Monday 27 February 2023

Potsdamer Platz Persistence (6)

Today's Busy Station (Or Not?)

A reminder is appropriate. The "main" lines at Posdamer Platz run north-south and carry four S-Bahn routes ....
... which are full sized trains with a remit similar to London's Overground. The trains are painted red and cream ...
... and operated by the Berlin s-Bahn company. Also using these tunnels are four R-Bahn services.
These are part of the Deutsche Bahn network and are the equivalent of the longer distance former Network SouthEast services in London.
Although shown as east-west on the route diagram, the one Underground (sometimes called "Metro") is U2 which crosses from south west to north eat.
"U" lines are operated by BVG, the Berlin Ciy Transport company which also runs buses and trams. Trains are more metro-like and yellow. The tunnels are more tunnel-like rather thn the obvious cut-and-cover of the S-Bahn.
The whole thing has much more of an "Underground£ ambience, rather than "buried" ordinary trains.
We saw the surface entrances in a previous blog, but once down below you are in a vast circulating area with assorted shops and assorted escalators and stairs.
It is bright and spacious ...
... but seemed unusually quiet when No 3 son explored, admittedly after work one evening. But the S-Bahn wad virtually deserted. Even the platforms ...
... were largely bereft of customers. Indeed one entrance to an S-Bahn platform was blocked off completely ...
... with a sign written in a language unfamiliar to No 3 son! The station was deserted because there were NO S-BAHN TRAINS. The sign on the fence said so ...
... and gave details of the closure for each station concerned.
Note that many closures were from 6th jan at 22.00 to 17 Feb at 2200. Such is Teutonic efficiency that the engineering team knows the work will be finished no later that 2200 - overruns would not be tolerated! And they aren't so they don't.

Why was only one platform physically blocked. This baffled No 3 son and almost baffled fbb. But Potsdamer Platz (S- and R- Bahn station) has FOUR platforms as shown in the photo above; used (reading from left to right) by R-Bahn, R-Bahn, S-Bahn and S-Bahn. So the central island platform served both operators and thus the platform could not be blocked.

The closure is all over the Berlin Media.
The S-Bahn web site explains all (posted here in English).
Because the work is routinely done in the new year, people are generally prepared and do not wander around in a confused miasma of misinformation as they do in UK.
But for the few who might be just a  bit baffled, there were plenty of notices guiding passengers to alternative transport.
They were directed to replacement buses ...
... or the long way round via the Ringbahn. 
This option would not be much use for those arriving "on spec" at Potsdamer Platz as they would need a bus to get to the Ringbahn (and from it) but it would help the partially aware to plan their rides well away from the closure.

Outside on the street, there was plenty of information for the service buses; including departure lists ...
... local maps ...
... and network maps.
My goodness me, you might think that all the public transport in Berlin was fully coordinated. How is such luxury possible - shock horror?

No 3 son was impressed with the displays advertising the DB museum at Nurnburg.
... and its outstations at Koblenz and Halle.
Could it be that DB (German State Railways - nationalised) are proud of their system? How is such luxury poissible - shock horror?

Of course, there were helpful electronic displays at every bus stop not just the busy ones!
But German efficiency was not always perfect. On one occasion, No 3 son was observing when he saw that ...
... the electronics were NOT WORKING - Shock Horror!

How is such inefficiency possible - shock horror (again!)? But at least they apologised in English as well as German.

It's quite like being at Seaton Marine Place or Axminster station!
Danke shon - Fritz!! Gee Thanks!

There is not much by way of comparison between Berlin and Bicester (except their initial letter) but we move to Oxfordshire for tomorrow's blog.

 Next Bicester Bountiful Bus blog : Tuesday 28th Feb 


  1. The S Bahn and the "R Bahn" (Fernbahn would be a more accurate description) are in completely separate tunnels with completely separate stations at Potsdamer Platz. Both stations have four platforms (Fernbahn 1-4 and S Bahn 11-14), but there is no cross-platform interchange. This diagram reveals all

  2. The original Lisbon (Portugal) Metro cars were German and felt very S-Bahn like - even to the thud as the doors clicked shut!