Berlin Hauptbahnhof ( listen) (English: Berlin Central Station) is the main railway station in Berlin, Germany. It came into full operation two days after a ceremonial opening on 26 May 2006. Berlin Hauptbahnhof is the largest train station in Europe. 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 suburban railway temporarily named Berlin Hauptbahnhof–Lehrter Bahnhof. The station is operated by DB Station&Service, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn AG, and is classified as a Category 1 station, one of 21 in Germany and four in Berlin, the others being Berlin Gesundbrunnen, Berlin Südkreuz and Berlin Ostbahnhof.
Lehrter Bahnhof (Lehrte Station) opened in 1871 as the terminus of the railway linking Berlin with Lehrte, near Hanover, 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.
Following heavy damage during World War II, limited services to the main station were resumed, but then suspended in 1951. In 1957, with the railways to West Berlin 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 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.
The Berlin Hauptbahnhof is located at the Moabit district, at the Mitte constituency. In the north is the Europaplatz and Invalidenstraße whereas for the south it leads to Washingtonplatz and the Spree. South of the Hauptbahnhof, connects to the Spreebogenpark, together with Bundeskanzleramt and Paul-Löbe-Haus. In the east, it leads to the Mitte district, while it also extends to the Humboldthafen.
The Berlin Hauptbahnhof is part of the mushroom concept that was being made in Berlin, in which the station forms as a connecting point for converging and intersecting lines, of different modes of public transport there.
The station's length is 430 metres, whereas some of the platforms are 80 metres.
Structurally, the entire station complex is a tower station, operationally it is a crossing station similar to all central stations. The complex consists of several independent operating points:
The station building has two main levels, for suburban traffic as well as three connecting and business levels. Compared to Raffles Place MRT Station and Taipei Main Station, it is one of the most densely packed stations. The upper track consists of six tracks on four bridge structures. The two other lanes are single track and four others inside are double track. In between, the three platforms at the height of ten metres are arranged. On the lower track level are four platforms of owhich eight tracks along the north south line, at a depth of 15 metres. This is followed by the eastern end of another platform with two tracks for U55, similar to Timothy Station for Frankfurt Metro. To the east of the underground station, a similar double track platform is also being built as part of the S21 (Berlin) project.
The bridges in the city level not only spans the station area, but also the adjacenet Humboldthafen and are placed within 680 metres long. According to the lines of the light rail, they are curved in plan and widen due to the broadening of four to six tracks and the additional platforms from 39 to 66 meters wide. The Humboldthafen Bridge spans the Humboldthafen with a span of 60 meters. It consists of a bow with steel tubes and pre-stressed concrete beam as upper flange.
The upper platform hall, which runs east-west, is 321 metres long and consists of the arch-shaped arched column-free glass roof structure, which is supported by the two outer railway overpass structures. In the glass surface, a 2700 square meter photovoltaic system with a capacity of 330 kilowatts was integrated. The hall is between 46 and 66 meters wide and a maximum of 16 meters high. It consists of three sections, with the western segment 172 meters and the eastern 107 meters long. In between lies the 50 meters wide and 180 meters long north-south roof, whose barrel vaults with the main roof form a flat viaduct. Parallel to the north-south roof, the two "ironing structures" span the main roof of the platform hall and carry the north-south roof. These ironing structures contain 42,000 square meters of office space.
On the northeastern part of the two diagonally opposite station terraces, the sculpture of Rolling Horse, erected in 2007 by Jürgen Goertz, artificially complements the building and is reminiscent to Lehrter Bahnhof and Lehrter Stadtbahnhof. There are integrated artificial elements, which can be viewed through four portholes.
From the southwestern terrace, it rises the disguised chimney located underneath the Tunnel Tiergarten Spreebogen.
During the Hurricane Kyrill, on January 18, 2007, the 8.4 metre long, 1.35 ton horizontal strut 40 metres high, crashed from the lattice-like exterior onto a staircase, onto the southwestern part of the building, another strut was torn from the anchorage. These decorative elements had only been hung up and should only hold their own weight. As a remedy, small sheets were placed above the carrier to prevent further carrier dissolution.
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. Its architects were Alfred Lent, Bertold Scholz, and Gottlieb Henri Lapierre.
In contrast to earlier railway stations, built with brick façades, and in keeping with then-current trends, Lehrter Bahnhof was designed in the French Neo-Renaissance style. Its originally planned stone façade 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 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 14 October 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.
