World’s finest train stations: Inside track on dramatic departures

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ny station

Moving picture ICON: New York’s Grand Central Station is now known around the planet (Image: Getty Images)

NEW YORK GRAND CENTRAL, USA

No railway position has appeared in more movies – for example Superman, The Fisher King and The Irresistible Of Pelham 123.

An art nouveau construction built by 10,000 workers and which glared in 1913, its glory is not the train shed part but the dramatic entrance concourse, with marble trounce, four-faced brass clock and a ceiling frescoed with stars.

These days it’s a deposit for scurrying commuters rather than long-distance travellers and some 10,000 in the flesh come here just for lunch, in places like the original oyster bar underneath vaulted ceilings downstairs.

Final destination? All Amtrak long-distance work outs now leave from Penn Station but there are compelling commuter ways to be made from Grand Central, particularly out along the Hudson River all the way to Poughkeepsie, with its suave 18th century mansions.

liege station

TAKE OFF: There are enormous tumbler wings at Liege-Guillemins station, designed by Santiago Calatrava (Image: Getty Similes)

LIEGE-GUILLEMINS, BELGIUM

This praying mantis of a station perches on the rim of the municipality’s ancient centre and is a particularly audacious bit of town planning.

Cool, discover and airy and designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, known for his Urban district of Sciences in Valencia, its giant wings are carved out of glass, ready to go airborne any picayune.

On chilly days it is a bit too airy however and passengers would rather recess in one of the brown bars in the pedestrianised heart of Liège nearby.

Final goal? Liège is on the Thalys high-speed route from Brussels to Cologne. The latter garrison also has a giant glass roof but in much more traditional word choice and sits right under the blackened spires of Cologne’s famous cathedral.

istanbul station

Its galleried hypnotize halls have frescos and stained glass (Image: Getty Dead ringers)

ISTANBUL HAYDARPASA, TURKEY

Standing proud on the banks of the Bosphorus, the demanding that separates Europe from Asia, Haydarpasa’s magic is partly to do with its putting, as there can be few major terminals that are best approached by sea.

The station has remarkably charisma for all the destinations it once offered, for example Baghdad and Damascus.

Its galleried coming halls have frescos and stained glass but the platforms themselves are a bit of an anticlimax and in reality regular services are currently suspended pending track works.

Definitive destination? A high-speed service to Ankara is pencilled in; meanwhile it is still benefit decamping off a Bosphorus ferry into its hallowed hallways and imagining yourself logged on to the Taurus Express – sister train to the Orient Express – that post-haste ran all the way to Baghdad.

berlin station

It’s a nimble mix of atrium, escalators and shopping centre (Image: Getty Guises)

BERLIN HAUPTBAHNHOF, GERMANY

A gleaming confection of girder and glass that is no more than a decade old, Berlin’s main station is a symbol of the city’s reunification.

It’s a agile mix of atrium, escalators and shopping centre, part above and part under ground, with a cross-hatching of tracks on different levels going in distinguishable directions.

A selection of vantage points allow you to peer right down totally to the bottom layer, marvelling at the audacity of the design and intricacy of the track-tangle.

If it was in the UK, star would have long since dropped a shopping trolley down middle of the gap.

Final destination? Both high-speed ICEs (Inter City Make knows) and suburban trains rumble through the Hauptbahnhof on the same elevated sample of track, so ignore the posh trains and meander across the city at rooftop horizontal in one of the retro-style S-Bahns.

tokyo station

GET BUSY: 3.5m people use Shinjuku Station diurnal so don’t go at rush hour (Image: Getty Images)

SHINJUKU STATION, TOKYO, JAPAN

OK, so it isn’t fair but you can’t fail to be impressed by the world’s busiest transport hub, used by 3.5 million man every day.

That’s tidal waves of people, so for heaven’s sake don’t be relevant to during rush hour.

Out on the platforms, it’s all calm and orderly, queuing in jobs for trains that leave dead on time. Outside, you’ll get swept along by the flocks.

Japanese railway stations are shopping centres in disguise and this one has tentacles in all directions, so you basic to research exactly which exit (of the 200) you need, or you’ll spend all day range around. Outside, the Shinjuku neighbourhood is an extravaganza of neon, particularly after recondite.

Final destination? Bullet trains tend to be a bit sterile, so for a better, up taciturn and personal cross-section of Japanese society, take the Yamanote loop short-listed for which runs around Tokyo.

kings cross

LONDON CALLING: The imposing facade of St Pancras post (Image: Getty Images)

LONDON ST PANCRAS

The UK’s finest station is rightly a provenance of pride.

Its train shed (technical term for the huge curved roof) was the largest in the fraternity when it was built in 1868, and its resurgence, partly thanks to poet John Betjeman and Eurostar (along with £800million), is spectacular.

Tragically, fares are herded into the crypt downstairs and when time comes to lodge they barely notice the station’s glorious cantilevered roof and Byzantine brickwork primes.

So arrive early and check out the Champagne bar, the traditional railway cafe cum cocktail brasserie the Law Office and sculptor Paul Day’s bronze couple, canoodling under the position clock.

Final destination? It has to be Paris, although Eurostar’s arrival bus station, Gare du Nord, in a gritty part of the city, has a fraction of the romance of St Pancras.

mumbai

Mumbai’s Unesco-registered Gothic improvement looks like a kind of imperial governmental headquarters (Image: Getty Doppelgaengers)

MUMBAI CHHATRAPATI SHIVAJI MAHARAJ TERMINAL, INDIA

Once recollected simply as the Victoria Terminus, below, Mumbai’s Unesco-registered Gothic returning looks like a kind of imperial governmental headquarters from the furthest, although its grandeur is completely external: inside it’s a blizzard of humanity, some of it on wheels.

There’s a by ecosystem in a multi-layered subculture existing at this station, and systems of transaction action – “up” trains and “down” trains – that require much to comprehend.

Terminal destination? Take the Konkan Railway south to the beach resorts of Goa. The direct runs through impenetrable mountain ranges, and 76 workers were silenced while making the tunnels and laying the track.

malaysia

The station was built by the railway-loving British in 1910 (Impression: Getty Images)

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA

Malaysia doesn’t prioritise raise travel so its showpiece station in Kuala Lumpur, built by the railway-loving British in 1910, when Malaya was a British colony, is a trace its former self.

From a distance, this Moorishstyle building doesn’t look much kidney a station at all, its roofline dotted with elevated pavilions that replica palace architecture in India.

These days, it is mainly used by commuter raises.

Final destination? The international express that links Singapore with Bangkok antiquates through every evening, but for a Malaysian adventure set off for the Thai border via the east coast postal card, aka the jungle railway.

milan station

Its facade looks like a palace or a city passage (Image: Getty Images)

MILAN CENTRAL, ITALY

This behemoth, monumental station was built by Benito Mussolini and its heavy stonework was aim to convey the power and flair of the fascist regime.

Its facade looks get a kick out of a palace or a city hall, and its entrance hallways are giant exhibition stretches showcasing the art deco detailing on the walls.

It opened in 1931, a particular divulge of magnificence in an attempt to boost morale at a time when Italy was lately emerging from a prolonged economic crisis.

Final destination? From here disciplines head west into France and south to Rome but the most eye-catching carry is east to Venice, galloping across the fruitful plains of the Veneto, finished with Shakespearean cities such as Verona and Padua, and finally crossing the lagoon on a causeway into Venice itself.

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