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World's 20 most amazing railway stations

Last updated on: August 16, 2013 15:58 IST

World's 20 most amazing railway stations

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These beautiful railway stations are icons of a nation’s outstanding infrastructure. 

Telegraph Travel lists the world’s 20 most impressive railway stations

Grand Central Terminal, New York

This 100-year old sprawling transport hub is the largest train station in the world with 44 platforms and 67 tracks. 

While 41 tracks are on the upper level and 26 are on the lower side.

The terminal spread across an area of 48 acres was ranked as ‘the world's 6th most visited tourist attraction by Travel + Leisure magazine in 2011.

Take a tour of the world’s amazing railway stations…


Image: Commuters move through the grand hall of Grand Central Terminal in New York.
Photographs: Brendan McDermid/Reuters

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St Pancras International, London

Known for its Victorian architecture, St Pancras railway station was opened in 1868 by the Midland Railway as the southern terminus, which connected London with the East Midlands and Yorkshire. 

The station complex has been revamped with 15 platforms, a shopping centre and a bus station and is served by London Underground's King's Cross St Pancras tube station.

Designed by Gilbert Scott, St Pancras Station in London, is 243 feet wide and 600 feet long.

One of the greatest Victorian buildings in London, the station also offers a great shopping experience. 

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Image: St Pancras International, London
Photographs: Colin/Wikimedia Commons

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Estacion de Madrid Atocha, Madrid

This is the largest railway station in Madrid. Intercity and regional trains from the south, and the AVE high speed trains from Barcelona pass through this station.

Madrid's first railway station was opened in February 1851. A year later, it was destroyed by fire and then rebuilt in 1892.

Spanish architect Rafael Moneo created a beautiful garden in the station complex. It also has a nightclub.

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Image: Estacion de Madrid Atocha.
Photographs: Daderot/Wikimedia Commons

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Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Mumbai

Formerly called Victoria Terminus, this railway station is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and serves as the headquarters of the Central Railways in Mumbai. 

Designed by Frederick William Stevens, the station was built in 1887. It is also busiest railway station in India, serving as a terminal for both long-distance trains and commuter trains of the Mumbai Suburban Railway.

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Image: Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Mumbai.
Photographs: Manjulkumar/Wikimedia Commons

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Shinjuku Station, Japan

One of world's busiest transport hubs, Shinjuku Station serves as the main connecting hub for rail traffic between central Tokyo and its western suburbs.

The station with 36 platforms has an underground arcade with over 200 exits.

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Image: Shinjuku Station.
Photographs: Kellykaneshiro/Wikimedia Commons

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Sao Bento Railway Station, Portugal

Sao Bento Railway Station opened in 1916 is known for its panels that depict historical scenes.

Located in the Almeida Garret Square, the city centre, it is served by trains operated by Comboios de Portugal. It is also the western terminus for trains on Douro line to/from Pocinho.

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Image: Sao Bento Railway Station, Portugal
Photographs: Joseolgon/ Wikimedia Commons

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Haydarpasa Terminal, Istanbul

The busiest rail terminal in Turkey, the Haydarpasa Terminal is a major intercity terminal and transportation hub in Istanbul. 

The terminal opened in 1908 has a main building that houses the headquarters of District 1. Haydarpasa Terminal is the western terminus of the Istanbul-Ankara Main Line.

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Image: Haydarpasa Terminal, Istanbul
Photographs: Nevit Dilmen/Wikimedia Commons

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Tanggula Mountain Railway Station, Tibet

Tanggula is the world's highest train station, situated at a height of 5,068 metres above sea level.

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Image: Tanggula Mountain Railway Station.
Photographs: Yaohua2000/ WikimediaCommons

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Hauptbahnhof, Berlin

Known as ‘palace among stations’, Berlin Central Station is operated by DB Station & Service, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn AG.

Lehrter Bahnhof opened in 1871 as the terminus of the railway linking Berlin with Lehrte, near Hanover, which later became Germany's most important east-west main line.

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Image: Entrance of the Hauptbahnhof, Berlin's main train station.
Photographs: Tobias Schwarz/Reuters

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Yaroslavsky Station, Moscow

Yaroslavsky station is one of the nine main railway stations in Moscow.

