Major light rail expansion planned for Berlin

Published on : Thursday, December 1, 2016

light-railThe recently-elected Berlin City “Red-Red-Green” coalition government comprising the SPD or Social Democrats has decided a major expansion of the tram network in Berlin.

 

BerlinStrategie 2030 sets ambitious targets for the construction of new light rail infrastructure, expansion of cycling and pedestrian options, cancelling some road building schemes, a city-wide 30km/h speed limit, and removal of most traffic from Unter den Linden in central Berlin.

 

The city-state of Berlin has a long-established underground network, with the first trains running in 1902. The system has a complex history of line reorganisation, re-designation and part-completed schemes.

 

Expansion of S-Bahn service and the reopening of some regional lines are also proposed.  Existing funds of €60m per annum will be allocated to the tram expansion project. No funds exist for additional trams so it seems likely some older vehicles will be retained at least in the short to medium-term.

 

Four tram projects already under development by Berlin Transport (BVG) will be prioritised for construction with work beginning as early as next year. These comprise:

– extension to Ostkreuz station,
– Berlin Main Station – Turmstrasse U-Bahn station
– Schöneweide – Wista Adlershof, and
– additional track Rahnsdorfer Strasse – Mahlsdorf S-Bahn station

 

In addition, five more tram lines will be developed in detail to enable construction to begin by 2021; these will see trams return to parts of the inner-city in the former West Berlin for the first time since the 1960s as well as expanding the already dense network in the eastern part of the city.

 

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