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Railroad Tycoon
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Discussion Starter #1
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


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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.

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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.

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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,

A wiki,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canfranc_International_Railway_Station

Another link,
Be sure to visit the Gallery,
http://www.forbidden-places.net/urban-exploration-canfranc-railway-station#2

More pictures,
http://pixgood.com/canfranc-railway-station.html

More here,
http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/abandoned-train-station-of-canfranc


More pictures and a short video in this one
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2387682/The-abandoned-Nazi-railway-station-mountains-fell-disrepair--hides-secret-laboratory-researching-dark-matter.html
 

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That's amazing, Ed ... great piece of history. Thanks for the intel.

I do hope a structure like this is saved ... somehow.

TJ
 

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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....
 

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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
 

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Discussion Starter #5
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
This is the one I think of when you say abandoned subway station.
( but there are more) This one was a work of art.:thumbsup:

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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,

http://www.nycsubway.org/wiki/Abandoned_and_Disused_Stations



 

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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.

TJ
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
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.

TJ
Found this from February 14, 2014.
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)

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)

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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!

TJ
 

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'

since you started this! I thought i might share the pacific electric subway train terminal!



and of course when it was in service, must have been busy. but also makes you think that P.E. was thinking ahead, when LA just wanted to have their cars!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I'll add this to the abandoned list ... the Beach pneumatic subway in NY City ... circa 1870! Long gone ... but uncovered for a while, after years of abandonment ...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beach_Pneumatic_Transit

I was going to say WHERE ARE THE RAILS? :D

Cool, I never saw that before, it ran sort of like a banks deposit tube?
It was designed as a very ornate project. The station was adorned with frescoes and easy chairs. Zirconia lamps revealed the luxurious interior of the station. There were statues and a gold fish pond in the station that people could look at while they waited for their turn to enter the ride.
400,000 people bought tickets to ride the block back and forth, considering the time period that must have been big back then.
 

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Discussion Starter #15

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yes Big Ed & it was built in secret under the nose of politicians who didn't want subways
& now NYC has the oldest subway tunnel in the world
Its being excavated in hopes there is a loco down there
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Where......Jersey,the land of RR history.:):thumbsup:
My favorite RR.....Central Railroad of New Jersey, CNJ.:thumbsup:
The Abandoned (but accessible) Rail Station at Liberty State Park, Jersey City,NJ.

Built in 1889, this historically-listed station manages the brilliant feat of being both beautifully abandoned and wonderfully easy to get to. In operation until the late 1960s, the station has been carefully preserved ever since, with the result that its interior remains in excellent condition – aside from the copious amounts of vegetation protruding through the floor.

The station picture is where you went after you left the trains to catch the ferries to NYC.

The last is a map of the area, besides passenger trains a lot of freight went through the terminal too. I found an old picture to add.


Jersey Central ruled back then. :smokin::thumbsup:

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Those pics posted by tjcruiser and cobratrooper11 rather reminded me of the original Metrolpokitan line from Baker Street in central London.
 

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Discussion Starter #23 (Edited)
Those pics posted by tjcruiser and cobratrooper11 rather reminded me of the original Metrolpokitan line from Baker Street in central London.
You have to work a little and give some info here.:p


The first underground railway in the world started with the opening of the Metropolitan Railway between Bishops Road, Paddington and Farringdon on 10th January 1863.
Title says,

A Brief History of the London Underground System
http://www.tubeprune.com/history.html New link old one did not work I put a wiki in, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_London_Underground

If that is brief I would like to see the long version.:D
 

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Nobody does "abandoned" better than Detroit, Michigan.
That was the next one I was going to add here.
You must be a mind reader.
dfpz32437.jpg


It has a lot of history behind it.

Copy and pastes,
Nothing symbolizes Detroit’s grandiose rise and spectacular fall like Michigan Central Station. No other building exemplifies just how much the automobile gave to the city of Detroit — and how much it took away.

A celebration for the formal reopening of the waiting room was held June 20, 1975 – the closest the building ever got to an official dedication. A few months earlier, on April 16, 1975, the station was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The move would not save the terminal, but it has helped to stave off its demolition.

At 11:30 a.m. Jan. 5, 1988, Train No. 353 bound for Chicago became the last train to roll out of the venerable depot. It was just over 74 years after the first steamed in.

Mark Longton Jr. bought the terminal in December 1989, and the pistol-packing real estate developer who tried his best to keep scavengers out for more than a year, come hell or gunfire. He sought to hit the jackpot by reopening the decaying depot, which by this point had no electricity and no heat, as a casino. He envisioned a nightclub dubbed the Midnight Express — after the train that once pulled out of the station — and a hotel carved out of the office tower. But the voters wouldn’t agree to add casinos until 1996, and Longton gave up before the vote came, as he was paying thousands a month in bills.

