railway station

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Entrance building of the Berlin Central Station
Aerial view of the Kornwestheim marshalling yard near Stuttgart
Landsberg (Lech) station , station of the year 2007
Waiting hall of a modern train station in China ( Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station ), in the foreground security checks , on the sides platform barriers similar to airport gates

A train station (abbreviated Bf or Bhf, usually without a point) is a traffic and operating system of a railway , for example a railway .

Definitions and terms

In Germany and Austria, a train station is always an operating and train reporting point . In terms of rail operations, the definition of a station is similar in both countries, but slightly different in Switzerland:

  • In Germany , the definition is contained in Section 4 (2) of the Railway Construction and Operating Regulations (EBO):

    “Railway stations are railway systems with at least one switch where trains can start, end, avoid or turn . The entrance signals or trapezoidal boards are generally used as the boundary between the stations and the free route , otherwise the entry points. "

  • In Austria , the definition in Section 2 (1) (a) of the ÖBB operating regulations is :

    “Train stations are operating points where trains begin, end or avoid one another. Train stations are delimited by entry signals or trapezoidal panels ... "

  • In Switzerland , a distinction was previously made between train station and station in the sense of two size classes with the same function (the traffic points were decisive). Today the two terms are used synonymously, with the term station becoming more prevalent. Legislation has long used the terms synonymously, but means by them the access points for public traffic, possibly goods traffic. In the driving service language, a train station is the

    "System within the entry signals, where they are missing within the entry points, to regulate train traffic and shunting movements, mostly with public traffic."

    This also includes freight yards, shunting yards and service stations.
  • Colloquially called station ...
    • a facility at which travelers are allowed to board or leave trains (this also includes stops ) or trains are loaded or unloaded or reassembled or regrouped,
    • the reception building (Germany) or reception building (Switzerland and Austria) or
    • the entirety of railway facilities and reception buildings for which the station operator has the house right .

Similar definitions are also common in Central and Eastern Europe , the Balkans , Scandinavia and Russia. Elsewhere there is often no equivalent of a station, but it is based on the completely different principles of the British or North American railways.

In Great Britain there are “ Station Limits ”, which range from the first main signal of a signal box (“ Home Signal ”) to the following block signal (“ Section Signal ”). However, this only applies to routes without an automatic route block (“ Track Circuit Block ”). On other routes there is no distinction between open routes and operating points.

In North America, which is heavily influenced by timetable and train orders , there are " interlocking limits ", each of which encompasses a point area and the main signals that cover them (but here - apart from modern routes with centralized traffic control - only the route definition and sometimes the train sequence, but not regulate the order of turns). There are also “ Yards ”, which roughly corresponds to the German side tracks or local service areas , and “ Yard Limits ”, within which maneuvers can be made on continuous main tracks without the consent of the dispatcher .

Train station and stop

According to the railway building and operating regulations in Germany, an access point without a switch is not a train station in the operational sense, but a stopping point . With a partial road closures in most cases the traffic is maintained on the track to the nearest train station, because the trains can not turn without complex operational procedures at the breakpoints in the rule and the corresponding stretch not always a signal covered is.

The Austrian stop corresponds approximately to the German stop.

In Germany, in turn, is a stop of the railway a breakpoint with a branching point or a junction coincide.

There are also train stations that do not have passenger access (platforms and reception buildings). In addition to freight stations, there are stations that serve exclusively railroad operations, in particular the formation and disbanding of trains, train crossings and the overtaking of trains. If such a station primarily serves one of these functions due to the timetable situation, it is also referred to as a depot , especially a marshalling yard or overtaking station .

In the case of subways, there is generally no distinction between train stations and stops.

Operational hierarchy

In a network of train stations, some have a prominent position, either because a particularly large number of traffic lines are bundled in them, they are centrally located in metropolitan areas and cities, they are served by high-speed trains or they are central transhipment points for goods. In special cases, other stations are also classified to differentiate.

Central Station

Santiago Central Station (Santiago Alameda) station, Santiago de Chile , platform hall

If there are several train stations in one place, one of which is operationally superior to the others or at least once was historically, this is often referred to as the main train station . This is mostly - but not necessarily - in a central location and is well developed in terms of traffic, especially as an important connection point between different lines of rail traffic with those of local public transport .

Long-distance train station

Stations served by train types of rail passenger transport (SPFV) or inter-city transport . Main train stations are mostly also long-distance train stations, as they bundle the passenger flows in a convenient way. Larger cities (metropolises) often have more than one long-distance train station. On the other hand, it is also possible that conveniently located train stations outside the metropolitan areas become long-distance train stations. At long-distance stations, there are usually also types of local transport that serve as feeders for long-distance trains. The Limburg Süd train station , for example, is an exception .

Regional train station

Railway stations that in Germany are served exclusively by local rail passenger transport trains. In Switzerland, these are similar to train stations, where only regional train types stop. In Austria, these are stations that are only served by regional trains and S-Bahn trains, as well as by other local passenger rail companies.

