Berlin’s U4 – On a literal Short Run
When in the year 2019 the U55 merges in the U5, then U4 officially will be Berlin’s shortest underground again. Its course starts at Nollendorfplatz square, ends at Innsbrucker Platz square and measures solely 2.9 kilometres leading through Berlin’s Schöneberg district. It was the once autonomous town of Schöneberg that launched U4 as Germany’s first communal subway and even today, in a reunified Berlin, it is hard to imagine things without this metro line as it connects the western city centre with the S-Bahn ring.
The journey starts at Nollendorfplatz square, where Cindy from Marzahn (an interestingly dressed comedian from East Berlin) hails from large wall posters sending the train on its course. Beside U4 at Nollendorfplatz also U1, U2 and U3 meet each other. While all those other lines operate at weekend nights, U4 takes a break.
Logically U4 is not the city’s most frequented underground, hence it is operated using solely short trains. Those trains having two coaches only are the shortest in Berlin. Sometimes they stop in the front and sometimes at the back of a station, making a long metro platform looking a little oversized.
Beside Rathaus Schöneberg station – the former Stadtpark station – all stops and platforms are located underground. Rathaus Schöneberg station was built on de facto marsh land that got reclaimed using the overburden from drilling the underground tunnels.
This photo series was shot strictly using aperture 1.4 at a focal length of 24mm only, and in collaboriation with photographer friend Torsten Goltz. Some of the stations, in particular the historic ones, are not entirely symmetric. Hence the lines in the photos cannot be 100% precise.