1913-1934: Subway expansion, the First World War and Hamburg's first bus lines
The circle line is extended
When the first section of the Ring Line was opened on February 15, 1912, and scheduled service began in March, it was only the beginning of the subway era in the Hanseatic city. The fact that the subway carried almost 25 million passengers in its first year of operation demonstrated both the need and the potential of the new means of transportation. Accordingly, the plans for a network extension that had already been made during the construction of the Ring Line were now implemented. With three branch lines branching off from the Ring Line, large parts of Hamburg received a modern subway connection.
The "Hellkamp Line" to Eimsbüttel
The densely populated Eimsbüttel was the first to be connected to the subway. The Schlump station with two platforms was already built during the construction of the ring line. The branch to Eimsbüttel was therefore planned right from the start. From July 1, 1913, the line could be used as far as the Christuskirche stop, and from October 21, 1913, it continued to the Emilienstraße stop. Rescheduling in the area of the Eimsbüttel market square extended the construction time of the 2.4 km long tunnel route, so that the last two stops Osterstraße and Hellkamp were not opened until May 23, 1914.
Station Schlump, June 1912
Branch at Schlump with underpass of the Eimsbüttel branch line, September 1913
The branch line to Ohlsdorf
On December 1, 1914, the branch line from Kellinghusenstrasse to Ohlsdorf went into operation, built entirely on an embankment with its stops at Hudtwalckerstrasse, Lattenkamp, Alsterdorf and Ohlsdorf. The 5.4-kilometer line not only provided the main cemetery in Ohlsdorf, which had been opened in 1877, with a modern transportation link, but the subway line also accelerated the development of the central Alster valley.
The Sengelmannstrasse stop was "built in" much later, opening on September 26, 1975, to better connect the City Nord office district to public transportation. At the second platform, the then planned U4 was to arrive as a cross connection via Altona to Lurup. However, the far-advanced plans were not implemented as a result of the oil crisis in 1973. With the realization of the U5, however, the Sengelmannstrasse stop will now become part of the modern network expansion.
Bridge over the Lattenkamp at the stop of the same name, December 1914
Station Ohlsdorf, December 1914
Work on the third branch line to the Rothenburgsort workers' quarter began as early as 1909. The Hauptbahnhof stop was given two more tracks from the outset to enable passengers to change here for the Ringlinie. Between the main station and Berliner Tor, the line then branched off to the southeast. The tunnel ran under today's ZOB to Besenbinderhof, where it merged into a viaduct line. It took seven minutes to travel the 3.2-kilometer route from the main station via the stops Spaldingstrasse
Süderstraße and Billhorner Brückenstraße to the Rothenburgsort terminus, where a small depot with a subway workshop was also set up. After the destruction of large parts of Rothenburgsort in the firestorm of 1943, the subway line was not rebuilt after the end of World War II.
Underpass of Billhorner Brückenstraße at the underpass stop of the same name, May 1915.
Station Rothenburgsort, May 1915
The Langenhorn Railway
In November 1912, the Hamburg Parliament decided to extend the subway from Ohlsdorf via Fuhlsbüttel and Langenhorn to Ochsenzoll. On January 1, 1913, construction work began on the 7.7-kilometer section, which was completed in 1914. However, the start of the First World War on July 28, 1914 delayed the electrical equipment of the line and thus its commissioning. A steam locomotive with two passenger cars therefore did not make the inaugural run on the freight track until January 5, 1918. Electric service between Ohlsdorf and Ochsenzoll did not begin until July 1, 1921, when the Langenhorn Süd stop built into the existing line was also opened, followed in 1925 by the Klein Borstel stop, which was also new. Both additions were evidence of population growth and increasing demand. In 1960, the Kiwittsmoor stop was added to the existing line so that new residential areas and hospitals could be even better connected to the subway.
Roadway work with backhoe in Ohlsdorf, June 1913
Station Kiwittsmoor, around 1960
The Walddörfer Railway
The connection of the Hamburg exclaves of Farmsen, Volksdorf, Wohldorf and Großhansdorf to the urban transport network had been the subject of intensive negotiations since 1903. The issues at stake were economic efficiency and state policy, since 10.7 of the planned 28.3 kilometers of line ran through Prussian territory. The negotiations were finally concluded in May 1912: The construction of the line was financed by the city of Hamburg, which then commissioned HOCHBAHN to operate it.
