Berlin Ostbahnhof

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Berlin Ostbahnhof
Ostbahnhof B-Friedrichshain 08-2017.jpg
Station building
Location Koppenstraße 3
10243 Berlin
Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, Berlin, Berlin
Coordinates 52°30′36″N 13°26′05″E / 52.51000°N 13.43472°E / 52.51000; 13.43472Coordinates: 52°30′36″N 13°26′05″E / 52.51000°N 13.43472°E / 52.51000; 13.43472
Other information
Station code 1071
DS100 code BHF,[1] BOSB[2]
Category 1
Opened 1842
Preceding station   DB Fernverkehr   Following station
ICE 12 Terminus
towards Stuttgart Hbf
  1. default:ICE 13
towards Stuttgart Hbf
IC 16 Terminus
towards Innsbruck Hbf
IC/EC 32 Terminus
IC 56
towards Cottbus
towards Münster Hbf
IC/EC 77 Terminus
Preceding station   DB Regio   Following station
toward Hamburg Hbf
RE 1
toward Dessau Hbf
RE 7
toward Nauen
RB 14
Preceding station   Ostdeutsche Eisenbahn   Following station
toward Wismar
RE 2
toward Cottbus
Preceding station   Berlin S-Bahn   Following station
toward Spandau
toward Erkner
toward Westkreuz
toward Potsdam Hbf
toward Ahrensfelde
toward Spandau

Berlin Ostbahnhof (German for Berlin East railway station) is a main line railway station in Berlin, Germany. It is located in the Friedrichshain quarter, now part of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg borough, and has undergone several name changes in its history. It was known as Berlin Hauptbahnhof from 1987 to 1998, a name now applied to Berlin's new central station. Alongside Berlin Zoologischer Garten station it was one of the city's two main stations; however, it has declined in significance since the opening of the new Hauptbahnhof on 26 May 2006, and many mainline trains have been re-routed on the North–South mainline through the new Tiergarten tunnel, bypassing Ostbahnhof.


Early history[edit]

The station opened on 23 October 1842 as Frankfurter Bahnhof, the terminus of a 81 km (50 mi) railway line to Frankfurt (Oder) via Fürstenwalde (Spree). In 1845 the previously independent Berlin–Frankfurt railway merged into the Niederschlesisch-Märkische-Eisenbahngesellschaft (Lower Silesian-Markish Railway Company, NME), aiming at the extension of the line from Frankfurt to Breslau. After the NME lines were taken over by the Prussian state in 1852, the station was renamed Schlesischer Bahnhof (Silesian Station).

In 1867 the Old Ostbahnhof (also called Küstriner Bahnhof), the terminus of the Prussian Eastern Railway line was opened, located slightly north of the present Ostbahnhof station. In 1882 the Old Ostbahnhof was again abandoned and Schlesischer Bahnhof was rebuilt on the present site when construction began on the Berlin Stadtbahn, an elevated railway through the Berlin city center built to link the city's major stations. The Stadtbahn was completed in 1886; two of the four tracks later came to form one of the main routes of the Berlin S-Bahn suburban railway. The Ostbahnhof has never had a link to the Berlin U-Bahn subway, nor is one planned.

As the terminus of both the Silesian and the Eastern Railway line, Schlesischer Bahnhof quickly developed to Berlin's "Gate to the East". Until World War I, trains ran from the German capital via Königsberg to Saint Petersburg (Nord Express) and to Moscow as well as to Vienna, Budapest and Constantinople via Breslau and Kattowitz. During the Anti-Jewish pogroms in the Russian Empire, numerous Jewish refugees arrived here to travel on to the emigration harbors in Hamburg and Bremerhaven.

World War II and GDR[edit]

The Ostbanhof after its reconstruction following WWII (1954)

The station was severely damaged by strategic bombing in World War II and had to be completely rebuilt by the East German railway, the Deutsche Reichsbahn. In 1950 it was renamed Berlin Ostbahnhof, as upon the implementation of the Oder–Neisse line, the former Silesia province was now largely in Poland. Following the division of Germany, the station was, together with Berlin-Lichtenberg, one of two major railway stations in East Berlin. The wall ran only 200 m away from the station; today that part is the East Side Gallery, the longest remaining fragment of the Berlin Wall. Express trains ran from Ostbahnhof to Leipzig, Halle and Dresden. The station was again served by international trains like the Vindobona to Vienna.

