Train travel is often the fastest and most efficient way to reach places. Though now a less common means of transport, it was once at the forefront of architectural innovation, prompting rulers, monarchs, architects, and city planners to build remarkable train stations to impress passengers and tourists. From lavish Beaux-Arts stations to ultra-modern unconventional designs, here are some beautiful railway stations from around the world:
King Leopold II went all out in constructing the Antwerp Central Station. This magnificent neo-Baroque structure was completed in 1905 and features more than 20 types of marble and stone. What’s interesting about this grand station is a handsome antique clock that alerts passengers who are waiting to catch a train. The iron and glass vaulted ceiling further adds to its attractive appeal. Originally built as the terminus of the Brussels-Mechelen-Antwerp railway line, the station now operates commuter trains, intercity trains, and high-speed trains that connect Amsterdam to Paris and Lille via Belgium.
St. Pancras International, London
20 years in the making, the massive halls of the St. Pancras International station proudly greet people arriving in London from all different parts of UK, France, and Belgium via the Eurostar. When this train station was completed in 1868, it was considered the largest enclosed space in the world. Masterful architecture that’s reminiscent of the Victorian era is clearly evident in the red brick Gothic detailing. Interestingly enough, it was a significant escape route and meeting point for soldiers during the Second World War.
Grand Central Terminal, New York City
New York’s Grand Central Terminal Station has every bit of the charm and beauty it did in 1913. As passengers purchase tickets at the gold-barred windows, they can sneak a glance at the beautiful celestial ceiling murals. The station is decorated with gleaming gold chandeliers and winding staircases. From the Whispering Gallery, which carries sound across the Guastavino-tiled arches to John W. Campbell’s hidden bar office, Grand Central is surely a treasure trove of secrets. Considered the world’s largest station, it even has secret tennis courts upstairs.
Kazansky Railway Station, Moscow
Train and subway stations in Moscow are very opulent and elaborated designed, and the Kazansky Railway Station is no exception. It is the western terminus of the Trans-Siberian Railway and Moscow’s largest train station. The genius intellect of architect, Alexey Shchusev—it took a startling 27 years in construction from 1913 to 1940. This train terminal features an interesting merge of decor styles, with Art Nouveau, Kremlin, and Rococo element all competing for equal attention.
Haydarpasa Terminal, Istanbul
The unique, palace-like Haydarpasa Terminal is perched on the banks of the Bosphorus in the Kadıköy neighbourhood. A true masterful construction, the neo-classical building, was completed in 1909. The reason this station looks, so European is because German architects Otto Ritter and Helmut Conu called on German and Italian sculptors to complete the project.