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In the 19th and the early 20th century, Berlin was the largest industrial city in Europe. The monuments of this era are numerous. The S-Bahn was both the result and the prerequisite for the growth of the metropolis. It was a product of the local railway- and elec-trical industry. And without them, the city and region would not function to-day.
The initially modest, privately-driven expansion of the railway network in the Berlin region from 1838 received an enormous boost after the founding of the German Reich in 1870/71 and thanks to government initiatives. With the Ringbahn (1871 and 1877) and the Stadtbahn (1882), a railway system was created that linked the city centre and the many suburbs, which allowed for the dynamic development into a metropolitan region by 1914. The for-mation of the “Königliche Eisen-bahndirektion Berlin” in 1895 anticipat-ed the creation of Greater Berlin in 1920 - a quarter of a century earlier.
The Weimar Republic after 1918 created the conditions for the technical mod-ernization of the railway and made it one of the most important means of transport in the city region- it was ex-emplary in international comparison. S-Bahn and Elektropolis belonged to-gether.
At least for the former eastern part of the city, the S-Bahn lasted to be the central means for urban development even after 1945. The suburbs of Mar-zahn and Hohenschönhausen without the S-Bahn? Unthinkable!
After 1990 and extensive renovations (e.g. at Ostkreuz trainstation) the S-Bahn is once again the "face of local public transport" for the city's residents and all visitors.