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Monday Train Blogging: Railway Cathedrals

by DoDo Thu Jan 19th, 2006 at 05:34:58 AM EST

back from the frontpage

The first railway station halls were simple wooden sheds. In much of the 20th century, if halls were built at all, utilitarian design dominated again. Lately in our all-commercial age, some stations became shopping centres with train connections...

But in the half-century before both the triumphalism of technology and its symbol, the railroad, played central roles in WWI and got sullied in the blood of millions, major railway stations were built to be more. They were the face of a city to travellers, and the gateway to the wider world for locals, and had to inspire awe of man before his own creation. Thus, not at all unconsciously, architects chose Europe's medieval cathedrals as models. Naves, vaults, towers, arched windows, sanctums, domes were adapted for the secular-spiritual purpose.

Let me be a local patriot – and begin with Nyugati pályaudvar (=West Station) in Budapest. Finished 1877, this (by later standards) relatively small terminus features romantic/neo-rennaisance side buildings (good photo) and a French-style iron-glass hall – co-designed by Gustave Eiffel. (The iron-glass front was a world-first.)



Antwerp Central

Finished 1905, the station portrayed below by Davy Gijbels (see more pictures at RailFanEurope) is usually considered the most beautiful railway station in the world. (To truly see why, check out some hi-res photos too.) In the last five years, the terminus has been rebuilt into a three-level station. You can glimpse the unfinished second level on the left of the photo below. The deepest level connects to the tunnels of the high-speed line to Amsterdam (to be opened next year).


Liège-Guillemins

Some new stations are still works of art. I show one here: designed by Spanish architect Calatrava (see earlier bridge blogging), Liège's new main station nears completion. On a two-month-old photo from a site photo-documenting Belgian railway construction, the hall is half-finished:


Lucerne, main station

Back to the golden age. In major cities that built a single terminus (or head station), growing traffic led to the need for ever more tracks and platforms, thus either tracks outside the hall or ever wider station halls – resulting in multiple pillared halls (you could say: naves). For example, the widest railway station hall in Europe, the main station of Leipzig, was finished 1915 with 26 tracks into a six-nave hall1. But my favourite is the main station of Lucerne – a five-nave main hall built 1896 (plus a newer for narrow gauge tracks). The [EDITED->] HDR photo by Stiga from Photography BB Forums below shows some of its unique atmosphere, coming from facing South but looking right at a mountain.


Berlin, Anhalter Bahnhof

Some cities didn't have a main station. But the biggest cities kind of had multiple ones. In terms of railway stations, four European capitals stand out: Only London, Paris, Moscow and Berlin each had more than half a dozen big railway terminals. But most of Berlin's were destroyed in WWII, never to be rebuilt. Below we glimpse into what was the biggest when finished 1880, the Anhalter Bahnhof for trains to Southern Germany. (See an aerial photo and a picture of what remained at Wiki.)

In place of another destroyed Berlin terminal, the Lehrter Bahnhof, currently the new main station approaches completion – a unique building that is in fact two through stations at right angles on top of each other, forming a cross.


USA

New York has two main stations. One of them is the ugly Penn Station, its magnificent original 1910 hall was destroyed for the fourth Madison Square Garden. The other is Grand Central Terminal from 1913, the world's largest railway station – 67 tracks (46 for passengers) on two levels (upper beating Leipzig, tough not in width of passenger section – narrower platforms).

Meanwhile, Chicago isn't called the Railroad Capital of The World for nothing – meeting place of Western and Eastern rairoads, many of which built their own stations. The two dozen in total 'consolidated' into six big terminals. I don't know them, tough – pictures in the comments would be welcome, as for major station halls elsewhere in the world.

  1. Today it has only 24 tracks – equalling the previously second-placed, the 'five-nave' main station of Frankfurt am Main from 1888. However, Leipzig's building has a 270 m inside and 298 m outside diameter, Frankfurt's a 270 m outside diameter. Milano Centrale's five naves cover 24 tracks, Paris's modern and ugly Gare Montparnasse also has 24 tracks under its six 'naves', or even 28 if we include the hall of the adjoining Gare Vaugirard, and the 1889 'eight[front]/five[back]-nave' Gare Saint-Lazaire currently has 27 crammed into it, but again all three are less wide than even Frankfurt's in meters. So are some stations that have more tracks but not all of them covered, for example Munich main station with its 32 tracks.

