Abandoned Train Stations around the world.
I was looking around the internet and thought this might be an interesting thread to start.
There are a lot of what used to be majestic works of art, in many old train stations.
A lot are now sitting abandoned and in various states of disrepair.
Some are being rebuilt into other uses and saved from the wrecking ball.
The first one here is one of those that is being saved, it has quite a history behind it.
I pieced together some of the facts about the structure. At the end are a couple of links with a bunch of pictures.
Canfranc International Railway Station
The Pau To Canfranc Line
Middle of the 19th century, southwest of France, Pyrénées-Atlantiques department. The mid-19th century idea of linking the French (Béarn) and Spanish (Aragon) sides of the Pyrenees by railway was marked by multiple fruitless attempts, in large part due to the difficulty of traversing the mountain range.
Work was started in 1904 after the signing of a treaty between France and Spain. The construction of this railway marked an enormous challenge to the railway engineering and building methods of the day.
Opened in 1928, the main building is 240 meters long and has 300 windows and 156 doors.
It was the largest and most glamorous railway station in the world, a shining jewel of Art Nouveau elegance nestling high in the Pyrenees mountains.
But after a chequered history which saw it commandeered by the Nazis during the Second World War, Canfranc International Railway Station has slowly slipped into disrepair and is now little more than a crumbling shell.
In 1940 Spanish Dictator Franco was pictured proudly leading Hitler along one of its wide sprawling platforms.
The Nazi leader appears to have been impressed and, after recognizing the station's logistical importance, the Germans took control raising their Swastika flag above the ornate towers.
The Nazis first used it to transport hundreds of tonnes of looted gold plundered across Europe.
Perversely at the end of the war, the station that had once helped thousands of Jews flee the holocaust was used by Nazi War criminals to evade capture themselves.
Yet it hides a remarkable secret - deep below the surface in the old tunnels that cross the border between Spain and France, scientists have set up movable astroparticle laboratories where they are attempting to unlock the mysteries of dark matter.
More than 80 bridges, 24 tunnels, 4 viaducts and huge deforestation works would be necessary to cross the very steep and tight Aspe Valley on the French side.
About 50% of the railway on the French side would consist of engineered structures built using massive dressed stone.
The line was never profitable. 1929's Great Depression, 1931's large fire and 1936's Spanish civil war would condemn the railway to official disuse. The trans-Pyrenean tunnel would even be bricked up to prevent access by French invaders. With the start of the 2nd World War, activity would restart, with Germany taking advantage of the railway link. The Resistance would even dynamite some of the railway bridges on the French side in 1944.
The station's raison d'être came to an abrupt halt in 1970 when a train derailment demolished a bridge on the French side of the mountains. The French decided not to rebuild the bridge, the cross border line was closed and never re-opened.
I did see something about it being all rebuilt and is now a tourist hotel now.
A lot more reading and info in the following links,
Be sure to visit the Gallery,
More pictures and a short video in this one
That's amazing, Ed ... great piece of history. Thanks for the intel.
I do hope a structure like this is saved ... somehow.
That's an amazing and beautiful building! Typical of railroads, though, all it takes is one bridge not rebuilt to stop all traffic and doom the line to failure. What a shame....
Apparently there is a subway station that the subway trains still pass but they don't use. I can't remember the exacts about it, but the station reminded me of the subway scene in teenage mutant ninja turtles movie
( but there are more) This one was a work of art.:thumbsup:
City Hall Station, situated on a loop of track in front of City Hall, was the original southern terminal of the Interborough Rapid Transit subway. The site of the 1900 groundbreaking, this station was designed to be the showpiece of the new subway. Unusually elegant in architectural style, it is unique among the original IRT stations. The platform and mezzanine feature Guastavino arches and skylights, colored glass tilework, and brass chandeliers.
