In today’s modern world with airplanes jetting around the globe, sometimes we forget how travel got its big start. Cross country trains and railroads were one of the first big steps in making travel accessible to everyone. Major metropolises like New York City built enormous railway terminals like Grand Central Station and Pennsylvania Station to service the needs of their passengers. While some of these stations have been torn down and replaced, others have been reborn into libraries and museums. In countries like Japan and Germany where high speed bullet trains are being used, new modern railroad terminals are being built. Here’s a look at 22 old and new railroad stations from around the world … and at the end a train station that’s visited by certain famous wizard …
Grand Central Terminal, most popularly known as Grand Central Station, is the largest and one of the most well-known train stations in the world. New York City’s Grand Central Station is found in Midtown Manhattan at 42nd Street and Park Avenue. Commuters can travel to Westchester, Putnam, and Dutchess counties in New York, as well as Fairfield and New Haven counties in Connecticut.
Berlin Central Station, otherwise known as Berlin Hauptbahnhof, is Berlin’s main railway station and the largest crossing station in Europe. Opened on May 26, 2006, Berlin Central Station is located on the site of the historic Lehrter Bahnhof. About 350,000 passengers travel through the Berlin Central Station each day in more than 1,800 trains daily.
The Antwerpen-Centraal, otherwise known as Antwerp Central, is the main railway station in Antwerp, one of Belgium’s most important cities. It was built as a replacement for another railway station in 1895 to 1905 and is now regarded as the finest example of railway architecture in the company. Antwerp Central is difficult to classify as far as architectural style goes because of the variety of influences.
Toronto’s Union Station is the most important railway in Toronto, serving as the major inter-city rail station and major commuter railway hub for the area. The city of Toronto owns the railway and it serves over 200,000 passengers every day, making it the busiest railway station in Canada. Union Station is served by VIA Rail, Canada’s national passenger railway system.
Richmond, Virginia’s Broad Street Station is a union railroad station located near the Fan district on Broad Street. Built in 1917 by architect John Russell Pope, the station features a neoclassical style that was popular in American architecture at the time. Passenger service ceased in 1975 and the building is now home to the Science Museum of Virginia.
The Atocha Railway Station is the largest railway station in Madrid, the largest city and capital of Spain. Run by Spain’s national railway company, Renfe, the station serves both intercity commuters and regional trains from the South. Built in 1851, the Atocha Railway Station is located in a historic part of Madrid.
Formerly known as the Victoria Terminus, Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is a historic railway station and the headquarters of Central Railways. Designed in 1887, it is one of the busiest railway stations in India. Although it was originally named in honor of Queen Victoria, an Indian initiative to rename public locations with Indian names saw the railway station undergo its name change.
Paris’ Gare du Nord, or North Station, is the busiest station in Europe, with about 180 million passengers daily. Gare du Nord serves trains that travel to the north of France and to various other countries, such as the United Kingdom, Belgium, and the Netherlands. French architect Jacques Hittorff designed the Gare du Nord and its was built between 1861 and 1864.
Washington D.C.’s Union Station has transformed into a D.C. landmark and is visited by 32 million each year. Amtrak, MARC, and VRE commuter railroads are all served by Union Station, as is the Washington Metro transit system. Union Station was designed to be the grand ceremonial entrance into Washinton D.C. in 1908 and has defined the city ever since.
New York City’s Pennsylvania Station, most commonly abbreviated to Penn Station, was opened in 1910 for the Long Island Rail Road trains. In October 1963, demolition of the original Penn Station began after a push for modernization, even though international outrage showed that people wanted the original Penn Station to remain. Today, Penn Station serves 600,000 passengers every day and is North America’s busiest train station.
The Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal began its life as the Cincinnati Union Terminal in 1928, designed to streamline Cincinnati’s extremely busy railway traffic. Although the terminal faced destruction in the 1970s and 80s, a 1986 decision transformed Cincinnati Union Terminal into the museum center it is today. Six organizations call the Cincinnati Museum Center home and it has become a major city landmark.
The Gare du Palais is a train and bus station located in Quebec City, Canada. Architect Eugene-Etienne Tache designed the stunning Gare du Palais, which is well known for a stunning fountain display at the front of the station. VIA Rail, Canada’s national passenger railway, serves the station, which is named for its proximity to the Palace of the Intendant of New France.
Chile’s Estacion Mapocho served for a long time as the hub for all traffic in Northern Chile. It was declared a national monument in 1976 because of its significance to the country, as well as the decline in demand for railway travel. In 1994, Estacion Mapocho was renovated and it now serves as a cultural center rather than a functioning train station.
Amsterdam Centraal is Amsterdam’s aptly-named central station, serving as one of the main railway hubs in the Netherlands. About 150,000 passengers use the station every day, even though the station is currently under reconstruction. Architects Pierre Cuypers and A. L. van Gendt designed the station and it opened in 1889, serving as one of the Netherlands’ most important transportation hubs ever since.
The Oakland Coliseum Amtrak Station is located in East Oakland and it is connected to the Bay Area Rapid Transit Station by a pedestrian bridge. It is also located very close to the Oakland Coliseum and the Oracle Arena, which is where the station gets its name. An electronic ticketing system replaces the need for any staff.
Leipzig Central Station, known in German as the Leipzig Hauptbahnhof, is the central railway station in Leipzig. By size, it is the largest terminal railway station in Europe and it sees an average of 150,000 passengers each day. The station is known as one of the last grand railway stations of the 19th century.
Seattle’s Union Station was built in 1910 and 1911 to service the Union Pacific Railroad and the Milwaukee Road. The railway station was abandoned by both of companies by 1971 and sat unused until the late 1990s, when it was renovated. The building now serves as the headquarters of the Sound Transit and can be rented for weddings and other such events.
The Harbin Railway Station is the very first railway station built in China’s history. Serving Harbin, which is China’s tenth largest city and famous as the portal for Chinese trade with Russia as well as for its beautiful ice sculpture displays, the Harbin Railway Station is the busiest train station in China. There are only three modernized railway stations in China.
London’s Paddington Station is a historic railway site that has served London commuters since 1838. Recently modernized, Paddington Station now serves as the terminus for the Heathrow Express service. Paddington Station specializes in long-distance trains, allowing London commuters to travel to several locations throughout the United Kingdom
The Manchester Piccadilly Station is the main railway station for Manchester, England. This station serves as a nexus between the London area, the South coast of England, Edinburgh and Glasgow Central in Scotland, and several other routes throughout Northern England. Piccadilly is the busiest station in the UK outside of London and well-known for its 92% customer satisfaction rate.
Tokyo’s Shinjuku Station is located in the Shinjuku and Shibuya wards of Tokyo and its serves as the main connecting hub for rail traffic between downtown Tokyo and its western suburbs. About 3.64 million people used Shinjuku Station daily in 2007, making it the busiest railway in the world in terms of passenger load. Registered with the Guinness World Records, Shinjuku Station is popular as a tourist attraction.
Nagoya Station is located in Nakamura-ku, Nagoya, in Japan. By floor area, Nagoya station is the largest train station in the world, with a massive 4,800,000 square feet. More than 1 million people use the train station every day, making it the 6th busiest train station in Japan, and the station is known for the prominent JR Central Towers.
King’s Cross Station in London which was the set used for filming in the Harry Potter Movies, has now added a platform 9 3/4 with a trolley stuck in the middle of the wall, it’s quite popular with a lot of tourists.