If you want to take the train the Siemensstadt S-Bahnhof, you are at the wrong place. Or you may be a little late and when I say a little, it is more like 30 years late but who cares about it now? It seems that nobody cares about the Siemensstadt S-Bahnhof nowadays. When we visited this abandoned place in Berlin, our goal was to explore the Siemensbahn from it switch tower close to the S-Bahnhof Gartenfeld to the famous abandoned S-Bahnhof Siemensstadt and end up at the S-Bahnhof Wernerwerk. And this is what we did on that Easter Sunday. Before we start with our tale of exploration through one of Berlin’s abandoned railway system, we need to tell the story behind it.
Siemensstadt S-Bahnhof and its history
Back in the beginning of the 20 th century, Berlin was the largest industrial city in Germany. One of the companies that lead that was Siemens, with its headquarters in Berlin. It grew so much and so quickly that it became a city on its own called Siemensstadt.
With more than 17.000 workers, from more than 90.000 on the factory, taking the train to work at Siemens everyday, the S-Bahnhof Siemensstadt started its service in 1929. Before that, only a small and distant station served this purpose but it wasn’t close enough to the factories. Eventually, Carl Friedrich Von Siemens decided to build a new railway line and since he was also President of the Board of the Deutsche Reichsbahn-Gesellschaft, it was easy to make this work. This is how the Gartenfeld, Siemensstadt and Wernerwerke stations became the infrastructural spine of Siemensstadt. But this is in the past now.
Like everywhere else in Berlin, the S-Bahnhof Siemensstadt was heavily damaged during the Second World War. Large parts of the tracks were dismantled by the Soviets and sent back to Russia. It took a few years but on december 1956, after restoring the Spreebrücke, service was restored. But since Siemens moved its headquarters to Munich, there wasn’t much to do with this S-Bahn line. Towards the late seventies, trains were running a 20 minute cycle with an average of 30 commuters using the service.
After the Reichsbahnerstreik in september 1980, the line crossing the former Siemensstadt S-Bahnhof was shut down forever. With a new U7 subway line close by and a lack of commuters, nobody found a reason for it to exist. Most of the track structure has been dismantled and scrapped over the years but the building of the former S-Bahnhof Siemensstadt still stands. You can even read the broken lettering from older times when it was still being used as a train station.
Now that we are done with the history of the Siemensstadt S-Bahnhof and all the stations there, we can begin our tale of exploration. So, we met the group at Rohrdamm, one of the closest subway stations and the place where you can see a First World War Memorial to everyone that died on that senseless war that worked at Siemens. From there, we walked into the train tracks and, after a short search, everybody went through a hole in the fence and that was it.
The first thing we did was to walk along the train tracks straight into what used to be the switch tower close to the S-Bahnhof Gartenfeld. After a few minutes, we found the old building hidden between some trees and spray painted walls. It was there, under all the debris and the dirt, that we had to find a window or a door in. Easy right? Of course not, every time that we need to find a way in, it is always in the shittiest place. And this was proved right again here.
The good thing is that our friend André, that runs the awesome Viagem Criativa and wrote an awesome post about his experience with us, decided to lead and be the first one inside the old building. There, we found something close to what we remember from the Blair Witch Project, except the shaking camera.
After a while taking pictures of everything, it was time to go to one of the main attractions: the Siemensstadt S-Bahnhof. We just had to follow the train tracks while paying attention to the floor so we wouldn’t hurt ourselves in any way around there.
Some 20 minutes later, there we were at Siemensstadt S-Bahnhof. It sits on top of a road and we don’t know how it still stands there in the open. Everything there is spray painted and broken to pieces but you can still walk around and imagine how it used to be when the last train came around, more than 30 years ago.
Every pathway into the street seems to be bricked over and, if you want to come over, you need to find a hole through the fence. Something that we don’t think it would be that hard.
After a some minutes taking pictures of everything, it was time to go to the S-Bahnhof Wernerwerk. Every time that we decide to host a Fotostrasse meeting, we take care of visiting the place and seeing how hard it is to go there and walk around. But, this time, we didn’t manage to find the time to go to S-Bahnhof Wernerwerk. We walked the rest of the track, but not this last station. So, in a way, we were kind of nervous to take our group there. Maybe we would find some police car waiting for us. Maybe we would find a steel gate blocking our way or a dragon. We don’t know but we went there either way.
We ended up finding a steel gate covered in barbed wire but, since it was already open, we walked right though it and there we found S-Bahnhof Wernerwerk completely destroyed and overgrow with small trees.
The S-Bahnhof Wernerwerk stands on top of the Siemensdamm and really close to the Siemens building. For a while, we were a little scared whenever we listened to a siren close to us but, after some time, we were exploring the station like it belonged to us.
This was were we decided to call it a day and find a bar to have some beers. We could go on walking but the bridge that used to connect the Siemensbahn into the main railways is long gone and, maybe, it could get dangerous. We are not sure but… This wasn’t the time to try something. We were tired and the adventure was more than amazing. Thanks to everyone on the picture above that shared this great day with us.