Talk:Berlin Hauptbahnhof

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Assessment Logic[edit]

Category 1 station (of international importance) - one of only 20 in Germany.

Hauptbahnhof translation[edit]

Is more correctly translated as "main station". Main station is not always the central station, and supported anecdotally that most mass transit systems in Germany/Austria with English translations call it "main station". --kjd 20:21, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

It may be Berlin's main station, but Main Station is a rare title in English; we wouldn't call it Head Station either, even though this might be even more literal. Just as the various Central Stations in English-speaking countries are usually translated to Hauptbahnhof in German (e.g., Newcastle Hauptbahnhof), Central Station is the usual term in English for Hauptbahnhof. ProhibitOnions 20:51, 13 March 2006 (UTC)
Err, is it? I've always translated Hauptbahnhof as "Main Station", similarly Praha hlavni nadrazi. -- Arwel (talk) 01:27, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
I think this is kind of silly. Most people wouldn't fuss about translating New York's Grand Central Station. In fact, check out the German wikipedia's entry on the station: de:Grand Central Terminal. They don't bother translating it -- they just explain what it is. --Allen Riddell 13:32, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
Grand Central would not be the Hbf in German anyway. That'd be Penn station. 01:38, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
Rare as in Farnborough (Main) being AFAIK the only instance of an indigenous Main Station - and even that's misleading: the "Main" refers to the line it's on (BML - Bournemouth Main Line). The more traditional British English designation for a non-central main station is General Station - this was once very much standard GWR practice (Neath General, Cardiff General, Bodmin General, Stratford-upon-Avon General, Leamington Spa General, Oxford General etc etc etc), but now only survives in the name of Wrexham General, which sounds very archaic now. 01:37, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

I originally made the change (my apologies for failing to log in properly on that occasion). I did it not only because it was not the strict literal translation but because I could not see how one could possibly call it Central. If we were talking about Leipzig or Cologne or just about anywhere else even I accept that this was being over-pedantic. My feeling was that in this case to call it Central would be simply wrong and misleading. If this was Britain I do not think a station in the middle of nowhere would be called Central. By way of analogy think of Exeter. Exeter St. Davids is a big interchange station which is the main station for Exeter. Qiagen N.V. It is at the foot of a hill on which the city is situated. There is also another station in the middle of the city with an infrequent train service called Exeter Central. It is called Exeter Central because it is, um, central. Am I missing something ? I accept Main is rare in the UK but we all know what is meant, there is no confusion - and although it is rare it is (or was) not unknown. At the end of the day I am not really bothered. I just thought calling it "Central" might confuse someone visiting Berlin for the first time.--Pedantic of Purley 09:53, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Why do we need a translation at all? The article is called Berlin Hauptbahnhof, why can't we just say "Berlin Hauptbahnhof is Berlin's new main railway station" or "Berlin Hauptbahnhof is Berlin's new main railway station"? Angr/talk 10:37, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
Here, here! I didn't see this when I made my comment above. --Allen Riddell 14:16, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
It is indeed in the middle of nowhere, but geographically it's smack dab in the center of Berlin. Built with the expectation that by now all the division would have been healed and Berlin would be booming with nearly 5 million people. A better name would be Berlin White Elephant station. (FWIW, Südkreuz, the new expensive second-biggest station, is also in the wilderness.) ProhibitOnions 11:01, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
"It is indeed in the middle of nowhere, but geographically it's smack dab in the center of Berlin." True. In the spirit of non-discrimination, it is equally inaccessible from all parts of the city. I live much closer to Lehrter BahnhofHauptbahnhof than to Zoo, but if I want to go there, I still have to change trains at Zoo. Angr/talk 11:41, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
Regardless of what we translate its name as, it might be worth describing its location which we all seem to agree is in the geographic centre of Berlin surrounded by nothing - hence the need for U55 which might be worth a mention. As I don't live in Berlin this is the sort of thing that I don't feel able to accurately comment on.--Pedantic of Purley 14:07, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

The announcements in English say "Welcome to Berlin Central Station." Hah!  ProhibitOnions  (T) 14:41, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

Really? When I was there last month all the announcements in English referred to "Hauptbahnhof". IMO you might just as well say "Berlin Hauptbahnhof is the principal train station in Berlin" but even then Ostbahnhof and Südkreuz are ranked by DB with equal status... Dmccormac (talk) 20:14, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

The Incident[edit]

Why does it refer to the man as a "German man"? Isn't that redundant? I mean, if this station was in the United States, they wouldn't say "an American man". Besides, regardless of where the incident takes place, does the ethnicity of the person really matter? Why can't it just say "a man"? So, yeah, I don't think that it should say a "German man". —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Speyeker (talkcontribs) .

I changed the number of wounded from 28 to 26, as the source says. Trick 13:23, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

Good catch, I converted the link to a reference. --Bruce 13:30, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
Current news, facts always change fast. I changed the reference, but this will be the last time. --Bruce 22:59, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

Why is this "incident" relevant for Berlin Hauptbahnhof at all? It did not happen during the actual opening ceremony and it was some hundred metres away. [Jan from Germany, 14:28, 27 May 2006 (UTC)]

I noticed tried to remove the incident section but his/her actions were reverted by Royboycrashfan, a recent changes patroller. However, I believe the removal of the incident section should be a point open for discussion. In my personal opinion this incident does indeed not deserve a seperate section, although if someone were to write something on the opening itself, the incident could perhaps be briefly mentioned. It's all pretty current at the moment, I advise you to first let the attention die down. In the meanwhile try discussing it with ProhibitOnions, IsarSteve and other regular contributors. --Bruce 22:48, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
I was thinking of letting it stay for maybe 48 hours or so before removing it. It's clearly not the sort of thing that permanently belongs in an encyclopedia article about the train station. Angr (talk) 22:57, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
Au contraire, any mention of the station opening is going to mention this incident, and all of the news reports of the station opening I've seen have described the ceremony as being overshadowed by the incident. In future, we don't have to give any details, but it should still be mentioned; for example, "The station opened after a cosnstruction time of nearly eleven years. It was opened by Chancellor Angela Merkel in May 2005, shortly before the World Cup began. The lavish ceremony was marred by an incident in which an unnstable man stabbed 28 spectators, although there were no fatalities." ...and then move on. This is still one of the most notable cases of someone running amok in recent German history.  ProhibitOnions  (T) 22:02, 28 May 2006 (UTC)
Well, all mention of it has been removed from the German article as being irrelevant to the train station. Apparently the incident didn't even happen at the station, but in Luisenstraße several blocks away. Angr (talk) 22:13, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
Au contraire. Show me where in the german wikipedia article this incident is mentioned. now, i know the germans are fond of sort of sweeping away the ugly parts of their history (Führerbunker, Palast der Republik, banning of the NSDAP), but...i think the importance of the incident is being a little exaggerated if it warrants more than a passing mention in this article. maybe a split would be worth it, but i dont personally find that such a detailed explanation of what happened is necessary when its only connection to the station is that it happened the same night as the opening in the general area. 22:28, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
It was the opening ceremony, which spread out quite far around the station, and was the reason all the people were there. The attacks took place in various locations, but it was the fact that there was a big crowd, a distraction (the station and the light show) and lots of noise (the music) that allowed him to get away with stabbing so many people. I agree that it deserves little more than a passing mention, but it's giong to be something people remember in conjunction with the station, and all the media are reporting it this way.  ProhibitOnions  (T) 22:33, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

How Many Platforms[edit]

The number of platforms when know should be added to Railway station layout.

Tabletop 09:46, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

Melbourne Central[edit]

When the Museum at Museum station is Melbourne was closed to make way for a shopping Centre called Melbourne Central, the station was renamed even though it is not "central", the main stations being Spencer Street (now called Southern Cross) and Flinders Street.

Tabletop 09:52, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

Largest rail transportation hub needs defining[edit]

I can't see in the article what the 'Largest rail transportation hub' claim is related to. Is it number of passengers, area, number of platforms? [1] makes a cliam that it is Europe's largest crossing station, whatever a crossing station is. Anon user 08:04, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

I think "crossing station" is a literal translation of the German word "Kreuzbahnof" or "Turmbahnhof". This denotes a station where railways from different directions meet on separate levels. (Only?) In the area of former Prussia this a common type of station. Thus, "Europe's largest crossing station" is no predicate really worth mentioning. [Jan, -- 13:55, 28 May 2006 (UTC)]
There are quite a few cruciform stations in other European countries - for instance Willesden Junction, Tamworth, Lichfield Trent Valley, and Warrington Bank Quay (albeit with a closed lower level) are all on the former LNWR main line in England. 01:24, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

"Symphony of Light"[edit]

Who was the composer of "Symphony of Light"? -Mardus 13:49, 30 May 2006 (UTC)


Does anyone have a city/railway map showing where the Hauptbahnhof is in Berlin? -- 23:02, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

There's one at de:Berlin Hauptbahnhof. Maybe someone can bring it over here, though it's in German. Angr (talk) 06:24, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

One toilet[edit]

How amusing. violet/riga (t) 11:47, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

