Lehrter train station. An atmosphere full of the haze of sulfur, the freedom to kiss, and bustle. The salty wind already up your nose. Ships and coal lie in the harbor. Invalidenstraße. Boys’ museums, stones, telegraph models and whale skeletons. Heidestraße.
— Joseph Roth, The “Romanticism” of Travelling
Of all the lost stations of Berlin, the Lehrter could be regarded the least successful from one viewpoint, and the most successful from another. Officially it still exists in name, and in reality it still exists in practice. Today, however, it’s called Berlin Hauptbahnhof, and it’s the busiest and biggest station the city has ever had. And when you started to look around, it has been even more important than you thought. But for a few reasons it never caught the public imagination in the way some of its sisters did.