Which stations look poor compared with the settlement they serve?

johnnychips

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This was inspired by a thread by @Llandudno on the UK section.
…Which …. stations on our network give a very poor first impression and don’t do justice to the town they serve…?
So how about international?

I would nominate Liege. Not the magnificent but splendidly unfunctional Guillemins station, but the central one. It used to be named Liege Palais but I believe has been renamed St Lambert. Liege has its grotty bits yet it has some fine buildings. But the station was covered in graffiti, cramped, smelt. I hope they did it up when they renamed it.
 
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LNW-GW Joint

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Paris Bercy looked distinctly downmarket when I used the Motorail service there. It was also used by sleeper services then, but no normal passenger trains.
I think it has now gained some regional passenger services, including Paris-Lyon TER services, diverted from Gares de Lyon/Austerlitz.

Many big stations in France and Italy barely keep the graffiti at bay in the pulbic areas, and don't even try to remove it outside.

I trust that was a typo!
It was indeed (corrected)!
Bercy may have been upgraded since my visit (over 20 years ago), but it was the sort of place you wouldn't want to have to find the public conveniences. ;)
 
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30907

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Bratislava hl.st. offers you low and rather narrow platforms, no lifts or escalators (I know there are plans), and a crowded concourse. :)

Warszawa Zachodnia (West) was pretty dire a few years ago, but it may have been done up - same could be said about Dresden Neustadt ( both are important if not THE main station).

Quite a lot of "West" German stations are fine at platform level but underneath (being through stations Prussian style) the passages are less so - eg Hannover I found uncomfortably overcrowded. Bruxelles Midi ditto!
 

ChiefPlanner

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Bratislava hl.st. offers you low and rather narrow platforms, no lifts or escalators (I know there are plans), and a crowded concourse. :)

Warszawa Zachodnia (West) was pretty dire a few years ago, but it may have been done up - same could be said about Dresden Neustadt ( both are important if not THE main station).

Quite a lot of "West" German stations are fine at platform level but underneath (being through stations Prussian style) the passages are less so - eg Hannover I found uncomfortably overcrowded. Bruxelles Midi ditto!

Dresden Neustadt was in excellent condition when I last used it about 3 years ago , in good order and some heritage items restored. When were you last there ? (mind you , I did like the old signalling there but that is long gone)
 

43096

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Quite... though on second thought, the rather decrepit stations in Paris are entirely in line with the world's largest tourist trap! :lol:
And are much in keeping with the attitude of the natives.
 

30907

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Dresden Neustadt was in excellent condition when I last used it about 3 years ago , in good order and some heritage items restored. When were you last there ? (mind you , I did like the old signalling there but that is long gone)
A good 10 years ago, Warsaw longer, which is why I added that it might have been done up. Glad it has!
 

ChiefPlanner

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A good 10 years ago, Warsaw longer, which is why I added that it might have been done up. Glad it has!

Apart from a really good "station hall" with an excellent supermarket , the old platform shelters etc (wooden) have been finely restored , and if you ever need to say in Dresden I commend the hotel over the road , family run for generations , with in my view , tremendous breakfasts where they will meet your requirements well , with local produce and bakery products. Plug over.
 

biko

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I would nominate Amsterdam Zuid. Tiny platforms, narrow subway and overall bad atmosphere while it serves the modern business district (and of course the south of Amsterdam).
 

DanielB

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Although standards are pretty high for the stations in The Netherlands (even the smallest ones), there's one that definitely deserves nomination...

Amsterdam Zuid is a pretty important station in the middle of the financial district, including connections to local transport. But the station itself has incredibly limited facilities in a tunnel being way too small for the number of passengers. At platform level it just looks like any other small halt.
But by far the worst about this station is its location in the middle of the A10 motorway. Really a hell of a station to wait longer than 5 minutes.

And changing to a bus or tram takes a 10 minute walk outside the station!
 
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How many examples are there in the USA? It seems like New York Penn is the least of everyone’s worries, with many cities with over 1 million residents being served by a one platform halt.
 

ricohallo

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Brussels Kapellekerk/Chapelle station immediately comes to mind. Two run-down island platforms in central Brussels between Brussels-Central and Brussels-Midi stations, lots of graffiti everywhere and a very limited 1 tph weekday only local service until approximately 8pm with all other trains passing through the station without stopping.
Just a tiny little bit less appalling is Brussels-Congres station between Brussels-Central and Brussels-North, located in the same tunnel as Brussels-Central, which looks like nothing has changed in the last decades and has a very eerie feel to it. Weekday only local service until 8pm as well, although this station has 2tph calling there.
 

MarcVD

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Brussels Kapellekerk/Chapelle station immediately comes to mind. Two run-down island platforms in central Brussels between Brussels-Central and Brussels-Midi stations, lots of graffiti everywhere and a very limited 1 tph weekday only local service until approximately 8pm with all other trains passing through the station without stopping.
Just a tiny little bit less appalling is Brussels-Congres station between Brussels-Central and Brussels-North, located in the same tunnel as Brussels-Central, which looks like nothing has changed in the last decades and has a very eerie feel to it. Weekday only local service until 8pm as well, although this station has 2tph calling there.

