Essen Hauptbahnhof

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Essen Hauptbahnhof
Deutsche Bahn Rhine-Ruhr S-Bahn
Separation station
Train of S-Bahn Rhein-Ruhr in golden livery as part of the Festivals of Ruhr.2010 European Capital of Culture
Location Am Hauptbahnhof 1
45127 Essen
Stadtkern, Essen, NRW
Coordinates 51°27′06″N 7°00′52″E / 51.451783°N 7.014331°E / 51.451783; 7.014331Coordinates: 51°27′06″N 7°00′52″E / 51.451783°N 7.014331°E / 51.451783; 7.014331
Platforms 13
Architect 1902: Fritz Klingholz
1959: Kurt Rasenack, Bernd Figge
Architectural style 1902: Gothic Revival
1959: New Objectivity
Other information
Station code 1690
DS100 code EE
Category 1
Opened 1862
rebuilt 1902 and 1959
Passengers 170,000

Essen Hauptbahnhof (German for Essen main station) is a railway station in the city of Essen in western Germany. It is situated south of the old town centre, next to the A 40 motorway. It was opened in 1862 by the Bergisch-Märkische Eisenbahn. However, the station was not the first in Essen: as the station called Essen (today Essen-Altenessen) on the Köln-Mindener Eisenbahn was opened in 1847.

The station suffered extensive damage in World War II and was almost completely rebuilt in the 1950s and 1960s. During the following years, the Essen Stadtbahn and the A 40 were other construction projects affecting the station. Today it is an important hub for local, regional and long-distance services, with all major InterCityExpress and InterCity trains calling at the station as well as RegionalExpress and Rhein-Ruhr S-Bahn services.

Trains of all kinds call at the station, from long distance to local services. It used to be one of the Metropolitan stops on the Hamburg to Cologne line before the service was discontinued in 2002. There are night services by EuroNight trains to cities such as Moscow and Brussels, and DB NachtZug trains to Zurich and Vienna, among others.

Some 400 trains pass through the station each day, making Essen Hauptbahnhof the third busiest railway station in the Ruhr Area after Dortmund Hauptbahnhof and Duisburg Hauptbahnhof.

Station facilities[edit]

Essen Hauptbahnhof is a "separation" station, where trains divide to run on several different routes. Its platforms have individual platform canopies. In addition to through platforms, the station has some bay platforms for trains on the line towards Gelsenkirchen and Münster and lines to Hagen and Borken.

A centrally located concourse runs across and under the railway tracks on two levels, and are connected by stairs and escalators. On the lower level there are shops and, south of the entrance hall, a travel centre; on both levels there are restaurants. The lower level allows passage from central Essen to the north of the station to Essen-Südviertel in the south. The upper level serves as the circulation level giving access to the tracks. Direct access to the platforms is possible via lifts from the lower level. A pedestrian tunnel at the eastern end of the platforms also allows passage from central Essen to Südviertel.

Below the station there is an underground station on two levels (one a circulation level and below that, four platform tracks) serving the trams and the Essen Stadtbahn, which are operated by Ruhrbahn (Ruhr area transport). It has an unusual appearance with its pervasive blue light.


On 1 March 1862 the Bergisch-Märkische Railway Company opened the section of the Witten/Dortmund–Oberhausen/Duisburg railway between Bochum and Mülheim an der Ruhr. The station that developed into Essen Hauptbahnhof, but was known until 1897 as Essen BME station, was opened on this line. It was not the first station in Essen. In 1846 Berge-Borbeck station (known since 1914 as Essen-Bergeborbeck) was opened on the Duisburg–Dortmund railway of the Cologne-Minden Railway Company (Cöln-Mindener Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft, CME) as the first station in the current city of Essen.[1] In 1847, the CME opened the then major station of Essen CME[2] (now Essen-Altenessen station) on the Duisburg–Dortmund railway (part of its trunk line).

