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Central station is a frequently-encountered element in the name of railway stations, especially central or principal stations of a town or city, for example Sydney Central and Melbourne Central. "Central" also appears in names of stations that once served railway companies that used Central as part of their name—for example Leicester Central railway station was owned by the Great Central Railway, and Grand Central Station in New York City was part of the New York Central Railroad.
When translating foreign texts into English, "Central station" sometimes replaces the name of stations in the non-English speaking world where the literal meaning of the station's name is central station or main station. An example of the latter is the Danish word hovedbanegård. Travel and rail sources such as Rough Guides, Thomas Cook European Timetable and Deutsche Bahn's passenger information generally use the real name, avoiding ambiguity and potential confusion.
- 1 Europe
- 2 America
- 3 Asia
- 4 Australia
- 5 Africa
- 6 Notes
Non-English language names for Central station include:
- Централна гара (tsentralna gara) in Bulgarian
- střed in Czech
- Centraal Station (abbreviated formerly as CS and currently as Centraal) in Dutch
- Gare centrale in French
- Centralbahnhof or Zentralbahnhof in German
- Stazione Centrale (abbreviated C.le) in Italian
- sentralstasjon in Norwegian
- Estación Central in Spanish
- centralstation (abbreviated central or C) in Swedish
Non-English language terms that literally mean main station are sometimes translated into English as Central:
- Glavni kolodvor (abbreviated Gl. kol.) in Croatian
- hlavní nádraží (abbreviated hl. n.) in Czech
- hovedbanegård in Danish
- Hauptbahnhof (abbreviated Hbf or HB) in German
- Dworzec Główny in Polish
- hlavná stanica (abbreviated hl. st.) in Slovak
Many railway stations in Britain that use 'Central' are not 'principal' stations, and are merely called Central to distinguish them from other stations with different names, or for prestige. In some cases, a station originally owned by the Great Central Railway in locations served by more than one station was called Central. Town also appears: for example Edenbridge Town distinguishes it from Edenbridge station.
One of the few 'principal' stations in the UK that is called 'Central' and truly is in the centre of the city it serves is Glasgow Central station. Though Glasgow was once served by four principal terminus stations, all within the city centre, only one was called 'Central'. With a few exceptions such as the Argyle line, Central serves all stations south of the city while Glasgow Queen Street serves as the principal station for all services North of the city. Likewise, Cardiff Central is located in the city centre and is the mainline hub of the South Wales' rail network, which includes 19 other stations in Cardiff itself, one of which is another principal city centre station, Cardiff Queen Street.
- Acton Central railway station
- Belfast Central railway station
- Birkenhead Central railway station
- Brackley Central railway station
- Burnley Central railway station
- Cardiff Central railway station
- Chesterfield Central railway station
- Coatbridge Central railway station
- Croydon Central railway station
- Dumbarton Central railway station
- Exeter Central railway station
- Finchley Central tube station
- Folkestone Central railway station
- Gainsborough Central railway station
- Glasgow Central railway station
- Greenock Central railway station
- Hackney Central railway station
- Hamilton Central railway station
- Helensburgh Central railway station
- Hendon Central tube station
- Hounslow Central tube station
- Hyde Central railway station
- Kirkby-in-Ashfield Central railway station
- Leicester Central railway station
- Lincoln Central railway station
- Liverpool Central railway station
- Loughborough Central railway station
- Manchester Central railway station
- Mansfield Central railway station
- Milton Keynes Central railway station
- New Mills Central railway station
- Newcastle Central railway station and associated Central Station Metro station
- Redcar Central railway station
- Rotherham Central railway station
- Rugby Central railway station
- St Helens Central railway station
- St Helens Central (GCR) railway station
- Salford Central railway station
- Southend Central railway station
- Southampton Central railway station
- Staveley Central railway station
- Sutton-in-Ashfield Central railway station
- Telford Central railway station
- Tuxford Central railway station
- Walthamstow Central station
- Warrington Central railway station
- Wembley Central station
- Windsor and Eton Central railway station
- Wrexham Central railway station
- Brest Central Station (Brest-Centralny, Брест-Центральный)
Three stations in Belgium are named "-Central" (Dutch Centraal).
