Cover Image: Abandoned Train Stations

Abandoned Train Stations

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This is yet another non-fiction for the year, adding a little bit of joy to my reflection on this year in reading. I am further excited because this is not a topic I previously covered this year. I did look at train journeys around the world, but this was more satisfying.
This book is exactly as the cover, the blurb and the title claim. It is a book about abandoned train stations. Some of them were abandoned as train stations but later repurposed, some pending plans to put them to use for some reason or the other. Some of the locations were fascinating. I think it was one of the few times when I felt like a non-fiction work could have been longer. I wanted to explore more in every country since I am quite positive there would be several other stations with histories that the author had to cull to fit the rest into the book.
Each story brings a little bit of information regarding a country or culture not directly written. The way things turned out for certain locations tells a bigger story than the actual events. I am a big fan of trains, one of the things I relish about living in Europe is the ability to use trains more frequently, and this book ties up with that interest.
Even people with a mild passing interest in the trains themselves will be sure to find something to take away from this book. The trends, the architecture, finances and even complete cities becoming abandoned are all discussed here.
Not all stations receive the same number of pages, but for the most part, we do get a story to go with each.
I would recommend this to most people who read non-fiction.
I read this as an ARC, thanks to NetGalley and the publishers, but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience.
Was this review helpful?
This is another quality photo book from the publisher, this time focusing on the world of Railway, all over the globe and it is a striking experience from start to finish.

Alongside the exquisite photographs, there's also some fascinating history and information about each subject, and each scene is just frozen in time to capture perfectly the beautiful architecture, along with seeing how nature has reclaimed many of the sites. Interesting to see now how many of these sites have been turned in walks or cycle paths for people still to enjoy.

In some photos there are even some trains left in situ which just add to the atmosphere, and this is one of those books that you're happy to pick up regularly to enjoy the beauty of over and over!
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed this book; however, I would have liked it even more if the author had cut back on quantity and instead focused on maybe just a handful of stations, giving more attention to each of them. I would have liked to find out more about a lot of the places covered, so it was a bit frustrating to just get one or two pictures and a handful of words; most of the stations are quite atmospheric, and it would have been lovely to dive in a little deeper, maybe featuring photos taken at various times of the day etc.
Still, a very cool book for anyone into lost places and photography.
Was this review helpful?
The title caught me: Abandoned Train Stations

Why is there romance in the idea of abandoned railway stations? I guess it’s the idea of the stories, the dreams of times past. 
I must admit to being fascinated by old railway buildings. In their day sturdy, decorative and staunch. Who can’t help but appreciate the progress advancement they stood for. I recall a program I watched where, amongst the many gems, have been such buildings renovated with care (and sometimes heartache) but today stand proudly. I love it!
I recall travelling through Berlin and the train whizzing by those stations of the East not used. It’s a bit like the magic of the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. That sense of wonder! And the decorativeness, the architecture of stations in St. Petersburg. A touch of class for the masses. The fascination of the stories these places could tell whips out into the ether with a sense of amazement. This title feeds into those recollections.
Divided into five world regions, this book explores a multitude of abandoned buildings worldwide to do with trains, from the tiniest signal box to huge edifices, from purpose stations built like the Olympic Stadium Station in Munich, to machine repair sheds like the abandoned carriage sheds outside of Budapest. The photography invites you in, to look, “perchance to dream.”
A wonderful book for those who love all things trains.

An Amber Books ARC via NetGalley.                                              
Many thanks to the author and publisher.
(Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.)
Was this review helpful?
Photography?  Urban exploration?  Dark tourism?  And the choo-choos?  Seldom does a book pack so much in for so many diverse hobbies and interests.  This takes us around the world showing the railways gone wonky, the engine sheds shedding their tiles and glass panels, and the termini who really have been made terminal.  Everything is here from the tiny little stop in England to that overblown wedding cake in the Pyrenees, and from the ring-road-on-rails Paris one time thought it needed to halts for sulphur mines miles up in the Argentinian Andes.  So much was once invested in the world’s railway network, and on this evidence a lot of it, even fairly recent lines where China and Japan are concerned, are no longer deemed necessary.  The gleaming future we never really had meets the derelict – precision and decay, indeed.

This fits the standard Amber style, of wonderfully-sourced photographs, and someone knowledgeable about the subject to write captions for them all as pretty much the only text.  Here we get where we are, where the tracks went and what they carried until when, and if possible what’s happened since.  Is the metal still there, or are there no signs of sleepers?  Does one train a week pass, and is it becoming a hipster art and culture hub?  Spread from slack Cuban connecting routes to areas near Georgia and so on that modern politics have put paid to, this is a lovely gallery of the relevant buildings, track lines and peripheral industry such as sheds and turnstiles.  I don’t engage in trainspotting, railway history or urban exploration, but I found this a very satisfying read.  To those who do indulge in any relevant hobby, or just think they might want to, this will be essential.
Was this review helpful?
I am grateful to NetGalley for providing an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

This engaging book, subtitled “Rail Stations, Yards, Signal Boxes and Track that the World Left Behind”  is for anyone with an interest in Railways and in particular, abandoned buildings. The author correctly states , “It provides a reminder of a hundred years or so when railways dominated inland travel”. 

