Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director-General, in the Foreword of the new UIC Publication “Railway Stations: Adapting to Future Society” released for “NEXT STATION”, the International Conference on Railway stations held in October 2013 in Moscow, says:
Stations emerged alongside railways, as the staging-posts of this new industrial era.
They increased in number as railways developed into networks that could, in turn, only develop alongside stations.
From the outset, stations have been essential to the departure, the passage and the arrival of trains, and to the ebb and flow of all the travellers they carry. A railway network can be seen as lines irrigating a geographical area in the same way as a network of arteries nourish and keep alive a body and living being. Stations are the nodes and beating hearts of this network, and sustain it by injecting and managing the movements of all the travellers which are its lifeblood and raison d’être. Stations are places of life and emotion: goodbyes as people depart for far-off destinations, on holiday or to war; of reunions, shared moments and daily commutes between home and work; and of children’s everlasting admiration for the beautiful steam engines or high speed trains which whisk them away.
Stations are centres of transit, a “breather” between the city, its surroundings and other cities and places further away.
Stations have gradually become organised, transformed and developed to host all those passing through– whether travellers or not – and to offer board, lodging, or other everyday services. And since we must always go via somewhere in order to go anywhere, stations have become an interface between all the various modes of mobility – trains, metro, buses, cars and bicycles. They have thus become mediators and organisers of daily mobility.
The brochure contains a variety of content, notably significant work undertaken by the UIC Passenger Department in consultation with the Station Managers Global Group (SMGG).
The work focuses on large station renovation projects around the world through various examples illustrating this phenomenon. In the visual representations you will see the changing relationships between station stakeholders.
As well as a depiction of how the concept of a “station” has changed over time and the interaction between stations and their urban environment, two slides explain complex phenomena which vary according to the context and reality of each country and even each station, all focusing on a complex web of stakeholders and spatial interaction between stations and cities. This moves from the most simplistic vision of an “introverted” station and builds up to a complex model showing all the scenarios of change in station governance, taking into account the degree to which stations are open to the surrounding city, as illustrated by a model of an “open” station.
Let us not forget a brief history of how the concept of “a station” developed between the 19th and 20th centuries, documenting how stations grew from modest buildings – in some cases – to symbols of architectural achievement, a snapshot of railway stations around the world; and finally a bibliography.
The publication can be obtained on request from: firstname.lastname@example.org