This trip was my birthday present, flying to Berlin just for 10 hours was a crazy idea, but it paid off big time. We planned it with my friend after meeting up in Warsaw a few weeks before. He is a legend! I could spend ages listening to his stories about Berlin system. Never have enough. At some point I thought that I wouldn’t be able to make it… After some confusion with the dates and time I was finally there, looking forward to night full of adventures.
Straight from the airport I headed to Stadmitte station when I supposed to meet my friend and Miss Ochre who was staying in Berlin during her 3 months European trip.. I was overexcited to see both of them. Soon after our night in U-Bahn has started...
We hit Line U2 first. After a few trips between the stations we were ready to go. Miss Ochre and me went in first.
Some info :
U2 is a line on the Berlin U-Bahn. The U2 line starts at Pankow S-Bahn station, runs through the eastern city centre (Alexanderplatz) to Potsdamer Platz, the western city centre (Wittenbergplatz, Zoologischer Garten) and finally to the Ruhleben terminal station. The U2 has 29 stations and a length of 20.7 kilometers (12.9 mi). Together with the U1, U3, and U4 lines, it was part of the early Berlin metro network built before 1914. The route between Potsdamer Platz and Zoologischer Garten was the western section of the Stammstrecke, Berlin’s first metro inaugurated in 1902.
Our plan was to check one of the U2 layups first. And see if the train was there.As soon as we got on the tracks I started taking photos. It all looked just amazing. Totally different to London system, but I am not surprised that Berlin tunnels also have devoted fans!.It was 24 h service, so soon after we got there, the first yellow train drove past.
After hiding for sometime we carried on with the pictures. We were very close to the layup, and this part of the tunnels was nicely lit up.
We had some time between the trains and it allowed us to take quite a lot of track shots while getting closer to the layup. Also running on the track wasn’t that hard, having bright yellow third rail placed just alongside the rails.
After a few minutes of run we finally saw the layup and train that looked like waiting for us!
From now on we had to move quick, there was not much time left before the next two scheduled trains and we were very visible out there. I had this moment of panic, thinking where we actually suppose to hide? Under the train? or somewhere by the tracks? Well, none of these places – we were actually hiding in the train!!
I was amazed by friend knowledge. The place was beautiful and the train ( A3L71 model from 70') simply outstanding! Rest of the time we spent or hiding inside the train or taking pictures outside. Unforgettable experience!
I don’t really know how long did we spend there. Could be 20 minutes or even 1 hour, it felt like time stopped. For me flying to Berlin just for 10 hours and visiting just this place would be great.
and pic by Miss Ochre:
It wasn’t our last adventure that night, we carried on and went to check out one of the shafts that took us to U6 line.
Some info: U6 is a Berlin U-Bahn line, 19.9 km long line with 29 stations. It runs in a north-south direction from the Berlin locality of Tegel in the north via Friedrichstrasse to Mariendorf, a locality in the southern part of the city. It is a so-called large profile line.During the Cold War, both U6 termini were in the former West Berlin but the line passed under East Berlin for a short section of its route. Five of its stations were sealed off by East German authorities and the trains went through these so-called “ghost stations” without stopping.
With 24h service, lights were off in the tunnels, so it was nearly impossible to take a good shot of them. Being very close to the stations didn’t help too.
We spent most of the time hiding in the shaft, watching passing trains.
The place was truly unique. So close to the trains, it almost felt like I was touching them.
After some time we found ourselves on the street level,where we meant to check one more shaft. We opened it and spent sometime waiting to see what happens. And again my friend’s years of experience paid off. The security van arrived within 30 mins, just like he said. Another lesson learned!
Rest of the night I spent with Miss Ochre. We went to buy some beers first, it took us a while to find a petrol station. Then Miss Ochre explained what kind of beer we want ( I can’t remember the name, but the label was sort of red and white)and somehow we got what we were looking for. I was already very tired and it started raining so we sat down in some local park, finished our beers while talking about boys hahah like always with Miss Ochre...
And then again I found myself running down the track, this time it was line U8…
Some info: U8 is a line on the Berlin U-Bahn. It has 24 stations and is 18.1 km long. The U8 is one of two north–south Berlin U-Bahn lines, and runs from Wittenau to Neukoln via Gesundbrunnen. The original proposal was for a suspended monorail. The U8 line has had dark blue as its distinguishing colour since it first opened in 1927. It initially ran between Gesundbrunnen and Neukölln and was therefore known as the GN-Bahn. Until 1966 it was designated the D line; when the U-Bahn then changed to a numeric designation system, it was renamed Line 8. In 1984, the letter U was added as part of efforts to better distinguish the S-Bahn from the U-Bahn.
Unfortunately I couldn’t spend much time down there, had a plane to catch. We found a pretty good place to hide from where I was able to take some shots of the passing trains.. Ghostly sound first, wind and here they are… How much I love it!
After taking my last shot there I said goodbye to Miss Ochre, hoping to see her soon. After night full of adrenaline rush I felt really exhausted yet still excited. And I looked like miner! covered in dust with black marks all over my face… It only proved that the night was good! I was so tired that fell asleep while on S9 train – some nice guy woke me up saying – “miss this is last stop”. At the airport I rushed to the toilet , desperately trying to sort out myself. It didn’t help too much, but at least my face and hands were clean.
The rest of my time in Berlin I spent admiring pictures I took and constantly thinking how good was this night. 10 hours in Berlin, I couldn’t spend them better. Thankfully to my friend, who I hope I will see soon… In the different place, different system.
I loved it so much! One, but unforgettable night in Berlin..