Berlin – Wednesday morning on the platform of the Spittelmarkt underground station in Mitte: heading west, the U2 to Ruhleben. It is a train from the new BVG series IK, with long wagons and modern monitors that show the stops – ideally the correct ones. As is so often the case on this line, this is not the case today either: According to the screen, the train is in Pankow station and will next stop on Vinetastraße. In this direction, Hausvogteiplatz, the next stop, would be correct.
A short time later, the U2 in the direction of Pankow stops on the opposite track, Märkisches Museum should actually indicate it as the next station, but it doesn’t. According to the monitor, the next stop is Kaiserdamm (Charlottenburg), a train station about 25 minutes away in the opposite direction.
Confused old people and tourists
At least the following two trains have correctly set monitors. Nevertheless, the problem in the U2, which has long been known to the Berlin Passenger Association (IGEB), has been causing confusion for years. Tourist groups and elderly people ask other passengers whether they are on the wrong train or get off, believing they are going in the wrong direction. IGEB press spokesman Jens Wieseke: “We have been aware of this extremely confusing disruption for about two years. Why nothing happens to me is incomprehensible. Repairing that can’t be rocket science. “
How can it be that a line leading through the center of Berlin with a high volume of tourists shows completely wrong stops for so long? In response to a corresponding written and telephone request from the Berliner Zeitung, the press office of the BVG announced that it was “a well-known and complex software problem, the solution of which we are working flat out together with the manufacturers of vehicles and displays.” So far, the search has been the error, however, remained unsuccessful. Now, to solve the problem, use “analysis software specially programmed for this purpose”.
So it remains to be hoped that the use of the analysis software will be crowned with success and that the monitors on modern U2 trains will run smoothly in the future. Or that you catch a class G train from the 1970s and 80s. The (significantly smaller) displays work perfectly here.