Station, Aachen, Germany
Station Aachen Reviews
aachen central station Feb 20, 2009
is the Hauptbahnhof for the city of Aachen, situated far to the west of Germany, near the Dutch and Belgian border. It is the largest of the four currently active Aachen stations and integrated into the long-distance network.
A station at Aachen was first opened in 1841, when the Rheinische Eisenbahngesellschaft opened its line from Cologne. The line first was extended to Herbesthal (near the Belgian border) and on October 15, 1843 to Antwerp. The first station was built outside of the city walls, however the city soon grew and the station eventually became surrounded by new buildings. The Prussian State Railways deemed that rather impractical and decided to build a new station situated on a hillside. Embankments and new bridges were built from 1901 onward, and on December 21, 1905 the station opened at its new location.
The station remained largely undisturbed until suffering from damage in 1944, when German troops were retreating. However, since the rail link was highly valued by the Allied forces, damage was cleared up rather quickly and in 1950 all war damage had been removed from the site.
In 1966, Aachen Hauptbahnhof was electrified. Due to its proximity to Belgium, it was decided to implement the switching point from the Deutsche Bahn's 15 kV AC to the 3000 V DC used by the NMBS/SNCB in the station. Tracks 6 to 9 therefore have a switchable catenary and are used for international Thalys, ICE and RegionalExpress services.
The station hall was remodelled from 2000 to 2006. For 2007, the addition of an electronic signal box, with a price estimate of € 40 million, is pending.
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