One of the busiest stations, it is the western terminus of the Trans-Siberian Railway, the longest railway in the world.

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Image: Yaroslavsky Station, Moscow
Photographs: Tobias Schwarz/Reuters

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Helsinki Central, Finland

Helsinki Central railway station is Finland's most-visited building.

The new complex, which opened in 1919, was designed by Eliel Saarinen. The compalex stands out for its granite cladding and a clock tower.

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Image: Yaroslavsky Station, Moscow
Photographs: Revontuli/Wikimedia Commons

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Kuala Lumpur Railway Station, Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur Railway Station is known for its architecture, a mix Eastern and Western designs. 

Built at a cost of $23,000, the station was opened on August 1, 1910.

A hub for Malaysia's rail transportation system, its tall minarets and arches make it one of the most impressive railway stations in the world.

The station complex was designed by Arthur Benison Hubback, a British Architectural Assistant. Visitors can stay at the Heritage Station Hotel within the building.

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Image: Kuala Lumpur Railway Station, Malaysia
Photographs: Gryffindor/ Wikimedia Commons

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Kanazawa Station, Japan

Opened in 1898, Kanazawa Station is one of the most futuristic and unique stations in Japan.

The station is a perfect blend of traditional and contemporary architecture.

The wooden temple gate with glass and steel is on the West Japan Railway's Hokuriku Line.

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Image: Kanazawa Station, Japan
Photographs: Maranello/Wikimedia Commons

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Ushuaia Railway Station, Argentina

Called 'End of the World' station, Ushuaia  is a famous tourist spot.

The Southern Fuegian Railway now operates as a heritage railway.

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Image: Ushuaia Railway Station (bottom left), the city's main attraction.
Photographs: Maranello/Wikimedia Commons

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Gare du Nord, Paris

Gare Du Nord is one of Europe's busiest railway stations in terms of total passengers and the world's second-largest station in terms of passenger capacity. 

Gare du Nord station caters to trains to Northern France and international destinations in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

Built between 1861 and 1864, the beautiful station complex was designed by the French architect Jacques Hittorff.

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Image: Gare du Nord, Paris
Photographs: Claude Shoshany/Wikimedia Commons

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Union Station, Chicago

One of Chicago’s most iconic structures, Union Station highlights the city’s architectural heritage and historical achievements.

Chicago Union Station is the 3rd busiest rail terminal in the United States, handling around 120,000 passengers on an average day.

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Image: Union Station, Chicago
Photographs: Vincent desjardins/Wikimedia Commons

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Flinders Street Station, Melbourne

Completed in 1909, the station complex has a prominent dome, arched entrance, tower and clocks.

One of the city's most prominent landmarks, it serves the entire metropolitan rail network. Over 110,000 commuters and 1,500 trains pass through the station.

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Image: Flinders Street Station, Melbourne
Photographs: Adam.J.W.C./Wikimedia Commons

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Antwerpen-Centraal Station, Belgium

The Antwerp Central Station is one of the world's most impressive railway stations. The 'railway cathedral' was built between 1895 and 1905.

The railway complex is spread across over 400 metres (1300 ft) and has four levels and 14 tracks.  It has two entrances, a historic domed building at the Astrid square and a modern atrium at the Kievit square.

A shopping centre and a diamond gallery with more than 30 diamond shops make it a shopper's paradise too.

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Image: Antwerpen-Centraal Station, Belgium
Photographs: Wwuyts/Wikimedia Commons

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Luz Station, Sao Paulo

The Luz Station is part of the metropolitan rail system. The station is known for housing the Museum of the Portuguese Language, established in 2006. 

The station was built in the late 19th century as the headquarters of the Sao Paulo Railway.

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Image: Antwerpen-Centraal Station, Belgium
Photographs: Cralize/Wikimedia Commons

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Hua Hin station, Thailand

A prominent landmark in Thailand, Hua Hin station stands out for its unique design and appeal.

It is one of the oldest stations in Thailand.


Image: Hua Hin station.
Photographs: Khaosaming/Wikimedia Commons

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