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You Like Trains, But How About The Stations?  
User currently offlineBwest From Belgium, joined Jul 2006, 1414 posts, RR: 3
Posted (7 years 1 week 18 hours ago) and read 24769 times:

Newsweek has compiled a list of the worlds best stations.... here's the top 10:

Best Stations
1. St. Pancras, London
2. Grand Central Terminal, New York
3. Chhatrapati Shivaji, Mumbai
4. Central Station, Antwerp, Belgium
5. Dare des Bénédictins, Limoges, France
6. Lahore Railway Station, Pakistan
7. Central Railway Station, Maputo, Mozambique
8. Hua Hin Railway Station, Thailand
9. Atocha Station, Madrid

I've visited 3 of them already, Grand Central NY, St Pancras & Antwerp Central Station. NY's Grand Central, with its iconic clock is ofcourse legendary.

Both St Pancras & Antwerp have been recently renovated, and now offer a lot of space, stores, and convenient acces to the platform in combination with beautiful century old architecture.

As for the Central Station in Antwerp, the one I'm most familiar with, it truly is a remarkable piece of eclectic architecture. Erected in 1905 under the rule of Leopold II, it has the feel of a palace to it. There are tons of decorations with the personal shield of the king, the shield of Belgium and that of the Congo. The hall with its huge dome is magnificent, and behind the wonderfully restored station hall, you get a 3 level arrival area, a forth level with a nice shopping arcade and topped by a large roof structure, also over 100 years old. A bit hard to explain, but this picture shows it nicely

Which stations of the list have you visited? And which ones would you like to see on a revised list?

I love my Airport Job! :)
56 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 17449 posts, RR: 49
Reply 1, posted (7 years 1 week 18 hours ago) and read 24762 times:

Even better than Grand Central Terminal was the former Pennsylvania Station, which unfortunately was torn down in the '60s to create MSG.  banghead 

The former Pennsylvania Station:





Today besides Grand Central Terminal Washington DC's Union Station is another beauty:


Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlineVandenheuvel From Netherlands, joined Dec 2008, 516 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (7 years 1 week 18 hours ago) and read 24757 times:

I really liked Antwerp central station. Especially the stations hall. Except for Amsterdam Central, the most stations in the Netherlands are rather boring. There's only two tracks on both sides of a single platform.

[Edited 2009-02-05 09:04:40]

User currently offlineSignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 3084 posts, RR: 7
Reply 3, posted (7 years 1 week 18 hours ago) and read 24757 times:

Quoting Bwest (Thread starter):
here's the top 10:

Best Stations
1. St. Pancras, London
2. Grand Central Terminal, New York
3. Chhatrapati Shivaji, Mumbai
4. Central Station, Antwerp, Belgium
5. Dare des Bénédictins, Limoges, France
6. Lahore Railway Station, Pakistan
7. Central Railway Station, Maputo, Mozambique
8. Hua Hin Railway Station, Thailand
9. Atocha Station, Madrid

Which is no. 10?  Smile

I haven't visited Maputo Station, but it was designed by Eiffel (of Tower fame). I have read though that it's hardly used as a station, but more as a meeting point with shops, stalls, cafes...

Of the 10, I've only visited St Pancras and Grand Central, New York. I'd say that Berlin's new Hauptbahnhof needs to be there too, a masterpiece of modern architecture.

And for local flavour, our station in Norwich is quite nice too! :



User currently offlineBwest From Belgium, joined Jul 2006, 1414 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (7 years 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 24732 times:

Quoting Signol (Reply 3):
Which is no. 10? Smile

Sorry, it was a top 9  Smile How weird...

Quoting STT757 (Reply 1):
Even better than Grand Central Terminal was the former Pennsylvania Station

It's a shame indeed that such a great building got destroyed.

