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Report from Berlin - InnoTrans 2010


In addition to our visit to InnoTrans, we also spent time sampling Berlin's famous transit system. This page covers the tramway network, which is located primarily in the former Eastern sector of the city. Despite the trams having been abandoned entirely in West Berlin during the 1960s, the system is still Germany's largest tram network.  

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Crossover at Alexanderplatz Typical Berlin tram platform (Alexanderplatz terminus) Alexanderplatz is a major transfer point to the U-Bahn and S-Bahn networks, it's a busy place! One of the city's many double-deck transit buses can also be seen at right.
       
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In the shadow of the old Soviet Radio Tower. The majority of the fleet is single-ended.

Berlin presently operates a mixed fleet of 100 percent low-floor and conventional high-floor trams Passenger view boarding a conventional high-floor tram Boarding a low-floor car at the same platform
       
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Interior of one of the Tatra high-floor cars, nicely refurbished The newest cars in the fleet are the Bombardier "Flexity Berlin" cars

Interior of one of the single-ended prototype Flexity cars. Double-ended prototypes are also on the property.

       
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For maintenance and reliability reasons, BVG has decided against powered bridgeplates, opting instead for this manually-deployed bridgeplate. Although the bridgeplate is not typically needed at stations with platforms, it is necessary to board a wheelchair from one of the older street-level stops. 

          
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Adjacent to Alexanderplatz and a major department store,  Memhardstrasse is a busy station

View from a passing tram on the M6 route

A coupled set of Tatras passing through the busy junction at Landsberger Allee

       
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The busy junction at Landsberger Allee
         
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The tram network is a mixture of both street and segregated running, including long stretches in street medians

A coupled set of 1990s Adtranz low-floor cars

Much of the network has real-time passenger information displays on the platforms
       
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Night scene Bicycles and trains work well together! Scenes adjacent to the Warschuer U-Bahn terminus
       
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Doorway on one of the Adtranz low-floor cars A pull-in at the Lichtenberg Maintenance Depot Scenes at the large Lichtenberg Maintenance Depot
       
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An Adtranz car on the pit minus its trucks

Trucks from under one of the 1990s Adtranz low-floor cars. Only one set of wheels on each truck is powered.
       
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The traction motors are tucked under the seats on one side of the car. There is one traction motor for each truck, driving one set of wheels only.

A drive-shaft connects the motor to the gear box on each truck

The "Party Tram", available for charter. It's now officially dubbed the "Drink-N-Drive". The comfortable interior is outfitted with a bar, restroom, booths and tables.
Woltersdorf

A side trip to see the famous Woltersdorf tram line was well worth the effort. Connecting with a suburban S-Bahn station, this isolated tram line is truly a throw-back to another era. The 5.6 km line runs a small fleet of 1950's era single-truck trams on a variety of different rights-of-way. The system is very well maintained and appears to be well-patronized. Well worth a visit!

 

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The western terminus is adjacent to the Rahnsdorf S-Bahn station A flying meet with an opposing tram at one of the passing sidings On board the well-maintained cars
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The line operates over a variety of right-of-way types including in-street running and side-of-the-road tracks.
       
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One of the most interesting sections of the line uses a single track in one lane of a two-lane road (third picture from left). Trams traveling in one direction move with traffic, but in the other direction they run against it! Somehow it all works in a daily ballet of auto traffic pulling into the oncoming traffic lane to avoid the trams. 


 

 

 

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