Green railway station in Horrem: The first-ever energy self-sufficient railway station built in Kerpen-Horrem

The green railway station in Kerpen-Horrem shows that railway stations can also be operated CO2-free. The pilot project in the Rhineland makes the daily commute for 12,000 people more environmentally friendly and more customer-friendly – and provides valuable experience for new building projects.

Deutsche Bahn AG operates approximately 5,400 railway stations in Germany. Five million passengers pass through these stations every day. This operation consumes a large quantity of electricity, water and heat. But where there is consumption, there is also the potential for savings – resources, CO2 emissions and, last but not least, costs. A pilot project in the Rhineland now shows how it can be done: At Kerpen-Horrem near Cologne, DB Station & Service AG is testing the extent to which the operation of a railway station can be energy self-sufficient – among other things within the context of the Europe-wide SusStation project.

Engine for progress:

  • the first climate-neutral railway station in Europe
  • energy generation using solar and geothermal energy
  • use of daylight/LED lighting
  • using rain water for the sanitary facilities
  • regional added value (workers, building materials, businesses)

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Photo: CGahl

Showing results: An energy clock shows customers the current performance as well as the daily and yearly yield of the photovoltaic array.

With Horrem railway station, Deutsche Bahn has chosen one of the most important distribution railway stations in the Rhine-Erft district as its test object. Horrem qualified as a good trial location because it has a high footfall rate of 12,000 people and was in need of modernisation. Since 2012, Deutsche Bahn has been implementing a wide range of measures here, not only to make the railway station CO2-free, but also more customer-friendly and environmentally friendly.

Local building materials, rain water for sanitary facilities

The building produces energy using photovoltaics, geothermal and solar energy as well as heat recovery. Visitors can follow the balance of the energy flow via a "live" energy clock. Daylight is exploited to optimum effect to illuminate the building, and energy-saving LED lights are also used. In addition to this, a new customer toilet uses collected rain water for flushing.

Regionality played a big role in the implementation of the project: During construction, those responsible focused on local, renewable and recyclable building materials. Deutsche Bahn awarded many of the contracts for the reconstruction to local craftsmen in order to keep as much of the net added value in the region.

Customer-friendliness and cost efficiency increased

In addition, Deutsche Bahn used the reconstruction to make its railway station more customer-friendly: A central and open waiting area was created, which provides access to the internet for visitors. Green roof areas and open areas prevent heat islands in the summer and reduce the operating costs that would otherwise be incurred for sealed areas.

As the first CO2-free railway station in Europe, the green railway station at Horrem really is a pioneer: The experience gained by DB Station & Service AG during the course of the project has already been applied in further projects. There is a lot of hidden potential in climate-friendly design for railway stations, if it is implemented on a broad scale: For the protection of our climate – and for Europe as a place of business.

Photo: DB S&S AG

"The StationGreen building programme, with its combination of green technologies and a high level of passenger comfort, provides the basis for a future-oriented railway station infrastructure!"

Marc Ulrich, Chief Architect DB S&S AG

Partners and sponsors

  • DB Station&Service AG
  • Nahverkehr Rheinland
  • Stadt Kerpen
  • EU-Förderung
  • Landesregierung NRW

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