Berlin Hauptbahnhof
Overview
 
is the main railway station in Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

, Germany. It began full operation two days after a ceremonial opening on 26 May 2006. It is located on the site of the historic Lehrter Bahnhof, and until it opened as a main line station, it was a stop on the Berlin S-Bahn
Berlin S-Bahn
The Berlin S-Bahn is a rapid transit system in and around Berlin, the capital city of Germany. It consists of 15 lines and is integrated with the mostly underground U-Bahn to form the backbone of Berlin's rapid transport system...

 suburban railway
Rapid transit
A rapid transit, underground, subway, elevated railway, metro or metropolitan railway system is an electric passenger railway in an urban area with a high capacity and frequency, and grade separation from other traffic. Rapid transit systems are typically located either in underground tunnels or on...

 temporarily named Berlin Hauptbahnhof–Lehrter Bahnhof. The station is operated by DB Station&Service
DB Station&Service
DB Station&Service is a subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn AG, responsible for managing over 5,000 stations on the German railway network....

, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn
Deutsche Bahn
Deutsche Bahn AG is the German national railway company, a private joint stock company . Headquartered in Berlin, it came into existence in 1994 as the successor to the former state railways of Germany, the Deutsche Bundesbahn of West Germany and the Deutsche Reichsbahn of East Germany...

 AG, and is classified as a Category 1
German railway station categories
About 5,400 railway stations in Germany that are owned and operated by the Deutsche Bahn subsidiary DB Station&Service are assigned into seven categories, denoting the service level available at the station....

 station, one of twenty in Germany and four in Berlin, the others being Berlin Gesundbrunnen, Berlin Südkreuz
Berlin Südkreuz
Berlin Südkreuz is a railway station in the German capital Berlin. The station was originally opened in 1898 and is an interchange station...

 and Berlin Ostbahnhof
Berlin Ostbahnhof
Berlin Ostbahnhof is a mainline railway station in Berlin, Germany. It is in Friedrichshain, now part of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg district, and has undergone several name changes in its history. It was known as Berlin Hauptbahnhof from 1987 to 1998, a name now applied to Berlin's new central station...

.

Lehrter Bahnhof (Lehrte Station) opened in 1871 as the terminus of the railway linking Berlin with Lehrte
Lehrte
Lehrte is a town in the district of Hanover, in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is situated approximately 17 km east of Hanover. Lehrte is a picturesque town with a population of 45,000 and a modern infrastructure, combined with local culture and an interesting history.-History:The first documented...

, near Hanover
Hanover
Hanover or Hannover, on the river Leine, is the capital of the federal state of Lower Saxony , Germany and was once by personal union the family seat of the Hanoverian Kings of Great Britain, under their title as the dukes of Brunswick-Lüneburg...

, which later became Germany's most important east-west main line.
Discussions
Encyclopedia
is the main railway station in Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

, Germany. It began full operation two days after a ceremonial opening on 26 May 2006. It is located on the site of the historic Lehrter Bahnhof, and until it opened as a main line station, it was a stop on the Berlin S-Bahn
Berlin S-Bahn
The Berlin S-Bahn is a rapid transit system in and around Berlin, the capital city of Germany. It consists of 15 lines and is integrated with the mostly underground U-Bahn to form the backbone of Berlin's rapid transport system...

 suburban railway
Rapid transit
A rapid transit, underground, subway, elevated railway, metro or metropolitan railway system is an electric passenger railway in an urban area with a high capacity and frequency, and grade separation from other traffic. Rapid transit systems are typically located either in underground tunnels or on...

 temporarily named Berlin Hauptbahnhof–Lehrter Bahnhof. The station is operated by DB Station&Service
DB Station&Service
DB Station&Service is a subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn AG, responsible for managing over 5,000 stations on the German railway network....

, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn
Deutsche Bahn
Deutsche Bahn AG is the German national railway company, a private joint stock company . Headquartered in Berlin, it came into existence in 1994 as the successor to the former state railways of Germany, the Deutsche Bundesbahn of West Germany and the Deutsche Reichsbahn of East Germany...

