10 Most Amazing Railway Stations in the World
1.Grand Central Terminal
Location: New York (New York), USA
Over hundred years old, the Grand Central Terminal does not seem to be any less fascinating today than when it was built in 1913. Located on 42nd Street and Park Avenue in Manhattan, this 44-platform commuter terminal is built over 48 acres and has a number of food and entertainment options including its own tennis court. Intricate designs on the exterior and huge golden chandeliers on the inside make it a tourist attraction on its own right. The Whispering Gallery and the hidden bars make it a fascinating place to visit. In 2013, the Grand Central Terminal recorded a footfall of about 21.9 million visitors.
2.Antwerp Central Station
Location: Antwerp, Belgium
Considered the most beautiful train station in Europe, the Antwerp Central Train Station, was built in 1905. Referred to as the Antwerpen-Centraal, the station is now operated by the Nationale Maatschappij der Belgische Spoorwegen (NMBS), the national railway corporation of Belgium. The imposing neo-Baroque facade of the station, its huge arched dome, arched glass windows and opulent but eclectic architecture make it a fascinating destination, rather than just a train station. In early 2009, the station was the venue to a flash mob of about 200 people who danced to “Do Re Mi” from The Sound of Music. This video went viral on many social media sites.
3.St. Pancras International
Location: London, UK
One of the most iconic landmarks of the Victorian era, the St. Pancras International in London is perhaps best known for its red brick neo-Gothic facade and its huge glass roof. The station was opened to public in 1868, an architectural marvel at the time. Apart from a secure Eurostar terminal, the station has 15 platforms serving trains that connect London with the rest of the country. In recent years, the station underwent a GBP 800 million makeover with extensive cleaning and renovation work having been done. St. Pancras now comes with a complete shopping and entertainment center.
Location: Milan, Italy
It is only befitting that the beautiful city of Milan also be given one of the most beautiful rail stations in the world. This is what we think was on King Victor Emmanuel III’s mind as he laid the cornerstone of this station in 1906. The Milano Centrale, opened to public in 1931, now connects Milan with the rest of Italy. With 24 platforms, an imposing facade, and over 11,000 cubic meters of marble and a large glass roof, the station is a sheer beauty to behold. The architecture draws from several styles such as Liberty and Art Deco – all very tastefully blended into one stunning station.
5.Southern Cross Railway Station
Location: Melbourne (Victoria), Australia
The Southern Cross Railway Station (previously known as the Spencer Street Station) was first opened to service in 1859 but went through an ambitious renovation about a decade ago. Not only is the station one of the busiest in Australia, it is also one of the most beautiful. One of the best features of the station is the History of Transport mural – a 27-panel fitting that depicts the evolution of transport. The other and perhaps best-loved feature of the station is the giant air-filled tube that runs through the glass roof. This roof traps fumes from the station and releases it to the atmosphere making it a natural air cleanser.
6.Gare du Nord
Location: Paris, France
Located in the central 10th Arrondissement of the beautiful French capital, the Gare du Nord epitomizes medieval European architecture. Connecting Paris to the rest of France, it is also one of the busiest train stations in the continent. The sculpted facade (designed by Jacques Hittorff) has 23 statues representing 23 destinations in Europe that could be reached when the station opened up in 1846. The interiors of the station look divine through the day as bright sunlight filters in through arched glass windows. Gare du Nord serves the premier Eurostar trains in Paris.
7.Estação de São Bento
Location: Porto, Portugal
Built on the site of an ancient Benedictine monastery from the 16th century, the Estação de São Bento or the Sao Bento Railway Station was opened to public in 1916. The best feature of the station is its colorful tiled panels depicting historic scenes from ancient Portugal. It makes the station both beautiful and charming. These were crafted by Jorge Colaco. The impeccable cleanliness, the cast iron pillars, and the old-world charm of this Porto railway station make it one of the most amazing places in the world.
8.Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus
Location: Mumbai (Maharashtra), India
And here we have a train station which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Combine that with the fact that a stunning 3 million commuters use this station each day and you will know why Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus, popularly referred to as CST, is well-loved. Originally called the Victoria Terminus, the station was established in 1887 and now serves both long-distance and commuter trains. This is not all. The stunning exterior of the station was designed by Frederick William Stevens and draws inspiration from Gothic Victorian Revival and Mughal schools of architecture.
9.Kuala Lumpur Railway Station
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Among the oldest rail stations of Asia, the KL Railway Station opened up in 1886. Once the main connecting rail hub of the Malaysian capital, it is now a commuter station. The pristine white spires, the intricate designs, and the eclectic mix of Mughal, Indo-Saracenic, and Moorish Revival architecture make the very structure aesthetically appealing. The station was designed by architect A. B. Hubback. Moreover, the Heritage Station Hotel in the station building makes for a comfortable stay.
Location: Kanazawa, Japan
The Kanazawa Station opened up to public in 1898. The city itself is one that has preserved its cultural legacy and architecture, including the samurai living quarters and geisha sectors. This is perhaps the reason that the futuristic architecture of the station (after renovation in 2005) attracted much criticism. And yet, it remains undeniable that the wooden drum-shaped Tsuzumi Gate and the glass and steel facade make the Kanazawa Station beautiful. One of the main attractions of the station is the unique fountain that displays the time through its water spout.