In 1987 the postwar building was demolished and the station began to be rebuilt as East Berlin’s main station, grandly renamed Berlin Hauptbahnhof (Berlin Main Station). The plan called for a hotel and a large reception area for arriving Soviet bloc dignitaries. However, only part of the work was complete by the time of German reunification in 1990. A partially built staircase to the underground car park from this period in front of the station remains (in 2006) unfinished and fenced off. A partly constructed hotel was demolished in the early 1990s.

Looking west from a mainline platform, facing the two S-bahn platforms

Recent years[edit]

The name Hauptbahnhof remained long after the division of Berlin ended, until 1998, when the station was re-renamed Berlin Ostbahnhof. One year later, work began to demolish the station and rebuild it once again, which was completed in 2002. Little remains of the 1980s structure except for an administrative block, some façade elements, and parts of the platform structure.


The station has 11 tracks and 9 platforms. 5 platforms are used for main line and 4 for S-Bahn. 2 tracks are through tracks.

Train services[edit]

Awaiting eastbound departures in 1973.
The station has been known by several names over its 160-year history

The station is served by the following service(s):[3]

  • Intercity Express services (ICE 12) Berlin - Braunschweig - Göttingen - Kassel - Frankfurt - Mannheim - Freiburg - Basel - Interlaken/Zurich
  • Intercity Express services (ICE 13) Berlin - Braunschweig - Göttingen - Kassel - Frankfurt
  • Intercity Express services (IC 16) Berlin - Hannover - Göttingen - Kassel - Frankfurt - Stuttgart/Basel
  • Intercity Express services (IC 32) Binz – Berlin – Hannover – Dortmund/Münster – Köln/Aachen – Mainz – Mannheim – Stuttgart – Tübingen/Austria
  • Intercity services (IC 56) Norddeich - Emden - Oldenburg - Bremen - Hannover - Braunschweig - Magdeburg - Brandenburg - Berlin - Cottbus
  • Intercity services (IC 77) Amsterdam - Amersfoort - Hengelo - Osnabrück - Hannover - Berlin
  • Eurocity services (EC 95) Berlin - Frankfurt (Oder) - Poznań - Warsaw / Gdynia
  • Regional services IRE 1 Hamburg – Uelzen – Stendal – Berlin
  • Regional services RE 1 Magdeburg – Brandenburg – Potsdam – Berlin – Erkner – Fürstenwalde – Frankfurt (Oder) (– Cottbus)
  • Regional services RE 2 Wismar – Schwerin – Wittenberge – Nauen – Berlin – Königs Wusterhausen – Lübben – Cottbus
  • Regional services RE 7 Dessau – Bad Belzig – Michendorf – Berlin – Berlin-Schönefeld Airport – Wünsdorf-Waldstadt
  • Local services RB 14 Nauen – Falkensee – Berlin – Berlin-Schönefeld Airport
  • Berlin S-Bahn services Berlin S3.svg Spandau - Westkreuz – Hauptbahnhof – Alexanderplatz – Ostbahnhof – Karlshorst – Köpenick – Erkner
  • Berlin S-Bahn services Berlin S5.svg Westkreuz – Hauptbahnhof – Alexanderplatz – Ostbahnhof – Lichtenberg – Strausberg Nord
  • Berlin S-Bahn services Berlin S7.svg Potsdam – Wannsee – Westkreuz – Hauptbahnhof – Alexanderplatz – Ostbahnhof – Lichtenberg – Ahrensfelde
  • Berlin S-Bahn services Berlin S9.svg Spandau - Westkreuz – Hauptbahnhof - Alexanderplatz – Ostbahnhof – Schöneweide – Flughafen Schönefeld

In popular culture[edit]

The Ostbahnhof was featured in the 2004 movie The Bourne Supremacy. In the film, Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) is seen parking his car here, entering the station and leaving a bag in a locker, and tracking down Pamela Landy (Joan Allen).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Code for DB Main line
  2. ^ Code for S-Bahn
  3. ^ Timetables for Berlin Ostbahnhof (in German)

External links[edit]