There’s something just so iconic about the green and white bi-level GO Train cars, especially the older riveted ones (you can also see one of the newer welded ones in the background). It always amuses me to see them operating with different different livery on other services… they look so familiar yet also so not quite right? (But I’m always happy that their design is standing the test of time and providing so much great transit!)
These are mesmerizing x-ray-like illustrations of the major train stations in Tokyo (Shinjuku, Shibuya, and Tokyo central)… all the more incredible as they were done in ballpoint pen!
It also calls to mind how amazing the those rail stations are, with multiple services and intricate schedules (as illustrated here just a few weeks ago) and how they’ve interwoven themselves with the urban fabric as they’ve grown, and in doing so integrated themselves into the city, becoming mini cities in their own right.
This is both amazing as well as mesmerizing… the Tokyo Shinkansen train station serving all eastern routes, with a super busy schedule and only four platforms, and the amazing and hyper-precise dance of incoming and leaving trains, nearly once every 4 minutes, with the incoming train often passing the outgoing mere moments after it leaves the station! Astoundingly well run.
Here’s a nice, humble, and neat train station gracing the countryside of the Czech Republic. Solid brick, a playful gable roof that isn’t quite exactly a gable roof, and a reimagining of the traditional sheltered platform that leads to covered bike parking. I dig it.
There’s something that I quite like about this train station in Dinan, France. Built in 1879, it’s got this interesting mix of old school form, art deco-ish ornament, and some clean lines of modernism, all wrapped up into one. And check out that rotated clock tower – you don’t see that very often! Complete with ornamental bas-relief bells and a spare but bold design of the clock itself.
The delight continues inside too… check out that serious corbelling of the ceiling in the corners, at the base of which is a light? Now that’s neat. And the classic map along the upper band, with art-deco touches beneath.
I learned of this station through an adjacent new welcoming platform which is in of itself interesting. A wood lattice canopy “supported” at one end by two earthen forms (one conical, one more amorphous) that recalls the medieval construction the region is known for. Also with bonus trees that grow up and through the canopy above…
What a glorious assemblage! Old and new, in many senses of the words, brought together to serve the rails.
I think by now people know I love trains, and that I equally love many train stations (another nod here to one of my favs, in Ottawa). And as sad as it is when a train station is no longer in use, it’s ok in my book when it’s converted so wickedly as is this one in Brussels!
Good old school and lofty train stations are already such wonderful spaces, and what’s been done here is to leave most of it well enough alone, inserting independent multi-level pavilions to create offices, retail, entertainment, and more. These also create a network of streets that lead to large public gardens that just fit wonderfully under the soaring roofs. Crafted of wood, the whole thing is a welcoming space indeed.
Adaptive reuse, FSC-certified cross-laminated timber, water capture, natural ventilation, and PV panels integrated onto the grand front windows, AND an exciting space to be in… what’s there not to love about this? Great stuff.
In the mood for a little bit of train porn this evening? Then this video is perfect, a serene transfer run, starting in the lowlands and moving upwards into the mountain and snow….
And while the whole video is great, this segment here is the climax, in a wonderful mix of sun, bold clouds, icy lakes, white mountains, and snow blowing across the tracks all during a high speed run with the soothing monotony of the engine. Lovely.
As a bit of a rail fan, taking the Oslo to Bergen railway during my visit to Norway was a definite highlight. We didn’t go all the way to Bergen, shunting off at Myrdal to take the even more famous Flåm railway line, one of the steepest regular rail lines in the world, dropping 866m over about 20km in length. As you might expect, it is a visually stunning rail line, nestled in the mountains and full of gorges and rivers and waterfalls. We traveled during the late summer and it was gorgeous, and I imagined it would be absolutely stunning to also see in the snow.
And now I know! Here’s a cab-forward view of the line, taking the route from the bottom to the top, in full, 4k glory, filmed by one of the operators:
And if that’s not enough, her channel has a multitude of videos from all along the Oslo to Bergen line, in all seasons, including a continuous stream (but not live) to leave on in the background and ‘look out the window’ at every now and again, while chatting with fellow rail enthusiasts. Lovely!