Most hated non-UK station

Galvanize

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Bratislava HL I wasn’t particularly keen on! Just looked and felt so run down...after dark, the station concourse and area immediately outside of it reminded me of London Kings cross prior to its refurb...very dingy and seedy. Lots of undesirables hanging around.
 
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newmilton

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Another vote for Montparnasse. Cramped, oppressive, and badly connected. I loathe it so much I have been known to take the RER to Massy if I am connecting from Eurostar. But I can't speak for anywhere beyond France, Belgium, Switzerland and Italy. Mind you, Liège-Saint-Lambert isn't somewhere I'd want to spend more time than necessary, even if it's not on the same scale.
 

Galvanize

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The entire Belgian rail system is pretty dreary, to be honest (though those rubber-nosed EMUs are nice). Except Antwerpen-Centraal which is impressive.
Namur didn’t look particularly attractive...looked like a scaled down Birmingham New Street with scaffolding (that’s been there for years I’m told!)...and people speaking French, not Brummie!

Belgian Railways in general I found to be alright...the collection of antiquated and geriatric Electric units kinda remind me of Great Eastern lines here in the UK!
 

Bletchleyite

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Belgian Railways in general I found to be alright...the collection of antiquated and geriatric Electric units kinda remind me of Great Eastern lines here in the UK!

To be fair it's similar to Nederlandse Spoorwegen (for good reason; the transport needs of both countries are quite similar) - fairly boring, drab and samey, but functional.
 

alex397

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The entire Belgian rail system is pretty dreary, to be honest (though those rubber-nosed EMUs are nice). Except Antwerpen-Centraal which is impressive.
I can see why it’s considered dreary. But the system seems to work well and is functional from my experience, mostly in Flanders (and great value too).

It might not be good for the ordinary passenger, but I like how it feels a like a time-warp. The elderly rolling stock and dilapidated stations. Waiting for a train at Bruxelles-Chapelle (the falling apart station with just an hourly service yet in a great location) or Schaerbeek are good if you’re into all that...

So, I can imagine some will say Bruxelles-Chapelle is a pretty bad station. It’s not somewhere I’d want to be waiting for a train at night....
 

the sniper

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Currently the new Belgrade station. Not near the main city and next to no facilities!

I believe it's like Birmingham New St but they forgot the shopping centre and just provided steps down from the concrete slab on which that would be built? I've seen pics of when it was just a Beovoz (S-Bahn) station, though, it was far worse than now! :)

Way, way worse than New Street. Then there's the location, the equivalent would be if BR had built the Intercity interchange station in Washwood Heath on the Stechford to Aston line.

Maybe the Belgrade set up will work out semi-acceptable in the end, but that could be decades away. In the mean time, how many passengers will be lost? Long term commitment to an expensive plan of questionable benefit even if ever fully delivered. 'New Belgrade' (old) station probably should have been developed instead, as that is even worse as a station but a slightly more justifiable location if the station has to be out of town.

The entire Belgian rail system is pretty dreary, to be honest (though those rubber-nosed EMUs are nice). Except Antwerpen-Centraal which is impressive.

Totally agree. One country I don't think I could live in...
 

beermaddavep

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Firenze Rifredi. No facilities other than a toilet, very little nearby, a grey soulless dump of a station outside and inside of which undesirables and aggressive beggars lurk. Not a good advert for such a beautiful city. Makes Southampton Central look attractive!
 

Richard Scott

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Firenze Rifredi. No facilities other than a toilet, very little nearby, a grey soulless dump of a station outside and inside of which undesirables and aggressive beggars lurk. Not a good advert for such a beautiful city. Makes Southampton Central look attractive!
But good for watching trains!
 

CC 72100

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A lot of those in my mind have been mentioned here:

I'm not a huge fan of Gare du Nord but as a station it isn't too bad, just a little lively in terms of characters.

Paris Montparnasse is dingy and a long walk from the metro.

Paris Bercy is the station that people forgot about, but at least its quiet as a result(!).

Kobanya-Kispest is very run down, there is no denying that. The shopping hall bit is fine, so is the metro line 3 bit which feels very 'Western Europe' and then you cross the threshold into the MAV-START mainline rail station bit and at that point it is all very, very different.

The Brussels stations (Midi, Centraal) are also a bit grim and had a run down feel. I did go to Knokke (15 mins north of Brugge/Bruges) which bizarrely has 3 (very long) platforms for an hourly service South only. A very spartan station building and the winter evening made it all feel very isolated.
 

Jamesrob637

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I'd live in Antwerp, it's a nice little city. Brussels, while I prefer it over Paris, isn't that nice and can be very rough in places, and the rest of Belgium mostly just looks sleepy and run down.

