Friday, April 25, 2014

The Frankfurt Bahnhof

 In August of 1888....the Frankfurt Bahnhof (train station) opened up.  I doubt if anyone could have viewed it as a station-in-progress.  Almost every month....there's a project wrapping up and a new project on the board.  It is evolution.

I came to Germany in January of 1978, and about ten days into my arrival....I came to figure out the train system and make my way from the base over to Frankfurt.

Upon stepping out of the subway area....I entered the grand hall and just stood there for five minutes.  For a guy from Bama, it was an impressive sight.  As spring came around that year.....I spent almost an entire day walking the entire space of the bahnhof....from the top level to the subway areas.

Over the's changed.  When I went back in 1984....there were homeless guys and drug sales guys all over the place.  If you walked through did so at a fair pace, and got on the train to get out of the station.  Around 1992 when I came was twice as bad.  No real business operations really existed in the subway area....they'd all vacated for the most part.

I've come to note over the past decade.....the bahnhof has cleaned up.  Between the real cops and the private security of the bahnhof.....they walk the station on a regular basis and put intense pressure on dopers to stay out.  It's hard to even find beggars now in the train-station....which used to be a regular thing.

Today?  You've got a dozen food spots to pick from (McDonalds included), and various shops selling tobacco, newspapers, and flowers.  You feel completely safe and it still retains that 1800s look.

The crown of the station?  You have to step outside of the building....going onto Kaiser Strasse and gaze back at the front.  On the roof is a fairly big statue.....a couple of guys holding up the world.

There are 350,000 people that transit the station everyday....which is remarkable in a way that things run on time....safely.....and in a fairly dependable state.  You might find a few bad days in the winter, with snow and ice delaying things....but it's rare.

Between the main station, the trolley car operation, the bus platform on the side, and the's a transit work of wonder.  So if you happen to be stopping off in Frankfurt to change trains.....spend an hour just walking around and admiring one of the biggest stations in Europe.

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