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Most of the recent network is within the confines of the former East Berlin —tram lines within West Berlin having been replaced by buses during the division of Berlin. However the first extension into West Berlin opened in on today's M In the eastern vicinity of the city there are also three private tram lines that are not part of the main system, whereas to the south-west of Berlin is the Potsdam tram system , with its own network of lines.
In , a horse tramway was established in Berlin. In , the world's first electric tram line was opened in the city. Numerous private and municipal operating companies constructed new routes, so by the end of the 19th century the network had developed quite rapidly, and the horse trams had been replaced by electric ones. In West Berlin by the last tram lines had been shut down. With the exception of two lines constructed after German reunification , the Berlin tram continues to be limited to the eastern portion of Berlin.
The public transport system of Berlin is the oldest one in Germany. In , the first bus line from Brandenburger Tor to Charlottenburg was opened by Simon Kremser , already with a timetable.
It was run by Israel Moses Henoch , who had organized the cab service since Like the horse-bus, many companies followed the new development and built horse-tram networks in all parts of the today's urban area. On 16 May , the region of Berlin again wrote transport history.
Initially, the route was intended merely as a testing facility. Siemens named it an "elevated line taken down from its pillars and girders" because he wanted to build a network of electric elevated lines in Berlin. But the skeptical town council did not allow him to do this until , when the first elevated line opened. The first tests of electric traction on Berlin's standard gauge began on 1 May , with overhead supply and in with chemical accumulators , were not very successful.
Definitively, electric traction of standard-gauge trams in Berlin was established in The first tram line with an overhead track supply ran in an industrial area near Berlin-Gesundbrunnen station.
The first line in more a representative area took place with accumulators for its first year, but got a catenary, too, four years later. In , the electrification with overhead wiring had been completed, except for very few lines on the periphery.
On 28 December , it became possible to travel underground, even under the Spree , upon completion of the Spreetunnel between Stralau and Treptow. Owing to structural problems, it was closed on 25 February From to , the tram had a second tunnel, the Lindentunnel , passing under the well-known boulevard Unter den Linden.
The history of tramway companies of the Berlin Strassenbahn is very complicated. The following table includes all companies that operated tramways in today's Berlin before the formation of the BVG. In the early s, the Berlin tramway network began to decline; after partial closing of the world's first electric tram in , on 31 October , the oldest tramway of Germany followed.
Juni was rebuilt by Nazi planners following a monumental East-West-Axis, and the tramway had to leave. Consequently, the bus network was extended during this time. During World War II, some transport tasks were given back to the tramway to save oil. Thus an extensive transport of goods was established.
Bombings from March on and the lack of personnel and electricity caused the transportation performance to decline. Due to the final Battle for Berlin, the tramway system finally collapsed on 23 April From to , both companies exchanged the Thomson-Houston type trolley poles of their tramcars line by line for pantographs.
From onwards, a shift took place in the public transit plans of West-Berlin. From that moment, planning aimed at discontinuing the tramway service and replacing it with extended underground and bus lines. The tramway system was considered old-fashioned and unnecessary since Berlin already had a well-developed underground network.
From to numerous tram lines were replaced with bus routes and extended underground lines and stops. Today, many MetroBus lines follow the routes of former tram lines. The separation of the city resulted in many problems and difficulties for the public transportation system. Soviet Moscow was, with its tram-free avenues, the role model for East-Berlin's transport planning. The car-oriented mentality of West Berlin also settled in the East since a lot of tram lines closed here as well in the s and s.
Following which, some of them are closed, and that is too near to the Berlin Wall :. In addition to bus and subway lines, the new BVG also ran the trams, which now only circulated in the former East Berlin districts.
Previously, passengers changing between modes of transport here had to take a long walk to get to the restored train station. Since then, the trams terminate along the reversing loop "Am Kupfergraben" near the Humboldt University and the Museum Island. The following year saw the re-opening of tram facilities at Alexanderplatz. An increase in tram accidents in the pedestrian zone was feared by critics but did not eventuate.