The genre of photographs of abandoned places is a popular topic in books as well as social media and other places on the internet. Many of these places have wonderful, high-resolution photographs of grand and spectacular places, albeit now deserted, usually decayed, unloved and with apparently little chance of another life. Railway stations and buildings however are often more functional in design, often following established standards and therefore are seldom spectacular or grand. A particular interest in Railways, and the history of the industry,  is probably needed for the reader of this book.

The book begins with a general introduction,  describing the decline of railway systems in many places frequently due to the same reasons. Often the cause is urbanisation of populations, the decline of certain industries such as mining in certain areas and of course the advent of other means of transport such as road and air travel.  Post-Colonial political turmoil, warfare and regional conflict also has played a part, particularly in Africa and the Middle East. 

The main part of the book comprises some 200 colour photos of abandoned railway buildings and related infrastructure. The book is global in its approach, divided into geographic areas: Europe, Africa & the Middle East, Asia & the Pacific, North America and South America. Each photograph has a brief description or extended caption, discussing the subject of the photo. Usually this will cover when and why it was built, something of its history and it current status or plans.

The descriptions are interesting, but often left me wanting more. Sometime a longer, more detailed discussion might have been better, possibly with fewer or smaller photographs. The photographs, functional but not spectacular, generally are from public and commercial sources. Sadly many of the buildings are damaged, decayed and all too often graffitied. At least in Europe and North America !

The most enjoyable photographs are those of grand, once opulent buildings such as those in former Soviet Union countries and in large American cities such as Detroit. Although it must be noted, not all large cities.  Sadly a grand railway building in Gary, Indiana was sold a few years ago for $10 and remains undeveloped. At least it wasn’t demolished ! Although I suspect that may be the fate of many of these vacant city buildings. 

The larger railway building often have interesting historical or architectural designs and decorative features. Although most are exterior photographs, I also enjoyed some of the smaller scale interiors ones, capturing almost a snapshot in time, with clocks and other railway office furniture still remaining.  Sadly, decay, vandalism and the progress of time has left most of these buildings as scared, empty shells. 

Nevertheless, there is also optimism as the author mentions preservation and restoration of some places. Too often these are merely plans, awaiting funding or the right public/private support. But there are also some fine example of buildings being reused as cafes, museums and other public or community spaces. Some have even been incorporated into newer buildings of regenerated railway systems. Indeed, South America seems to be going somewhat again the trend, with reuse and expansion of existing railway systems and infrastructure. 

This book fulfils a specialised interest; Railways and Abandoned Buildings. Many are remote and nearly impossible to visit, so photographs are a good substitute to travel. In fact photographs may be the only visual record of these places as many decline further with time or are demolished. I enjoyed the authors well informed descriptions and in some instances followed up with an internet search for further information. 

In summary, an engaging book, with brief, though informative text, providing context and background to the photographs. As the author states “…an intriguing glimpse into a past era”.  I agree with him. I wish the author and publishers all the very best with this book.
Was this review helpful?
Abandoned Train Stations is a beautiful coffee table book documenting, you guessed it, abandoned train stations, from each corner of the globe. The photography was stunning and the architecture was so varied. I typically love looking through pictures of abandoned settings in order to look back in history and this was no exception. The only thing that I enjoyed a little less about these than pictures of abandoned homes or schools as there were not many artifacts abandoned. leaving less of a human feel to the pictures. However, the photography is stunning and the ability to see so many examples of architectural styles from around the world can't be beaten.
Was this review helpful?
Abandoned Train Stations is a coffee table book, filled with fascinating photographs of train stations from all over the world that are no longer in use. Some have just been left as is, to be decrepit or to stand the test of time Others have found new uses for other purposes like hotels or parks. This book will greatly interest those who love old places with stories both told and untold. Stations range from simple buildings along long stretches of track to major edifices with grand fittings and spaces. There are bits of text among the pages, giving details of the dates when stations were in use but the stories are mostly told by the images. 

A lovely book that I rate four stars. Thank you to Netgalley and Amber Books for providing an advanced reader copy for free.  I provided this review voluntarily.
Was this review helpful?
The title leaves no room for ambiguity: “Abandoned Train Stations” by David Ross is exactly what it claims to be – a book which explores abandoned train stations, sidings, tracks from around the world.  Train travel was much more extensive in the past, and the building of a station serviced by a trainline could make or break a town and was often seen as a sign of prosperity and advancement.

However, train travel has had its day in the sun, and many of these places and lines are no longer viable.  It is often much easier to abandon a place than to have to address the issue, and luckily for us Mr. Ross has captured these relics in their magnificent decay.  These fantastic photos are sorted by continent, starting in Europe and continuing around the world.  Many of these are local stations in small communities, others are grand palaces in the middle of cities that have been set aside for some (economic mostly) reason or another.  Some are being repurposed, others are being torn down, but the majority seem to be ignored. It’s interesting to see that train stations from around the world do have common traits – the American west stations and Africa stations have a similar desolation, while South American stations capture some of the grandeur of old Europe.

