Most hated non-UK station

camflyer

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Penn Station in NYC has just had an refurbishment with the opening for a new "train hall"

 
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riceuten

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I think it was a very poor decision to close the original Belgrade Main station - a much better location (although not in the very centre, its still much closer than the new one), beautiful architecture, excellent transport links next to the coach station, and a major tram and bus interchange - it couldn't really be more perfect in terms of location and transport links! Even though the old station was closed, it was still busier than the new one (with people going to the still existing cafe, and walking through to get to the coach station). Although it wasn't completely closed - the ticket office was still open, selling tickets! I also got to witness the platforms being demolished in front of me (the last train was in 2018, and my visit was summer 2019).

The new Belgrade 'Centar' station is in the suburbs, connected to the centre by one bus. I do actually think the new station has potential to be a good station though - it did feel better quality than I was expecting, but far from usual European standards, and the staff were friendly. But I can only presume passenger numbers have dropped a lot since the move - its really inconvenient. It was more like a ghost station - more trains than people, and no one getting on/off the only bus to the station.

So, I would also nominate this station as my least favourite non-UK station.

I'm not particularly fond of Bruxelles-Midi either - I don't find it very easy to get around, architecturally it is nothing special and just feels like its had bits added on to it, the Eurostar terminal is cramped and dark with no natural light, and you definitely need to keep your wits about you outside of the station!

So far as I am aware from my contacts in Serbia, the main station was closed as part of the gentrification of the area immediately adjacent to the river, and the mafiya types purchasing riverside apartments didn't want trains clanking past day and night. The old station wasn't brilliant - it was a fair trot from the centre and facilities were fairly scanty, but it was immediately adjacent to the Lasta bus station, which DID have nice facilities, and provided a good interchange. The old station was slated to become a railway museum owned by the rail company, but the government seized the building and decided to instead build a "Museum of Medieval Serbia" would be built there instead. There was supposed to be a bidding process to construct this, but the government made a direct award without tendering to a company sympathetic to the ruling party.

The new station has to be seen to be believed. It has no station building, and until recently, also had no roof, so all the platforms were open and usually flooded with water, as no drainage arrangements had been made. As mentioned elsewhere, it has an ATM that never works and a shop that never opens (even Topcider where the Bar trains start and finish has both of these!). Access is a major issue - it's difficult to get anywhere near it by car or transport.

Prokop in all its glory

1610900843886.png

This is the grand entrance

1610900878069.png
 
Last edited:

Gag Halfrunt

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Penn Station in NYC has just had an refurbishment with the opening for a new "train hall"

There's already a thread.

 

Richard Scott

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So far as I am aware from my contacts in Serbia, the main station was closed as part of the gentrification of the area immediately adjacent to the river, and the mafiya types purchasing riverside apartments didn't want trains clanking past day and night. The old station wasn't brilliant - it was a fair trot from the centre and facilities were fairly scanty, but it was immediately adjacent to the Lasta bus station, which DID have nice facilities, and provided a good interchange. The old station was slated to become a railway museum owned by the rail company, but the government seized the building and decided to instead build a "Museum of Medieval Serbia" would be built there instead. There was supposed to be a bidding process to construct this, but the government made a direct award without tendering to a company sympathetic to the ruling party.

The new station has to be seen to be believed. It has no station building, and until recently, also had no roof, so all the platforms were open and usually flooded with water, as no drainage arrangements had been made. As mentioned elsewhere, it has an ATM that never works and a shop that never opens (even Topcider where the Bar trains start and finish has both of these!). Access is a major issue - it's difficult to get anywhere near it by car or transport.

Prokop in all its glory

View attachment 88784

This is the grand entrance

View attachment 88785
Got to be fair last time I went in 2019 the ATM worked and shop was open. Must be rare by the sounds of it?
 

riceuten

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This was a family I knew who travelled there last year before lockdown from Belgrade and were going to Bar. You may well have been lucky !
 

JKF

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Oh dear, that looks terrible!
It's as if they reopened Down Street Tube Station by just putting a few lights on it!

That station's before and after images also remind me of a lot of Espinho Railway Station in Portugal.
Used to be placed in a large, long avenue with palm trees adorning the line and equipped with a direct link to the narrow gauge Vouga Line.
Now it looks like a permanent work field. The narrow gauge station is far and completely neglected and the newer station only passes because it actually has a pretty decent lighting layout and above-ground building.
I think one of the things that makes Espinho seem weird and dour is the complete lack of any advertising - just blank dark walls of the tunnel opposite the platform. I‘m not a big fan of public advertising but it does add a bit of colour and interest on places like the tube.
 