That explains the enormous line for the toilet I saw when I went to Hauptbahnhof last week. When you come up from the parking garage, you walk out into the hallway where the restrooms are and there was a huge line of mostly women waiting to get in. They don't need one more set of toilets, as they say in that article; they need at least three more sets. Angr (talk) 12:09, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
Yep, have to say the station displays a remarkable lack of attention to the needs of its users (although, I should point out, this is not so remarkable for Germany). The worst part is changing trains from north-south to east-west, which is the entire reason the station was built. The two track levels are five storys apart, but the escalators are located at 90-degree angles to each other, along narrow walkways, which are lined with shops and which are bisected by roof supports every few meters. It only takes a couple of people standing still (or browsing in a shop window) to create a bottleneck. There are cool-looking glass elevators that look like pistons, but these are very slow and are usually crowded. What's more, like most German stations there is no separation of incoming and outgoing pedestrian traffic, so that there are often collisions on steps as a train arrives, as those who are trying to get to the train are hindered by those leaving it. And there is, as always, no attempt made to encourage the "stand on the right" rule on escalators, meaning that the trip between trains can take a long time.
While the stupid Ladenschlußgesetz mercifully does not apply to the station, Deutsche Bahn should have taken note of how things work at, say, Leipzig Hbf, and put in very large retail units, but the biggest store is a Kaiser's supermarket (I'd guess 100 square meters) and it is always crowded.
Meanwhile, the station is still in the middle of nowhere, and almost all the hustle and bustle is due to people changing trains; that is, going from the top floor to the bottom one, for which there is, as I mentioned, no direct route.
And one toilet. The station looks cool, but it's an ergonomic disaster. Sigh.  ProhibitOnions  (T) 12:45, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
Having used the station for a further six weeks, I don't think my remarks above were hasty. Having no direct route between the east-west line and the north-south line (an eight-minute walk, according to DB travel information) has to be considered something of a design blunder.  ProhibitOnions  (T) 11:36, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
The parking garage is a disaster too. There's no clear signage showing how to get from the parking garage to the station, and as far as I could tell there's only one entrance. You ought to be able to get to any level of the station directly from the parking garage, but instead you have to go inside first and use the same poorly laid-out escalators or too-few elevators as everyone else. When you leave again, the automats where you stamp your ticket and pay your money are placed in the middle of the parking lots instead of near the doors where you exit the station. Then when you try to drive out, the signs marking the way to the Ausfahrt are ambiguous at best. The exit you need to drive through to get to the Tiergartentunnel has a big sign over it saying AUSFAHRT ->, making you think that isn't the exit after all, but that you have to turn right there to get to the exit. After driving around in circles three times, we finally decided to risk going straight ahead there to see what happened, and sure enough it was the exit. User:Angr 11:44, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
The new station is a disgrace. It is basically a shopping centre. If you look carefully between the Starbucks, McDonalds and Virgin, you may be lucky enough to find the very small, completely inadequate ticket office. A good way to find it is to look for the queue of unhappy passengers. Similarly there is a small understaffed left luggage office where I had to queue for about twenty minutes to leave my suitcase. And there is no tourist information office. Paul Matthews 09:52, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
And it's not even a very good shopping centre! (And the Starbucks, McDonald's, and Virgin are themselves hard to find.)  ProhibitOnions  (T) 11:31, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
Correction, in fact there is a tourist office, but it is hidden in a corner so I failed to find it on my first visit. A couple more points - when you do find the toilet it costs you 80c. - There is no large clearly visible clock (a basic essential in any station) only two small ones low down at the ends, invisible from most points. - Boards giving departure times, another basic requirement, are scarce (I suppose they would limit the potential for shopping and advertising). Paul Matthews 13:15, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Anything known about the possibly infected victims of the stabbing?[edit]


the stabbings created quite a shock in Germany and beyond and here, everyone was discussing whether or not these people could have been infected with the HIV virus. But afterwards,I never heard anything about it? Did the man's actions really infect other people? Thanks,Evilbu 19:54, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

Largest station: in what sense ?[edit]

There's a dispute (or may be only a disagreement) between two editors whether Berlin HBf or Leipzig HBf is the largest station in Europe. My question is: 'largest' in what sense ? Floor/platform area ? Building volume ? The highest number of trains/passengers per day/annum ? Until this is clarified in the article, there is no clear answer....
Jotel 16:28, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

If it's the largest sum of money wasted, Berlin Hbf wins hands down... ProhibitOnions (T) 16:58, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
In terms of space occupied, Leipzig Hbf is the largest in Europe (83,640 m²). In terms of trains per day, I think it's Clapham Junction in London. The German Wikipedia entry claims Berlin Hbf is both the largest passenger terminal and the largest multi-storey station, but unfortunately they cite no sources, as that statement contradicts the Leipzig one. Counting passengers per day, Berlin Hbf only scores 4th in Germany, so it's a difficult subject really. The best idea probably is to emphasize that it is the largest multi-level station, as _that_ is for sure, and trying to find out whether it is the largest passenger station as well (it might be that Leipzig Hbf is larger because they have an extensive freight yard, but from my personal experience I remember that not being the case...) It's not the most important station of Germany anyhow. ;) (that award goes to Frankfurt Hbf. doco () 19:19, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

where is the construction engineer .. !![edit]

There is no mention of the chief construction engineer Hani Azer .. why ?? Dr B2 (talk) 06:54, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

Requested move (2011): Berlin Hauptbahnhof → Berlin Central Station[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page moved. Vegaswikian (talk) 03:22, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

Berlin HauptbahnhofBerlin Central Station – The word “hauptbahnhof“ is not found in Merriam Webster, American Heritage, Oxford Dictionaries, OED (sorry, no link), or even on WordNet 3, which boasts the “largest English dictionary and thesaurus”. So we must conclude that it is not part of standard English vocabulary. Where we can find it is in Collins German-English Dictionary, where it is defined as, “main or central station.” According to WP:UE: “If there is no established English-language treatment for a name, translate it if this can be done without loss of accuracy and with greater understanding for the English-speaking reader.” C.f. Munich Central Station and Nuremberg Central Station. Kauffner (talk) 11:57, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

Usage examples[edit]

  • “Thousands of Germans have queued for hours to see a mobile exhibition on the Holocaust that was barred from Berlin's central station,” Daily Telegraph, 14 Apr 2008
  • “State-owned rail operator Deutsche Bahn refused to allow the train to stop at Berlin's central station”, BBC, 14 Apr 2008.
  • ”On this vast area of wasteland around Berlin Central Station, the new Lehrter Stadtquarter of Berlin is emerging.” Germany Real Estate Yearbook 2009, p. 105.
  • ”Pakistan-based terrorists plotting to carry out Mumbai-style killings in European cities had on their sight landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, as well as Berlin's Central Station, a media report said on Monday.” Indian Express, Oct 04 2010.
  • “An attack at Berlin's main train station has been thwarted after workers found an incendiary device before it had a chance to explode.” Deutsche Welle, Oct. 10, 2011.
  • “Travelers at Berlin's central station faced disruptions after a series of petrol bombs were discovered along railway lines in the German capital last week.” Spiegel Online, Oct. 17, 2011. Kauffner (talk)


  • Support. In addition to the logic for recently supported moves to Munich and Nuremberg Central Stations, I was travelling by DB yesterday and heard the guard refer in English to "Hanover Central Station" (for Hannover Hauptbahnhof) so this seems to be the accepted DB translation too. --Bermicourt (talk) 17:21, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
Haha, yeah, we all know how good the DB guards are with English. Umm, no. I oppose the move; but nobody is interested in my opinion anyway. Jared Preston (talk) 15:45, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
His English was excellent and certainly better than most English-speakers' German. But the point is that it indicates they have been officially trained to use "Central Station" for Hauptbahnhof. And we are interested in everyone's opinion as long as there is reasoned explanation as opposed to mocking the views of others. --Bermicourt (talk) 22:04, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Support. Central Station is standard English usage. Longwayround (talk) 13:29, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Post-move discussion[edit]

I'm sorry to see that the "examples of use" given above were given any sort of validity. There is a difference between "Berlin's central station" and "Berlin Central Station". The former is just a descriptor; it would be perfectly acceptable to describe Birmingham New Street station as "Birmingham's central station" in a descriptive context. But fine, I'm late, go ahead and move Berlin Gesundbrunnen to Berlin Health Springs Station, completely useless and I hope no one disagrees, but I doubt you'd find gesundbrunnen in an English dictionary either, so wtf is that doing on en.wikipedia really. - filelakeshoe 08:51, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

You need to read the article on central station and also the fuller debate that was had about this. Your example is different - we are not translating the proper name "Berlin", but the general noun "Hauptbahnhof" as "Central Station". In your example, we would not translate the proper name "Berlin Gesundbrunnen" but would translate "Bahnhof" as "Station". Hope that helps. --Bermicourt (talk) 16:53, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
Hauptbahnof is rather more than a "general noun", it is the proper name and as such appears on signs, timetables etc (in the same way that, say "New Street" appears while "Birmingham's central station" doesn't). Hauptbahnhof is just as much the name of this station as Gesundbrunnen (or New Street, or Union, etc) is part of the name of other stations. Even if we are determined to rid Wikipedia of foreign words, Hbf does not really translate as central station, it means main station. While Berlin Hbf is arguably central, other Hauptbahnhofs are less so. Renaming Hbf to Central creates odd situations in places like Heidelberg, where Heidelberg Altstadt (or is that Old City?) station is more "central" than the Hbf. Wheeltapper (talk) 14:28, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
"Rid Wikipedia of foreign words"?? Pffffft! Did you look at the article? The German name of the station is both in the opening sentence, and in large type on the second line of the infobox. Kauffner (talk) 17:29, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
Of course I looked at the article. But I also look at the real world, which continues to do its own thing regardless of what Wikipedia says it should be doing. Although I suspect misunderstandings like this will soon be copied by the media using Wikipedia as a reference, and Wikipedia can then cite the same media as a source and thereby create its own reality. So, which stations are we going to declare to be Paris Central, Madrid Central or London Central? Manchester Central will be interesting...Wheeltapper (talk) 09:13, 24 June 2012 (UTC)

16,900 hits for "the Hauptbahnhof" in English GB[edit]

All longdistance trains now arrive and depart from the spectacular new Hauptbahnhof (main train station). The Hauptbahnhof and all of Berlin's smaller railway stations (for regional service) are connected to public buses, subways (U-Bahn), ... Donald Olson Germany For Dummies 2009- Page 107

I just noted that even Germany For Dummies uses "the Hauptbahnhof" as a English loanword. So it isn't just high flying academic sources like Frommer's and Lonely Planet that don't translate as "Berlin's central/big/main station" .... can we please get rid of this WP:OR title? If it's good enough simple:Berlin Hauptbahnhof why can't the normal English name everyone uses be used here? In ictu oculi (talk) 09:57, 26 November 2012 (UTC)

Thoroughly agree. Other than "Foo Hauptbahnhof", are there any other examples of stations appearing in Wikipedia under fantasy names rather than the real ones from WP:RS (or at the very most a direct and unambiguous translation/transliteration, eg Zuid -> South)? Wikipedia doesn't rename all the Union stations in North America to "Central" , or rename Manchester Piccadilly station, Liverpool Lime Street railway station or Exeter St Davids railway station as "Foo Central" in some attempt to establish a new usage. We seem to be able to cope with using the real name for the Reichstag (building), Berlin U-Bahn, Berlin S-Bahn, Platz der Luftbrücke, Tierpark Berlin, Rotes Rathaus, Führerbunker (and even Oktoberfest).
If I put Berlin Central into the DB journey planner, it thinks I mean "Berlin, Central Hotel (Hotel)". If I try "Cologne Central", it thinks I mean "Köln, Euro Garden Hotel Cologne Zentral (Hotel)" - which is apparently an 8 min walk away from something called a Hbf. It even asks if I mean a bus station in Cardiff, but not Koeln Hbf... Wheeltapper (talk) 14:33, 26 November 2012 (UTC)