 AG, and is classified as a Category 1
German railway station categories
About 5,400 railway stations in Germany that are owned and operated by the Deutsche Bahn subsidiary DB Station&Service are assigned into seven categories, denoting the service level available at the station....

 station, one of twenty in Germany and four in Berlin, the others being Berlin Gesundbrunnen, Berlin Südkreuz
Berlin Südkreuz
Berlin Südkreuz is a railway station in the German capital Berlin. The station was originally opened in 1898 and is an interchange station...

 and Berlin Ostbahnhof
Berlin Ostbahnhof
Berlin Ostbahnhof is a mainline railway station in Berlin, Germany. It is in Friedrichshain, now part of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg district, and has undergone several name changes in its history. It was known as Berlin Hauptbahnhof from 1987 to 1998, a name now applied to Berlin's new central station...

.

Lehrter Bahnhof (Lehrte Station) opened in 1871 as the terminus of the railway linking Berlin with Lehrte
Lehrte
Lehrte is a town in the district of Hanover, in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is situated approximately 17 km east of Hanover. Lehrte is a picturesque town with a population of 45,000 and a modern infrastructure, combined with local culture and an interesting history.-History:The first documented...

, near Hanover
Hanover
Hanover or Hannover, on the river Leine, is the capital of the federal state of Lower Saxony , Germany and was once by personal union the family seat of the Hanoverian Kings of Great Britain, under their title as the dukes of Brunswick-Lüneburg...

, which later became Germany's most important east-west main line. In 1882, with the completion of the Stadtbahn (City Railway, Berlin's four-track central elevated railway line, which carries both local and main line services), just north of the station, a smaller interchange station called Lehrter Stadtbahnhof was opened to provide connections with the new line. This station later became part of the Berlin S-Bahn. In 1884, after the closure of nearby Hamburger Bahnhof (Hamburg Station), Lehrter Bahnhof became the terminus for trains to and from Hamburg
Hamburg
-History:The first historic name for the city was, according to Claudius Ptolemy's reports, Treva.But the city takes its modern name, Hamburg, from the first permanent building on the site, a castle whose construction was ordered by the Emperor Charlemagne in AD 808...

.

Following heavy damage during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, limited services to the main station were resumed, but then suspended in 1951. In 1957, with the railways to West Berlin
West Berlin
West Berlin was a political exclave that existed between 1949 and 1990. It comprised the western regions of Berlin, which were bordered by East Berlin and parts of East Germany. West Berlin consisted of the American, British, and French occupation sectors, which had been established in 1945...

 under the control of East Germany, Lehrter Bahnhof was demolished, but Lehrter Stadtbahnhof continued as a stop on the S-Bahn. In 1987, it was extensively renovated to commemorate Berlin's 750th anniversary. After German reunification
German reunification
German reunification was the process in 1990 in which the German Democratic Republic joined the Federal Republic of Germany , and when Berlin reunited into a single city, as provided by its then Grundgesetz constitution Article 23. The start of this process is commonly referred by Germans as die...

 it was decided to improve Berlin's railway network by constructing a new north-south main line, to supplement the east-west Stadtbahn. Lehrter Stadtbahnhof was considered to be the logical location for a new central station.

Lehrter Bahnhof from 1871 to 1958

Between 1868 and 1871, a 239 kilometre railway was built between Hannover and Berlin via Lehrte by the Magdeburg Halberstädter railway company. Lehrter Bahnhof was constructed as the Berlin terminus. It was adjacent to Hamburger Bahnhof, just outside what was then Berlin's boundary at the Humbolthafen port on the river Spree
Spree
The Spree is a river that flows through the Saxony, Brandenburg and Berlin states of Germany, and in the Ústí nad Labem region of the Czech Republic...

. Its architects were Alfred Lent, Bertold Scholz, and Gottlieb Henri Lapierre.

In contrast to earlier railway stations, built with brick facades, and in keeping with then-current trends, Lehrter Bahnhof was designed in the French Neo-Renaissance
Neo-Renaissance
Renaissance Revival is an all-encompassing designation that covers many 19th century architectural revival styles which were neither Grecian nor Gothic but which instead drew inspiration from a wide range of classicizing Italian modes...

 style. Its originally planned stone facade was replaced with glazed tiles to save money. With its magnificent architecture, the station was known as a "palace among stations".

