Most hated non-UK station

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WestCoast

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Touristy yes, but I can't recommend Rome highly enough, at least to visit at least once in your lifetime.

Doubt I'd want to live there, but the history, architecture and art are something else...

Agreed, while Rome is not my favourite city for the reasons mentioned by other posters, it's a place you do have to see especially if you are into art and history. Personally, I don't think Paris is anywhere near as impressive as the attractions in Rome. Just make sure it's in the middle of winter and you book all tickets to the Collesseum and Vatican Museum in advance and go first thing in the morning. Termini is actually okay if you go upstairs where the food outlets are, I found the staff very nice up there.

Petty crime issues in European cities are common, though, something the UK for some reason seems to largely avoid. Barcelona is terrible for it, to the extent that I have wondered if the Police are actually in on it. Otherwise a great city, though Sants is a bit of a rubbish station, basically like New St downstairs.

Depends on the country, quite a few of them seem to have got on top of it. Doesn't seem much of a problem in the DACH area nor Scandinavia, I actually saw OBB security kicking out some beggars out of Wien Hbf. They tend to congreate outside the stations but not inside.

I remember even Amsterdam C was a bit seedy going back 20 years or so, but seems fine now. I actually had my credit card cloned there in about 2001 at the luggage storage and it was used to buy gold (!) in Barcelona.

I prefer Madrid to Barcelona for just wandering around. Maybe because it's not as touristy and Atocha rallies against the trend being an outstandingly nice station and very safe.
 

Bletchleyite

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Getting off topic - but while the Euston scrum isn't great, I'd rather have the UK/European notion that you can turn up for a train 'just in time' and get on, rather than have to queue up at a 'gate' in good time with no option to reserve a specific seat. Canada is better as they now reserve specific seats but they still queue up for some reason (Canadians love to queue even more than Brits I think).

There are ways to resolve it that don't involve compulsory reservations or long snaking queues, such as showing the platform numbers sooner and having people able to queue to board at the train doors, like most other stations around the country (and indeed world, to go back on topic) do.

Does any other European station operate such a silly system?

(Most commuters just ignore it and either know the platform, as they are consistent, or use Realtime Trains, which is quite accurate for Euston provided you know how to use it correctly and do so in conjunction with the station arrivals display)

But that is due to the airport feel to Eurostar.
With BA ect you have your seat but people queue at the gate.

The reason for queueing to board flights is to get the bin space above your head.
 

WestCoast

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Does any other European station operate such a silly system?

Funny you ask as the only place I've seen it elsewhere in Europe is in Spain (ignoring Eurostar); boarding an AVE at Madrid Atocha going to Toledo. You have to go through the security checkpoint and then you're in a holiding pen where people queue by the doors, or rather the local interpretation of a queue. I don't remember them opening up the security checkpoint until 20 minutes or so before departure so I can't recall waiting long.

Of course you have the (in)famous UK example of Blackpool North as well, and they don't have security as an excuse.
 

Bletchleyite

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Of course you have the (in)famous UK example of Blackpool North as well, and they don't have security as an excuse.

There are quite a few UK stations that do it - sadly, some changed to that approach from a traditional queue (Inverness and Aberdeen for two) when gates were installed. I'd not so much seen it (per the thread) abroad, though.
 

Brooke

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There are quite a few UK stations that do it - sadly, some changed to that approach from a traditional queue (Inverness and Aberdeen for two) when gates were installed. I'd not so much seen it (per the thread) abroad, though.
Dublin Heuston quite often do this unless anything changed. And occasionally the same in Cork coming back the other way!
 

davetheguard

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Has anyone else used the rebuilt station in San Remo in Italy just along the Mediterranean coast from the French border? The line used to run in the open through the pleasant resort town with views of the sea; but it was single track. That has now been replaced with a double track tunnel behind the town - and the station is all in the tunnel too. You enter the station and reach the platforms through a long underground passage that feels a bit like entering a horizontal mine shaft, or perhaps like a secret underground government bunker. If memory serves me right, the platforms are surprisingly narrow for recent construction, and the whole place is a bit grim and not somewhere you'd want to wait any length of time. And of course, there's the seemingly non-removable graffiti tags all over the marble panelling too, just to make the place look completely unloved.