I hope this issue doesn't get decided by the "16,900 GBook hits" for "the Hauptbahnhof", which looks more like 162 after deghosting. Frommer`s says, "head for Berlin Hauptbahnhof (the central rail station)" (p. 90). So they are not assuming that readers will know what this word means. Deutsche Welle has 84 deghosted examples of "central station" ("central station", 43 for "central train station" ("central train station", and 46 for "main station" ("main station" Most of these examples look like the writer is translating "Hauptbahnhof". It's funny about Cologne because DB uses "Cologne Central Station" here. Kauffner (talk) 16:25, 26 November 2012 (UTC)

How many times does it have to be stated that we all know that there are sources for Berlin's central station. Nobody disputes this. What is disputed is that "c" is a capital letter. Anyway, we'll have a RM in January and fix this. Until then the page stays on the watchlist. In ictu oculi (talk) 23:13, 26 November 2012 (UTC)
You have a schedule for converting Wiki from English to polyglot? Kauffner (talk) 04:12, 27 November 2012 (UTC)
@in ictu oculi. And how many times does "Berlin Central Station" (with a capital C and S) appear on the internet? About 1.8 million times e.g. here Berlin Central Station - The Cathedral of Traffic and here Berlin Central Station and here [2] and here Berlin Central Station and here Berlin Central Station and here, even by Deutsche Bahn themselves Berlin Central Station. --Bermicourt (talk) 06:51, 27 November 2012 (UTC)
We need to look at wp:reliable sources, rather than merely stuff which can be found on the internet. At risk of WP:OR, I was recently in Berlin, and the real name is used on signs, timetables, announcements etc, whether in German or English. The real name is also used by English language news media and books, even if not absolutely 100% of the time, and the real name is commonly used by English-speakers who happen to need to talk about German railway stations. The DB journey planner thinks "Berlin Central" is a hotel, and if you enter the Wikipedia name it doesn't even suggest Berlin Hauptbahnhof as an option. If DB gave the Wikipedia name any sort of status, surely they would actually use it themselves on something so important? Okay, the Wikipedia name can be found on a few webpages (some of which use the term in addition to the real name, and there might even be a feedback loop from Wikipedia), but that's it. Your DB link above also uses the direct translation "Main station" for some, which shows the problem of creating new names. What problem does creating a fake name solve which outweighs the resulting need to explain what the real name is so that we don't confuse people? Wheeltapper (talk) 08:01, 27 November 2012 (UTC)
You are implying that internet sources are unreliable ("merely stuff which can be found on the internet"), yet you then go on to quote the DB planner! Actually the DB planner is of course based on their search engine software and it is no surprise that they haven't translated the engine into other languages - expensive and risky! But articles on their site use Berlin Central Station and DB announcers use the term Central Station, at least some of the time, when announcing in English (yes, I live in Germany). But, crude though google is, the fact that there are several million internet entries for "Berlin Central Station", only around 200,000 for "Berlin Main Station" and even only around 1 1/2 million for "Berlin Hauptbahnhof" (without filtering out German pages) suggests there will need to be a very convincing case for ditching the current title. And the argument that the English name is a fake name and the German one isn't, doesn't stack up - most English sources use Eiffel Tower not Tour d'Eiffel, and Bayern Munich not Bayern München (check that out - a half-translation that is universally used!). Translations are not fakes, as long as they convey the right meaning. --Bermicourt (talk) 12:30, 27 November 2012 (UTC)
Except I didn't imply that at all (see WP:RS), and DB (or should we call them GR, German Railway?) have translated their journey planner, into a number of languages. They just haven't changed the station's real name into a new one. Why would they, it would just confuse people. Even your "Raildude" link uses "Hauptbahnhof", and says it is near the Reichstag (not "Houses of Parliament"!) and Bundeskanzleramt! Apart from Hauptbahnhofs, are there any other examples of Wikipedia making up station names rather than using the real one? We don't pretend the Berlin U-Bahn is called the underground/metro/subway/whatever.
Bayern Munich is actually a good example of why we should use Berlin Hauptbahnhof. Bayern Munich is the name that reliable sources use. We don't rename it "Bavaria Munich" because Bayern is a bit foreign, or call it "Munich Rovers" because that might be an equivalent English name. Meanwhile, 1. FC Köln is under that name, not "Cologne 1 AFC" or whatever. As for Paris, we have Arc de Triomphe, not the Triumphal Arch (a direct translation, like Berlin Main station). Though it might be fun to suggest that it should listed as Wellington Arch (Paris) (an English equivalent, like Berlin Central). Wheeltapper (talk) 18:40, 27 November 2012 (UTC)
Am I to understand that you do not know of any non-Hauptbahnhof station with a translated name? Since it is a wonder that such a state of innocence is possible, I urge you not to click here, here, here, here, or here. Kauffner (talk) 19:01, 27 November 2012 (UTC)
@Wheeltapper. Welcome to the world of translation, where there are no fixed rules only common practice, common sense and exceptions to the rule. We can always find examples that suit our point of view, but you're still going to have to explain away millions of examples of Berlin Central Station - there's no getting away from that and the guidance to WP:USEENGLISH and WP:COMMONNAME. But let's forget this - we're not going to agree here, so let's go do something more useful, like adding to the sum of human knowledge... --Bermicourt (talk) 20:50, 27 November 2012 (UTC)
@Kauffner If I did click on those links, I would find:
There are also, for example:
So, apart from (German) Hauptbahnhofs, are there any other examples of Wikipedia making up station names rather than using the real one?
@Bermicourt Personally I'm happy to work within the real world. It's surely down to people who believe WP:USEENGLISH and WP:COMMONNAME don't apply to articles on a few railway stations to explain why not. WP:USEENGLISH needs to be take as a whole, not just a headline; it is about usage, not some kind of quest for false linguistic purity.WP:COMMONNAME says "Titles are often proper nouns, such as the name of the person, place or thing that is the subject of the article." Not "what the thing might have been called had it been in another country".
Inventing new names for a few German stations is unexpected, ambiguous, inconsistent, misleading, confusing and needs an explanation so that people know what the heck the article is about. Why make up a name and reduce understanding when we could be accurate and follow verifiable reliable sources? Wheeltapper (talk) 23:22, 27 November 2012 (UTC)

@Bermicourt, we don't use the Internet as a source when printed sources are available per WP:RS. In ictu oculi (talk) 23:16, 27 November 2012 (UTC)

  • @Wheeltapper: So it's OK translate Estación, Stazione, Huǒchē Zhàn, etc. as "railway station", but not Hauptbahnhof as "central station"? This is getting weird. Kauffner (talk) 04:13, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
Those are statements of what they are, not part of the name. Using the common, expected, verifiable, real names for everything except German Hauptbahnhofs is far more weird. Wheeltapper (talk) 07:46, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
Oic. You know what a "Hauptbahnhof" is, but you don't know the Spanish, Russian, Chinese, or Japanese words for railway station. As it is most unreasonable to expect an English-speaking reader to know how to say railway station in every language, why make an exception for German? Kauffner (talk) 13:53, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
@in ictu oculi. So where in WP:RS does it say that? The internet's mentioned 3 times and nowhere does it say a book source invalidates all online sources AFAICS.
@Wheeltapper. Translation is not invention. And there are also book sources that use Central Station anyway.
I think we been round the same buoy several times now. I'm off to do some more interesting stuff. --Bermicourt (talk) 06:51, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
WP:RS under Self-published and questionable sources see also WP:SOURCES. In ictu oculi (talk) 22:50, 28 November 2012 (UTC)

It's only English trying to reinvent the world[edit]

cs:Berlin Hauptbahnhof and not Berlín hlavní nádraží, de:Brno hlavní nádraží and not Brünn Hauptbahnhof. is the only wikipedia to have completed Category:Railway stations in Moravian-Silesian region, half of which are located in towns with Polish names still in use, some even with bilingual signs, and yet they still name their articles e.g. pl:Bystřice (Bystrzyca), the name on the signs people will recognise! Why is English Wikipedia so ridiculously hardline and contrary to common sense? - filelakeshoe 14:09, 28 November 2012 (UTC)

Hey, we could follow Chinese Wiki and call it zh:柏林中央車站. Kauffner (talk) 14:20, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
@filelakeshoe. Haha. A German colleague of mine said the same thing: "you English go around the world renaming places and that's wrong." So the next time I saw him I said "Morgen, Wolfgang! Kapstadt? Frankreich? Prag? Spanien?" He soon got the point - every language does it!
@Kauffner. Even better, put the entire article back into German. We'd have no problem and it'd save me a lot of time, but millions of English-speakers out there might not approve! --Bermicourt (talk) 18:29, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
Okay, let's try that again: cs:Berlín (with the acute accent over the i), cs:Berlin Hauptbahnhof. de:Brünn, de:Brno hlavní nádraží. de:Prag, de:Bahnhof Praha-Smíchov. pl:Ostrawa, pl:Ostrava hlavní nádraží etc etc. Yes, every language has exonyms, but not every language translates every last name that could possibly include one. - filelakeshoe 19:06, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
So you actually do see yourself as a warrior fighting the oppression of the English language? If only there was a "polyglot Wikipedia"... Kauffner (talk) 08:21, 29 November 2012 (UTC)
Okay fine, I get it, ability to comment on content and not contributors has clearly been exhausted, I too am off to write something useful. - filelakeshoe 10:09, 29 November 2012 (UTC)

Two World Wars And One World Cup, yet even the British media use the real name[edit]

Berlin Hauptbahnhof is in the news today. Let's see how English-language media deals with the name.

