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Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof


Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof

For the station in Frankfurt (Oder), see Frankfurt (Oder) railway station.
Frankfurt (Main) Hauptbahnhof
Db-schild.svg Template:ÖPNV München Template:ÖPNV München Template:ÖPNV München
Category 1
Type Terminal station
Platforms in use

  • 24 mainline
  • 4 S-Bahn (Tiefbahnhof)
  • 4 U-Bahn (3 for passengers)
  • 3 × 2 Tram
Daily trains

  • 342 long distance[1]
  • 290 regional[1]
  • 1100 S-Bahn[1]
Daily entry/exit 350,000 daily[1]
DS100 code FF
Station code 1866
Construction and location
Opened 18 August 1888
Style of architecture Renaissance revival (facade), Neoclassicism (extensions)
Architect Hermann Eggert and Johann Wilhelm Schwedler
Location Frankfurt
State Hesse
Country Germany
Home page

50°6′25″N 8°39′45″E / 50.10694°N 8.66250°E / 50.10694; 8.66250

Route information
List of railway stations in Hesse

Frankfurt (Main) Hauptbahnhof (German for Frankfurt (Main) main station), often abbreviated as Frankfurt (Main) Hbf and sometimes translated as Frankfurt central station[2], is the busiest railway station in Frankfurt, Germany.[3] The name affix „Main“ comes from the city's full name, Frankfurt am Main. In terms of railway traffic, Frankfurt (Main) Hauptbahnhof is the busiest railway station in Germany. With about 350,000 passengers per day the station is the second most frequented railway station in Germany and one of the most frequented in Europe.


19th century

In the late 19th century, three stations connected Frankfurt to the west, north and south, the

Those three stations were placed beside each other on the then Gallustor (today: Willy-Brandt-Platz).

Building the new station

This situation was considered impracticable due to rising passenger figures in the 19th century, so plans were laid out as early as 1866. At first, a large scale station with up to 34 platforms was considered, then the number got reduced to 18. Post and baggage handlings had their own underground facilities, and the city council demanded the station to be moved further away from the city. In the end, in 1881, the German architect Hermann Eggert won the design contest for the station hall, his runner-up in the contest, Johann Wilhelm Schwedler was made chief engineer for the steel-related works. The new station was placed about 1 km to the west of the first three stations. The platforms were covered by three iron-and-glass halls.

The station opens

The station was built by the contractor Philipp Holzmann with construction starting in 1883.[4] The Central-Bahnhof Frankfurt was finally opened on 18 August 1888. Right on the evening of the opening day, a train ran over the buffer stop and the locomotive was damaged. Over the course of the next few years, the area eastward of the new station, the Bahnhofsviertel was built up, finishing around 1900. Until the completion of Leipzig Hauptbahnhof in 1915, Frankfurt station was the largest in Europe.

Later extensions

In 1924 two neoclassical halls were added on each side of the main hall, increasing the number of platforms to 24. During World War II, the building was partly damaged (most notably the windows in the halls covering the platforms). In 1956 the station was fully electrified. One year later, Europe's then-largest signal box was commissioned, which, having been built in a contemporary style of the time has now become a listed building.

Starting with the construction of the B-Tunnel for the Frankfurt U-Bahn facilities in 1971, a subterranean level was added in front of the main building, featuring the city's first public escalator and including a large shopping mall, one station each for the U-Bahn and S-Bahn trains, an air raid shelter and a public car park. The subterranean stations were opened in 1978 and were built in the cut and cover method, which involved the demolition of the second northern hall and rebuilding it after the stations were completed.

Between 2002 and 2006, the roof construction, which is a listed building, was renovated. This involved the exchange of aged steel girders, reinstallation of windows that were replaced by panels after World War II and a general clean-up of the hall construction.

The operational part of the station is being remodeled as well; the old signal box has been recently replaced with an electronic signal box. This was vital to improve capacity of the station. The new signal box became operational in late 2005 and will allow faster speeds into the station (up to 60 km/h) after the remodelling of the tracks.


The appearance of the station is divided into perron (track hall) and vestibule (reception hall). Dominant in those parts built in 1888 are neorenaissance features, the outer two halls, added in 1924 follow the style of neoclassicism. The eastern façade of the vestibule features a large clock with two symbolic statues for day and night. Above the clock, the word Hauptbahnhof and the Deutsche Bahn logo are situated.