Previous Monday Train Bloggings:

  1. (Premiere/ modern Austrian trains & locos)
  2. Adventure
  3. Fast Steam
  4. Heavy Haul
  5. Forgotten Colorado
  6. The Hardest Job
  7. Blowback
  8. Highest Speed
  9. New England Autumn
  10. Trainwreck
  11. Bigger Than Big Boy
  12. Tunnels
  13. Failed Designs
  14. Demarcations
  15. Crazed Designs
  16. Trains In The Arts

Display:

Atocha (Madrid) from the outside and the inside.


A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jan 16th, 2006 at 05:39:38 PM EST
OT, but possibly interesting to you, DoDo: http://www.mashke.org/kievtram/en/pictures/allcars/mtv82/05-06/. I am looking for good pictures of the Moscow stations, without success so far, I'll try again tomorrow. Maybe our Russian tribbers can pitch in!

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Jan 16th, 2006 at 06:28:12 PM EST
Have you travelled on these when in Kiev?

For Moscow stations, you may want to pick pictures at RailFanEurope.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Jan 17th, 2006 at 01:11:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What the hell is this amusement park? No, this is the new Kyoto station. Don't blame me.

The idea may make certain sense in, say, Australia (my definition of a big country). Architects shouldn't try to add everything together into the limited space we have in our country.

As for stations in Paris, I love Gare du Nord, as the gateway from CDG. Getting off PER and walking down the long platform, I gradually begin acting like what I believe is the French style.

I will become a patissier, God willing.

by tuasfait on Mon Jan 16th, 2006 at 10:05:28 PM EST

Source: University of the Air Digital Museum

I will become a patissier, God willing.

by tuasfait on Wed Jan 18th, 2006 at 04:09:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Some of the most interesting stations on the London Underground are the recent additions to the Jubilee line (completed 1999)  The round pill-box shape of Canada Water station's above ground building allude to the 1930s designs on the Bakerloo line. The most spectacular station though is Canary Wharf, designed by Foster Associates and built by Arup. >This is one description:

Canary Wharf station is one of several on the JLE using an `open box' design and reaches 24 metres below pavement level at its deepest. Inside the structure, which measures 280 metres long and 32 metres wide, a total of 20 escalators and three passenger lifts have been built. Curving glass canopies protect the two entrances, often described as `thumb-nail' shaped. The canopies allow light to diffuse into the ticket hall below, where spaces have been provided for a parade of shops. For the time being, only the `west' entrance is open to the public and thus only 11 of the 20 escalators are in passenger service. The `west' entrance to Canary Wharf is probably closer to the Docklands Light Railway station of Heron Quays, that at Canary Wharf being a slightly longer walk. At the west end a subway to Canada Tower is under construction, scheduled to open soon. The `east' end of Canary Wharf station complex is, however, complete but has been `mothballed' until development at that end is sufficiently advanced.

The station's mezzanine level concrete slab is suspended from the roof by individual concrete hangers, which leaves the public space below uncluttered by engineering structures. The roof of the station, between the two thumb-nail canopies, has been covered by landscaped parkland. In constructing the station, a dry dock was built by installing twin wall cofferdams and draining West India Quay and reclaiming part of the dock, where around 160,000 tonnes of water were pumped out of this isolated dock to create the working platform at the dock bed. The lower half of the station was then built by installing 148 T-shaped diaphragm walls in trenches 25 metres below the dock level, which form the permanent station walls between the ticket hall and track level.

To prevent the drainbed dock from flooding, `de-watering' wells were sunk 55 metres into the underlying chalk. Some 163 bored piles were drilled into the chalk to a depth of 25 metres below track level, which will act as tension anchors, which are connected to the base slab of the station. This was necessary because when the watering wells are turned off, the rising ground water will try to float the station out of the ground!

