Central station

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Central station is a common name for a railway station. As well as being used for centrally located stations, such as Manchester Central,[1] and Melbourne Central, "Central" also appears in names of stations that were once served by railway companies which used Central as part of their name—for example Leicester Central railway station was owned by the Great Central Railway and Central Station (Chicago) was owned by the Illinois Central Railroad.

When translating foreign station names, "Central Station" is commonly used 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.[citation needed] Travel and rail sources such as Rough Guides,[2] Thomas Cook European Timetable and Deutsche Bahn's passenger information[3] generally use the native name; whilst some websites[4][5] and English publications of some national railway operators use "central station" or "central railway station" instead.[6][7]


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
  • Hauptbahnhof, Centralbahnhof or Zentralbahnhof in German
  • Stazione Centrale (abbreviated C.le) in Italian
  • sentralstasjon in Norwegian
  • Estação Central in Portuguese
  • 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


  1. Wien Hauptbahnhof
  2. Graz Hauptbahnhof
  3. Linz Hauptbahnhof
  4. Salzburg Hauptbahnhof
  5. Innsbruck Hauptbahnhof
  6. St. Pölten Hauptbahnhof
  7. Wels Hauptbahnhof
  8. Wörgl Hauptbahnhof
  9. Leoben Hauptbahnhof


  1. Brest Central Station (Brest-Centralny, Брест-Центральный)


Antwerp Centraal station

Three stations in Belgium are named "-Central" (Dutch Centraal).

  1. Antwerp Central Station (Antwerpen-Centraal)
  2. 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).
  3. Verviers Central Station (Verviers-Central)


Two Danish stations have names sometimes translated to central:

  1. Aarhus Central Station - the busiest Danish station outside the Copenhagen area
  2. Copenhagen Central Station - the largest station in Denmark


There are three stations with "central" in their names:

  1. Central Railway Station, Sofia (Централна гара София)
  2. Central Railway Station, Plovdiv (Централна гара Пловдив)
  3. Ruse Central railway station (Централна гара Русе)

Czech Republic[edit]

The following stations are named "main station" (hlavní nádraží):

The following stations are named "central" (střed):

In addition to the above, Praha Masarykovo nádraží was named "Praha střed" from 1953 until 1990.


Two Finnish stations can be translated to central:

  1. Helsinki Central railway station (Helsingin päärautatieasema)
  2. Turku Central railway station (Turun päärautatieasema)


A Deutsche Bahn sign giving directions in three languages to Koblenz Hauptbahnhof.

The German words for "central station" are Centralbahnhof and Zentralbahnhof. Geographically central stations may be named Mitte or Stadtmitte ("city centre"), e.g. Koblenz Stadtmitte station. In most German cities with more than one passenger station, the principal station is called Hauptbahnhof meaning "main railway station";[2][8][9][10][11][12][13] some German sources translate this as "central station"[8][9][12][14][15][16] although stations named Hauptbahnhof may not be centrally located.

While using Hauptbahnhof in its journey planner[17] and passenger information, in English-language publications Deutsche Bahn uses variously Hauptbahnhof,[18] Main[19] and Central.[19][20]

In Germany, Hauptbahnhof is abbreviated to Hbf.

The following stations historically bore the name Centralbahnhof or Zentralbahnhof as part of their proper name:[21]

  1. Chemnitz Hauptbahnhof[22]
  2. Köln Hauptbahnhof[23][24]
  3. Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof[25]
  4. Hamburg Dammtor station: documents from around the time of the opening of the station refer to Centralbahnhof.[26][27] or Zentral-Bahnhof.[28]
  5. Ingolstadt Hauptbahnhof[29]
  6. Magdeburg Hauptbahnhof[30]
  7. Mainz Hauptbahnhof[31][32][33][34]
  8. München Hauptbahnhof[35] until 1 May 1904.
  9. Oldenburg Hauptbahnhof (called Centralbahnhof Oldenburg from 1879 to 1911[36])
  10. Osnabruck Hauptbahnhof[37]
  11. 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).[38]


