The newly constructed Moynihan Train Hall, an adjunct of Penn Station, will open in a few days. The Moynihan can’t hope to challenge much less replicate the grandeur of the old Penn Station, which was demolished in ’64. But at least it’s an attempt to improve the coming-and-going atmosphere, which had degenerated into a “subterranean rat’s maze” (N.Y. Times, Michael Kimmelman, “When the Old Penn Station Was Demolished, New York Lost Its Faith“).

The Amtrak video indicates that the Moynihan lacks that sense of splendor, that scale, that aura of towering grandeur that has always characterized the great train stations of the world.

Interior of old Penn Station arounds 1910.

IMHO Grand Central Station is the only truly transporting and monumental American train hub; all the other choice ones are in Europe.

HE favorites: Milan, Gare de Lyon (love catching the 7:15 am train from Paris to Cannes) and Gare du Nord (Paris), Stazio Termini (Rome), Berlin Hauptbanhof and the stations in Prague, Munich, Zurich, Marseilles, Barcelona. Tatiana says after visiting the great Russian train stations (Kievsky in Moscow, the one in St. Petersburg) no U.S. train stations seem all that impressive.

What am I missing? Nominations for the all-time greatest train stations are requested.

Is “centrality” a word?