The first station was built during the construction of the Nordbahn, it was opened on 6 January 1838 as k.k. Nordbahnhof (Imperial and Royal Northern Railway Station) in the style in which the names of virtually all public works were rendered at the time. Due to rapidly rising passenger numbers, the station became too small very quickly and had to be rebuilt. Between 1858 and 1865, the station building in the vicinity of Praterstern was built. Like all other stations in Vienna at this time, the Northern Station was planned to be an exhibition building. Several architects were assigned to planning the building, interior decorating was done by sculptors and fresco painters. The station was opened on 15 November 1865. In the days of Austria-Hungary, the station was one of the most significant stations in Europe and Vienna's primary railway stations, connecting Vienna with Brno, Prague and Warsaw. For many immigrants, it was the door to Vienna.
During World War II, the station was severely damaged by bombs and subsequently fell into disuse; it was finally demolished in 1965. The new building was constructed directly at Praterstern for logistical reasons and was opened on 1 June 1959 as Bahnhof Praterstern. On 1 September 1975, it was renamed Wien Nord.
In 1997, the Austrian Federal Railways started a nationwide renovation initiative, in the course of which it was decided to completely rebuild this station to a design by the architect Albert Wimmer, featuring a transparent roof for the station and its platforms and improved interchange with the U-Bahn, trams and buses. On platform level, the new station was completed in April 2007; prior to that it had been renamed to Wien Praterstern again with the introduction of the new timetable in December 2006.
The new station offers 6,000 m² of space for businesses and service enterprises. Platforms were raised to 55 cm above the trackage to make boarding and disembarkation easier. A tactile orientation system is planned for blind people.
City of Culture; in the First of an Occasional Series of City Snaps, WIL TREASURE Offers the 'At a Glance' Guide to Vienna
Jan 03, 2010; Byline: WIL TREASURE WHAT'S WORTH SEEING? THE Austrian capital has become a popular destination in recent years. The city is...