Berlin U-Bahn challenge?

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snudge27
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Berlin U-Bahn challenge?

Post by snudge27 » 30 Jun 2006, 11:00

Something that I've wondered from time to time is whether a challenge on the Berlin U-Bahn would be do-able. The main problem with it would be the geographical size of the system - with there being not only underground lines, but a large number of suburban lines (S-Bahn) under the control of BVG (Berlin U-Bahn operator). I'm assuming that if this is the case, the suburban lines would take the same status as the North London Line etc.,
In all, there are (at present) 10 Underground lines (U1-U9 and U55). It seems to be less "intense" at the centre than LU, and there is a distinct lack of U-Bahn connections, but the S-Bahn connections make up for it (imagine LU with 14 North London type lines!)
I'll attach a map of the whole system for you to look at... any thoughts?

http://de.geocities.com/u_bln/berlin-map.gif

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Post by standclearofthedoors » 30 Jun 2006, 16:43

If I was doing a challenge I would only the U-Bahn Lines. When I went to Berlin in Febraury the U-Bahn was run to precision, while the S-Bahn lines were woefully infrequent. Plus the S-Bahn lines go out a lot further then our tube lines do.
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Post by snudge27 » 30 Jun 2006, 16:48

Yeah, agree with you there, was in Berlin myself in February. I don't know what source it came from, but someone I asked in the city also told me that U1 and U2 run 24 hours... I'm not too sure about that though!

Don't know about some of the S-Bahn lines though, I felt that some of the inner-city lines were particularly frequent!

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Post by G Force » 03 Aug 2006, 16:43

I recently found that the S-bahn seemed to be more frequent on the core sections than some of the U-bahn lines. The core sections of the S-bahn run every 3-3.5mins (17-19tph), whilst U1,3, and 4 only run every 5 mins (12tph) at peak times!
A Berlin U-bahn challenge would be interesting as there are probably a few valid route options due to the number of S-bahn connections.

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Post by gasman » 02 Jan 2008, 14:14

*bump*

This Easter I'm off on a mini European tour, and I hope to fit in a Berlin U-Bahn challenge attempt along the way, and - presumably - set the inaugural time against all others will be judged. This will be some time between Monday 17th and Thursday 20th March. *hops up and down with excitement*
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Post by Starkey7 » 02 Jan 2008, 23:42

Cripes, well, all the best! For me the advantage of originally being from London is that I know a lot of short cuts and quick little runs here and there. Hats off to you for going out into unfamiliar territory; are you going to go around Berlin for a few days beforehand, trying out different portions of the route?

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Post by snudge27 » 02 Jan 2008, 23:55

gasman wrote:*bump*

This Easter I'm off on a mini European tour, and I hope to fit in a Berlin U-Bahn challenge attempt along the way, and - presumably - set the inaugural time against all others will be judged. This will be some time between Monday 17th and Thursday 20th March. *hops up and down with excitement*
Excellent... good luck!
Was in Berlin for five days with the girlfriend just before Christmas and made good use of the U-Bahn... and considered trying a challenge too - but the g/f had none of it!

Noticed some interesting things though about the system there:

There is no "set-stock" for each line as with LU... just Grossprofil (large profile) and Kleinprofil (small profile) trains which can be swapped around certain lines (U1, U2, U3 & U4 = Klein), (U5, U6, U7, U8 & U9 = Gross).

They "extend" lines if another line is out of service. Part of the U2 was out of action for a while at the start of our visit, so the U3 was extended over the U2 rails... a bit like the Met being extended to Barking/New Cross if the H&C/ELL were out of action.

What kinda rules ya gonna be following?

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Post by gasman » 03 Jan 2008, 21:45

Just the normal kind of rules I guess... arrive or leave each station by U-bahn, use any public transport. I won't be doing any of the GWR-ish witness statement collecting though. I don't know if there are any oddities about the Berlin network to take into account (such as physically separate buildings for different line directions, like they have in New York)... have to look into that I suppose.
Starkey7 wrote:Hats off to you for going out into unfamiliar territory; are you going to go around Berlin for a few days beforehand, trying out different portions of the route?
Possibly... depends how touristy I feel when I get there :-) The way I see it, if I don't have a time to beat, there's not an enormous incentive to gather insider knowledge in the hopes of gaining 'the edge'. Also, the Berlin network doesn't seem to have all that many tightly-packed areas like London's zone 1, which possibly limits opportunities for clever shortcuts and runs. I might have to think of something creative if line U55 is open by then, though: three stations isolated from the rest of the network. Clearly it's their equivalent of Shoreditch :-)
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Post by snudge27 » 03 Jan 2008, 22:03

