Friday Night: Ten Best Railway Station bars

It’s the transience of railway bars that appeals. Everyone is passing through. So are you. The rigid hierarchies and regular sameness of the local pub are left behind. There’s a rough democracy at the railway bar. Everyone is who they are at that moment, no more, no less. You never know who you are going to meet in these brief encounters. We’ve bumped into Government Ministers, fashion designers, forensic scientists and even someone who looked like the footballer Ian Wright (it really wasn’t Ian). In theory there is nothing for the staff to do but serve drinks. Which is why we applaud it when someone contrives to make something special out of one of them, by some trick of architecture, service or location.

Greater minds than our own have long since perceived this truth. So today we’re going to point you to an excellent piece from The Guardian, but written by 10 of its readers. [1] The platforms here are world wide: Shimla, Madrid, Hull, Kyoto, Augsburg and Stalybridge, to name but a few. Try it-and see if your own station deserves a place on the list.

Our own thoughts? There’s something ineffably Victorian about railways, even if they no longer use steam. To stand amid the brick-and- wrought iron cathedrals of some northern English station (York comes to mind) on a cold misty day is somehow to be transported back in time and place to a bygone age, just over the horizon of living memory. And only one drink will suffice-an old English real ale, dark and woody as the dense furnishings all around. “the train now arriving…” bellows the tannoy. Let someone else catch it. Pause, and enjoy your reverie.

#train #railway #station bar #real ale

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