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Which are the most outstanding rail stations to you?


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#1 v v

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Posted 30 June 2017 - 05:21 PM

Saw a travel feature in a British newspaper proclaiming 'The 20 best railway station in the world' and it made me think, there are a few I'd consider better than some of their picks.

 

So, here's a question - what's your personal choice for any reason whatsoever  -

 

Which 2 US rail stations are the best?

 

Which 2 rest of the world rail stations are the best?

 

Any photos with replies would be good too.

 

 

To start this off from stations visited so far -

 

US  #1   -   Washington is my top US pick as it is so elegant, so connected into other transport systems and so central. Walking out through the front doors you can walk to so many diverse locations, it really feels as though it's at the heart of Washington.

US  #2   -   Lompoc - Surf Station. First reason is it's outstanding name. With a name like Lompoc it should be in Vietnam not California, and Surf Station? could any other state use such a name? Second reason it's location, enough said.

 

World choice  #1   -   Milano Centrale, my first 'magnificent' railway station as a 16 year let loose on Europe for the first time without adults in tow. In the company of a school friend both out to discover the world

World choice  #2   -   Berlin Hauptbahnhof, you could make a film set in the future inside it, amazing


Edited by v v, 01 July 2017 - 05:14 AM.


#2 BCL

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Posted 30 June 2017 - 06:10 PM

My criteria isn't necessarily the best stations to use, but where I enjoy their aesthetics.

 

It would the King Street Station in Seattle and the Fremont-Centerville station in Fremont, California.  The latter had a station building in the Southern Pacific Combination Depot No. 23 style of the 1910s.  I don't believe there's a station of that design (and there were a lot of them) still operating on the Capitol Corridor line.  I think the one in Martinez was decommissioned, although it still stands.  The one in Fremont was relocated though to the other side of the station.

 

I guess honorable mention for me would be the previous SP station building in Berkeley, California.  That doesn't really serve as a train station, but it's Mission revival style architecture.  It served as a Chinese restaurant (China Station) before turning into the current occupant, which is a pub.  It is right next to the train station.



#3 Cho Cho Charlie

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Posted 30 June 2017 - 06:39 PM

I am partial to the 30th Street Station in Philly. An elegant old lady, but also IMHO has the best ClubAcela. Everything from the pride the attendant has in keeping snacks and drinks well stocked, to the seating areas with luggage closets, to the private elevators that takes you directly down to your platform.
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#4 the_traveler

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Posted 30 June 2017 - 07:22 PM

A second yes to PHL, for all the reasons given.

I also like Union Station in LA. It is much better now with the Metropolitan Lounge, but I especially like the outdoor courtyard area just outside of the main waiting room. And Phillipe's is just down the street, for a good place to eat or to grab something to bring back to the station or for the train!:)
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#5 PaTrainFan

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Posted 30 June 2017 - 08:58 PM

One the best parts of train travel is seeing so many charming stations in small to medium cities, but I have to rate Santa Barbara right near the top. Recently visited there for the first time. A classic depot in mint condition in a beautiful city. Among the larger stations, have to agree with 30th Street Station and LA Union Station, but San Diego has to rate.



#6 OlympianHiawatha

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Posted 30 June 2017 - 10:42 PM

A strong thumbs up to Washington Union, especially now that she is back in all her glory following earthquake renovations.  During my WAS layovers, I quickly realized why this place is a top tourist destination, even for those who have no intentions of stepping on any train.  And bring a feisty appetite....



#7 Lonestar648

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Posted 30 June 2017 - 10:59 PM

Washington Union station, Los Angeles Union Station, Grand Central, 30th Street

#8 ehbowen

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Posted 30 June 2017 - 11:07 PM

The only station in Texas which even has a prayer of making the short list is El Paso Union Station, in my experience.

 

As far as small stations, I was very favorably impressed with the pretty depot in Minot, ND last year.


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#9 Bob Dylan

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 12:37 AM

I'll take GCT and LAX with Honorable Mentions to Washington Union,30th Street,Utica,NY and Kansas City Union.