I love my Airport Job! :)
User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9642 posts, RR: 41
Reply 5, posted (7 years 1 week 16 hours ago) and read 24688 times:

Quoting Bwest (Reply 4):
Quoting Signol (Reply 3):
Which is no. 10? Smile

Sorry, it was a top 9

I assumed it was Number 0 that was missing.

User currently offlineDesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7879 posts, RR: 14
Reply 6, posted (7 years 1 week 16 hours ago) and read 24671 times:

Grand Central Terminal in New York City is a gem. I am glad that New Yorkers got pissed off after Penn Station was leveled and replaced by the architectural abomination that is the Madison Square Garden complex. We have that incident as the impetus for historic preservation in urban areas in the United States.

Here's my beauty shot of Grand Central taken over a year ago.


Only other major stations I've been in, or that I can remember....

Washington's Union Station -- already mentioned above and proof of how renovating and improving existing structures can be used as a center piece of urban renewal.

Chicago's Union Station -- I was like 9 when I was last there and don't remember much. But I hear it has undergone some major changes over the past 2 decades.

London's Paddington Station -- I was in and out after getting off of a Great Western train from Bath. I was taken back by how open it was and the Victorian iron work in the ceiling.

London's Victoria Station -- Only took the Gatwick Express and it departed from a pretty dingy feeling part of the station.

Quoting Bwest (Thread starter):
Chhatrapati Shivaji, Mumbai

The only way I know this is from Slumdog Millionaire. Looked pretty cool, and crowded.

Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
User currently offlineANITIX87 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 3335 posts, RR: 12
Reply 7, posted (7 years 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 24656 times:
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Quoting STT757 (Reply 1):
Even better than Grand Central Terminal was the former Pennsylvania Station, which unfortunately was torn down in the '60s to create MSG.

Yes, but Penn station still exists...It was renovated and redesigned in the 60's, not torn down.

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 6):
I am glad that New Yorkers got pissed off after Penn Station was leveled

I agree with both of you. That's why I'm so thrilled at the plans for the demolition of Penn Station and its replacement by Moynihan Station. Some of the charm of the old, old Pennsylvania will return in the new design, including that transparent roof. I can't wait.


www.stellaryear.com: Canon EOS 50D, Canon EOS 5DMkII, Sigma 50mm 1.4, Canon 24-70 2.8L II, Canon 100mm 2.8L, Canon 100-4
User currently offlineLTU932 From Costa Rica, joined Jan 2006, 14231 posts, RR: 46
Reply 8, posted (7 years 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 24623 times:

Well, the stations in Hamburg aren't that pretty to look at (Except perhaps Central Station and Hamburg Airport), but if you take a look at what people have to put up with when riding the S-Bahn, you'd be shocked. The people responsible, the DB Station and Service, does not even bother to take proper care of them or at least make sure they are as clean as possible.

As for the tube (or U-Bahn), there are a some quite pretty stations to look at. A few examples:

- Wartenau (the new red wooden tiles on the wall give it a very nice and modern touch)
- Lübecker Straße (specifically the U1 station, the U2 station of the same name is rather plain)
- Wandsbeker Chaussee (The U1 station specifically, it's being renovated as we speak, and will become yet another piece of tunnel station beauty)
- Farmsen (a huge station with a beautiful glass roof over both platforms)
- Kellinghusenstraße (if you ride on line U3 towards Schlump from Kellinghusenstraße, you're guaranteed to ride below a beautiful sand gate just before reaching the platform)
- Volksdorf (at the time it was built, Volksdorf was still an exclave of Hamburg, so it has the character of a central station, even to this day)
- Mundsburg (it's pretty much preserved in its original look from 1912, but with just very few modern items to it)
- Klosterstern (an example of Art Deco, the design style used for building what is known as the Kelljung-Linie)

You can view all of those stations, along with the tunnel stations from the S-Bahn, here: http://www.hamburger-untergrundbahn.de/

User currently offlineType-Rated From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (7 years 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 24608 times:

I think that they have done a marvelous job on Chicago's Union Station. That place was a dump in the 70's & 80's, and now it's nice and clean and completed!
Last year I went in Chicago's Northwestern station, and I wondered where it all went! The building is still there, but all the trappings of a rail station were gone and it looks more like a mall than anything else? What happened to it and when did they do it?

