The S21 comes six years too late. The short connection from the Nordring to Berlin Central Station was originally supposed to be completed in 2017. The train is now planning to open when the timetable changes in December 2023. A spokesman for the “Berliner Morgenpost” called this date.
In the spring of this year it became known that the last target date of the end of 2022 could not be met. According to Bahn, there had been delivery bottlenecks for switchgear and special concrete components such as cable ducts and ducts. Corona also slowed down, so there was a lack of specialist staff for planning.
Previously, there had been major delays due to breakdowns during construction, as well as rescheduling and changed construction methods. Of the planned double connection to the north ring, initially only the connection to Wedding/Gesundbrunnen will be built.
First, an “S15” line will commute, the S21 will later go to the Siemensbahn. The second turn west to Westhafen that is necessary for this will come much later. And at the main train station there is only a temporary platform outside the building. The final location of the station under the station building will also be finished much later, there had been technical difficulties here.
This first section is part of the City S-Bahn, which will in future run in two further sections to Potsdamer Platz and Südkreuz. According to the Senate, they will not be ready until 2037 at the earliest.
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In view of the current delays, this date seems optimistic in 15 years. The location of the tunnel at the Reichstag has been the subject of debate for years because the memorial to the Sinti and Roma of Europe who were murdered under National Socialism is said to be endangered by the construction.
The “S21” is a second north-south S-Bahn that is to pass under the city center in a tunnel. The first north-south railway from Gesundbrunnen to Anhalter Bahnhof was completed in the 1930s. According to Deutsche Bahn, this route via Friedrichstrasse is almost full with 120,000 passengers a day. The railway does not like the term S21 because of the Stuttgart breakdown project of the same name and prefers to speak of the S15. In internal documents, the Berlin tunnel is also called S21.