09 December 2008

All Aboard

I've always liked train stations - yes, I know it's sad and pathetic, but it's true. Growing up in Belfast, where the railway network was minimal and the main railway station had a total of four platform, the idea of a grand railway station with trains heading off and arriving from all manner of exotic destinations was fascinating.

Here in Munich the main railway station is not exactly grand in an architectural sense - the main section was built in the 1960's and is as uninspiring as most of the architecture from that era, though there are plans for redevelopment - but it ticks all the other boxes. Trains arrive and depart here from all over Germany and all over Europe. I find it fascinating to walk along the station concourse and read the signs on each platform indicating the destinations of the waiting trains - Prague, Copenhagen, Venice, Paris. Local trains line up alongside the ICE high speed trains of DB, heading for Hamburg or Berlin and the TGV's of SNCF heading for Paris.

In stark contrast to the contemorary misery of air travel, railway stations are relaxed places: no long queues; no petty-minded security staff; no removing my shoes or pulling out my laptop; and no-one challenging me because I'm wandering around the place taking photographs. This is definitely the way to travel.

ICE990, the 20.39 for Hamburg via Frankfurt, about to depart

IC 86, the 20.28 from Venice via Verona, arriving


IsarSteve said...

Interesting posting with great photos, which reminded me of the ten years that I lived in Munich.

I also spent many hours on the station, watching the trains come and go and when I'm in Munich, I always spend some time there.

I hope you don't mind me adding this link to a posting of mine:


olli said...

Hi. Glad you liked the pictures. Feel free to link away and thanks for the link on your blogroll.

I've been here six months so I'm not sure why I hadn't come across your blog earlier. I'm enjoying working back through your posts - a lot of great pictures.

siying said...

Hi ! I too love trains. I have taken down the lovely train stations that you have taken photos of and I am going to those stations to take photos. I am from Singapore and we dont really have trains (other than the really old tracks to Malaysia) and Metro (but its of not much character to speak of)

olli said...

Glad you liked them Siying. I'm from Ireland and we don't have much of a train network either.

Munich is great. The main station itself is quite ugly but the trains and the activity in the station is always fascinating.

siying said...

Hi Olli,

Thanks for your reply. I saw your directions to the Church and appreciate that.

Yap because I love trains so I will be taking the train to Garmisch-Partenkirchen for 1 day :)

siying said...

I have never been to Ireland though :) but I have been reading up and found much information on your blog :)