"Ghost Stations (Geisterbahnhofe)" Berlin Favorite Tip by nicolaitan

Berlin General: 551 reviews and 604 photos


Favorite thing: The Berlin Wall divided the transit system as well as the rest of the city and most public trains not confined to one sector stopped and reversed direction at the nearest stop to the wall on each side. Three train lines from the west passed for short distances through portions of East Berlin but were not allowed to stop. These stations were heavily guarded and dimly lit and became known as ghost stations, a term now in use worldwide (New York City has several, the most famous the City Hall station). In return for keeping important routes intact, East Berlin received rentals for use of the tracks. West Berlin maps described them as "stations at which the trains do not stop". East Berlin subway maps did not include these. One S-Bahn stop straddling the border for a West Berlin train had entrances west of the wall but those east of the wall were closed. Transfers were possible at Friedrichstrasse but exit was not. All in all there were 16 such stations although East German trains passed through and stopped at some of them.
The most famous of these is the Unter den Linden station pictured. It has been left with its original pale green walls and original signage as it was during the period of the division as a reminder. The ghost stations lasted the entire 28 years of the wall but some were reopened within two days of the fall. The first was Jannowitzbrucke on 11 Nov 1989 and the last Potsdamer Platz in 1992 after an extensive reconstruction.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Mar 15, 2008
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