The obvious place to seek a more Little Englander viewpoint might be the Daily Mail, but they don't seem to have reported it. However they have previously reported on "a tunnel leading into Berlin's central station" (note no capital) ... "The entrance of the Hauptbahnhof, Berlin's main train station"

So it looks rather like even more WP:reliable sources in the world outside Wikipedia have no problems with a railway station in Germany having a German name, and if they feel the need to elaborate they translate to "main", rather than take a guess at what it might have been called had it been in Britain. Wheeltapper (talk) 18:34, 3 April 2013 (UTC)

The latest issue of "Continental Railway Journal" mentions some Hauptbahnhofs. Wheeltapper (talk) 13:08, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
The August 2013 issue of The Railway Magazine has an article on Wuppertal's Schwebebahn which mentions "The next stop is at Hauptbahnhof (Main Railway Station) which serves the city centre too". (The dingle dangle, Quentin Williamson, p35). 20:58, 8 July 2013 (UTC)
The Guardian again I’m fighting to save night trains – the ticket to my daughter’s future: "I could take the CNL train from Berlin Hauptbahnof at 00.27 and arrive in London". Wheeltapper (talk) 15:18, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
The Economist: "the Paris-to-Berlin sleeper pulled into an early morning Hauptbahnhof station for the last time"[3]. The Independent: "snaked and screeched its way into Berlin’s futuristic glass roofed Hauptbahnhof"[4].Wheeltapper (talk) 23:42, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Wheeltapper, with respect, is there any point dropping these here? The RM request was 16 months ago, and passed in favour of moving it to this location. Not sure why we need more data to back up something that was already done. Lukeno94 (tell Luke off here) 23:48, 19 December 2014 (UTC)

Requested move (July 2013)[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was no consensus. --BDD (talk) 16:59, 9 July 2013 (UTC)

Berlin Central StationBerlin central station – per WP:NCCAPS, MOS:CAPS and WP:RS. The current title is in danger of creating citogenesis. The English Wikipedia name with capital "C" capital "S" has for example now been followed by MobileReference. The capitalization remains highly unusual in English books which usually are small "central station" or Berlin's central station or the English WP:COMMONNAME = 1670x hits for Berlin Hauptbahnhof since 2000 in English books (English "Berlin Hauptbahnhof" 1987 to 1998, refers to now Berlin Ostbahnhof). German name is apparently controversial, but WP:NCCAPS, MOS:CAPS should not be. In ictu oculi (talk) 04:19, 2 July 2013 (UTC)


maximum 20 words please - on actual proposal

  • Oppose. As a proper noun, the name of the station should be capitalized. As a description, it is not capitalized, but that is not a factor. Apteva (talk) 04:50, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. Uncaptalising makes it clear that it is not actually called "Berlin Central", either officially or in reliable sources. Wheeltapper (talk) 08:09, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
    • Comment wouldn't it be better as central passenger rail station of Berlin in that case? (also makes the case that this isn't the central motorcoach station, central public bus depot, central taxi stand, central airport, central police station, central fire station, etc.) As a descriptive name "Berlin central station" (not a prescriptive name) would fail in sufficiently distinguishing it from being something other than a rail stop (where many bus terminals are also called the 'central station' of a city in the world at large) -- (talk) 11:26, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I could see a case for central passenger rail station of Berlin. Though I think such a name would clearly suggest "central" meaning "in the centre". The "central airport" question has come up before - if stations are to have "English" rather than their common names, why not airports? Of course Tempelhof is (was) more central than the current main airport, so we have the same problem as with stations if we don't use the common name. Wheeltapper (talk) 20:58, 8 July 2013 (UTC)
That gets down the meaning of the word "central", as in "main" or as in "centre" If it means "main", then that's fine, if it means "(geographic) centre", then there's a problem -- (talk) 08:40, 9 July 2013 (UTC)
Indeed. Personally I'm not yet convinced that "central" is used to mean "main" anywhere other than in the titles of Wikipedia articles on Hauptbahnhofs. Would it even be possible to tell whether a source refers to Berlin Hauptbahnhof as "Berlin's central station" because the author believes that "central" is a synonym for "main", rather than because it is geographically central-ish? It seems that there are few non-Wikipedia references to the main but very-non-central Karlsruhe Hbf as "Karlsruhe central station", with "main" being more common (and Hbf obviously being the commonest name). Was what is now Berlin Ostbahnhof called "Berlin Central" during 1987-98 when it was called Hauptbahnhof? Wheeltapper (talk) 12:33, 9 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The current title is a translation of the German proper name, and therefore a proper noun itself. The city of Berlin seems to think it should be capitalized. Kauffner (talk) 09:13, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. When used in English "Central" is always part of the proper name of the station. That at least should remain in capitals. --Bermicourt (talk) 16:54, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
Except the argument (above) for using "central" rather than following common usage was based on phrases which don't capitalise it: "Berlin's central station" - Spiegel, "Berlin's main train station"- Deutsche Welle, "Berlin's central station" - BBC, "Berlin's central station" - Daily Telegraph (in fact, do we even know for sure which station these reports are talking about? It doesn't specify. And why do we say Deutsche Bahn, with two evil furrin words, when the BBC mentions "German national railways"?) . Wheeltapper (talk) 21:42, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

Alternative choice if any[edit]

maximum 20 words please

So are you saying Wikipedia should not use the media as a source? (in fact, what would be left? Authors aim to sell books, academics aim to publish papers, railway companies want to sell train tickets...) Wheeltapper (talk) 19:53, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Berlin Hauptbahnhof - as discussed elsewhere, "Central Station" is not an accurate translation of "Hauptbahnhof", since "central" is ambiguous, whereas "haupt" is not. --Redrose64 (talk) 14:30, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
    • Comment. Speaking as a translator, "central station" is an accurate translation of Hauptbahnhof, as confirmed by e.g. Langenscheidt Muret-Sanders Großwörterbuch Deutsch-Englisch. However, let's not turn this into another "central station" vs. Hauptbahnhof debate by the back door. I'm sure that wasn't the intent of the proposal... Bermicourt (talk) 16:54, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Berlin Central station would retain the proper noun part of the name. Bermicourt (talk) 16:54, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
  • Berlin Central railway station is rarely used by the sources, but would comply with Wikipedia's naming convention. Bermicourt (talk) 16:54, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
Which naming convention? It would explicitly ignore the conventions in wp:commonname and wp:english (which is about using the name used in English sources, not about boycotting foreign words). Why is it only the Hauptbahnhofs that attract this passionate desire to create "English" names - why not Reichstag (building), Berlin U-Bahn, Unter den Linden, Alexanderplatz, or any other railway stations in Europe? (at the moment we have the situation where Wikipedia has Hauptbahnhof for tram (etc) stops serving Hauptbahnhofs, but not the actual Hauptbahnhofs!). I really don't see who benefits from a confusing "translated" name when even its supporters admit it is "rarely used by the sources". Wheeltapper (talk) 19:53, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
I'm talking about the de facto convention to add "railway station" to the proper name of the station which seems fairly widespread on Wikipedia. I don't have strong views about this; I'm just saying that I'd be content with either format - "station" or "railway station" - after the station name. --Bermicourt (talk) 20:52, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
The defacto standard is at odds with common disambiguatory practice, which would be Berlin Central (railway station) instead of Berlin Central railway station -- (talk) 22:37, 7 July 2013 (UTC)
Well you need to discuss that at Wikipedia:WikiProject Railways not here. Bermicourt (talk) 07:10, 8 July 2013 (UTC)


  • This RM is a bait-and-switch. The "Alternative choice if any" section is encouraging editors to rehash the "Central Station"/Hauptbahnhof issue. We just finished doing this in excruciating detail over at Leipzig Central Station. I urge the closer to disregard this section. The real proposal should be advertised, not snuck in the back door. Kauffner (talk) 09:28, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
Agree with Kauffner and request the closer to assess the actual option proposed and not be unduly distracted by the "alternative" section, which is already being used to hijack the original proposal and force yet another debate about "Central Station" vs. Hauptbahnhof. Bermicourt (talk) 21:03, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
User:Bermicourt, no it isn't a "bait-and-switch," it's a good faith attempt to find a title which will accomodate both groups of editors and move the somewhat OR-title nearer to printed sources reality. Knocking the spurious capital-S off "Station" as User:Thryduulf suggests would also be a move nearer printed sources. In ictu oculi (talk) 08:51, 9 July 2013 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Is this the English Wikipedia, or the German-translated-into-English Wikipedia?[edit]

I can't help but notice that sources which are being used to try to justify the use of the ambiguous, confusing and inconsistent "Central" instead of the English WP:commonname for Hauptbahnhofs are mostly German sources translated into English (eg airport websites and obscure European ticket agencies), and not English-as-first-language reliable sources. English-as-first-language sources such as The Times, BBC News, The Guardian, The New York Times, CNN, Daily Mail, Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, Frommer's, Thomas Cook European Timetable, Today's Railways, Modern Railways, Railway Gazette International, TripAdvisor,, National Audit Office (United Kingdom) and countless books, plus texts for English speakers wanting to learn German (rather than German speakers learning English) use Hauptbahnhof (meaning literally and practically "main station"), which is also the name used by Deutsche Bahn's (and other) journey planning and information systems (which think Berlin Central is a hotel). Is this the English Wikipedia, or the German-translated-into-English Wikipedia? Wheeltapper (talk) 11:33, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

To play the broken record one more time: If a publication uses "Hauptbahnhof," but the feels the need to explain it, it suggests that this word is not generally understood by English-speakers. If the New York Times prints something like "Berlin's Hauptbahnhof, the main train station," that does not support the claim that "Berlin Hauptbahnhof" is the common name. In fact, it suggests quite the opposite. Slight translation variants like "Berlin's Central Station," used by not only the New York Times, but also Der Spiegal, do not justify leaving a name in the native language. Kauffner (talk) 12:30, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
Yes, let's not waste any more time on this debate again - it's been thrashed to death. --Bermicourt (talk) 12:31, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
Once again, you have to fall back on rejecting native English-language sources like a direct quote from the New York Times, in favour of English versions of German sources such as Der Spiegel (don't you mean The Mirror?). Even the British Daily Mail - the house journal of of swivel-eyed Little Englanderism - used Hauptbahnhof when reporting the same story as Der Spiegel![5]. I doubt many people know which king has a cross, but we don't have an article on "London Central station".Wheeltapper (talk) 13:10, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