The curved platform is about 400' feet long, which is the length of a five car IRT train minus the front and rear doors as was the IRT's standard design for a local station when it was constructed. In the center of the platform is an archway over stairs leading to the mezzanine. On each side of the stairway, there is a glass tile "City Hall" sign, and a third is on the archway above the stairs. No other signs like these were placed in the other IRT. stations of the era; the lettering is quite unique, as is the deep blue and tan glass tiling. The arched ceiling of the platform area has simple brass light fixtures along its length.
When City Hall Station opened, plaques were hung on the track-side wall commemorating the Interborough Rapid Transit company and honoring the Rapid Transit Subway Construction Co.. The plaques listed the directors, engineers, and financiers, including August Belmont, Cornelius Vanderbilt, and John D. McDonald. These plaques were removed when the station was closed, and relocated to the Brooklyn Bridge station, where they hung near a token booth until 1995. As of early 1996, the plaques are back in their original positions on the trackside wall. Contrary to popular rumor, there was no plaque here honoring Alfred Ely Beach's early pneumatic subway.
The mezzanine featured a wooden ticket booth and two stairways to the street. The ticket booth is long gone. The complex green, tan, and white tiling pattern on the ceiling meets in the four corners of the vault over the mezzanine.
City Hall Station opened along with the rest of the Interborough's first subway line on October 27, 1904. It was immediately clear that expansion of the subway system would be necessary and additional lines were built. But ever-increasing ridership eventually required the Interborough's five-car local stations to be lengthened to accommodate longer trains, and so the IRT underwent an extensive program of station lengthening in the 1940s and early 1950s.
City Hall, due to its architecture and its being situated on a tight curve, was deemed impractical for lengthening. The new longer trains had center doors on each car, and at City Hall's tight curve, it was dangerous to open them. It was decided to abandon the station in favor of the nearby Brooklyn Bridge station, and so City Hall was closed to passenger service on December 31, 1945. The street entrances were sealed and the skylights covered over.
City Hall Station was never really an important one in terms of passenger use even when it was open; the nearby Brooklyn Bridge station was heavily used as it served both local and express trains, and the Brooklyn Bridge streetcar terminal was above.
While the station may be closed, and very few straphangers have actually seen it, the track on which City Hall Station is located is not abandoned. The #6 trains still pass through it on their way northbound, reversing direction using the loop for the journey back to the Bronx. In fact, to get to City Hall station, one must ride on an out-of-service #6 train. To get out, the motorman would key open a a single end door to allow visitors to step carefully out onto the platform. First-time visitors are awe-struck at the station's huge glass and brick arches and tiling. From time to time the NY Transit Museum has tours of this station, but these have been suspended due to perceived security risks in the area around City Hall.
Plans to open the station as an extension of the New York Transit Museum were mostly shelved due to recent security measures restricting access to the areas around City Hall. (These measures were in fact in place prior to 9/11/2001.) The station was spruced up for the October, 2004 IRT Centennial celebration. The skylights were uncovered, lighting fixed or replaced, and a stairway to the street reopened. A VIP ceremony was held there on October 27, 2004, and for a few hours after, the station was open to the public once again. It has remained closed since.
Here is a link for the others if you (or anyone) care to look,
I do believe there are tours, on occasion, to the NYC City Hall station. It looks amazing in pics ... I would definitely love to see it in person someday.
Tours are led roughly 16 times a year to groups of about 40 people at a time. To attend, you have to have to be a member of the New York Transit Museum and be ready to act quickly. Tickets for the City Hall station tours cost $40 each and always sell out fast.
Its architects were George Lewis Heins and Christopher Grant LaFarge, the men responsible for the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Also working on the both projects were engineers Raphael Guastavino and William Barclay Parsons and sculptor Gutzon Borglum (yes, the man who would be responsible for Mount Rushmore).
A few more pictures, (note the last 2 pictures of the tight curve, not one support column was used when constructing this)
Another interesting thing to do if you do go to Brooklyn is to make a stop at the NY Transit museum. Fairly cheap $7 bucks or so.
Ed the NY Transit museum is high on my bucket list, but I've never had the time while in NY. Someday soon, I hope.
Thanks for the station info!
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