  1. Agrigento Centrale railway station
  2. Bari Centrale railway station
  3. Barletta Centrale railway station (FNB)
  4. Bologna Centrale railway station
  5. Catania Centrale railway station
  6. Gorizia Centrale railway station
  7. La Spezia Centrale railway station
  8. Lamezia Terme Centrale railway station
  9. Livorno Centrale railway station
  10. Messina Centrale railway station
  11. Milano Centrale railway station
  12. Napoli Centrale railway station
  13. Palermo Centrale railway station
  14. Pescara Centrale railway station
  15. Pisa Centrale railway station
  16. Prato Centrale railway station
  17. Reggio Calabria Centrale railway station
  18. Tarvisio Centrale railway station - now closed
  19. Torre Annunziata Centrale railway station
  20. Trieste Centrale railway station
  21. Treviglio railway station, also known as Treviglio Centrale
  22. Treviso Centrale railway station
  23. Trieste Centrale railway station


In the Netherlands, a centraal station (abbreviated CS), in its original sense, was a railway station that was served by several railway companies; it therefore used to have the same meaning as a union station in the English-speaking world. 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.

Since the 2000s, the railways hold to the rule that a city's main station may be called Centraal if it has more than a certain number of passengers per day (currently 40.000). This meant that Almere Centraal had to be demoted to Almere Centrum; however, Leiden was renamed Leiden Centraal. Additionally, stations with international high-speed trains can get the name Centraal; this applies to Arnhem. Breda was supposed to get the epithet after renovation in 2016, but since the high speed trains don't stop there yet, it is still called Breda.

Non-railway signage, such as on buses or roads, sometimes indicates Centraal or CS even when a city's main railway station isn't actually named as such.

Six stations have the word Centraal:

  1. Amsterdam Centraal
  2. Den Haag Centraal
  3. Leiden Centraal
  4. Rotterdam Centraal
  5. Utrecht Centraal
  6. Arnhem Centraal

There are also stations with the word Centrum, which indicates the station is in the city centre:

  1. Almere Centrum
  2. Barneveld Centrum
  3. Ede Centrum
  4. Kerkrade Centrum
  5. Lelystad Centrum
  6. Schiedam Centrum
  7. Veenendaal Centrum
  8. Vlaardingen Centrum


  1. Oslo Central Station (Oslo Sentralstasjon)
  2. Trondheim Central Station (Trondheim Sentralstasjon)


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:

  1. Warszawa Centralna railway station is the principal station in the capital Warsaw, the Warszawa Główna railway stations having closed.


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.

Gothenburg Central Station
  1. Arlanda Central Station (Stockholm Arlanda Airport)
  2. Gothenburg Central Station
  3. Halmstad Central Station
  4. Hässleholm Central Station
  5. Jönköping Central Station
  6. Malmö Central Station
  7. Norrköping Central Station
  8. Nässjö Central Station
  9. Stockholm Central Station
  10. Uppsala Central Station
  11. Västerås Central Station
  12. Lund Central Station
  13. Kalmar Central Station
  14. Karlskrona Central Station
  15. Kristianstad Central Station
  16. Linköping Central Station
  17. Helsingborg Central Station
  18. Södertälje Central Station
  19. Örebro Central Station


Basel Central Station

Similar to principal stations in Germany, the most important station in Zürich is called Hauptbahnhof (Main Railway Station), which in some sources is translated to central station in English.[39]

Additionally, Basel SBB railway station was originally known as the Centralbahnhof or, in English, Basle Central Station[40][41][42] and is still sometimes referred to today as the Centralbahnhof or Basel/Basle Central Station.[43][44][45]

In Switzerland, Hauptbahnhof is abbreviated to HB.


İstanbul Sirkeci Station
  1. Adana Central railway station
  2. Ankara Central railway station
  3. Eskişehir Central railway station
  4. Gaziantep Central railway station
  5. İstanbul Sirkeci railway station
  6. İzmir Alsancak railway station
  7. Kars Central railway station
  8. Kayseri Central railway station
  9. Mersin Central railway station

United Kingdom[edit]

Hounslow Central station
Wrexham Central station

Many railway stations in Britain that use 'Central' are not 'principal' stations, and are 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.