gasman wrote:Just the normal kind of rules I guess... arrive or leave each station by U-bahn, use any public transport. I won't be doing any of the GWR-ish witness statement collecting though. I don't know if there are any oddities about the Berlin network to take into account (such as physically separate buildings for different line directions, like they have in New York)... have to look into that I suppose.
Starkey7 wrote:Hats off to you for going out into unfamiliar territory; are you going to go around Berlin for a few days beforehand, trying out different portions of the route?
Possibly... depends how touristy I feel when I get there :-) The way I see it, if I don't have a time to beat, there's not an enormous incentive to gather insider knowledge in the hopes of gaining 'the edge'. Also, the Berlin network doesn't seem to have all that many tightly-packed areas like London's zone 1, which possibly limits opportunities for clever shortcuts and runs. I might have to think of something creative if line U55 is open by then, though: three stations isolated from the rest of the network. Clearly it's their equivalent of Shoreditch :-)
As far as lines are concerned, I think all stations are self-contained, and it's most often a case of it being an island platform or just a tunnel under the tracks to change directions. In interchange stations, the lines are quite often closer or further apart compared to LU stations - either sitting directly under the other platforms, or maybe up to 500m away along a tunnel!

I thought of U55 myself when I was looking at routes... my idea would most likely be to get some kind of S-Bahn or even RegionalBahn train to Hauptbahnhof, heading down to Unter-den-Linden and either doubling back to Hauptbahnhof, or just taking the S-Bahn from U-d-L... one easy option I thought of was:

U6 - Friedrichstrasse
S-Bahn - Hauptbahnhof
U55 - Unter den Linden
S-Bahn - Friedrichstrasse

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Re:

Post by gasman » 13 Mar 2008, 20:32

gasman wrote:This Easter I'm off on a mini European tour, and I hope to fit in a Berlin U-Bahn challenge attempt along the way, and - presumably - set the inaugural time against all others will be judged. This will be some time between Monday 17th and Thursday 20th March.
Or maybe not. :-(
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Re: Re:

Post by Soup Dragon » 13 Mar 2008, 20:47

gasman wrote:
gasman wrote:This Easter I'm off on a mini European tour, and I hope to fit in a Berlin U-Bahn challenge attempt along the way, and - presumably - set the inaugural time against all others will be judged. This will be some time between Monday 17th and Thursday 20th March.
Or maybe not. :-(
So have you cancelled your planned trip, I can't seem to be able to open the link???
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Re: Berlin U-Bahn challenge?

Post by gasman » 13 Mar 2008, 21:37

The link is a news story about transport strikes in Berlin, which could last until Easter or beyond. I'm still going there, but it looks like I might have to find less tube-y activities to keep myself occupied...
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Re: Re:

Post by snudge27 » 14 Mar 2008, 03:28

gasman wrote:
gasman wrote:This Easter I'm off on a mini European tour, and I hope to fit in a Berlin U-Bahn challenge attempt along the way, and - presumably - set the inaugural time against all others will be judged. This will be some time between Monday 17th and Thursday 20th March.
Or maybe not. :-(
Bloody hell - and people complain when the Tube goes on strike for a day!!

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Re: Berlin U-Bahn challenge?

Post by Root » 14 Mar 2008, 10:17

I used the S-Bahn many times when I was in Berlin recently, and found that I never had to wait more than three minutes for a train. I used the U-Bahn once and had to wait ten minutes. I don't know if that represents normal service.

I hope you manage to get your attempt in.
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Re: Berlin U-Bahn challenge?

Post by gasman » 17 Mar 2008, 16:19

It looks like the gods of tube challenging have had a quiet word with the Berlin transport workers' union, because I've arrived today to discover that the U-Bahn is running again! Huzzah! My friendly local hotel concierge tells me that it's confirmed as running today and tomorrow, and hopefully running for the rest of the week. The internet is telling me to expect some disruption because some services (such as mechanics) are still striking, but it sounds like things are back to normal enough for me to have a go. So - the Berlin U-Bahn challenge shall happen tomorrow!

There are some engineering works on line U3 going on, but there's a replacement bus that kind-of visits all the stations, so that's good enough for me. (It probably wouldn't satisfy Guinness rules, but this isn't a Guinness challenge so thpppt to them.) Oh, and I've also knackered my knee a bit by falling over in front of the Reichstag this morning while carrying a heavy bag. But this wasn't going to be a feat of athleticism anyway :-)
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