Train stations can often be drab and colorless. This is especially true when it comes to underground stops where sunlight never pokes through. But, that doesn’t always have to be the case. Here are some interesting train stops that went the extra mile to stand out from the others to give commuters an experience that’ll keep them coming back.


Shibuya Station | Tokyo, Japan

Shibuya Station serves over 2 million people a day. Thus, making it one of Japan’s busiest stations and the main station that connects the center of Tokyo to its suburbs. When the architects were designing the station, they wanted the commuter’s experience to be pleasant. It was important to entice people to use the system. Passengers make their way underground through a flying saucer like opening which also serves to cut energy costs in the station.



Drassanes Station | Barcelona, Spain

When it came to expand the small Drassanes Station, the designers had certain limitations. The designers decided that since the train cars and platforms are the same height, they should have a continuous design. So, they covered the old surfaces with materials that are found on all the subway trains that run through the station.



Estacion de Atocha | Madrid, Spain

The Estacion de Atocha is the largest railway station in Madrid. Commuters can catch any sort of train: high-speed, regional and commuter. The station was rebuilt by the same designer of the Eiffel Tower after the fire in 1892. There is a 4000-square-meter jungle in the middle of the station with over 500 species of animals and plants.


(flickr/Ian YVR)

St. Quirin Platz | Munich, Germany

The dark and dreary aspects of a subway are exactly what the architects of the St. Quiring Platz wanted to avoid when designing it. So, they made a completely glass-made shell to let in natural light to every part of the station. Thus, giving riders a better experience. This also allows the station to be integrated into a park.


(flickr/Tony Webster)

T-Centralen Station | Stockholm, Sweden

The T-Centralen is the only station where all of Stockholm Metro’s lines meet. It sees 220,000 people a day, which makes it the busiest stop in the system. The walls of the station host some impressive murals. These paintings are not the only impressive things in the station. T-Centralen’s design uses the original cavern walls of the city’s rocky core.



Expo Station | Singapore

Norman Foster designed this station to serve the Singapore Expo Center. The UFO on top of the building seems odd, but it serves a function as well. The disc-shaped roof reflects the sun’s rays away from the station to naturally lower the temperature in the station. The roof also reflects natural daylight and car headlights into the station to act as lighting for the building.



Lyon Airport Station | Lyon Satolas, France

The main attraction of the Lyon Airport Station is the large structure on the exterior. It was designed to emulate a bird in flight with concrete balconies that jut out of the second floor. The purpose of the structure is to show transit architecture can be innovative and daring to express the technology of the time.


(flickr/Mark Fischer)

Washington DC Metro | Washington DC

The Washington DC Metro is the third busiest rapid transit system in the United States with five lines and 86 stations. President Lyndon Carter wanted DC stations to be noteworthy and able to stand alone from other architecturally impressive stations. Most stops on the DC Metro have a column-free interior and distinctive geometric design.



Olaias Station | Lisbon, Portugal

This station was built for Expo ’98 and designed by Tomas Taveira and a team of Portuguese artists. Olaias Station’s interior boasts a contemporary art design like many other stations in Portugal. The coloring and beautifully designed tiles lets the station stand as a work of art on its own.



Formosa Boulevard | Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Approximately 120,000 passengers pass through the Formosa Boulevard transfer station a day. The entrances were designed by Japanese architect Shin Takamatsu. The shell-shaped glass covering are said to symbolize praying hands. The interior of the station becomes more vibrant with its famous Dome of Light. Artist Narcissus Quagliata designed this largest one-piece stained glass work in the world.


Josh is a freelance writer based in Nashville, Tennessee.

1 comment

  1. Who is President Lyndon Carter , who was such an influence on the Washinton DC station?. Was he before or after President Gerald Chevrolet?

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