Useful information about Cologne Hauptbahnhof, Cologne's Central Railway Station. With real-time schedules and all you need for train entry, exit and change.





The history of the Cologne Central Station

In 1850 the city of Cologne had five different railway companies. A distinction was made between the left and the right bank of the Rhine:


Left of the Rhine:

-Bonn-Cölner Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft (BCE)
-Cöln-Crefelder Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft (CCE) 
-Rheinische Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft (RhE)



-Bergisch-Märkische Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft (BME) 
-Köln-Mindener Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft (CME).


Cologne main station historyThe number of railway companies as well as the particular situation of the route along the Rhine and the cathedral quickly led to the conclusion that a central station should be created to serve as a link (in 1857).


Thus, the "Central Station" was built along with the Cathedral Bridge (now the Hohenzollern Bridge) and they opened in 1859 at the same time. A special feature was that on four terminating tracks the trains from the West ended, while the trains from the East turned around on two through tracks. In these days the Central Station was operated by RHE which had merged with BCE before. Very early on, the capacity of the station had been exhausted but an extension was not planned until the nationalization of the railroads in Germany.


The nationalization of the railways was sealed in 1880, so that the planning process to build a bigger central station could commence shortly after.


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