Since there is no room for a return loop, a blunt ending track was established. In order to accomplish this, bi-directional vehicles were procured.
The main focus was the introduction of Metro lines on densely traveled routes, which do not have any subway or suburban traffic.
In the tram network, therefore, nine MetroTram lines were introduced and the remaining lines were partially rearranged. The numbering scheme is based on that of , but has undergone minor adjustments.
MetroTram and MetroBus lines carry a "M" in front of the line number. Single metro lines operate on the main radial network; As a rule the line number corresponds to that of ; The M4 from the lines 2, 3 and 4, the M5 from the 5, and so on.
In addition, the two Pankow lines 52 and 53 were included as a line M1 in the scheme. The supplementary lines of these radials continue to carry 10 numbers, unless they have acted as amplifiers of the respective metro service. Metro services of the ring and tangential net received a number in the 10er range, the supplementary lines retained the 20er number.
An exception is the subsequently established line 37, which, together with the lines M17 and 27, travels a common route. Of the 50 lines the only remaining was the 50, the 60 lines remained largely unaffected by the measures. On September 4, , a one and a half kilometer long new line from the S-Bahn station Adlershof was opened.
The route, with three newly built stops, cost 13 million euros and was first operated by the lines 60 and 61 at overlapping minute intervals. Since 13 December , the line 63 runs instead of the line 60 to Karl Ziegler Street.
According to original planning the connection should have been completed in However, the plan approval procedure was only completed in Shortly before the plan approval decision expired after five years, the project was approved on August 9, , and soon after the first masts for the overhead line were set up.
It is expected to carry 9, passengers per working day. The double-track line is 2. This is followed by the 1. The planned opening date has already been postponed several times. Originally planned to complete in However, the plan was caught by the Administrative Court in and revised to either and However, the first 80 metres of the track has already been built during the construction of Berlin Hauptbahnhof.
A new approval procedure was completed on 15 January In April , the preparatory construction work had begun. The Ministry of Transport revised the 50 metres of the length, a two-meter-wide strip of garden to the state of Berlin to provide enough space for all road users.
The commissioning of the new line was initially only with the line M5. With the restoration of the connection from the Nordbahnhof to the underground station Naturkundemuseum, the new line from 28 August could also be used by the lines M8 and M The first horse-drawn tramlines did not use any special labeling as they were radially inferior from the respective endpoints in the center and thus had few points of contact with other lines.
Only with the expansion of the network into the city center was there a need to distinguish the lines from each other. From the s, most major German cities therefore used colored target signs or signal boards, sometimes both together.
In Berlin, these were always kept in the same combination. As identification colors red, yellow, green and white were used, from additionally blue. However, the number of signal panels used was not sufficient to equip each line with its own color code. In addition, crossing or side by side lines should run with different signal panels.
This meant that individual lines had to change their color code several times in the course of their existence. With a view of the Hamburg tram, where in the summer of for the first time in German-speaking countries line numbers were introduced, experimented the GBS from also with the numbers. In the timetables of this time, the lines were numbered, but could change their order every year. The numbering scheme should include not only the GBS but also its secondary lines. At the same time, letter-number combinations as they appeared in the timetable booklet should be avoided.
The scheme introduced on May 6, was relatively simple: single numbers were reserved for the ring lines, two-digit for the remaining lines. Initially, the tens gave information about where the line was going; 10 lines were to be found in Moabit, 60 lines in Weissensee and 70 lines in Lichtenberg. The lines of the West Berlin suburban railway were assigned the letters A to M, the Berlin-Charlottenburg tram the letters N to Z and the lines of the Southern Berlin suburban railway were numbered with Roman numerals.
The colored signal panels remained in parallel until about In addition, the lines created during this period were still colored signal panels with new, sometimes even three-color color combinations.
Insertors were marked separately from the March They bore the letter E behind the line number of their main line. In later years, these lines increasingly took over the tasks of booster drives and were therefore shown in the timetables as separate lines.
On April 15, , the GBS introduced the first line with three-digit number.
Trams in Berlin