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  #1  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2009, 5:27 PM
BlackSash BlackSash is offline
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Train Stations

I'm not sure if there is already a thread about this but:

What makes a good train station?
What are some of the best train stations?
What are some of the worst train stations?
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  #2  
Old Posted Jul 11, 2009, 7:59 AM
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Good question! A good train station can be the pride and joy of a city, a bad one can blight an entire neighbourhood.

Of the top of my head, I'd say:

Surrounding area: train stations are the first places many people see of a city, but they can become surrounded by shabby buildings and a focus for drug abuse and street prostitution. I'd say the most successful train stations are the ones that put relatively dense shopping and residential streets very near the stations - cities that do this well are Zurich and Bath, England. Stations that are surrounded purely by offices become dead and intimidating at night, and stations that open up into vast main roads lined with large buildings like Kings Cross in London are a nightmare.

Tracks - you need to make it easy for people to cross the tracks, otherwise, you get a tendency for the area on one side to thrive, and the area on the other to die. For termini (if that's the right word) you need to make a big effort to open out the area behind the station - it's all to easy to make it an industrial wasteland. With the Kings Cross redevelopments in London, a big effort is being made to make it pleasant and easy for people to head into the areas behind the station, where the tracks run in.

Buildings - you've got to build tall interiors. High train sheds and ticket halls make travel exciting, low buildings make you feel like you're in a 1970s nightmare shopping mall. The contrast between St Pancras and Brussels Midi on the Eurostar is a great example of this.


www.enjoy-europe.com/cds/belgium.htm
Enjoy-Europe.com



My pic

Waiting/communal areas - I think the trick here is to get a balance between inside and outside. Overly-enclosed waiting areas tend to smell rancid and make you feel that you are cut off from information about your train. Stations that are too much of a barn inside, however, like Lille in France, are freezing and unhappy. Again, Zurich does a good job striking this balance, with a large comfortable space that hosts a Christmas market and other events, and that has shops and restaurants around the side.


www.zurika.com/2007_06_01_archive.html
Jul, E blogger


Well, that's my 2 cents!
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  #3  
Old Posted Jul 11, 2009, 2:02 PM
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High railway station buildings were necessary in earlier days as nearly all trains were pushed by steam engines.
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  #4  
Old Posted Jul 11, 2009, 3:25 PM
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Thanks Guys, I'm from Canada, so we have some (Union station in Toronto, etc) but they're pretty limited. I remember traveling through Hamburg and being impressed by their central station. I just think train stations make quite Grand buildings
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  #5  
Old Posted Jul 11, 2009, 3:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackSash View Post
I remember traveling through Hamburg and being impressed by their central station. I just think train stations make quite Grand buildings
Is this Hamburg in Germany? Cause yes, i do not think this station is good, requires cleaning, modernization, too confuse, narrow platforms etc.
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Old Posted Jul 11, 2009, 3:55 PM
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This is why I ask, I had been in 1 railway station before that one, and its an impressive building on first glance, I don't dis-sagree that it could be modernized and I didn't really spend enough time in it to know the rest.
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  #7  
Old Posted Jul 15, 2009, 11:32 PM
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I think the days of stations as grand buildings are making a bit of a comeback. Calatrava's Gare do Oriente in Lisbon is the best example:


http://www.eostour.co.kr/eostour/new...na%20Sofia.htm www.eustour.co.kr


http://www.flickr.com/photos/nfcastro/327557646/ nf castro, flickr

More modestly, plans for Kings Cross station in London will scrap this 1970s addition:


http://www.railway-technology.com/pr...ss-station.jpg
railway-technology.com, SPG media

and instead, in another part of the station, they are building this:



http://kingscrossstation.com/images/..._Concourse.jpg
kingscrossstation.com

Let's hope this trend survives the recession! After all, a great station is both a great promotional tool and a fantastic way to enhance the basic travel 'product' for rail companies.
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  #8  
Old Posted Jul 16, 2009, 12:30 AM
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It has a thread, but for those unfamiliar with San Francisco's planned (and hopefully about to get under construction) new downtown transit terminal with commuter, and eventually high speed, rail on the lower levels, here are some renderings:

The design by Pelli Clarke Pelli has a park on the roof




At street level it will look like this


Inside


Part of the funding is coming from selling the site and development rights for a supertall (1000 ft +) tower next door

Source all images: http://www.inhabitat.com/2008/05/28/...ransit-center/
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  #9  
Old Posted Jul 16, 2009, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bedhead View Post
Surrounding area: train stations are the first places many people see of a city
Oh how I'll never forget coming off the METRA at the LaSalle Street Station and seeing the Sears Tower for the first time


(my picture)
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  #10  
Old Posted Jul 16, 2009, 11:30 AM
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Calatrava Station in Lisbon is one of my favors among all i've seen and been. He was really well succeded there with this project, wonderful, interesting, singular, open according the weather, clean, good to stay and enjoy in the new Expo area.

About this one in San Francisco... well seems to me good, too expensive and too complicated. Let's see if it will happen in reality. When I lived in Munich they proposed a lot a renovation and reconstruction of the main train stations, but it was a too fantasy and expensive project that it will never happen. The current one, a simple hangar, very common and a bit ugly replaced a tremendous beautiful building of the past, destroyed during the last big war.
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Old Posted Jul 16, 2009, 2:08 PM
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Originally Posted by MKmillenium View Post
About this one in San Francisco... well seems to me good, too expensive and too complicated. Let's see if it will happen in reality. When I lived in Munich they proposed a lot a renovation and reconstruction of the main train stations, but it was a too fantasy and expensive project that it will never happen.
It'll happen--at least the station (the tower may not for several years at least). In order to build the new station, they have to demolish the old one. They are already building a temporary new station so they can do that. The plan is to build the permanent new station in 2 stages. The first stage is the above ground building--pretty much what you see in the rendering--and they have the money for that now. Alone, it will be a terminal for city busses and busses that cross the Bay to Oakland with a connection to BART and Muni subways. The second stage is bringing the trains to the below-ground area which requires tunneling for a number of blocks and that is not yet fully funded (they are hoping for some "stimulus" or other federal dollars). It's possible that won't happen right away, but it's quite probable it will happen eventually.