Special features in Germany

The DB Station & Service informs all stations and stops in seven station categories A, from the busy city Hauptbahnhof (category 1) to the small country maintenance (Category 7).

In addition, there has been the overriding category of the metropolitan train station since 2018, which includes all train stations in Germany that have over 50,000 visitors every day. These are u. a. the main train stations of large cities, but they are also junctions for S-Bahn traffic .


Railway stations are usually named after the town or district in which they are located. However, historical names can also be retained after incorporation or renaming. Sometimes in places with several stations these were differentiated according to the railway line or the railway company to which they belonged. That was the name for example in Berlin preferred starting point for the Berlin-Görlitz railway Berlin Görlitzer Bahnhof (similar to the other terminal stations in Berlin) or the current station Frankfurt (Main) south Bebraer station . The names of the two train stations in the Saxon city of Großenhain , Grossenhain Berliner Bahnhof and Grossenhain Cottbuser Bahnhof , have persisted to this day. Colloquially, the north and south wings of Munich's main train station are still called Starnberg and Holzkirchner Bahnhof. Similar name forms exist or existed in many other countries.

In rural areas there are sometimes double names for the common train station of two places.

In places with (currently or historically) several train stations, there are various options for naming train stations differently, namely after

  • the railway company operating there . Historically, this was very common, for example Main-Weser-Bahnhof in Frankfurt am Main. Today it is mainly used for private and museum railways ,
    • In the United States of America there is often a Union Station as a (former) common station for various companies. Some of these stations no longer have any passenger traffic, but the name is mostly used at active stations to this day;
  • the type of operational station (passenger, freight, marshalling yard, etc.),
  • the geographic location of the station,
    • the direction of the compass : in many places there is a north, east, south and / or west train station,
    • the height : In the area of Thuringia and Saxony , in Hungary a . a. in some places there is an upper and a lower train station,
    • the location to the city: Mitte, Stadt or Zentrum for a centrally located train station from i. d. R. subordinate traffic importance.
  • Districts , suburbs or incorporated places, consisting of:
    • the prefixed name of the main town and then the name of the district (in some countries with and in other countries without a hyphen , in Germany always with a hyphen, in Switzerland always without a hyphen, except for names in French always with a hyphen) or
    • only the name of the district.
  • important destinations accessible from the train station, for example Paris Gare de Lyon or formerly Berlin Hamburger Bahnhof
  • Street names
  • Proper names of institutions or companies that are located near the train station
  • Names of personalities,
    • including several marshalling yards named after the president of the respective railway company in the USA, e.g. B: Robert R. Young Yard in Elkhart
  • Numbers:
    • Numbering of the stations. In some countries, especially in the former Soviet Union , the stations were numbered many towns throughout (for example, there is the railway junction Penza five stations with the names Penza Penza I to V). The numbering says nothing about the type and meaning of the stations.
    • Naming of the stations according to the route kilometer on which they are located. This is especially common in areas where there is no settlement nearby.
  • other geographical names such as valleys or mountains, for example the Drängetal station on the Harzquerbahn or the former Durlesbach station on the Württemberg southern railway.


Request from the Mainz Railway Directorate to their station staff

The overall management of the traffic and operations services was in the hands of the "station board". This function has not existed in Germany for decades; in some other countries it remained until it was separated into transport and infrastructure. Where the function of the station board has held, it is now usually part of the infrastructure.

For the German railways, the “station” was, on the one hand, a term from the official organizational structure. In this sense, the "train station" as an office was a direct federal authority that mostly consisted of several "train stations" (in the operational sense). This position was led by a head of department , an officer mostly of the higher service with police powers. In this respect, after the dissolution of the Deutsche Bundesbahn and the Deutsche Reichsbahn, the term “station” only exists in the operational sense of the Railway Construction and Operating Regulations (EBO). Commercial , technical and operational tasks are in different hands today.

The station is uniformly under the legal terminology of the railway system , which is subject to the house rules of an infrastructure company. In operational terms , the station is usually a train registration office , which, according to legal regulations, must always be manned by a responsible dispatcher . In the course of technical development, however, the dispatcher is more and more often no longer to be found locally, but regulates the traffic remotely as an employee of an operations center , as a train manager or as an operator of remote-controlled stations.

Station types

Site plan of the historic Berlin train station in Hamburg
Historic terminus: Görlitzer Bahnhof in Berlin (1928)

Train stations are differentiated according to various criteria. This includes, among other things, their task and function, their location in the network, floor plan or the structural design of the track and other systems.

Differentiation according to location in the network


A terminus is at the end of a railway line or several lines. The architectural form or other properties are not determined by this term.

Intermediate station

An intermediate station is an operating point on a continuous railway line. In some cases, an intermediate station is understood to mean only one from which no further routes branch off, in some cases this distinction is dispensed with or a distinction is made between simple intermediate stations and intermediate stations with route branches.