User currently offlineDc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2321 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (7 years 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 24603 times:

Well, the most beautiful station in Romania is the one called Burdujeni, in Suceava... modeled after one in Freiburg, I believe...

And Brussels Centraal is probably one of the ugliest... It really does not look like a train station; it's more like a dungeon.

User currently offlineCharles79 From Puerto Rico, joined Mar 2007, 1338 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (7 years 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 24591 times:

Quoting Bwest (Thread starter):
Which stations of the list have you visited? And which ones would you like to see on a revised list?

I've only been to St. Pancras in London and Grand Central in NY, both of them quite nice buildings. Here in DC we have Union Station which others have already mentioned and it is quite stunning.

As for more modern stations I quite like the new Berlin Hauptbahnhof. It's like a glass castle letting lots of natural light in and plenty of shops inside.

How about stations in need of a makeover? I can think of two: Los Angeles, though pretty and historic, is awfully small (but then again who takes the train in LA right?). Also, the main station in Essen, Germany, could do with a renovation. Koln's station down the road could be used as a model me thinks.

User currently offlineN867DA From United States of America, joined May 2008, 1131 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (7 years 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 24557 times:

What they did to NY Penn is near criminal. Unfortunately, scores of cities around the country have similar tales. Atlanta's magnificent station was torn down years before I was born. Its replacement is smaller than the average house, but to be fair it only serves two trains a day.

Mumbai CST is an architectural wonder but you'd better time your visit carefully if you want to see it. It needs to be maintained better, but I thought it was relatively clean.

Washington's Union Station is pretty comfortable. I don't remember much of it since it's been about a decade.

New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal looked strictly utilitarian. I doubt it will win any prizes soon...for anything!

Chicago Union Station is another one of those beautiful stations. Parts of the exterior look quite modern but the Great Hall takes your breath away. It takes you back to an era when rail travel was the best way to travel...it helps that if you stay there long enough you see departures to every corner of the country.

A nation turns its lonely eyes to you
User currently offlineLuv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12341 posts, RR: 44
Reply 14, posted (7 years 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 24546 times:
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Now these were train stations in there days.

Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal, no longer a train staion though still lives on for all to enjoy.


Now this one still stands though sadly no where near her former glory.

Michigan Central Station


You can cut the irony with a knife
User currently offlineCadet57 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 9104 posts, RR: 28
Reply 15, posted (7 years 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 24547 times:

Having only been to a few US rail stations, I'll list my favorites

1) Grand Central
2) San Diego
3) Worcester Ma
4 )Washington Union Station
5) New Haven, CT
6) LA Union Station

Doors open, right hand side, next stop is Springfield.
User currently offlineWunalaYann From Australia, joined Mar 2005, 2839 posts, RR: 22
Reply 16, posted (7 years 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 24540 times:

Gare de Lyon, Lyon-Perrache, Flinders St Station, Gare du Nord, Lille-Flandres, ...


User currently offlineLTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13766 posts, RR: 17
Reply 17, posted (7 years 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 24488 times:

From about 1990 to 2006, I used to walk through NY's Grand Central Station every working day. I saw it be restored to it's historic glory in the late 1990's, the removal of modern advertising to adding a staircase to the lower level on the east end that almost matched that on the west end of the main lobby. To me it is the best of existing RR stations in the USA, although of other USA stations I have been in, Chicago's Union Station, Phildelphia's 30th Street Station (main station for Amtrak there), DC's Union Station are great, restored RR stations as well.

Fortuntally, I have also been in a number of the finest European RR stations. Most stations in Europe tend to be glass shed designs and some of the stations mentioned above (Victoria, Milan, London-Paddington, various others) were quite impressive.