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 (56 mph). 19 December 1932 marked the maiden voyage of the famous diesel-powered Fliegender Hamburger (Flying Hamburger), which whisked passengers to Hamburg at 160 km/h (99 mph).
In the Second World War the station was severely damaged. After the war, the shell was repaired such that 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, heading for the Wustermark and Nauen. 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.
On 15 May 1882, Lehrter Stadtbahnhof opened, situated on the Stadtbahn viaduct 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 termini with nearby Charlottenburg, 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, making the Lehrter Stadtbahnhof an S-Bahnhof.
During the War, in April 1943 the station was bombed by the Polish sabotage and diversionary squad "Zagra-lin".
The Stadtbahnhof survived WWII 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. It was the final stop in West Berlin; the next station, Berlin Friedrichstraße, was in the Soviet zone, although it served as a stop on 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, was run by the East German railway, the Deutsche Reichsbahn. The 1961 construction of the Berlin Wall further isolated the station, and led to a boycott 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.
Berlin’s 750th-anniversary celebration in 1987 saw the station, now under West Berlin control, renovated at a cost of about DM 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 and Hackescher Markt stations were architecturally similar. Hackescher Markt, in former East Berlin, had been restored in 1994–1996, after German reunification.
Soon after the fall of the Berlin Wall 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.
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 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 line 5 were also included.
The planning approval for the station and the north-south connection was made on 12 September 1995. In 1997, a financing agreement was signed between Perleberger Straße and Spreebogen, between the federal government and the railway in the total amount of 700 million euros. The federal share amounted to half a billion of euros. Any additional cost increases should be broken down according to a defined key.
New York-based Tishman Speyer Properties was commissioned by Bahn AG to develop the station. Execution planning and construction supervision were carried out by the Stuttgart engineering consultants Schlaich, Bergermann and Partner.
The Hauptbahnhof was litearlly planned to have platforms for the cancelled Transrapid maglev train, which is at platform 8. Later on, it was replaced by normal railway tracks.
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-metre-high (200 ft) 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.
In 1998, the construction of the station fully began. About 1.5 million cubic meters of material were excavated for the pits, which are 90,000 square meters in total and about 20 meters deep. In return, 227,000 cubic meters of concrete and 13,000 tons of steel reinforcement were installed. With 27-meter-long buoyancy anchors (a total of 250 kilometers) and 180 kilometers of inclined anchors, the sole was anchored against the buoyant pressure of groundwater (200 kilonewtons per square meter).
On September 9, 1998, the foundation stone was laid symbolically by Federal Minister of Transport Wissmann, railway director Ludewig and Berlin's governing mayor Eberhard Diepgen in the then 17 -meter-deep excavation pit. The commissioning date was in 2003. Construction costs were estimated at 800 million DM (409 million euros). Every year, 50 million passengers on long-distance and 86 million regional passengers should use the station.
After groundwater had penetrated into the pit of the excavation pit as a result of a leak, the completion date was postponed in the spring of 1999. The incident necessitated a far-reaching change in the safety concept during the construction phase, in order to prevent the groundwater lying about three meters below the ground. Under the new schedule, the station should be finished in 2003 in the shell, 2004, a trial operation begin. In the middle of 2001, commissioning for 2006 was expected.
Construction of the bridges for the new S-Bahn 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 (1,480 ft) 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 Egyptian engineer Hani Azer, the chief construction engineer since 2001.
The main station hall is spanned by a similarly curved glass roof with a surface area of about 85 metres (279 ft) by 120 metres (390 ft), 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, provides roughly 44,000 square metres (470,000 sq ft) 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 steel cables at a rate of 6 metres (20 ft) per hour; the remaining 20 millimetres (0.79 in) gap between the bow frames upon completion of the lowering process was subsequently closed.
During summer 2003 a survey commissioned by Peter Strieder, Berlin'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, 28 May 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 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 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 in October 2005 after Deutsche Bahn altered the station construction timeline without proper authority. 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; Bahnhof Berlin Zoologischer Garten (Zoo Station) was downgraded to a regional railway station, and the number of main line services to Berlin Ostbahnhof (East Station) was drastically reduced.
