1. Grand Central Terminal, New York, USA
New York’s oldest and largest train station in the world has 44 platforms and 67 tracks. The two-level station: 41-way fit on the first level and 26 on the second. The building was built over a hundred years ago – in 1913, and earlier in its place was also the station. Grand Central Terminal is made in the eclectic style of Beaux-Arts, the distinctive features of which are symmetry, the use of fancy decorations in the decor, figure sculptures and gold inserts.
The building has several popular cafes and restaurants, especially praise the oyster bar. And there is also a cinema, so if the train is delayed, or you arrived at the station too early, you can pass the time watching the movie.
2. St. Pancras International Station (St. Pancras International), London, UK
The station, like many others on this list, is not young: it was opened in 1868 and is located opposite the British Library in central London. Here is a five-star hotel St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel (incredibly beautiful) is the main station building. It is built of red brick in neo-gothic style and is considered one of the most striking examples of this architectural direction.
St. Pancras International not only looks great but is also an important transportation hub. From here, for example, flights to Paris and Brussels are carried out on Eurostar trains passing under the English Channel.
3. Antwerp Central Station (Antwerpen Centraal), Antwerp, Belgium
From the photographs, it seems that this is a mansion of some old Count family or the royal family. The station opened in 1905, but the trains were leaving from here since 1898, when the decabarker was built – this is part of the station with platforms and a shed above them.
A beautiful building with difficulty resisted the passage of time: it literally began to fall apart in the middle of the twentieth century. Demolition was avoided due to the status of the monument of architecture, which was assigned to the station in 1975. The restoration started in 1998 was completed only eleven years later. The station received a different layout: instead of one level, it became three. During the reconstruction of Antwerpen Centraal, they built a new passage to the aprons, but the building resembling a castle still stands still.
4. Station Sao Bento (Estacao de Sao Bento), Porto, Portugal
To the station of São Bento here was the monastery of São Bento de Ave Maria. After a fire in 1783, it was restored, but gradually the place was abandoned. At that time, the railway network was actively developed, and in 1900 work began on the conversion of the monastery to the station.
The building was built in neoclassical style. Inside, there are many works by Georges Kolas, one of the best artists of his time, who painted Portuguese tiles azulejos. Among the scenes that adorn the walls of the station are historical episodes and battle scenes. In short, there is something to look at while waiting for the train.
5. Strasbourg Station (Gare de Strasbourg), Strasbourg, France
From the outside, the station looks modern and unusual – it is a completely glass semi-circular building. The dome appeared relatively recently. Prior to this, the station looked similar to the structures of that time – it was opened in 1883, but construction continued for another five years.
For reconstruction, which ended in late 2007, it took about 150 million euros. The building was equipped with everything that you can: heated floors, the latest electric centralization system, which allows you to monitor heavy traffic and prevent train disruptions, various security systems.
6. Kanazawa Station, Kanazawa Station, Japan
The station building in Kanazawa is an interesting combination of traditional Japanese architecture with modern styles. The entrance looks like a huge fourteen meter arch, made of handmade wooden columns. It begins with a glass roof, which contrasts sharply with the columns themselves.
Inside Kanazawa Station is a lot of greenery: trees and shrubs grow there. There are even fountains. Once inside, you will not notice how quickly the time passes while waiting for the train. And the building itself, despite the bold combination of styles, looks surprisingly harmonious.
7. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Station, Mumbai, India
The station is not named after the place where it is located, but by the name of Shivaji, the national hero of India, who in the 17th century raised a rebellion against the then ruling Muslims. Until 1996, however, the station was called the Victoria Terminus in honor of Queen Victoria.
The building, like Antwerpen Centraal, is very much like a palace. The decoration of the station enhances the impression: a staircase with a balustrade, wooden inserts with figured carvings, copper railings. This is one of the busiest stations in India, it serves not only local trains, but also long-distance trains.
8. Southern Cross Station, Melbourne, Australia
Melbourne Central Station begins its history in 1859 when it opened under the name Spencer Street Station. The station underwent a major renovation in 1960, and then it was remade again in 2000, expanding and leading to a modern look. Thirteen years later, two new platforms were added, a total of sixteen.
Outside the station stands out for the unusual shape of the roof. It is curved, wavy. It looks original and recognizable – such a building is not to be confused with anything.
9. Puerta de Atocha Station, Madrid, Spain
The name comes from the city gate Atocha, which were demolished in the middle of the 19th century. The station has three platforms, from where trains go to major tourist cities, such as Valencia, Seville, Barcelona.
The building looks monumental and inside pleases travellers with an abundance of greenery. There is a winter garden with palm trees and a pond in which turtles live.
10. Haydarpasa Station (Haydarpasa Gari), Istanbul, Turkey
The station is located in the Asian part of Istanbul, trains from here to the suburbs of the capital and throughout the east of Turkey. It was built on the bulk peninsula, which goes straight to the sea. From the station, you can transfer to the ferry for crossing the Bosphorus.
Haydarpasa is an important transportation hub, so it is usually crowded here. The building was first opened in 1908, and the station has existed since the seventies of the 19th century. The architecture is guessed by European features and this is no accident because the building was designed by architects from Germany.
The main thing – remember that an impressive train station does not mean at all that the route from it will pass to equally spectacular places. The beginning of the most scenic routes is often frankly homely stations. About the 10 most beautiful railway routes in the world can be found by reading this article.