Central Stations (Trivia)

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Spandau

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‘Central Station’ sounds rather grand, akin perhaps to a German Hauptbahnhof.

Some of the UK’s Central Stations are indeed impressive – Glasgow C is a good example and in a different way so too is Windsor & Eton C.

But others maybe do not quite live up to expectations – Wrexham C, Redcar C and Burnley C are all pretty much down at heel and are short on staff and facilities.

Some Central’s are not even at the heart of their town – Folkestone C and Hyde C spring to mind.

Are there any more good examples?
 
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A0wen

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Not sure you'd call Liverpool Central "impressive" but it is more in the city centre than Lime Street.
 

yorksrob

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I always think that Tunbridge Wells Central and Bexhill Central are quite grandiose. they certainly have nice buildings and plenty of platform cover, and I think they're also quite central as well. They're no longer officially called "Central" though.

Folkestone Central might not be geographically central, however it was situated between Folkestone West and Folkestone East at one stage.
 
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BrettSy96

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I know it’s not a central anymore, but Lowestoft station still has “Lowestoft Central” signs on the front of the building, not a very grand station may I add!
 

yorksrob

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There were also all the "Central" stations which were designated as such as a result of being on the Great Central railway, rather than geographical location.
 

notabasher

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Not sure you'd call Liverpool Central "impressive" but it is more in the city centre than Lime Street.
People often say this, but really?

They are (at most) 5 minutes walk apart.

Step out of Lime Street and there are (literally) two major theatres, St George's Hall, Walker Art Gallery, Central Library, World Museum. St John's shopping centre is straight across the road (you might think it downmarket but it is probably the busiest and most profitable bit of retail real-estate in the city). Lime Street is 5 minutes nearer the University.

A better example (but converse) example might be Newcastle upon Tyne where Central station is the "main" station but not really central at all, whereas Monument (equivalent to Liverpool Central) is right at the centre of the shopping district.
 

d9009alycidon

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Coatbridge

Ah! but which one? there have been two stations in Coatbridge to carry the title "Central". The first station to claim the name was the N.B station on the former M&K line at Coatbridge Fountain, this could rightly be called "central as it was pretty much at the heart of the town. The station currently carrying the name Coatbridge Central was built in 1843 as the terminus of the Glasgow, Garnkirk & Coatbridge was later rebuilt by the Caledonian Railway in 1900 and originally known simply as Coatbridge. On closure of the N.B. Station on the 10th of September 1951 the title "Central" became available, but the name was not officially transferred the the ex Caledonian Station until the 8th of June 1953.
 

Llandudno

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Not sure you'd call Liverpool Central "impressive" but it is more in the city centre than Lime Street.
Liverpool Central may not be an impressive looking station, but it does have impressive passenger figures, used by 17m per year.

Which UK station with the ‘Central’ suffix is the least used in a normal, non Covid year?
 

EbbwJunction1

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Another aspect of this is where a station is named "Central" because when it was built, it was in (or near to) the centre of the town or city. However, in some cases, over the years the "centre" of the place has moved away from the station, thus making the name sound wrong. I haven't been to many of the stations quoted in this thread, but could that apply to any of them?

An alternative is where the station has been re-named "Central". One example is Cardiff Central, which was Cardiff General from 1924 until being renamed in 1973. It's located on Central Square, but is that the actual centre of the city? I don't really think so - Cardiff Queen Street is nearer to what I'd call the centre.
 

Dr Hoo

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New Mills Central is pretty much in the centre of New Mills (population around 12,000). One obviously wouldn't expect the same level of facilities as at, say, Glasgow Central, but an alternative to stepped access for the eastbound platform would be nice.
 

Iskra

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Gainsborough Central is pretty run down (although recently improved slightly). It's not exactly central, but on the edge of the centre area.
 

swt_passenger

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A better example (but converse) example might be Newcastle upon Tyne where Central station is the "main" station but not really central at all, whereas Monument (equivalent to Liverpool Central) is right at the centre of the shopping district.
Newcastle Central’s position was built at the obvious intersection position of the 2 earlier railway routes and the later route over the high level bridge, and the 1840s ‘city centre’ would not have been centred around Monument.
 
