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Monday, December 28, 2015

Hamburg - Hamburg Hauptbahnhof

Date: 13th & 14th October 2015

Hamburg Hauptbahnhof is the main train station in the city of Hamburg and is being classified by Deutsche Bahn (German’s Railway Company) as a category 1 station. It was opened in 1906 to replace the original 4 terminal stations. The station is operated by DB Station & Service AG, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn that is responsible in managing over 5,000 train stations on the German railway network. With an average of 450,000 passengers a day (twice bigger than average passengers in Amsterdam Centraal), the station is the busiest in Germany and after the Gare du Nord in Paris, the 2nd busiest in Europe.


The central station is a through station with island platforms. It is a major transportation hub, connecting long distance trains, i.e. Intercity-Express lines and being part of the underground rail network of the Hamburg U-Bahn (MRT) and S-Bahn (LRT), situated right in the city centre, the Hamburg-Mitte borough. Part of its building is being used as a pretty decent shopping centre. There’s a lot more shopping street adjacent to the station for those who has a desire to shop while on transit. Rest assured, the signage and the map of this building will guarantee that no one will lost their way back to their designated platform.


Before this station was opened, Hamburg had several smaller stations located around the city centre. The first railway line was opened on 5 May 1842, coincidentally the same day with the "great fire" that ruined most of the historic city centre. These stations (see below list) however were by few hundred metres away from the others):
  • Berliner Bahnhof (1846), located at the place where the Deichtorhallen can be found today, on the right bank of the Elbe river; terminus of the line to Berlin;
  • Lubecker Bahnhof (1865), terminus of the line to Lubeck;
  • Klosterthor Bahnhof (1866), eastern terminus of the Hamburg-Altona link line; and
  • Venloer Bahnhof (1872), since 1892 named "Hannoverscher Bahnhof", on the line across river Elbe, in Harburg split in the lines to Venlo and to Hanover
Snapped from the hotel that we stayed 

The communication lines between the above stations partly were built in squares and streets, provisionally. The state government decided and officiate the new location for the central station in 1900. The Hamburg Hauptbahnhof was designed by the architects Heinrich Reinhardt and Georg Sußenguth, modeled after the Galerie des machines by Louis Beroud of the World's Fair of 1889 in Paris. It was built within 5 years from 1902 to 1906. The German emperor William II rejected the first draft but the second draft was eventually constructed. The emperor personally changed the Art Nouveau style elements into Neo-Renaissance, giving the station façade look as a fortification like character. The station was first opened for visit on 4 December 1906 whilst the first train arrived the next day, and scheduled trains started officially 2 days later.


During the Second World War on 9 November 1941, the station was hit seriously by Allied bombing. Several areas needed to be rebuilt completely, like the baggage check and the eastern ticket counters. One of the clock towers was destroyed in 1943 and the station has been renovated from 1985 to 1991 the station was renovated.



Hamburg Hauptbahnhof occupied an area of 206 m x 135 m and is 37 m roof high. It has 8,200 m2 rentable area and 27,810 m2 built up area in total. The clock towers at the station building are 45 m, and the clocks have a diameter of 2.2 m (see attached photos in this entry). Adjoining the station building, the track hall is constructed of iron and glass and spans the main line platforms and 2 LRT (S-Bahn) tracks. The platforms are reached from two bridges on street level, one at each end of the track hall, from the northern bridge on stairs and by lifts, from the southern bridge by escalators. Two other S-Bahn tracks and the subway tracks are in a connected tunnel system.


The Wandelhalle (Promenade Hall) in the station building is a small shopping centre with extended opening hours. It was built in 1991 during the renewal of the beam construction. It is located on the northern bridge and includes restaurants, flower shops, kiosks, a pharmacy, service centres and more. The upper floor also has a gallery surrounding the hall.


Since 2008, in an effort to disperse drug dealers and users from the area, Deutsche Bahn has been playing classical music like Vivaldi's The Four Seasons which according to the German newspaper Hamburger Abendblatt is a success to chase away the criminals. Also in the same year, 720 regional and long distance trains, and 982 S-Bahn trainsis recorded served the station per day. There were 6 platforms for the main lines.



Hamburg Hauptbahnhof is one of the largest stations in northern Germany and connects Denmark with central Europe. There are permanent Inter City Express lines to Berlin, Frankfurt continuing to Stuttgart and Munich, and Bremen, continuing to the Ruhr Area and Cologne. To the north ICE trains connect Hamburg with Aarhus and Copenhagen in Denmark and Kiel in Schleswig-Holstein. There are also several Inter City and Euro City passenger train connections. The station is a hub for international travel, and most passengers to or from Scandinavia must change in Hamburg. That was the main reason why we made a quick stop in this city. You may read the link about our train adventures in this city, arriving from Amsterdam to Hamburg and departed from Hamburg to Copenhagen.


The following lines connect to the station are:-
  1. Berlin–Hamburg railway
  2. Hanover–Hamburg railway
  3. Wanne-Eickel–Hamburg railway (to Bremen and the Ruhr)
  4. Lower Elbe Railway
  5. Lubeck–Hamburg railway
  6. Hamburg-Altona link line (connecting to Hamburg-Altona–Kiel railway)
  7. Intercity Express services (ICE 28) Hamburg - Berlin – Leipzig - Jena - Nurnberg - Munich (- Innsbruck)
  8. Intercity Express services (ICE 75) Copenhagen - Lubeck - Hamburg - Berlin
  9. Intercity Express services (ICE 76) Aarhus - Padborg - Flensburg - Hamburg - Berlin
  10. EuroCity services (EC 7) Hamburg - Bremen - Munster - Dortmund - Dusseldorf - Koln - Bonn - Karlsruhe - Freiburg - Basel - Zürich - Chur
  11. EuroCity services (EC 27) Hamburg - Berlin - Dresden - Prague - Brno - Bratislava - Budapest
  12. Intercity services (IC 30) Hamburg - Bremen - Münster - Essen - Düsseldorf - Köln - Bonn - Stuttgart
  13. Intercity services (IC 31) Hamburg - Bremen - Munster - Dortmund - Wuppertal - Koln - Bonn - Frankfurt


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