As for the tower, a developer has already agree to purchase the land and development rights (providing money for the station) but the recession has caused a high level of office vacancies so they may not want to actually build for a few years.
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  #12  
Old Posted Jul 16, 2009, 2:48 PM
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Train statinos should be among their city's prime public gathering places. They're not mere infrastructure, but should be thought of as public squares that happen to be indoors.

In my completely biased and utterly homer opinion, Washington's Union Station is the best in the United States:




photo by learjet
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  #13  
Old Posted Jul 16, 2009, 5:51 PM
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^

It would be hard to argue against your opinion. Wash's station is gorgeous.
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  #14  
Old Posted Jul 16, 2009, 5:53 PM
BTinSF BTinSF is offline
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Originally Posted by texcolo View Post
^

It would be hard to argue against your opinion. Wash's station is gorgeous.
I grew up in Washington thinking all train stations were like that (and all museums were like the Smithsonian). Sigh.
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  #15  
Old Posted Jul 16, 2009, 6:16 PM
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Liege Station, Belgium

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benonie View Post
Video Link



Almost finished: the new Liège-Guillemins railwaystation in Liège, Belgium. Designed by Calatrava.































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  #16  
Old Posted Jul 16, 2009, 6:23 PM
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Chinese stations are definitely going through a renaissance as more people can afford to travel.

These stations are monsters, although they handle only up to 14 platforms they are designed to be much, much larger to accomodate for Chinese New Year, the largest movement of humanity in the world, every year as 150 million descend on the network.


worlds largest station currently u/c is in Wuhan, China 370,860 sq. m (nearly 4 million sq. ft). By comparison Grand Central in NYC is 2.09 million sq. feet.

thanx to Jiangwho, www.skyscrapercity.com









http://upload.wikimedia.org


www.cnhubei.com:

www.cnhubei.com

www.cnhubei.com

http://upload.wikimedia.org



one of similar size going up in Guangzhou - 377,600 sq. meters, 4 million sq. feet


www.newsgd.com

www.lifeofguangzhou.com

and Changsha - 180,000 sq. meters, 1.9 million sq. feet





Shanghai South has been recently completed, a new kind of terminus design that optimises space
and uses as much light for a smaller than normal footprint (even then the circular waiting area is
almost 1km in circumference)


www.wallpaper.com, http://byfiles.storage.live.com

http://ispyshanghai.com, www.flickr.com

Last edited by muppet; Jul 17, 2009 at 8:12 PM.
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  #17  
Old Posted Jul 16, 2009, 6:40 PM
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Beijing South has just opened last year, joining the other massive termini of Beijing Central and Beijing West.


The glass ceiling is outfitted with 3,246 solar panels to generate electricity. The structure spreads out like a ray
or trilobite and covers 320,000 sq meters (3,444,450 sq. feet), more than the Beijing National Stadium's 258,000 m2.
Its 24 platforms have the capacity to dispatch 30,000 passengers per hour or 241,920,000 a year.
The 251,000 m2 (2,750,000 sq. ft) waiting area can accommodate 10,000 passengers.


www.chinadaily.com.cn, http://images.beijing2008.cn

http://www.e-architect.co.uk

http://www.e-architect.co.uk







Beijing West was the biggest built in 1996 with 510,000 sq. meters (5.5 million sq. ft), more than 2 and a half x the size of grand Central.


www.ciuc.org.cn

they don't get bigger than this, it has since been extended in 2000 and again in 2005:


big-dog, www.skyscrapercity.com



Beijing Central the oldest main terminus (1901), and once the world record holder in terms of capacity.
Its 250,000 sq. m (2.7 million sq. ft)




Last edited by muppet; Jul 17, 2009 at 8:22 PM.
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  #18  
Old Posted Jul 16, 2009, 7:12 PM
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The Chinese termini have to be so big, as every major station turns into a Chinese version of the Hajj every Chinese New Year -sometimes bigger - with huge crowd control. All this is highly organised with massive months-in-advance prepaid ticketing and reservation systems, but the sheer numbers as 150 million people descend onto the network at the same time is crazy. This is why Chinese termini, although with only up to 14 platforms, are still so much larger:









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  #19  
Old Posted Jul 16, 2009, 7:25 PM
fleonzo fleonzo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirrus View Post
Train statinos should be among their city's prime public gathering places. They're not mere infrastructure, but should be thought of as public squares that happen to be indoors.

In my completely biased and utterly homer opinion, Washington's Union Station is the best in the United States:




photo by learjet
Unfortunately they're not making stations like these anymore. I really like Union Station alot although it would be second to Grand Central IMHO. By the looks of what's being done in Asia and Europe I think that's the trend we'll start seeing over here...very impersonal if you ask me!
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  #20  
Old Posted Jul 16, 2009, 7:27 PM
fleonzo fleonzo is offline
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BTW- Can any one tell me the name of the restaruant on the left side when you're coming out? I had lunch there one time with my mom and aunt and I can't remember the name!
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