Canary Wharf is probably the Jubilee Line's most spacious station, with its enormous mezzanine and wide island platform, with high ceilings in both. A total of 23 UTS gates (Nos.57-79) span the width of the `west' ticket hall. Those at the present unopened `east' end are numbered 40-53 and are already in position. One of the more striking features is the bank of five escalators leading up from the large ticket hall to the curved glass canopy at street level.

The Fosters web site  has some "move through" graphics but these are some of the ordinary ones. As you can see, from above the station exits resemble horse-shoe crabs or a computer mouse



The exit escalators look good in the day from the inside

And at night. To the right of the escalators is an elevator for disabled access which spoils the symmetry of the design a little

The main ticket hall and entrance rather resembles the inside os a vast whale with its ribbing

The line of machines are the automatic ticket gates but you do not get a true sense of scale until you get human figures.

by Londonbear on Mon Jan 16th, 2006 at 10:42:56 PM EST
Amazing... now I understand why the Jubilee line extension was so expensive :-)

Do you have some pictures of the old main stations, too?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Jan 17th, 2006 at 01:04:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Canary Wharf is planned to be the busiest station on the underground - hence the design to accommodate large throughput. In addition to the "east" exit which mirrors the one I have shown, there is a three escalator exit to  an office block and an underground concourse/shopping area linking to the Docklands Light Railway station and other office blocks. The line has just been upgraded to run 7 carriage trains rather than the original 6. The Jubilee extension is the first to use platform barriers and automatic doors similar to the Paris Metro. The other mainline stations are a bit of a handful to find but here are a few (please resixe if they get out of hand)

First (literally) there is Paddington designed by IK Brunel which has a central "nave" and two side "chapels". The station has been restored and modernised in parts with the typical glass retail areas but the original cast iron roof remains.

I could not find a picture of the outside of Paddington but here is the main entrance of Charing Cross. As with many of the older London termini, the road frontage is dominated by a hotel built by the railway company. The spire-like sructure on the left of the picture is a victorian copy of the last of 12 "Eleanor Crosses" These were erected by King Edward I to make the places where the coffin of his wife rested overnight on its journey from Nottinghamshire, where Eleanor died, to Westminster Abbey. The cross is the point from which distances to London are measured. The station is fairly small with only 6 platforms and trains pass through London Bridge and Waterloo East on their way there. The glass roof at the ends of the platforms were destroyed in WWII and not rebuilt even though the butress walls remained. An office block has been built over the ends of the platform within these walls.

Waterloo station is best interpreted from this aerial shot. The London Bridge/Charing Cross tracks snake down the left of the picture, Waterloo East is about one third of the way down, by the redbrick coloured office block. The road that cuts off the top left corner of the picture also has The Old Vic theatre at about one third in from the left and one third down the picture.

The main 1920s station building fronts that road and is  the dark roofed/cream fronted strip going up the picture from the tall bock in the bottom left corner. To the left in the picture is the roof to the concorse joining the canopies over the platforms at right angles. The long roof at the bottom of the picture is Waterloo International- the current Eurostar terminal.

A  slightly lower angle that makes it a bit clearer how the station office buildings rise above the canopies.

Although it looks yellow in the above picture the 1920s building is in portland stone. The entrance is designed as a memorial arch to the workers of the then Southern Railway Company who died in WWI. The memorial plaque is on the right hand wall here.

This picture is of the main concorse with its fairly standard range of kiosks and shops selling books and snacks. On the right of the picture is a low wall and rail that overlooks the Eurostar departure area at a lower level, the escalators are not visible in this shot. At the far end from where this shot is taken there used to be a cartoon cinema that has long since closed.

The Eurostar entrance, as you can see they use automatic barriers to read the tickets.

The pitched glass roofs running accross the platforms contrast with the noble arches at Paddington.


The structure is visible from the outside at the southern side where there is a slip road used by vehicles (mostly taxis) serving the station.

Incidentally, the railway lines at the London termini around the river are usually on high viaducts to avoid dip and to combat the soft ground. I used to work in County Hall which is very close to Waterloo and used to walk through a road that cuts through the very tall arches of the viaduct and leads to this back slip road. The arches were occupied by various businesses including a large bonded (alcohol) warehouse. This gave the road its nickname of "Whiskey Alley".

by Londonbear on Wed Jan 18th, 2006 at 12:57:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A glorious photo collection!