The train shed was 188 metres long and 38 metres wide. Its roof was a long barrel vault
Barrel vault
A barrel vault, also known as a tunnel vault or a wagon vault, is an architectural element formed by the extrusion of a single curve along a given distance. The curves are typically circular in shape, lending a semi-cylindrical appearance to the total design...

 with steel supports. As was common for the period, the station was divided into an arrival side on the west, and a departure side on the east. Originally there were five tracks, four of which ended at the side and the central platform; the fifth track had no platform and served as a turnaround for the locomotives. At the turn of the century this track was removed to accommodate the widening of the central platform.

Although the front of the building was ornate and had a grand entrance, most passengers entered and left via the east side, where horse-drawn carriages were able to stop.

In 1882 the metropolitan railway, predecessor of the S-Bahn, began service along two of the Stadtbahn tracks; long-distance traffic commenced in 1884 along the other two. With the expansion of Lehrter Bahnhof, it was able to take over the functions of Hamburger Bahnhof. A 300 m connector line was built; on October 14, 1884, traffic towards Hamburg, northeast Germany, and Scandinavia was diverted to Lehrter Bahnhof, and Hamburger Bahnhof closed.

In 1886, the Berlin-Lehrte railway, and with it Lehrter Bahnhof, was nationalized and subsequently came under the control of the Prussian State Railways
Prussian state railways
The term Prussian state railways encompasses those railway organisations that were owned or managed by the State of Prussia...

.

Even in its early years, the line was known as one of the country's fastest: in 1872, express trains could attain a speed of 90 km/h. December 19, 1932 marked the maiden voyage of the famous diesel-powered Fliegender Hamburger (Flying Hamburger), which whisked passengers to Hamburg at 160 km/h.

In the Second World War the station was severely damaged. After the war, the shell was repaired to the point where it could be used temporarily. However, the postwar division of Germany spelled the end for most of West Berlin's mainline stations. On 28 August 1951, the final train departed from Lehrter Bahnhof, headed for the Wustermark
Wustermark
Wustermark is a municipality of the Havelland district, in Brandenburg, Germany.-History:It was established in 2002 through a merger of the five villages Buchow-Karpzow, Elstal, Hoppenrade, Priort and Wustermark....

 and Nauen
Nauen
Nauen is a town in the Havelland district, in Brandenburg, Germany. It is situated 38 km west of Berlin and 26 km northwest of Potsdam.-History:...

. On 9 July 1957 demolition began, and on 22 April 1958 the main entrance was blown up. The biggest challenge in the demolition of the station was to preserve the viaducts of the Stadtbahn, which ran directly overhead. Work was completed in the summer of 1959.

Lehrter Stadtbahnhof from 1882 to 2002

On 15 May 1882, Lehrter Stadtbahnhof opened, situated on the Stadtbahn viaduct
Viaduct
A viaduct is a bridge composed of several small spans. The term viaduct is derived from the Latin via for road and ducere to lead something. However, the Ancient Romans did not use that term per se; it is a modern derivation from an analogy with aqueduct. Like the Roman aqueducts, many early...

 at the northern end of Lehrter Bahnhof concourse.
This four-track station on the Stadtbahn was used mainly by suburban trains. The main purpose of the Stadtbahn was to connect central areas of Berlin with the Lehrter Bahnhof, the Schlesischer Bahnhof (Silesia
Silesia
Silesia is a historical region of Central Europe located mostly in Poland, with smaller parts also in the Czech Republic, and Germany.Silesia is rich in mineral and natural resources, and includes several important industrial areas. Silesia's largest city and historical capital is Wrocław...

 Station) termini with nearby Charlottenburg
Charlottenburg
Charlottenburg is a locality of Berlin within the borough of Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, named after Queen consort Sophia Charlotte...

, then still a separate city. It was also providing an East-West railway connection across the centre of Berlin.

Because of steadily increasing traffic to Lehrter Stadtbahnhof and its location on a bridge crossing the north end of Lehrter Bahnhof, elaborate changes were made to the track structure in 1912 and again in 1929. On 1 December 1930, the newly electrified suburban trains were given the designation S-Bahn
S-Bahn
S-Bahn refers to an often combined city center and suburban railway system metro in Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Denmark...

, making the Lehrter Stadtbahnhof an S-Bahnhof.

