Railway stations are often vast structures teeming with life, which makes them all the more fascinating when they’re left abandoned and forgotten. There are multiple reasons why such places fall into dereliction, from war and natural disaster to a shortage of the resources that many towns grew up around. Here are five awesome abandoned stations which illustrate this point…
Abandoned Station in Abkhazia, Georgia
Just when you thought the former Soviet Union was a repository of gloomy concrete, bellicose statues and rundown cities, here’s one charming old railway station to mix things up a bit. This abandoned station stands along the Abkhazian Railway, a 63 mile line along the Black Sea coast, originally connecting Russia’s North Caucusus Railway with Georgia. The connection was severed in 1992 during the War in Abkhazia, in which Georgian forces clashed with Abkhaz separatists over independence of the region from Georgia. Since that time, the station has been abandoned, gradually being reclaimed by the elements. Whether the route will ever been rekindled is uncertain, but there is no shortage of controversy surrounding the region, so it would be wise not to hold your breath in the imminent future.
Zurich Station, California
When we hear the words “Zurich Station” we might be tempted to imagine a huge terminal in Switzerland, but as you’ll have doubtless gleaned from the pictures above, this is Zurich, California – an unincorporated community in Inyo County. Today, Zurich is a ghost town on the former Carson & Colorado narrow gauge railroad (later bought by the Southern Pacific). The town was finally abandoned in the 1960s, when the line from Tonopah, NV to Keeler, CA (running through Zurich) was pulled up. As we’ve seen in other ghost town articles, it’s amazing how industrial towns can literally rise and fall around railroads.
Gary Union Station, Indiana
Gary’s grand Union Station was built in 1910 in the Beaux Arts style, adopting the latest cast-in-concrete techniques. After pouring, the concrete was scored to resemble stone – and as you can see from the picture, it pulls this off impressively! What’s more, this method of construction has played a key role in ensuring the building’s structural stability after a staggering 50 years of dereliction. But while the outside looks relatively untarnished, the interior appears to tell a very different story… For more images of abandoned buildings in Gary, Indiana, click here.
Buffalo Central Terminal, New York
Buffalo Central Terminal is an imposing 17-storey art deco railway station in the city of Buffalo, NY. Opened in 1929 for the New York Central Railroad, the complex could accomodate an impressive 3,200 passengers per hour. The building finally closed to passengers in 1979 and was for some years used as an indoor market and for floor hockey games, before falling into complete abandonment by 1986. Interestingly, it is said the only thing that saved the old station from demolition was the cost of doing so – around $12 million! Happily, the building was eventually purchased by the Central Terminal Restoration Corporation for the princely sum of $1. Thanks to their dedicated effort, the station is still with us today and continues to make progress on the long road back to potential redevelopment. Perhaps not surprisingly, it also seems to be a draw for those fascinated by the paranormal!
Montzen Station, Belgium
I think we’ve found that there’s no shortage of abandoned stations out there, but finding a derelict one complete with old trains and trucks is definitely not an everyday event. According to Urbex.nl, Montzen Station was built in 1915 by Russian prisoners for the German army. By all accounts, the original station was an architectural marvel which won an award for its design. Unfortunately it was bombed during World War Two and was later rebuilt as a freight station. Much of the splendour was lost as a result of the sustained damage, and the current structure was abandoned in 1998 – seemingly with all the trains remaining where they stood when their engines were shut down for the final time.
Derelict: Manchester Mayfield Railway Station
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