Most hated non-UK station

Wolfie

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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.



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.
Agreed re Krakow.
 
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Cloud Strife

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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.

Oh yes, the ticket machines are a special feature of that line. I remember not buying a ticket for nearly two weeks because nothing was working or the ticket offices were inexplicably closed.

For the amount of tourist traffic on that line, they really should think about closing it and completely rebuilding it. There's no reason why they couldn't extend the Fuengirola tunnel further as well as create the badly needed second track along much of the route. I see that they're planning to rebuild Torremolinos station, but what's the point when so many other stations are simply not fit for use? It's very obvious that the 1970's rebuilding of the line was done cheaply, but there's no reason why they have to keep using the 1970's infrastructure today.

And yes, agreed, the Civias are very comfortable, but nowhere near big enough for the amount of people using it.
 

davetheguard

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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.

I'd live in Antwerp(en), I'd live in Gent, I'd live in Leuven, I'd live in Oostende. I think Belgium is rather underrated by Brits; but I agree that Bruxelles Midi is grim and a very poor introduction to the country. The beer, of course, is great....
 

Wolfie

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I'd live in Antwerp(en), I'd live in Gent, I'd live in Leuven, I'd live in Oostende. I think Belgium is rather underrated by Brits; but I agree that Bruxelles Midi is grim and a very poor introduction to the country. The beer, of course, is great....
Bruxelles Central is worse (the station, not the surrounding area).
 

Timmyd

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Cannes is rather grim, certainly for somewhere with such a glamorous location. Located entirely under a road underpass and as gloomy as you'd expect as a result
 

superjohn

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I have never felt comfortable at Frankfurt Hbf in over twenty years of going there. I know all large stations attract petty crime but the perpetrators seem particularly blatant at Frankfurt. If I find myself with time to kill there I go to the far end of one of the platforms and watch the trains come and go, rather than hover around the concourse.

The mid platform subway is particularly unpleasant as well. It appears to form an alternative toilet facility for those unwilling to pay for the regular ones.
 

Gag Halfrunt

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

The Serbian government says that the station will be completed in three years (article in German, I used Google Translate).

The Serbian Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure, Tomislav Momirović, visited the construction work for the Beograd Centar station in Prokop on December 5th, 2020 and announced that the station will be fully completed in about three years.
 

Whisky Papa

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Cannes is rather grim, certainly for somewhere with such a glamorous location. Located entirely under a road underpass and as gloomy as you'd expect as a result

Agreed, and it also has a rather unfortunate place in our memories. The train to Grasse my wife and I were travelling on was summarily terminated at Cannes - it was a day of national strike action but most trains on the Côte d'Azur appeared to be running (in a fashion). In our hurry to vacate the upper deck, we grabbed our belongings rather hurriedly and it was only on the concourse my wife realised her purse was not among them! I managed to negotiate a return onto the train to search for it, to no avail. We then had a fairly miserable hour to wander around town before catching the next train back to Antibes to see if it had fallen out on the platform there, also fruitless. It never did turn up, but it only had a small amount of cash and the usual cards in it, which were easily cancelled and replaced, although we did lose the five-day Nice local travel cards part way through their validity.
 

Richard Scott

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The Serbian government says that the station will be completed in three years (article in German, I used Google Translate).
Interesting, it's been open around three years (think I first went there summer 2018) and no progress!!! Have they started now? Had done nothing between 2018 and 2019 when I last went!
 

TravelDream

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Probably would have to be Warsaw West for me.
The main station building on the south side was redeveloped not too long ago and is actually pretty nice. Too bad they didn't touch anything else like the underground passages, platforms or northern entrance.
It generally looks run-down and depressed with its decaying communist-era architecture. The platforms are grim and windswept. It has an above average number of undesirable characters. There's no lift access/ escalator access to any of the platforms. That's especially bad as it's the most convenient station when transferring from Chopin airport to the mainline train network so you get lots of passengers with luggage.
And embarrassing welcome to the country IMO.

Warsaw Central and Warsaw East are much nicer. East station is actually must less used than West, but it is next to the national stadium so was rebuilt for Euro 2012.
 

duesselmartin

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I have never felt comfortable at Frankfurt Hbf in over twenty years of going there. I know all large stations attract petty crime but the perpetrators seem particularly blatant at Frankfurt. If I find myself with time to kill there I go to the far end of one of the platforms and watch the trains come and go, rather than hover around the concourse.

