What is your favorite station?

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danasgoodstuff

Service Attendant
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Jun 23, 2021
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PDX
Portland is my home town favorite going back to my great-grandparents' travels. I've spent hours there, whether waiting for a train or on work or just observing.

1961... midday

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1968... UP Pool train from Seattle arrives for cross-platform connection to the Portland Rose for Denver and Kansas City.

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May 1968... RFK campaign train heads out to Eugene.

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I've had family here for a long time too. Would love to sit and talk with you, preferably on a train.
 

Bembidion

Train Attendant
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Aug 9, 2021
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15
Location
Meriden, CT
You have big stations and then smaller stations.

I've used the following larger Stations (which I include since they generally serve multiple trains a day and are in a big city):
Boston
New York
Philadelphia
Washington
Chicago
New Orleans
San Antonio
Los Angeles
Seattle
Portland

I've used the following smaller stations:
Whitefish, MT
Pasco, WA
Orlando, FL
Lakeland, FL
Kingston, RI
Providence, RI
Portland, ME
Poughkeepsie, NY
Trenton, NJ


I would say my favorite big-city station is actually Boston. It has a great lounge, nearly everything in the station is on one level, it's easy to navigate and offers high-level boarding on every track (my biggest qualm with Washington DC and Chicago).

My favorite small station is Whitefish, MT since it is very pretty, offers a car rental desk right in the station that's easy to get to and is very charming. I get similar vibes at Lakeland, FL and Kingston, RI, both which offer easy boarding and local charm at their stations.
 

v v

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UK / France
Surf - Lompoc

How many stations have the sound of the surf rolling in alongside an image and warning of Great Whites, all within 50 paces of the platform. Atmospheric.

Large station : LAX or WAS or maybe Milano Centrale or exciting Berlin HBF. ps: Vladivostok was worth a second and third look too, is there a best?
 
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Eric in East County

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East San Diego County
I love San Diego - classic building, heart of town, multiple trains, transit and accommodation within walking distance.
We consider the Santa Fe Depot in downtown San Diego to be our “home station” because all our rail trips begin and end there. Virtually untouched by time, it looks much the same as it did when it first opened back in 1915.
 

zephyr17

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Jul 22, 2009
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Washington State
My favorite is Los Angeles Union Station. Many childhood memories there and the station is gorgeous and is reasonably close to original condition. I don't like the newsstands/kiosks in the waiting room, though and I think ticketing should move back into the Ticket Hall.

The original newsstand was in the space where Traxx is located, and then it was in what had been the Parcel Check room across the arch. Then they built the freestanding one(s) in the middle of the waiting room.

I love the fact that it is bustling and busy now, though. I remember the 70s when the pigeons outnumbered the people in the waiting room.

I am going to miss the current, original tunnel when they rebuild it into a wider boarding concourse style with shops, and after many years, they seem to be getting serious about doing it now. The tunnel is part of the experience, and even today I tend to board through the tunnel, including using the original, steeper north side ramps when getting on a train there. That really feels like LAUPT and is the same way passengers got to the platforms since the day it opened. The Red Cap cart from the Metropolitan Lounge around the end of the platforms just feels really wrong to me there.

While the Metropolitan Lounge there is nice (though a bit small) I wish they would have done more to capture the character of the station. As it is, while perfectly nice, it has a very generic feel and reminds me of the breakfast/common area of a Marriott Residence Inn.
 
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Joined
May 14, 2011
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My favourite station is St Pancras in London. Opened in 1868, it is still fit for purpose, with the Eurostar service to Paris, etc.
I love all the big Amtrak stations too. LAX was cool, great building with the big seats, the hanging lights, and the nice garden area to one side.
Hi! I have great memories of St. Pancras when traveling down to London on weekends when I was teaching what was then the College of Education in Clifton. The renovated St. Pancras is amazing.
 

20th Century Rider

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Jan 26, 2020
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Oregon Coast
Waiting to respond... with great anticipation of experiencing the 'crowned jewel' of Amtrak Stations... Moynihan. Both LAX and CHI are favorites... they have much to see and experience; architecture, restaurants, and of course the clubs.

But it is East Glacier where I was drawn to again ride the trains several years ago, and a stop at Essex on a car trip... that motivated me to 'climb aboard!'

