5 spectacular railway stations

5 spectacular railway stations

Who says infrastructure has to be boring? Long overshadowed by cars and planes, trains can seem like a bygone mode of transportation. But hold on - rail-based travel isn’t just efficient and eco-friendly; it also gives the riders the chance to experience architecture on a grand scale. In this blog we look at some of the most stunning railway stations in the world.

Grand Central Terminal, New York
It wouldn’t be much of a list if we didn’t start with one of the best known railway legends. Grand Central Terminal celebrated its centenary five years ago, and it looks as gorgeous today as it did in 1913. Built by and named for the New York Central Railroad in the heyday of American long-distance passenger rail travel, it is the largest such facility in the world by number of platforms with 44 serving 67 tracks along them. The station has also featured in around 40 movies, such as Carlito’s Way, Men in Black and Extreme Measures.

Gare du Nord, Paris
Constructed in the Beaux-Arts style, the impressive Gare du Nord is befitting of the French capital. On the façade, statues personify the major European cities where trains leaving the station end up, with Paris in the center. With over 190 million people passing through every year, Gare du Nord is Europe's busiest railway station. It connects several subway lines, the RER commuter train, and regional and international trains. It has appeared in many movies, including The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Ultimatum, Amélie, Les Poupées Rousses, and Ocean's Twelve.

Rautatieasema, Helsinki
Helsinki Central Station HEC is the main station for commuter rail and long-distance trains departing from Helsinki, Finland. The station is used by approximately 400,000 people per day, of which about 200,000 are passengers. The station building was designed by Eliel Saarinen and inaugurated in 1919. Helsinki Central was chosen as one of the world's most beautiful railway stations by BBC in 2013.

Estacion de Madrid Atocha, Madrid
The Madrid Atocha Train Station (Madrid Estación de Atocha ) is Madrid’s largest train station. The station is exceptional with its steel and glass construction, and the lush tropical garden grows in the main concourse. It was Madrid's first and largest train station, originally inaugurated in 1851. When a fire destroyed the first building, a glorious, wrought iron station replaced it. In 1992, a more modern terminal was built adjacent, replacing it as a transit hub.

Amsterdam Centraal Station, Amsterdam
Amsterdam Centraal train station is the main railway hub of the capital city of the Netherlands. More than 250,000 passengers transit through the train station daily. Amsterdam Centraal was first opened in 1889, and features a Gothic/Renaissance Revival station building and a cast iron platform roof spanning approximately 40 metres. Since 1997, the station building, underground passages, metro station and the surrounding area have been undergoing major reconstruction and renovation works to accommodate the North-South Line metro route, which is due to open in this year.

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