10. September 2012

The winner's plaque now adorns the station building

Station of the Year: Bad Schandau celebrates special prize for tourism

The shining brass plaque was unveiled by: Andreas Eggert, mayor of Bad Schandau (left), Roland Werner (secretary of state in Saxony’s transport ministry, centre) and the station manager Heiko Klaffenbach (right).

Bad Schandau. For the residents of Bad Schandau, a small town situated in the heart of Saxony’s ‘Switzerland National Park’, it is now official: as of September 10, a large brass plaque adorns the entrance portal of the station building, and the engraved brass metal informs citizens and travellers that their station has won the very first special prize for tourism in the history of the competition. Railway enthusiasts and prominent politicians from Berlin and the state capital of Dresden, together with the German Pro-Rail Alliance, held a winning ceremony at the Tuscany-styled station building, which convinced the jury of seven by “successfully combining the environment, gentle mobility and tourism”. In the presence of Saxony’s secretary for transport, Roland Werner, and the chairman of the federal parliament’s tourism committee, Klaus Brähmig (CDU), who is also the patron of the special prize for tourism, the jury members unveiled the brass plaque on the station’s entrance portal.

Bad Schandau’s station manager Heiko Klaffenbach (Deutsche Bahn) and the mayor of Bad Schandau Andreas Eggert (independent) each received a certificate for their good cooperation during the reconstruction of the station. “Bad Schandau is one those stations that did well out of being sold by Deutsche Bahn,” said jury member Karl-Peter Neumann from the rail travellers’ organisation Pro Bahn. “Whereas many small stations in Saxony are unfortunately falling into disrepair, including stations owned by private investors that are not seeing any economic improvement, the station in Bad Schandau was lucky because it was taken over by the town,” said Naumann. “The result is rather impressive: passengers arriving here enter a kingdom of gentle tourism.” During its inspection, the jury was more than willing to be caught up in the lively holiday atmosphere.

Regina Schmidt-Kühner from the environmental organisation NaturFreunde Deutschlands, who was a jury member for the special prize, praised above all the station’s hospitable interior. The small organic market and the bicycle hire facilities contributed towards a pleasant stay. Environmentally-friendly onward transport is also guaranteed: “Hardly any other town in the region offers so much customer contact, and almost no other station has geared itself towards providing for the needs of tourists and travellers in recent years. Barrier-free train platforms, new bus stops with nearby park & ride facilities, and parking for bicycles – and all of it welcoming, very clean and well sign-posted,” said Schmidt-Kühner during the celebrations.

Jury member Kathrin Bürglen from the outdoor travel cooperative Fahrziel Natur also praised the big performance put in by the small town of Bad Schandau. “The station is the gateway to the Saxon Switzerland national park, which is a Fahrziel Natur area and cooperates with the BUND, NABU (environment), VCD (passenger) and Deutsche Bahn to develop sustainable mobility services for tourists.” For them it is hardly surprising that no other station in the whole of Germany received so many nominations from travellers during the Pro-Rail Alliance ranking as Bad Schandau. “Bad Schandau has become a real citizens’ station,” said Bürglen.

Now in its ninth year, the Station of the Year award for 2012 went to Bremen (city category) and Aschaffenburg (town category). 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 assessments and fact sheets

Download press photos

Competition booklet with all the winners from 2004 to 2012