Tunnelling breakthrough on Berlin U5 extension

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Photo: BVG/Oliver Lang.

Transport body BVG has achieved a milestone in the construction of an extension of the Berlin U-Bahn which will connect the U5 and U55 lines.

Berlin’s mayor, Michael Mueller, attended a ceremony to witness the final breakthrough for the ‘U5 gap closure project’ into Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate) station on March 22.

Two-kilometre long, twin-bore tunnels will connect the U55 line at Brandenburger Tor in Mitte to the U5 at Alexanderplatz.

Line U55, which opened in 2009, links the main line station Berlin Hauptbahnhof with the Bundestag and Brandenburger Tor stations.

Construction of U55 began in the late 1990s. It was originally intended to be an extension of U5, but work was later put on hold and the completed section was opened as a standalone line.

Photo: BVG/Oliver Lang.

The intention was always to connect U5 and U55 and work began on the extension in 2010.

The new link will have three new stations: Berliner Rathaus, Museumsinsel and Unter den Linden. The majority of the tunnel has been constructed using a tunnel boring machine. There was, however, already a preexisting tunnel on U5 with a reversing loop between Alexanderplatz and Berliner Rathaus.

Fit-out of the tunnels will now begin and the line is expected to be completed in 2020.

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