Antwerpen Centraal is definitely one of the most beautiful railway stations in Europe sometimes even called the railway cathedral, for the roof over its waiting hall is crowned by a dome.
Originally it was a terminus station built 1895-1905. The waiting hall building is a real architectural pearl. Still, its construction structure was severely damaged during World War II bombings. A profound refurbishment was needed in the late XX century. Glass and other roof components were replaced by lighter artificial materials to cope with the structural damage inflicted by the bombs.
Due to the increase in railway traffic, at the beginning of the XXI century, further reconstruction was needed. This time the works had been carried out on the station train yard. The station was rebuilt into a through station with tracks located at two additional underground levels connected by a newly excavated tunnel. This way the original width of the train yard was kept.
Intercity platforms are located one directly above the other. It is quite impressive, especially if you first time get out the train at the lowest level and move up on the stairs noticing trains stopping on the upper floors. Altogether the station has four levels with trains terminating at the + 1 level and going through at -1 and -2 level.
Below Antwerpen Centraal in pictures.
The waiting hall with the dome
The interior, seen from the train yard
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