Berlin Hauptbahnhof is the main railway station in Berlin. It began operation 4 years ago on 28 May 2006. It is now Europe's largest two-level railway station, with different lines passing through it.
In contrast to Berlin's Hauptbahnhof, the most important railway stations in other European capitals are terminal stations. That is the case of many stations around London (Victoria, Waterloo, King's Cross, St Pancras, Paddington, Charing Cross...) or Paris (Gare du Nord, Austerlitz, Gare de l'Est, Gare de Lyon, St. Lazare...). This configuration stems in part from these cities being strong polarizing centers to which passangers from different parts of their countries' territories are atracted.
The concept behind Berlin Hauptbahnhof is different. Trains pass through this station instead of having it as their terminal. The station is just one of the possible destinations and not necessarily the "final destination" for passengers travelling in the trains that stop by.
The two main train stations in Tokyo (Tokyo and Shinjuku) operate according to the same concept of Berlin's Hauptbahnhof, eventually with a higher degree of complexity. Each of these two stations is a multi-level hub connecting different national, regional and commuter train lines and a few metro lines as well. The coherence of the train and metro networks in Tokyo is assured by the circular Yamanote Line (see my post on 25.5.2010) which with its ring shape connects major train stations in the city, namely Tokyo station and Shinjuku station.
The development of this new huge structure in Berlin along similar lines of the two main Tokyo train stations, stemmed from the opportunities opened by the fall of the wall that allowed for a reshaping of the city.