A non-walking tour to Switzerland – railway station roofs

I often used to change trains at Birmingham New Street station. I believe there have been alterations there recently. I hope so. I can’t imagine anyone coming away from the underground 70s place that it used to be and saying, I like railway stations. Ditto Schiphol station, an underground 90s place. Ditto Bern, that we passed through on our recent Swiss tour:

station Bern train Basel-Visp 518.JPG

But in general I  like railway stations. Last week’s trip was a chance to admire quite a few. Looking over the photos I realise it is obvious what made them admirable: their glass roofs.

Why do big railway stations have such glass in the roof? Why aren’t other public buildings like this?

Thalys Gare du Midi 518.JPGBrussels, Gare du Midi

Gare du Nord Paris 518.JPGParis, Gare du Nord

roof Gare de l'Est Paris 518.JPGParis, Gare de l’Est

glass roof station Strasbourg 518.JPGStrasbourg

escalator Basel station 518.JPGBasel

roof station Chur 518 2.JPGChur

Cologne station 518.JPGCologne

Liege station train Cologne-Bxl 518 2.JPGLiege


Published by

Paul Hodson

Head of Unit "EnergyEfficiency" at European Commission, Directorate-General for Energy

3 thoughts on “A non-walking tour to Switzerland – railway station roofs”

      1. The Vienna S-Bahn, with numerous Otto Wagner stations, is uniformly admirable. The new Hauptbahnhof is also quite a cathedral of transport – not to everyone’s taste but colossally ambitious and a point of origin for trains to countless exotic destinations.
        Is there an Interrail for over 60s? There should be.


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