Separation station

In a separation station at least one route branches off, whereby, in contrast to the connecting station , trains pass from one route to the other, for example Essen Hauptbahnhof , Arth-Goldau Station , Innsbruck Hauptbahnhof .

Connecting station

Aulendorf station in 2011 with trains from three different companies and a connecting station on the left

A connecting station is a train station where (at least) another line branches off from a line, whereby (depending on the definition) there is no regular through train traffic (which does not, however, exclude operational connections and wagon transfer) or the branch line is clearly subordinate. Sometimes the literature does not distinguish between connecting and separating stations.

Crossing station

One speaks of an intersection station when at least two routes intersect in a station, for example Duisburg Hauptbahnhof , Neuss Hauptbahnhof . If the number of lines that come together in a station increases, the term hub station is also used.

Touch station

A rare type of contact station, where touching two routes without having to cross, for example, the station Montabaur , Landquart station or until June 1996, the station Weida . However, there may be track connections between the tracks on both lines. Another application was the Vienna Main Customs Office from 1925, when the Vienna Steam City Railway was separated from the rest of the Austrian railway network as part of the further development of the Vienna Electric City Railway. At the time of the private railway companies, the Mülheim-Eppinghofen station was also a contact station of the Bergisch-Märkische and the Rheinische Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft .

Junction station

Junction stations in this context are multiple separating and / or crossing stations of a "larger number" of routes, although this is not specified.

Differentiation according to the shape of the floor plan


In a terminus or a dead end station , the main tracks end in butt tracks; a passage is not possible. The station building is often at the end of the track. In historically older buildings in particular, a track change or a turntable follows at the end of the track in order to be able to transfer traction vehicles to the other end of your train.

Colloquially, the terms railhead and railhead often used interchangeably. There are differences, however. Terminal stations can also be built in a straight-through form, for example in the case of a planned route extension. Conversely, there can also be intermediate stations in the shape of a head, for example at some switchbacks .

Through station

The most common type of train station is the through station. Here, the main tracks of one or more continuous lines run through the station area, receive track connections there and, if necessary, expand with additional station tracks, for example Wuppertal Central Station or Bern Station . The station building is usually on the side of the track field.

Special designs

Riding station

At a riding station, the reception building is built across the track, for example Hamburg Central Station or Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe Station .

Wedge station

In a wedge station, several routes separate in the platform area. The station building here is between the separating lines which form a wedge, for example: Arth-Goldau station , Döbeln Hauptbahnhof , Jena-Göschwitz station , Wuppertal-Vohwinkel station .

Island station

Railway stations whose reception building is surrounded on all sides by the track system are referred to as island stations. In contrast to the wedge station, the track systems on both sides of the Inselbahnhof are connected both in front of and behind the station building. So at Wunstorf station until around 1905. Current examples are Halle (Saale) main station or Minden (Westphalia) station .

Tower station

In a tower station, several routes intersect at no level , for example Berlin Central Station or Bürstadt Station . At some of the tower stations (e.g. Osnabrück Hauptbahnhof ) there are connecting routes between the two levels.

Tunnel station

Tunnel stations are completely underground. Most of them are simple through stations or quasi-underground tower stations if they connect several tunnels, for example the S-Bahn stations Frankfurt (Main) Konstablerwache and Zurich Stettbach .

The term underground station is mostly used synonymously, but can also designate a station in a trough structure that is open at the top , for example the Cologne / Bonn Airport station or the Zurich Stadelhofen station .

Triangular station

The very rare triangle station is a station with an additional connection between the branches off. Triangular stations are, for example, Ludwigshafen (Rhine) Hauptbahnhof , Herlasgrün , Horrem , Stegna Gdańska in the network of Żuławska Kolej Dojazdowa , Earlestown and Shipley .

Differentiation according to functions

passenger traffic

Freight transport

Passenger and freight transport


Sketch for relocating the Miltenberg train station

Multiple functions

Mérida train station (Spain) from the west, track systems from left to right: loading street, freight train tracks, platform tracks, former goods shed.

Railway station systems can be composed of several parts with different functions: for example, freight or storage stations in small and medium-sized stations are usually located directly next to or often directly behind the passenger station. Many larger and some medium-sized stations are or were connected to a depot . In the largest railway complexes, several stations with different functions are often set up separately from one another, for example in Mannheim the main train station and the marshalling yard.

In the early years of the railroad, train stations in Germany were often built on waterways in order to combine rail transport with the river traffic, which was well developed at that time. After the first railroad junctions were established, the request was made to plan the stations from a logistical point of view. The engineer and director of the Saxon railway administration, Max Maria von Weber , set up the first binding rules that were later generally recognized.