The mid platform subway is particularly unpleasant as well. It appears to form an alternative toilet facility for those unwilling to pay for the regular ones.
The lower level at Frankfurt is dismal and always has been. Also the area around the station.
A major revamp has been announced for Frankfurt, that might help.
Personally I prefer the other Frankfurt, in terms of city and station ;)
 

LSWR Cavalier

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Yes, the other Frankfurt, +1
There used to be a thing called the Bonner Loch, sort of a hole in the ground with steps for access to the underground trams, even in Bonn there was trouble with undesirables

The DB has taken to hiding the Travel Centres, the one at Luebeck is by the back entrance now, there is a food store where it used to be
Neumuenster travel centre is on the far side of a busy road, one could easily miss it
 

alex397

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That is the charme with many eastern European / Balkan station. An adventure and in some cases a time warp.
Yes, give me a decaying historical Eastern European station any day. I’m not quite sure why I have quite an interest in such stations, but I do. Perhaps they have what an estate agent would call a ‘rustic charm’. I totally understand why it’s better for them to be modernised though....

Reading this thread (as well as the Most Liked non-UK Station thread) is certainly giving me withdrawal symptoms from travelling, and making me regret not going to all the places I planned to in 2020 (more important things to worry about of course).
 

Calthrop

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No votes yet for anywhere in Romania...

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.
Drifting off topic; but the above brought irresistibly to mind for me, some material by my favourite travel writer, Dervla Murphy (about whose stuff I am apt to ramble on, given the slightest opportunity)-- an Irish lady who has spent the majority of her long life travelling in, generally, less-frequented parts of the globe. Without being a railway enthusiast as such; she is an acute observer of most things -- and one picks up from her writings, that she has a considerable appreciation of trains and railways: and in her travels has made a fair amount of use of passenger trains in a wide assortment of countries.

Ms. Murphy made several visits of some months' duration, to Romania some thirty years ago, in the period immediately subsequent to the fall of Ceausescu. Her description of trains of less than crack-express magnitude in that country, closely correspond to @LNW-GW Joint's as above (seemingly, no significant improvement over the decades !); however, she's a tough sort -- her general "drift" being that so long as one is reasonably on the ball, dangers and inconveniences as referred to, can be coped with -- and she conceived overall a considerable admiration for Romania's railways then, for doing their job of nationwide passenger-conveyance surprisingly well, in then universally more-than-a-little-shambolic conditions.

A to me delightful reference, in a way reckonably unintended by the author; concerns a local-train journey of hers from Sighet to Salva, in the far north of Romania. To quote: "The long but almost empty train was a marvel. There seemed to be no technological reason why such a specimen of nonagenarian machinery should have retained the power to move, even at ten m.p.h. At frequent intervals it paused for breath, as nonagenarians will..." Taking these words literally, conjures up something wondrous and astounding, and infinitely desirable to a certain kind of railway-lover. However: steam locomotives built circa 1900, in regular ordinary daily passenger service around the year 1990 -- just did not happen: certainly nowhere in Europe, even obscure backwoods parts of Romania. As observed -- Ms. M. is not a railway enthusiast "to trade"; one must take it that she is engaging here in a bit of playful and rather random hyperbole -- not seeking to pass on to a railfan readership, an equipment-wise sober and accurate account of this journey which she experienced. Has to be reckoned that no matter how decrepit this train; its (not plainly specified) motive power pretty well must have been at the date concerned -- from what we've been able to come to know about CFR over the decades -- not even modern steam, but diesel.
 

newmilton

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Cannes is rather grim, certainly for somewhere with such a glamorous location. Located entirely under a road underpass and as gloomy as you'd expect as a result
Curiously enough, I said almost exactly the same to my son as we passed through it on our way from Nice, at which the young Frenchwoman sitting opposite us looked up and said, 'Yes, it's true'. (We had gone to Nice for my son's 18th birthday, and had flights booked, but this was during the ash cloud disruption in 2010, and we ended up coming home by train.)
 

