Travel & Food’s feature this Sunday is about the world’s awesome railway stations, back in favour – at least in some countries where the trains work properly.
In Europe it’s all about the rise of the glorious train, and the stations are starting to look like designer malls with shops, restaurants Internet cafes and bars, all sparkling and clean and under high, vaulted roofs that let in the light.
We have nothing like that here, not since the last original Victorian-style station – Durban’s – WAS turned into a mall. Then again, there aren’t too many trains left either, although there are a few fine remnants of our once-proud passenger rail system, such as the groovy train that wends its way along the sea from Muizenberg to Simonstown.
The train in the photo is just leaving Kalk Bay station. It might not have an Internet Cafe, but what an astonishing view, and there’s sea-facing bar right off the platform. And whales frolicking in the bay. It gets my vote as the coolest railway station in the world. What’s yours?
What a gorgeous pic of the eastern seaboard railway. My favourite station is Stazione Centrale di Milano, a soaring baroque edifice that looks more like a cathedral than a railway station. It’s the only good thing about Milan. Although there’s also the station in Maputo, with a dome designed by Gustav Eiffel … but I think it has to be Milan.
To the previous commentor: Milan’s railway station is not baroque, but the most bombastic possilble fascist architecture, designed to dwarf people an make them feel insignificant – it does a good job of that. Inside it’s a mess and not so grand after all.
My favourite station in the world : KURANDA (Queensland, Australia). You get to it from Cairns in northern Queensland on a vintage train via an incredibly scenic trip. The station itself is a veritable tropical garden of lush plants, sitting in the rain forest.
Other stations I like are FLAM (Norway, on the edge of a fjord), KALK BAY (agree with Paul’s description above), KNYSNA (Western Cape, South Africa), JUNGFRAUJOCH (Switzerland) and WASHINGTON DC (USA, very glitzy).
Trains do not go to Simon’s Town any more. The railways claim there to be track damage which will take 12 Weeks to repair and ew have been waiting over a year for anything to happen. I for one am not holding my breath, the CEO needs his bonus more than we need commuter trains!