KREUZBERGED BERLIN

Everything You Never Knew You Wanted to Know About Berlin

ROUND AND ROUND THE DOG´S HEAD

The opening of four new Ringbahn stations – Tempelhof, Wilmersdorf, Grunewald (since 1884 Halensee) and Charlottenburg (now Westend) – on November 15, 1877 as well as connecting the latter with Ringbahnhof Moabit completed the railway “circle” built around Berlin since the end of the 1860s.

The eastern section of the circular railway line, the “Ringbahn”, opened for service in July 1871. However, it took another six years to construct its western “half”.

Berliner Ringbahn in 1881

Berliner Ringbahn in 1881

One of the problems was the fact that the planed line crossed several independent administrative entities: for instance, Charlottenburg, which was a city in its own right and a rather wealthy (read: influential) city to boot.

Planning the line in a way which would satisfy all the parties involved required both time and keeping one´s nerves well under control. In the end, everybody would profit from a railway line connecting (directly or indirectly) all main Berlin stations.

Bahnhof Tempelhof sseen from Berliner Straße (Tempelhofer Damm today) looking north towards Berlin (until 1920 Tempelhof was not part of the capital).

Train leaving Bahnhof Tempelhof, seen from Berliner Straße (Tempelhofer Damm today) looking north towards Berlin (until 1920 Tempelhof was not part of the capital).

In November 1877, exactly 139 years ago today, the circle was completed. After initially serving only long-distance and freight trains, it soon opened for passenger traffic, too.

Today, the 37-kilometre long line connecting 27 stations is one of the busiest railway lines in Berlin: around 2,500 passengers travel on board of the “Ringbahn” (lines S41 and S42) in a single “lap”.

S-Bahn Ring today (image through S-Bahn).

S-Bahn Ring today (image through S-Bahn).

By the way, the “Ring” is no ring at all – its rather irregular shape bears an uncanny resemblance to a dog´s head. Hence the line´s common name coined by the locals: “Hundekopf”.

(text by @kreuzberged based on “Notmsparker´s Berlin Companion” available at Berlinarium)

 

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