Train stations usually make you reminisce to old movies and romantic scenes or to modern-day Harry Potter. Train stations are built at regular stops made by the train and used to load and unload passengers. They may have one or more tracks and are equipped with the basics: seats, bathrooms, cafeteria or vending machines, ticket booth and a waiting area. Some stations are at ground level, while others are underground or elevated.
While the world’s first recorded train station was in Wales in 1807, train stations have come a long way in terms of amenities and facilities. Today we can explore some of the most amazing train stations in the world full of amenities, with intricate and modern designs and other luxuries that allow them to stand out.
Here are some of the most famous and beautiful train stations in the world:
Milano Centrale – Milan
This train station was to be modeled initially after Union Station in Washington, D.C. changed radically under Mussolini. About 500 trains pass through this station daily, which is a combination of several architectural styles.
Antwerp Central Station – Antwerp, Belgium
In the 20th century there were no expenses spared when building this architectural beauty. It was completed in 1905 with over 20 types of marble and stone. It was initially built as a terminus, but is now used as a through station for intercity or commuter trains.
Grand Central Terminal – New York City
Open since 1913, this New York City terminal is recognized internationally for its ceiling mural of a celestial sky and star constellations. It still has antique gold-barred ticket booths, and is decorated with gold chandeliers, large arches and even has tennis courts in the upstairs floors. There are many options to eat at their lower level food court, but the most famous restaurant that you can’s miss is the Oyster Bar.
Gare Du Nord – Paris
The façade is decorated with statues representing the different European cities that make stops at this station. Its magnificent windows allow all the sunlight to flow through during the day. This is the busiest station in Europe connecting several intercity and international trains routes. This is yet another famous train station that appears in several Hollywood films like The Bourne Identity, Amelie and others.
St. Pancras International – London
This is the station that greets people from all over Europe. This station, with its immense halls, took over 20 years to build finally opening in 1868. This station makes part of history surviving World War II and even being a strategically positioned meeting point for Allied soldiers.
Sirkeci Station – Istanbul
Merging French Art Nouveau with Ottoman architecture, it was initially the terminus for the Orient Express arriving from Paris in 1890. The stained glass windows is one of the characteristics that tourist admire the most. The ride into the station is also well remembered for passing by one of the world’s most spectacular palaces, Topkapi Palace.
Kuala Lumpur Railway Station – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The white train station is a perfect blend of eastern and western architecture making a eclectic mix. This station was completed in 1910 and was at one point the city’s main station, but has since been replaced by the station at Kuala Lumpur Central Station. It now serves as a stop for commuter trains.
Estacao de Sao Bento – Porto, Portugal
Appraised for its blue murals, it occupies the former convent of S. Bento de Avé-Maria. The murals took artist, Jorge Colaço,14 years to complete. It is also quite near other attractions such as the Biblioteca Joanina, known as one of the most breathtaking libraries in the world.
CMF Railway Station – Maputo, Mozambique
As a standing piece of historical Portuguese colonial rule, this white and mint green building maintains its old feel. The waiting areas still have the wooden benches, ticket counters and even have some antique steam locomotives on display.
Estación de Madrid Atocha – Madrid
In 1851, this amazing train station with its indoor garden was the first and largest train station in Madrid. Due to a fire, it was replaced in1992 and had a new adjacent terminal hub. It was also target to a terrorist attack and has a memorial for the victims in commemoration to the bombing in 2004.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus – Mumbai
Bombay’s prestige and history is evident when it was named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was built in honor of Queen Victoria, reason why it was initially known as Victoria Terminus. It was opened in 1888, after 10 years of construction. Although it was built in honor of the queen, it does have some cultural elements of India, built in with the sculptures. Some distinctive sculptures representative of the Indian culture contain the tiger, and in representation of England the lion.