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Freight station Pankow-Heinersdorf

Freight station Pankow-Heinersdorf

Threatened railway sheds in Berlin

At the end of the nineteenth century, the Stettiner Bahn trains were coming and going at the freight station Pankow-Heinersdorf. Freight wagons from the northern port of Stettin were loaded and unloaded there, but in 1997, the station closed.

Unlike the southern freight stations, which became extensive city parks such as Südgelände and Gleisdreieck, the extinct Pankow-Heinersdorf freight station remained vacant for years. Rails, switches and signals are broken. Yet, one remarkable monument remains: the monumental Rundlokschuppen.


'Rundlokschuppen', or round locomotive sheds, housed parking and repair tracks for steam locomotives under their iron dome. Today, glancing at the building quickly reveals that the protected monument has fallen prey to decay. Large holes gape in the roof, windows are broken and the walls are covered with a crust of graffiti.


The "Rundlokschuppen" have become not only an endangered, but also a rare species in Germany. You will only find such a shed in Rummelsburg, but its condition is just as dire as that in Pankow. Coincidentally, they both came from the mind of engineer Johann Wilhelm Schwedler. At the end of the nineteenth century, he caused a furor with such iron constructions. Schwedler also designed the original dome of the Neue Synagoge in Berlin, gas tanks and railway bridges.

Further on there is a ring shed that surrounds the second, uncovered turntable. Deutsche Bahn has decommissioned the workshop since 1997, although historic trains continued to be tinkered with until 2001 .

A furniture magnate who acquired the site a few years ago had big plans for the protected warehouse. Beginning in 2023, he wanted to demolish it and build hundreds of new homes. But the fact that the shed is a protected monument prevented his plans from progressing. After years of neglect, a judge ordered him to protect the Rundlokschuppen from further decay.

The Green Party is working to turn it into a park, following the example of the Südgelände in Berlin.

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