24. September 2013

Commemorative plaque for Oberursel station

Train Station of the Year: ceremony on September 23rd

Heiko Scholz (left), station manager in Oberursel, is a very happy man: the jury has just given his station the award for Train Station of the Year 2013

Oberursel, September 23, 2013. Passengers passing through Oberursel station in the state of Hesse can now read on an engraved brass plaque that even a suburban train station can also be worthy of receiving the highest accolade for customer satisfaction. On Monday, September 13, transport experts and friends of the railways joined the Pro-Rail Alliance in an award ceremony for the Train Station of the Year. In the presence of the chairman of DB Station & Service, André Zeug, and the managing director of the Rhine-Main Transport Group, Knut Ringat, the jury members unveiled the brass plaque on the front entrance to the award-winning station. The manager of Oberursel station, Heiko Scholz from Deutsch Bahn, and Oberursel’s mayor Hans-Georg Brum (SPD) both received a certificate for their exemplary cooperation in managing the station on behalf of the community. Following numerous planning meetings with the local authorities, reconstruction of the building and grounds was completed in time for the annual ‘Hessentag’ fest in 2011.

Oberursel station received the award in the town category. The jury of six, with representatives from the passenger association Pro-Bahn, the rail passenger association DBV, the transport club VCD, Autoclub Europa ACE, the German cycling club ADFC and the German Pro-Rail Alliance, also made awards to Göttingen in Lower Saxony (city category) and to Murnau in Upper Bavaria, which received a special prize for tourism.

Oberursel: a commuters’ paradise in the Taunus region
Jury member Dieter Harms from the Autoclub ACE praised the fact that “the heritage, half-timbered station building with gable walls manages to combine two modes of public transport and still look exceptionally pretty at the same time.” The jury was completely won over when it visited the station in Hesse’s Taunus region. “This suburban train station is not one of those bland, lifeless destinations in the affluent green belt that spits out tired passengers from commuter trains. In Oberursel, transport companies and local authorities have worked together to create a tiny paradise for commuters,” said Christian Schultz from the DBV. He was also full of praise for the station roof’s historical pillars and for the good quality of the signposting to guide travellers through the station’s spacious grounds.

Community station
Jury member Dirk Flege from the German Pro-Rail Alliance spoke about the competition’s 10-year history: “There have been dramatic changes in Germany’s stations during these last ten years because Deutsche Bahn sold-off hundreds of smaller stations.” Many of these stations were initially taken over by real estate investment funds and fell into disrepair. Recently however the jury has encountered an increasing number of local initiatives that have been successful. “Towns and local authorities are buying back station buildings, which are then carefully renovated with the help of the local community,” said Flege. “In Oberursel, the main station building and the forecourt are now owned by the town. This is therefore a positive example of the process of returning a train station to its community”.

Previous winning stations were: 2012: Bremen and Aschaffenburg, 2011: Leipzig and Halberstadt, 2010: Darmstadt and Baden-Baden, 2009: Erfurt and Uelzen, 2008: Karlsruhe and Schwerin, 2007: Berlin Central and Landsberg am Lech, 2006: Hamburg Dammtor and Oberstdorf, 2005: Mannheim and Weimar and 2004: Hannover and Lübben.

Additional information (German)

The jury’s appraisal

Oberursel fact sheet

Meet the jury