The Leipzig main station is not the most visited of the German train stations either, nor is it in a European comparison – and yet the more than hundred-year-old building came in top position. It was chosen as the best train station in Europe in a ranking that focuses on the passengers’ view.
“Even if you cannot travel abroad from Leipzig Central Station, the station offers most domestic destinations and a large number of shops and restaurants,” say the authors of the European Railway Station Indizes. It “is used by several railway companies, which makes it one of the top five.”
The international consumer protection organization took for the index Consumer Choice Center 50 stations under the microscope. Evaluation criteria included the number of national and international destinations approached, access to the platforms – also for wheelchair users: inside, the range of lounges and the quality of the shopping and dining options. Especially train stations in Northern Europe made it into the top ten.
Vienna Central Station followed Leipzig in second place, St. Pancras in London came in third, Amsterdam Centraal and Moscow Kazaner Bahnhof together in fourth place. Two other German train stations took fifth place: the main train stations in Frankfurt am Main and Munich. The rest of the top 10 consists of Moscow Kursk Bahnhof (sixth place), Milano Centrale (seventh place), Birmingham New Street (eighth place, previously eleventh place), Roma Termini (ninth place) as well as Paris-Montparnasse and Bologna Centrale (joint tenth Place).
Among the 50 train stations tested were a few more German ones: Düsseldorf, Hanover and Stuttgart came 12th out of a total of 26th places, Hamburg came 14th, Cologne, Berlin-Hauptbahnhof and Nuremberg came 15th, Dortmund came 16th. , Essen and Bremen on the 19th, Berlin-Ostkreuz on the 22nd, Berlin-Zoologischer Garten on the 23rd and Berlin-Friedrichstrasse on the 24th place.
The authors’ conclusion: “Starting a journey at one of the top ten train stations promises a more comfortable journey to the train station and a good to very good passenger experience at the train station.” The size of a train station does not necessarily mean “more comfort or a better infrastructure” . Some of the largest train stations such as Paris-Nord, Madrid Atocha or Châtelet – Les Halles in Paris would not even have made it into the top ten.
The Consumer Choice Center, based in Washington DC, created the index for the second time. For their assessment, the auditors used, among other things, data from the train station websites and online statistics.