Special functions

Community station

Bayerisch Eisenstein train station : different design of the reception building by the two owners refers to the border between Germany (back) and the Czech Republic (front)

The infrastructure of several railway infrastructure companies comes together in a shared station . Some border stations are shared stations. Either the systems are used jointly or each company has - in whole or in part - its own systems that are used exclusively by it. A particularly impressive example of a shared station is the Bayerisch Eisenstein station , where the state border divides the reception building in half.

Lane changing station

A lane changing station usually consists of two stations or station sections with tracks of different gauges . There, travelers either have to change trains and the freight has to be reloaded, or vehicles can be relegated . Examples of such Umspurbahnhöfe: Brest Passaschyrski or in the ferry port Sassnitz , example of Umladebahnhof: Galați Transbordare (literal German translation: Umladen ) in Romania .

System changing station

In a system changing station, the power supply for electric traction vehicles changes ( system separation point ). If a multi-system vehicle is not used, the covering of the train must be changed for the onward journey. Often it is a border station . An example of such a system change station is the Brennero / Brenner station on the Brennerbahn on the border between Austria and Italy.

No operational functions

The rare type of bogus station is one of the stations without an operational function . These include the Brazilian station mock-up , which was intended to divert bomb attacks from Stuttgart Central Station during World War II .

Former reception building of Seidingstadt train station from 1888, today a local museum

Occasionally station buildings, especially when they are not, little or hardly used, have been used as cultural stations since the mid-1990s . In these exhibitions, theater performances or films are shown, books are loaned out, food culture celebrated, studios are made available to artists, initiatives / associations, discos are housed. These buildings are often listed .

examples are

Draisine station

see leisure tourism with trolleybuses and list of trolleybus routes


Initial phase

An old station building of the Prinz-Wilhelm-Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft , between Velbert-Neviges and Wuppertal-Vohwinkel on the former hairpin, called the head station

Railway stations were immediately necessary for the operation of a railway, as the vehicles had to be parked - hence the German name: Bahn-Hof  -, trains had to be formed and travelers and goods had to be given an opportunity to catch the train. The first models for the reception building were the postal relay stations, which also housed waiting rooms and ticket issuance. But since trains were longer than stagecoaches and the number of passengers was higher, platforms , platform roofs and - especially in the large terminal stations  - platform halls were added soon .

Since in the early days of the railway the traveling public was not yet familiar with the new technology and underestimated its dangers - or at least the railway administrations assumed it was - the contact between the passengers and the train was strictly regulated: passengers were only allowed to enter the platform if the train had stopped there. Last relics of this passenger protection were the - in Germany - abolished only in the 1970s wickets . Furthermore, the travelers were locked into the car before the train started moving. In Great Britain , until the 1990s, the doors of railroad cars could not be opened from the inside (you had to open the window to operate the door handle on the outside). After the railway accident at Versailles on May 8, 1842, in which more than 50 people died because the travelers could no longer get themselves out of the burning train, it was soon waived. The structural measures for the strictest possible exclusion of unauthorized persons when entering the station area were retained. In Syria, for example, every newly built train station is still surrounded by a wall, and the entry and exit tracks are secured by lockable gates. The station buildings from the very first years of the railway were primarily oriented towards technical necessities and were often of modest dimensions and execution. One example of this was the largely wooden reception systems of the Ludwig Railway, the first German railway from Nuremberg to Fürth . The station buildings on this route are no longer preserved today. Just a few years later, however, prestigious station buildings were built, such as the Müngersdorf station near Cologne, which opened in 1839 .

1850 to 1880

first station Hamburg-Altona , street side, the semicircular portal led to a turntable in front of the building for turning the locomotives
First Hamburg-Altona station, middle tracks for moving the locomotives, platform tracks and platforms covered

The station building was, however, the most representative and most effective place for the railway companies to present themselves to the public and travelers. In addition, the railway symbolized progress during this period and was a great economic success. Therefore, in the second phase of the station building (approx. 1850–1880), where a larger public was to be expected, highly representative reception buildings were created, some with special facilities such as separate waiting areas for the highest and highest rulers ( prince station ). But the reception buildings of the provincial train stations were also lavishly designed. Typical examples of this second phase were the first station of the Ludwig-Süd-Nord-Bahn in Nuremberg, the second station in Nuremberg, which was built in a neo-Gothic style, or the old station building in Würzburg , which was later replaced elsewhere . A major train station still in operation at that time is Augsburg Hauptbahnhof .

1880 to 1914

third Nuremberg train station

The increasing rail traffic already exceeded the dimensions of the railway systems that were built in the middle of the 19th century by the end of the century. In addition, the urban centers expanded enormously during this time and the old railway systems there became an obstacle to urban planning . Therefore either only the reception buildings were replaced (for example in Nuremberg in 1906 at the third Nuremberg train station) or the entire train station was relocated to the (then) outskirts: Frankfurt (Main) Hauptbahnhof , Wiesbaden Hauptbahnhof , Hamburg-Altona station or Karlsruhe Hauptbahnhof . A third possibility was that train stations (formerly) of different railway companies were combined in a new one ( Düsseldorf Hauptbahnhof , Leipzig Hauptbahnhof , Darmstadt Hauptbahnhof ).