A special one that is under rehab is Union Station in Cincinnati, they don't make 'em like that anymore.😎

In the small Station Catagory, the Classic old SP Station in Davis,Ca.takes First Prize!😙

Edited by Bob Dylan, 01 July 2017 - 12:39 AM.

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#10 dogbert617

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 01:26 AM

I remember being impressed with how nice Albany-Rensselaer's station looked( http://www.trainweb....il/albanyny.htm), when I went inside it during the long break while taking the Lake Shore Limited from New York to Chicago. Honorable mention to Toledo, OH's station( http://www.trainweb....rail/toledo.htm ), since I liked how the inside part of that station looked while the LSL had a 20 minute break there. And sadly, I could barely sleep at all in coach on the LSL, except for a brief period inbetween Cleveland and Toledo. :( I often wish I could've had a sleeper, on that trip. For other Amtrak stations outside the LSL route(granted there are a lot I haven't seen, and I'm sure others are WAY more traveled on Amtrak), I did see the new Metropolitan Lounge in Chicago during an open house event, and it looked really nice! I'm sure the rest of the renovations they're planned to do at Chicago Union Station, will likely go well. Washington, DC also had a pretty nice station( http://www.trainweb....ashingtondc.htm ), and ditto with New Haven, CT( http://www.trainweb....il/newhaven.htm ). Finally for Michigan, the Amtrak depots in Niles( http://www.trainweb....arail/niles.htm ), Kalamazoo( http://www.trainweb....l/kalamazoo.htm , and https://www.flickr.com/photos/eridony/4057701725 ), and Jackson( http://www.trainweb....l/jacksonmi.htm , and https://www.flickr.com/photos/larrythebiker/6246102411/ ) are really nice.

 

Some of the Metra(Chicago area commuter rail) stations are really nice, too. Don't get upset if I forget to mention a station you like, since there are a lot of nice ones throughout Metra in service. My favorites are the ones along the Beverly Sub(branch, and most Metra RI trains use this branch except express trains using the other branch) of the Metra Rock Island line are 99th Street( https://goo.gl/maps/E3myRFUhuBC2), and 111th Street( https://goo.gl/maps/u35dwK5EJeu ). Joliet Metra and Amtrak trains used to use the Joliet Union Station building till a few years ago( https://goo.gl/maps/4AJkvNTAcbr ),but unfortunately a freight railroad forced Metra and Amtrak to build new nearby platforms, and this station and waiting room is no longer in use. :( It's still rented out for private parties though, and you can railfan from the former platform and get a peek inside(while you're outside looking in) at how beautiful this building is. On the BNSF line, Berwyn(Oak Park Ave/downtown Berwyn, https://goo.gl/maps/btss8RZpwkq ) and Riverside( https://goo.gl/maps/CSL6W4nqNHF2 ) have really nice depots. On the Union Pacific West Metra line, I always liked the depots at Wheaton-College Ave( https://goo.gl/maps/ZCa7d2jPFbU2 , but this pic is better: https://metrarail.com/sites/default/files/assets/maps-schedules/station-photos/collegeave.png ) and West Chicago( https://goo.gl/maps/twoRGBcgmro , another view that doesn't do this one the justice it deserves. tad better from flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/roadgeek/30241200941/in/album-72157673866881812/ ). Side note for West Chicago: a few blocks away from that Metra station, there is a junction that's good if you're into railfanning( https://goo.gl/maps/BDrW6AvMAV62 ). Deerfield on the Milwaukee District North line also has a nice one( https://goo.gl/maps/Xnq4Zia3EAt ), and ditto with Lake Bluff on the Union Pacific North line( https://goo.gl/maps/nuPUvPzocWw ).