- Antwerp Central Station (Antwerpen-Centraal)
- Brussels Central Station (Bruxelles-Central / Brussel-Centraal) - not to be confused with the city's main international station, Brussels Midi (meaning "Brussels south"; the French word "Midi" is generally used as the station's name in English).
- Verviers Central Station (Verviers-Central)
Two Danish stations have names sometimes translated to central:
- Aarhus Central Station - the busiest Danish station outside the Copenhagen area
- Copenhagen Central Station - the largest station in Denmark
There are three stations with "central" in their names:
- Central Railway Station, Sofia (Централна гара София)
- Central Railway Station, Plovdiv (Централна гара Пловдив)
- Ruse Central railway station (Централна гара Русе)
- Praha Masarykovo nádraží was called Praha střed (Prague Central) from 1953 to 1990.
Two Finish stations can be translated to central:
- Helsinki Central railway station (Helsingin päärautatieasema)
- Turku Central railway station (Turun päärautatieasema)
In Germany Hauptbahnhof means "main station"; some sources translate Hauptbahnhof as "central station", although stations named Hauptbahnhof may not be centrally located or have any historic link to railway companies using the name Central. While using Hauptbahnhof in its journey planner and passenger information, in English-language publications Deutsche Bahn uses variously Hauptbahnhof, Main and Central.
In most cities and towns where there is more than one passenger station, the Hauptbahnhof is the principal station. Where other stations are more geographically central, they may be named Mitte or Stadtmitte ("city centre"), e.g. Koblenz Stadtmitte station. A Hauptbahnhof may also include a goods station or marshalling yard, as at Halle/Saale, or, as in the case of Gevelsberg, just be a halt.
Some stations now called Hauptbahnhöfe (for example, Munich and Frankfurt) were officially called Centralbahnhöfe prior to the 1920s. At that time Centralbahnhof or Zentralbahnhof was a common colloquial term for these stations. The German national railway operator, Deutsche Bahn, has currently designated 122 stations as Hauptbahnhöfe.
Hamburg Hauptbahnhof is the busiest station in Germany, with 450,000 passengers and visitors daily. The largest station in Germany by number of tracks is Munich Hbf with 32 above-ground tracks, whilst the largest by area is Leipzig Hauptbahnhof, which covers 85,000 square metres. The smallest town in Germany with a Hauptbahnhof is Berchtesgaden. Today, Remscheid Hauptbahnhof and Gevelsberg Hauptbahnhof are only served by a single Regionalbahn or S Bahn service. The most recent station named Hauptbahnhof by DB is Stralsund Hauptbahnhof.
The following stations historically bore the name Centralbahnhof or Zentralbahnhof as part of their proper name:
- Chemnitz Hauptbahnhof
- Köln Hauptbahnhof
- Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof
- Hamburg Dammtor station: documents from around the time of the opening of the station refer to Centralbahnhof. or Zentral-Bahnhof.
- Ingolstadt Hauptbahnhof
- Magdeburg Hauptbahnhof
- Mainz Hauptbahnhof
- München Hauptbahnhof until 1 May 1904.
- Oldenburg Hauptbahnhof (called Centralbahnhof Oldenburg from 1879 to 1911)
- Osnabruck Hauptbahnhof
- Stuttgart Zentralbahnhof (or Centralbahnhof) was a centrally-located station on the Zentralbahn (replaced by Stuttgart Hauptbahnhof, which opened on a new site east of the centre in 1922).
- Agrigento Centrale railway station
- Bari Centrale railway station
- Barletta Centrale railway station (FNB)
- Bologna Centrale railway station
- Catania Centrale railway station
- Gorizia Centrale railway station
- La Spezia Centrale railway station
- Lamezia Terme Centrale railway station
- Livorno Centrale railway station
- Messina Centrale railway station
- Milano Centrale railway station
- Napoli Centrale railway station
- Palermo Centrale railway station
- Pescara Centrale railway station
- Pisa Centrale railway station
- Prato Centrale railway station
- Reggio Calabria Centrale railway station
- Tarvisio Centrale railway station - now closed
- Torre Annunziata Centrale railway station
- Trieste Centrale railway station
- Treviglio railway station, also known as Treviglio Centrale
- Treviso Centrale railway station
- Trieste Centrale railway station
In the Netherlands, a central station (in its original sense) was a railway station that was served by several railway companies and thus was the most important station of the city. Since the various private railways were merged in the early 20th century into a national railway, the term came to mean, in everyday language, the main railway station of a city.