1914 to 1960

Kreiensen station, January 16, 1963 morning

Due to the competition with rail traffic that arose during this period, the design of the station was now aimed at savings in operation. Above all, this included the removal of terminal stations , which increasingly represented an operational obstacle with increasing traffic and the switch to long-running electric and diesel-powered locomotives. Especially after the Second World War, numerous terminal stations were replaced by new buildings: Kempten (Allgäu) Hauptbahnhof , Heidelberg Hauptbahnhof or Braunschweig Hauptbahnhof , a trend that continued ( Miltenberg Hauptbahnhof or Ludwigshafen Hauptbahnhof ) and continues to this day ( Bahnhof 21 , including, for example Stuttgart 21 or Lindau 21 ).

The decades after the Second World War therefore mostly meant dismantling the station culture, and in some cases simply decay. In addition, in some places there were new buildings of questionable architectural, structural or traffic quality ( e.g. Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe train station ), while historical buildings were treated carelessly. For example, in the track hall of the main train station in Frankfurt (Main), the provisional board cladding that was made during the war was retained on half the roof area. Especially in the area, stations fell into disrepair after the route was abandoned, and the reception buildings often also on the routes that were still in use.

Recent developments

Counter hall in Bonn, 1989

Together with the gradually emerging realization that neglecting the railways is undesirable in terms of transport policy, interest in railway stations increased again in the last quarter of the 20th century. There were only a few new construction of larger train stations and they mostly took place on the new routes of the high-speed traffic or at airports. The two most important exceptions and real new buildings from scratch, placed on the site of the former district train stations, were the two capital train stations Berlin Hauptbahnhof (opened in 2006) and Vienna Hauptbahnhof (opened in 2014).

In isolated cases, train stations were slightly relocated due to new construction. Replacement buildings in place of old reception buildings were more common, often taking historical structures into account. By far the most common building measure was the complete renovation of historic train stations, usually with complete gutting, which is comparable to a new building. After decades of underfunding, from around 1990 onwards, a series of showdowns was undertaken in numerous countries to remove the investment backlog.

In the case of new buildings or renovations, large marketing areas are almost always created in reception buildings. Today, large reception buildings primarily generate money for their operators as commercial property, less as a traffic station.

The development in the area is characterized by rationalization measures. The track systems of many train stations have been greatly reduced in size and train stations have also been reduced to stops . The staffing of train stations often ends when routes are connected to centrally controlled electronic interlockings . Tickets are often only sold at machines .

On the other hand, train stations are also and especially in the area being renovated with enormous effort. While platforms will be brought to standard height to allow the same level, entrance, elevators or flat ramps are built to the platforms accessible to make accessible, and where there are at-grade rail crossings that hinder the road, underpasses are planned and built.


Most frequented long-distance train stations in Germany

railway station Travelers / visitors
per day (2019)
Long-distance trains
per day (2018)
Local trains
per day (2013)
S-Bahn trains
per day (2013)
Hamburg Central Station
( S-Bahn , U-Bahn )
000000000537000.0000000000537,000 000000000000270.0000000000270 000000000000407.0000000000407 .0000000000000982.0000000000982 000000000000012.000000000012
Frankfurt (Main) Central Station
( S-Bahn , Stadtbahn )
000000000493000.0000000000493,000 000000000000342.0000000000342 000000000000290.0000000000290 000000000001100.00000000001,100 000000000000029.000000000029
Munich Central Station
( S-Bahn , U-Bahn )
000000000413000.0000000000413,000 000000000000270.0000000000270 000000000000597.0000000000597 000000000001018.00000000001,018 000000000000034.000000000034
Berlin Central Station
( S-Bahn , U-Bahn )
000000000329000.0000000000329,000 000000000000276.0000000000276 000000000000326.0000000000326 .0000000000000620.0000000000620 000000000000014.000000000014th
Cologne Central Station
( S-Bahn , Stadtbahn )
000000000318000.0000000000318,000 000000000000282.0000000000282 000000000000521.0000000000521 .0000000000000466.0000000000466 000000000000011.000000000011
Hanover Central Station
( S-Bahn , Stadtbahn )
000000000261000.0000000000261,000 000000000000307.0000000000307 000000000000210.0000000000210 .0000000000000204.0000000000204 000000000000012.000000000012
Stuttgart Central Station
( S-Bahn , Stadtbahn )
000000000255000.0000000000255,000 000000000000236.0000000000236 000000000000426.0000000000426 .0000000000000649.0000000000649 000000000000019.000000000019th
Düsseldorf Central Station
( S-Bahn , Stadtbahn )
000000000246000.0000000000246,000 000000000000231.0000000000231 000000000000450.0000000000450 .0000000000000500.0000000000500 000000000000016.000000000016
Nuremberg Central Station
( S-Bahn , U-Bahn )
000000000210000.0000000000210,000 000000000000180.0000000000180 000000000000290.0000000000290 .0000000000000300.0000000000300 000000000000022.000000000022nd
Essen main station
( S-Bahn , light rail )
000000000152000.0000000000152,000 000000000000181.0000000000181 000000000000198.0000000000198 .0000000000000403.0000000000403 000000000000013.000000000013
Bremen Central Station
( S-Bahn )
000000000147000.0000000000147,000 000000000000104.0000000000104 000000000000450.0000000000450 .000000000000000000.00000000000 0000000000000009.00000000009
Duisburg main station
( S-Bahn , light rail )
(as of 2017)
000000000000230.0000000000230 000000000000550.0000000000550 .0000000000000160.0000000000160 000000000000012.000000000012
Leipzig Central Station
( S-Bahn )
(as of 2017)
000000000000123.0000000000123 000000000000583.0000000000583 .0000000000000227.0000000000227 000000000000023.000000000023
Dortmund Central Station
( S-Bahn , Stadtbahn )
(as of 2017)
000000000000202.0000000000202 000000000000485.0000000000485 .0000000000000302.0000000000302 000000000000016.000000000016
Mannheim Central Station
( S-Bahn )
(as of 2017)
000000000000193.0000000000193 000000000000265.0000000000265 .0000000000000155.0000000000155 000000000000012.000000000012