 

The few train station overseas I have any experience using include the one in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and that one was really nice. I also did a trip to Delft, Netherlands on one day, and their new underground station is really nice. Leiden appeared to have a nice train station too, but I only saw it during the brief station stop we did en route to Delft(and back). So yep essentially all my overseas station experiences were in the Netherlands, but I hope to see more foreign train stations someday. I really badly want to pull off my plan of doing a USA Rail Pass and ride the Southwest Chief to LA, Coast Starlight north to Seattle, and Empire Builder east and back to Chicago eventually, so that I can knock off more Amtrak lines I've ridden. And possibly also ride the Pacific Surfliner to San Diego, too.



#11 railiner

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 01:54 AM

My favorites include 30th Street Station, Philadelphia, for its design and utility; Cincinnati and Los Angeles for their design....I am a fan of Art Deco architecture.... :)


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#12 dogbert617

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 02:01 AM

My favorites include 30th Street Station, Philadelphia, for its design and utility; Cincinnati and Los Angeles for their design....I am a fan of Art Deco architecture.... :)

Ugh, I totally forgot Cincinnati! I've never ridden the Cardinal before, but I recall how very cool it was to see Cincinnati's train station, from the Carew Tower observation deck last year. For those who don't know, Carew Tower is the tallest building in Cincinnati. Hopefully, I get to take the Cardinal east from Chicago, one of these days.

 

I'm sure Philly and LA have great stations too, from the pics I've seen of those stations online.



#13 Maverickstation

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 07:34 AM

As for Domestic stations, Boston South Station.

 

When it was reclaimed and renovated in the late 1980's, a open and modern design was created, yet there are still a number historical touches.

This is also busy station and to me that is part of the criteria as well, a city station with only 1, or fewer trains per day, does not cut it.

 

South Station is the most civilized of Amtrak's big city station with full service.

 

The Club Acela is notable as you can appreciate the historical detailing of the station.

I live close enough so that Club Acela does not really serve a purpose for me, but then traveling on Acela 1st Class,I will still get there early to take in the beauty of it.

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#14 KmH

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 11:00 AM

Boy howdy.

Los Angeles Union Station is a destination itself.

It's the largest station in the west and the blend of art deco, mission revival, and occasional dutch architectural touches make it a sight worth seeing.

 

All my train travels have been west of Chicago so I've not seem to many other stations.

 

The newly renovated station in Sacramento is lovely too, if not quite as historic or magnificent.

The last time I was there it was only about 90% finished.

I'll be in Sacramento again this coming March and will get to see the SAC station in it's finished state. 


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#15 railiner

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 01:08 PM

Another Art Deco gem was the now closed former Amtrak Buffalo Central Terminal... http://buffalonews.c...ntral-terminal/

 

Be sure to view the different links to stunning photo tours of the decayed facility...even evidence of Amtrak's era there....


Edited by railiner, 01 July 2017 - 01:20 PM.

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#16 shelzp

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 03:09 PM

LAX and Kansas City. I particularly love KC because it was home to the Fred Harvey Company headquarters at one time and there are displays of company china and memorabilia in general. I always go in and take a look. I know it's more museum and event space there than train station but I still love it. As many times as I've wandered through there I do not get tired of seeing it. The ceiling is awesome and worth the time to go up. I always use the steps now as I've seen that elevator get stuck on more than one occasion and experienced a little delay myself the first time I used it.

This was a fun question and it's interesting to read the responses!

#17 KauaiJohn

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 03:41 PM

The old LAX is cool. The long since torn down and turned into a forgotten mall was the wonderful Saint Louis station. Portland was kind of fun too.

#18 the_traveler

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 06:09 PM

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the "stations" in Demming, NM or Sanderson, TX. :wacko: :giggle:
Take it easy .......

Take the train instead and enjoy the ride!

The view is much better at 3 feet than it is at 30,000 feet!

#19 ehbowen

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 06:29 PM

Well, if you travel to those stations you certainly will find yourself out standing....

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#20 FrensicPic

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 06:45 PM

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the "stations" in Demming, NM or Sanderson, TX. :wacko: :giggle:

What about Benson, AZ?


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