Dresden Bahn

Some 30 years after German unification Berlin gets a new wall…at least it seems like it!

In 2017, the German railway started to rebuild a train track, which was cut off by the Berlin wall after WWII. When the wall came down the old track bed was used to extend the commuter railway system into nearby Brandenburg to be serviced with light-weight suburban trains. But the dream was always to re-establish the direct connection from Berlin South to Dresden for fast trains and cargo, and – killing two birds with one stone – use the same connection to hooking up the new BER airport to Berlin’s public transport system. What sounds like a good plan, ended up in court for the last 20 years, because construction plans envisaged 4 parallel train tracks (2 for the fast trains and cargo and two for the suburban commuter trains) on ground level cutting a 50 m wide aisle through the southernmost district Lichtenrade. People feared for their health and their homes, not to speak about the inevitable destruction of several kilometers of wood- and shrubland along the existing tracks, which had developed over decades into breeding grounds for protected native birds, bats and other animals.  The idea was to persuade the German railway to leave the existing tracks in Lichtenrade untouched and build a tunnel underneath to keep the noise and concussions caused by the fast trains underground. Certainly, this would have come at higher costs, but the village-like structure of Lichtenrade and its residential and living quality would have been preserved. Finally, the protesters lost the case with a final verdict in June 2017 and immediately after the judgement was rendered, the chain saws started their destructive concert.

I am documenting the impact of the Dresden Bahn on Lichtenrade, the face of which will change massively over the next 7 years. It’s more of a sad story and I see my images as a silent protest. Unfortunately, it’s another example of how economic interests in this country have priority over the well-being of its inhabitants.

More photographs coming soon!


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