What is your favorite station?

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

Tlcooper93

Lead Service Attendant
AU Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2021
Messages
442
Location
Boston
If we are talking stations in the US, I’m very partial to South Station in my hometown. To me, it’s beautiful, highly functional, and very convenient. That said, Chicago, Washington, and Grand Central Terminal obviously are spectacular.

If we are talking stations worldwide, some of my favorites include Zurich HBF, the Gare du Nord, Toronto Union Station, and Edinburgh Waverly (mostly for its curious track layout).
 

west point

Engineer
Joined
Jun 9, 2015
Messages
2,751
I really liked LAX US. Last time there The departure was announced and the red cap tried to take us to the train on his cart.. However a light rail line train was stopped and had activated the crossing gates. We waited for 22 minutes for the light rail train to move and cross the crossing circuit. Red cap did not answer our questions why. He had to go back and get rest of passengers. We left late but do not remember how long. Is this still a problem or has the light rail line now have a time out relay ?

EDIT the delayed time was easy as I got a phone call just as we left the lounge. The person I was talking to could not believe me but kind of because he could here the crossing bell. That is annoying I can tell you..
 
Last edited:

v v

Conductor
AU Supporter
Joined
Dec 4, 2012
Messages
1,586
Location
UK / France
@ Tlcooper93

Arrived yesterday evening through Zurich HBF although only used some of the underground areas. What should we be looking for as we return there for our train out tomorrow morning.

Thanks
 

Michigan Mom

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 28, 2012
Messages
918
Location
MI
I have a soft spot for the Toledo Amtrak station. Some great memories of waiting there, for a late night EB train adventure, with my kids, anticipating what was ahead. It was always somewhat surreal being there at night, and the place has history and character. The waiting room was never so crowded you couldn't find a place to sit, and if you were taking the LSL, it mostly emptied out after the Cap left. Glad we did this when we did... it's more difficult now for any of us to romanticize middle of the night departures, especially with the delays that both eastbound trains are subject to.
 

zephyr17

Engineer
Joined
Jul 22, 2009
Messages
5,160
Location
Washington State
LA is my nearest large station, and I am very conflicted with their plans. Looks like it'll make a great travelling experience, but the tunnel will be dearly missed.
Me, too. For me the tunnel is iconic. I am still kind of pissed that they removed the round track number signs in it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Cal

allanorn

Train Attendant
Joined
Jul 30, 2018
Messages
35
@ Tlcooper93

Arrived yesterday evening through Zurich HBF although only used some of the underground areas. What should we be looking for as we return there for our train out tomorrow morning.

Thanks
Zurich HB is insane because of how immense it is plus how efficient it is. You can also get very lost if you're not careful, especially if you're switching between the main tracks and 31-34 or 41-44.

If you don't have a lot of time, head to the main hall (Tracks 3-18). Admire the the big departure board and all of the different types of trains we don't see in the US. Plus the people-watching on the hour and half-hour can be quite a show.

The "L'ange protecteur" should be visible if you look up in the main hall. If you find the main ticket desk behind the main hall, they sell watches along with tickets.

If you have a couple of hours in the station, Brasserie Federal apparently has good food reviews. Zurich HB is also a mall and one of the only places to shop in Switzerland on Sunday, though Bahnhofstrasse is a prime shopping district. There are two supermarkets within Zurich HB, and the apothecary is on the outside facing Bahnhofplatz. If you need some air, head behind the Swiss National Museum to Platzspitz, or walk down to the Lindenhof.

If you have more time (3+ hours): Go see the Lindenhof and stroll down to the Zurichsee, stopping to see St. Peter and the Kirsche Fraumunster. The Opernhaus is a decent walk as well. Return via the east side of the Limmat to see the Grossmunster; some good restaurants are around Limmatquai and in a pedestrian street (Niderdorfstrasse). If you like vegetarian, Hilti is a must - it's the oldest continuously-operating vegetarian restaurant in the world, serving decent Indian food.

Full day? FIFA World HQ is good for a couple of hours, and the Swiss National Museum next to Zurich HB is probably worth a visit.
 
Last edited:

allanorn

Train Attendant
Joined
Jul 30, 2018
Messages
35
Getting back on topic: San Diego Santa Fe Depot is my favorite small station, followed by Santa Barbara. LA Union Station is my favorite domestic large station.

International: Wien Hbf for overall quality and experience; Zurich HB if you want to get your mind blown; Rotterdam Centraal for its uniqueness and bicycle infrastructure. I found Dresden Hbf and Basel SBB fairly charming though for smaller stations. I wanted to like Praha hl. n. and Budapest Keleti more than I do.
 
Last edited:

Devil's Advocate

It's just a scratch.
Joined
May 24, 2010
Messages
12,628
Location
Siding of Excellence
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.
Here are some photos of various eras of Lamy for those who are curious.









