Dresden celebrates opening renovated Central Station
Star architect Lord Norman Foster creates spectacular tent-like roof for the century-old building – More services for travellers and visitors
Berlin, Germany – After six years of renovation work, Dresden Central Station was officially reopened on Friday. Made of translucent fibreglass, the roof over the three-nave station concourse is the new architectural highlight of the building, which dates back to 1898. It was designed by star architect Lord Norman Foster, who also designed the new cupola for ’s Reichstag building. Having been severely damaged in the flood of the century in 2002, the terminal building with its cupola-crowned hall has likewise been completely rebuilt.
In a solemn ceremony the Chairman of the Management Board of Deutsche Bahn AG, Hartmut Mehdorn, symbolically opened the renovated building. Also present at the opening ceremony, alongside the architect, were the State Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Transport, Construction and Urban Development, Jörg Hennerkes, Prime Minister of Saxony Georg Milbradt and ’s First Mayor Dr Lutz Vogel, as well as large numbers of the citizens of . “The renovated Central Station represents a successful linking of the historic steel structure dating from the 19th century with the tent-like roof membrane of the 21st. This adds a jewel to the crown of the capital of the ,” declared Mehdorn. “Since the Rail Reform of 1994, a total of around 7.5 billion euros has now been put into the renovation and modernisation of our stations.”
250 million euros invested in Dresden Central Station
Starting in October 2000, Dresden Central Station was thoroughly repaired and modernised. More than 250 million euros went into the renovation of the building and the track and safety systems, together with the improvement of customer services. After the connection of the track network to the new electronic signal box, in 2001 a start was made with the reconstruction of the station, to designs by the architect Lord Norman Foster. The steel girders of the roof structure were renovated, and the roof of the concourse, measuring 33,000 square metres, was covered with a fibreglass-coated teflon membrane. The new roof admits plenty of light to the station, and lends added effect to the steel support structure, which is classed as a historic monument.
2001 also saw the start of the renovation of the north and south upper support structures which carry the tracks for through trains. On level ground in the central hall there are further tracks situated, which come to an end at the front of the terminal hall. This means that Dresden Central Station functions both as a through station and as a terminal station. First of all the support structure in the northern hall was renovated; the work on the support structures of the southern hall is to be completed in the coming year.
In 2002, the flood of the century drowned out Dresden Central Station to a depth of 1.1 metres. This resulted in grave damage, above all to the terminal building, the foundations of the station and the technical facilities. Following the work of cleaning up, a start was made with securing the architectural substance, rebuilding the technical infrastructure and renovating the terminal building in a way appropriate to its status as a historic monument. The terminal hall with the new DB Travel Centre, the DB Lounge, restaurants and shops is now once more crowned with a glass cupola, as it was before the Second World War.
In the coming year the renovation of the southern hall will be completed. There are further plans for the redesign of the bay platforms and the creation of more shopping areas in the northern and southern halls.
Improved customer services
The new DB Travel Centre is open on Monday to Friday from 5.45 am till 9.00 pm, and on Saturdays and Sundays from 7.00 am till 9.00 pm. First class passengers and bahn.comfort customers have a dedicated counter of their own. A reception manager functions as the first point of contact for customers at the Travel Centre.
Located in the upper storey above the Travel Centre, the DB Lounge is open to all travellers with a DB first class long-distance ticket as well as to bahn.comfort customers. The facilities offered here include three workstations with connections for laptops, as well as newspapers and journals, television news and free hot and cold drinks. The DB Lounge is open from Monday to Friday from 7.00 am till 9.00 pm, and at weekends from 8.00 am till 8.00 pm.
Attractive train connections from Dresden Central Station
Some 50,000 travellers every day pass through this important hub, where long-distance, regional and urban railway lines intersect. 500 trains daily stop at the platforms of Dresden Central Station. At hourly intervals, ICE trains link the capital with , and Frankfurt am Main. EuroCity trains travel regularly by way of to and . From to the trains take only 2 hours and 46 minutes, departing at two-hourly intervals. EuroCity trains for and also leave every two hours. North Sea holidaymakers can take advantage of direct connections to Westerland on the . RegionalExpress trains, regular regional connections and three urban railway lines offer rapid and frequent services for people going to and from work or families on excursions.