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The Friedhofsbahn took residents of Berlin-Wannsee, Germany, quickly and cheaply to the Südwestkerkhof until the GDR cut the line in 1961.

Friedhofsbahn Berlin

Traces of the forgotten Friedhofsbahn

The Friedhofsbahn took residents of Berlin-Wannsee, Germany, quickly and cheaply to the Südwestkerkhof until the GDR cut the line in 1961.

The single-track S-Bahn started in Wannsee in Berlin and reached the cemetery in Stahnsdorf 4.2 kilometers after stopping at the Dreilinden station. The line owes its name "Friedhofsbahn" (German for cemetery line) to it.

No trains for sixty years

Trains have not been running there for sixty years. During the Second World War, traffic came to a standstill for the first time, and on August 13, 1961, the GDR cut the railway permanently in two after the passage of the last train to Wannsee. The Wannsee station turned into the terminus of the West Berlin S-Bahn. Many tracks were removed in the East and West during the 1970s.


At the time, you could drive from Wannsee to the Stahnsdorf cemetery in six minutes by S-Bahn; today, it is an hour-long trek on foot that takes you to the Königsweg, among other things. Under the bridge, you will find tens of meters of rails of the Friedhofsbahn. This decor rings a bell for viewers of the German Netflix series Dark: the scenes on the tracks and under the bridge were filmed here.

If you follow the tracks further south, you'll come across another bridge and a drooping staircase takes you to the bush-covered platforms of Dreilinden station, the only stop of the Friedhofsbahn.

Teltow Canal 

The line continues up to the Teltow Canal, which was excavated in the early twentieth century at the same time as the construction of the Friedhofsbahn. A steel colossus bridged the water, but there is no trace of the Alte Friedhofsbahnbrücke. The bridge was demolished a few years ago, a great disappointment for those hoping the railway might be reopened someday. 

To follow the route of the Friedhofsbahn across the Teltow Canal, there is no other option than to make a significant detour along the (disused) Teltowkanalbrücke and then cross the A115 motorway, fortunately via a pedestrian bridge. Those who put in all that effort will also be treated to the various bridges of the Friedhofsbahn along the southern side of the Teltow Canal. One of them already seemed to be planned for doubling the single-track S-Bahn line. 

Armoured barriers are lying around, which changed the minds of East Germans who wanted to flee via the highway. You can recognize pieces of rails welded together in the barriers, presumably from the Friedhofsbahn. The kilometre stone in which the number 4 is chiselled reveals that the end station of the Friedhofsbahn is in sight: the Südwestkirchhof Stahnsdorf. 


At the cemetery, you can see the platforms where travelers got off until 1961, but nothing remains of the station building itself. Next to an information board, a lost signal testifies to the passage of the S-Bahn line.

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