I wouldn't say I "hate" it as quoted by the original poster, but I'm certainly glad it's not my home station or one that I have to use often!
 

duesselmartin

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Sanremo ad its now labelled does feel like a subway station. You expect the Picadilly train at any moment.
Despite being relativly new, it feels dingy and damp. Very few facilities in it.
 

davetheguard

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Sanremo ad its now labelled does feel like a subway station. You expect the Picadilly train at any moment.
Despite being relativly new, it feels dingy and damp. Very few facilities in it.

I've found the following on line: neither are my pictures, but I think they illustrate the horrors of San Remo station quite well!

The first by Giorgio Stagni shows tracks & train at the old station in the open air with sunshine, palm trees, & sea breezes; the second from wikipedia shows the new station. I'll leave people to make up their own mind about which they prefer....
 

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Clansman

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Barcelona Sant is horrid. A poor man's Euston.

But the worst one I've experienced without a doubt is Milano Lambrate - with it's neglected urban charm of graffiti ridden p*sh stained walls, vegetated mainline tracks, eroding platforms, smashed in vending machines, and foldy door 1970s rolling stock with Star Trek inspired designs just for that special little edge to top it off.
 

LSWR Cavalier

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Bad Kleinen used to be a great place to change, four trains met there each hour, no need to wait, just cross the platform or a few steps through the subway
But now the Berlin-Hamburg expresses bully the stopping trains out of the way, the latter are squeezed in the gaps, so that the waiting time is 40 minutes. The *new* station has nowhere heated or even properly enclosed, no cafe or pub nearby where one could get warm

But waiting an hour in summer is not so bad, there is a fantastic walk by the water
 

jedimasterc

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Newcastle NSW Interchange isn't very good, although it is brand new
Where did you get this information from?

The station is fine the problem is why does it exist in the first place. The answer is the truncation of the heavy rail line and semi replacement with a small 2km light rail line. This was done because there was several level crossings and the heavy rail blocked these crossings for much of the time and the main part of the city from the forshore. Tunneling is not really a viable option because the whole town / city is a former coal mine and a skyrail is not viable because the project was done to make the place look better.

For me it has to be East Perth Terminal, after 3 nights on board the Indian Pacific which Departs from the magnificent Syydney Central and passes through many large, medium and small stations enroute you arrive at what can at best be described as a suburban stion where you have to get a metro service into Perth, a big disappointment after one the worlds finest rail journeys.
Similar thing in Adelaide for the Ghan and The Overland at Keswick terminal except there isn't a passenger train connection back to the CBD.
 
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delt1c

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Where did you get this information from?

The station is fine the problem is why does it exist in the first place. The answer is the truncation of the heavy rail line and semi replacement with a small 2km light rail line. This was done because there was several level crossings and the heavy rail blocked these crossings for much of the time and the main part of the city from the forshore. Tunneling is not really a viable option because the whole town / city is a former coal mine and a skyrail is not viable because the project was done to make the place look better.


Similar thing in Adelaide for the Ghan and The Overland at Keswick terminal except there isn't a passenger train connection back to the CBD.
Quite liked Adelaide, watching all the freights passing and the mixed gauowhich was 1st tome i had seen this.
 

Giugiaro

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I've found the following on line: neither are my pictures, but I think they illustrate the horrors of San Remo station quite well!

The first by Giorgio Stagni shows tracks & train at the old station in the open air with sunshine, palm trees, & sea breezes; the second from wikipedia shows the new station. I'll leave people to make up their own mind about which they prefer....

Oh dear, that looks terrible!
It's as if they reopened Down Street Tube Station by just putting a few lights on it!

That station's before and after images also remind me of a lot of Espinho Railway Station in Portugal.
Used to be placed in a large, long avenue with palm trees adorning the line and equipped with a direct link to the narrow gauge Vouga Line.
Now it looks like a permanent work field. The narrow gauge station is far and completely neglected and the newer station only passes because it actually has a pretty decent lighting layout and above-ground building.
 

gordonthemoron

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Where did you get this information from?

