Tag Archives: railway stations

Porto’s Magnificent Sao Bento Station—Five Photos!

In my Railway Guide to Guide to Europe, I featured Porto’s Sao Bento Station.

On my recent visit to Porto with fellow photographer Denis McCabe, I took the opportunity to re-photograph this stunning railway terminal. I’ve included a few of these views below.

Here’s an excerpt from my text on Sao Bento Station:

Sao Bento  . . . was designed by architect Marques da Silva and constructed in the early 20th century.  . . .Portuguese stations are known for their elaborate blue painted-tile decorations but none is more elaborate than Sao Bento. Inside the main hall allegorical tile murals by Jorge Colaço depict the history of transportation and events in Portuguese history.

From Brian Solomon’s Railway Guide to Europe ©2018

Brian Solomon’s Railway Guide to Europe is available from Kalmbach Hobby Store click below for the link:


Lumix LX7 photo.

Lumix LX7 photo.

Lumix LX7 photo.

Lumix LX7 photo.

Tracking the Light Posts Every Day!

Roma Termini—September 2017

Rome’s largest station is a vast stub end terminal aptly named ‘Roma Termini’. In addition to nearly 30 platforms, this features a huge shopping mall that is integrated with the terminal facilities.

Rome’s metro lines cross here and there’s a surface tram terminus on the west side of the station.

in late September 2017, I exposed all but one of these photos using my Lumix LX7.

My aim was to capture the bustle and atmosphere of this enormous transport node. At peak times 30 trains an hour depart the station.

Roma Termini is one of more than a dozen major railway stations featured in my upcoming book on European Railway travel.

One hour’s worth of arrivals and departures.

Close up of an FS electric exposed with my FujiFilm XT1.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily.

Bruxelles Central/Brussel Centraal (Brussels Central Station)

Brussels Central Station features six tracks below ground, with an art deco styled station building above ground.

It lies between Brussels two main termini; Nord/Noord (North) and Midi/Zuid (South).

The incongruity in names and spellings is a function of Belgium’s two primary languages (French and Flemish) combined with the tendency of the English language to rename places without consideration for local spelling or pronunciation.

During my most recent visit to Belgium I made a couple of visits to Belgium’s main stations. While not strictly photographic ventures, I always plan to make photographs during the course of my travels.

Opportunity taken on site can save a lot of running around later on.

If you are interested in railway stations consider my book: Railway Depots, Stations and Terminals published by Voyageur Press.

SNCB is a very busy railway and Brussels Central handles a tide of trains at rushour.

This sign represents the Flemish spelling for the station.

Photos exposed using my Panasonic Lumix LX7.

Tracking the Light posts Daily.

Brian’s Belgian Rail Marathon—August 2013.


Making Use of an SNCB ‘Railpass’ Ticket.

Does Belgium offer one western Europe’s best-kept secret railway experiences?

Belgian passenger train
Interior of the upper level on a double-deck SNCB train. Exposed with my Lumix LX3.

Railway station.
SNCB station entrance at Ottignies, Belgium in August 2013. Lumix LX3 photo.

In 1835, Belgium was first on the Continent to adopt the steam railway. It subsequently developed one of the densest railway networks in Europe. Today, (Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Belges—Belgian National Railways) operates one of the best national networks.

Although, often overlooked in favor of more scenic countries, Belgium is a great place to ride trains. I’ll be honest, while I’d made a few trips to Belgium in the 1990s, in recent years I’d generally ignored it in favor of other places. Recently, I’ve been stunned to find what a pleasant place it is to ride trains.

The railway is well integrated with other modes. Services run frequently on regular intervals across the network. On most routes there’s a good mix of local and express trains. The equipment is varied and generally comfortable, and the staff are very professional, courteous, helpful, and smartly dressed.

On the downside, I found that some stations, especially un-staffed smaller ones, were neglected and in a poor state and this tended to detract from the overall experience. By contrast, other stations were in very nice shape.

I’ve made two trips to Belgium this year. Last week (August 2013), I made good use of a 10-ride ‘Railpass’ ticket that I purchased for 76 Euro back in March.

This is an open-ended ticket where you write in your starting station and destination with date of travel for each journey. From my experience its an excellent value, and especially valuable for wandering.

My goal was to make a circular trip to explore potential photographic locations while traveling lines I’d not previously experienced.

SNCB class 18 electric.
Platform level view of an SNCB class 18 electric at Ottignies, Belgium. Lumix LX3 photo.

Beginning in a southern Brussels suburb, I rode south via Ottignies (see yesterday’s post) and Namur to Marloie, and then eastward over a scenic secondary line to a small station called Esneux, where I spent an hour making photos.

From Esneux, I rode northward to Leige, where I found a stunning surprise . . .

(To be continued . . .)

SNCB electric passenger train.
My train to Esneux arriving at Marloie, a small station in southern Belgium. I appear to be on the wrong platform! (Its a good thing SNCB makes prolonged station stops). LX3 photo.

Train interior.
SNCB electric multiple unit interior. Large windows and spacious comfortable seat compensate for a basic functional design. Lumix LX3 photo.


Railway station in Belgium.
SNCB station at Esneux, Belgium, August 2013. Lumix LX3 photo.


SNCB station at Esneux, Belgium, August 2013. Lumix LX3 photo.
SNCB station at Esneux, Belgium, August 2013. Lumix LX3 photo.


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