BERLIN transport operator BVG has revealed that it needs to spend DM330m over the next five years for urgent repairs on the three U-Bahn routes serving the eastern part of the city. Decaying steelwork and water leaks have weakened the tunnel structures, and many stations are in need of major refurbishment.

The three lines affected are U5 between Alexanderplatz and Tierpark, the northeastern end of U2 from Mohrenstrasse to Vinetastrasse, and the centre section of U8 between Bernauer Strasse and Heinrich-Heine Strasse. The city government has released over DM100 for repairs to the eastern routes, but BVG has already allocated this to renewal of signalling, power supplies, lifts and stations.

The metro operator envisages a three-phase programme to tackle the tunnel works, with emergency repairs by 2000, intermediate renewals by 2002 and longer-term renovations after that.

At the end of January BVG put into service on Line U5 the first of 24 Series H trainsets being built by Adtranz Pankow at a cost of DM335m. Each six-car set has 168 fixed and 40 folding seats, with a crush load capacity of 788. All axles are powered by 90 kW motors, giving a top speed of 70 km/h.