User currently offlineWunalaYann From Australia, joined Mar 2005, 2839 posts, RR: 22
Reply 18, posted (7 years 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 24473 times:

And because an image speaks a thousand words (and heaps of megabytes):



User currently offlineLXA333 From United States of America, joined Nov 2008, 312 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (7 years 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 24452 times:

For me Top 7, Ive been to quite a few in Europe and North America. Nothing else off these 2 continents yet.

1. Grand Central(I had the leisure of passing through this terminal everyday heading to job!)
2. Gare du Nord
3. Munchen Hauptbahnof
4. Basel SBB
5. St. Pancras
6. Wateloo
7. Zurich Hauptbahnof

[Edited 2009-02-05 21:06:55]

[Edited 2009-02-05 21:14:03]

SWISSAIR-Worlds most refreshing airline
User currently offlineBwest From Belgium, joined Jul 2006, 1414 posts, RR: 3
Reply 20, posted (7 years 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 24394 times:

I also love the early art deco look of Helsinki's train station

Designed by Eliel Saarinen, father of Eero Saarinen, who ofcourse built the Pan Am terminal at JFK. Quite a creative family  Smile

I love my Airport Job! :)
User currently offlineMarquis From Germany, joined Sep 2005, 277 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (7 years 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 24347 times:

If you add in Underground/Metro, my most favourite stations are some of the recently redesigned ones in Munich. Very modern and appealing.








Riding the radials...
User currently offlineL410Turbolet From Czech Republic, joined May 2004, 5889 posts, RR: 18
Reply 22, posted (7 years 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 24315 times:

Quoting Dc9northwest (Reply 10):
Brussels Centraal is probably one of the ugliest...

Prague is definitely among the top ugly ones as well, the early 20th century historical building has been bastardized by an ugly a$$ mid-1970s annex.

Train station in my hometown, built in 1935 (the tower used to contain water tanks for the steam engines).

User currently offlineDoona From Sweden, joined Feb 2005, 3798 posts, RR: 13
Reply 23, posted (7 years 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 24278 times:

Anyone ever been to the Kobany Kispest above-ground metro station outside Budapest? Had the pleasure last spring, let's just say it was an impressive structure.

Very typical mid-century concrete-futurism, with orange plastic-looking siding, with large octagonal windows. Could use a good scrub on the outside as well. The inside was surreal, dirty concrete, big red girders everywhere and lots of people. It was like a scene out of Blade Runner or something...

All in all, pretty cool...

[Edited 2009-02-06 07:19:45]

Sure, we're concerned for our lives. Just not as concerned as saving 9 bucks on a roundtrip to Ft. Myers.
User currently offlineBaguy From Australia, joined Mar 2006, 546 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (7 years 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 24261 times:

Quoting WunalaYann (Reply 16):
Gare du Nord


For me St. Pancras International beats them all, so light airy and a wonderful fusion of modern and the original masterpiece.