Bermicourt, re let's not waste any more time on this debate again - it's been thrashed to death. --Bermicourt (talk) 12:31, 2 July 2013 (UTC) if you don't mind me saying that seems to me to be a somewhat self-serving comment - in my view you've been thrashing a straw horse that doesn't exist. While you have been making a lot of noise, here and elsewhere, the basic problem remains that English sources either have "Berlin's central station" (= a description) or Berlin Hauptbahnhof (= the English WP:COMMONNAME), and these giant evidence of English sources hasn't been addressed. This RM is a good faith attempt to move nearer to English sources, but if it goes nowhere then yes - a quick clean restore RM to the English WP:COMMONNAME can happen next. When it does you may wish to restrict yourself to only a dozen posts ;) In ictu oculi (talk) 03:27, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
Please don't resort to personal attacks - it's against Wiki policy and undermines your case. I actually think your main proposal has some merit in trying to identify which English version of the station name English-language sources use. Having scanned hundreds of sources, I have to say there is probably no clear-cut answer - in addition to "Berlin's central station" they also use "Berlin Central Station" and "Berlin central station" and other variants. However, what is not helping a sensible discussion is the attempt to twist your proposal into the old "Central Station" v. Hauptbahnhof debate which is a valid, but separate, discussion and has been thrashed to death i.e. we've had mountains of debate and not reached a consensus. I'm assuming, in good faith, that isn't really where you wanted your proposal to go. Bermicourt (talk) 08:37, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
There is a clear-cut answer - native English sources use Hauptbahnhof as the name, and central or main as a description. A simple review of the reliable sources cited will show that. But a couple of people are passionately against "German", and so if we can't use the WP:COMMONNAME then that leaves us with the descriptive terms. Opponents of WP:COMMONNAME can try to shut down discussion, dismiss the sources (eg suggesting we shouldn't be using English-language media), ignore sources (ranging from the Dail Mail to the Guardian, via the New York Times, Modern Railways, Railway Gazette International, Thos Cook, Deutsche Bahn), or misrepresent them (trying to pass off a random user comment on a US forum as being "a major European travel site"), but it won't change the facts (or the Wikipedia guidelines!). Wheeltapper (talk) 13:08, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
So at a stroke you're ruling out all English sources that aren't "native"? That's a major change to WP:SOURCES that you will need to push through before continuing with that line of argument here. Bermicourt (talk) 18:12, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
No I am not, and it is rather hard to see how you might think that (is English perhaps not your first language?). I am saying we should follow reliable WP:SOURCES ("because this is the English-language Wikipedia, English-language sources are preferred over non-English ones, where English sources of equal quality and relevance are available" - and I reckon English-language newspapers, magazines and books count as pretty good sources). WP:ENGLISH says "Where there is an English word, or exonym, for the subject [which is dubious in the case of Berlin Hbf, but some people argue there is] but a native version is more common in English-language usage [which it clearly is, as English-language news media, books, websites, railway information etc show], the English name should be mentioned but should not be used as the article title." Wheeltapper (talk) 21:45, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
Please don't be facetious - I am English. I just don't agree with your interpretation of the sources which, as we saw at Leipzig Central Station have some pretty powerful authorities all using the English title for the station. But that's not what this proposal is about... or is Kauffner right? Bermicourt (talk) 06:41, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
Please can you address the issue of improving the article, rather than just accusing anyone who disagrees with you of being "facetious" or making "personal attacks", or telling people not to participate in the discussion? My WP:SOURCES (see above) show how the name is presented in English-language books, the news media and by organisations like Deutsche Bahn - I'm not relying on vague "powerful authorities" such as user postings on forums. Anyone is free to check them, and see that I am not misrepresenting the sources or disguising what they actually say. Wheeltapper (talk) 11:44, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
Oh and I see you deleted my question below. Such behaviour is unacceptable - see WP:TALKNO - and may lead to a block or ban. Please be careful not to do this in future. Bermicourt (talk) 06:55, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
Apologies for accidentally deleting the question during editing; I had no intention of doing so. At least I didn't edit someone else's comment on a talk page to say something different to what they wrote! Wheeltapper (talk) 11:44, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
User:Bermicourt, simple question: how many sources in Google Books use the present title? In ictu oculi (talk) 17:42, 4 July 2013 (UTC)
Are you changing your proposal? Bermicourt (talk) 06:55, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
User:Bermicourt, no, (though evidently Berlin Central station would be a step in the right direction). Please, how many sources in Google Books use the present title? In ictu oculi (talk) 08:47, 9 July 2013 (UTC)
While I would love to believe that native anglophones know what a hauptbahnhof is, I doubt they do. So a translation is probably fitting for this page. Has anyone mentioned that haupt means head or main, not central? Confusion over the use of main or central is manifest at KL sentral, a major interchange that is nowhere near central Kuala Lumpur. Hauptbahnhofs don't have to be central, but they do have to be main.Travelpleb (talk) 19:47, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
Yes, they have, in the very first post to this thread; also in other threads on this page (such as #Hauptbahnhof translation); and at Talk:Central station#Removal of links to central stations in German-speaking countries; probably elsewhere. --Redrose64 (talk) 20:13, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
So they have. Isn't that grand? So Berlin Central can nestle loftily with the likes of Exeter central. Wonderful.Travelpleb (talk) 20:34, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
Maybe Exeter St Davids railway station should be in Wikipedia as "Exeter Central Station", to avoid any chance of anglophones confusing it with Exeter Central railway station which is merely called Central and is central, but is not a "Central Station" in this Wikipedia what-Berlin-Hbf-ought-to-be-called-but-isn't sense? And maybe we should also do something about the problem of a station article named after St Pancras, when few people know who he was, or an article using the name of a largely unknown king's now otherwise forgotten cross? New York will also pose a Grand problem of this nature. Wheeltapper (talk) 15:40, 12 July 2013 (UTC)

Actual count of sources using current title = nine (9)[edit]

In among all the hundreds of miss-hits for "Berlin's central train station" references are there any that actually use the en.wp title? Yes, there are a handful:

  1. Berlin the Symphony Continues Halverson, ‎Foell - 2004 "If this is the case, then the steel and glass Berlin Central Station.."
  2. Sustainability and the Design of Transport Interchanges Brian Edwards - 2011 - Page 149 "Berlin Central Station, which opened in 2006, is located.."
  3. Germany Real Estate Yearbook 2008 - Page 108 A. Schiller - 2008 "The new Berlin Central Station has 75 ,000 m2 designated to office, hotel and retail.."
  4. Bridging Urbanities: Reflections on Urban Design Page 155 Bauerfiend, Fokdal - 2011 "the area around Berlin's Central Station has remained relatively"
  5. Structural Glass Facades: A Unique Building Technology - Page 11 Patterson - 2008 "An excellent example of this is the Berlin Central Station train shed"
  6. The Face of Africa Chu Ilo "at Berlin Central Train Station"
  7. 21: 30 Old Compton Fair Blue 6 Feet - Page 137 Marco Villa - 2011 "Sjors and I took an ICE train from Berlin Central Station to Zurich, "
  8. Toward Zero Carbon: The Chicago Central Area Decarbonization Plan - Page 117 2011 "7 Berlin Central Station, Berlin Funding There is the potential "
  9. The Electrical Journal - Volume 22 - Page 680 1889 "Engine and Dynamo, Berlin Central Station. (Scale 1 to 48."
  10. ...any more?

Also in brackets:

  1. Berlin: The Spatial Structure of a Divided City - Page 15 Thomas Henry Elkins, ‎Burkhard Hofmeister - 1988 " rebuilding operations is apparently to be Hauptbahnhof Berlin (Berlin Central Station). "

Result, there are only a tiny handful of hits for the current en.wp title among 1000s for "Berlin's central station" indicating that Berlin Hauptbahnhof is the English name. In ictu oculi (talk) 05:02, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

Note that The Electrical Journal is about an electrical power station rather than Berlin Hauptbahnhof (which wouldn't be built for another 117 years), while Berlin: The Spatial Structure of a Divided City is talking about plans to rename Berlin Ostbahnhof. Wheeltapper (talk) 21:10, 8 August 2013 (UTC)


The name of the station is Berlin Hauptbahnhof, that's a fact. And that's how the article should be named!

In german wikipedia we have Grand Central Terminal and not "Große Zentrale Endstation" (which would be the german translation). "proper names" shouldn't be translated! a×pdeHello! 18:01, 5 August 2013 (UTC)

See above; also Talk:Central station and some other places. It's quite tedious. --Redrose64 (talk) 22:38, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
It would still be helpful if User:Bermicourt could address the repeated question above - how many sources in Google Books use the present title? In ictu oculi (talk) 01:24, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
See also the lack of articles named Station of Slavkov u Brna, Rome Spa railway station and New York Central Station. Though there are stations in Blighty with names with foreign origins! Wheeltapper (talk) 13:14, 6 August 2013 (UTC)

Requested move (August 2013)[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: move. -- tariqabjotu 04:56, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

Berlin Central StationBerlin Hauptbahnhof – Wikipedia guidelines WP:useenglish and WP:commonname say we should use the name by which something is usually known in English. Berlin Hauptbahnhof is a proper noun, and the station is generally called Hauptbahnhof in English WP:reliablesources such as the mass media: BBC Bloomberg, The Guardian, the Daily Mail, New York Times, industry media: Railway Gazette International, enthusiast media: Today's Railways, the rail industry: Deutsche Bahn, Rail Team, Rail Europe, travel books: Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, Frommer's, travel information: Thomas Cook timetable. Although examples of the translation "Berlin Main station" or the description "Berlin's central station" do exist in the sources, Hauptbahnhof is the most commonly used form of the name. "Berlin Central Station" is very rarely encountered in English sources (other than those based on Wikipedia), is based on WP:original research, and is confusing and ambiguous. All other railway stations with Wikipedia pages are listed under their real and/or common names, the only exceptions are the German Hauptbahnhofs, which were renamed because this Berlin Hauptbahnhof article was. Wheeltapper (talk) 20:03, 6 August 2013 (UTC)

