Readers' favourite railway stations

  • 17 February 2013
  • From the section Magazine

A recent Magazine article by David Cannadine hailed New York's Grand Central Terminal as the world's loveliest station, prompting readers to suggest other rail beauties.

To mark Grand Central's 100th anniversary, Cannadine retraced the history of this "architectural gem". Readers have since responded with examples of their own favourites. Here's a selection:

Image caption Kuala Lumpur's railway station was completed in 1910

The nicest, most beautiful railway station in the world is the original Kuala Lumpur station which is only used by local commuter trains today. Beautifully kept, centrally located - and stunning architecture harking back to the old days of colonial rule. Gav, Teesside, UK

Image caption Antwerpen-Centraal station dates from 1905

Grand Central is a lovely station indeed, but it cannot match the magical beauty of Antwerpen-Centraal station, which makes Grand Central's lavishness almost look stingy. Poktori, Canberra, Australia

All praise Antwerp station. Beautiful. Max Patrick, Middlesbrough

Have a look at the magnificent train cathedral station of the city of Antwerp, Belgium. You will be impressed. Notsag, Dalyellup, Australia

Image caption Greenery in the central plaza in Madrid's Atocha station

Atocha in Madrid is also very nice. A tropical garden in the winter, an oasis in the summer. Paul Hearn, Belgium

Image caption Small but perfectly formed Flemish-style architecture in Dunedin

I'm sure Grand Central is a fine station, but have you seen Dunedin Station in New Zealand? It's beautiful, with ornate stonework and marble, stained glass windows, though clearly not on the same scale, size-wise, as New York. John Harvey, Tucson, Arizona, US

I think you are confusing size with beauty. Grand Central is nice, but the world's loveliest? I think Dunedin Station in New Zealand is far more beautiful - and I've been to both. Paul, Uxbridge, UK

Image caption The older St Pancras building is a hotel

During my visits to New York in my youth, I would glory in the greeting that Penn Station granted me each time I walked through it. I cried real tears when it was vandalised in the name of progress. Now, when in London and at the British Library, I never fail to walk down Euston Road to visit that neo-Venetian Gothic feast for the eyes that is St Pancras. John P Eaton, Cold Spring, New York, US

If you are looking for a station that is beautiful both on the inside and outside you can not beat St Pancras. Bethany Oyston, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire

Image caption St Pancras International serves cross-Channel trains and those heading north

Grand Central is certainly up there among the best, but the new St Pancras is pretty staggering too. If you could take the Grand Central concourse and the St Pancras platform area and put them together under a single roof, then you'd have a station that would take some beating. John Grant, New Jersey, US

St Pancras is beautiful and an outstanding gateway to Europe, easily beating Paris North and Brussels South. And the new King's Cross is breathtaking. Dale Whitaker, Yateley, UK

Image caption On the rails: Gare du Nord, Paris

I enjoyed visiting Grand Central but it does not feel like a station as you cannot see the platforms. I think Gare du Nord train station in Paris is better to look at. Grand Central looks nice inside but the outside is nothing compared to many stations in Europe. Harvey Manning, Okinawa, Japan

I grew up in New York City and Paris. While I have always been fascinated by Grand Central Station (especially since it has been cleaned), the one train station that has my heart is the Gare du Nord in Paris. It is much less elegant, but is such that one can easily envision the past before your eyes. Aviva Dintenfass, Greensboro, North Carolina, US

Image caption The illuminations at Kyoto station

Kyoto Station in Japan is pretty nice too. At night it lights up and comes alive . It's exotic - for a Westerner - by day, mysterious by night. Paul Hearn, Belgium

Image caption St Louis Union Station, Missouri, US

Has the author ever seen Union Station in St Louis, Missouri? It is classic European architecture on the outside and absolutely magnificent on the inside, complete with shops, theatre, restaurants and bars. A marvellous architectural wonder. Michael Hopkins, Rome, Italy

I grew up in St Louis, Missouri, which has a beautiful old train station that later served as a backdrop for a science fiction movie. Daphne Macklin, Sacramento, US

Union Station in St Louis also "died" with the changes in American transport ways and it too has been saved by preservationists so we can marvel at the design and vision. Sadly, it's now just a hotel and an empty shopping mall, proving that sometimes preservation without participation in current society is a protracted death. It is a beautiful place to spend a few hours though. David Beard, London

Image caption Hauptbahnhof in Berlin opened in 2006

For where form meets functional beauty, there is Berlin Hauptbahnhof. William, Vancouver, Canada

Perhaps David Cannadine should take a look at the new station in Berlin, where several levels of railway and commercial activity have been integrated without excluding natural light. It provides modern space and efficiency under a glass roof. Maurice Hopper

Image caption Mumbai's Victoria Terminus is now called Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus

Victoria Terminus in Mumbai is arguably even more beautiful. Matthew, Shrewsbury

Image caption Novoslobodskaya underground station in Moscow

Although Grand Central is a wonderful station, there are many that compete with it, yet don't get the recognition. For example, the Novoslobodskaya station on the Moscow metro is fascinating in its architecture and style. Michael Moss, Berlin, Germany

Building above ground is easy. To build underground is far more difficult. Some of the world's most beautiful train stations are underground and none more so than the metro stations in Moscow. Peter Barry, Yeovil, Somerset, UK

The stunning beauty of Moscow's metro system is unsurpassed anywhere in the world. It makes Grand Central look like a station as opposed to a work of truly stunning art. Collin Field, Yate, Bristol

Image caption The neo-classical station in Milan

I think Milan Central is hard to beat for grandeur. The first time I saw it, I thought it was the Opera House. Amazing symmetry and scale. If the Romans had had trains, their stations would look like this. Richard Byrne, London, UK

Image caption Light and airy: DC's Union Station

Union Station in Washington DC has a much lighter and more artistic design than Grand Central, Alan, UK

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