Historical Map: Thüringerwaldbahn Tram Mural, Tabarz, East Germany, 1989
A photo from 1989 of a newly-painted mural celebrating 60 years of the Thüringerwaldbahn, an interurban tram service running 22km between Gotha and Tabarz.
As the original poster on Flickr notes, the scale of the map is “fanciful”, but it’s really meant more as a (rather lovely) decorative overview than an actual map.
I’d be interested to know if the mural is still there, some 24-odd years later.
Photo: Lost in Berlin
Heh. Love the expression on his face.
Historical Map: Berlin BGV Map Detail, 1931
Lovely informational clarity in this detail from a beautiful 1931 map of Berlins transit - tram, bus and U-Bahn. Of particular note is how all labelling that is not directly related to the transit routes is rendered in a visually pleasing and subordinate light grey.
(Source: IsarSteve — Around and About in Berlin)
Official Map: Timetable/Service Frequency Map, S-Bahn RheinNeckar, Germany
Here’s an interesting little map from one of Germany’s newest S-Bahn networks (established in 2003): a system map combined with some basic timetable information, which in turn illustrates how the lines interweave traffic to create higher frequency service along the central spine of the network.
The map only shows major or interchange stations: enough to give a sense of timing without overwhelming the map with too much information. As you can see, each route only has one train per hour in each direction, but these combine to create service with four or even five trains an hour in each direction between Schifferstadt and Heidelberg stations.
The map itself is fairly basic, but it does the job it’s designed to do.
One final point of interest: the compression of the routes into this simplified map give no real idea of the incredible length of the S1 line: at 200 kilometres (124 miles) and 51 stations, it’s one of the longest S-Bahn lines in Germany. If you count out the stops using the timetable information above, it would take almost four and a half hours to travel its entire length.
Our rating: a bare bones approach to combining timetable information with a basic system map. Not much to look at, and not a complete replacement for the map of the whole system. Interesting, nonetheless. Two-and-a-half-stars.
(Source: S-Bahn RheinNeckar website)
Historical Map: Berlin U-Bahn Connections, late 1930s
Staying with Berlin for another day, here’s a neat, compact little connections map from the late 1930s. The presence of the “Reichsportsfeld” U-Bahn station means this map must be from no earlier than 1936, while “Adolf-Hitler-Platz” stands as a stark reminder of the dark days that Europe was about to face.
The map is very simple (but not crude; the draftsmanship is excellent), and is embellished with some understated but gorgeous hand-lettering — there’s absolutely no typesetting here that I can see. The little arrows that point to the connection information from each station are also quite lovely.
Historical Concept Map: Circular Berlin U- and S-Bahn Map, c.1990
Circular transit diagrams are certainly all the rage at the moment. I’ve reviewed two different takes on London here and here, and Maxwell Roberts’ circular New York diagram is generating a lot of internet buzz at the moment.
That’s not to say that it’s a completely new and original concept, however. Harry Beck tried his hand at a circular Underground diagram in 1964, and Berlin’s Ringbahn was abstracted into a perfect circle as far back as 1931.
Also from Berlin, here’s another addition to the pantheon of circular diagrams, one that I haven’t seen before and I’m pretty excited by. Designed by the famed German typographer/designer Erik Spiekermann, these photos were taken at an exhibition of his work at the Bauhaus Archiv in Berlin in 2011.
Judging by the stations shown, the concept seems to be roughly contemporaneous with the work he did in the early 1990s to design the first post-reunification diagram for the BVG. At first glance, the concentric circles, arcs and spokes make a compelling visual image, but many of the routes have to jump around all over the place to accommodate this visual metaphor, weaving in and out to retain their correct relative position to other lines. Station spacing — a prime consideration in the design of a diagram — becomes very uneven as a result, especially along the outer edges of the map, where huge virtual gaps open up between stations.
The Spiekermann-designed diagram that was eventually used by the BVG was far more traditional than this, and still governs the visual language used by Berlin’s diagrams today, 20 years after its completion. What we see here is almost certainly a concept that was explored and then abandoned as unworkable or too radical a departure for public acceptance (I note that the second mock up has angled type for just one station label — something that Erik has always held as a mortal sin in transit diagram design).
However, as an insight into the design process and thinking that goes into making transit diagrams, I find pieces like this absolutely fascinating.
Absolutely superb U-Bahn line maps in Munich, Germany. Clean, sleek, minimal with information superbly delineated and defined.
Clockwise/Counter-Clockwise: the Berlin Ringbahn Map
That’s enough from Boston for a while… let’s head to Berlin to look at this odd little map. It shows the S41 and S42 S-Bahn lines, which travel clockwise and counter-clockwise, respectively, along the Ringbahn, a 37km (23 mile) loop around Berlin.
While the map is packed with information — interchanges with other S- and U-Bahn services, stations with transfers to Deutsche Bahn trains, and estimated travel times between major stations — it just feels a little messy and unfinished to me, and definitely at odds with the precise and minimalist design style one normally associates with German transit maps.
Historical Map: Berlin S-Bahn (c. 1955-1960) still at the ruined Siemensstadt station
What an amazing photo!
The Siemensbahn was part of Berlin’s S-Bahn network from 1929 (when it was built as a short spur line to allow workers to commute to and from the Siemens factories in the area) to 1980, when it was shut down after a railway workers’ strike. As seen on the map, the Siemensbahn is the short spur line just above and to the left of the large red area in the centre.
The map is located (or was, in 2008, when the photo was taken) at the Siemensstadt station, which now lies in ruins and largely forgotten. The original poster of Flickr dates it to around 1980, probably based largely on the time the station closed. However, I date it to somewhere around 1955 to 1960 for a few reasons.
Firstly, the map is pretty much hand-drawn and lettered. A map from 1980 would look more sophisticated, as this link shows.
Many of the outer lines are still steam-powered (cross-hatched lines are marked in the legend as “Mit Dampf…[torn]”).
While borders between West and East Berlin (as well as the Greater Berlin area) are shown, and there’s a clear colour differentiation between the two cities (blue for West Berlin, red for East), it’s still possible to travel between east and west. Each station is marked with both the time it takes to get there from Siemensstadt and the price… and these markings continue into East Berlin. Therefore, the map’s post-WWII, but before the Berlin Wall went up (1961).
Comparing this map from 1955 and this one from 1960 shows that the outer ring line around the northwest of the city was completed some time between these dates. This line is shown on this map, although it’s hard to see because of the damage to the map: this gives the best dating I can come up with without researching individual stations. Can anyone narrow it down even more?
Another point of interest is the East Berlin station of Stalinallee, where someone has crossed out Stalin’s name and replaced it with “Frankfurter”, a reference to its pre-war name: Große Frankfurter Straße. This grafitti could have been added at anytime in the decades since the map was first put up, but the “Stalinallee” name also helps date the map, as the street was renamed as Karl-Marx-Allee in 1961.
Submission: Hamburger Hochbahn Ceiling Map, 1915
Submitted by themallefitz, who says:
This is a transit map of the Hamburger Hochbahn (subway / elevated railway) from 1915. it was painted on the ceiling of the wagons.
Transit Maps says:
This. Is. So. Beautiful.