The Stadtbahnhof survived the war intact, but came to lose its pre-war significance due to the division of Berlin; with Lehrter Bahnhof closed, the Stadtbahnhof served only a relatively underpopulated area near the border with East Berlin
East Berlin
East Berlin was the name given to the eastern part of Berlin between 1949 and 1990. It consisted of the Soviet sector of Berlin that was established in 1945. The American, British and French sectors became West Berlin, a part strongly associated with West Germany but a free city...

. It was the final stop in West Berlin
West Berlin
West Berlin was a political exclave that existed between 1949 and 1990. It comprised the western regions of Berlin, which were bordered by East Berlin and parts of East Germany. West Berlin consisted of the American, British, and French occupation sectors, which had been established in 1945...

; the next station, Berlin Friedrichstraße
Friedrichstraße
The Friedrichstraße is a major culture and shopping street in central Berlin, forming the core of the Friedrichstadt neighborhood. It runs from the northern part of the old Mitte district to the Hallesches Tor in the district of Kreuzberg...

, was in the Soviet zone, although it served as a stop on both the West Berlin S- and U-Bahn systems; these parts of the station were sealed off and inaccessible to East Berliners. The S-Bahn, like the mainlines leading to West Berlin
West Berlin
West Berlin was a political exclave that existed between 1949 and 1990. It comprised the western regions of Berlin, which were bordered by East Berlin and parts of East Germany. West Berlin consisted of the American, British, and French occupation sectors, which had been established in 1945...

, was run by the East German railway, the Deutsche Reichsbahn
Deutsche Reichsbahn of the GDR
The Deutsche Reichsbahn or DR was the operating name of state owned railways in the German Democratic Republic ....

. The 1961 construction of the Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall
The Berlin Wall was a barrier constructed by the German Democratic Republic starting on 13 August 1961, that completely cut off West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin...

 further isolated the station, and led to a boycott
Boycott
A boycott is an act of voluntarily abstaining from using, buying, or dealing with a person, organization, or country as an expression of protest, usually for political reasons...

 of the S-Bahn in West Berlin that lasted until the 1980s, when operation of the West Berlin S-Bahn lines was transferred to the West Berlin transit authority, the BVG
Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe
The is the main public transport company of Berlin, the capital city of Germany. It manages the city's U-Bahn underground railway, tram, bus and ferry networks, but not the S-Bahn urban rail system....

.

Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

’s 750-year anniversary celebration in 1987 saw the station, now under West Berlin control, renovated at a cost of about DM
German mark
The Deutsche Mark |mark]], abbreviated "DM") was the official currency of West Germany and Germany until the adoption of the euro in 2002. It is commonly called the "Deutschmark" in English but not in German. Germans often say "Mark" or "D-Mark"...

 10 million. Because it had largely been preserved in its original condition, it became a listed building.

However, in 2002, Lehrter Stadtbahnhof was demolished to make way for the new central station, despite its listed status. The argument was that Bellevue
Berlin Bellevue railway station
Bellevue is a railway station on the Berlin Stadtbahn in the Hansaviertel district of Berlin, Germany. It is served by Berlin S-Bahn trains. The station is named after Bellevue Palace, the residence of the President of Germany.- History :...

 and Hackescher Markt
Hackescher Markt
The Hackescher Markt is a square in the central Mitte locality of Berlin, Germany, situated at the eastern end of Oranienburger Strasse....

 stations were architecturally similar. Hackescher Markt, in former East Berlin
East Berlin
East Berlin was the name given to the eastern part of Berlin between 1949 and 1990. It consisted of the Soviet sector of Berlin that was established in 1945. The American, British and French sectors became West Berlin, a part strongly associated with West Germany but a free city...

, had been restored in 1994-1996, after German reunification
German reunification
German reunification was the process in 1990 in which the German Democratic Republic joined the Federal Republic of Germany , and when Berlin reunited into a single city, as provided by its then Grundgesetz constitution Article 23. The start of this process is commonly referred by Germans as die...

.

Planning the new station

Soon after the fall of the Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall
The Berlin Wall was a barrier constructed by the German Democratic Republic starting on 13 August 1961, that completely cut off West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin...

 in 1989, city planners began work on a transport plan for reunified Berlin. One element of this became the "Pilzkonzept" (mushroom concept), in which a new north-south railway line intersecting the Stadtbahn was to be constructed. The name derived from the shape formed by the new line and existing lines, which vaguely resembles a mushroom.