Aictos

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T'es nul en français ! ;) C'est la Gare de l'Est.
Not as bad as the French who at that station didn't know the validity of a perfectly valid ticket and lacked common sense to see the ticket would not fit the gateline readers to operate said gateline.

Think Blackpool North but French.
 

contrex

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Not as bad as the French who at that station didn't know the validity of a perfectly valid ticket

Think Blackpool North but French.
I don't really like your attitude towards "the French". You hadn't been attempting to communicate by shouting in English, by any chance? I once had valid-ticket hassles at Bristol Temple Meads; should I blame the Brits, the English, Bristolians, or just the individuals concerned, or maybe the people who organise their training?
 

Bletchleyite

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I don't really like your attitude towards "the French". You hadn't been attempting to communicate by shouting in English, by any chance? I once had valid-ticket hassles at Bristol Temple Meads; should I blame the Brits, the English, Bristolians, or just the individuals concerned, or maybe the people who organise their training?

Let's be honest, the "cheminot" culture of SNCF is hardly the bastion of good customer service.
 

nlogax

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One more I've just remembered, the old Exchange St station (since rebuilt) in Buffalo, NY. I picked up a mate from there three or four years back early on a winter's evening after they'd alighted a service from Toronto. The single small station building was closed, darkness was closing in and it was freezing.

1608729919905.png
(pic from Wikipedia)

The station isn't in the nicest part of town, and sat under a section of elevated interstate. Not the nicest wait, it was a grim place to hang around. I'm sure the new station that replaced it is far nicer.
 

contrex

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Let's be honest, the "cheminot" culture of SNCF is hardly the bastion of good customer service.
I've been going to France for nearly 60 years, and I love the "cheminot" culture. I have only ever had amazingly good customer service. Maybe they can tell from my attitude that I like them? There was a particularly helpful young woman at Gare de Lyon when a Eurostar was delayed (I had a ticket to Nice).
 
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davetheguard

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Bruxelles Central is worse (the station, not the surrounding area).

The platforms are certainly on a par with Birmingham New Street; perhaps even worse, really dingy. However, for some reason I quite like the (Belgian) station concourse area.
 

Ianno87

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The platforms are certainly on a par with Birmingham New Street; perhaps even worse, really dingy. However, for some reason I quite like the (Belgian) station concourse area.

I seem to have a good memory of the concourse - reasonably sized and well lit.
 

Wolfie

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I seem to have a good memory of the concourse - reasonably sized and well lit.
The concourse isn't too bad normally, albeit not particularly accessible, but when there are delays it gets very crowded very fast.... The platforms are awful.
 

Abpj17

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Gare due Nord is ok. It has shops and life. The eurostar terminal isn't dreadful. I've spent many hours there - including delays. My main route from Western France to London was from Angers to London, either via Lille or Paris. The metro interchange in Paris is dreadful tho - I'd usually get a taxi.

So my vote for least favourite is Lille-Europe. It's huge and cold and characterless, with no meaningful shops. The waiting room for the Eurostar is particularly bleak once you're allowed through. It's frequently so deserted by staff and passengers that it doesn't feel safe.

The cold and characterless applies to Blackfriars as well, but compensated by the stunning view over the Thames.
 
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Cherry Orchard, Dublin. Got off the train and the first thing seen at the platform exit was a burnt out Garda patrol car. I was meant to get a bus from there, after a few minutes waiting a nice old lady came over and told me the buses no longer called there. The locals kept robbing the drivers and stoning the vehicles. So I had to walk through the estate to find a bus stop on the main road. Virtually every lamp post had cables running from the top into the eaves of nearby houses. Definitely not a place to make eye contact or speak with an English accent.
Lvov Station in the Ukraine, the station itself isn't bad, but we did see somebody shot by police 30 yards from us as we bought some coffee.
 

Richard Scott

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Let's be honest, the "cheminot" culture of SNCF is hardly the bastion of good customer service.
Gare de l'est is a pain when you are on a mainline trains that comes in on suburban platforms and you have an interrail and absolutely no way or operating the barriers. Any customer service would have been welcome then but no-one ever mans the barriers. Just followed good Parisian culture of if have no ticket follow some poor soul very closely through the barrier.
 

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