U55 – The Chancellor’s Metro
With a length of only 1,8km and merely 3 stops being served, the U55 is currently Berlin’s shortest underground but that will change as it is an isolated subsection of the U5 and will join forces with its mother in 2019 after the construction works at Unter den Linden as well as Alexanderplatz get finished. Since primarily it runs under the governmental district Berliner’s call it cheekily as The Chancellor’s U or Angie’s private metro.
Being associated with Germany’s chancellor also has another origin as it was Helmut Kohl who signed the Hauptstadtvertrag, a contract controlling how Berlin shall be changed and built up to become a capital again. That contract also contains the construction of the U55 line as a subsection of the U5 pending its extension.
For the long terms U5 shall be extended even from Hauptbahnhof, the central station, to Turmstraße station, a stop of the U9 line, but that’s a pie in the sky yet as first the construction of stations Berliner Rathaus, Museumsinsel and Unter den Linden has to be finished before the U55 can merge into the big U5 line.
Since its first moment of operation the U55 runs as commuter service and the drive from Brandenburger Tor to Berlin’s central station takes only 2.5 minutes. Daily an average of some 6200 passengers get transported that way. The small U has no connection to the net of all other U lines hence the actual train coaches had to be put in using a crane.