In June 1992 the federal government decided that the new station should be built on the site of Lehrter Bahnhof. While close to the centre of Berlin and government buildings, the area was still not heavily populated. The following year, a design competition for the project was held, which was won by the Hamburg architecture firm Gerkan, Marg and Partners
Gerkan, Marg and Partners
Gerkan, Marg and Partners is an architectural company based in Hamburg, Germany. The company was founded in 1965, and now has 400 employees in 10 offices.-Awards:...

.

The design called for five levels. The highest level, on a bridge 10 metres above street level, was to have platforms for both long-distance and S-Bahn trains on the existing Stadbahn. The lowest level, 15 metres underground, was to have platforms served by new tunnels to Potsdamer Platz
Potsdamer Platz
Potsdamer Platz is an important public square and traffic intersection in the centre of Berlin, Germany, lying about one kilometre south of the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag , and close to the southeast corner of the Tiergarten park...

 under the Spree and the Tiergarten, forming a new north-south line running to the northern part of the S-Bahn ring around central Berlin. Platforms for the planned extension to U-Bahn
Berlin U-Bahn
The Berlin is a rapid transit railway in Berlin, the capital city of Germany, and is a major part of the public transport system of that city. Opened in 1902, the serves 173 stations spread across ten lines, with a total track length of , about 80% of which is underground...

 line 5 were also included, as were platforms for the cancelled Transrapid
Transrapid
Transrapid is a German high-speed monorail train using magnetic levitation. Based on a patent from 1934, planning of the Transrapid system started in 1969. The test facility for the system in Emsland, Germany was completed in 1987...

 maglev train
Maglev train
Maglev , is a system of transportation that uses magnetic levitation to suspend, guide and propel vehicles from magnets rather than using mechanical methods, such as friction-reliant wheels, axles and bearings...

.

Building the new station

The building work took place in several stages. In 1995 the construction of the Tiergarten tunnels began, and this work was finished in 2005 with the completion of the last station tunnel. The tunnels provide four tubes for long-distance and regional services and two tubes in a separate alignment for the U-Bahn, in addition to a road tunnel ventilated by a 60-m-high tower completed in 2004. During its construction, the course of the Spree had to be diverted (1996–1998). Water leaks in the tunnels caused over one year's delay to the construction work.

Construction of the bridges for the new S-Bahn
Berlin S-Bahn
The Berlin S-Bahn is a rapid transit system in and around Berlin, the capital city of Germany. It consists of 15 lines and is integrated with the mostly underground U-Bahn to form the backbone of Berlin's rapid transport system...

 route began in 2001. These needed to span not only the entire length of the station, but also the adjacent Humboldthafen port, and are 450 metres long. Because of the alignment of the S-Bahn they are curved, and each pair of tracks has a separate bridge. Bridges of this type had never been built before, and represented a special challenge for the engineers.

The main station hall is spanned by a similarly curved glass roof with a surface area of about 85 metres by 120 metres, which was installed in February 2002. A photovoltaic system was integrated into the glass surface. The steel and glass construction was a difficult task for the engineers, particularly as the glass roofs were shortened by approximately 100 metres to speed up construction.

Over the first weekend of July 2002 the bridges and main station hall were brought into service so that traffic could be diverted onto the new alignment. The old Lehrter Stadtbahnhof S-Bahn station was closed and rapidly demolished to make way for further new building. On 9 September 2002 the station was renamed "Berlin Hauptbahnhof – Lehrter Bahnhof".