 

Attachments

Joined
Oct 25, 2016
Messages
5
Location
SOB
I like Albany NY. The Lake Shore Limited between the NYC and BOS routes joins/separates there. Sometimes there is a few hours to wait. The station is a pleasant place to wait. Go outside and watch the work in the train yard. A couple of times there has been enough time to take a walk around the neighborhood for a few hours.

Denver is a fun station too. Lots of shopping nearby.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Cal

oregon pioneer

Engineer
Joined
Feb 15, 2011
Messages
2,438
Location
near Seneca, Oregon
...and a stop at Essex on a car trip... that motivated me to 'climb aboard!'
BEAUTIFUL photo of Essex in the early snow, with the larch trees all golden, thank you! We stopped there on our first train trip, staying overnight at the Isaac Walton. and skiing the next day before boarding the westbound train again. Happy memories.

For big stations, I love PDX, LAX, CHI and BOS.

But my favorite stations are the two remote platforms where I usually board the CS or EB: Chemult Oregon (CMO) and Wishram WA (WIH). Both are "platform only" with waiting rooms (no restrooms). Both have been rebuilt with nice ramps and period lighting. At Chemult, if you took the shuttle bus from Bend or Sunriver, the driver will be in contact with the conductor, and lets you stay in a local truck stop until the train is approaching. No such services at Wishram, so you had better sign up for text notifications about delayed trains (in 2018, our loco went dead right out of Vancouver, and Amtrak sent me a notification every hour that it was going to be *another* hour, till it arrived three hours late, sigh).

Here's the westbound PDX section arriving at Wishram, December 2019:
Acres_19v1.jpg
 

20th Century Rider

Conductor
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
1,784
Location
Oregon Coast
BEAUTIFUL photo of Essex in the early snow, with the larch trees all golden, thank you! We stopped there on our first train trip, staying overnight at the Isaac Walton. and skiing the next day before boarding the westbound train again. Happy memories.

For big stations, I love PDX, LAX, CHI and BOS.

But my favorite stations are the two remote platforms where I usually board the CS or EB: Chemult Oregon (CMO) and Wishram WA (WIH). Both are "platform only" with waiting rooms (no restrooms). Both have been rebuilt with nice ramps and period lighting. At Chemult, if you took the shuttle bus from Bend or Sunriver, the driver will be in contact with the conductor, and lets you stay in a local truck stop until the train is approaching. No such services at Wishram, so you had better sign up for text notifications about delayed trains (in 2018, our loco went dead right out of Vancouver, and Amtrak sent me a notification every hour that it was going to be *another* hour, till it arrived three hours late, sigh).

Here's the westbound PDX section arriving at Wishram, December 2019:
View attachment 24299
Agreed! I just love the remoteness and scenic beauty of Wishram and Chemult! Ooooh... the rails are calling me again!
 

Lana J C

Train Attendant
Joined
May 16, 2019
Messages
20
Thanks for posting those pics, Devils Advocate. Great stuff! Had only seen one of them before.
 

Amtrak Apple

Train Attendant
Joined
Sep 1, 2021
Messages
20
Location
The Apple Capitol of the World
BEAUTIFUL photo of Essex in the early snow, with the larch trees all golden, thank you! We stopped there on our first train trip, staying overnight at the Isaac Walton. and skiing the next day before boarding the westbound train again. Happy memories.

For big stations, I love PDX, LAX, CHI and BOS.

But my favorite stations are the two remote platforms where I usually board the CS or EB: Chemult Oregon (CMO) and Wishram WA (WIH). Both are "platform only" with waiting rooms (no restrooms). Both have been rebuilt with nice ramps and period lighting. At Chemult, if you took the shuttle bus from Bend or Sunriver, the driver will be in contact with the conductor, and lets you stay in a local truck stop until the train is approaching. No such services at Wishram, so you had better sign up for text notifications about delayed trains (in 2018, our loco went dead right out of Vancouver, and Amtrak sent me a notification every hour that it was going to be *another* hour, till it arrived three hours late, sigh).

Here's the westbound PDX section arriving at Wishram, December 2019:
View attachment 24299
Wishram and Wenatchee look very similar. Lamentably, when I came through the EB on that leg (my trains got pushed back and I had to go PDX -> SPK -> WEN - that was less than fun) I wasn't able to look at much of it because a nice guy got on at Vancouver and we talked most of the way. He was great company, but I didn't see much!
 

JontyMort

Service Attendant
Joined
May 4, 2021
Messages
157
Location
United Kingdom
If we are talking stations in the US, I’m very partial to South Station in my hometown. To me, it’s beautiful, highly functional, and very convenient. That said, Chicago, Washington, and Grand Central Terminal obviously are spectacular.

If we are talking stations worldwide, some of my favorites include Zurich HBF, the Gare du Nord, Toronto Union Station, and Edinburgh Waverly (mostly for its curious track layout).
Agree with you about Zürich and Waverley. Also in Scotland, Glasgow Central is good. I find the Gare du Nord a bit soulless.
Off to Toronto Union later this month.
 
Top