It was torn apart by the construction of the Wall: since August 13, 1961, there have been no more through trains, and the “line without end” suddenly had end stations.
On Wednesday, June 15th, it will be 20 years since continuous operation was resumed. The last section to be completed was between Westhafen and Gesundbrunnen. The S-Bahn is celebrating this on Saturday with three special trips.
The trips are moderated by the S-Bahn specialist Sven Heinemann, the author of the book “The Berlin Ring Railway – The History of the Legendary Railway Line from 1871 to the Present Day”. Heinemann can tell something about each of the 27 stations, for example where it begins. Because of course a circle also has a beginning, the milestone “0.0” is near the Westhafen station. The SPD MP is probably the best expert on the route, as S-Bahn boss Peter Buchner praised. Heinemann wrote the 400-page book for the 150th anniversary of the Ringbahn in 2021.
Saturday tours (non-stop) start and end at Treptower Park train station and last one hour. These are the three start times: 10:28 am, 11:48 am and 1:08 pm.
Tickets cost 10 euros for adults, children and young people (6 – 18 years) pay 2 euros. Tickets can be purchased in all S-Bahn customer centers and in the ticket office at Ostkreuz station. The proceeds will benefit the Ukraine aid. The train used is the class 481, which had historical motifs pasted on it last year to mark the 150th anniversary of the Ringbahn.
For years, Heinemann has also been looking for the photos for the S-Bahn calendars, this year of course with a picture of the special train from the day the gap was closed.
The first section of the new route was opened on July 17, 1871. At that time, it ran mainly outside of the built-up city through open countryside.
The ring was divided when the Wall was built, and in West Berlin the Reichsbahn route was completely discontinued after the 1980 strike. This was the reason that it took four years after the fall of the Wall before a first piece could be reopened.
Trains have been running between Westend and Baumschulenweg since December 1993, the actual connections to the Ring in the direction of Treptower Park and Schönhauser Alle were closed in 1997 and 2001. The actual “Wedding Day”, the wedding in Wedding, was exactly 20 years ago.