The station is fine the problem is why does it exist in the first place. The answer is the truncation of the heavy rail line and semi replacement with a small 2km light rail line. This was done because there was several level crossings and the heavy rail blocked these crossings for much of the time and the main part of the city from the forshore. Tunneling is not really a viable option because the whole town / city is a former coal mine and a skyrail is not viable because the project was done to make the place look better.

I went there twice in 2019, TBF the tram is nice and pretty innovative given that it doesn't use OHLE
 

urbophile

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Rome Termini for me; drab architecture, confusing and full of blatant scammers openly hassling people at ticket machines. Connecting down to the metro is equally grim, all the stations on that being depressing. It definitely can compete with the lovely Brussels Midi.
Drab architecture??? It's a stunning modernist masterpiece. I've not hung around there long enough to agree or otherwise with your other points but I'm prepared to believe you. Milano Centrale looks as if it was designed by a triumphalist Escher; lots of slow inclined travelators taking an age to take you in the opposite direction to the one you want (Italians don't seem to have got the habit of overtaking on escalators). But if a shopping mall is what you want you've got plenty of that, and quality food is not in short supply.
 

Ianno87

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Drab architecture??? It's a stunning modernist masterpiece. I've not hung around there long enough to agree or otherwise with your other points but I'm prepared to believe you.

I do appreciate the way it echoes the architecture of the Coliseum, with arched brickwork around the outside.
 

WestCoast

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Drab architecture??? It's a stunning modernist masterpiece. I've not hung around there long enough to agree or otherwise with your other points but I'm prepared to believe you. Milano Centrale looks as if it was designed by a triumphalist Escher; lots of slow inclined travelators taking an age to take you in the opposite direction to the one you want (Italians don't seem to have got the habit of overtaking on escalators). But if a shopping mall is what you want you've got plenty of that, and quality food is not in short supply.

Personal taste but not a huge fan, particularly of the interior. However, the (dis)organisation of the ticket hall contributes far more to my disliking of the place.
 

jamesontheroad

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I could probably suggest a few stations in South Africa, although I have not travelled extensively enough to know them personally.

Johannesburg Park Station has a reasonable concourse, but the platforms are not pleasant. It is worth remembering that the nineteen-sixties era development was, in many respects, a literally hateful building - since it was one of the most perfect physical expressions of apartheid, keeping white and black travellers completely separate, via separate entrances, corridors and platforms.

Meanwhile, the deeply engrained corruption affecting Transnet and COVID-19 are combining to create a perfect storm of vandalism and destruction. Here is a recent M-Net report on the now widespread asset-stripping going on in suburban rail stations. This is large part because corruptly-awarded private security contracts have been cancelled.

 

Giugiaro

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Meanwhile, the deeply engrained corruption affecting Transnet and COVID-19 are combining to create a perfect storm of vandalism and destruction. Here is a recent M-Net report on the now widespread asset-stripping going on in suburban rail stations.

Flashbacks from the 2010's economic crisis.
This would be a great topic for another thread!
 

Whisky Papa

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Sanremo ad its now labelled does feel like a subway station. You expect the Picadilly train at any moment.
Despite being relativly new, it feels dingy and damp. Very few facilities in it.
Agreed, it's not pleasant at all, although I've only alighted there so the lack of facilities was not too obvious (I then caught Europe's most scenic trolleybus route back to Ventimglia8-)).

But the old course of the line must have completely cut the town off from its waterfront? I would think the wider benefits make the rebuilding of the line worthwhile, although of course that doesn't mean the station itself could not have been much better.
 

davetheguard

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Agreed, it's not pleasant at all, although I've only alighted there so the lack of facilities was not too obvious (I then caught Europe's most scenic trolleybus route back to Ventimglia8-)).