leytongabriel

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Paris Montparnasse Vaurigard. It's a kind of overspill station which has lost its staffed ticketing. So you come up from the metro, which is already a fair old walk with lots of stairs if you come to Montparnasse Bienvenue line 4 etc, into a mass of building works and search for the signs for your train. Some will say 'hall 3' and you're supposed to know this is the same as the Vaurigard which it says on your ticket. Having negotiated a series of steps there is then a long dingy walk along one side of the station past 'hall 2'. There are a couple of travellators, with luck you might find one working, and then finally you hit the bright lights of hall 3 / Vaurigard. Woe betide you if you haven't got a ticket as the booking office is permanently closed now, despite there always being a queue for the Normandy trains. Peak awfulness was when they tried putting the cheap tgv services there too and there just wasn't enough capacity for all the people despite the heroic if ill-tempered efforts of minimum wage people herders. They've gone to hall 2 now and there are some new seats but it still makes the Kings Cross Pic/Vic line traipse via the northern booking hall seem like the proverbial stroll in the park.
 

AlbertBeale

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Agreed, it's not pleasant at all, although I've only alighted there so the lack of facilities was not too obvious (I then caught Europe's most scenic trolleybus route back to Ventimglia8-)).

But the old course of the line must have completely cut the town off from its waterfront? I would think the wider benefits make the rebuilding of the line worthwhile, although of course that doesn't mean the station itself could not have been much better.

Yes, San Remo is a bit depressing - and the hike from the entrance to the platforms is rather extreme. It is true that the old line ran between the seafront/docks and 90+% of the town, so that was an extra reason to re-route the line, as well as speed and capacity.

And several other stretches of line along that part of the Italian coast have had comparable changes, taking the station away from the coast - and even away from the town in places; so much so that in some instances they haven't replaced the station at all. I can't think of any other ones along there where there's a new station as unpleasant as the San Remo one though. But I guess San Remo is much larger than some places which have lost their station now, and they couldn't not replace it, and it was like it is or nothing. Well - maybe it could be set out the same but a bit less depressingly fitted out.

But at least a lot of the strips of the Ligurian coastal rail line that have been closed have been converted into cycle paths, not built on. I've spent a pleasant day cycling tens of miles up and down that coastline.
 

SouthEastBuses

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For me, anything on the Circumvesuviana or Alifana railway lines in Campania, Italy. Most, if not all stations are in state of abandon. Very embarrassing, especially because in the case of the Circumsevuviana, which is supposed to transport tourists by train from Naples to all the famous tourist attractions in Campania, including Pompeii, Herculaneum, Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast. Not to mention, most of their trains are very old and unrefurbished!

Many metro stations in Rome (especially those on line A, with Barberini station being the worst out there) are also very dirty, not to mention their stations are in state of abandon too and can be rather dark too! But unlike the Circumvesuviana and Alifana, at least most of the Rome metro train are new.

Now going outside of Italy. I'm also not keen on most Paris Metro & RER stations in France. Most stations are extremely filthy, especially Luxembourg station on the RER B.
 

Wolfie

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For me, anything on the Circumvesuviana or Alifana railway lines in Campania, Italy. Most, if not all stations are in state of abandon. Very embarrassing, especially because in the case of the Circumsevuviana, which is supposed to transport tourists by train from Naples to all the famous tourist attractions in Campania, including Pompeii, Herculaneum, Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast. Not to mention, most of their trains are very old and unrefurbished!

Many metro stations in Rome (especially those on line A, with Barberini station being the worst out there) are also very dirty, not to mention their stations are in state of abandon too and can be rather dark too! But unlike the Circumvesuviana and Alifana, at least most of the Rome metro train are new.

Now going outside of Italy. I'm also not keen on most Paris Metro & RER stations in France. Most stations are extremely filthy, especially Luxembourg station on the RER B.
The good news for you with respect to the Circumvesuviana, which l've used and found the trains ok but the stations as you describe, is that 40 new trains were ordered from Stadtler earlier this year to replace the life expired ones.
 

SouthEastBuses

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The good news for you with respect to the Circumvesuviana, which l've used and found the trains ok but the stations as you describe, is that 40 new trains were ordered from Stadtler earlier this year to replace the life expired ones.

I know. A huge stop forward. The current old trains (the FE220 and T21) are so bad that it makes the 313s look luxurious in comparison!
 

duesselmartin

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For me, anything on the Circumvesuviana or Alifana railway lines in Campania, Italy. Most, if not all stations are in state of abandon. Very embarrassing, especially because in the case of the Circumsevuviana, which is supposed to transport tourists by train from Naples to all the famous tourist attractions in Campania, including Pompeii, Herculaneum, Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast. Not to mention, most of their trains are very old and unrefurbished!

Many metro stations in Rome (especially those on line A, with Barberini station being the worst out there) are also very dirty, not to mention their stations are in state of abandon too and can be rather dark too! But unlike the Circumvesuviana and Alifana, at least most of the Rome metro train are new.

