U7 is a line on the Berlin U-Bahn. It has 40 stations and a length of 31.8 kilometres (19.76 mi) 31.8 kilometers (19.75 miles). It runs from Berlin Spandau via Neukölln to Gropiusstadt and Rudow. This line was originally a branch of today's line U6, which ran between Seestraße and Grenzallee. In the 1960s, however, this line was separated from the U6 and extended at each end. Today, the U7 is Berlin's longest line, both in terms of absolute length and total travel time.
The U7 starts in Berlin Rudow, at the crossing of Ziethener Chaussee and Waßmannsdorfer Chaussee. It runs northwest below the road Alt-Rudow, until it turns into a far curve to the west. Since in Gropiusstadt the settlement and subway railway construction were planned simultaneously, the U7 follows no roads here. From Britz-Süd station on it follows the route of the Fritz-Reuter-Allee up to the Blaschkoallee. North of it, the U7 turns into the Buschkrugallee. It crosses the urban motorway and the Ringbahn, runs beneath the Karl-Marx-Straße, Hasenheide, Südstern and Gneisenaustraße and reaches Mehringdamm after a very sharp right curve. After a close left curve the track runs under the Tempelhofer Ufer (English: Tempelhof waterside) and the area of the former Anhalter Güterbahnhof (English: Anhalter goods station) in two large double bends after Möckernbrücke station. Following Yorckstraße, Willmanndamm, Grunewaldstraße, Bayerischer Platz and Berliner Straße, the U7 turns into the Brandenburgische Straße to Adenauerplatz.
After a curve to the Wilmersdorfer Straße the U7 follows the Bismarckstraße in a northward direction whereupon it makes a further turn into the Richard-Wagner-Straße. Behind the Richard-Wagner-Platz this road changes its name to Wintersteinstraße and Sömmeringstraße. At Jungfernheide station the U7 crosses the Ringbahn for the second time as well as the Westhafenkanal. Thereupon the track makes a large curve toward the west and follows the Siemensdamm and the Nonnendammallee. Now the U7 passes southern the citadel of Spandau below the road Am Juliusturm, runs under the Old Town of Spandau and ends at the city hall of Spandau.
Connection to the north-south underground railway: 1901-1930
Around 1901, the city of Berlin planned to built an underground railway line below the Friedrichstraße from north to south. Werner von Siemens had plans about a north-south line under the Nobelstraße at the same time, which where declined for the reason that public transport should be in municipal ownership. Consequently, Berlin started the construction at the section from Wedding to Tempelhof (today U6) with a branch to Neukölln. The construction work was made difficult by World War I and finally stopped completely; however in 1919 they started again. In 1921, the beginning of the hyperinflation, it was even considered to fill up the already existing tunnels. However, the construction work was continued and the first tunnel section from Hallesches Tor to Stettiner Bahnhof (today Zinnowitzer Straße) was opened on January 30, 1923. The next section between Stettiner Bahnhof and Seestraße was put into operation on March 8.
Actually the history of the today's U7 began with the construction of the branch to Neukölln when they built the section from Hallesches Tor to Gneisenaustraße and opened it on April 9, 1924. As a result of the inflation, the construction work proceeded in small steps only.
The extension to the Hasenheide station (today Südstern), nearby a park of the same name, followed in the same year on December 14. Since the financial situation of Germany and also Berlin improved, the subway railway construction was forced, including the branch to Neukölln.
At Hermannplatz station the first underground rail-rail crossing of Berlin was developed, which resembles something of an U-Bahn cathedral. At this station also the GN course (today U8) was intended to run. Also the first escalators at a Berlin subway station were installed here and still exist today. The section from Hasenheide to Bergstraße (today Karl-Marx-Straße) was put into operation on April 11, 1926. The last stage of the Neuköllner branch at that time, the 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) long extension to the Grenzallee, was put into operation on December 21, 1930, the same day of the opening of today's U5 line, during one of the largest underground opening celebrations. Therefore the underground train drove then from Seestraße through the city center both to Tempelhof and Grenzallee.
The most remarkable properties of the new underground line were the larger tunnels and trains to keep distance towards the competitive Berliner Hochbahngesellschaft (English: Berlin Elevated Railway Company). This is called the Großprofil (English: large profile) still today.