On 26 May 2006, the station was ceremonially opened by Chancellor Angela Merkel, who arrived together with transport minister Wolfgang Tiefensee in a specially chartered InterCityExpress from Leipzig. A "Symphony of Light" was performed immediately following the dedication. Reamonn and BAP performed at the station, and there were also events at the other new stations: Gesundbrunnen, Potsdamer Platz 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 wielding a knife, 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-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 in 33 cases in 2007.
On 18 January 2007, two steel beams of the south-west façade were torn loose during European windstorm Kyrill. One of them, an 8.4 metre long beam weighing 1.35 tonnes, dropped 40 metres onto a staircase below, and the other impacted and damaged a third beam. The station had suffered some flooding and had 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) opened in August 2009, connecting the Hauptbahnhof with the Brandenburger Tor station.
The rail link to current Berlin Schönefeld Airport is to be reorganized for its replacement with the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport. The airport express line will maintain a travel time of 30 minutes.
The rail bridge construction leading into the upper level of the station forms a curve, and some of the screws holding it in place loosened. This required a €25 million reconstruction which involved the closure of the upper level rail tracks during a 3-month period in summer 2015.
The upper level of the station has six tracks (two of which used for the Berlin S-Bahn) 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. The lower level is often denoted by 'tief' on travel guides, etc. (thus the calling point may be "Berlin Hbf (tief)"). 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[update], the station is used by InterCityExpress, Intercity, Interregioexpress, RegionalExpress, RegionalBahn and S-Bahn trains. The station also hosts several international trains, and the most distant cities reached are Novosibirsk (Russia) and Astana (Kazakhstan), with an express named "Sibirjak". The upper part of the station, with the east-west tracks, is part of the Berlin Stadtbahn, with trains leading to locations like Hanover or Cologne. The subterranean station, which lies in the north-south Tiergarten tunnel, offers long distance services to Hamburg, Leipzig or Munich.
For the north-south connection is in the course of S21 S-platform in the tunnel level initially in a northerly direction with the Ringbahn, later of a continuation as a tunnel section with the Potsdamer Platz are connected. The construction of the northern section began in January 2010 and was initially scheduled to be completed by 2015. The realization of the southern section is after completion of the construction work on the extension of U5 expected to begin of 2019.
The U-Bahn platforms are presently served only by the U55, which is not connected to the rest of the U-Bahn network. It was opened on 8 August 2009. This line is operated as a single-track shuttle, and only one of the two platform tracks is currently used. The other is behind a metal fence, mounted in the ground. Construction of a 2.2 kilometres (1.4 mi) connection to line U5 commenced in April 2010 and is expected to be completed in 2017. In the long term it is planned to extend the U5 from the main station towards the west to Turmstraße and Jungfernheide. Due to lack of funds the state of Berlin, the northwestern continuation in the near future is not to be expected.
The underground station is in the second level of the main station east of the deep north-south train platforms (tracks 1-8). It has a central platform, which is covered with granite. To exit the platform are three stairs, an escalator and a lift. In addition, the Underground Station is equipped in terms of accessibility with a Tactile Paving.
The platform hall has a length of 140 metres, 11 metres in height and 19 metres in width, the wall cladding consists of enamel plates which are decorated with photographs of the former Berlin head stations. Furthermore, illuminate colored lighting effects the ceiling space above the platform.
Since it is the medium-terminus of this far to be extended U5, a two-pronged reciprocal trackage north was built a short branch railway. One of the two sweeping track is located at a lockable manhole through which the U-Bahn carriages can be replaced if necessary by using a crane. This currently represents the only way to spend U-Bahn carriages in the tunnel, because the line U55 with the U5 does not track connections to the rest of the underground network to the gap closure.
In zoning also the end of an underground line under the Invalidenstraße (U11) is provided at the main station, however, the realisation of which is the long term relatively unlikely.
In 2009, the plan approval process was to build a tram line extension track that on the Invalidenstraße the station to Berlin soll. In December 2010, had the Administrative Court two complaints from residents and BUND against the planned in connection with the tram extension two lanes - two-lane upgrading the road to traffic from and realized the construction project to be implemented as a  was the official start of construction in the spring. 2011. On 14 December 2014, the line M5 was extended from S Hackescher Markt to Hauptbahnhof.
On 29 August 2015 the tram lines M8 and M10 were also extended from S Nordbahnhof to Hauptbahnhof.
The station is served by the following service(s):