The main concourse, supported by two towers, will provide roughly 44,000 m² of commercial space. Construction of the towers began in 2005. On two separate weekends, 29 July and 13 August 2005, structural frames were installed, supporting the structure above the east-west tracks. This was built using a new technique: the frames, each weighing 1250 t, were lowered by ropes at a rate of six m per hour; the remaining 20-mm gap between the bow frames upon completion of the lowering process was subsequently closed.
During summer 2003 a survey commissioned by Peter Strieder, Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

's Senator for City Development and Traffic, and Deutsche Bahn director Hartmut Mehdorn was conducted among Berlin residents with the intention of selecting a name for the station. Of the three possibilities listed on the survey, the majority of participants opted for Lehrter Bahnhof; nevertheless, the station remained "Berlin Hauptbahnhof – Lehrter Bahnhof", an option that was not listed. It was decided early in 2005 that the station would be renamed "Berlin Hauptbahnhof" on the date of its opening, May 28, 2006, to avoid confusing rail passengers. On the same day, Berlin Papestraße station, which was rebuilt as the city's second-largest station, opened officially under its new name, Berlin Südkreuz (South Cross), similar to the existing Ostkreuz
Ostkreuz
Berlin Ostkreuz is a station on the Berlin S-Bahn suburban railway, and one of the busiest in Germany. The station is in the former East Berlin district of Friedrichshain, now part of the borough of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg....

 and Westkreuz stations. It is also on the new north-south route. Although it was intended to open a further station as Berlin-Nordkreuz (North Cross), the name Berlin-Gesundbrunnen was retained for what became Berlin's fourth biggest railway station for commuter and long distance trains, located in a more northern part of Berlin, where the circle and north-south-line of the S-Bahn
S-Bahn
S-Bahn refers to an often combined city center and suburban railway system metro in Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Denmark...

 cross each other.

In 2005 the bridging segments, which cross over the roof of the station, were lowered. This was the first time, this unique method to build later office rooms was applied.

The architect Meinhard von Gerkan filed a complaint against Deutsche Bahn
Deutsche Bahn
Deutsche Bahn AG is the German national railway company, a private joint stock company . Headquartered in Berlin, it came into existence in 1994 as the successor to the former state railways of Germany, the Deutsche Bundesbahn of West Germany and the Deutsche Reichsbahn of East Germany...

 in October 2005 after Deutsche Bahn altered the station construction timeline without proper authority (16th Berlin Superior Court of Justice, AZ 16 O 240/05). The complaint was upheld in late 2006. There may therefore be further construction on the station in the future.

In addition, Deutsche Bahn decided to implement a slightly different version of the "Pilzkonzept" by running intercity trains through the new Tiergarten tunnels rather than via the Stadtbahn. This move was unpopular for its effect on Berlin's two previous main stations; Berlin Zoologischer Garten (Zoo Station) was downgraded to a regional railway station, and the number of main line services to Berlin Ostbahnhof
Berlin Ostbahnhof
Berlin Ostbahnhof is a mainline railway station in Berlin, Germany. It is in Friedrichshain, now part of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg district, and has undergone several name changes in its history. It was known as Berlin Hauptbahnhof from 1987 to 1998, a name now applied to Berlin's new central station...

 (East Station) was drastically reduced.

Opening ceremony

On 26 May 2006 the station was ceremonially opened by Chancellor Angela Merkel
Angela Merkel
Angela Dorothea Merkel is the current Chancellor of Germany . Merkel, elected to the Bundestag from Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, has been the chairwoman of the Christian Democratic Union since 2000, and chairwoman of the CDU-CSU parliamentary coalition from 2002 to 2005.From 2005 to 2009 she led a...

, who arrived together with transport minister Wolfgang Tiefensee
Wolfgang Tiefensee
Wolfgang Tiefensee is a German SPD politician. He was the Federal Minister for Transport, Building and Urban Development in the grand coalition cabinet led by Angela Merkel since November 22, 2005....

 in a specially chartered InterCityExpress
InterCityExpress
The Intercity-Express or ICE is a system of high-speed trains predominantly running in Germany and neighbouring countries. It is the highest service category offered by DB Fernverkehr and is the flagship of Deutsche Bahn...

 from Leipzig
Leipzig
Leipzig Leipzig has always been a trade city, situated during the time of the Holy Roman Empire at the intersection of the Via Regia and Via Imperii, two important trade routes. At one time, Leipzig was one of the major European centres of learning and culture in fields such as music and publishing...

