Karlsruhe Hauptbahnhof

Karlsruhe, Germany | C.1913

Photo Credit: Matt Ziegler

Despite being the more current station in the German city of Karlsruhe, the Karlsruhe Hauptbahnhof railway station is over a century old. The station is a major hub where several major railways connect allowing passengers can transfer to different lines. This interconnection satisfies the criteria for the station to classify as a Category 1 station.

The original and older station was designed by Friedrich Eisenlohr and opened on April 1, 1843 with two platforms. From the beginning it was designed as a through station that had no rail yard for trains to terminate their services. Instead a locomotive depot was located south of the station and to its east there was a freight yard and a central workshop.

Amplified rail traffic and the resulting frequent closures of the level crossings disrupted the ever-growing city and challenged its natural expansion. The Baden parliament decided in 1902 to relocate the station to a site one kilometer south of the existing establishment. The new station building, which operates today, was built between 1910 and 1913 designed with a mesh of neoclassical and Art Nouveau features.

The station was damaged by bombings during World War II and later rebuilt. The period after 1950 was characterized by a continuous modernization of the station. One major enhancement was the electrification of the railway completed in 1957.

In the late 1960s, the rebuilding of the station’s forecourt began. A pedestrian underpass was constructed, and the car and tram traffic were reorganized. Rail signaling systems were updated in 1977 to a new interlocking system controlled by buttons and switches.

Today, the station is a hub of train traffic. Its services include 130 long-distance trains – mainly ICEs and ICs on the Rhine route and TGV POS trains between Paris and Stuttgart – 133 regional trains and 121 S-Bahn trains each day.

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