Bruxelles is good to live in (it was 15 years ago and from more recent visits it looks fine)

Antwerp is nice though I'd probably end up speaking German all the time!

Don't forget Gent. Brugge is nice but inevitably very touristy; Gent less so

Waloonia is nice for visits and walking in the Ardennen but the cities/towns have less appeal than Bruxelles or the Flemish ones. Plus it rains more in the south. Bruxelles and Antwerp are drier.
 

CC 72100

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Don't forget Gent. Brugge is nice but inevitably very touristy; Gent less so

Fully agree with that, I preferred Gent out of the two of them. Felt a little less like walking around a museum as Bruges is almost 'too perfect' in places and doesn't feel as authentic as a result.
 

morrisobrien

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I believe they've tarted it up a bit (but it still has the ugly red ceiling) but Praha Hlavni Nadrazi (new bit) always struck me as a bit grim, just felt really seedy.

Paris Nord is an overcrowded toilet in the middle of an area that is basically a toilet. The lot needs flattening and redoing from scratch. This isn't a Francophobe view; Gare de l'Est is much nicer in just about every way.

Brussel-Zuid is barely better (and the area is worse).

That said, they are by no means the worst - pick a neglected wayside halt in parts of Germany or Eastern European countries, some of them look like they closed years ago even if they're open.
Agree with the last paragraph.....for me "top of the pops"would be Sassnitz in northeast Germany.
 

rg177

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The vicinity of Praha Hlavní Nadraží isn't fantastic nor is the subway/"new" concourse. Its the only station I've had a stranger physically threaten me not once but twice! However at platform level I think its pretty pleasant.

Bratislava hl.st isn't in a particularly salubrious area. By contrast I felt a lot happier wandering out of Petržalka!

Brussels Nord feels very run down at platform level. Though my worst Belgian station has to be Antwerpen-Luchtbaal due to spending forever there due to a cancelled train one January afternoon! Belgian stations away from the likes of Antwerp, Gent and Brussels do seem to suffer from being incredibly bleak and windswept in general.

However, the worst station I've used has to be Marvila (PT) on the outskirts of Lisbon. The area its in is downright terrifying and the subway under the platforms was like a dug up trench.
 

johnnychips

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Fully agree with that, I preferred Gent out of the two of them. Felt a little less like walking around a museum as Bruges is almost 'too perfect' in places and doesn't feel as authentic as a result.
However, Gent Sint Pieters station is a permanent construction site despite a quite impressive exterior. I have been there at least three times a year since 1987, and at no time can I recall there being no building works going on.
 

DanielB

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To be fair it's similar to Nederlandse Spoorwegen (for good reason; the transport needs of both countries are quite similar) - fairly boring, drab and samey, but functional.
The Dutch stations can be very boring indeed, but it's improving with the newer stations (Rotterdam Central and Arnhem Central have quite impressive architecture for example). But the state in which the stations are is actually a lot poorer in Belgium than in The Netherlands.

Regarding most hated stations... I quite dislike Utrecht Central: dark, windy and cold at platform level and the canopy at the platforms is just a little too small so you're still getting wet during boarding when it's raining. Not to mention the blunder at platforms 9 and 12 where they built the new canopy first and then widened the platforms one year later, leaving a one metre wide part of the platform without a roof.
And after rebuilding of the station concourse was finished all kinds of cables and drainage pipes were hanging along the pillars on the platforms for several years, with some of the pillars just left unfinished after removing the original tiling from them. But that was rectified last year luckily.
 

Cloud Strife

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I despise, absolutely despise, Malaga Centro Alameda. It’s way too small, always crowded and I never get a seat, whether it be 8 in the morning, 4 in the afternoon, 12 midday, 9 in the evening or 2 at night, the trains are always completely packed and I have to stand at least until Torremolinos. Not nice when going almost the whole line, to Carvajal, which I always did since I lived there for a winter.
Yup, seconded. Malaga Centro is way too small, and most of the C-1 line is appalling. Whether it's the long single track sections, the constantly broken lifts (hello, Fuengirola) or the simple awful stations (hello, Torremolinos), the line has absolutely nothing going for it. For all the money spent on the airport section, they really could have just committed to dualling the entire line. That's before we even talk about the endless will-they-won't-they situation with the extension to Marbella and beyond.

I would nominate Bratislava Petržalka. I made my feelings known on it in another thread from a few years back:

Really? I quite like Petržalka - it's airy, not busy and gets the job done without fuss. It's not dingy or falling apart, and the only 'bad' thing is that they haven't bothered to tear down the old passport/customs control area so that the concourse can be extended. But IMO, it's a good example of a 90's station that was built for a purpose - the trains to Vienna and potentially local trains to Hungary.

From what I understand, the problem with the old passport/customs area is that the Slovak police still use that area on occasion, so they don't want to give it up.

