Frankfurt (Main) Hauptbahnhof

For the station in Frankfurt (Oder), see Frankfurt (Oder) railway station.
Frankfurt (Main) Hauptbahnhof
Terminal station
Location Frankfurt, Hesse
Coordinates 50°6′25″N 8°39′45″E / 50.10694°N 8.66250°E / 50.10694; 8.66250
  • 24 mainline (26 tracks on one level)
  • 4 S-Bahn (Tiefbahnhof)
  • 4 U-Bahn (3 for passengers)
  • 3 × 2 Tram
Architect Hermann Eggert and Johann Wilhelm Schwedler
Architectural style
Other information
Station code 1866
DS100 codeFF
Opened 18 August 1888 (1888-08-18)
Passengers 450,000 daily

Frankfurt (Main) Hauptbahnhof (German for Frankfurt (Main) main station), often abbreviated as Frankfurt (Main) Hbf and sometimes translated as Frankfurt central station,[1] is the busiest railway station in Frankfurt, Germany.[1] 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 450,000 passengers per day the station is the second most frequented railway station in Germany (together with Munich Hauptbahnhof and behind Hamburg Hauptbahnhof) and among the five 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

A postcard image of the Hauptbahnhof circa 1915

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

View through the platform hall of the station

The station was built by the contractor Philipp Holzmann with construction starting in 1883.[2] 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. As of today (2014), the 24 platforms with 26 tracks on one level make it probably the world's largest one-level railway hall.

Later extensions

The 1957 signal box

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.


A detailed view of Frankfurt Am Main Hauptbahnhof's facade

The appearance of the station is divided into perron (track hall) and vestibule (reception hall). Dominant in those parts built in 1888 are Neo-Renaissance 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:
26 (24 main line, 2 branch)
3 tramway stations (2 tracks each)
below ground: 4 S-Bahn tracks,
4 Stadtbahn tracks (3 in usage)
Daily trains:
(excluding Stadtbahn & tramway)
342 long-distance
290 regional
Passengers (daily): 350,000

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 Japan and the busiest in Germany.

Long distance services

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 of Hauptbhanhof.

Preceding station   Deutsche Bahn   Following station
towards Munich Hbf
ICE 11
reverses out
ICE 12
reverses out
ICE 20
reverses out
towards Kiel Hbf
towards Basel SBB
towards Stuttgart Hbf
ICE 22
reverses out
towards Kiel Hbf
ICE 31
reverses out
towards Basel SBB
towards Dortmund Hbf
ICE 41
reverses out
towards Munich Hbf
towards Cologne Hbf
ICE 49Terminus
towards Wiesbaden Hbf
ICE 50
reverses out
ICE 78Terminus
ICE 79
towards Paris Est
towards Marseille
towards Zurich Hbf
ICE 87
towards Dortmund Hbf
ICE 91
reverses out
towards Wien Hbf
towards Konstanz Hbf
IC 26
reverses out
IC/EC 31
reverses out
towards Passau Hbf
IC 50Terminus
towards Salzburg Hbf
IC/EC 62

There are also long-distance night trains from Frankfurt, e.g. to Copenhagen, Berlin, Prague, Amsterdam, Zurich, Paris and Rome.[3]

Local services


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)

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
Frankfurt (Main) Hbf – Walldorf (Hess) – Mörfelden – Groß Gerau-Dornberg – Riedstadt-Goddelau
Preceding station   Rhine-Main S-Bahn   Following station

Other services

Tram connections are offered by TraffiQ, with tram lines 11 and 12 (station Hauptbahnhof/Münchener 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
toward Enkheim
toward Preungesheim


  1. 1 2, City of Frankfurt am Main, "Frankfurt central station is the most important rail transport hub in Germany."
  2. Groß, p. 50
  3. Alle Verbindungen auf einen Blick


Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

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

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/21/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.