Innsbruck Hauptbahnhof (German for Innsbruck Main station; sometimes called Innsbruck Central Station) is the main railway station in Innsbruck, the capital city of the Austrian federal state of Tyrol. Opened in 1853, it is one of the country's busiest railway stations, with around 25,000 passenger movements daily.
The station is owned and operated by the Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB). It forms the junction between the Arlberg railway, the Brenner railway, the Mittenwald railway, the Stubai Valley railway and the Lower Inn Valley railway.
Innsbruck Hauptbahnhof is situated in Südtiroler Platz, at the south eastern edge of the city centre.
The planning of a railway line in the Tyrolean region began in 1850. Three years later, Emperor Franz Joseph I approved the route from Innsbruck to Wörgl, and a year later its continuation to the border at Kufstein. Franz Czwerwenka, head of the civil construction department, designed the station, which included one of the most beautiful station buildings in the Austrian Empire.
With the opening of the line between Kufstein and Innsbruck, the station was put into operation. It was then still in the midst of meadows and fields. The station assumed greater importance with the commissioning of the Brenner railway (then part of the Südbahn) in 1867, and the Arlberg railway in 1883, for which the Innsbruck West railway station was created. By the 1880s, due to the heavy train traffic over the Brenner Pass, the station had become too small, so the station building and the train shed were rebuilt.
On 1 January 1924, the ÖBB took over the Austrian lines of the Südbahngesellschaft. In 1927, the station was therefore adapted to increased traffic, and rebuilt. The departure hall was frescoed by Rudolf Stolz, platforms were connected with pedestrian underpasses, and cheaper platform roofs replaced the train shed. At the same time, the Operations Directorate was housed in the "Clock Tower Building" (so called because of a small clock tower at the top), which was located in the north wing, and still exists today.
At the end of World War II, the station was completely destroyed by Allied bombing. An ÖBB architect later combined various designs of well known architects to create a plain, functional replacement station building in the style of the 1950s. In 1954, the Austrian artist Max Weiler was awarded the contract for the design of the large departure hall, which became controversial because of the abstract representation of Innsbruck's history and present displayed in its pair of murals.
During the 1980s, the station received minor alterations, but by then was no longer up to date. As part of its Bahnhofsoffensive launched in 1997, the ÖBB therefore decided to construct a replacement station building.
The new structure was designed by the architects Riegler Riewe. Its groundbreaking ceremony took place in 2001, and the official opening was on 19 May 2004. The rebuilding project included the renovation of the 1920s clock tower building, which now houses a police station, amongst other things. The total construction costs for the project amounted to €25 million.
The central component of the present station building is the main hall, which extends through to the basement, with access to the platforms through two tunnels (north tunnel and south tunnel). There is also access from the main hall to the underground parking station (and then, via another pedestrian tunnel, to the Hotel Europa and escalators to the bus and tram terminals), and, via an additional pedestrian tunnel, to the bus station and local shops. On its northern side, the station building adjoins an office building.
The striking frescoes by Max Weiler, together with a few centimetres of underlying masonry, were removed from the 1950s station building in one piece and remounted in the new concourse.
Almost simultaneously with the construction of the new station building, a public transport hub was created in the station forecourt, which is paved with a red-colored asphalt (and nicknamed "Red Square"). The new hub serves the Innsbruck tramway network, regional and urban bus lines, and the narrow gauge Stubai Valley railway. At the time it was created, a rail junction was built at the southern end of the square for a proposed new tram route towards the south, but construction of the new route itself was deferred.
The station has eight through tracks. Of these, platform 1 is accessible at ground level as "home platform", and platform 8 is accessible from the East (only) for loading cars onto motorail trains.
Additionally, there are four bay platforms (platforms 21-22, 31 and 41), for regional passenger traffic via the Mittenwald railway, the Arlberg railway and the Brenner railway.
The Hauptbahnhof complex includes the Frachtenbahnhof Innsbruck, which, amongst other facilities, lost much of its importance when the Innsbruck goods train bypass (Inntaltunnel) was completed in 1994. It now stands to be partially transformed in the course of urban development into a residential area.
The station is important for commuter traffic to and from the Tyrolean provincial capital, and in providing a hub function for east-west traffic ((Budapest) – Vienna – Salzburg – Wörgl – Innsbruck (Zürich) / Bregenz) and north-south traffic (Munich – Wörgl – Innsbruck – Bolzano – Verona – (Milan / Venice / Rome )).
Since December 2007, the station has also been the focal point of Tyrol S-Bahn lines , and , and a terminus of lines and .
The railway line between Baumkirchen (about 15 km (9.3 mi) east of Innsbruck Hauptbahnhof) and Wörgl Hauptbahnhof (known as the Lower Inn Valley railway) is one of the busiest railway lines in Austria (up to 430 trains a day) and is therefore currently being rebuilt as a four track line, as part of the TEN Berlin–Palermo axis. In Wörgl Hauptbahnhof, the railway line divides into a northern branch via Kufstein to Salzburg and Munich, and an eastern branch via Zell am See to Salzburg, Graz and Klagenfurt (Gisela Railway).
- (Budapest (H))–Vienna–Linz–Salzburg–Wörgl–Innsbruck–Feldkirch–Bregenz/Zürich–Basel (CH)
- (Berlin (D))–Munich–Wörgl–Innsbruck–Brenner–Verona–Milan/Rome/Venice (I)
- (Belgrade (SRB))–Villach–Wörgl–Innsbruck–Feldkirch–Bregenz/(Zürich (CH))
- Innsbruck–Feldkirch–Bregenz–Dortmund–Münster (D)
- Innsbruck–Fulpmes (Stubaitalbahn)
Innsbruck Hauptbahnhof is the hub of IVB, the bus and tram operator of Innsbruck. Most of the lines have a stop at Hauptbahnhof. With the bus line F, the station is connected to Innsbruck Airport. From the station forecourt there are departing not only city lines but also regional lines to different destinations in all directions.
- Innsbruck Central Station at Rail Europe. Accessed on 14 Aug 2013.
- ÖBB travel portal: Stations with Luggage lockers "Upper Austria: Linz Hauptbahnhof, Wels Hauptbahnhof, .. Salzburg Hauptbahnhof, ..Graz Hauptbahnhof, Leoben Hauptbahnhof, ...Carinthia / East Tyrol: Klagenfurt Hauptbahnhof, Villach Hauptbahnhof, Tyrol: Innsbruck Hauptbahnhof, .. "
Media related to Innsbruck Hauptbahnhof at Wikimedia Commons
This article is based upon a translation of the German-language version as at July 2011.