The first wooden station building of 1862 was replaced by a substantial station building designed by the architect Fritz Klingholz, built under the direction of the Prussian building inspector Alexander Rüdell (6 September 1852 – 14 December 1920),[3] with the rail tracks grade separated from the streets. Construction began in 1900 and the station was opened at the end of 1902. The building was damaged beyond repair by bombing during the Second World War, so it was replaced in the postwar era with a new building in the typical style of the 1950s, in which the architects Kurt Rasenack and Bernd Figge were involved. Indicative of this new building was that the entrance hall completed on 15 November 1959 no longer exists, but lies under the railway tracks. The west wing of the north entrance was adorned with a distinctive cafe in a glass rotunda, which was originally occupied by the station cafe and was most recently a travel agency. A curved roof allowed light to fall on the northern entrance hall. However, this was replaced later by a larger, pre-fabricated flat roof. As a result, combined with the subsequent installation of additional shops, the station has lost its former generosity and openness.

2008–2010 reconstruction[edit]

Entrance hall in 2007
Entrance hall during reconstruction - September 2009

The groundbreaking ceremony for this project was held in September 2008. Prior to this Essen Hauptbahnhof was crowded and dilapidated. Since only a few expansion options were available, temporary relocation of station operations to Essen-West was considered. Instead, it was found to be cost-effective to renovate and modernise the existing station.

On 11 February 2008, Essener Verkehrsgesellschaft completed remodelling of the approximately one hundred metre long passage built in 1977 between Willy-Brandt-Platz and the street called Freiheit at the first basement level. In addition, new shops were built.

In the actual station, the entire concourse was gutted and rebuilt with 5,700 square metres of retail space. The facades were renovated and the main passage widened. The southern entrance was rebuilt with two glass pavilions, which now house the Deutsche Bahn travel centre and the Ruhrbahn (Formerly Essener Verkehrs-AG) customer service centre. The former glass cafe rotunda was demolished in 2009 and replaced by a rectangular, glass extension, which is used by a fast food restaurant. Lifts were installed on the five platforms to give them barrier-free access for the disabled. Similarly, the platform surfaces and platform canopies were repaired, and the sound system and lighting were replaced.

During construction, the station building could not be used from September 2008. During the reconstruction phase the platforms were only accessible by stairs from the western and eastern tunnels. The station building was reopened to the public on 21 December 2009. The official opening took place on 16 January 2010 in the presence of Transport Minister Peter Ramsauer, North Rhine-Westphalia Minister-President Jürgen Rüttgers and Deutsche Bahn CEO Rüdiger Grube.


The line is served by trains on the following routes:

Long distance trains[edit]

Preceding station   Thalys   Following station
toward Paris-Nord
Preceding station   Deutsche Bahn   Following station
ICE 10
towards Munich Hbf
ICE 31
towards Kiel Hbf
ICE 41
towards Dortmund Hbf
ICE 42
towards Wien Hbf
ICE 91
towards Dortmund Hbf
towards Cologne Hbf
IC 26
train route splits here and rejoins in Münster Hbf
towards Chur
IC/EC 30
towards Innsbruck Hbf
IC/EC 32
towards Münster Hbf
towards Cologne Hbf
IC 51
towards Cologne Hbf
IC 55
towards Dresden Hbf

Regional trains[edit]

Preceding station   Deutsche Bahn   Following station
toward Aachen Hbf
RE 1
toward Hamm Hbf
RE 2
toward Münster Hbf
RE 6
toward Minden Hbf
RE 11
RE 42
toward Münster Hbf
Preceding station   Abellio Deutschland   Following station
Terminus RE 16
toward Siegen
Terminus RB 40
toward Hagen Hbf
Preceding station   NordWestBahn   Following station
toward Borken
RE 14
Der Borkener
Preceding station   Rhine-Ruhr S-Bahn   Following station
toward Solingen Hbf
S 1
toward Dortmund Hbf
Terminus S 2
toward Dortmund Hbf
S 3
Terminus S 6
toward Essen Hbf
S 9

Local trains[edit]

Preceding station   Essen Stadtbahn   Following station
toward Karlsplatz


  1. ^ Thomas Dupke (2002). "Kohle, Krupp und Kommunalentwicklung". In Ulrich Borsdorf. Essen – Geschichte einer Stadt (in German). p. 293. 
  2. ^ "Essen-Altenessen operations". NRW Rail Archive (in German). André Joost. Retrieved 13 September 2011. 
  3. ^ "Historischen Architektenregister" (in German). archthek. Retrieved 13 September 2011.