The roof of the front hall carries a monumental statue of Atlas supporting the World on his shoulder, in this case assisted by two allegorical figures representing Iron and Steam.

Operational usage

In brief
Total number of tracks: 120
Number of passenger tracks
above ground:
24 main line,
1 branch,
3 tramway stations,
2 tracks each
below ground: 4 S-Bahn tracks,
4 Stadtbahn tracks
(3 in usage)
342 long-distance
290 regional
(excluding Stadtbahn and tramway)

The station's terminal layout has posed some unique problems ever since the late 20th century, since all trains have to change directions and reverse out of the station to continue on to their destination. This causes long turn-around times and places the passengers in the opposite direction of where they had been sitting. There have been several attempts to change this. The last project, called Frankfurt 21, was to put the whole station underground, connect it with tunnels also to the east, and so avoid the disadvantages of the terminal layout. This would be financed by selling the air rights over the area now used for tracks as building ground for skyscraper, but this soon proved unrealistic, and the project was abandoned.

Frankfurt is the third-busiest railway station outside of Japan and the busiest in Germany.

Long distance trains

As for long-distance traffic, the station profits greatly from its location in the heart of Europe; 13 of the 24 ICE lines call at the station, as well as 2 of the 3 ICE Sprinter lines. To ease the strain on the Hauptbahnhof, some ICE lines now call at Frankfurt Airport station and at Frankfurt (Main) Süd instead at the central station.

Preceding station   Deutsche Bahn   Following station
toward Munich Hbf
ICE 11
reverses out
toward Zurich Hbf
ICE 12
reverses out
ICE 20
reverses out
toward Kiel
toward Basel SBB
toward Stuttgart
ICE 22
reverses out
toward Kiel
ICE 31
reverses out
toward Munich Hbf or Regensburg Hbf
toward Basel SBB
toward Dortmund
ICE 41
reverses out
toward Munich Hbf
toward Cologne Hbf
ICE 49 Terminus
toward Wiesbaden
ICE 50
reverses out
toward Magdeburg Hbf or Dresden Hbf
toward Saarbrücken
ICE 78 Terminus
ICE 79
toward Paris Est
toward Zurich Hbf
ICE 87
toward Dortmund
ICE 91
reverses out
toward Wien Westbf
toward Konstanz
IC 26
reverses out
toward Ostseebad Binz
toward Hamburg-Altona/Kiel Hbf/Puttgarden
IC/EC 31
reverses out
toward Passau
toward Ostseebad Binz or Dresden Hbf
IC 50 Terminus
toward Salzburg
IC/EC 62

There are also long-distance night trains from Frankfurt, e.g. to Copenhagen, Berlin, Prague, Amsterdam, Zurich, Paris and Rome.[5]

Regional trains

Main article: List of rail services of the Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund

With regard to regional traffic, Frankfurt Hbf is the main hub in the RMV network, offering connections to Koblenz, Limburg, Kassel, Nidda, Stockheim, Siegen, Fulda, Gießen, Aschaffenburg, Würzburg, Mannheim, Heidelberg, Dieburg, Eberbach, Worms and Saarbrücken with fifteen regional lines calling at the main station.