  • Rename, as nominator
  • Berlin Hauptbahnhof is a proper noun - it is what the thing is officially called, and is the name WP:RS reliable sources use.
  • WP:UE says "use the version of the name of the subject which is most common in the English language, as you would find it in reliable sources" - which is Hauptbahnhof. WP:UE does not tell us to invent new names if the reliable sources all use a foreign term.
  • DB calls the the station Berlin Hauptbahnhof, including in English: Main stations in Germany ... Berlin Hauptbahnhof.
  • If I put "Berlin Central station" into the DB journey planner, it thinks I mean Nijmegen Centraal. If I try "Berlin Central" it offers me "Berlin, Central Hotel (Hotel)".
  • Wikipedia has lots of things which are given their real names rather than specially-invented "English" names: Reichstag (building), Berlin U-Bahn, Berlin S-Bahn, Platz der Luftbrücke, Tierpark Berlin, Rotes Rathaus, Straße des 17. Juni, Führerbunker, Deutsche Reichsbahn, Oktoberfest.
  • Articles about equivalent stations outside Germany use the real names as seen in reliable sources, not newly-invented English names. eg Praha hlavní nádraží, Zürich Hauptbahnhof (attempts to create new Wikipedia-only names for those having failed), Gare du Nord, Gare de Paris-Est, Roma Termini railway station, Bratislava hlavná stanica, Wien Südbahnhof, Pennsylvania Station (New York City).
  • The Guardian: "at a building site near the Hauptbahnhof".[6]
  • The New York Times: I caught the Inter-City Express from Berlin’s Hauptbahnhof early on July 4".[7]
  • CNN: "a construction site near the Hauptbahnhof, the central station."[8] It uses the world central, but only as a description.
  • Deutsche Welle: "near Berlin's main train station" ... "a track of land north of the Berlin Hauptbahnhof"[9]
  • China Daily: "Police cordoned off streets near Berlin's main Hauptbahnhof Railway Station ... traffic disruption as the Hauptbahnhof serves as one of the biggest railway hubs"[10]
  • Even the Daily Mail, the reading material of choice for "wogs begin at Calais" Little Englanders, talks about "the recently completed Hauptbahnhof, all space, glass and dizzying elevations" [11] and "Berlin's wonderful, airy Hauptbahnhof"[12], "the Hauptbahnhof, Berlin's main train station."[13]
  • Google news can't find me any reports with the phrase "Berlin Central station".
  • Railteam, an alliance of major train operators, has a page devoted to "Berlin Hauptbahnhof"[14]
  • The official city of Berlin website has a page on "Station Hauptbahnhof (Central Station)" [15]; it uses Central as a description.
  • Hauptbahnhof does not translate as "central" station, it translates as "main station" - there are stations named Hauptbahnhof which are not central (eg Karlsruhe), and central stations which are not named Hauptbahnhof.
  • Koblenz City Centre Station highlights the absurdity of trying to dream up new and purely "English" names for foreign stations.
  • Signs (obviously!) call the station Berlin Hauptbahnhof.
  • English language timetables (obviously!) call the station Berlin Hauptbahnhof (Thos Cook timetable etc).
  • Rail Europe has a page on "Location, Berlin Hauptbahnhof, Trains to Germany | Rail Europe"[16] which says "Berlin Hauptbahnhof is a relatively new station and Europe's largest rail transfer point"
  • Announcements call the Hauptbahnhof, Hauptbahnhof. If English language announcements do use a translation, it is "Main station" (the translation of Hauptbahnhof, rather than some imagined "equivalent").
  • This is not a Muenchen/Munich or Nuernberg/Nuremberg debate. Almost everyone accepts that Roma is usually called Rome in English, but no-one calls Roma Termini railway station "Rome Spa" (or "Rome Central") just to be "English".
  • WP:UE says "If there is no established English-language treatment for a name, translate it if this can be done without loss of accuracy and with greater understanding for the English-speaking reader." This does not apply, as there is a clearly established usage (Hauptbahnhof) and a loss of accuracy if we create a new "English" name - which isn't even a direct translation.
  • If we don't use the common name, the article then has to start by explaining what it is actually about.
  • Wikipedia neologisms are inconsistent. While a user has changed all Germany's Hbfs in Wikipedia to the ambiguous "Central Station", for other stations Wikipedia uses the real name. Is there any reason to decide that Berlin Hbf would be called Berlin Central were it to be in an English-speaking country, but not dream up English names for Köln Messe/Deutz station?
  • Berlin Ostbahnhof (note use of real name) was called Hauptbahhof for a period. Are we suggesting that it used to be central, but has since moved?
  • Wikipedia doesn't rename all the Union stations in North America as "Central" stations, or rename things like Manchester Piccadilly station, Liverpool Lime Street railway station or Exeter St Davids railway station as "X Central".
  • We don't create new names for airports - we have Berlin Tempelhof Airport not "Berlin Central airport". Berlin Schönefeld Airport even has an umlaut in its name.
  • We currently have a situation where it appears that Hauptbahnhof is a metro station serving something called Central Station.
  • Creating new Wikipedia-only names for stations would be a huge job; who would carry out the original research to chose new names?
  • Lots of other articles link to the real name.
  • The Central station article is basically a list of some random stations in random countries which have the word "central" or a local equivalent in their name, and was being used to push the questionable agenda that every main station is called "Central Station" in English (see its talk page). Some of the stations listed are obscure stopping places, not major hubs of the European transport system.
  • Using names no-one else (except those copying Wikipedia!) uses is confusing for readers who aren't Wikipedia enthusiasts.
TL:DR - We should follow WP:RS and WP:OR and understand the actual wording of WP:UE, by using the station's real and common name: Berlin Hauptbahnhof. Wheeltapper (talk) 20:04, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose. It utterly fails WP:USEENGLISH and any serious research shows that the WP:COMMONNAME is Berlin Central Station. In fact, nearly 1 million hits on google and over 4,000 on google books for Berlin Central Station powerfully suggest this name is now firmly embedded as the leading English name for the station. In addition, Deutsche Bahn (DB), Germany's national rail carrier and owners of the station, refer to it as Berlin Central Station e.g. in their English brochures for business users and on their English website. A host of reliable and authoritative sources - travel firms, international companies, national institutions, etc. - also use it. Of course, as with any German proper name, you can always find English sources that use the original, but that may well be because they don't know how to translate it effectively. Many of the arguments above are misleading, irrelevant, invalid by Wiki guidelines or not factually correct e.g. DB do call their Hauptbahnhöfe "Central Station" when making English announcements and e.g. we are not "creating" new names, we are using commonplace translation like "Berlin Tempelhof Airport", where Flughafen has been translated to Airport and moved to the end (the original is Flughafen Berlin-Tempelhof). Bermicourt (talk) 20:22, 6 August 2013 (UTC)

Sources using Berlin Central Station[edit]

You can't list nigh on a million sources, but here is a small sample to indicate the huge spread of different businesses, travel organisations, authorities and websites that refer to the station as "Berlin Central Station". Many of them are businesses or authorities who have a vested interest in ensuring they get their message across very clearly and unequivocally in English. They know what their audience is going to understand and they call it Berlin Central Station.

So the British tourist, having read those pages, will approach the nearest Berliner and say "Please could you direct me to the Central Station"? The puzzled Berliner will probably say that there isn't one - do you want Friedrichstraße, Hauptbahnhof or Zoologischer Garten? The tourist won't know, because he was misdirected in the first place. Result: lost sale. --Redrose64 (talk) 19:04, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
An interesting hypothetical story, but if the tourist had called this article up on his smartphone he'd recognize the nature of the station (it's Berlin Central i.e. the primary station) and would know the German name from the lede. So absolutely no confusion, thanks to Wikipedia! Bermicourt (talk) 17:07, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
And DB has the most vested interest of any organisation in getting a message across, yet they use Berlin Hauptbahnhof on websites, planners, signs, timetables etc etc! Wheeltapper (talk) 20:45, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
... and DB uses "Berlin Central" with their highest income generators - the business traveller - and on their English train announcements, just to avoid any confusion for English speakers. Their journey planner uses Hauptbahnhof for reasons I've explained (it's a software engine - too complex to include every language) and their website uses both in abundance, but predominantly Berlin Central on their English pages (with exceptions, tis true). You must really balance the argument fairly, even if you come down on one side. Bermicourt (talk) 17:12, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

Deutsche Bahn[edit]

  • Deutsche Bahn - the station's owner and Germany's national carrier e.g.
Except Deutsche Bahn has a dedicated page about the station on the official stations website Station profile > Berlin Hauptbahnhof. This isn't the obscure document above (which I see was produced after the Wikipedia article was moved to the WP:OR name - so could it be a circular reference?), this is the national railway company's own official English-language page on Berlin Hauptbahnhof! And the official DB journey planner, which by definition is aimed at people DB wants as customers, thinks Berlin Central Station is a mistake for a station in the Netherlands.Wheeltapper (talk) 20:45, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
You know full well from previous debates that DB use "Central Station" routinely in their business literature and on their website alongside their use of Hauptbahnhof. And you should also know that a) the reference above is not obscure - it's their regular publication for business users, b) it's not a circular reference - DB have used "Central Station" in their publications for at least a decade as cited in earlier discussions and c) the suggestion that this title is WP:OR is farcical when there are hundreds of thousands of online references to it. Bermicourt (talk) 15:52, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

The City of Berlin[edit]

  • Station Hauptbahnhof (Central Station) says "Berlin Central Station is located close to the government district in the heart of Berlin. The Central Station is also a regional train station and has a direct link to Berlin's S-Bahn network. From there it takes about 10 minutes to get to Alexanderplatz or Station Zoo by S-Bahn."
I see you had to go back and delete "Information about Station Hauptbahnhof (Berlin Central Station) including a city map, opening hours, airport buses and left-luggage offices." Wheeltapper (talk) 20:45, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
I did it for brevity - the text simply reinforces the correct English translation they use. Thank you for pointing this out! Bermicourt (talk) 15:52, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Arrival in Berlin by train says "Travellers arriving in Berlin by train arrive at one of Berlin's main train stations. Almost all trains stop at the Central Station as well. All railway stations have direct links to public transportion." and the caption says "Berlin Central Station"
"Station Hauptbahnhof (Central Station)" [17]; it is using Hauptbahnhof as the name, Central as a description (as an aside, it would an unusual station which didn't have links to public transport!) Wheeltapper (talk) 20:45, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
That's a different page. But thank you for the example which says in the text "Berlin Central Station is located close to the government district in the heart of Berlin." and the caption under a photo of the Hauptbahnhof sign says... "Berlin Central Station"! Bermicourt (talk) 17:20, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

International Berlin organisations and venues[edit]

  • Berlin Tourism & Kongress: Berlin's leading tourist organization that runs the Visit Berlin website: Berlin Central Station
Wow! This German website may have an actual example of "Berlin Central Station"! Wheeltapper (talk) 20:45, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

VBB - the Berlin and Brandenburg Transport Authority[edit]

It's different, I suppose - no-one has yet suggested using "Berlin - Central station" instead of Berlin Hauptbahnhof. Of course if one clicks the button, it actually goes to, yes, you've guessed it, "Berlin Hauptbahnhof"! Wheeltapper (talk) 20:45, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
Again proving the direct correlation between the two that some are so anxious to disprove. Bermicourt (talk) 15:52, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

Tourist companies[edit]

Lonely Planet and Rough Guides and Frommer's use Berlin Hauptbahnhof. Wheeltapper (talk) 20:45, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
They do, and at last we can have a sensible debate about sources. Bermicourt (talk) 15:52, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

Rail companies[edit]

  • Deutsche Bahn - see above
Uses Berlin Hauptbahnhof in customer-facing publications. Has a webpage on Berlin Hauptbahnhof. Doesn't recognise Berlin Central Station as a specific place. Railteam, an alliance of major train operators, has a page devoted to "Berlin Hauptbahnhof" Wheeltapper (talk) 20:45, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
My links show otherwise. Yes DB has one webpage on Berlin Hauptbahnhof, but many others and their business publications use Berlin Central. And don't mislead our readers that DB "doesn't recognize Berlin Central" - that's only the routeplanner software which, of course, is only in German. In sum, many of their official publications and web pages use Berlin Central Station - please acknowledge this as I have acknowledged your references. Bermicourt (talk) 15:52, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
Direct quote: "From Berlin Schönefeld Airport there are train connections to Berlin Hauptbahnhof (Central Station)". They clearly realise there is no station called Central. Wheeltapper (talk) 20:45, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
That is highly misleading. The very sentence before says "Berlin: from Berlin Tegel Airport there is a frequent bus service to Berlin Central Station." How did you miss that?! And the sentence you quote simply verifies that Hauptbahnhof = "Central Station" - what could be clearer? It's the acceptable English name. It's even capitalized for us. Bermicourt (talk) 15:52, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
Direct quote from that page, which has the title "Location. Berlin Hauptbahnhof..." "Berlin Hauptbahnhof is a relatively new station and Europe's largest rail transfer point. .... Berlin Hauptbahnhof was opened in May 2006..."Wheeltapper (talk) 20:45, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
But notice the title... "Berlin Central Station"! Bermicourt (talk) 17:31, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

