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.