When Train Stations Were the Majestic Temples of Rail Travel

Actually, the Amtrak Cardinal still stops here every other day…at around 2AM. 100 years ago Cincinnati had one of the busiest train stations in the country, with hundreds of trains a day departing from it.

The destruction of New York Penn Station was what directly initiated the Landmark Preservation Act…since Grand Central was next in line to get the wrecking ball, Jackie Kennedy led a campaign to get this act passed and save at least one NYC majestic temple.


Special mention for the topic of the thread to Parc station, which is actually built inside an old belle-époque train station.

TherearesomeprettyamazingonesinLisbon, too.

Some more from elsewhere in the world.

Matt’s too modest – that marvelous website is his.

…and I can vouch for his knowledge and graciousness on his impromptu tours of the Montreal Metro as well.

Man, I LOVE the architecture of the Montreal Metro. Most Toronto subway stations look like institutional washrooms circa 1955. Newer ones have tried to break away from this, but collectively we haven’t quite got it yet.

When comparing Toronto and Montreal in 1955, Toronto was an institutional washroom.

On the other hand, they may finally be starting to move on the renovation of Union Station. The original proposal collapsed, and they’ve spent the past couple of years putting together a new one.

Are they still planning to expand Union subway station by adding a second platform alongside one of the subway tracks, and screening off the existing platform face? Because that island platform is hella narrow.

Yes, they’re working on that. They’ve been moving sewers and stuff.

I suspect that there’s some redesign going on on the part of the TTC because the new Union Station proposals seem to have the entrance to the train station level with the mezzanine of the subway station, eliminating some steps directly between them at the cost of adding more to get up to the street. Plus what with the new streetcar lines (Bremner Ave, plus Queens Quay East), they need to redesign streetcar access at Union as well. It’s kind of a mess and a moving target.

GO Transit’s Union Station Redevelopment pages. GO was originally going to move into a new building built next to the tracks by Yonge Street, but now it looks like they’re going to move into the west wing of Union Station itself. Maybe then they’ll rebuild the washrooms there, which look like they haven’t been re-tiled since the 1930s. It’d actually be kind of cool, if the place wasn’t falling apart.