The lamps are already lit, as a spokeswoman for the U5 project company tells Tagesspiegel. But passengers can only see them from the moving train: The station will not open until summer 2021, until then the cars will rush through the station without stopping.
The Museumsinsel underground station is the most demanding station on the route: It is located under the Spree Canal, the Kronprinzenpalais and the Bertelsmann representative office. Layers of marl in the subsoil had already delayed construction from 2012, and the “Bärlinde” tunnel boring machine had to be stopped.
In 2014 water penetrated the excavation pit, and tunneling came to a halt again. According to the spokeswoman, work on the train station, for the construction of which the underground had to be frozen, was delayed accordingly. These delays could not be made up in the further construction, which is why the subway station is not due to open until summer. The project company has not yet given an exact date.
15,000 people are to use the new train station every day. What this then cost cannot be conclusively stated at the moment, as there is still work to be done. For the overall project to close the U5 gap, the budget should be slightly exceeded: “We are currently assuming that the sum of 525 million euros will be exceeded by only a few percentage points,” says the spokeswoman for the project company.
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Natural stones are still being worked on, and technicians are installing the railway systems. Lighting, ventilation and sanitary facilities would also be installed on the upper levels. According to the project company, train operations no longer have to be interrupted during work at the station.
With the gap between the U5 and the U5, Berlin is continuing a building tradition: the subway stations should not be purely functional buildings, but rather architecturally sophisticated individual pieces. While Schinkel is remembered on the Museum Island, seven mushroom-shaped columns in the Rotes Rathaus station carry a large part of the ceiling load. The design by Collignon Architektur was inspired by the vaulted ceiling of the medieval town hall, which was rediscovered during excavations.
Berlin’s subway landscape will be even more varied thanks to the new line: Many train stations are under monument protection, such as the stations built by Alfred Grenander and Wilhelm Leitgebel at the beginning of the 20th century or the stations on U6 and U7 by Rainer Gerhard Rümmler, which depart Originated in 1960 and extends to Pop Art style.