July 2022


Strausseefähre / F39 / Strausberg bei Berlin

Strausseefähre - F39

Strausseefähre – F39 – Docked on the town side.

Strausseefähre - F39

You can see the overhead power supply, and the cable guides.

For reasons that I would rather not go into right now, a couple weeks ago I did some research on Strausberg – the far east end of Berlin’s S-Bahn S5 route. While doing research about Strausberg, I really didn’t plan on visiting the place – which is a tiny bit of a lie: basically I have a plan to pass through it, maybe eating dinner. And then I learned about the Strausseefähre: Lake Straus’s Ferry, which is BVG route F39. Strausberg, captured from the BVG map Here’s the thing: I thought that I rode all of Berlin’s BVG ferries two summers ago, including the infamous rowboat, F24 (which I believe was saved from elimination thanks to the effort of many locals). But I hadn’t – to be fare, F39, although numbered as a BVG ferry, does not actually fall under BVG tariffs, so I had to fork over 1.30€ to ride it, each way. OK, to be honest, that news was probably not enough to get me to trek all the way out to Strausberg (the S-Bahn ride alone was an hour from Berlin’s main train station to Strausberg, plus a 15 minute tram ride… more on that in a minute).

What put it over the top for me is that, per Wikipedia:

The ferry is unusual in that it is electrically operated, with an overhead supply at 170 volts. This is believed to be unique in Europe, although ferries using a similar power supply exist in the United States.

Unique in Europe: an electrically powered, via overhead supply, ferry?

Strausseefähre - F39I was there. And so it was – some other events lined up in my life that caused me to head out to Strausberg bei Berlin this afternoon – out to enjoy the sites of Strausberg and – to be honest – doze a bit on the extremely long S-Bahn ride. The village is certainly picturesque, but with an apparent dearth of restaurants (I needed lunch; the options ranged from mediocre to “wish I had trusted my gut and not actually read the menu”) – and I tried to imagine myself living way the hell out there in something that is included within Berlin’s excellent public transportation network, yet not really anywhere near anything that I would consider to be part of Berlin. Strausberg

At the other end of the ferry ride (not only electrically powered via an overhead supply, but also a cable ferry!), one is let off at “Strausberg Waldseite” – I gathered from the informative signs around the lake that this used to be a happening beach town with resorts of some kind positioned around the lake, but today there’s just not much there: it’s a ferry to hiking trails, or if you’re too lazy to actually walk around the (admittedly) medium sized lake.

Strausseefähre - F39I suppose that I could have walked around half of the lake, but ultimately I decided that given the extreme unlikeliness of my return to this village anytime in the near future (other than my future plan to pass through it and maybe eat dinner, although I hope that said “dinner” is better than the lunch choices I found around the ferry landing in the village’s center), to ride the ferry both ways. Strausberger Eisenbahn 89

The other thing that I did was ride Strassenbahn 89 – which is notable because the tracks are regular railroad width – even though it’s run as a normal tram. Unlike the ferry, Tram 89 is part of the BVG tariff system.

All-in-all, a worth afternoon’s adventure.

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