Now going outside of Italy. I'm also not keen on most Paris Metro & RER stations in France. Most stations are extremely filthy, especially Luxembourg station on the RER B.
cannot say that I see Rome's or Paris' Metro station that critical. Some Stadtbahn (U) stations in Germany fare worse.
Also Bruxelles M has a worse feel it it.
 

alex397

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I really hope Belgrade upgrades it’s Metro stations (there are two stations built for a Metro which never appeared, so are used by local railway service instead). They are falling apart with broken steps and look semi-abandoned. The trains suit it too - Soviet-built RVR stock absolutely covered in graffiti, very steep steps to board, plastic chairs, and there was also cracked windows.

I actually enjoy seeing things like that with the semi-derelict atmosphere, but obviously for people using that railway it is absolutely awful, and is halting expansion. A line like that could easily have a frequency similar to a German S-Bahn, instead if I remember correctly it was hourly.
 

riceuten

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Yes, the famed Beovoz (now BG Voz), which was more of an S-Bahn than anything else. They're now up to 4 lines, one of them operating 3 times a day!

The whole metro project - now apparently due to start in December 2021 (I'm not holding my breath) - is riven with corruption and mismanagement. Despite previous arrangements between Serbian and French governments, in April 2019 the deputy mayor announced that the metro will be solely funded by the Chinese company "Power China" and built in partnership with the city. Criticism started with the chosen routes (starting in non-urbanized areas, missing most of the major streets, medical centres and the university, crossing at Belgrade Waterfront instead of in downtown (because that's what the private investors in the riverside project want)) selection of the construction companies without public bidding, lack of studies still needed for the works to be conducted. The Serbian government had apparently already chosen Chinese contractors even though no contracts for the construction of the subway have been signed; there is no project plan and the companies are dictating the routes of the metro (as to which is easiest to build or which makes the most money for the company) rather than addressing the transportation problems in the city.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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I didn't feel safe in the underground metro station at Milano Centrale - dark, crowded.
Nor at Napoli Museo, one stop from Centrale/P Garibaldi on the cross-city line L2. Hustlers everywhere - watch your valuables!
Bucuresti Nord had a bad feel as well, although that might be after my experience of the currency exchangers!
But mostly, I've found main city stations to be rather better than expected.
And some are real gems: Toledo for instance, or Porto Sao Bento.
 

SouthEastBuses

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I didn't feel safe in the underground metro station at Milano Centrale - dark, crowded.
Nor at Napoli Museo, one stop from Centrale/P Garibaldi on the cross-city line L2. Hustlers everywhere - watch your valuables!
Bucuresti Nord had a bad feel as well, although that might be after my experience of the currency exchangers!
But mostly, I've found most main city stations to be rather better than expected.
And some are real gems: Toledo for instance, or Porto Sao Bento.
That's why Naples Metro Line 1 in my opinon has got to be the best metro line in the whole of Europe!
 

riceuten

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It got better at Bucuresti Nord when they introduced a requirement to have a ticket or pay 0.5 lei to get in. Before then it was full of beggars and hustlers.

Best railways station in Europe - Metz Gare, and Strasbourg isn't too shabby either.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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That's why Naples Metro Line 1 in my opinon has got to be the best metro line in the whole of Europe!
Ah, I may have confused you there.
I meant Toledo in Spain, not the Toledo station on the Naples Metro!

Actually I've used Line 1, but my experience was rather dampened when I got back to Municipio station after a splendid evening at the opera at San Carlo, to find the gates locked and barred at 2215.
I was left to find a taxi back to my hotel.
It seemed a very early time to shut down a major metro station, but I don't know what the normal operating hours are.
I had the same experience in Berlin, where I found the Deutsche Oper U-bahn station closed at a similar hour.
On that occasion I think engineering works on line U2 might have been the reason; I had to leg it to Charlottenburg S-bahn station to get back to base near Hbf.
 

popeter45

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So far as I am aware from my contacts in Serbia, the main station was closed as part of the gentrification of the area immediately adjacent to the river, and the mafiya types purchasing riverside apartments didn't want trains clanking past day and night. The old station wasn't brilliant - it was a fair trot from the centre and facilities were fairly scanty, but it was immediately adjacent to the Lasta bus station, which DID have nice facilities, and provided a good interchange. The old station was slated to become a railway museum owned by the rail company, but the government seized the building and decided to instead build a "Museum of Medieval Serbia" would be built there instead. There was supposed to be a bidding process to construct this, but the government made a direct award without tendering to a company sympathetic to the ruling party.

The new station has to be seen to be believed. It has no station building, and until recently, also had no roof, so all the platforms were open and usually flooded with water, as no drainage arrangements had been made. As mentioned elsewhere, it has an ATM that never works and a shop that never opens (even Topcider where the Bar trains start and finish has both of these!). Access is a major issue - it's difficult to get anywhere near it by car or transport.
that 100% looks designed to be built on top of
 

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