Transit Tuesday: Munich Train Station

Hauptbahnhof. It has to be my favorite German word.

Feeling adventurous, I decided to fly directly to Munich and check out the city before going to Bonn for an appointment. This meant a five hour train ride via the ICE, the express service which gets up to a thrilling 157 mph between Frankfurt and Cologne (the speed staved off the increasing jet lag and my need to nod off).

There are two places I check out in every town: the market, and the train station. Like so many German post-war stations, it was built in cheaply, quickly, in the International style. Supposedly it incorporates portions of the old 19th century station, but the only glimpse I saw of this was some glazed tile in a stairway leading to the basement a la Penn Station (see my posts on NYC Penn Station here and here). What I did notice was the good old rich railroad station atmosphere that we miss in so many American stations. A glassed in food hall offered counter service a la Fred Harvey and Harvey Houses (see my post here). A full restaurant sat in a vaulted space at the end of the corridor (perhaps an old portion of the station?). And there were old school lockers to stow your luggage while you saw the town.

Here’s a few visuals from my time at Munchen Hbf.

Munich train shed, waiting for the ICE to come in on Track 23. RL Fifield, 2012.

No, I don’t think so. RL Fifield, 2012

The original, heavily damaged during World War II. The train shed was demolished in 1949. Photo: Akpool

The bland front of the Munich Hbf today, like so many post-war stations. They say they are going to renovate… RL Fifield 2012.

About Becky Fifield

Becky Fifield is a cultural heritage professional with 25 years experience in institutions large and small. She is currently Head of Collection Management for the Special Collections of the New York Public Library. An advocate for preventive conservation, Ms. Fifield is a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation, Chair of the AIC Collection Care Network, and former Chair of Alliance for Response NYC. She is also a scholar of 18th century female unfree labor and dress. There's a bit of pun in the title The Still Room, delineating a quiet space brimming with the ingredients of memory, where consideration, analysis, and wordcraft can take place. Ms. Fifield’s interests include museum practice, dress history, historic preservation, transit, social and women’s history, food, current events, geneaology, roadtrips, and considerations on general sense of place. Becky and her husband, Dr. V, live in the Hudson Valley.