Friday, 24 February 2023

Potsdamer Platz Persistence (5)

Today's Very Different "Platz"

To experience Potsdamer Platz today, fbb will "drive" south from the Brandenburg Gate (above, top centre) and see what he can see. It may be helpful to refer back to the enlarged map extract below if our dedicated readers lose their sense of direction!
We travel along the red road and the first bit of public transport we spot is a bus!
There are plenty of buses here ...
... and the M41 and M48 are highlighted nearby.

The "M" stands for "Metro" Bus. These services are the frequent "main line" routes, mostly developed from the fomer West Berlin tram services abandoned in the 1970s. In the former East Berlin, where trams persist and are wonderful, you have Metro Tram routes. BVG (Berlin City Transport) provides a line map for each route ...
... showing all connections; plus a somewhat complex frequency list.
fbb struggled with this and it may find a place in a future blog.

We stay looking left at the intersection and there is Leipziger Platz, the octagonal residential area.
We can also see two lift entries to the underground stations, S-Bahn and U-Bahn. 

Looking to our right, we observe one of the two main entrances to the underground stations.
Note the sections of the Berlin Wall now turned into a piece of public art.

Trundling straight across the junction we see the other main entrance structure (?) ...
... and beyond that, the long open space that was the Potsdamer railway terminus and its approaches. Note the double decker much reduced in height compared with UK vehicles. If we turn tight at the intersection, we get a better bus experience.
Hopefully, our linguistically challenged readers can come up wth a translation of the lettering between the decks!

We are now travelling briefly due west and within the blocks on our left was the Arkaden.
This arcade (gettit?) has recently been done up a bit and rebranded using yet another difficult concept in the German language.
You would have to suppose that the brand and image consultants think that a slightly misspelt slightly english name makes a relatively ordinary shopping mall (and it is a "mall") more trendy.
Somewhere in the complex is Haus Huth ...
... a building which escaped the ravages of WW2 almost unscathed. Its survival is reckoned to be due to its being built with a strong steel frame. Herr Huth was a wine merchant and his "Haus" was used for storing big and heavy wine barrells, as well as being a popular wine bar. So it survived and still does.
Opposite the Playce is the Sony Centre. This massive block ...
... with its weird weird roof, is packed with shops, offices flats and entertainment venues (although its two cinemas have closed).
At first glance it looks as of the roof covers the tower block - but it doesn't.

All this is very different from the pre war pre wall Potsdamer Platz. And. as you might expect, there was vociferous opposition to turning this iconic Berlin crossroads into effusive modernity ...
... but you might not expect pedestrians to wander in such a car free carefree manner today! Jaywalking is not now advised!
While working nearby, No 3 son nipped out of his hotel and snapped some of the infrastructure and information displays at the S- and U- Bahn station. So these will feature in tomorrow's blog.
It has changed a bit! Since the empty ...
... Soviet-guarded days of the Berlin Wall.

Not Quite What it May Seem
At first glance, fbb thought that Furst Great Western had bought the collapsed Vivalrail!
FGW is one of the rail operators experimenting with Vivarail's ex underground trains. Their trials are to be with a battery electric train - quite different from the fully electric on the Isle of Wight or the diesel electric at Bletchley and in North Wale.

What FGW have done is buy the various rights and technologies, plus some key staff, so that the experiment may continue.
The purchase seems a far better solution than London North Western who have given up completely with the Bletchley to Bedford set up; currently running buses and seeking to obtain some gash 150 diesel units to replace Vivarail.

There aren't any!

 Next Potsdamer Platz blog : Saturday 25th February 

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