National and international institutions[edit]

  • The Goethe Institute, a national cultural institution that specializes in language/translation: [18]
"Berlin central station" no capitals, so again it is a description. See also "Main train station"[19] Wheeltapper (talk) 20:45, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
The capitalization is really irrelevant. The point is, it's not hauptbahnhof. And unless it is bad English (unlikely from a language institution) it is not a description - that would be Berlin's central station. But in any case, here's another example on their website using full capitalization: Play On! Four Years of the New Music Network which says "Such was the terse statement of a passer-by who found himself confronted at the Berlin Central Station by unfamiliar sounds."
"Berlin Central Station (Hauptbahnhof) ... The central station...". Almost there, but still uses the common name so people know which station it means. Wheeltapper (talk) 20:45, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
And they use Central Station or central station 5 times without mentioning Hauptbahnhof, which simply reinforces the common English name and term. Bermicourt (talk) 15:52, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
"By train to Berlin Central Station (Berlin Hbf.)." Once again, they also use the common name. Wheeltapper (talk) 20:45, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
Yes the common name is first again. Bermicourt (talk) 15:52, 13 August 2013 (UTC)


"Berlin Central station" (note no capital). Wheeltapper (talk) 20:45, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
Irrelevant. It's not Hbf. Bermicourt (talk) 15:52, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
Where does it name the station? (And Ryanair?! Maybe we should get the page on Charleroi renamed "Brussels South"?!) Wheeltapper (talk) 20:45, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
It's there. Bermicourt (talk) 15:52, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

Architectural and engineering companies or sites[edit]

Please can you be more specific about which cited reliable sources you feel are misleading and irrelevant and not factually correct?

"Berlin Central Station" is a clear breach of wp:commonname and wp:useenglish (which is not "do not use foreign names"). Many of the Google Books entries with Central "primarily consists of articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online" and therefore useless as reliable sources, or are references to "Berlin's central station" so don't support "Berlin Central Station" as the name, or are even talking about things like "Bahnhof Zoo, then West Berlin's central station" (which has an article called Berlin Zoologischer Garten railway station). For Wikipedia purposes it doesn't matter whether someone thinks publishers like Lonely Planet[20] or Rough Guides[21] do not know how to translate, what matters is what such reliable sources do use - Hauptbahnhof. Whatever DB's "English brochures for business users" might be (I've used DB on business a fair few times without knowingly getting one!), DB refers to Berlin Hauptbahnhof as Berlin Hauptbahnhof in its passenger-facing website Station profile > Berlin Hauptbahnhof, while DB's passenger information system doesn't even recognise "Berlin Central" as referring to Berlin Hauptbahnhof, DB thinks it is a hotel. It is not possible to buy a ticket or catch a train to or from a Berlin Central Station - just ask Railteam.[22] DB's on-train announcements seem to use "Hauptbahnhof" or "Main station" at random, sometimes in the same announcement, although I'm not sure those could really be considered a wp:reliablesource for English usage (I understand "Senk ju vor träwelling" as heard in this recording of a "Börlin Meehnsteehschn to Cologne Meehnsteehschn" train[23] is seen as a bit of a joke). Berlin Tempelhof is not translated to "Berlin Templers' Property"(?) or called "Berlin Central airport" or given the equivalent name "Berlin Croydon Air Port", instead Wikipedia follows English sources and uses the German name, just like with the Berlin U-Bahn, Berlin S-Bahn, Rotes Rathaus and Straße des 17. Juni. I see we have Ich bin ein Berliner rather than either "I am a citizen of Berlin" or the other possibility. Wheeltapper (talk) 21:46, 6 August 2013 (UTC)

  • Support - per WP:CRITERIA, same as previous RMs, the title "Berlin Central Station" fails WP:COMMONNAME in spades. User:Bermicourt continues to make incorrect and misleading posts counting hits for "Berlin's central station" (which indicates that it is not a name) with "Berlin Central Station." The claim above of " over 4,000 on google books" is so far from the actual count, and this has been pointed out so many times before that to make such a claim is bordering on WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT. There is a count above, it is isn't complete, but it looks like 10-15 fairly random passing mentions, largely in papers rather than books, a tiny tiny minority of Google Book hits. Most amusing hit is KI 2008: Advances in Artificial Intelligence Page 58 2008 where there is a Google test ("3.1 Experiments with IdexExtractor We built a test corpus of documents related to the topic “Berlin Hauptbahnhof” by sending queries describing the topic (e.g., “ Berlin Hauptbahnhof”, “Berlin central station”) to Google and downloading the ...") exactly on the subject of this RM and the testers didn't even consider the en.wp title in the queries. In ictu oculi (talk) 05:04, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Support rename let's get it over with. --Redrose64 (talk) 07:41, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Support per all above. Lukeno94 (tell Luke off here) 11:58, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Support per WP:COMMONNAME -- Agathoclea (talk) 13:40, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. It is the common name, for heaven's sake. We do our readers no favours at all by arbitrarily translating well established proper names into something that the locals probably will not recognise. If we need to explain what Hauptbahnhof means, then lets do that in the article. -- chris_j_wood (talk) 15:00, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
    • Comment and still not a single shred of evidence to back the claim that Berlin Hauptbahnhof is the most commonly used name in English sources... I was neutral until I started researching this and was surprised to find Berlin Central being so widely used. I have to go with the evidence (see above for just a tiny selection)... Bermicourt (talk) 15:05, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
User:Bermicourt what number does clicking THIS produce on your PC? Is it more than 15? In ictu oculi (talk) 15:44, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
Second question for User:Bermicourt, alternative comparison, narrowed by the string "" : A. How many for this? compared to B. How many for this?. Please click and count. How many do you get on your PC for A. vs. B. ?? In ictu oculi (talk) 15:56, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose "berlin central station" -wikipedia produced just shy of 4200 hits [24] and "Berlin Hauptbahnhof" -wikipedia 3000 hits.[25] Descriptive title or not, it does seem to be the most common.--Labattblueboy (talk) 20:12, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Please read some of the Support !votes for reasons why the "Berlin Central Station" is based on flawed evidence. Lukeno94 (tell Luke off here) 20:49, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
Google counts include things like Western Electrician,Continental electric light central stations and The Electrical Review's C19th articles on power generation, or phrases like "its new Berlin central station, the Lehrter Bahnhof", "Bahnhof Zoo, then West Berlin's central station", "Berlin's central station – Hauptbahnhof". Wheeltapper (talk) 20:58, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
User:Labattblueboy, how many of your 4200 results are for "Berlin's central station" (apostrophe 's small letters) and how many for "Berlin Central Station"? (I just clicked your search and only the same 15 were for the current title). Google does not distinguish apostrophe 's unless you tell it to. In ictu oculi (talk) 00:38, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
Comes to a near even 3K under search term "berlin central station" -wikipedia -"Berlin's central station"[26]. Leaving, at least in terms of books somewhere close to even in terms of numbers. I am also not convinced that Berlin Hauptbahnhof is what users are inputting at as search term. Further, only a quarter of the article's hits are coming through the Berlin Hauptbahnhof redirect (see [27] vs [28]). In either case, I didn't feel there was the blowout difference and certainly didn't feel that the current term is rarely used. Thus status quo seems best.--Labattblueboy (talk) 02:05, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
But many of those "central station" search results are not actually referring to (the current) Berlin Hauptbahnhof. They are about different stations, or even power stations. Wheeltapper (talk) 08:25, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
Hi User:Labattblueboy. Yes there are many with no caps. But how many are capitalised "Berlin Central Station"? Is it more than 15? As per the list above I could only find 9, on the benefit of the doubt I'm assuming many 6 more are in there somewhere. Did you find any to add to the list of 9 that I missed? In ictu oculi (talk) 09:45, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
Capitalization is irrelevant. As stated before if the common name in English is descriptive than that's the most appropriate. Wheeltapper's comment regarding electrical stations skewing results is more relevant, I modified my search to: "berlin central station" -wikipedia, -"Berlin's central station", -"power station", -"Electrician" -"electrical review" which gave me 2,100 hits.[29]. I also refined my Berlin Hauptbahnhof search to "Berlin Hauptbahnhof" -wikipedia in english only and recieved 1,950 hits[30]. So, I still find myself close to the same. That being said, I am interested to know how the search results could be improved to remove any other different stations--Labattblueboy (talk) 17:42, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

...........Sorry but which guideline supports the conclusion that capitalization is irrelevant? Capitalization is the difference between titling an article London main airport and Heathrow Airport isn't it? In ictu oculi (talk) 01:01, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

