Mark Crispin wrote:
> Prior to [the fall of the wall], the U-Bahn was run by West Berlin
> authorities and the S-Bahn by East Berlin authorities.
Actually, the S-Bahn was run by East German authorities, specifically
by the Deutsche Reichsbahn, which ran the long-distance trains in East
Germany. The Deutsche Bundesbahn and Reichsbahn have now merged to
form the Deutsche Bahn, which now runs the Berlin S-Bahn.
Up until the wall was built, the U-Bahn was a single network in both
the east and the west. After the wall was built, the four U-Bahn
lines which crossed between East and West were modified. Two of them
were split and did not cross the wall, one of them (U8) passed through
six locked and patrolled stations (including the major station at
Alexanderplatz) without stopping, and one of them (U6) passed through
four of five stations without stopping, and made a stop in a
hermetically sealed portion of the Friedrichstr station, where it was
possible to transfer to three S-Bahn lines serving the west.
> The S-Bahn was entirely streetcars in West Berlin, and generally avoided.
Not one bit of the S-Bahn in Berlin is or was ever streetcars. All of
it operated directly on rails of the Deutsche Reichsbahn (now Deutsche
Bahn) completely within the right-of-way and through the same stations
as the long-distance trains (although the long distance trains would
not stop at all of the stations).
By the mid-80s, the avoidance of what was left of the West Berlin
portion of the S-Bahn had pretty much ended, with the incorporation of
the S-Bahn into the same fare system as the rest of the West Berlin
transit system. (I've visited Berlin on over a dozen separate
occasions between 1965 and 2001 and am VERY familiar with the transit
systems there and their history.)
> In Munich, the S-Bahn is a high-speed line from the suburbs into
> downtown, but only one or two stops in town
No, the S-Bahn stops at all of the following in-town stations:
Westkreuz, Pasing, Laim, Donnersbergerbruecke, Hackerbruecke,
Hauptbahnhof, Karlsplatz (Stachus), Marienplatz, Isartor, Rosenheimer
Platz, Ostbahnhof, Leuchtenbergring, Untersbergstr, Giesing,
Heimeranplatz, Harras, and several other stations. In Munich, the
Deutsche Bundesbahn intercity rail system did not provide quite the
coverage of the inner city that is the case in Berlin and Hamburg, and
the S-Bahn was not fully developed until a major east-west tunnel
under the center of the city was built to connect Hauptbahnhof (a
terminus like GCT rather than a through station like Penn) with
Ostbahnhof. A similar tunnel was built in Frankfurt to extend the
S-Bahn from Hauptbahnhof under the city center.
> there definitely were streetcars in the Vienna ring which were
> part of the S-Bahn system
Vienna does have streetcars, but they have nothing to do with the
S-Bahn other than the fact that since 1984 there has been a fare union
among the commuter rail, bus, streetcar, and U-Bahn systems. As in
Germany, the S-Bahn is operated by the national long-distance rail
system (the OeBB).
There is a picture of some of the Vienna S-Bahn trains at
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baureihe_4020 -- and you can see that
they are operating as full-size rail cars out of big train stations.