This week, there was a lot of buzz about the wooden benches at the Brussels-North railway station being replaced by more modern rows of seats. Lots of commuters criticized the replacement, as they had grown fond of the wooden benches over the years and saw the alternative as generic, uncomfortable and unappealing.
As a keen train traveler and former resident of Brussels, I frequently visited this station and appreciated the historical character of the benches too. Their style matched that of the train station itself. In my view, when modernizing, a railway company should take into account both heritage and the fact that people want to sit comfortably for a while, which is bound to happen when your train is delayed yet again…
What’s your view on this? Are you attached to your local train or bus station? Or should it be modernized? Share a picture of your favorite station and inspire us with the beauty or ugliness of public transport!
Agreed! The new benches look entirely uncomfortable. And their generic character just makes it easier for Brussels-North to claim the title of “Belgium’s ugliest train station” once and for all…
The benches in my local train station are quite generic too. The view, however, is something else!
PS: It’s Antwerp-Central train station for those wondering
Yes, that’s a view alright! Antwerp-Central even has been rewarded as one of the most beautiful train stations in the world
Oh, how sad. The wooden benches look lovely.
This sounds like a typical example of what I have head as “Bureaucratic Capture” where the system goes on to do what the system is tasked to do without a way to incorporate social and aesthetic inputs in the decision-making process.
In our case, our local station used to look like this:
Unfortunately it was demolished in 1972 (a legacy of wartime damage I believe) and now looks like this:
NOT an improvement, I think you’ll agree, and no nice wooden benches in sight.
I do volunteer there to water the plants however, so we try to make the best of it
@Rob_Telraam, jep that’s a downgrade… But nice that they have plants!
Silver lining to the Brussels-North story is that because of all the reactions the Traincompany is considering to stop the replacement of the remaining wooden benches. Citizen engagement for the win!