The better question would be what guidelines provide you to consider capitalization as a discriminating factor. WP:CAPITALIZATION provides for words and phrases that are consistently capitalized in sources to be treated as proper names and capitalized, not that they must be capitalized.--Labattblueboy (talk) 19:08, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
Simply English language capitalization; hence we have article names Central Park not central park, Central Synagogue not central synagogue, Philosophy Hall, The Round House, Broadcasting House, Western House, Fan Museum, Red Meat not red meat, and in music innumerable examples Air Traffic, Bad Books, Big High, Black Cards, Diving for Pearls, Dead Men Walking, Factory Floor, How We Live, The Rain, The Modern Art, Mama's Boys, Kiss of the Gypsy, Cream of the Crop, Another Voyage.... In ictu oculi (talk) 21:09, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
Even your filtered search above still contain lots of power station sources, and references to different railway stations such as Zoo. Looking at what the sources actually are rather than just the raw numbers finds Hauptbahnhof is used by sources like The Rough Guide to Berlin, Lonely Planet Germany, Germany For Dummies, Frommer's Berlin Day By Day, DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Berlin, PastFinder Berlin 1945-1989: Traces of German History, Watch the Road: Solving Transport Issues in Sprawling Cities (hmm, there's a new one: it says "Berlin Hauptbahnhof (crossing station)"), which are perhaps more relevant examples of what modern sources call the modern railway station than ancient electrical discussions which happen to contain the phrase. Google Books says "Living in Berlin" use "central" - however the snippet view suggests it is talking about West Berlin, which never(?) had a Zentral/Hbf, and it also seems to mention a Moscow - London train! Capitalisation is relevant, as there are phrases like "The new Berlin central station completed in 2006 was a rather special case", which doesn't explicitly name the station (there are examples of "Birmingham central station" online, but that is hardly evidence that it is not called Birmingham New Street railway station!). Wheeltapper (talk) 18:41, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
I'm certainly not going to avoid employing a more systematic comparison although do acknowledge that there are false positives (as is the case in any systematic approach) That being said, it hasn't been show that the propose title is more common, at least I remain unconvinced. Guide books aren't exactly the most appropriate choice of sources to cite en mass in this case because they exist for the purpose of allowing individuals to navigate a foreign place, often with language differences. One would expect them to employ local terms. Likewise, I don't see capitalization as a topic of concern and ignore it (I don't think we'll see eye to eye on that one) In summary, show me a systematic approach (search results) that demonstrates common name and I'd likely concede. With that in mind Google Scholar put the two terms at even (without any power station issues).[31][32].--Labattblueboy (talk) 19:08, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
Try media sources like (modern-day) newspapers and magazines; there was a recent news story where the English-language media generally used Hauptbahnhof - see "Two World Wars And One World Cup, yet even the British media use the real name" above. We should probably be careful of any sources published before the name of the station was finalised - closer inspection shows that some of the Google Scholar sources cited for "central" actually make the case for "Lehrter", which was a strong candidate for what the station might have been called. Notably, the Hauptbahnhof references are all about the Hauptbahnhof, while the central ones are more varied (power stations, other stations). Wheeltapper (talk) 09:17, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
Once again, if you're not going to provide a countering systematic response (ie search results) I really don't see me changing my position. Tearing down my presented does identify flaw (which I have agreed were likely) it simply indicates that my results are imperfect not that this move is appropriate.--Labattblueboy (talk) 19:08, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
I've provided lots of sources for the use of Berlin Hauptbahnhof in contemporary English reliable sources (see above, passim).
If we restrict the Google Scholar search to things published in English 2006-2013 (so from the opening and finalisation of the name in 2006, avoiding any issues with C19th power stations and the real-world naming debate), I get 57 results for "berlin hauptbahnhof" -wikipedia and 41 for "berlin central station" -"berlin's central station" -wikipedia. A skim over the results suggest there are no spurious hits, although some sources use both: " a test corpus of documents related to the topic “Berlin Hauptbahnhof” by sending queries describing the topic (eg, “Berlin Hauptbahnhof”, “Berlin central station”), "in Berlin (Central Station [Hauptbahnhof])". One BCS only appears in instructions on how to get to a conference; if we are rejecting travel sources we should probably reject that, however if we are to accept it, wouldn't more mainstream sources such as DB, Railteam, Lonely Planet, Rough Guides and Thomas Cook be accepted as sources? Using "berlin central station" -wikipedia -"berlin's central station" -hauptbahnhof (trying to filter out ones actually using Hauptbahnhof as the name) produces 35 results, a number of which are multiple papers by the same authors on the same subjects. I note that the Scholar sources are all pretty obscure compared to something like The Guardian, New York Times or Daily Mail. Wheeltapper (talk) 22:05, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Support rename for all those reasons mentioned above. Hauptbahnhof is not misleading, Central station is (or at least it is much more likely to). Kleeblatt187 (talk) 21:44, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The current title is in Wikipedia’s standard format for German train station names, which is a variation of the format we use for non-English station names in general. So it should be retained unless some other name is overwhelmingly more common in the RS. I found 3,170 English-language GBook hits for current title, 2,020 for the proposed title. The argument that the hits for ”Berlin Central Station” and “Berlin central station” should be counted separately is a most peculiar one -- the issue here is whether or not it is common practice to translate the term “Hauptbahnhof" for benefit of English speakers. "If there is no established English-language treatment for a name, translate it if this can be done without loss of accuracy and with greater understanding for the English-speaking reader," as WP:UE says. Any German-English dictionary will tell you that "Hauptbahnhof" translates as "central station." CheeseNotSwiss (talk) 00:21, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
NB. The above is another obvious sock Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Kauffner. In ictu oculi (talk) 00:58, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
Actually, the online Collins German to English dictionary ( tells me that Hauptbahnhof means main station. -- chris_j_wood (talk) 13:29, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
And in any case, wouldn't using a German to English dictionary, rather than following reliable English-language sources, be an obvious case of WP:ORIGINALRESEARCH? Wheeltapper (talk) 09:09, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
@Chris J Wood. You'll probably find that bigger or more technical dictionaries translate Hauptbahnhof as both "central station" and "main station" - see Ernst's Wörterbuch der Industriellen Technik and Langenscheidt's biggest German-English dictionary, the so-called "Muret-Sanders". Also see the online] which incidentally has entries for Cologne Central Station and Nuremberg Central Station.
@Wheeltapper. I wouldn't call it WP:OR, but neither is a dictionary directly relevant - it will translate the generic use of the term not the name of a given station. That said, the two are not unrelated, clearly. Bermicourt (talk) 20:54, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

More business and academic sources for Berlin Central Station[edit]

Here is yet further evidence of the widespread and authoritative use of the current title, "Berlin Central Station":

Deutsche Bahn[edit]

  • Straight from train to meeting: the conference centre at Berlin Central - DB Business Travel news, Spring 2012, which goes on to say "It is always important for business travellers to be able to work flexibly and professionally and to hold meetings at different places. The Excellent Business Center at Berlin Central is a new model for the mobile working world which is sure to catch on fast, as it offers a professional and more private alternative to the hotel foyer. The light and airy rooms are located on the eighth floor of the “gantry building”, directly above the Berlin Central station at Europaplatz square, and can be rented by the hour."

Other sources[edit]

  • Experiences with Advanced Air-Rail Passenger Intermodality – The Case of Germany by Wolfgang Grimme, German Aerospace Center, 2007, which states "Also problematic is the concentration of investment efforts into prestigious projects, such as the new high speed lines Frankfurt-Cologne and Munich-Nuremburg, both with an operational speed of 300kph the fastest lines in Germany and the new Berlin Central Station, while aside the trunk routes and main stations regional services in wide areas are chronically delayed by low speed points and a low track quality."
  • 50th ICCA Congress 2011 - directions to the ICCA conference: "The train ride from Berlin Central Station to Leipzig takes one hour, and trains are leaving every hour during daytime."
  • Changing the Conversation - Fresh Perspectives on the Policy, Business, Operations, and Design of High-speed Rail in America, a paper by the University of Pennsylvania, 2010, states: "As for the stations themselves, Section 13 presents a two-fold comparison of recently constructed or renovated high-speed stations in Europe—notably London St. Pancras and Berlin Central Station—and railway stations from America’s past and future."
  • The Convenience and Efficiency of the German Train System at Tech & Science, the online technical news portal, states "Beautiful modern facilities like the Berlin Central Station usher travelers onto mostly new trains which keep busy schedules and are very punctual." Yes it uses both names later on too...
  • Rail News Center, the online "News Center Of Railway News" states: "Since 1997, DB has equipped railway station roofs at Uelzen, Hamelin and the Berlin Central Station with solar PV plants."
  • Service References by GIRA, the building technology supplier for the station has an entire article on "Berlin Central Station" with frequent references e.g. "The architecture of the Berlin Central Station is delicate, spacious and bathed in light."

I have now supplied a comprehensive list of sources using Berlin Central, but have not yet seen anything like the same weight of evidence for Berlin Hbf. I absolutely acknowledge there are sources that use the latter - thanks to IIO and Wheeltapper who have referred to a few - but they're not enough IMHO to warrant a move based on reliable sources rather than straight votes. Bermicourt (talk) 20:54, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

  • Not convincing. Particularly as someone pointed out that "Berlin Central Station" is a mistranslation. Lukeno94 (tell Luke off here) 21:00, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.


User:Bermicourt, at 12:59 to 13:07, 7 August 2013 you notified 5 Users of this RM. Can you explain here your reason for selecting those 5 Users while not notifying editors such as User:Jared Preston and User:filelakeshoe who opposed the move in an earlier RM ? In ictu oculi (talk) 16:08, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

User:Bermicourt, what is your reply to this? In ictu oculi (talk) 00:38, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
User:Bermicourt - if you have the time to repeat yourself with this you have the time, and owe it to other editors, to explain the above. In ictu oculi (talk) 17:40, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
I was not aware of WP:CANVASSING. I've often been notified of movereqs in the past and thought I was simply doing the same. I assumed as long as the notification was neutral (which it was) that was fine. I'm sorry if I was meant to inform everyone, but please crack on and let them know if you wish. The case should stand or fall on the relative merits of sources against WP:COMMONNAME, WP:USEENGLISH and other relevant guidelines. Hope that helps. Bermicourt (talk) 17:52, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
Okay, thanks for explanation, if you didn't know then no problem. Only 1 commented and that has been struck as a sockpuppet. At this point there doesn't seem to be any need to also notify the other editors who supported Hauptbahnhof before, as the above is pretty near a WP:SNOW result even without them. 18:18, 13 August 2013 (UTC)


Whilst I accept the result of the recent move request to Berlin Hauptbahnhof, I have been trying to find an accurate form of words to reflect the widespread English use of Berlin Central, backed by sources, but each time my edits are being reverted or modified to change the sense. I wish to avoid an edit war, so I am raising the issue here for discussion.

I believe there is still a case for recording real English usage in the lede. An admittedly quick and dirty review of online sources reveals the following statistics based on the exact words shown in all languages (i.e. no filtering to give English sources only and no distinction being made for capitalization):

  • "Berlin Hauptbahnhof": 820k online hits, 3,440 books
  • "Berlin Central Station": 953k online hits, 4,320 books
  • "Berlin Main Station": 256k online hits, 120 books
  • "Berlin Main Train Station": 141k online hits, 136 books
  • "Berlin Central Train Station": 85k online hits, 34 books
  • "Berlin Central Railway Station": 153k online hits, 92 books
  • "Berlin Main Railway Station": 221k online hits, 40 books
The point is that, apart from Berlin Hauptbahnhof which is the new title, Berlin Central Station appears to be head and shoulders the most common alternative name used and ought to be given credit in the lede, without any caveat about "translation" or "some sources". There may also be a case for "Berlin Main Station", probably caveated with "some sources also use...". But, no question, Berlin Central Station ought to be there. --Bermicourt (talk) 19:19, 15 August 2013 (UTC)

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Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Berlin Hauptbahnhof/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Very close to GA level. Needs more references

Last edited at 05:00, 14 August 2013 (UTC). Substituted at 06:21, 7 May 2016 (UTC)

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