Railfanning From the Berliner Dom

I’ve watched trains from some interesting places, but this one was a little special.

My wife and I were in Berlin in early December last year to visit the German Christmas markets. Since the markets are only open in the afternoon and evening – and they are best visited in the dark – we did the usual tourist stuff during the days.

Our hotel we chose was close to Museum Island (Museuminsel), home of five world-class museums as well as the Berliner Dom / Berlin Cathedral.

The Berlin Cathedral and TV Tower
The Berlin Cathedral and TV Tower

The cathedral is relatively new, having been inaugurated in 1905. It was damaged during WW2 and has been somewhat restored since then. It is the largest Protestant church in Germany.

We enjoyed visiting it, and I decided to climb the 260-odd stairs to get a view from the outside of the dome. You can see a lot from 50m above the ground!

ICE train and S-Bahn passing by the Pergamon Museum in Berlin
ICE train and S-Bahn passing by the Pergamon Museum in Berlin

I immediately noticed the busy railway line to the north of the cathedral. This multi-track line is the main railway corridor through Berlin and I saw quite a few trains in the 22 minutes I was up there.

The Pergamon Museum is the building with the columns. We visited it on another day. The Egyptian section is quite good.

Wider view of Berlin
Wider view of Berlin

I remember it being a cool morning – it was December 2, after all – but the sun was out and Berlin was bright and beautiful.

Train crossing the Spree River in Berlin
Lots of different types of trains

Most passenger trains that I saw were electric-multiple-unit (EMU) trains, meaning they were a “set” rather than a bunch of individually coupled cars hauled by a locomotive. However, the occasional locomotive made an appearance, like this one pulling double-decker cars.

A tram and a bus in Berlin
Multimodal transportation in Berlin

I even spotted some Berlin public transit with a tram making a sharp corner with a bus behind it.

An S-Bahn train passing the Pergamon Museum
An S-Bahn train passing the Pergamon Museum

I really liked the outside of the Berliner Dom’s dome. It wasn’t crowded like some other roofs and domes we’ve been on, and there is no fence or glass to get in the way of photography.

A wide view of Berlin from the Berlinerdom
Tram AND S-Bahn

There were quite a few different trains rolling by.

I could have stayed there longer, but my wife was waiting in the church below. It was time to move on and see the TV Tower and other sights.

Train passing through Berlin

That was the only train railfanning I did in Berlin. I photographed quite a few trams