  1. Acton Central railway station
  2. Belfast Central railway station
  3. Birkenhead Central railway station
  4. Brackley Central railway station
  5. Burnley Central railway station
  6. Cardiff Central railway station
  7. Central railway station (London)
  8. Chesterfield Central railway station
  9. Coatbridge Central railway station
  10. Croydon Central railway station
  11. Dumbarton Central railway station
  12. Exeter Central railway station
  13. Finchley Central tube station
  14. Folkestone Central railway station
  15. Gainsborough Central railway station
  16. Glasgow Central railway station
  17. Greenock Central railway station
  18. Hackney Central railway station
  19. Hamilton Central railway station
  20. Helensburgh Central railway station
  21. Hendon Central tube station
  22. Hounslow Central tube station
  23. Hyde Central railway station
  24. Kirkby-in-Ashfield Central railway station
  25. Leicester Central railway station
  26. Lincoln Central railway station
  27. Liverpool Central railway station
  28. Loughborough Central railway station
  29. Manchester Central railway station
  30. Mansfield Central railway station
  31. Milton Keynes Central railway station
  32. New Mills Central railway station
  33. Newcastle Central railway station and associated Central Station Metro station
  34. Redcar Central railway station
  35. Rotherham Central railway station
  36. Rugby Central railway station
  37. St Helens Central railway station
  38. St Helens Central (GCR) railway station
  39. Salford Central railway station
  40. Scarborough Central railway station
  41. Southend Central railway station
  42. Southampton Central railway station
  43. Staveley Central railway station
  44. Sutton-in-Ashfield Central railway station
  45. Telford Central railway station
  46. Tuxford Central railway station
  47. Walthamstow Central station
  48. Warrington Central railway station
  49. Wembley Central station
  50. Windsor and Eton Central railway station
  51. Wrexham Central railway station


North America[edit]

United States[edit]

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.



South America[edit]


Estação Central do Brasil, in the downtown Rio de Janeiro.





South Korea[edit]


Hong Kong[edit]


Sentral is the Malay spelling for the English word central.


South Africa[edit]


Gawler Central railway station, Adelaide


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  2. ^ a b Rough Guide to Berlin. Rough Guides. April 2008. p. 363. 
  3. ^ "bahn.com - your online travel booking tool for rail journeys, holidays, city trips and car rental". Deutsche Bahn. 
  4. ^ Vienna Central Station (Wien Hauptbahnhof), Austria at www.railway-technology.com. Retrieved 30 Jul 2014.
  5. ^ Munich Central Station at www.muenchen.de.Retrieved 30 Jul 2014.
  6. ^ Vienna Central Train Station at www.oebb.at. Retrieved 30 Jul 2014.
  7. ^ Munich central station at www.bahn.de. Retrieved 30 Jul 2014.
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  10. ^ Rudolf Böhringer German for everybody--and you! 1966 Page 2 "Well, Bahnhof means 'station' just as Hauptbahnhof means 'main station'."
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  18. ^ "Station profile > Berlin Hauptbahnhof". Germany: Deutsche Bahn. Retrieved 23 August 2013. 
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  20. ^ "Your perfect connections from the airport directly to your destination". Germany: Deutsche Bahn. Retrieved 14 August 2013. 
  21. ^ See de:Centralbahnhof
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  33. ^ Hessisches Landessstatistisches Amt (1879). Mitteilungen des Hessischen landesstatistischen amtes, p. 10
  34. ^ Verein Deutscher Eisenbahnverwaltungen (1865). Zeitung des Vereins Deutscher Eisenbahnverwaltungen: Organ d. Vereins, Vol. 5
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  36. ^ Bahnhof Oldenburg at www.laenderbahn.info. Retrieved on 30 Jul 2013.
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  41. ^ Stübben, Joseph (1896). Centralbahnhof Basel: Gutachten des Königl. Baurats Herrn Stübben in Köln über die Beziehungen der Bahnhofs-Projekte zu dem städtischen Strassennetz, Schweizerische Centralbahn-Gesellschaft (Basel).
  42. ^ The Railway Gazette, Vol. 82, p. 602, 1942.
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