Source: DB AG

Most frequented long-distance train stations in Austria

railway station Travelers per day Trains per day Platform tracks
Vienna Central Station

( S-Bahn , U-Bahn )

ref145,000 1,100 16
Graz Central Station

( S-Bahn )

0ref40,000 .ref530 10
Linz Central Station

( S-Bahn )

030,000 .ref304 14th
Salzburg main station

( S-Bahn )

025,000 .330 11
Innsbruck main station

( S-Bahn )

025,000 .330 11

Source: ÖBB-Scotty, station information

Most frequented train stations in Switzerland

The SBB counts the users as well as the travelers at the stations. The station users also include customers of the shops in the station as well as passers-by who do not otherwise use the station infrastructure, but only pass through it.

railway station Travelers per day Users per day Platform tracks
Zurich main station ( Zurich S-Bahn )
466,800 ref438,000 26th
Bern railway station ( Bern S-Bahn )
210,000 324,000 16
Geneva train station 073,700 166,000 08th
Lucerne train station
( S-Bahn Lucerne )
096,200 164,000 14th
Lausanne train station 108,900 148,000 09
Basel SBB station
( S-Bahn Basel )
114,200 133,000 16
Winterthur train station 108,000 117,000 09
Zurich Oerlikon train station
(see above)
085,700 106,000 08th

Source: SBB facts and figures - passengers per day and SBB facts and figures - users per day

Largest passenger stations in the world

This is a list of the largest passenger stations in the world, in descending order according to the number of platform tracks (excluding subway tracks):