Throughout the 1990s, Detroit’s monument to the golden age of railroads remained wide open to trespass and looting. During that time, vandals stole anything of value, such as brass fixtures, copper wiring, decorative railings along balconies and staircases, plaster rosettes from the ceiling and marble from walls and the base of columns. Those who didn’t steal found other ways to disgrace it. Nary a window is left intact out of the hundreds that once filled the monstrous building. Inside, graffiti is everywhere, with some tags nearly 15 feet tall and dozens of feet long. Paintball matches were regularly held inside its corridors, splattering neon greens and electric blues all over the yellow brick.


I just picked out a few spots in the whole story.
Read the whole sad story here (if you want),

http://www.historicdetroit.org/building/michigan-central-station/

For those who hate to read, there are a lot of pictures here, :p
http://www.historicdetroit.org/galleries/michigan-central-station-old-photos/
 

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When you compare views like this, it's hard to see how this place can avoid the wrecking ball.

The waiting room then...



...and now.



A hallway in the tower then...



...and now.

 

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Reading big ed's mind is a scary idea! :eek:
I was going to add that one next.
I had the sites bookmarked for a few weeks.

I just need a little time to post it.
You gave me the push I needed.:)
 

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Can you tell us what they're going to do with it?...shops, restaurant, something else?
 

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When you compare views like this, it's hard to see how this place can avoid the wrecking ball.

The waiting room then...



...and now.



A hallway in the tower then...



...and now.

Man, that is so sad!! We Americans are really lousy at preserving our history. Despite the damage from WWII, Europe is replete with historic buildings. Wish we'd learn how to do it their way........
 

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How about a taste of the Old West? Here is a station not that far from where I live. The Keeler Depot in Keeler, California, was the end of the line for the Carson & Colorado Railway (which never actually reached either Carson City, Nevada, or the Colorado River). The narrow gauge railway was later bought by Southern Pacific. The Keeler Depot was built in 1886, and the last train departed in 1960 when the line was shut down. Despite 60+ residents, Keeler is often called a ghost town and has several picturesque abandoned buildings to reinforce the image. Perhaps the best known of these is the train depot.

You can find plenty of shots in its abandoned state online. How it looked when still in operation was more of a challenge...



How it looks today...





I've seen references to the depot being used as a house after Southern Pacific closed the line, but it's apparently been abandoned for many years now. The two-story living quarters with the odd "balcony" hanging off apparently dates to a 1917 addition.



The building has held up awfully well for being 130 years old, but I'm not sure that balcony will make it to 2017!

 

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Yet another crying shame, that it's been let go so long. It'd be nice if it's old owners would step up and restore it to something useful. Thanks for the pics.
 

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Keeler is pretty off the beaten path, so it's hard to see how restoring the building would be financially viable. The town is far enough out there that it's not likely to be much of a tourist destination, for example.

Another point along the Carson & Colorado Railroad is still hanging on though. When the line was shut down in 1960, the other end was in a town called Laws. The Laws depot (which looks a lot like the one in Keeler) is even older--built in 1883--and is home to a museum for the old narrow gauge railroad. You can read more about it here:

http://www.lawsmuseum.org/



They also have a nice collection of old locomotives and rolling stock. Laws is close to Bishop, a major ski resort, so it has an easier time drawing in tourists to keep the money flowing than Keeler likely would.

I also stumbled upon this page. One of the towns along the line in between Keeler and Laws was Independence, CA. A group there is apparently restoring one of the old steam locomotives Southern Pacific used to operate.

http://www.facebook.com/CCRW18

They have some neat pictures of the repair process, which are kinda reminiscent of tjcruiser's work on old Lionels!
 

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Seattle stations

Seattle is a bit unusual, in that it has two large beautiful railroad passenger stations, right across the street from each other. Even more unusual,in a good way, is that both are still standing, and preserved in excellent condition. One, King St. Station, is still in use by Amtrak. It is getting a major restoration of its interior.
The other, Seattle Union Station, has already been fully restored inside. The former Union Pacific, and Milwaukee Road tracks have been taken up and a new green glass office building built where the tracks were.
The station building itself though, is open to the public, free of charge. Union Station is also rented out as a meeting hall for private events. What a location for a train show!(hint, hint!)
I have been fortunate enough to visit both stations, and have built a near N scale model of Union Station,(unfinished) as I model part of the Milwaukee Road, set in the Seattle area. The layout is in my garage here in San Diego.
If you have the chance visit these grand old structures, built in the "Guilded age". (Union Station was built one year before RMS Titanic set out on its one, and only, half a voyage.)
We are not likely to see such structures again.

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:
 

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Luebeck - Schlutup old RR Station built in 1874 - RR Line opened 1876 - RR Line closed in 1892 because the electric Tram made passenger service inefficient for the RR.
 
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