

More photos will follow.
 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/05/20 20:27 by F7sForever.








Date: 01/05/20 18:58
Re: Upstairs, Downstairs: Berlin Hauptbahnhof Part 1
Author: F7sForever

Photo 4: An ICE-4 making its stop for passengers before departing for Munich. The ICE-4s are the newest generation, and will eventually be replacing the ICE-1 and ICE-2 sets. They had a bit of a slow start because of some techincal issues, but returned to service earlier in the year. This was the first one I had seen in person.

Photo 5: An ICE-2 set slides to a stop on track 5. This particlar train comprised of a pair of ICE-2 demonstrates the versatility of the platform: the leading set shown here originated as train ICE554 from Hagen, while the trailing set is running as train ICE544 from Hannover. They joined up en route, and later in their trip, will separate again, with the forward set running to Koln and the trailing set going to Duseldorf.

Photo 6: EuroCities International train 378 is a conventional locomotive and coach train coming from nearby Berlin Spandau and headed to Kiel. The locomtive is a Siemens Vectron electric. The platform was developed for both electric and diesel; its diesel variant was the basis for the SC44 Charger diesels that Siemens produces for the US market.

More to come!








Date: 01/05/20 19:06
Re: Upstairs, Downstairs: Berlin Hauptbahnhof Part 1
Author: F7sForever

Photo 7: While one EuroCities train was on track 8, a second train arrived on track 1 headed for Prague. Train 1329 is also hauled by a Siemens Vectron electric.

Photo 8: With a little bit of a lull in the underground action, I decided to go upstairs and have a look at the top level tracks. One of the first trains I saw was this Bad Belzig-bound RE7, being pushed from behind by a boxy former East German Railways class 143 motor.

Photo 9: This DB Regio train bound for Dessau is made up of a pair of Alstom Coradia electrics. I took a few more photos, but after dark, the upper level was, well, dark, and the photos weren't all that great. So I started making my way down the maze of escallators to the lower levels to see if there was anything else to see with the last part of my visit.

The last of the photos is yet to come!








Date: 01/05/20 19:14
Re: Upstairs, Downstairs: Berlin Hauptbahnhof Part 1
Author: F7sForever

Photo 10: I had seen most of the different types of high-speed trains in the Deutsche Bahn fleet, but one class was missing: the ICE-1. That drought was broken shortly before I departed witht the arrival of train ICE803, bound for Munich. Note that the power heads look very similar to those on the ICE-2. There are some subtle differences in the nose door between the types, and the ICE-1 power heads also have the DB logo in the red stripe on the nose.

Photo 11: As the Munich train rolled to a stop on track 1, this weather-stained ICE-4 came screaming into the station on track 2 as train ICE695 from Leipzig to Stuttgart.

Photo 12: The power head from an ICE-2 whose arrival station I didn't get. The train terminated at Berlin Hbf.

With that, it was time for me to head back to the hotel and meet my wife for dinner. But I was hopeful that I'd get to visit the station during the day and spend more time on the glassy upper levels. That chance came two days later, and a follow-up to this post will present those photos. Thanks for reading!

Jody








Date: 01/05/20 23:52
Re: Upstairs, Downstairs: Berlin Hauptbahnhof Part 1
Author: railsmith

F7sForever Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Photo 6: EuroCities International train 378 is a
> conventional locomotive and coach train coming
> from nearby Berlin Spandau and headed to Kiel. The
> locomtive is a Siemens Vectron electric. The
> platform was developed for both electric and
> diesel; its diesel variant was the basis for the
> SC44 Charger diesels that Siemens produces for the
> US market.

As the name implies, Eurocity 378 is an international train and originates in Prague at 12:26.  That's a Czech Railways unit leading it.

The Spandau stop comes after Berlin Hbf. The stop prior is Berlin Sudkreuz.



Date: 01/06/20 07:18
Re: Upstairs, Downstairs: Berlin Hauptbahnhof Part 1
Author: choodude

F7sForever Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> but after dark, the upper level was, well, dark, and the photos weren't all that great.

Yes they are great!  Capturing the overall human mood, ambiance of the background and real life is far more interesting to me than roster shots.

Brian

 



Date: 01/09/20 19:47
Re: Upstairs, Downstairs: Berlin Hauptbahnhof Part 1
Author: gaspeamtrak

What a great set of pictures and the information was very interesting !!! 
Thank you for sharing this withus !!! :):):)

Going to check part 2 now !!! :):):)



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