Photographer Methodically Documents All 173 Routes on the Berlin Subway
The Berlin U-Bahn, short for “Untergrundbahn”, which means “underground railway” in English, is the Berlin rapid transit system. It is Berlin’s version of the Metro, with a total track length of 146.3 kilometers. The railway expanded rapidly until the city was divided into West and East Berlin after the Second World War. The Berlin Wall and other restrictions eventually led to the severance of lines between both sides. The complete system was reunited as the Berlin Wall came down ushering the reunification of Germany. Kate Seabrook has a special affinity with the railway system, fascinated by the sights and visuals in all of the train’s lines.
With no formal education in photography, Seabrook’s skills are purely driven by her enthusiasm, as she got into the craft when she first used a DSLR in 2009. Since that time, the Australian photographer has managed to carve herself quite a reputation, mostly from her work documenting the Melbourne underground music community.
Seabrook found a new subject when she moved to Berlin in 2011, something far removed from music. Her photo series of each line in the U-Bahn and the various signages and typography found in it is very detailed and meticulous in presentation. Seabrook’s project, called Endbahnhof parrots the ride experientially thru the images of sights one would experience in the actual transit system ride.
She describes the project and shares part of her enthusiasm,
“… the perfect eye candy for trainspotters, typography, architecture and design enthusiasts, history and urban development buffs, anyone with a nostalgic connection to Berlin or anyone who believes that the journey is more important than the destination.”
In some lines Seabrook will begin the sequence of photos from the arrival of the train until it reaches the final destination. Other sequences extend to disembarking the U-Bahn, all the way to exiting the train terminal. U-Bahn officials owe Seabrook some amount of gratitude for featuring the Berlin rapid transit system in a way like no advertising campaign possibly can.
Have a look at the photo series Endbahnhof here.