Tracks railway station place country notes
67 (44) Grand Central Terminal Manhattan , New York City United States 41 tracks on the upper level, 26 tracks on the lower level, 8 tracks for East Side Access under construction / planning (plus 8 underground tracks), plus 22 tracks with no or only post platforms
34 Munich central station Munich Germany 32 tracks above ground, 2 S-Bahn tracks underground (plus 6 subway tracks)
32 Roma Termini Rome Italy
31 Paris Gare du Nord Paris France 27 tracks on the main level, four tracks in the basement, with 700,000 passengers daily the most frequented train station in Europe
30th Napoli C Naples Italy 26 tracks on the main level, 4 tracks in the basement (Napoli Piazza Garibaldi)
30th Shanghai-Hongqiao Shanghai People's Republic of China largest train station in Asia
29 Frankfurt (Main) Hbf Frankfurt am Main Germany 25 tracks above ground, 4 S-Bahn tracks underground (plus 4 subway tracks, one out of service)
29 Paris Gare de l'Est Paris France
28 Paris Gare Montparnasse Paris France
28 Tokyo Tokyo Japan 20 tracks above ground, 10 tracks below ground (plus 2 underground tracks)
27 Waterloo London United Kingdom without "Waterloo International" and "Waterloo East"
27 Paris Gare Saint-Lazare Paris France
27 (29) Shinjuku Tokyo Japan 16 through tracks, 11 end tracks (at four locations), 2 through tracks shared with the underground (plus 4 exclusive underground tracks)
26th Zurich HB Zurich Switzerland 16 tracks in the main hall, 4 tracks in the underground train station Löwenstrasse (since June 14, 2014), 4 tracks in the underground train station Museumsstrasse, 2 tracks in the underground train station SZU
25th Madrid Atocha Madrid Spain
25th Sydney Central Sydney Australia plus 2 unused tracks
24 Cape Town Cape Town South Africa
24 Milano Centrale Milan Italy
24 Beijing South Beijing People's Republic of China
23 Leipzig Central Station Leipzig Germany 19 end tracks in the main hall, 2 outside platforms outside the station hall, 2 through tracks in the city ​​tunnel , the largest end station in Europe in terms of area
23 Nuremberg Central Station Nuremberg Germany largest through station in Europe (plus 4 underground tracks) + platform 30
23 Paris Gare de Lyon Paris France
23 Venezia Santa Lucia Venice Italy
22nd Ōmiya Saitama Japan
22nd Nagoya Nagoya Japan
22nd Bruxelles-Midi / Brussel-Zuid Brussels Belgium thereof 6 tracks for long-distance traffic and 2 tracks for Eurostar (plus 4 underground tracks)
21st Madrid Chamartín Madrid Spain 5 high-speed train tracks ( standard gauge ), 11 long-distance train tracks and 5 suburban tracks ( broad gauge )
21st Paris Gare d'Austerlitz Paris France
21st Pennsylvania Station Manhattan, New York City United States (plus 2 underground stations with 4 tracks each)
21st Hoboken Hoboken , New Jersey United States 18 tracks of the New Jersey Transit , 3 tracks of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail (plus 3 subway tracks PATH )
21st Ueno Tokyo Japan 12 tracks on the upper level, 5 tracks on the lower level, 4 underground high-speed train tracks (another 4 tracks in the neighboring Keisei Ueno station, plus 4 underground tracks)
21st Shinagawa Tokyo Japan 2 more tracks under construction
21st Kyoto Kyoto Japan 14 tracks at ground level, 4 high-speed train tracks, 3 “Kintetsu” tracks (plus 2 underground tracks)
21st Howrah Haora India
20th Bologna Central Bologna Italy
20th Basel SBB / Basel SNCF Basel Switzerland 13 through tracks, two partial end stations from SBB and SNCF, continuous platform edge tracks 4 and 30
20th Vienna Südbahnhof Vienna Austria 9 tracks each in two terminal stations, 2 underground S-Bahn tracks, partially closed on December 13, 2009, and complete closure on December 8, 2012
20th Union Station Chicago United States 10 tracks each in separate sections for north and south
20th Paddington London United Kingdom
20th Washington Union Station Washington, DC United States
19th Victoria London United Kingdom (plus 4 underground tracks)
19th Helsinki Helsinki Finland (plus 2 underground tracks)
18th Euston London United Kingdom (plus 6 underground tracks)
18th Liverpool Street London United Kingdom (plus 4 underground tracks)
18th Stockholm C Stockholm Sweden (plus 6 underground tracks )
18th Stuttgart Central Station Stuttgart Germany (plus 4 light rail tracks)
16 Utrecht CS Utrecht Netherlands
16 Vienna Central Station Vienna Austria 2 underground S-Bahn tracks, 10 tracks for passenger traffic, 4 tracks for car trains (plus 2 subway tracks)
16 Düsseldorf main station Dusseldorf Germany (plus 4 underground tracks)
16 Bern Bern Switzerland 12 tracks of the SBB and BLS, 4 underground tracks of the RBS

Quotes and phrases

“There is no arrival on a ride where you can get off at will, but on the train journey the difference between arrival and departure is mysteriously schematized by an operation that takes place in the train stations, these very special places are not part of the city and yet contain the essence of their personality as clearly as they bear their name on the sign. "

- Marcel Proust : In the shadow of young girls

The phrase “ I only understand train station ” means colloquially today that I cannot understand something.

See also


  • Otto Blum : Passenger and freight stations . Second revised edition by Kurt Leibbrand . Springer-Verlag, Berlin / Göttingen / Heidelberg 1961 (= handbook for civil engineering).
  • Berthold Grau : Station design . Volumes 1 and 2. Transpress VEB Verlag for Transport, Berlin (East) 1968.
  • Mihály Kubinszky: Europe's Railway Stations. Your story, art and technology . New edition edition. Kosmos Verlags-GmbH, Stuttgart 1982, ISBN 978-3-440-03642-6 (first edition: Franckh'sche Verlagshandlung, Stuttgart 1969).
  • Train stations . In: Bahn Extra . No. 53 . GeraNova Verlag, Munich August 2001 (issue 4/2001).
  • Erich Preuss (ed.): The large archive of the German train stations . GeraNova Zeitschriften-Verlag, ISSN  0949-2127 (loose-leaf edition ).
  • Erich Preuß: This is how a train station works . Transpress, Stuttgart 2009, ISBN 978-3-613-71371-0 , pp. 143 .
  • Clemens Niedenthal, Christina Graewe, Tim Lehmann: Railway stations in Germany . Modern urban centers. Ed .: Clemens Niedenthal. JOVIS Verlag, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-939633-47-1 (bilingual German / English; preface: Sir Norman Foster).

