The Most Beautiful Train Stations in the World

Los Angeles Union Station. Editorial credit: Hayk_Shalunts /
Los Angeles Union Station. Editorial credit: Hayk_Shalunts /

One of the oldest forms of the transport, which is still used to date, is the railway system. These systems were developed over a century ago and as much as the trains have evolved from steam-engine trains to electric trains, some of these train stations like Liverpool Road station have never been remodeled. Most train stations were built in the early 19th century when traveling via train was glamorous and new. Most of the current terminuses are works of art and relaxing places for visitors. Some of the most beautiful train stations in the world include:

10. Kuala Lumpur Railway Station, Kuala Lumpur

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The Kuala Lumpur railway station was designed by Arthur Hubback, a British architect. The terminus is a perfect mixture of eastern and western architecture. Hubback integrated numerous elements from different cultural traditions from the beautiful Moorish and arch patterns to the high Chhatri domes commonly found in Indian buildings. The white colored station opened in 1910, and served as the primary railway station in Kuala Lumpur until the new Sentral station was opened.The railway was electrified in 1995. Kuala Lumpur station is situated along Jalan-Sultan Hishamuddin road previously referred to as the Victoria Avenue.

9. Grand Central Terminal, New York

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The terminus is the most popular station in the United States and has been named as the most beautiful station in the world. With annual visitors reaching over 26 million people, the Grand central station is the 6th most visited attraction in the whole world. The Central Terminal has 44 platforms on two different levels. Two separate architectural companies designed the New York central terminal building. Reed and Stem created the overall design of the station while Warren and Wetmore added the Beaux-Arts design. Henry Bedford developed the iconic Tiffany clock located on the 42nd street. Grand Central opened their doors to the public in 1913.

8. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Railway Station, Mumbai

CSMT (Chhatrapati-Shivaji Maharaj train station), previously referred to as Victoria Terminus, is a beautiful historical station in Mumbai and UNESCO recognizes it as the World Heritage site. Frederick Stevens designed the terminus in 1887 with the main aim of introducing the Indian Gothic architecture, a blend of the Victorian Gothic architecture and Indian architectural traditions. The train station is a unique landmark in Mumbai and a great resource to over three million Indians who use it daily. The terminus changed its name from Victorian terminals to Chhatrapati Shivaji (in honor of the creator of Maratha Empire) in 1996.

7. Milano Centrale, Milan

The Milano Centrale opened to the public in 1931, and it replaced the older central train station built in 1864. Designed by Ulisse Stacchini, this is the busiest train station in Europe. Ulisse borrowed his design from the design of Union Station in Washington, but Mussolini elaborated the original design thus making it a unique building of his regime. The Milano Centrale is a perfect blend of architectural styles which illustrate the history of Italy from 1906 when King Emmanuel II laid the foundation to 1931 when it opened for use. The station serves over 500 trains which pass through the Milan central station.

6. Union Station, Los Angeles

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The LAUS (Los Angeles Union station) is the primary station in California and the largest passenger terminal in the western part of the United States. The terminus opened to the public in 1939, replacing the Central and the La Grange stations. John Parkinson and his son Donald Parkinson contributed to the design of the terminus by blending the contemporary Art-Deco styles and the Spanish colonial heritage. Currently, the LAUS serves as the primary hub in California, and it hosts over 110,000 commuters daily.

5. Antwerpen-Centraal Railway Station, Antwerp

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Antwerpen-Centraal is arguably one of the most beautiful stations in the world, and it is decorated using over twenty different types of stones and marbles. The construction of Antwerp station began in 1895. Mr. Louis Delacenseries designed the terminus building and the vast dome. Jan Van Asperen developed another vital structure in the terminus referred to as the viaduct. Antwerpen-Centraal opened to the public in 1905.

4. Station Atocha, Madrid

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Before the renovation of the station and addition of the indoor tropic garden in 1985, the Spanish station was a stunning beauty with a unique architectural design by Gustave Eiffel and Alberto-de-Palacio. The 1st Madrid station opened on February 9, 1851, was destroyed by fire before it was reopened in 1892. Atocha station got its name from the nearby basilica which is dedicated to Our-Lady-of-Atocha. In 1985, Rafael Moneo renovated Atocha and converted the original station building into a multi-use region which blossoms with a beautiful indoor garden.

3. Dunedin Station, Dunedin

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Although it is the busiest station in New Zealand, Dunedin is small in size with a 120 foot clock-tower, which is visible throughout the city on the southern end of the Dunedin. George Troup designed the station in the revitalized Flemish-renaissance architecture style, and was opened in 1906. The roof of the Dunedin is tiled with the terracotta shingles while the building was constructed using the dark basalt and light white Oamaru-stone facings. During the early 1900s, Dunedin was the busiest station with over 100 trains passing through the terminus daily.

2. Centraal Station, Amsterdam

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Also referred to as Amsterdam Centraal, it is the biggest station in Amsterdam and a national hub since it serves over 162,000 commuters daily, which makes it the 2nd busiest terminus and the most toured national heritage in the country. Centraal station was designed by Pierre Cuypers and opened to the public in 1889. Centraal has been undergoing reconstruction since 1997 to accommodate the new north-south metro route which will be opened in 2018.

1. St. Pancras International, London

St. Pancras Station, formerly known as the London St. Pancras, is on Euston Road in London. Designed by William Barlow, the station had a big enclosed space in 1868. The station, which has 15 platforms, served as civilians’ bomb shelter during WWII, but it was neglected for years after the war. However, the local activists save it from demolition in the 1960s. The site underwent renovations from 2001 to 2007 to help it recover its lost glory. The LCR (London and continental railway) owns the St. Pancras railway.


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