03. September 2012

Commemorative plaque for a magnificent north German station

Station of the Year 2012: Award ceremony on September 3

With 120,000 travellers and visitors a day, Bremen’s main station is one of the busiest in Germany.

Bremen. Since September 3, the entrance portal at Bremen’s main station has been decorated with a large brass plaque. From now on, its fine engraving will inform travellers that Germany’s most customer friendly train station is in Bremen. On Monday, railway enthusiasts and prominent politicians came together for the winner’s ceremony after the redbrick building was awarded the title of Station of the Year in the city category. The competition is now in its ninth year. Watched by Bremen’s transport senator Joachim Lohse (Green party) and the chairman of DB Station & Service Andreas Zeug, the jury members unveiled the commemorative brass plaque on the entrance portal.

The Bremen station manager Hermann Bollmann (Deutsche Bahn) and the mayor of Bremen Karoline Linnert (Green party) each received a certificate for their good cooperation on reconstructing and operating Bremen’s main station. “Bremen station’s concourse is owned by Deutsche Bahn, the station’s forecourt by the city of Bremen,” said jury member Monika Ganseforth from the ecological transport club VCD. “In many cases, such a constellation would lead to friction, in Bremen it works smoothly.” Customers do not notice the invisible line between the areas of responsibility. On the contrary: the station forecourt is currently being redesigned to make it barrier-free, which is the final act of a broad programme of regeneration that the station has been going through periodically since 1998. “The long wait has been worth while,” said Ganseforth.

Jury member Christian Schultz from the German rail customer association DBV praised above all the large, bright entrance hall and the magnificent station architecture, which gets passengers approaching from the old city centre into the right mood for travelling. Apart from the architectural beauty, it is also a very functional station, said Schultz. “The generous station forecourt offers excellent connections to trams and busses, and since the station was renovated in 2001, a passage joins not only the platforms but also the different parts of the city centre.” The jury also praised the customer-friendly attitude of station employees. “We found staff at the station very hospitable when we made our visit to check the station,” added Schultz.

Jury member Dirk Flege praised the unrecognised qualities of Bremen’s main station, which only managed twelfth place in the ranking compiled by the Pro-Rail Alliance from nominations sent in by the public, and was soundly beaten by Leipzig, Stuttgart and Hannover. “Although the jury considers itself to be particularly critical, the citizens of Bremen seem to be even more tight-fisted with handing out praise,” said Flege, referring to a survey carried out by the Weser Kurier newspaper in which a few of Bremen’s citizens spoke out in favour of awarding the Station of the Year title to the main stations in Duisburg or Berlin. Radio Bremen also made the competition a top priority and voiced doubts about whether its own rail station was a worthy winner. “Sometimes, looking in from the outside can be fairer,” said Flege. “The jury members travel thousands of kilometres a year by train throughout the whole of Germany and there is one thing we can be sure of: Bremen can be proud of this train station.”

In the ninth year of the competition, alongside Bremen, the Pro-Rail Alliance also made an award to Aschaffenburg in Bavaria for the town category. For the first time, a special award for tourism was made, going to Bad Schandau in Saxony. The previous winners were: 2011: Leipzig and Halberstadt, 2010: Darmstadt and Baden-Baden, 2009: Erfurt and Uelzen, 2008: Karlsruhe and Schwerin, 2007: Berlin Main Station and Landsberg am Lech, 2006: Hamburg Dammtor and Oberstdorf, 2005: Mannheim and Wismar, and 2004: Hannover and Lübben.

Additional information
(in German)

Press folder with assessment and fact sheet

Download press photos

Competition booklet with all the winners from 2004 – 2012