Dortmund Central Station - Reconstruction and Rehabilitation

Reconstruction and Rehabilitation

The reconstruction of the Dortmund Hauptbahnhof has been under discussion since 1997. The original plan for a residential area in the form of an "oversized UFO" (80,000 square metres of usable space) was rejected. On 7 October 1998 a memorandum of had been signed between Deutsche Bahn, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and Westdeutsche Immobilien Bank. The Deutsche Mark (DM) 850 million project was to be completed by 2002.

After the plans for the so-called "Dortmund UFO" were dropped, a new investor was found in 2001 in the form of the Portuguese investment group Sonae Imobiliaria. The DM 1.2 billion project was to be completed by 2006 and new designs were commissioned from architectural firms in the first quarter of 2001. The new proposed development was called "3do" (3 Dortmund). € 75 million of federal and € 55 million of state funds were pledged. It was planned to have 36,000 square metres of retail and 26,500 square metres of entertainment space. On 3 February 2006, the Essen branch of the Federal Railway Authority (Eisenbahn-Bundesamt) approved the plans for "3do". On 28 February 2007, Deutsche Bahn announced that the investor was unwilling to commit to the project.

Through plans for the reconstruction of the station have twice failed, Dortmund Hauptbahnhof suffers significantly from neglect. Only the terminating platforms (tracks 2–5) and the platform of S-Bahn lines S1 and S2 (tracks 6 and 7) have a lift. The other platforms only have a freight lift, which can be used only on request. This is not in the pedestrian area of the station.

The reconstruction and rehabilitation of the Dortmund Hauptbahnhof began in summer 2009. In a first phase, the station building and related operational areas were gutted. During construction the ticket office and a restaurant of a fast-food chain were placed in containers outside the station. The federal police station and the Bahnhofsmission (a German charity focussed on railway stations) were also placed in containers on the north side. On 17 June 2011, the first phase was formally completed. Of the total cost of € 23 million, the federal government contributed € 13.3 million, the state € 1.4 million and the Deutsche Bahn € 8.3 million.

In a second phase, which begins in 2014 and will not be completed until 2017, the station tunnels and the entrances to the platforms will be renewed. Dortmund is one of the few big-city stations in Germany where access to the platforms has not yet made accessible for the disabled. In the course of these alterations the eastern access to the tunnel linking the station’s buildings and platforms will also be rebuilt. At the same time it is also intended that there will be improvements to facilitate the introduction of the Rhine-Ruhr Express (a planned upgrade to North Rhine-Westphalia’s Regional-Express network). This will require a comprehensive restructuring of the track layout in Dortmund Hauptbahnhof.

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