Back On Track

A huge glass-and-steel cocoon has taken shape along a desolate stretch of the River Spree in Berlin. The dazzling, futuristic structure is the roof of the city's new Central train station, designed to be the largest in Europe. When it's up and running in 2006, the €700 million station, with five sprawling levels of shops, bars, restaurants and cafés as well as two office complexes, will handle 240,000 passengers and 2,500 trains a day. "It's unique in regard to architectural design and technical achievement," says Gabriele Schlott, spokeswoman for Deutsche Bahn, the German state railway.

Despite the superlatives,...

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