Both stations are threatened with closure as trains that stop there consume too many paths. There are 20 to 25 trains per hour running over each of those tracks at rush hours so every possible path saving is welcomed. Closing Brussels Chappelle would probably not generate too much complaints but for Brussels Congres it's another story, as there is a huge concentration of government offices nearby. Both stations have indeed never been refurbished since their opening in the early 50ies. By the way, the Brussels Congres building, in addition to the station, also contains the ventilation system for the six tracks tunnel between Brussels Chappelle and Brussels North.
 

jamesontheroad

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Zagreb Glavni kolodvor looks nice from across the street, but once your inside is a bit grim.

Ditto above about US stations, with the possible exception of Washington Union, which is more of a shopping mall and food court with some platforms attached. Some have grand old ticket halls, but the intermediate spaces and platforms always feel like freight loading docks.
 

newmilton

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Cannes. I passed through a few years ago on the TGV and remarked to my teenage (at the time) son on what a dump the station seemed compared to the glamorous, movie-star reputation of the town, at which the woman sitting opposite looked up and said, It's true!

And I second the vote for Liège Saint-Lambert, having used it only last year (just before COVID).
 

jfollows

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How many examples are there in the USA? It seems like New York Penn is the least of everyone’s worries, with many cities with over 1 million residents being served by a one platform halt.
You're right, but I'm hopeful that there's been something of a change.

I once lived in Boulder, CO and visited Denver often, in 1989-1992. The Denver station was a shell and in a bad way, but it's been totally transformed since then, I haven't seen it in its new incarnation.
I lived in Raleigh, NC in 1998-2000 and the station was pretty unimpressive and probably still is.

But I think and hope that a number of US stations have been improved since their low points.
 
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TravelDream

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Warszawa Zachodnia (West) was pretty dire a few years ago, but it may have been done up - same could be said about Dresden Neustadt ( both are important if not THE main station).

Warsaw West had a new southern hall added a few years ago which is small, but reasonable. The rest of the station is currently having a 425 million Euro refurbishment expected to finish by the end of 2023. https://www.railwaypro.com/wp/contract-signed-for-the-reconstruction-of-warsaw-west-station/

It's a very strange situation where there are hundreds of village halts with lifts for disabled access, but one of the largest stations in the country is still inaccessible. It's not just disabled people of course, Zachodnia is the first intercity station you'd transfer at if you were catching a train from Chopin airport and you'd often (pre-Covid) see people struggling up and down the stairs with luggage.

The coach station there is still grim and slightly menacing.
 

zero

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Hua Lamphong, the main station of Thailand was underwhelming, it felt like a small dirty open-air marketplace. A bit like Ljubljana and Zagreb I think though I can't remember those stations very well.

It's going to be replaced by a large new modern structure more akin to Berlin Hbf later this year. I guess some people may prefer the old station though.
 

67thave

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Zagreb Glavni kolodvor looks nice from across the street, but once your inside is a bit grim.

Ditto above about US stations, with the possible exception of Washington Union, which is more of a shopping mall and food court with some platforms attached. Some have grand old ticket halls, but the intermediate spaces and platforms always feel like freight loading docks.
Parts of Washington Union are pretty grim, particularly the concourse extension between the main station building and the platform area.
 

Greetlander

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Brisbane Central and Melbourne Flinders Street could be a lot better. Also, given Canberra is Australia's Capital city the station is an embarrassment. Screen Shot 2021-07-12 at 9.03.02 pm.png
 

riceuten

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I think Gare de l'Est is rather nice.....especially the concourse.
It is ! The frontage is very grand and the shopping is also pretty good. If there was (as I believe is ultimately planned) a passageway to Gare du Nord, it would be even better).

No-one has mentioned Beograd-Centar, which has to be amongst the worst in Europe, and made all the more sad that the main train station it replaced was very grand and next to the Lasta inter city bus station. Both were moved so that government could flog off the land adjacent to oligarchs to build waterfront apartments
 

Bletchleyite

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Beograd Centar is basically New St without the upstairs I think?

Praha hl.n. used to be a bit of a run down version of Euston but I believe may have had a recent tarting up.
 

riceuten

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It's a car park on the edge of the city in the middle of nowhere. One shop that is sporadically open, and no nearby bus or tram (bus 36 stops about 10 mins walk away). No roof until recently !

The Grand entrance!
1626092954629.png

The tracks
1626093023933.png

What it replaced (which was going to be a railway museum run by Serbian Railways post closure, but is now going to a "Museum of Serbian History", to be run by a close associate of the ruling party)
1626093124594.png
 
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317666

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Having only changed trains there I can't comment on what the city is like, but Ludwigshafen(Rhein) Hbf takes some beating in my book!
 

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