One of the features of any city that has experienced the railway revolution in the 19th century was the magnificent stations that the railway companies created; these not only served the practical purposes of having somewhere to keep the trains when they arrived at their destinations, but also as a statement that spoke volumes for what they railway company wanted to say about itself. In themselves the buildings were powerful reminders of the confidence the era had in itself, and most cities in the world that went through their railway revolution during this time have such buildings dominating the surroundings.
With a few exceptions, the intervening years did not produce such memorable monuments to the pride of the times or of the change the railway revolutions brought; indeed quite the opposite was true in that the buildings few into disrepair and wasted away, or worse, they were torn down and replaced with the concrete monstrosities that the middle part of the 20th century considered to be progressive.
Now, however, there seems to be a resurgence in the pride cities take when it comes to their railway stations. The old ones are being restored to be held in the awe that they deserve, or new contemporary constructions are finding their way into the urban magnificence that seems to have rediscovered its confidence once again. One such example that springs to mind is Berlin’s new central station that finds itself in the middle of the capital to serve as a glorious statement to welcome the traveler.
Now that California is finding new love for mass, rapid transit a new generation of railway buildings are being planned, designed and created to serve the next generation of travelers. Orange County has unveiled it’s design for the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center that will serve as a hub for regional, local and high-speed systems. One hopes that this is just the start of a new and fabulous rediscovery of railway architecture that will promote a new found pride in the transportation revolution.