. A "Symphony of Light" was performed immediately following the dedication. Reamonn
Reamonn
Reamonn is a German rock and pop band. They have recorded six albums.-History:In 1997, Rea Garvey left his band The Reckless Pedestrians and home town of Tralee, Ireland to go to Germany with not a lot of money and a demo CD in his pocket...

 and BAP
BAP (German band)
Bap is a German rock group. With ten albums reaching the number one in the German record charts, Bap is one of the most successful rock acts in their home country....

 performed at Hauptbahnhof, and there were also events at the other new stations: Gesundbrunnen, Potsdamer Platz
Potsdamer Platz
Potsdamer Platz is an important public square and traffic intersection in the centre of Berlin, Germany, lying about one kilometre south of the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag , and close to the southeast corner of the Tiergarten park...

 and Südkreuz. Berlin Hauptbahnhof officially went into operation on 28 May 2006.

The opening ceremony was marred by an attack by a drunken 16-year old youth wielding a knife
Knife
A knife is a cutting tool with an exposed cutting edge or blade, hand-held or otherwise, with or without a handle. Knives were used at least two-and-a-half million years ago, as evidenced by the Oldowan tools...

, who stabbed members of the public leaving the ceremony. Forty-one people were wounded, six seriously, before the youth was arrested. According to police, the youth says he cannot remember his act of violence and is still denying it. One of the first stabbing victims was HIV
HIV
Human immunodeficiency virus is a lentivirus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome , a condition in humans in which progressive failure of the immune system allows life-threatening opportunistic infections and cancers to thrive...

-positive, leading to worries that other victims may have been infected, although this did not prove to be the case. The youth was charged with attempted murder, and was sentenced to seven years in prison for attempted manslaughter
Manslaughter
Manslaughter is a legal term for the killing of a human being, in a manner considered by law as less culpable than murder. The distinction between murder and manslaughter is said to have first been made by the Ancient Athenian lawmaker Dracon in the 7th century BC.The law generally differentiates...

 in 33 cases in 2007.

Since opening

On 18 January 2007, two steel beams of the facade were torn loose during European windstorm Kyrill, one of them dropping down onto the pavement and the other impacting with and damaging a third beam. The station had suffered some flooding and been evacuated due to the complete cancellation of train service in Germany. Consequently, nobody was injured and the station was cleared for reopening the following day. The beams had not been welded or bolted in place but laid down like shelves in a bookcase.
In the next days extra lugs were welded to the remaining beams to secure them in place and the station declared stormproof on 23 January.

The U55 (Berlin U-Bahn)
U55 (Berlin U-Bahn)
U55 is a U-Bahn line in the German capital city of Berlin. It connects the new Berlin Hauptbahnhof, or main railway station, to an interchange with the S-Bahn at Brandenburger Tor...

 opened in August 2009, connecting the Hauptbahnhof with the station Brandenburger Tor.

The rail link to current Berlin Schönefeld Airport is to be reorganized for the opening of future Berlin Brandenburg Airport in June 2012. The airport express line will maintain a travel time of 30 minutes.

Operational usage

The upper level of the station has six tracks (two of which used for the Berlin S-Bahn
Berlin S-Bahn
The Berlin S-Bahn is a rapid transit system in and around Berlin, the capital city of Germany. It consists of 15 lines and is integrated with the mostly underground U-Bahn to form the backbone of Berlin's rapid transport system...

) served by three island platforms. The lower level has eight tracks served by four island platforms for main-line trains, plus a further island platform for the Berlin U-Bahn
Berlin U-Bahn
The Berlin is a rapid transit railway in Berlin, the capital city of Germany, and is a major part of the public transport system of that city. Opened in 1902, the serves 173 stations spread across ten lines, with a total track length of , about 80% of which is underground...

. There is no rail connection between the upper and lower level track in the station area (or anywhere else nearby). 1,800 trains call at the station per day and the daily number of passengers is estimated to be at 350,000.

As of 2011, the station is used by InterCityExpress
InterCityExpress
The Intercity-Express or ICE is a system of high-speed trains predominantly running in Germany and neighbouring countries. It is the highest service category offered by DB Fernverkehr and is the flagship of Deutsche Bahn...

, Intercity
Intercity (Deutsche Bahn)
Intercity is the second-highest train classification in Germany, after the ICE. Intercity services are loco-hauled express services, usually over long-distances. There are Intercity routes throughout Germany, and routes generally operate with a two-hour frequency, with multiple routes giving a more...

