Wednesday, 22 February 2023

Potsdamer Platz Persistence (3)

North South Eventually

The two old terminal stations that we looked at yesterday, named Potsdamer Bahnhof with its two "wings"  and Anhalter Banhnogf both met a sticky end at the hands of allied bombing during WW2. A few trains continued to run for a while, but basically they were replaced by an S-Bahn line running from North to South and built all underground.

The present line starts from the Ringbahn at Gesundbrunnen ...
... serves the busy interchange at Friedrichstrasse, then runs via Brandenburger Tor, Potsdamer Platz, and Anholt Bahnhof. The PINK line veers off to Wannsee (a route that we met yesterday) whilst the GREEN line continues south to cross the Ringbahn at Sudkreuz. 

Note also the thin RED line from Haupbahnhof which denotes longer distance trains using the same tunnels.
The rejig of intercity routes through the city meant that the longer distance trains to the original terminals went elsewhere. The "elsewhere wenting" was helped because East Germany studiously removed any longer interurban services to avoid entering the "forbidden" West Brrlin.

The other notable "excitement" was the blowing up of the Landwehr canal in the latter days of the war which flooded the tunnels.
On the morning of May 2, 1945, the National Socialists blew up the reinforced concrete tunnel ceiling of the north-south S-Bahn tunnel below the Landwehr Canal ...
... destroying a length of almost one hundred metres. The waterline burst and spilled from the Anhalter station, over Potsdamer Platz. At Friedrichstrasse station, the water flood also reached the Underground system.
Many people who had sought shelter in the stations from the atrocities of the war were drowned.

No one seems to know why Hitler blew up "his" tunnels and "his" people - but there is a wide variety of theories.

The original tracks to the termini crossed the canal on bridges ...
... of which part remains.

The opening of this new S-Bahn route was delayed while repairs were carried out - which explains why some trains still used the badly bombed terminus lines.

Here is the somewhat spartan Potsdamer Platz station as built.
And this is an S-Bahn train dating from 1924 that might well have still been running post WW2!
But a much more disruptive political "event" would bring much more suffering the Berlin's railway and the people that used it. This was the increasing isolationism of East Germany and the building of the Berlin Wall.

By way of preparation for tomorrow's posting, here is an entrance to Potsdamer Platz station in 1990!
Closed off and utterly depressing.

More tomorrow.

 Next Potsdamer Platz blog : Thursday 23rd February 

Aplolgies - blog somewhat brief because of pressure of other stuff and a very heavy cold, cough and ache-fest! Normal service SHOULD return on Thursday.

At least fbb had the energy to prepare the quiz (letter Y) for his Fellowship Meeting leaflets being distributed this weekend.

It's simple - after complaints that recent challenges were "too hard". 

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