However, an EuroTrib public anouncement: next time, please resize images wider than 600 pixels.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Jan 18th, 2006 at 02:01:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
<img src="pointer to your outstanding image" width="width">

It might be better to use a percentage width (say, 75%) than a pixel width (say, 400), actually. Does prrcentage width work well with the indentation and browser window resizing, or not, and if so is 100% appropriate?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 18th, 2006 at 02:29:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This page is spoilt anyway, so let's just test it:



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Jan 18th, 2006 at 02:46:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Dang, it works! I may put it into the new user diary in a day or two. What I wonder about is how the 100% and fixed-pixel-width re-sizings compare in calculation time.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Jan 18th, 2006 at 02:50:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Get a picture that actually works, DoDo! This is the result of "100%".

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 18th, 2006 at 02:51:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
By the way, the width of the image is different in the "recent comments" because of the absence of a timestamp, and it will also be affected by indentation of deep comments.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 18th, 2006 at 02:53:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
DoDo, I can't see your image at all. Also, feel free to delete the parent of this.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 18th, 2006 at 02:56:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Get a picture that actually works

You can't see the one I posted? I can... possibly you had a time-out. (The original size image is enormous.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Jan 18th, 2006 at 02:57:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru, after some more thinking, I believe this idea may be problematic. For, those who have a bigger screen (Alex :-) ) will see some images blown up rather than shrunk.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Jan 19th, 2006 at 05:11:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You can set a max-width as well. Except it doesn't work on explorer. Oh well.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Jan 19th, 2006 at 05:17:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In the western United States the train stations weren't very big even at the peak of train travel. Here are a couple of pictures of Union Station in Los Angeles.

by asdf on Mon Jan 16th, 2006 at 11:17:54 PM EST
Toronto's Union Station

The Great Hall
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A view of it from the office tower across the street
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Montreal's Gare Windsor Station (which isn't used for long distance trains anymore - instead having moved to the Gare Centrale under central office towers)
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Vancouver's Pacific Central Station
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Winnipeg's Central Station (once one of the most important North American railroading cities)
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And for a non-Canadian example I'm a fan of Denver's Union Station as well.
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"now this is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." W. Churchill

by Thor Heyerdahl (thor.heyerdahl@NOSPAMgmail.com) on Tue Jan 17th, 2006 at 08:27:26 AM EST
Hmm.. I've been to one of the Budapest stations, was it the one in the photo? I took a train from there to Cluj.

One nice train station today is the refurbished one in Washington, DC.  VERY nice!

Pax

Night and day you can find me Flogging the Simian

by soj on Tue Jan 17th, 2006 at 08:48:30 AM EST
Hard to tell - Cluj can be reached both from this station and Budapest East (finished 1884). (Budapest station names are a bit confusing - they refer to the direction trains came from originally, not their position within Budapest. Thus West Station is in the North, South Station in the West, and both West and East Station serve both western and eastern mainlines today.) For distinction:

  • West Station has French-style (like a normal roof: /) roof, that of East Station in arched
  • the roof of West Station is blue-painted iron and glass, East Station's is partially covered from the inside with greyish-light brown wood
  • before and left of the old hall, built overhead the outer Western tracks of West Station, there is the parking house of a big new shopping mall.
  • here are two pictures (inside, outside) of Keleti pályaudvar (i.e. East Station), and below it another for West Station but this time from the trains' side, photographed from a balloon that can be rented on top of the parking house (all photos from RailFanEurope):



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Jan 17th, 2006 at 12:56:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]

"Any city gets what it admires, will pay for, and, ultimately, deserves. Even when we had Penn Station, we couldn't afford to keep it clean. We want and deserve tin-can architecture in a tinhorn culture. And we will probably be judged not by the monuments we build but by those we have destroyed."
    - "Farewell to Penn Station," New York Times editorial, October 30, 1963

by MarekNYC on Tue Jan 17th, 2006 at 11:13:02 AM EST
I think Atocha station in Madrid deserves a larger photo than the two small ones posted earlier:

Atocha station in Madrid

Biilmann Blog

by BobFunk (bobfunk@clanwhiskey.net) on Tue Jan 17th, 2006 at 11:25:26 AM EST
Heh, I just stole the thumbnails from Google's cache ;-)

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 17th, 2006 at 11:26:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
WOW beautiful! Forget about getting on any train. Can one  set up garden chairs or even a tent to just stay put?
by Alexandra in WMass (alexandra_wmass[a|t]yahoo[d|o|t]fr) on Tue Jan 17th, 2006 at 11:34:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]

by MarekNYC on Tue Jan 17th, 2006 at 11:32:01 AM EST
Wow, another nice one I didn't knew (I mean from pictures)! Do you also have photos from the trains' side?

Also, maybe you have photos of old/rebuilt Polish main stations? I only know Warshaw central, and that is an ugly post-war concrete monster.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Jan 17th, 2006 at 12:36:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't remember the train areas as all that nice. The station itself is even nicer than it looks on the photos.  Back when I lived in DC I used to go there quite regularly - easiest access to Capitol Hill from the neighbourhoods where I lived and worked.
by MarekNYC on Tue Jan 17th, 2006 at 04:30:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This a particularly great Train blogging chapter, if I do say so myself...great buildings!! I'll see if I can get some Swiss stations...

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Tue Jan 17th, 2006 at 12:08:51 PM EST
Bob, is it a secret in which city you live in?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jan 17th, 2006 at 12:32:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Union Stations in the US

Chicago
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Kansas City, Missouri (which surprised me a little that it was so majestic)
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and Portland, Oregon (I like the 'go by train' on the clock tower)
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And for a European station that I like - Helsinki's Central Station.
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

"now this is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." W. Churchill

by Thor Heyerdahl (thor.heyerdahl@NOSPAMgmail.com) on Tue Jan 17th, 2006 at 01:31:18 PM EST
These are the stairs inside Chicago's Union Station, made famous by the baby carriage scene in the film, "The Untouchables."



Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Tue Jan 17th, 2006 at 04:13:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And here is Union Station in St. Louis:  

Now a shopping mall with a boating pond ...



Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Tue Jan 17th, 2006 at 04:26:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Dworzec Centralny in Warsaw is indeed hideous - and not the world's safest place, particularly in the maze of underground passageways at night, though regular police presence has made it much safer than it was. It is also smack in the middle of Warsaw's ugliness - grand Stalinist wedding cake tower to the east, mediocre modern skyscrapers to the north, rundown buildings and mediocre skyscrapers to the west, ditto to the south.

Krakow has a nice old Habsburg era station. It was incredibly grimy until it got a thorough restoration back in the mid nineties. It is right on the far edge of the Planty - the park that rings the beautiful old town.

Here's the Wroclaw train station, originally built back  in the mid nineteenth century when it was part of Prussia.

Here's another station from Wroclaw. It got destroyed during the war and was only partially rebuilt.

Originally that station was only the middle section, it was expanded right around the beginning of the Kaiserreich.

by MarekNYC on Tue Jan 17th, 2006 at 02:36:43 PM EST
Go to Paris ... at the time of Henry IV.

Take a garden belonging to a repudiated Queen ... when she dies (1615), break up the land, start building administrative offices on some parts (1708)

Turn one part of the garden into an Administrative Palace (1810)

Burn this Palace down during yet another French revolution (1871), and build a train station in its stead (1900):


Turn that station into a swimming pool (2nd floor shown here, during the 1910 floods - cannot see them well, but there are 2 trains here on 1st floor tracks, completely submerged in water):

Get Orson Welles to shoot the ancestor of Brazil inside the now defunct station (station dock too short for modern trains):

Eventually, turn the ex-station into a Museum (1977-1986):

And ... open up a website: http://www.musee-orsay.fr/

by Alex in Toulouse on Tue Jan 17th, 2006 at 03:12:52 PM EST
Nice portrait!

BTW, can you or another parisien(ne) help me out?

Double-checking Leipzig's claim to the widest European station, I was looking for size data and track maps of the main Paris stations (especially Gare Montparnasse and Gare du Nord), but found only one (for Saint-Lazare). If you can't find me some more, then could you at least explain me this (from the French Wiki):

Enfin, en 1994, l'arrivée des trains Eurostar impose une réorganisation des voies ainsi:

    * quais 1 et 2 : quais de service, non accessibles aux voyageurs.
    * quais 3 à 6 : terminal Eurostar vers Londres via le Tunnel sous la Manche.
    * quais 7 et 8 : quais Thalys vers la Belgique, les Pays-Bas et l'Allemagne.
    * quais 9 à 29 : TGV Nord, trains Grandes lignes, puis TER de Picardie.
    * quais 30 à 40 : gare de banlieue.
    * quais 41 à 44 (en sous-sol) : gare RER.

Now, the RER platforms, that's Magneta station, right? But what about platforms 30-40 - are they on a second level underground, or perhabs some tracks have multiplew numbers? Or are numbers left out? (On a satellite map I looked at in the end, I only count 29 tracks - some outside the halls.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Jan 18th, 2006 at 02:38:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As far as I can remember, the banlieue trains at Gare du Nord are on the same level as the RER ones, but I have no way of confirming this.

I did a few lookups to find some info on Parisian stations, and didn't come up with much, but I at least found this really detailed map of every station on the Paris-Lyon line ... but many many decades ago:

Paris Gare de Lyon pic (large TIF): http://fc.martinthouny.free.fr/Paris-lyon/profils/Page12.TIF

And the root of all pics:
http://fc.martinthouny.free.fr/Paris-lyon/profils/page_01.htm

I'll see if I can find something later.

by Alex in Toulouse on Wed Jan 18th, 2006 at 05:12:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Aww darn! It looks like the guy didn't scan them very well, that's sad.
by Alex in Toulouse on Wed Jan 18th, 2006 at 05:18:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Leipzig used to have the most tracks until they put in the shopping centre a couple of years back, no it is Gare  du North that is the one with the most tracks again.
by PeWi on Fri Jan 20th, 2006 at 08:44:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Have you been to Gare du Nord?

I ask because I wasn't. From satellite maps it appears to me that not all tracks of Gare du Nord are in the hall, only 16 - but maybe what I see east of the old hall is built over the extension of the eight other tracks? But for Leipzig, it's certain all tracks are under the halls. (There are a number of stations that have more tracks than Leipzig only with not all tracks covered. For example, Munich [32 tracks + 2 underground], or Paris Gare de l'Est [30 tracks]. But in meters, Leipzig Hbf's width beats the latter, too.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Jan 20th, 2006 at 02:53:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ten other tracks. At last I found a track map on page 20 of this pdf. That's 26 total. But from the photos on page 21, three tracks aren't covered - Frankfurt and Leipzig (and possibly Gare Saint-Lazare and Gare Montparnasse) are still ahead.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Jan 20th, 2006 at 05:30:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
thanks, I stand corrected.
by PeWi on Sun Jan 22nd, 2006 at 03:28:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
On the other hand, since then I could ascertain that the Sant-Lazare and Montparnasse stations do have 27 resp. 24+4 tracks and all are covered, so Leipzig still loses on most tracks under the halls...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jan 22nd, 2006 at 05:41:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here are some Italian train stations.

Stazione di Montecorvino

Stazione Roma Ostiense

Stazione di Terni

Stazione di Crema (1969)

Stazione di Vittuone

Stazione di Benevento

Stazione di Battipaglia (1969)

Stazione di Metaponto

Stazione di Avigliana

Stazione di Milano

Stazione di Salerno

Stazione di Bologna



"The USA appears destined by fate to plague America with misery in the name of liberty." Simon Bolivar, Caracas, 1819

by Ritter on Tue Jan 17th, 2006 at 03:33:22 PM EST
Ritter, you can always be trusted to put an unexpected radical left spin on any topic. Great pictures!

