PHOTO: Berlin aims to dig deep and bring back an infrastructure classic. (Photo courtesy YouTube/Berliner Morgenpost)
A subway system in need of new blood has officials considering historic trains for what may just be a classic solution.
The Atlantic’s CityLab blog reports officials in Berlin are preparing to bring back Cold War-era trains for a portion of its extensive subway system.
The move is reportedly set to take place at some point in the spring of 2017 and is meant not out of nostalgia but for an aging infrastructure that could use a figurative shot in the arm in the form a few new trains.
Below is a brief video that explains the measure, delivered perfectly for our readers who speak German:
CityLab explains that the trains from the 1950s, called Doras, would represent a creative solution outside the realm of simply buying and producing brand new subway trains.
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The publication states: “City transit body BVG (Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe) wants to avoid the costs of buying more engines and reckons it can renovate and re-kit three of the old trains for just €1.9 million”
Now you won’t exactly get a taste of yesteryear at every subway stop at first. CityLab explains that the Dora solution is meant for a relatively short system — as it would be dedicated to the three-stop U55 line.
While completely revamped, these delightful Doras do already serve a modern function elsewhere in the world.
Those rare tourists who have actually meandered into North Korea may have spotted trains that were sent to the hermit nation for its own infrastructure needs.
The blog post continues: “there’s only one city where they are still in daily use. That’s the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, to which Berlin sold 105 trains at the end of the 1990s.”
And now these Doras, or three of the historic fleet, will be revamped and ushered into service much to the delight of locals and tourists.
The most wonderful part of this turn of events is that the line squires travelers through what was a heavily patrolled portion of Berlin demarcated thanks to the Berlin Wall and the ongoing tensions of the Cold War.
Now some 60-plus years later these trains will show up to rejuvenate a system, fill a modern need and inspire commuters with a hat tip to history.