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yorksrob

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Gainsborough Central is pretty run down (although recently improved slightly). It's not exactly central, but on the edge of the centre area.

It's more central than the alternative !
 

Iskra

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It's more central than the alternative !
That's true, but it is of course much less well used.

Are there any Central stations anywhere in the world misleadingly named after an operator or line (ie on the Great Central or operated by Grand Central as theoretical examples), rather than in terms of their geography?
 

Llandudno

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New Mills Central is pretty much in the centre of New Mills (population around 12,000). One obviously wouldn't expect the same level of facilities as at, say, Glasgow Central, but an alternative to stepped access for the eastbound platform would be nice.
It’s not just the steps it’s the very steep hill you need to climb when leaving the station to access the town centre, you need oxygen or a pint in the excellent micropub on the High Street to recuperate!
 
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Cardiff Central (Caerdydd Canolog), marginally further away from the city centre than Cardiff Queen Street (Caerdydd Heol Y Frenhines)
 

eastwestdivide

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Gainsborough Central is pretty run down (although recently improved slightly). It's not exactly central, but on the edge of the centre area.
Old maps at the NLS website show it as 'Great Central Station' or 'GC Station' as late as a 1950 edition, so that's probably another case of the name coming from the railway:

 

Furrysquid

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Telford Central is decidedly "meh" as a station (the new footbridge would be much more impressive if it wasn't quite so soggy underfoot), and its relationship to the town centre rather depends on whether you think Telford actually has a town centre or not.

(I have been accosted on several occasions, while standing in the nearest thing Telford has to a town centre, by random people wanting directions to the town centre ...)
 

Ianno87

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Milton Keynes Central acts quite well as a 'Hauptbahnhof', with the bus station outside, and easy walk to the Business District.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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Gainsborough Central isn't very grand, or even the main station for the town, that's Lea Road.
Wrexham Central used to be more central until the original site was redeveloped causing the station to be banished to the far end, and only a short stroll from General/Exchange.
Reading once had a Central, a GWR goods depot by the Kennet & Avon canal, reached from Southcote Jn.
Belfast Central, built only in 1976 when the city's railways were connected, has been renamed Lanyon Street - it was further from the centre than Great Victoria St.

Milano Centrale isn't central either, although it is the biggest station in the city. There are many other Centrales (C.le) in Italy.
Scandinavia has its Central (Stockholm), and Sentral (Oslo), but Hovedbanegard in Copenhagen, closer linguistically to the German Hauptbahnhof.
Several Centraals in the Netherlands, and the odd Centrum I think.
There are Centrals in Brussels and Warsaw (Centralna).
Prague had a Central (střed) station in the communist years, originally statni (Austrian StEB/staatsbahn), then between the wars and now again Mazarykovo.
France has the odd Centre (Avignon), a modern change since the new LGV built a long-distance station outside town.
Serbia has the new Beograd Centar, not at all central and much more remote than the old main terminus (now closed).
Vienna doesn't have a station called Central, but there is a Mitte on the city S-bahn. The new Hbf is often called the central station, but it is anything but that.
 
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Spartacus

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Cleckheaton, Liversedge and Heckmondwike stations on the former L&Y Spen Valley line all became 'Central' in 1924 to avoid confusion with the former LNWR stations on the Leeds New Line, which then became 'Spen', which was possibly a little confusing, though not half as much as the 24 years they existed side by side carrying identical names to each other! The L&Y stations, coming just over 50 years earlier than the LNWR ones, were generally more central though.
 

EbbwJunction1

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Another consideration is that a lot of stations were built where they were because of restrictions on where the railway could go.

The one that I can think of straight away (although not, I accept, named "Central") is Oxford, which is quite a way from the centre of the city. There must be others ... any thoughts?
 
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