Posted on April 21, 2012
The tram depot on Königin-Elisabeth-Straße in Berlin-Charlottenburg, originally known as Betriebshof 16 (from 1935 Btf.CHAR), opened on 1st September 1930. The architects were Jean Krämer (also architect of the tram depot on Müllerstraße) and O. Salvisberg. It replaced the original Berliner Tram Depot on Spandauer Straße, which had opened in 1865. The new depot could accomodate 320 trams under cover. The central hall, which had the largest span in the depot, measured 97 x120 metres.
Btf. CHAR seen in 1955 during it’s 25th Anniversary celebrations. There seems to be a high proportion of female spectators, no doubt wives of tramway men who lived around the depot, deputising for their husbands ‘out on the road’.
Typically für Berlin, the depot was surrounded by apartment blocks which provided 400 dwellings for transport employees. After a short pause at the end of the war in 1945, the depot was in continual use until the last day of trams in the former West Berlin on 2nd October 1967. After that it was used by a haulage company for more than two decades - and survives today, now being used as retail centre.
Former workshops & storerooms can be seen facing on to the courtyard - The employees dwellings on this South side of the depot differ considerably to those on the North Side. The chimney stack for the depot’s community heating can also be seen.
A Falkenried/NAG T08/24 tram built 1908, modernised in 1924 is being towed out of the depot. It is seen dressed as a route 355 tram, a wartime supplementary to tram route 55. Perhaps it was caught on camera here, being towed to one of the barriers erected all around the city, bolstered with tramcars in a futile attempt to stop the advancing Soviet army. 3248 was a wartime casualty, it certainly didn’t survive until 1949 and no doubt, was scrapped shortly after the war.
©IsarSteve & IsarSteve Collection 2012 - All images my copyright unless otherwise stated
Interactive maps of Berlin’s tram system 1945 - present can be found here: