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 its 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 systems, we need to tell the story behind it.
Siemensstadt S-Bahnhof and its history
At the beginning of the 20th century, Berlin was Germany’s most significant industrial city. One of the companies that led 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 in the factory, taking the train to work at Siemens daily, the S-Bahnhof Siemensstadt started its service in 1929. Before that, only a tiny 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 Siemensstadt’s infrastructural spine. 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 service was restored in December 1956 after the Spreebrücke was restored. However, since Siemens moved its headquarters to Munich, there hasn’t been much to do with this S-Bahn line. Towards the late seventies, trains ran 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 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 who died in that senseless war who worked at Siemens.
From there, we walked into the train tracks, and after a short search, everybody went through a hole in the fence.
We first walked 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. We had to find a window or a door under all the debris and dirt. 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.
Our friend André, who ran the awesome Viagem Criativa and wrote an excellent post about his experience with us, decided to lead and be the first one inside the old building. We found something close to what we remember from the Blair Witch Project, except the shaking camera.
After taking pictures of everything for a while, 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 atop a road, and we don’t know how it still exists. 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 about 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 taking pictures of everything for a few minutes, it was time to go to the S-Bahnhof Wernerwerk.
Whenever we decide to host a Fostrasse meeting, we visit the place and see how hard it is to go there and walk around. But, this time, we didn’t find 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. Perhaps we would find a steel gate blocking our way or a dragon. We don’t know, but we went there either way.
We found a steel gate covered in barbed wire, but since it was already open, we walked right through it, and there we found S-Bahnhof Wernerwerk completely destroyed and overgrown with small trees.
The S-Bahnhof Wernerwerk stands atop the Siemens dam 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 explored the station like it belonged to us.
We decided to call this a day and find a bar to have some beers. We could go on foot, but the bridge used to connect the Siemensbahn to the central 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 impressive.