Ten Abandoned Railways That Are Well Worth Visiting

As man tends to change the environment to suit his needs, he attempts to transform entire landscapes into concrete and industrial scenery. Before we knew it, by the early twentieth century, the golden age of rail travel had arrived upon us. Many of the railroads that were built have survived due to people still following those paths, although some were abandoned because some paths were forgotten…

Michigan Central Station in Detroit

1. Michigan Central Station in Detroit

The wind tries to tell the story of this station through the broken windows, and time continues to devour the walls slowly but surely. Once a thriving epicentre, not only for the city of Detroit but for the entire Midwest, Michigan Central Station is now a perfect example of urban decay in America. The place is also known as Detroit’s abandoned train station.

Stalin’s “Railway of Bones”

2. Stalin’s “Railway of Bones”

Deep inside Northern Siberia, between Salekhard City and the town of Igarka, lies the “Railway of Bones”, a railway built as if for no purpose. The station was in ruins long before the USSR’s collapse, the main reason for this being the fact that it had no connection with any other Russian Federal Railway System. As it seems, Stalin requested this railroad to be built out of amusement, taking into consideration its short life span and the location it holds. Now the place seems haunted, and it is accessible only by helicopter.

Derelict Chemin de fer de Petite Ceinture

3. Derelict Chemin de fer de Petite Ceinture

Ever since 1934, this railroad has been in a partial state of abandonment. Despite it, the station offers a beautiful view and is the subject of much debate as of 2011. Within the city’s fortified walls, The Chemin de fer de Petite Ceinture (French for “little belt railway”) was a circular connection between Paris’ main railroad stations. Now it only seems to attract tourists and photographers; only a few details keep the remembrance of the initial structure.

Glasgow’s Subterranean Gardens Railway Station

4. Glasgow’s Subterranean Gardens Railway Station

This certain station is popular due to its charm and secrecy, as it has two silent subterranean platforms that have been hidden for more than 70 years. It opened on the 10th of August 1896 and was kept closed during both World Wars. Time has made it’s mark on this particular location and, ironically, starting September 2007 plans were put forth to redevelop the subterranean station as a bar or night club. This would mean rebuilding the station house to its original design, but no real actions have been taken.

Zurich Station, California

5. Zurich Station, California

Zurich station is located in Zurich’s ghost town, on the former Carson & Colorado narrow railroad. The name itself leads to images of a huge futuristic station in Switzerland, but this is far from the view of the real place. The station water tower itself confirms the decay of the station, as one could hardly neglect it more, now rusting in the vegetation. The town was abandoned in 1960, when the line from Tonopah, NV to Keeler, CA that was running through Zurich, was pulled out. Like most industrial towns, it had a flourishing era, only to become deserted, now rusting in the sun.

Abandoned Great Falls Electric Railroad

6. Abandoned Great Falls Electric Railroad

In famous DC’s popular George Town area, near Washington, a forgotten construction hides behind the overgrown vegetation. An old railroad emerges from its leafy hiding place. Despite its name, the railroad was not meant to reach out to Great Falls. It was never extended to that point and has now earned its less glamorous nickname, “Cabin John Trolley”.

The Station in Abkhazia, Georgia

7. The Station in Abkhazia, Georgia

This abandoned station stands along the Abkhazian Railway, being originally supposed to connect Russia’s North Caucasus Railway to Georgia. Now its round arcs and high columns are reclaimed by the elements and although it holds beauty even so, the place has an eerie feeling.

Buffalo Central Terminal, New York

8. Buffalo Central Terminal, New York

At its opening in 1929, this complex had more than 3,200 passengers per hour. Because of its imposing stature, the building seems to hold still the joy of travelling between it’s walls. It was closed in 1979 and was used for some time as an indoor market and floor hokey. It was finally forgotten in 1986; it’s a presumptuous feature still waiting to flourish once more.

Republic of Ireland: the Goggins hill Tunnel

9. Republic of Ireland: the Goggins hill Tunnel

Gogginshill Tunnel is the longest abandoned railroad in Ireland and one of the most beautiful abandoned railroads overall.

Manchester Mayfield Railway Station

10. Manchester Mayfield Railway Station

If you want to know the story behind the ruins on this once beautiful station, then you should look at the nationalization of the rails in the 1940′s. Before this year, Britain’s Victorian cities often had multiple stations that belonged to several railway companies. The nationalization and the lack of funding were the main reasons why, from this point, many of these railroads ceased to operate and therefore were, in the end, abandoned. Manchester Mayfield Railway Station, now a deserted railroad station, is one of them.

Do you know of any other abandoned railways that urban explorers would love to visit? If you do why not let us know about them in the comments below. 

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