Station of the year 2009
1. Erfurt main railroad station, 2009
2. Train to Frankfurt arriving at Erfurt main station, 2009
3. Construction work at Erfurt station in 2005
4. People waiting on the platform in 2005
Each year the German Pro-Rail Alliance (Allianz pro Schiene), a coalition of sixteen organizations including two that I belong to (PRO BAHN and VCD), chooses two outstanding German railroad stations as "Station of the Year", one in a large city and one in a small town.
In 2009 the title in the large city category went to Erfurt for its totally modernized main station.
The jurors praised the station as "a highly intelligent intersection" providing easy transfers from trains to trams, bicycles and even cars, though these have been banished from ground level to a new underground parking garage. They were also impressed with the station's new "excellent glass construction that harmonises perfectly with the building’s historic exterior" and lets in a lot of light to formerly dark corners.
The hourly InterCityExpress trains (ICE) from Frankfurt am Main to Leipzig and Dresden all stop here in Erfurt.
Possibly even more ICE trains will stop here in future years, if the proposed new high-speed line from Nürnberg is ever built. But even if it isn't -- and I'm not at all sure it is a sensible idea, since it would be insanely expensive and would divert funds from other more urgent projects -- Erfurt will still remain a major changing point between lines going off in various directions. (In 2005 I changed here for Dessau, for example.)
GPS 50°58'21.88" North; 11° 2'15.88" East
Radhaus = Bicycle House
1. Bicycle House by the main railroad station
2. Free double-decker bicycle parking
3. Bicycle rentals and repairs
Erfurt's striking new Bicycle House was opened on April 25, 2009. It is located directly in front of the main station and provides bicycle parking, rentals and repairs.
The Thüringen office of the General German Bicycle Club (ADFC) is upstairs.
The name Radhaus (Bicycle House) is clever because it sounds very similar (in some dialects identical) to the word Rathaus, meaning City Hall.
Ironically, access to the Bicycle House is now hindered by a new rule which prohibits cyclists from riding through the newly widened tunnel under the station. (See next tip.)
99096 Erfurt, Bahnhofstraße 22
GPS 50°58'20.53" North; 11° 2'12.29" East
Cycling in Erfurt
1. Hesitating at the entrance to the tunnel
2. Cycling at the main station
3. Another cyclist at the station
Erfurt has made some good progress with its cycling infrastructure in recent years, but has also messed up in a couple of places, particularly at the main station.
They went to great expense to widen the tunnel under the railroad tracks and make it into a convenient stop for people transferring between trains and streetcars, but neglected to make any provision for bicycle traffic, even though this is one of the main bicycle routes through the city.
If the lady in the first photo seems to be hesitating before riding through the tunnel, that's because officially she's not allowed to. The rule is that cyclists have to dismount and walk, though few of them actually do so.
This is getting to be quite a political issue in Erfurt. The city commissioned an independent study of the situation, which came to the conclusion that the tunnel is used by about two thousand cyclists per day, three quarters of whom ride illegally either on the streetcar tracks or on the sidewalk. This leads to occasional conflicts between cyclists and pedestrians but there have been hardly any accidents, according to the study.
Cars are banned from the tunnel -- which explains the lack of accidents -- but the local chapter of the General German Bicycle Club (ADFC) says that "cyclists and pedestrians are being played off against each other" by people who "have an interest in provoking conflicts".
The ADFC is trying to counteract this by working with pedestrian organizations to find an equitable solution.
- Hiking and Walking
How to reach
Erfurt has an airport. Not big, but that little town has one. The website I uplodaded here.
The next to reach is via Autobahn A4 (Berlin - Frankfurt/Main). From there you reach Bavaria (Coburg) via the new Thuringian Autobahn.
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
- Castles and Palaces
Hauptbahnhof - Central Station
Erfurt is located at the meeting point of two major ICE lines (Frankfurt-Leipzig-Dresden and Munich-Nürnberg-Leipzig-Berlin), so it is easy to reach from about anywhere in the country. In addition to the main loute, local railway lines lead to surrounding Thuringia in many directions.
The central station is located on the Southern edge of the old town, five minutes from Anger, so you can easily walk. If you prefer public transport to get around the town, take the tram.
The first railway station in Erfurt was opened in 1847. The main building of this first station still exists: it is the white building with the tower (photo 3) in the square, now used by DB for administration offices.
Around 1890 a new station hall was erected. Its front towards the square shows the typical style of the Wilhelmine era. Only the front hall remained, everything else has recently been replaced by a new modern station. After being a construction site for long years, Erfurt's new station hall was completed in 2008. It is a wide steel and glass construction that spans over all tracks and platform without any supporting pillars.
Parking in Erfurt
Parking in this region and even in the bigger towns is way cheaper than what we are used to in The Netherlands (where 2-3 euro per hour is normal).
We stayed in Erfurt for 4 hours and paid € 4.80 total. The parking was under the central square where the cathedral is.
Tip: For € 2 you can do the "GutenAbend Parking" (good evening). You park from 18-24 hrs on day one and your car stays parked overnight until 7 in the morning.
- Budget Travel
- Road Trip
Easy to get around by taking the Strassenbahn (street cars). If you plan to use public transportation, get the City Ticket which allows you to travel on Street cars, Busses, Metros (U-Bahn).
Erfurter Verkehrsbetriebe AG
Am Urbicher Kreuz 20
- Budget Travel
A 90 min ride by car or train from Leipzig or three hours by train or car from Frankfurt/Main.
As Erfurt has a national airport it is so possible to get there by plane.
If you arrive Erfurt by train the beautifully restaurated station is awaiting you.
Erfurt offers a perfect public Transportation System.The Tram!If you search for prices or special offers please visit there webside at www. evag-erfurt.de
I saw these in most towns. The people who operate these carriages seem to be knowledgeable of the town.
- Historical Travel
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Erfurt Train Station
Erfurt is on th DB network. Train times can broused on www.bahn.de. By the way that www site can be used to find train times from and to anywhere in Europe not just Germany.
Be careful where you park. If your car does not contain the official parking wheel, look for these paid parking. We were fortunate to find parking about 1 km from the main post office.
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