Schwanheide Railroad Crossing

Of the 47 railroad lines that linked western and eastern Germany before 1945, only nine (two of which were only for freight) were still in use when the Iron Curtain came down on 9 November 1989. After re-unifications only the most important railroads lines are being restored and most of the towns along these lines are being by-passed by fast-speed trains. In this photo, trains from Hamburg were checked at Schwanheide well within East Germany. The reddish-brick 1930s railroad station and the East German concrete-block border office building still stand, although empty and unused, in 1998. Before World War II, the trains stopped here; then the East German government established a border check here. Since 1990, trains ran again but without stopping!