For those of us who enjoy pictures of abandoned places, this is a book to enjoy and appreciate.  Thanks to Mr. Ross for sharing these stories.

I requested and received a free advanced electronic copy from Amber Books Ltd, Amber Books via NetGalley. Thank you!
Was this review helpful?
Another great photobook about urban archeology, the train stations in this case.
I loved the picture and some of them made me feel sad as they represent something that was alive and it's now abondoned.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
Was this review helpful?
An absolutely gorgeous book that begs to be absorbed slowly and thoughtfully. I can't even imagine how long it took the photographer to gather all these images from literally all over the world...and it's beautiful to see both the similarities and differences of the stations from country to country and region to region. Each photograph has a small but detailed caption providing fascinating specifics on that particular location. Again and again, I found myself drawn deeper into the photo based on the information the caption provided (which isn't always the case - often in photography books, the captions are sparse and feel like an afterthought).

There's an undeniable melancholy through the whole book at seeing these buildings that have been abandoned, the railways no longer in use. But there's also a beauty to how these locations still evoke the bygone era of rail travel, when business was booming and travelers were passing through these stations every day.

I knew I would enjoy this book based on the description, but I had no idea that I would love it as much as I did. Highly recommended.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this digital copy in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Fascinating book, great for enthusiasts and anyone wanting look in to history.
Well written worth reading
Was this review helpful?
I find abandoned places intriguing, so this book was perfect for me. Divided into continents, it presents a wide range of abandoned station buildings and station features. Although many are desolate, overgrown with weeds, and perhaps haunted, there are some extremely attractive buildings and some of the stations are set in stunning surroundings, especially in Europe, New Zealand and Canada. Some are quite surprising, such as one in the style of a French chateau in China, and one owned by an Indian prince. They are all worth seeing. Some are still extremely grand, such as the huge Art Nouveau Canfranc built by fascists in Spain in 1928 and the centre of several intrigues and spy dramas during World War Two. This is going to be converted into a grand hotel

I received this free ebook from NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I received an ARC of, Abandoned Train Stations, by David Ross.  I have always had  a fascination with abandoned things, places mostly. Buildings, towns, and train stations.  I really enjoyed this book of, abandoned train stations around the world. I love to see the history behind things left behind, to hear its stories.
Was this review helpful?
Some people dismiss these sorts of books as "ruin porn", but I don't care because when they are done well they can be deeply satisfying and evocative. This book is done well. Fine quality prints. Many double page spreads and splashes, excellent and informative captions, and a truly global selection. This is dreamy and romantic stuff, and so many of the scenes are both beautiful and heartbreaking.
Was this review helpful?
This is really amazing, I loved this
I'm very interesting in abandoned building and places, but this is first time seeing picture of Abandoned Train stations, it's was really great, I loved this and I wish book will be available in my country soon because I really want this
Was this review helpful?
This was a beautiful and atmospheric book.I really enjoyed the journey through these train stations and the stories that they told.
Was this review helpful?
Abandoned Train Stations by David Ross is a wonderful book of images published by Amber Books. David Ross has curated images from around the world into a very attractive book.

I would recommend this book to an audience of photographers, those with an interest in railways, or both.

The images themselves are haunting and have an air of sadness about them of a bygone era. One doesn’t need to be a railway enthusiast to enjoy looking through the book. There is enough variety in style and substance as one looks though the book to keep the reader interested. The eARC provided does suffer a little from the fact that 2 page spreads cannot be seen at one view. I wouldn’t recommend purchase of the digital version of this fora that reason. Then this is a book to be perused at leisure - e-books don’t have that feel.

The book and its images are arranged by continents. Each image has an accompanying brief description of the of the location illustrated. The book is definitely going to be a great addition to any library.

I enjoy this kind of book as it gives me inspiration for my own photo projects.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley
Was this review helpful?
At one time train travel was far more common (though I wonder if we will see more of a return with climate change). As a result of various different changes many train stations have become abandoned. This book documents them through photographs taking on a reader through North and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa. I thoroughly enjoyed looking through it!

The book provides information about each train station pictured and often about when and why it was abandoned from disasters, new stations being built, lines discontinued and in one case a station becoming haunting leading to disuse! What really makes the book though is the amazing photographs. I’ve never thought too much about train stations before (though I am a fan of abandoned places) so it was fascinating to take some time and look at the architecture. Some stations are made for purpose and nothing more whereas others have clearly had great care taken in making them picturesque and ornate. Some in the middle of nowhere likely formed the only major connection to other places while others sit slowly decaying in bustling urban areas. I was surprised how some stations had been empty hardly any time and yet had fallen into disrepair very quickly while others closed much longer looked like anyone could walk in and open it up for business at any time. A strange thought to know that in each station one day it opened and closed for a last time and from some of the personal items, pictures and trains themselves left you wonder how much notice was ever given.

A wonderful book perfect for sitting on a coffee table to dip in and out of!

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
For the urban explorer that hides in all of us. The ghostly train stations, abandoned to the dust, provide an inspirational setting. This book truly highlights the haunting beauty of abandoned things.
Was this review helpful?