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  • Updated: February 14, 2023

Ten Most Spectacular Train Stations In The World

Given that these train stations are utilitarian structures whose sole goal is to transport you from one location to another, it is quite surprising that they seem so lovely and majestic.

The railway has inspired some of the most recognizable municipal designs of the last two centuries, including grand monuments, palaces, and cathedrals dedicated to the power of the stream and the technologies that supplanted it.

They are creating country and continent-spanning travel networks, proving that practical infrastructure does not have to seem tired or mundane.

These train stations were built with the best technology there is, the construction luxury could be said to be that of total exquisite and the sight of these train stations will leave you marvelling at their beauty for as long as you could. 

Here are 10 railway stations from across the world that are so beautiful that you would not worry if your train is delayed.

They span a variety of styles, eras, and continents.

1. Liège-Guillemins, Liège

You may guess a football stadium or music venue if you did not know what Liège's main station was.

This 2009 iteration of steel, glass, and white concrete seems as if a UFO has landed atop a succession of railway platforms, the latest of multiple restorations since the first station was built here in 1842 - a pleasant reminder that the evolution of train station design is far from complete.


2. Flinders Street Station, Melbourne

Flinders Street in Melbourne, which opened in 1854, was once the busiest passenger station in the world.

The current design won a competition in 1899, and its incredibly complex dome structure caused lengthy delays in building.

Despite some deterioration over the years, the station has survived multiple planned demolitions.

'Under the clocks,' which refers to the stairs leading to the dome, has become a popular meeting place for Melburnians.


3. Grand Central, New York

Possibly the most well-known train station in the world. Even if you have never been to New York's Grand Central, you will almost likely identify it from movies like 'North by Northwest' and 'The Avengers.

It is also well-known for its art: a massive (though slightly inaccurate) star chart mural graces the main concourse ceiling, and a multitude of notable murals, sculptures, and paintings can be found both inside and out.


4. Kanazawa Station

Kanazawa's main railway station is an intriguing blend of the past and the future.

A massive traditional wooden torii gate similar to those found outside Japanese shrines stands in front of it while the entrance to the station is covered by the gleaming aluminium-and-glass Motenashi Dome.

Every aspect has been carefully considered, including the magnificent platform columns adorned with gold leaf, one of Kanazawa's most famous exports.

5. Gare de Metz-Ville, Metz

Metz's main station may appear to be a converted church at first glance, but it is an artefact of imperial - rather than religious - history.

It is the fourth railway station to occupy this site, although being almost a century old, and was erected by Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1908 to emphasize German control over the region.

It features a stained-glass window showing Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne as well as separate apartments for the Kaiser (now the headquarters of French state-owned rail firm SNCF).

6. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Mumbai

Chhatrapati Shivaji, now known informally as 'VT' from its colonial-era moniker, Victoria Terminus, has little in common with Britain's great Victorian railway, St Pancras.

It is much bigger than George Gilbert Scott's Gothic red-brick creation, with its profusion of domes and spires crowned by a four-metre-high marble statue meant to symbolise 'Progress,' in case anyone missed the point.

Chhatrapati Shivaji, now one of Mumbai's most iconic structures, has been a Unesco World Heritage Site since 2004.


7. Gare do Oriente, Lisbon

Lisbon's Gare do Oriente, a Gothic-inspired metal and glass pavilion, opened just in time for millions of tourists to flow through it on their way to the massive 'Expo '98' international exhibition.

The towering work by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, designed to maximize natural light during the day becomes a type of lighted forest by night, with an underground shopping centre and police station forming its concrete 'roots'.

8. Napoli Afragola, Naples

It seems more like a bio-mechanical thing slithering across the high-speed rail line that connects Naples and Salerno than a train station.

Even against the gloomy backdrop of Mount Vesuvius, one of Europe's most active volcanoes, Afragola manages to captivate the eye.

The station is designed in such a way that if the earth begins to wobble, different portions of the construction can move independently of one another and all (hopefully) survive intact.


9. Estación Central, Santiago

Estaçion Central was officially designated Alameda (after the major road in Chile's capital) in 1885, but it was not until its current structure opened in 1897 that it became an icon - perhaps appropriately given that it was designed by Gustave Eiffel.

Two beautiful white collonaded station buildings stand on either side of the tracks, capped by a massive, decorative steel roof that swoops across the entire structure like an outsize albatross.

10. Central do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro

This railway station is well-known for its attractive horizontal shape and for obvious reasons, it has remained quite historic.

The downtown Rio railway station features its own 400-foot-high Art Deco tower, which is known for not ever displaying the right time. 

The station is named after the now-defunct Estrada do Ferro Central do Brasil railway network, which had its headquarters here.

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