Essex - you gotta love it!.png

East Glacier 1.png

East Glacier 2.png
 

Cal

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Socal
While the Metropolitan Lounge there is nice (though a bit small) I wish they would have done more to capture the character of the station. As it is, while perfectly nice, it has a very generic feel and reminds me of the breakfast/common area of a Marriott Residence Inn.
LA deservesa much better lounge, considering it serves one of their most popular corridors (the Surfline) and three (technically four) long distance trains.
 

20th Century Rider

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LA deservesa much better lounge, considering it serves one of their most popular corridors (the Surfline) and three (technically four) long distance trains.
I definitely agree. The only saving grace are those big cookies and bags of actual potato chips... which are somewhat better than some other lounges... but that' not saying much. And the lounge entrance is kind-a like going into a garage.
 
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Willbridge

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
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Denver
I tried to come up with a favorite small station and when I started writing out a list of them I realized that the stories that went with each them were more important than the architecture, services provided, etc. I came up with 40 small stations where I had boarded or alighted in the U.S., but some of the least interesting stations had the most interesting stories.

The one that I used the most is Salem, Oregon. The one where I have spent the most time waiting is Raton, New Mexico.
 

Lana J C

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My favorite small station, so far, is Lamy, New Mexico despite few services. There I feel immersed in the true West. Sitting under the portico in the shade beneath aged cottonwood trees the old West comes alive in my mind. There I am taken back to the age of Butch and Sundance...
 

PaTrainFan

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Pittsburgh, Pa.
MY favorite is Los Angeles Union Station. Just love the vibe there and the ramps leading to the tracks. But there are so many others that tied for second, too many to mention here. The one negative is the Metropolitan Lounge. Still, doesn't knock it from the top spot on my list. Is disappointing to learn that the passenger access tunnel will be radically altered, however.
 

20th Century Rider

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MY favorite is Los Angeles Union Station. Just love the vibe there and the ramps leading to the tracks. But there are so many others that tied for second, too many to mention here. The one negative is the Metropolitan Lounge. Still, doesn't knock it from the top spot on my list. Is disappointing to learn that the passenger access tunnel will be radically altered, however.
Wow! Looks like they have big plans... 'Moynihan West?'
 

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bratkinson

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QB 101
Call me a Portland OR 'lover'. Great old station and fantastic architecture. It's big enough to be 'big' and it still feels 'cozy' at the same time. In the late '70s/early '80s, I must have switched from #14 to #28 at least a dozen times traveling on business. These days, I consider the connection 'too tight' to bank on. The same for 28 to 11. I've probably changed trains there (with overnight layover) since then about 10 times. Great city to be a tourist before Antifa riots. If I go there again, I'll book a same day connection and try my luck.
 

JontyMort

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May 4, 2021
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United Kingdom
Favorite train station of all once upon a time was pre-renovation St Pancras in London. That was just a pretty building to be in.
I know what you mean, but the old St Pancras was rather pigeon-infested (and worse) and unloved. By most objective standards, the new station is an improvement.
 

Amtrak Apple

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The Apple Capitol of the World
My favorite small station, so far, is Lamy, New Mexico despite few services. There I feel immersed in the true West. Sitting under the portico in the shade beneath aged cottonwood trees the old West comes alive in my mind. There I am taken back to the age of Butch and Sundance...
Lamy was one of my stops on my travels this summer, and I couldn't agree more! It has such great Southwestern charm.
 

Amtrak Apple

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The Apple Capitol of the World
Well, I have to say that my home station of Wenatchee is my favorite because it's the starting point for me, but I just learned a bit ago that they tore down the old station because it was "too much" to renovate it. :-( Now it's just a platform.

I wasn't in Chicago very long this summer, so I didn't see much of it, but Kansas City Union Station is amazing, with Portland a close second.
 

20th Century Rider

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Well, I have to say that my home station of Wenatchee is my favorite because it's the starting point for me, but I just learned a bit ago that they tore down the old station because it was "too much" to renovate it. :-( Now it's just a platform.

I wasn't in Chicago very long this summer, so I didn't see much of it, but Kansas City Union Station is amazing, with Portland a close second.
Does anyone really know why it is necessary to destroy our architectural gems? [Yup... I know... money and greed first.]
1920 wenatchee.jpg
 
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