Web links

Commons : Train station  album with pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Bahnhof  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ÖBB operating regulations (DV V3): § 2 terms (1) (a)
  2. This is Article 23 of the Railway Act , the first place where the word appears: "The railway company can issue regulations on the use of the station area to ensure proper operation." The Railway Ordinance (EBV, SR 742.141.1) is used only the term station, for example in Art. 18 “Room for travelers in stations” and in Section 5 “Stations”, but without defining the term in more detail. The Passenger Transport Act and its ordinance uses the term stations for commercial stopping points and says in Art. 2 "In this Act ... 'stations' also include train stations, stops, ship and cable car stations ...". The ordinance on geographic names (GeoNV, SR 510.625) defines in Art November 25, 1998 ".
  3. a b c Jörn Pachl: System technology of rail traffic: plan, control and secure rail operations . 7th edition. Springer Science + Business Media, 2013, ISBN 978-3-8348-2586-5 , 1.3.5 Different terminology abroad , p. 16-19 , doi : 10.1007 / 978-3-8348-2587-2 .
  4. ^ Rail Safety and Standards Board (Ed.): Glossary of Signaling Terms . Railway Group Guidance Note GK / GN 0802. Issue One , April 2014, C2 Main glossary of terms (British English, rssb.co.uk [PDF; 288 kB ; accessed on January 18, 2017]).
  5. Jörn Pachl: Transferability of US operating procedures to European conditions . In: Railway technical review . tape 50 , no. 7/8 . Hestra-Verlag, July 2001, p. 452–462 (British English, http://www.america-n.de/Tipps_TWC/ETR_0701.pdf america-n.de [PDF; 671 kB ; accessed on January 18, 2017]).
  6. ^ Preuss: This is how a train station works , p. 35f.
  7. Working group «Developing recommendations for the spelling of community, town and station names»: Guidelines for the spelling of station names. (PDF; 335 kB) Federal Office of Topography , Federal Office of Transport , Federal Statistical Office , January 20, 2010, p. 20 , accessed on April 4, 2018 .
  8. ^ Deutsche Reichsbahn-Gesellschaft (ed.): Official Gazette of the Reichsbahndirektion Mainz of March 28, 1931, No. 17, p. 109.
  9. a b c d Keyword: Bahnhof, in: Lexikon der Eisenbahn , Transpress / Motorbuch-Verlag, Stuttgart 1990, ISBN 3-344-00160-4 , pp. 69–71.
  10. a b c d e f train stations. In: Viktor von Röll (ed.): Encyclopedia of the Railway System . 2nd Edition. Volume 1: Cover - discontinuation of construction . Urban & Schwarzenberg, Berlin / Vienna 1912, p.  383 ff.
  11. a b c d Jörn Pachl : System technology of rail traffic , glossary, digital version in the glossary of system technology of rail traffic, accessed on February 16, 2014
  12. ^ Preuss: This is how a train station works , p. 96.
  13. ^ Railways between Neckar, Tauber and Main. EK-Verlag, Freiburg 2001, pp. 405-406
  14. Between Ulm and Mannheim: E 93 . turntable-online.de. Retrieved May 10, 2016.
  15. ^ Kulturbahnhof Spalt . sommernachtsspiele-spalt.de. Retrieved May 10, 2016.
  16. Printed matter 19/19475 of the German Bundestag. Retrieved on August 13, 2020 (answer to a small request from the FDP).
  17. Hamburg Hbf was the station with the most visitors in 2019. Accessed on August 13, 2020 (current visitor numbers for 2019).
  18. Number of visitors and travelers per day at selected train stations in Germany in 2017 on handelsdaten.de, from January 2017, accessed on March 22, 2019
  19. Long-distance traffic database on grahnert.de, accessed on March 22, 2019
  20. Railway station database . Deutsche Bahn. June 12th, 2013.
  21. ÖBB project manager Karl Hartig on the main train station: "Sleepless nights are always there". In: kurier.at. Retrieved April 11, 2016 .
  22. ^ ÖBB Infrastruktur AG. In: www.oebb.at. Retrieved April 11, 2016 .
  23. Completion brochure l The new Graz main train station, October 2015. In: www.oebb.at. Retrieved April 11, 2016 .
  24. Station information. In: fahrplan.oebb.at. Retrieved April 11, 2016 .
  25. Station information . ÖBB – Personenverkehr AG and HaCon Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH. April 11, 2016.
  26. Facts and Figures - Railway Stations. In: reporting.sbb.ch. Retrieved April 20, 2018 .
  27. Passenger frequencies at the stations . SBB AG. 2016.
  28. ↑ Station users . SBB AG. 2017.
  29. ^ NGBE: Plan of the train station ( Memento from January 11, 2016 in the Internet Archive )
  30. Stockholms Centralstation , dinstation.se
  31. Marcel Proust: In the shadow of young girls . 1st edition. Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1987, ISBN 3-518-57875-8 , pp. 219 .