The Beautiful Architecture of Train Stations Worldwide

You don’t have to go far in your travels to see some of the most impressive buildings of major cities all over the world, sometimes you don’t even have to leave your port of call. Did you know that train stations are often standout structures in a given city’s collection of architectural wonders? Here are just a few notable stops that make travelling by rail just that much more exciting.

Rail Architecture Through the Ages
With their places as historic public spaces within cities, a number of train stations all over the world are fantastic reflections of the time in which they were built and the architectural culture of their respective countries. The Gare du Nord in Paris, France for instance features gothic revival ironwork indicative of its time in the 19th century, while Sirkeci Terminal in Istanbul, Turkey is a fascinating example of European Orientalism from the 1890s on. The remodelled Grand Central Terminal in New York City, on the other hand, reflects the traditional classical style that American public buildings have traditionally adopted.

With rail travel really picking up during the 1930s, the art deco movement has left a Gotham-style stamp on a number of train stations all over the world. Union Station in Los Angeles, California is a particularly beautiful example of that style of architecture, with its old Hollywood glamour.


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Structural Surprises
The large spaces of train stations give architects a chance to build surprises into their works. Traditionally, this has meant classical facades mixed in with highly modern interiors such as Rossio Station in Lisbon, Portugal. However, a few stations take the unexpected a step forward; Atocha Train Station in Madrid, Spain features a hidden core of greenery amongst the red brick. The palms and other plant displays create a veritable rainforest within a mixture of 19th century and mid-century modern influences.

Other structures seek to create stunning modern art inside relatively unassuming exteriors. Step inside King’s Cross Station in London, England and take in the expansive white grid pattern build up under the dome; it’s an impressive sight, especially when the sun filters through the dome and creates a play of light in the terminal.

Taking the time to explore the rail architecture of the world can be very rewarding as well as affordable, as cheap train travel can be purchased in advance. So the next time you’re out on a rail adventure, remember to take some time and take a look at the stops along the way.

Catherine Halsey writes for a digital marketing agency on a range of subjects. This article links back to

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