Berlin government underlines plans to expand U-Bahn network
Berlin’s CDU-SPD local government has underlined its intentions to drastically expand the city’s already sprawling U-Bahn network. These are the construction projects the government hopes to build over the coming years.
Schreiner and Giffey confirm U-Bahn expansion plans for Berlin
Berlin Transport Minister Manja Schreiner (CDU) and Economy Minister Franziska Giffey (SPD) have underlined the local government’s plans to extend the ends of each of the city’s nine underground lines so that they reach the city’s limits with the neighbouring state of Brandenburg.
“We must radically extend all the U-Bahn lines,” Giffey told the Tagesspiegel newspaper. “We must offer Berliners a vision as to which routes we will tackle first,” Schreiner added. Speaking to the dpa, Schreiner added that “Masterplan 2030” was crucial for many reasons: “More public transport means better climate protection, a better quality of life and more suitable mobility for everyone in the city.”
Here’s how the city plans to expand Berlin’s nine existing underground lines - as well as building an additional two lines to serve travellers:
Ringlinie U0 - The outer Ringbahn
This is perhaps the biggest part of the project and one that will impact the most people. While Berlin’s current Ringbahn - a circular line which rides an hour-long stretch around the city, connects U-Bahn lines to each other about mid-way through their routes - the local government plans for the U0 Ringlinie to connect the ends of each U-Bahn line that sprawls to near the outskirts of the city.
Since this part of the expansion project is particularly ambitious, it may be many, many years before you can step onto a U0 Ringlinie train.
U1 - Spandau to Weißensee
Currently, the U1 is simply a horizontal route which connects the east and west of central Berlin. Under the new plans, the U1 will reach Heerstraße in Spandau at one end and run through to Antonplatz in Weißensee at the other. With the plans, Antonplatz is set to become a new connection hotspot, where the U0 Ringlinie, the U1 and U3 will intersect.
U2 - Spandau to Pankow
This line will be expanded again into Spandau and towards the northeast to Pankow. The final stop in the northeast will be Pankow Kirche in the Pankow Altstadt.
U3 - Zehlendorf / Kleinmachnow to Falkenberg
This will be the only U-Bahn line that may even cross outside Berlin’s borders with Brandenburg, reaching into Düppel-Kleinmachnow.
For now, though, the plans are just for the line to be extended to Mexikoplatz (S1), which reaches the border of Schlachtensee. If the funding is secured, the expected five-year-long construction process should begin swiftly and the U3 could reach Mexikoplatz by 2030.
U4 - Lichterfelde to Marzahn
This line will connect two very different parts of Berlin in what will be the biggest line extension of the project by far. At the moment the U4 is Berlin’s baby U-Bahn line; the yellow one that stretches a modest four stops between Innsbrucker Platz and Nollendorfplatz without leaving the central southwest of the city.
Under the new plans, the line will be hugely extended at both ends, ultimately connecting Lichterfelde to Marzahn.
U5 - Charlottenburg to Hönow
Only recently was the U5 extended from Alexanderplatz to Hauptbahnhof and the line is already set for another development, but one not quite as ambitious as the U4 development.
Since the U5 already reaches quite far on its eastern side, to Hönow, it will only be extended in the west and even then only to Jungfernheide, the Ringbahn station that lies in northern Charlottenburg.
U6 - Tegel to Lichtenrade
As with the U5, the U6 will only be extended at one end of the line, in the south of the city. The new line will continue to run from Alt-Tegel, but instead of ending its journey at Alt-Mariendorf, will continue on to Naharlystraße in Lichtenrade.
U7 - Spandau to BER Airport
Already one of the city’s longer U-Bahn routes, the U7 will be extended from Rathaus Spandau in the west, adding a new stop so it comes to meet the new U1 line at its terminal. In the southeast, the train will basically replace the current X7 bus route, which runs from Rudow to BER Airport.
U8 - Reinickendorf to Buckow
One of Berlin’s most infamous lines, shamelessly voted to have the highest number of “disgusting” stations, the northern part of U8 will be expanded from Wittenau to reach the Märkisches Viertel in Reinickendorf. In the south, it will extend from Hermannstraße to Buckow-Süd.
U9 - Pankow to Buckow
Another of Berlin’s most important north-south lines, the U9 will see considerable expansion at both ends. In the north the orange line will extend out from Wedding into Pankow and, in the south, the line will go quite far south of Steglitz to reach Buckower Chausee, south of Tempelhof-Schöneberg.
U10 - Alexanderplatz to Weißensee
And a new addition! The highly-awaited U10 should run from Alexanderplatz to Weißensee. Portions of the U10 have remained under the city’s streets since the plans for the line were scrapped in the 1970s, earning it the name Phantomlinie (Phantom line). And when the U5 line was extended to Hauptbahnhof in 2020 an extra platform was built at U-Bahnhof Rotes Rathaus with the future U10 in mind.
New U-Bahn stops to expect on the U10 line are; Am Friedrichshain, Marienburger Straße, Danziger Straße, Greifswalder Straße, Gürtelstraße and Falkenberger Straße - but don’t get too excited, the funds are yet to be secured for this one.
What does the transport expansion timeline look like?
Longer lines will take a long time. While the government is eager for the expansion, the BVG has yet to confirm its plans. Since the project will cost billions, there are still many financial questions to be answered.
In the meantime, we can look forward to riding the U3 out to Mexikoplatz, the U2 into Spandau and the U9 down to Schöneberg, since these are the lines to have been confirmed.
Thumb image credit: Jo Chambers / Shutterstock.com