Line Route
RE 20 Frankfurt (Main) Hbf – Frankfurt-HöchstNiedernhausen (Taunus)Limburg (Lahn)
RE 30 Frankfurt (Main) Hbf – Friedberg (Hess)GießenMarburg (Lahn)Treysa – Wabern (Bz Kassel) – Kassel
RE 40 Frankfurt (Main) Hbf – Friedberg (Hess) – Gießen – WetzlarDillenburgHaigerSiegen
RE 50 Frankfurt (Main) Hbf – Frankfurt SouthOffenbachHanauFulda
RE 55 Frankfurt (Main) Hbf/Frankfurt Airport Regional station – Offenbach – Hanau – AschaffenburgWürzburg (– Nuremberg)
RE 60 Frankfurt (Main) Hbf – DarmstadtBensheimWeinheim (Bergstr)Mannheim
RE 64 Frankfurt (Main) Hbf – Offenbach – Hanau – BabenhausenGroß-Umstadt Wiebelsbach (– Erbach (Odenw))
RE 70 Frankfurt (Main) Hbf – Groß Gerau-Dornberg – Riedstadt-GoddelauGernsheimBiblis – Mannheim
RE 80 Frankfurt (Main) Hbf – Frankfurt Airport Regional station – RüsselsheimMainzBingenKoblenz/Bad KreuznachSaarbrücken
RB 55 Frankfurt (Main) Hbf – Frankfurt South – Frankfurt EastMaintal Ost – Hanau – Aschaffenburg
SE 10 Frankfurt (Main) Hbf – Frankfurt-Höchst – Wiesbaden – Rüdesheim (Rhein) – Koblenz – Neuwied
SE 12 Frankfurt (Main) Hbf – Frankfurt-Höchst – KelkheimKönigstein (Taunus)
SE 15 Frankfurt (Main) Hbf – Bad HomburgFriedrichsdorfWehrheimNeu-AnspachUsingenGrävenwiesbachBrandoberndorf
SE 20 Frankfurt (Main) Hbf – Frankfurt-Höchst – Niedernhausen (Taunus) – Limburg (Lahn)
SE 30 Frankfurt (Main) Hbf – Friedberg (Hess) – Butzbach – Gießen – Marburg (Lahn) – CölbeKirchhain (Bz Kassel)StadtallendorfNeustadt – Treysa
SE 32 Frankfurt (Main) Hbf – Friedberg (Hess) – BeienheimReichelsheim (Wetterau)Nidda
SE 34 Frankfurt (Main) Hbf – Bad Vilbel – Niederdorfelden – NidderauAltenstadt (Hess)Glauburg-Stockheim
SE 40 Frankfurt (Main) Hbf – Friedberg (Hess) – Butzbach – Gießen – Wetzlar – Herborn (Dillkr) – Dillenburg
SE 50 Frankfurt (Main) Hbf – Offenbach (Main) Hbf – Hanau – LangenselboldGelnhausenWächtersbach (– Bad Soden-Salmünster)
SE 60 Frankfurt (Main) Hbf – Darmstadt – Bensheim – Heppenheim (Bergstr) – Weinheim (Bergstr) – Heidelberg
SE 61 Frankfurt (Main) Hbf – Dreieich-Buchschlag – Rödermark-Ober Roden – Dieburg
SE 65 Frankfurt (Main) Hbf – Darmstadt NordReinheim (Odenw) – Groß-Umstadt Wiebelsbach – Erbach (Odenw)


Main article: Frankfurt Central underground station

The subterranean S-Bahn station is the most important station in the S-Bahn Rhein-Main network, used by all Frankfurt S-Bahn lines, except line S 7, which terminates at the surface station.

Line Route
S7Frankfurt S7.svg Frankfurt (Main) Hbf – Walldorf (Hess) – Mörfelden – Groß Gerau-Dornberg – Riedstadt-Goddelau
Preceding station   Rhine-Main S-Bahn   Following station
toward Riedstadt-Goddelau
S7Frankfurt S7.svg Terminus

Local services

Tram connections are offered by TraffiQ, with tram lines 11 and 12 (station Hauptbahnhof/Münchner Straße), 16, 17, 20, 21 and the Ebbelwei-Expreß. The lines U4 and U5 call at the subterranean Stadtbahn stop.

Preceding station   Frankfurt U-Bahn   Following station
toward Bockenheimer Warte
U4Frankfurt U4.svg
toward Enkheim
Terminus U5Frankfurt U5.svg
toward Preungesheim



  • Bundesbahndirektion Frankfurt am Main: Abfahrt 1888, Ankunft 1988: 100 Jahre Hauptbahnhof Frankfurt am Main, HESTRA-Verlag, Darmstadt 1988, ISBN 3-7771-0215-6
  • Rödel, Volker. Der Hauptbahnhof zu Frankfurt am Main. Aufstieg, Fall und Wiedergeburt eines Großstadtbahnhofs = Arbeitshefte des Landesamtes für Denkmalpflege Hessen 8, Stuttgart 2006.
  • Setzepfandt, Wolf-Christian. Architekturführer Frankfurt am Main. 3. Auflage. Dietrich Reimer Verlag, Berlin August 2002, ISBN 3-496-01236-6, S. 33.
  • Schomann, Heinz. Der Frankfurter Hauptbahnhof. Ein Beitrag zur Architektur- und Eisenbahngeschichte der Gründerzeit, 1983, ISBN 3-421-02801-X

External links

  • Panorama at the Central Station Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof
  • Offizieller Plan des Frankfurter Hauptbahnhofes

Coordinates: 50°06′25″N 8°39′45″E / 50.10694°N 8.66250°E / 50.10694; 8.66250

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