Seven stations have the word Centraal:
- Amsterdam Centraal
- Den Haag Centraal
- Leiden Centraal
- Rotterdam Centraal
- Utrecht Centraal
- Breda Centraal (after renovation)
- Arnhem Centraal (after renovation)
There are also stations with the word Centrum, which indicates the station is in the city centre:
The designation "main station" (Dworzec główny, abbreviated to " Gł") is used in many Polish cities to indicate the most important passenger or goods station, for instance Szczecin Główny. However there is an exception:
- Warszawa Centralna railway station is the principal station in the capital Warsaw.
In Sweden the term "central station" (Centralstation, abbreviated to Central or C) is used to indicate the primary station in towns and cities with more than one railway station. Many are termini for one or more lines. However, the term can also occur in a broader sense, even being used for the only railway station in a town. In some cases, this is because other stations have closed but, in others, the station is called "central" even though there has only ever been one. In these cases, the term "central" was used to highlight the level of service required due to the station's importance in the network, particularly at important railway junctions.
- Arlanda Central Station (Stockholm Arlanda Airport)
- Gothenburg Central Station
- Halmstad Central Station
- Hässleholm Central Station
- Jönköping Central Station
- Malmö Central Station
- Norrköping Central Station
- Nässjö Central Station
- Stockholm Central Station
- Uppsala Central Station
- Västerås Central Station
- Lund Central Station
- Kalmar Central Station
- Karlskrona Central Station
- Kristianstad Central Station
- Linköping Central Station
- Helsingborg Central Station
- Södertälje Central Station
- Örebro Central Station
Additionally, Basel SBB railway station was originally known as the Centralbahnhof or, in English, Basle Central Station and is still sometimes referred to today as the Centralbahnhof or Basel/Basle Central Station.
In the United States, several "Central" stations were built by railways called "Central", the best known example being Grand Central Station in New York City, is so named because it was built by the New York Central Railroad. Others, however, are not. For example, the new Miami Central Station is being built for Amtrak as the principal and intermodal station to serve rapid transit, commuter rail, intercity rail, and intercity bus services in Miami.
This contrasts with a union station, which, in the past, served more than one railway company (the equivalent term in Europe is a joint station). This is no longer the case, as the government-funded Amtrak took over the operation of all intercity passenger rail in the 1970s and 1980s.
- Buffalo Central Terminal, in Buffalo New York State
- Central Station, Chicago, Illinois
- Grand Central Station, Chicago, Illinois
- Central (CTA Green Line), Chicago, Illinois
- Central (CTA Purple Line), Evanston, Illinois
- Central Station (JTA Skyway), Jacksonville, Florida
- Central Station (Memphis), Memphis, Tennessee
- Miami Central Station, Miami, Florida
- Grand Central Terminal, New York City
- Central LRT Station, in Edmonton
- Central Station (Montreal), in Montreal
- Guelph Central Station, an intermodal (rail/bus) station in Guelph
- Central do Brasil, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Estación Alameda in Santiago, Chile is known unofficially as Estación Central
- Kanpur Central (CNB), in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh
- Mangalore Central (MAQ) in Mangalore, Karnataka
- Mumbai Central (BCT), in Mumbai, Maharastra
- Trivandrum Central (TVC), in Trivandrum, Kerala
- Chennai Central (MAS), in Chennai, Tamil Nadu
- Be'er Sheva Central Railway Station, in Be'er Sheva
- Haifa Central Railway Station, in Haifa
- Tel Aviv Central Railway Station, Tel Aviv
- Central Station, an interchange station in the Mass Transit Railway (MTR), which links the Tsuen Wan Line, the Island Line and the lines terminating at the nearby Hong Kong Station. The station is named after Central District on Hong Kong Island, where it is located, and is not served by intercity trains.
- Kuala Lumpur Sentral railway station, in Kuala Lumpur
- Central railway station, Brisbane, Brisbane
- Melbourne Central Station, named after Melbourne Central shopping centre, Melbourne
- Central railway station, Sydney, also known as Sydney Terminal, Sydney
- Gawler Central railway station, Adelaide
- Wynnum Central railway station, Brisbane
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