Trivia: Nice International underground mainline stations

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TT-ONR-NRN

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While reading the thread in International Transport about the most hated non-UK stations, I noticed that many of them were underground, like Barcelona-Sants and New York Penn, and wondered if it would be the case to most people that all low level platforms are nasty? Or are they just not built very nicely.

Are there any (UK or International - but mainline/heavy rail, not metro) low level or underground railway stations that you think are actually quite pleasant? I think for one, Zürich HBF Low Level is rather nice. It’s brightly lit and seems to have a colourful patterned wall of blue and silver.

If you can’t think of any nice below ground stations, do you have any ideas as to how they could be MADE nicer? Because some stations, such as those under big cities, have to be underground.
 
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superalbs

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Łódź Fabryczna is quite nice.

The modernity and lots of natural light sure helps.

Here's a picture of the exterior building by day, and the platforms by both day and night.

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stuu

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Magenta and Haussman-St Lazare on RER E are really well designed and enormous
 

Re 4/4

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If you can’t think of any nice below ground stations, do you have any ideas as to how they could be MADE nicer?

Good lighting, keep them clean, make them feel spacious with a suitable paint job?

The Stockholm metro stations take this to the extreme, but I suppose you could do some of that on a heavy rail station too.
 

TheGrew

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I haven't visited but did consider going to Monaco's station which looks nice to me:

 

AM9

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Gare d' Auber on the RER ligne A. It's some time since I was there but considering the volume of interchanging passengers there, it's impressive scale is both awe inspiring and pleasant to pass through. I understand that it is now undergoing a major refurb.
Had Crossrail been engineered with a single twin-track tunnel, we may have had some similar subterranean marvels in London by now.
 

AM9

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Copenhagen airport station is quite nice....if a big chilly sometimes
As I remember it Copenhagen airport station isn't really underground. The metro station is even less so as it is on a viaduct over the mainline avoiding tracks and the E20 motorway that crosses the Oresund to Malmo.
Malmo on the other hand has both a 6 terminus platforms in a ground level shed and a four through platform underground section. Both are spacious and clean, the subterranean through platforms exceptionally so, looking somewhat like a Schipol station that the architect might have liked to design.

 

DanielB

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Schipol airport station is quite nice, like how it leads straight up to the shopping plaza
Really? That's actually one of the most basic underground mainline stations in the country. Though the only underground mainline station in the Netherlands that has a bit more design and looks less creepy is Rotterdam Blaak, including some funny details: the metro tunnel which passes through the train station has a tiling pattern showing a passing metro train on one of its walls. Changing from train to metro there is a bit of a nightmare since introduction of the OV-chipkaart however, as for one direction you'll need to pass trough the gates and for the other direction you'll have to use the card readers on the platforms.

The nicer stations are found at the metro networks here.
 

59CosG95

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There was another in Spain which was eluding me for ages since I passed through it on a Talgo in 2015, but I found it. Castellón de la Plana is another nice one. (Image: Wikipedia)
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biko

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I would suggest the low level of Antwerpen Centraal, one of the few underground stations which didn’t feel dark and depressing as there is enough light coming from above.

Schipol airport station is quite nice, like how it leads straight up to the shopping plaza
I really don’t like Schiphol. It’s very dark and boring. Indeed it is well situated underneath the airport but the station itself is not nice.
 

galwhv69

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Łódź Fabryczna is quite nice.

The modernity and lots of natural light sure helps.

Here's a picture of the exterior building by day, and the platforms by both day and night.

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Was going to suggest this as well :P
Really like it, very spacious, well designed (easy access for those who aren't as mobile), smart and clean
It's also a decent example of a well made transport interchange, with buses, coaches & trams all being very close by.
 

superalbs

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Was going to suggest this as well :P
Really like it, very spacious, well designed (easy access for those who aren't as mobile), smart and clean
It's also a decent example of a well made transport interchange, with buses, coaches & trams all being very close by.
That's right trams are just to the left of that photo on the outside. A really good station. I wonder if the project was really delayed... ;)
 

rg177

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Palma Plaça d'Espanya is quite pleasant but honestly a little bit creepy.

It's rather over-specced for the service level- and for some reason you get these rather odd sound effects played over the PA!

The bus station however is a polluted underground mess.
 

galwhv69

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That's right trams are just to the left of that photo on the outside. A really good station. I wonder if the project was really delayed... ;)
It was only a short delay! :lol:
Wonder if the coach station actually gets proper usage now (well, not during Covid lol). Remember visiting it a few years ago when it was still fairy new, and was wondering why there are so many coach bays yet little coach services stopping there
 

dutchflyer

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Being dutch myself and too often having had to use it, S´hol is/was in short too small for the pre-covid masses. It is due for a major rebuilt and enlargement, which is quite a challenge for the engineers, as even some of the luggage cellars of the airport need to be moved for this.
In NL the still quite new and only still half in use-awaiting the 3d end 4th track to open with a new platform is DELFT, but thats just a (kind of major) stop along the line. Thats the real station/platform area, the hall has nothing to go for it.
Lower part of Berlin HBF gets my points for now.

It was only a short delay! :lol:
Wonder if the coach station actually gets proper usage now (well, not during Covid lol). Remember visiting it a few years ago when it was still fairy new, and was wondering why there are so many coach bays yet little coach services stopping there
Lodz Fabr.
Most of the coaches serving this city still use/d the old western station (kaliska?). Lower stand/use prices and a MUCH shorter/quicker run in+out of the city from the ´autobahn=motorway. And perhaps some over-enthusiastic planning when this was done.
In fact Fabr. new is meant to be a through halt with a new cross-city rail tunnel toward that Kaliska. No idea at all of how this construction is going on.
 

galwhv69

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Being dutch myself and too often having had to use it, S´hol is/was in short too small for the pre-covid masses. It is due for a major rebuilt and enlargement, which is quite a challenge for the engineers, as even some of the luggage cellars of the airport need to be moved for this.
In NL the still quite new and only still half in use-awaiting the 3d end 4th track to open with a new platform is DELFT, but thats just a (kind of major) stop along the line. Thats the real station/platform area, the hall has nothing to go for it.
Lower part of Berlin HBF gets my points for now.


Lodz Fabr.
Most of the coaches serving this city still use/d the old western station (kaliska?). Lower stand/use prices and a MUCH shorter/quicker run in+out of the city from the ´autobahn=motorway. And perhaps some over-enthusiastic planning when this was done.
In fact Fabr. new is meant to be a through halt with a new cross-city rail tunnel toward that Kaliska. No idea at all of how this construction is going on.
Ah, that would make sense. Haven't been to Poland since 2018 at least, so thought it might have changed but still not! Lower prices would explain why a nice new coach station is not as busy when the older, more cramped one is full. Will be better if more coaches stop there as an interchange but unfortunately that would mean that they can't use the motorway all the way to Kaliska and would get stuck in city traffic
 

raetiamann

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The stations on the Stockholm Metro really are quite something. Well worth exploring. Too many to post pictures, but worthwhile googling and selecting images for a visual treat.
 

AverageTD

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I wouldn't say underground/low level stations are naturally bad, but it's easy to mess them up. An underground station done poorly will look horrific but as some examples above have shown, very pleasant underground stations do exist.
 
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