Main Sta­tion Track 17

Wel­come to Düs­sel­dorf!

Many roads lead to Düsseldorf, and for each of them, there’s the ideal soundtrack to be found in the form of a Kraftwerk song. What is without doubt the most internationally famous band from the city can be re-discovered when you visit Düsseldorf. If you take the car, for example, you can travel back in time to 1974 on your journey into the inner city. “Autobahn” - Kraftwerk’s first real hit after four Kraut rock albums that preceded it - contains 22 minutes of pop history that are inseparable from Düsseldorf. They sound like a German motorway and evoke international spaciousness, with echoes of Kraut rock and electronic music, Kraftwerk’s machine-like coldness and the warmth of the Conny Plank production. You can hear how Kraftwerk’s sound is a music full of contradictions. However, if you’re travelling by train, it’s worth paying a brief visit to platform 17 in the busy urban main station. This is where the four members of Kraftwerk posed in 1977 in iconic images, looking like aloof dandies from a silent film. The matching sound is “Trans Europa Express”, the centre of the album of the same name that appeared in 1977. A blueprint for the band’s aesthetic and sound, which made them a source of inspiration for electronic musicians all over the world, influencing hip hop pioneers and facilitating the birth of techno. In the middle of the song, there’s the following line: "Wir laufen 'rein in Düsseldorf City” (“We run in to Düsseldorf City”). Let’s do just that.

Further Information:
Main Station
Konrad-Adenauer-Platz 14, 40210 Düsseldorf

Platform 17 at Düsseldorf main station, © Tourismus NRW e.V.
The square in front of Düsseldorf main station, © Düsseldorf Tourismus GmbH