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 17th, 2006 at 04:10:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bombay's (Mumbai's) Victorian Train Station (Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus) on the outside

Bombay's station on the inside:

Bombay's train station behind you:

by Alex in Toulouse on Tue Jan 17th, 2006 at 04:42:43 PM EST
The six Chicago termini, working anticlockwise from the station closest to DeKalb.

(1) North Western, still in use as the Oglivie Transportation Center.  New butterfly train shed and atrium of office tower replace the 1911 train hall, concourse, and Bush train shed.

(2) Union.  Pennsylvania Railroad style.  The 1925 train hall is in place and in use as such (see my Chicago trip notes for a partial picture.)  The concourse areas (Union is a double-stub station) were replaced with office buildings.  There are escalators from street level to the commuter trains, which makes placement of those trains at predictable platforms important as there's little room to mill around.  There is an Amtrak departure lounge out of that traffic flow.

(3)  Grand Central.  Classic six-track arched train shed and towered head building in the style of a Norman fortress.  Built for Wisconsin Central and last used by Baltimore and Ohio and Chesapeake and Ohio.  Closed 1969, demolished 1972.

(4)  La Salle.  New train shed starting a block south of the old one still in use for the Metra Rock Island service.  Original train shed and train hall (inside an office building) demolished in the 1980s.  Replaced by a trading house.  Conveniently located for trading house workers in southwestern suburbs.

(5)  Dearborn.  (Used by the Santa Fe and Wabash westbound and the Erie and Grand Trunk Western eastbound.) Train shed demolished.  Train hall and head building in use as an office and gallery complex.

(6) [Illinois] Central.  Closed 1973 and demolished shortly afterward.

In addition there were three interurban terminals.  The northernmost Illinois Central suburban station and the main South Shore Line terminal are under Randolph Street east of Michigan Avenue.  These facilities are being rebuilt as Millennium Station.  The North Shore Line's main departure station was the Adams and Wabash station on the Loop, with an adjoining ticketing hall.  Because both tracks on the Loop operated counterclockwise, only northbound North Shore Line trains called there.  The Chicago Aurora and Elgin used the Wells Terminal of the Metropolitan West Side Elevated Line.

The internet is a bit slow this evening.  I will post a comment updating this comment with some pictures.

Stephen Karlson ATTITUDE is a nine letter word. BOATSPEED.

by SHKarlson (shkarlson at frontier dot com) on Tue Jan 17th, 2006 at 09:51:04 PM EST
Lots of pictures ... I'll simply link as these are not my work.  Perhaps I'll scan something from my slides and post it later.  First, some illustrations of the active stations.

Then, once again around the loop, arriving from Elburn, the suburban station closest to DeKalb.

(1)  North Western Wikipedia entry (note modern concourse ... up the escalator, through the revolving doors, and directly to the regularly assigned track) and some vintage postcards (one with Washington, DC as bonus.)

(2) Union Wikipedia entry, and some recent pictures in the waiting room.

(3) Grand Central (the Grand Central STATION is in Chicago.  The one in New York is Grand Central TERMINAL.) Wikipedia entry and vintage postcard.

(4) LaSalle Street Wikipedia entry and vintage postcard.  In many ways the 1903-1981 station was ahead of its time as the train hall was below an office building and the station facilities were somewhat sparse.  This was the station for the New York Central's de luxe trains including the Twentieth Century Limited whose tail sign inspired the 20th Century Fox movie logo.

(5) Dearborn Street Wikipedia entry and vintage postcard.  More history here. That Germanic top -- the architect was one F. W. Eidlitz -- to the clock tower burned in 1922.

(6) [Illinois] Central Wikipedia entry.

Stephen Karlson ATTITUDE is a nine letter word. BOATSPEED.

by SHKarlson (shkarlson at frontier dot com) on Tue Jan 17th, 2006 at 11:57:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for this compilation!

BTW, what became of your query at the library for the Hiawatha 125mph run workers' magazine article? (I possibly missed an update on your blog.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Jan 18th, 2006 at 02:27:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Her is Calatrava's Lyon Saint Exupéry railway station:

and inside:



"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Wed Jan 18th, 2006 at 06:10:45 PM EST


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