After nearly six years of construction and over a decade-long tug-of-war with various authorities, on February 18, 1902 Berlin´s first electric and predominantly elevated city railway opened for service.


The construction of Stammstrecke, or “Core/Stem Line” connecting Warschauer Brücke with Zoologischer Garten – two important railway junctions in the east and the west of the city (or, rather, cities since Charlottenburg and Schöneberg, which were to profit from the connection, were independent cities then), made its architects and engineers involved in the project face completely new challenges.

They also had to face a particularly strong wave of scepticism, bordering on hostility. Everybody wanted to get connected but nobody wanted either to see or to hear the trains dashing through their streets along steel viaducts. Not to mention the fact that their level of enthusiasm for the viaducts themselves was, to put it mildly, negligible.

Excavated U-Bahn tunnel in Charlottenburg, 1902 (image through Siemens Archive). Excavated U-Bahn tunnel in Charlottenburg…

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