As for my most hated, some of the new Polish stations are awful. Kraków Główny is a disgrace (essentially platforms stuck on a shopping mall) when you consider that the historic station is still there, Poznań Głowny is too small and not finished and so on... I'm also not a fan of some of the modernised ex-DDR stations, particularly Fredrichstrasse and Ostbahnhof.
 

TRAX

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New York Penn station and Paris Châtelet Les Halles are two examples of terrible planning and extremely poor usability. I know the latter has had some improvements to access, but they are both confusing and illogical for 99% of passengers to navigate.

Châtelet–Les Halles was designed this way for crowd control. And it’s bloody good at it, too. It does take time to get used to but it does what it was designed to do.
 

bussikuski179

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Yup, seconded. Malaga Centro is way too small, and most of the C-1 line is appalling. Whether it's the long single track sections, the constantly broken lifts (hello, Fuengirola) or the simple awful stations (hello, Torremolinos), the line has absolutely nothing going for it. For all the money spent on the airport section, they really could have just committed to dualling the entire line. That's before we even talk about the endless will-they-won't-they situation with the extension to Marbella and beyond.
Yeah, the C-1 is pretty poor. I used it pretty much every day for the 4 months I lived in Carvajal, another appalling station with the only way to access from the beach side, where I lived, is a massive staircase which is about the equivalent of a 15 storey building. Not nice to have your legs hurt for a solid 5 minutes every day while trying to get the train. Broken ticket machines as well (hello, Los Boliches) make their appearance at most stations enroute. The only thing the line has going for it is that the Civias are pretty nice, but they are still too short.
 

duesselmartin

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Rosslare Europort. Ireland. It used to be part of the terminal with short walking connections to the ferries, nowadays its been moved out and is a shelterless platform.
 

Richard Scott

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Rosslare Europort. Ireland. It used to be part of the terminal with short walking connections to the ferries, nowadays its been moved out and is a shelterless platform.
It had a shelter last year when waiting for a train at 5am, but that was your lot!!! Agree, awful place.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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No votes yet for anywhere in Romania.
From what I could see most station platforms are crumbling and pitted, and would immediately be coned off as unsafe in the UK.
Same with broken stairways and underpasses.
Their real speciality though is using the cheapest possible plastic seating on platforms, but with the seats smashed in, which are still visible on the ground below.

That's before you board a local train whose broken folding doors continually slap open or shut depending on the acceleration/braking of the train.
It's windows will be seized solid in the open position, and the toilet won't have seen water in decades.
Luckily longer distance and cross-border services are in better condition.
 

Richard Scott

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No votes yet for anywhere in Romania.
From what I could see most station platforms are crumbling and pitted, and would immediately be coned off as unsafe in the UK.
Same with broken stairways and underpasses.
Their real speciality though is using the cheapest possible plastic seating on platforms, but with the seats smashed in, which are still visible on the ground below.

That's before you board a local train whose broken folding doors continually slap open or shut depending on the acceleration/braking of the train.
It's windows will be seized solid in the open position, and the toilet won't have seen water in decades.
Luckily longer distance and cross-border services are in better condition.
Bucharest Triaj for a start? No idea which platform train goes from, no facilities, totally run down. The only way to cross the 4 track mainline is a level crossing, although locals don't use footbridges or subways when they are provided at other stations unless fences prevent them from doing so! As you say train doors being closed before departure is purely optional (remember being on a train when a woman walked past with her three sons and door was open, had visions of one of them disappearing out of said door if train lurched).
 

Bletchleyite

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No votes yet for anywhere in Romania.
From what I could see most station platforms are crumbling and pitted, and would immediately be coned off as unsafe in the UK.
Same with broken stairways and underpasses.
Their real speciality though is using the cheapest possible plastic seating on platforms, but with the seats smashed in, which are still visible on the ground below.

That's before you board a local train whose broken folding doors continually slap open or shut depending on the acceleration/braking of the train.
It's windows will be seized solid in the open position, and the toilet won't have seen water in decades.
Luckily longer distance and cross-border services are in better condition.

Take that and multiply it by about 10 and you have HSH in Albania. But I wouldn't say I hated any of the stations, it was a bit of an adventure, really.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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Take that and multiply it by about 10 and you have HSH in Albania. But I wouldn't say I hated any of the stations, it was a bit of an adventure, really.

Well I have to agree.
One of the downtrodden stations was Sighișoara, which has a fine frontage complete with narrow gauge steam engine on display (the medieval town is a world heritage site after all, and worth all the inconvenience of a 45-station 6-hour stopper to get there).
Plus a warm, friendly cafe and an obliging ticket office which could issue an international ticket to Sofia over the counter.
But the operational side of the station was awful.
 

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