I mused about this with regards to the ticket-free barrier to the platforms at Amsterdam’s Centraal Station, and now that I’m a regular GO train user, can appreciate that Toronto’s Union Station has a similar system.
But what’s different about Union Station is that the platforms feel very cut off from the city. They are a space apart, separated by concrete gangways, claustrophobic staircases and glass doors.
Copenhagen’s Central Station is different: wide open staircases connect the platforms directly with the street, and there’s a seamless transition from station-space to city-space.
I think the benefits here are more intangible. There’s a feeling of accessibility to a train system that presents itself so openly at street level. It injects dignity to the potentially inhumane scale of rail infrastructure.
Looking forward to investigating more of northern Europe’s rail-street connections.