Most hated non-UK station

camflyer

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Penn Station in NYC has just had an refurbishment with the opening for a new "train hall"

 
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riceuten

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23 May 2018
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I think it was a very poor decision to close the original Belgrade Main station - a much better location (although not in the very centre, its still much closer than the new one), beautiful architecture, excellent transport links next to the coach station, and a major tram and bus interchange - it couldn't really be more perfect in terms of location and transport links! Even though the old station was closed, it was still busier than the new one (with people going to the still existing cafe, and walking through to get to the coach station). Although it wasn't completely closed - the ticket office was still open, selling tickets! I also got to witness the platforms being demolished in front of me (the last train was in 2018, and my visit was summer 2019).

The new Belgrade 'Centar' station is in the suburbs, connected to the centre by one bus. I do actually think the new station has potential to be a good station though - it did feel better quality than I was expecting, but far from usual European standards, and the staff were friendly. But I can only presume passenger numbers have dropped a lot since the move - its really inconvenient. It was more like a ghost station - more trains than people, and no one getting on/off the only bus to the station.

So, I would also nominate this station as my least favourite non-UK station.

I'm not particularly fond of Bruxelles-Midi either - I don't find it very easy to get around, architecturally it is nothing special and just feels like its had bits added on to it, the Eurostar terminal is cramped and dark with no natural light, and you definitely need to keep your wits about you outside of the station!

So far as I am aware from my contacts in Serbia, the main station was closed as part of the gentrification of the area immediately adjacent to the river, and the mafiya types purchasing riverside apartments didn't want trains clanking past day and night. The old station wasn't brilliant - it was a fair trot from the centre and facilities were fairly scanty, but it was immediately adjacent to the Lasta bus station, which DID have nice facilities, and provided a good interchange. The old station was slated to become a railway museum owned by the rail company, but the government seized the building and decided to instead build a "Museum of Medieval Serbia" would be built there instead. There was supposed to be a bidding process to construct this, but the government made a direct award without tendering to a company sympathetic to the ruling party.

The new station has to be seen to be believed. It has no station building, and until recently, also had no roof, so all the platforms were open and usually flooded with water, as no drainage arrangements had been made. As mentioned elsewhere, it has an ATM that never works and a shop that never opens (even Topcider where the Bar trains start and finish has both of these!). Access is a major issue - it's difficult to get anywhere near it by car or transport.

Prokop in all its glory

1610900843886.png

This is the grand entrance

1610900878069.png
 
Last edited:

Gag Halfrunt

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23 Jul 2019
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148
Penn Station in NYC has just had an refurbishment with the opening for a new "train hall"

There's already a thread.

 

Richard Scott

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13 Dec 2018
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So far as I am aware from my contacts in Serbia, the main station was closed as part of the gentrification of the area immediately adjacent to the river, and the mafiya types purchasing riverside apartments didn't want trains clanking past day and night. The old station wasn't brilliant - it was a fair trot from the centre and facilities were fairly scanty, but it was immediately adjacent to the Lasta bus station, which DID have nice facilities, and provided a good interchange. The old station was slated to become a railway museum owned by the rail company, but the government seized the building and decided to instead build a "Museum of Medieval Serbia" would be built there instead. There was supposed to be a bidding process to construct this, but the government made a direct award without tendering to a company sympathetic to the ruling party.

The new station has to be seen to be believed. It has no station building, and until recently, also had no roof, so all the platforms were open and usually flooded with water, as no drainage arrangements had been made. As mentioned elsewhere, it has an ATM that never works and a shop that never opens (even Topcider where the Bar trains start and finish has both of these!). Access is a major issue - it's difficult to get anywhere near it by car or transport.

Prokop in all its glory

View attachment 88784

This is the grand entrance

View attachment 88785
Got to be fair last time I went in 2019 the ATM worked and shop was open. Must be rare by the sounds of it?
 

riceuten

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23 May 2018
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112
This was a family I knew who travelled there last year before lockdown from Belgrade and were going to Bar. You may well have been lucky !
 

JKF

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29 May 2019
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158
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.
I think one of the things that makes Espinho seem weird and dour is the complete lack of any advertising - just blank dark walls of the tunnel opposite the platform. I‘m not a big fan of public advertising but it does add a bit of colour and interest on places like the tube.
 

leytongabriel

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27 Jan 2013
Messages
240
Paris Montparnasse Vaurigard. It's a kind of overspill station which has lost its staffed ticketing. So you come up from the metro, which is already a fair old walk with lots of stairs if you come to Montparnasse Bienvenue line 4 etc, into a mass of building works and search for the signs for your train. Some will say 'hall 3' and you're supposed to know this is the same as the Vaurigard which it says on your ticket. Having negotiated a series of steps there is then a long dingy walk along one side of the station past 'hall 2'. There are a couple of travellators, with luck you might find one working, and then finally you hit the bright lights of hall 3 / Vaurigard. Woe betide you if you haven't got a ticket as the booking office is permanently closed now, despite there always being a queue for the Normandy trains. Peak awfulness was when they tried putting the cheap tgv services there too and there just wasn't enough capacity for all the people despite the heroic if ill-tempered efforts of minimum wage people herders. They've gone to hall 2 now and there are some new seats but it still makes the Kings Cross Pic/Vic line traipse via the northern booking hall seem like the proverbial stroll in the park.
 

AlbertBeale

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16 Jun 2019
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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.

Yes, San Remo is a bit depressing - and the hike from the entrance to the platforms is rather extreme. It is true that the old line ran between the seafront/docks and 90+% of the town, so that was an extra reason to re-route the line, as well as speed and capacity.

And several other stretches of line along that part of the Italian coast have had comparable changes, taking the station away from the coast - and even away from the town in places; so much so that in some instances they haven't replaced the station at all. I can't think of any other ones along there where there's a new station as unpleasant as the San Remo one though. But I guess San Remo is much larger than some places which have lost their station now, and they couldn't not replace it, and it was like it is or nothing. Well - maybe it could be set out the same but a bit less depressingly fitted out.

But at least a lot of the strips of the Ligurian coastal rail line that have been closed have been converted into cycle paths, not built on. I've spent a pleasant day cycling tens of miles up and down that coastline.
 

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