With the launch of the 17 German Unity Transport Projects in 1991, Erfurt became a major focus of the work to upgrade and develop Deutsche Bahn's line network. The modernisation and rebuilding of Erfurt central station can be subdivided into several construction complexes in terms of urban planning. However, these have to be considered together as an overall concept. When planning the modernisation of the original station passenger building and the construction of the new concourse, complex conditions had to be met that were imposed by the authority for the protection of historical buildings. The illustration below shows the station and the surrounding area and gives an impression of the complexity involved.
The modernisation and construction of the station was completed in December 2008.
The planning approval agreement to modernise and extend the historical station and develop it into a modern station for ICE high-speed trains was signed in 1995. The clients for this major project were DB Netz AG, DB Station & Service, DB Energie GmbH, Erfurt city council and the Free State of Thuringia.
Planning of the traffic area of the station and the area surrounding the station
The entire station project was implemented on the basis of an architectural competition held in 1995. The winning design was submitted by Hamburg-based architecture firm Gössler Architekten. The Hamburg firm prevailed against both German and international competitors. The station forecourt and the entire area surrounding the station was designed by a team put together by landscape architects WES & Partner together with the Erfurt city council and EVAG, Erfurt's local transport company.
The overall project was implemented in two stages.
The first stage consisted of the following:
- Commissioning of the Erfurt electronic signal box in the year 1999
- Complete modernisation and new construction of the station, including demolition of the island building
- Construction of the new roof structure, modernisation of the station concourse area and construction of shopping arcades
- Modernisation and new construction of the tracks at the station, including all of the related facilities and equipment
- Alteration of the track plan to meet the requirements resulting from the integration of the new VDE 8.1 line
- Construction of the passenger transport installations
- Replacement of the following railway bridges: Bahnhofstraße, Löberstraße, Flutgraben II (the flood channel) and Puschkinstraße
At the same time, following city council decision 005/01, a start was made on the urban planning measures in the area surrounding the station.
The overpass for the intersecting Ebensfeld-Erfurt and Erfurt-Leipzig/Halle lines was planned for the second stage. The aim was to put in place an infrastructure that would ensure the new lines were utilised to optimum effect. This part of the project is currently in the planning and preparation stage. The second stage consists of the following:
- Extension of Schmidtstedter Bridge / Flutgraben I (flood channel) railway bridge
- Redevelopment of the former gasworks site
- Rationalisation and alteration of the track plan, involving nine safe construction statuses
- Separation of traffic flows with separate tracks for freight trains
- Erection of noise barriers