The earthworks could still be completed, but after the start of the First World War on July 28, 1914, the further extension of the line progressed only slowly, mainly due to a lack of materials. Because the electrical equipment was missing, some stops had not yet been built and there were also no railcars, a provisional service was initially started on September 12, 1918. This was only possible thanks to two Belgian steam locomotives captured during the war, which were coupled to the converted subway cars for this purpose. However, when the locomotives had to be returned after the end of the war in the course of reparations, the Walddörferbahn was at a standstill for the time being as of May 22, 1919. Despite the difficult post-war period, however, the completion of the Walddörferbahn was pursued and the line was gradually electrified, so that single-track electric operation between Barmbek and Volksdorf began on September 6, 1920. In November 1921, the section between Volksdorf and Groß-Hansdorf was opened, before the line from Volksdorf to Ohlstedt could also be operated electrically from the beginning of February 1925.
Walddörferbahn with steam locomotive, 1918
Station Volksdorf, 1920
The HOCHBAHN in the First World War
The maritime and economic blockade that accompanied World War I led to significant supply difficulties in all areas in the port city of Hamburg, along with high unemployment and rising inflation. At HOCHBAHN, this not only affected the completion of the Langenhorn and Walddörfer Railway. By the end of 1914, about two-thirds of Hochbahner employees had already been drafted into military service, including board member Wilhelm Stein. In 1919, as many as 98 percent of the male driving personnel had been drafted, many of whom died.
The gaps within the company were filled by women, who until then had only sold tickets and performed clerical work. They were now employed as drivers of streetcars and subways and in signal boxes, worked in track maintenance, and worked in the power plant.
The poor supply situation was particularly noticeable at HOCHBAHN in the form of coal shortages, which led to such severe bottlenecks in the power supply that timetables were restricted and the speed of the subway was limited. Falling passenger numbers and lower revenues coupled with rising costs led to distortions that prompted the private shareholders in 1917 to offer the Hamburg state the establishment of a mixed-economy company. After lengthy political discussions, HOCHBAHN was finally reorganized as a mixed-economy company in mid-1918, with far-reaching influence for the city. A similar path was taken by the Straßen-Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft in Hamburg, Actien Gesellschaft (SEG), the largest operator of tramways, which merged with HOCHBAHN at the end of 1918. In April, HOCHBAHN finally also took over the Alster shipping company and became Hamburg's largest local transport company. After the end of World War I and the (short) revolution, Germany's first parliamentary democracy began with the proclamation of the Weimar Republic on November 9, 1918.
Track workers on the Rothenburgsort branch line, April 1917
Train driver and conductor with T-car at Hellbrookstraße depot, June 1917
The bus rolls
The bus age began in Hamburg on December 5, 1921, when HOCHBAHN opened its first test line with motor buses between Schlump and Landwehr. The first buses still had to be started with a crank and reached a maximum speed of 20 km/h with solid rubber tires. As operating costs rose steadily due to severe inflation, the trial service was discontinued as early as 1922, as was another line between Wandsbek and Marienthal a short time later. However, since buses could be used very flexibly in the increasingly dense urban traffic, HOCHBAHN was convinced that this type of local public transport would become established. Therefore, starting in 1924, it opened new lines that laid the foundation for the growing bus service. In 1925, the first express bus line was established between Rathausmarkt and Eppendorfer Baum, and HOCHBAHN operated five daytime and three night bus lines. Development stagnated during the world economic crisis beginning in 1929, before the bus network was expanded to 7 express bus lines, 13 day bus lines, and 9 night bus lines by 1939 and counted about 13 million passengers annually.
NAG two-axle, year of construction 1921
A Büssing three-axle vehicle, 1925
The Kell-Jung line - diagonally into the city center
In the 1920s, the subway network was again significantly expanded: A diagonal connection was built from Kellinghusenstrasse to Jungfernstieg, directly into the heart of the city. In May 1925, tunnel work began on the so-called Kell-Jung line in Rothenbaumchaussee, where modern grab excavators and conveyor belts were used. The first section with the stops Klosterstern, Hallerstraße and Stephansplatz was opened on June 2, 1929. The subsequent tunnel construction from the Colonaden to Jungfernstieg began in March 1930 and was completed within a year despite the technical challenges due to the proximity of the water and the existing buildings, so that the Jungfernstieg stop was opened on March 25, 1931 - albeit single-tracked and with a provisional platform at the level of Neuer Wall. The completion of the last 150 meters of the stop was even more difficult, because they were located in the muddy ground under the Alster drains and the Reesendamm bridge. But when the stop finally went into regular operation on April 28, 1934, Jungfernstieg was not only Germany's first underwater stop, it was also the first to have escalators and was modern in design with its Art Deco-like architecture.
View from Oderfelderstraße to the Kell-Jung line at the Kellinghusenstraße stop around 1928
Intermediate level of the Jungfernstieg stop, 1934