Subway railway to Rudow
Since in World War II a good portion of Berlin's residences was destroyed, one planned to establish new large housing developments in the post-war period. Two of them were established in the south of West Berlin and named Britz and Britz-Buckow-Rudow (BBR) (today Gropiusstadt). A rapid transit railway connection from these large-scale projects to the West Berlin city center was required. The construction work for the underground railway began on November 2, 1959. The track from Grenzallee to Britz-Süd was opened on September 28, 1963; the track to Zwickauer Damm on January 2, 1970 and Rudow received connection to the line 7 on July 1, 1972.
Extention to the west
The branch station Belle-Alliance-Straße (today Mehringdamm), opened in 1924, was triple tracked with subways to Tempelhof from the first platform, to Neukölln from the second platform and to the city center from the third one. One thought about a separation of the Neuköllner branch from the north-south underground line to avoid an overloading of the transfer station Hallesches Tor. Therefore, the line 7 was extended westwards of today's Mehringdamm station. The construction work began in summer 1962 and were finished on February 26, 1966 with the transport connection of Möckernbrücke station. Beside the building of the Möckernbrücke station also a change of the Mehringdamm station was necessary, which should be now a station with simplex communication.
The further extension of the line 7 was accomplished from subsidy funds. The construction of the track from Möckernbrücke to Fehrbelliner Platz was started on July 1, 1962 and finished on January 29, 1971.
In three stages to Spandau: 1960-1984
In the end-1960s, ideas about an underground railway line to Spandau arose again. The layout to extend the line 7 over Mierendorffplatz, Jungfernheide and Nonnendammallee was chosen to improve public transportation to the important Siemensstadt with their many jobs. The construction work for the section Fehrbelliner Platz - Richard-Wagner-Platz began in the year 1969. The Adenauerplatz station was already designed as crossing station, because it is officially still planned to extend the U1 from the current terminus Uhlandstraße to Adenauer Platz. The Wilmersdorfer Straße was converted into a pedestrian passage.
At the Bismarckstraße a new underground railway station had to be built, since the pre-existing tunnel of the line 1 (today U2) was in a bad condition and necessitated these extensive repair works. After the Bismarckstraße, 23 houses had to be underpinned, therefore the shield drive was selected here. The stage from Fehrbelliner Platz to Richard-Wagner-Platz was put into operation on April 28, 1978 and the following extension to Rohrdamm on October 1, 1980. Thus the district of Spandau received the first underground connection.
The costs of the extension to the city center of Spandau rose into unexpected heights. This building project gobbled up 680 million German marks as a result of the fact that the Havel river had to be undercut and the soil in the surrounding area was very swampy. On October 1, 1984, this last section of the U7 from Rohrdamm to Rathaus Spandau station was opened. Also the then Federal Chancellor of Germany Helmut Kohl was present at the opening.
Line color and name
In 1966, when parts of the U7 were still connected with the today's U6, both got a violet map color. After these lines had been separated and the line labeling was changed to numbers, this line was called "Linie 7" (English: line 7) and drawn grey. However, after 1978 this was changed to a bright blue, as this color is better recognizable on the plans. Since 1984, when all the underground lines got an "U" in addition, it is called "U7".
- Jürgen Meyer-Kronthaler, Klaus Kurpjuweit: Berliner U-Bahn – In Fahrt seit Hundert Jahren. be.bra Verlag, Berlin 2001. ISBN 3-930863-99-5
- Petra Domke, Markus Hoeft: Tunnel, Gräben, Viadukte. 100 Jahre Baugeschichte der Berliner U-Bahn. Kulturbild-Verlag, Berlin 1998. ISBN 3-933300-00-2
- Ulrich Lemke, Uwe Poppel: Berliner U-Bahn. 3. Aufl. Alba Verlag, Düsseldorf 1992. ISBN 3-87094-346-7
- Alfred Gottwald: Das Berliner U- und S-Bahnnetz. Eine Geschichte in Streckenplänen. Argon, Berlin 1994. ISBN 3-87024-284-1
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to U7 (Berlin U-Bahn).|
- http://www.bvg.de/index.php/de/Bvg/Index/folder/558/name/U-Bahnlinie+U7 BVG-Website with information about the U7
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