But the old course of the line must have completely cut the town off from its waterfront? I would think the wider benefits make the rebuilding of the line worthwhile, although of course that doesn't mean the station itself could not have been much better.

Monte Carlo/Monaco station on the same line (but of course not in Italy) was done much better; it's still (mainly) in tunnel but feels much more airy & spacious.

I wish I'd known about the trolleybus route back to Ventimglia when we went to San Remo, it sounds interesting!
 

camflyer

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+1 for NY Penn in its current state. Total shambles and an embarrassment to the city.

NY Penn is a temple to transport compared to the Port Authority bus terminal which is one of the worst gateways to any city in the world.
 

CheekyBandit

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Brussels-Congress - closest station to where I had a conference and wanted to get to the airport one weekday morning.​

 

IceAgeComing

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I second Krakow: its the only railway station that I've ever connected at and managed to get lost. I technically didn't get a train but instead a bus from the airport and was trying to connect to a tram and despite trying to follow all of the signage to the trams I simply couldn't find the right place: ended up having to call the friend I was visiting and then we sorted it out. When I figured it out it was fine (and its the one station in the region that I've gotten a regular train in since I went to Oświęcim on a very slow train: fun journey though) but that was a heck of a first impression. Warsaw was dingy but my paranoia about missing my train to Berlin meant that I never went outside to have a look around so I don't know if that's just the areas around the platform my train was on.

Brussels-Congress - closest station to where I had a conference and wanted to get to the airport one weekday morning.​

I walked past Congres a lot when I lived in Brussels (lived by Madou metro so technically it was my closest railway station I guess) and I don't think I ever saw anyone waiting for a train: having a closer look was on the list of things to do but I never did before I moved back and its only after I looked up the timetable here that I understood why. There's pretty continual talk about it closing and the service is very much a closure by stealth thing at this point: and while any closures are usually bad I don't know if this one would be a massive negative - its around the corner from Rogier Metro which has direct pre-metro connections with Nord and Midi; and Central is probably a ten minute walk away on the road that goes from the Botanical gardens past towards Brewdog.

I liked Belgian rail: I enjoyed using the trains and I wish I had more money to explore more (was doing an internship with the EU: it was paid but not brilliantly); got some train from most of the major stations. Midi's station building was fine and while its not a great area outside I've been in worse; however it did feature one of the saddest sights I've ever seen when I walked around to one of the bus stops around the corner and opposite the road from the bus ranks there was this load of mattresses with homeless people sleeping on it and the smell was awful: shameful that people would be living like that in a European capital city. Central is in a very nice area (and since Brussels isn't that touristy it feels a lot nicer than similar areas in other cities: especially as a resident often walking through there to go to Lidls); the ticket office staff were very nice and I liked it although I could have done with a bit more communication when they decided to cancel a load of trains to Ostende without making it very clear. Nord was probably the worst; only ever got a train to Leuven from there and I didn't really like the area around there and I remember the station being rather rough. Don't think I ever used Ouest: I would have if trains that went to a place I wanted to go to went through there but they never seemed to.

Being a sort of-Eurocrat I also used Luxembourg and Schumann as well but both once once going to and from Strasbourg (on the slow route via Luxembourg since interns didn't earn the right to use the direct high speed route) but I blew through both; underground stations aren't that interesting anyway. Getting out at Schumann was a bad idea: I hoped to connect to the Metro to get home quicker but I'd forgotten that there was a European Council meeting or something so Schumann was closed: and that was a long, cold walk to Maelbeek.

Would probably agree with the 'old-fashioned' assessment: when I went from Brussels to Strasburg via Luxembourg for work the first part of that was on compartment stock and while it made the journey feel more special as someone who associates that stuff with heritage railways and old-fashioned romantic journeys I suspect that it was whatever old stock they had lying around to provide the service on Strasbourg Parliament week where its much busier than normal. I went to Ypres and some of the stations we past through looked a lot sadder than even the saddest looking British stations I've seen: I remember Kortrijk being particularly sad but I might be mixing it up with somewhere else. Absolutely somewhere I want to go back and have a closer look at though: might be more challenging now!
 

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