|Route number:||202 Berlin–Cottbus
|Voltage:||Berlin–Königs Wusterhausen: 750 V DC|
|Voltage:||Berlin–Cottbus: 15 kV 16.7 AC|
The Berlin–Görlitz railway is a main line railway in the German states of Berlin, Brandenburg and Saxony, which was originally built and operated by the Berlin-Görlitz Railway Company (German: Berlin-Görlitzer Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft). The line runs through Lusatia from Berlin via Cottbus to Görlitz. It is one of the oldest lines in Germany, opened in 1866 and 1867.
The line runs from Berlin via Königs Wusterhausen, Lübben, Cottbus, Spremberg, Weißwasser and Horka to Görlitz. The route originally began in Berlin from Görlitz station, a terminal station that was demolished in 1962. Today, the line starts at the Berlin Stadtbahn and the Ringbahn and passes through the southeastern landscapes of the Spreewald and Lower Lusatia to the railway junction of Görlitz.
The line was built by the "railway king" Bethel Henry Strousberg as general contractor and opened in 1866 and 1867 for passenger and freight transport. In 1882 it was nationalised by Prussia and became part of the Prussian state railways. On 7 August 1905 there an error by a dispatcher, leading to two trains crashing head-on between Spremberg and Schleife causing the death of 19 people and seriously injuring 40 others.
By 1900 additional tracks were laid in Berlin between the Stadtbahn and Ringbahn and Grünau to cope with heavy suburban traffic. In 1929 these lines were electrified with side-contact third rail and later became part of the Berlin S-Bahn network. In 1951, the S-Bahn tracks were extended to the Königs Wusterhausen. In 1952 Görlitz station in Berlin was closed for passenger traffic, although freight traffic continued to operate there until 1986. In 1988 the mainline tracks from Berlin Grünau Cross to Lübbenau were electrified with overhead catenary on the 15 kV 16.7 AC system and in 1989 the catenary was extended to Cottbus.
Today, the line is used mainly for passenger transport; the only trains currently operating on the Goerlitz line between Berlin Plänterwald and Berlin-Schöneweide are S-Bahn trains. On the Schöneweide–Königs Wusterhausen section, there are parallel services of the S-Bahn and Ostdeutsche Eisenbahn GmbH line OE36 (Berlin–Schöneweide–Beeskow–Frankfurt (Oder)). At Grünau Cross DB Regio services join the line: lines RE2 (Rathenow–Berlin–Cottbus) and RB14 (Nauen–Berlin–Senftenberg). Ostdeutsche Eisenbahn operates services on the Cottbus–Görlitz section as line OE65 (Cottbus–Zittau). Also running on the line are a daily pair of Intercity trains between Norddeich Mole and Cottbus and a EuroCity pair of trains between Hamburg, Cottbus and Kraków.
From Berlin-Schöneweide to Lübbenau the line is double track and this section and its extension to Cottbus is electrified. The continuation of the line is the Neisse Valley Railway towards Zittau. Until 1945 the line continued to Seidenberg (now Zawidów), which was on the border with Austria-Hungary until 1918.
In the city of Berlin the Görlitz railway is mostly still in operation. Only the short section between the Berlin Ring line and the former Görlitz station has been abandoned. The route is served by both mainline and regional trains as well as the Berlin S-Bahn.
Regional trains currently start at Schöneweide station as the connection to the Stadtbahn at Ostkreuz is closed for renovation. Long-distance trains to the new central station run on the Outer ring in southeast Berlin from Grünau Cross (Grünauer Kreuz) to the Silesian Railway and the Stadtbahn. Although the Görlitz railway has its own suburban tracks, this never led to the old Görlitz station, but from its construction connected to the Ring line and the Stadtbahn, as it still does. In addition a connecting line runs from Baumschulenweg to the southern part of the Ring line on the Treptow Park also connected to the Südring via Köllnische Heide. Both suburban lines were converted to electric operation in 1929 and became part of the S-Bahn on its foundation shortly later.
In February 2010, the electrified double track eastern connection to the new Berlin-Brandenburg International Airport (BBI) was officially approved. This will connect with the Görlitz railway with a northern and southern curve between Grünau and Eichwalde.