H as in Hauptbahnhof Leipzig

The central railway terminus in Leipzig is the world´s largest station measured by floor area. It handles an average of 120.000 people per day. The station has 19 overground platforms and two underground ones. After the German reunification the station was modernised and two basement levels were dug out to make room for a shopping mall. On the closed track 24 historical Deutsche Reichsbahn locomotives are on display.

By the 1850s Leipzig had become the most important railway junction in Saxony – amongst others it connected to Dresden and Magdeburg. However, all trains started from different stations all over the city. By the end of the 19th century the Leipzig city council decided to build a joint station. An architectural competition was held in 1906, the foundation stone was laid three years later.

The two front entrances to the central station in Leipzig.

The new station represented a joint terminal for Royal Saxony and Prussian state railways. The building has two identical dome entrance halls, one for each company.

The station was assigned to the Reichsbahn directorate in Halle only in 1934. During World War II the central station was severely damaged – the western entrance hall was destroyed and the roof over the concourse collapsed. A few people were killed and traffic discontinued completely. The full restoration was finished in 1965, 50 years after the initial inauguration.

One of two identlical entrance halls of the central station in Leipzig.

railway terminus (ˈreɪlweɪ ˈtɜ:mɪnəs) – der Kopfbahnhof
to measure (ˈmeʒəʳ) – etw abmessen, Maß nehmen
average (ˈævərɪʤ) – im Durschnitt, durchschnittlich
reunification (ˌri:ju:nɪfɪˈkʃən) – die Wiedervereinigung
basement (ˈbsmənt) – das Untergeschoss, Keller
to dig out (dɪgt) – etw ausgraben
on display (dɪˈspl) – ausgestellt
junction (ˈʤʌŋkʃən) – die Kreuzung, Anschlussstelle

joint (ʤɔɪnt) – gemeinsam
foundation stone (ˌfnˈdʃən stəʊn) – der Grundstein
to assign (əˈsn) – etw zuweisen, zuteilen, übertragen
concourse (ˈkɒnkɔ:s) – die Halle, Bahnhofshalle
discontinue (ˌdɪskənˈtɪnju: ) – etw abbrechen, aufgeben
inauguration (ɪˌnɔ:gjəˈrʃən) – die Eröffnung, Einweihung