Potsdam Park Sanssouci railway station
The Kaiserbahnhof hall and the platforms
|Location||Am Neues Palais
Potsdam Park Sanssouci is a German railway station located in Potsdam, the Brandenburger capital city on the Berlin-Potsdam-Magdeburg line. Named Potsdam Wildpark until 1999, it serves the Sanssouci Park and is famous for the Kaiserbahnhof building.
The station Wildpark was built in 1868 on the new line linking Berlin to Magdeburg. At the beginning of the 20th Century, after the opening of the bypass lines to Nauen (1902) and Jüterbog (1904), it was built a small rail hub. In 1909 the Kaiserbahnof (see the section below) was inaugurated for the private usage of the Kaiser Wilhelm II. From 1950, after the division of Germany, the station functioned in the Berlin outer ring (Berliner Außenring), and for some years was served by an holyday express train from Saxony to the Baltic Sea. After the completion of the Golm-Potsdam Pirschheide bypass of the Außerring, the station remained part of a short line (however linked to Magdeburg and to the ring) to Potsdam Hauptbahnhof (in that period Potsdam Stadt) and Potsdam Babelsberg, interrupted to West Berlin due to the construction of The Wall.
In the middle of the 1990s, some years after German reunification and the opening of the line Potsdam-Wannsee, the station was rebuilt and renewed. The old platforms and the little rail hub, built in early 20th Century, were demolished. The new name "Park Sanssouci", initially applied for tourist traffic only in 1999, took place of "Wildpark" about one year later.
The station is on an electrified line and counts two platforms serving three tracks.
The Kaiserbahnhof is a monumental structure and the central building of the station. Its construction started in 1905 by the volunty of the German Emperor (Kaiser) Wilhelm II and was used as his private station. The first official guest was Theodore Roosevelt in 1910 and the Czar Nicholas II of Russia.
From 1939 it was used by the Oberkommando der Luftwaffe at Wildpark Potsdam and, during the Second World War, for the special train of Hermann Göring. After 1945, it was the terminus station of the Blue Express, a train used by the Soviet military command on the route Moscow–Berlin.
From 1952, it was owned by the East German state railway company (Deutsche Reichsbahn) and subsequently used as an operating fund, political school, cultural space and for Transportpolizei; until the closure of 1977, due to be in danger of collapsing.
On 16 June 2005, the station was reopened after restoration. The building is used as an academy for senior executives of Deutsche Bahn (DB Akademie GmbH) and is not publicly accessible, except for some periods.
Apart from the Kaiserbahnhof, Park Sanssouci station counts a minor building, used as passengers reception hall, named Bürgerbahnhof. This wood-made structure is a rare representative of the station architecture from the 1860s. In front of it there is an entrance gate to the park named Posttor.
Located on the Berlin-Potsdam-Magdeburg line and in a junction linking Potsdam to the Berlin outer ring, the station is served by regional trains linking it to Berlin and to some towns of Brandenburg as Brandenburg an der Havel, Frankfurt (Oder) or Fürstenwalde.
The regional lines serving the station are:
- "RE 1": Brandenburg Hbf. – Potsdam Hbf. – Berlin Hbf. – Fürstenwalde – Frankfurt (Oder)
- "RB 20": Potsdam Hauptbahnhof - Hennigsdorf - Oranienburg
- "RB 21": Potsdam Griebnitzsee - Potsdam Hbf. - Wustermark
Potsdam Park Sanssouci is included in the fare zone "C" (Tarifbereich C) of Berliner public transport network. Not part of the S-Bahn network, it is involved in a feasibility project regarding the extension of the line S7 from Potsdam Hauptbahnhof to the station of Golm and/or Werder.
Notes and references
- Named in that period Potsdam Hauptbahnhof
- Rail transport map of East Berlin and neighbourhoods in 1988
- (German) See also de:Kaiserbahnhof Potsdam
- (German) History of the Kaiserbahnhof at potsdamonline.de
- Potsdam's UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Status: German and English version
- (German) "Kaiserbahnhof im UNESCO" article at World Heritage Forum]
- (German) The Kaiserbahnhof at info-potsdam.de
- (German) Article on Berliner Morgenpost about a special public opening of Kaiserbahnhof in 2009
- Part of the line linking Berlin to Braunschweig and Hanover
- Official regional service map for Berlin-Brandenburg at VBB website
- Potsdam transport map at VBB website
- Berliner public transport rail maps and fare zones at BVG website
- Potsdam Tramway map at urbanrail.net
Media related to Bahnhof Potsdam Park Sanssouci at Wikimedia Commons