, RegionalExpress
RegionalExpress
The term Regional-Express denotes a type of regional train in Germany and Austria .It is best compared to a semi-fast train, as it calls at fewer stations than Regionalbahn or S-Bahn trains, but stops more often than InterCity services...

, RegionalBahn
RegionalBahn
The Regionalbahn is a type of local passenger train in Germany.-Service:Regionalbahn trains usually call at all stations on a given line, with the exception of RB trains within S-Bahn networks, these may only call at selected stations...

 and S-Bahn
S-Bahn
S-Bahn refers to an often combined city center and suburban railway system metro in Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Denmark...

 trains. The station also hosts several international trains, and the most distant cities reached are Novosibirsk
Novosibirsk
Novosibirsk is the third-largest city in Russia, after Moscow and Saint Petersburg, and the largest city of Siberia, with a population of 1,473,737 . It is the administrative center of Novosibirsk Oblast as well as of the Siberian Federal District...

 (Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

) and Astana
Astana
Astana , formerly known as Akmola , Tselinograd and Akmolinsk , is the capital and second largest city of Kazakhstan, with an officially estimated population of 708,794 as of 1 August 2010...

 (Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan , officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Ranked as the ninth largest country in the world, it is also the world's largest landlocked country; its territory of is greater than Western Europe...

), with an express named "Sibirjak
Sibirjak
Sibirjak is the German spelling of the Russian name of a passenger train which currently links Berlin to some of main routes and cities of Russia. Its name means Siberian...

". The upper part of the station, with the east-west tracks, is part of the Berlin Stadtbahn, with trains leading to locations like Hanover
Hanover
Hanover or Hannover, on the river Leine, is the capital of the federal state of Lower Saxony , Germany and was once by personal union the family seat of the Hanoverian Kings of Great Britain, under their title as the dukes of Brunswick-Lüneburg...

 or Cologne
Cologne
Cologne is Germany's fourth-largest city , and is the largest city both in the Germany Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and within the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area, one of the major European metropolitan areas with more than ten million inhabitants.Cologne is located on both sides of the...

. The subterranean station, which lies in the north-south Tiergarten tunnel, offers long distance services to Hamburg
Hamburg
-History:The first historic name for the city was, according to Claudius Ptolemy's reports, Treva.But the city takes its modern name, Hamburg, from the first permanent building on the site, a castle whose construction was ordered by the Emperor Charlemagne in AD 808...

, Leipzig
Leipzig
Leipzig Leipzig has always been a trade city, situated during the time of the Holy Roman Empire at the intersection of the Via Regia and Via Imperii, two important trade routes. At one time, Leipzig was one of the major European centres of learning and culture in fields such as music and publishing...

 or Munich
Munich
Munich The city's motto is "" . Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" . Its native name, , is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat...

.

The U-Bahn platforms are presently served only by the U55
U55 (Berlin U-Bahn)
U55 is a U-Bahn line in the German capital city of Berlin. It connects the new Berlin Hauptbahnhof, or main railway station, to an interchange with the S-Bahn at Brandenburger Tor...

, which is not connected to the rest of the U-Bahn
Berlin U-Bahn
The Berlin is a rapid transit railway in Berlin, the capital city of Germany, and is a major part of the public transport system of that city. Opened in 1902, the serves 173 stations spread across ten lines, with a total track length of , about 80% of which is underground...

 network. This line is operated as a single-track shuttle, and only one of the two platform tracks is currently used. Construction of a 2.2 kilometres (1.4 mi) connection to line U5
U5 (Berlin U-Bahn)
U5 is a line on the Berlin U-Bahn. It runs from Alexanderplatz in Mitte eastwards through Friedrichshain, Lichtenberg and Friedrichsfelde, surfaces in Biesdorf to pass Kaulsdorf and Hellersdorf above ground and finally reaches city limits at Hönow....

 commenced in April 2010 and is expected to be completed in 2017.

Train services

See also

  • List of "Hauptbahnhof"
  • Railway stations in Berlin
  • Berlin–Palermo railway axis
    Berlin–Palermo railway axis
    The Berlin-Palermo railway axis is Line 1 of the Trans-European Transport Networks ,which involves the creation of a 2,200 km-long high-speed rail line between Berlin and Palermo.-Germany:...


External links

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