Aussie train stations rank near bottom in global survey

Despite the poor scoring, Sydney Central is about to embark on a $1bn revamp. Source: Getty

A new report that ranks some of the globe’s busiest railway stations has placed Australia’s Sydney Central almost at the bottom, while New York’s Grand Central toped the list. 

The report by design and consultancy firm Arcadis looked at 27 major transit hubs across the globe and gave them a Mobility Oriented Development (MODe) score. The report focusses on four key elements: connectivity, urban environment, social place-making and economic development. 

The report’s authors put Central in Sydney at second-last in the ranking, and said Brisbane’s Roma Street and Melbourne’s Southern Cross were also falling behind other major global terminals and there was still “a long way to go” to get them up to scratch. The best-scoring station in Australia was Sydney’s Martin Place Station, ranking at 13th place.

Vernon Daal, an urban regeneration expert from Arcadis, said the majority of Aussie transport hubs were old and not integrated into the broader community or their surroundings.

While no station ticked every box, New York’s famous Grand Central came pretty close, followed by Washington Union, Hong Kong University, Paris Gare du Nord, Rotterdam Central and London’s Kings Cross and St Pancras stations.

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The report seemed to favour those stations that included grand public spaces, such as squares in front of the building to create a sense of community – something many Australian stations don’t have. 

The metro station in Chile, called Santiago La Cisterna, was ranked at the absolute bottom of the list, behind Sydney Central Station, Sydney Chatswood Station, Los Angeles Union Station and London Euston Station. 

Despite the poor scoring, Sydney Central is about to embark on a $1bn revamp that could see it become one of the world’s best stations in the future. The upgrade, which includes new underground platforms and an underground concourse, is expected to be finished by 2022, reported. 

“The purpose of the Arcadis MODe Benchmarking Index is not to create a hierarchy of transit-hubs, but to indicate areas of opportunity,” the report said. 

What do you think? Should Australia train stations be ranked higher? 

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