25 Lincoln : I've only ever really been in two "real" train stations -- and even, really, only a handful of platforms... but Grand Central Terminal (this past Octo
26 Doona : Reminds me, once when I was at the station in Cologne, a pigeon shat on my arm while I was eating a bratwurst. The vendor was nice enough to stop lau
27 Charles79 : Have just one comment: Ewww!!! Note to self: next week while in Koln, watch out for birds...or stay by the Dom and avoid the train station altogether
28 Post contains links and images Scorpio : For those who like modern achitecture: the new railway station at Liege-Guillemins, Belgium, currently nearing completion: The design: Some recent pho
29 Beaucaire : Godverdomme -thats quite a design ! - I'm normally not a fan of modern architecture but the Liège railwaystation is quite spectacular..( although it
30 Post contains links and images GrahamHill : I've never really paid attention to railway stations, but there is one that I always wanted to see, and that was Grand Central. Here is a pic I took i
31 Post contains links Bwest : I was there last year. A very surreal experience. It's extremely busy, there's bums lying, drinking, fighting everywhere, who are completely ignored
32 Post contains links and images BritJap : True true. And it makes a nice change to the grotty Kings Cross & Euston that are so close by. At last people have a great gateway to the UK when tra
33 Cpd : Not nicest stations - but the worst is Town Hall or Wynyard in Sydney, Australia. If you disagree, I tell you to go to either one of them at about 2:0
34 LH423 : The only good thing that came out of the demolition of Grand Central was that it really knocked the heritage conservation movement into gear in the U
35 Post contains links Srbmod : The loss of both Terminal Station and Union Station in Atlanta was sad, but it wasn't until the Fox Theater was threatened with demolition did the hi
36 Cadet57 : I hate penn station, mostly because all ticketing, tracks, etc are underground, its dark, dingy and very utilitarian, not to mention a total labyrint
37 Cory6188 : No kidding. I commute through it daily from NJ Transit to the 1/2/3, and whenever I have to go through the rest of the station, I'm at a total loss f
38 Greggarious : From the list, I've been to Grand Central Terminal (quite often, but just to catch the Subway), Madrid's Atocha station (I love the indoor garden) and
39 Post contains links and images MadameConcorde : I did not want to post anything on this thread before I had pictures. I went to Italy for my Saturday morning food shopping so I thought I would snap
40 PSA727 : I would put Leipzig Hauptbahnhof in the Top 10. It's huge, beautiful architecture, and plenty of light inside. I was also quite impressed with the "th
41 Post contains links and images STT757 : Once when my Wife and I were waiting for our NJ Transit train back to New Jersey we stopped at a restaraunt in the LIRR concourse at NY Penn to get s
42 FLY2HMO : Trains? What are those things? Can you actually get on them? Signed, 99% of America
43 Post contains images Boeing744 : I've been to only a limited number, and almost solely in central and eastern Europe. The best I experienced was Hauptbahnhof Linz, which was also the
44 Post contains images GrahamHill : I've never been there, but I heard Avignon's railway station is not bad either. Here is a pic:
45 Braybuddy : It's a wonderful piece of architecture, but have they filled-in the hole outside it yet? I'm impressed!
46 Us330 : Sorry, nothing to distinctive about it--just seems rather generic. Favorites (or memorable ones) from where I've been: Grand Central--which I live th
47 Cadet57 : Thread wasnt about distinctive. It isnt overly amazing either, its just a nice station, that was kept up over the years. Thats all.
48 Steeler83 : Yup, I've been there. I've been to the main entrance there on 42nd St. as well as on the concourse level. I transferred from the No. 6 train from the
49 Post contains images Bwest : You'd be surprised if you were to visit it now. The whole square in front of it, as well as the street lining the station have been redone. Looks ver
50 Post contains links Qantas744 : St Pancras has always been a magnificent grandoise station but fell into disrepair in the 1980s and 1990s, it's rejuvenation has been a highlight of t
51 Post contains images DanTaylor2006 : I say Birmingham New Street Should be No. 1... All kidding aside, I've only been to 2 on the list (St. Pancras and Grand Central), and whilst both are
52 Tommy767 : I've been on Amtrak a few times up and down the east coast and the stations for the most part are terribly run down, as are the trains. Metropark in N
53 Gkirk : Manchester Victoria is a splendid station Signed, Nobody
54 Charles79 : I have and it's a shame they couldn't restore it. At the same time I understand that post war they simply needed to have a functioning station, beaut
55 Post contains links LH423 : Oh, the Ottawa train station infuriates me. One of the biggest blunders the useless National Capital Commission (NCC) ever did. Until the 1960s, the
56 Post contains images Baguy : I know, it's a disgrace to the midlands! (only just worse than my local station - Wolverhampton
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