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ICE at Liège-Guillemins (La gare de Liège-Guillemins (2) )
Image by Darkroom Daze
German (Deutsche Bahn) high speed international express (ICE) running between Belgium and Germany on the Brussels Midi – Frankfurt (Main) Hbf service, stopping at the new Liège-Guillemins (Wallonia, Belgium) station in the Frankfurt direction.
(Best on black. Click on the photo.)
We were in Liège for a conference and were able to spend an hour or so wandering around this astonishing new station station just before we took our own train to Brussels, to go home. It’s worth a visit to Liège in its own right. The architecture is best appreciated in the photos on the architect’s own website (see below). Even on Google Satellite it appears as a large space-age blister.
We used this image for our printed Christmas Card this year (December 2011) and I didn’t remember that Jill was in this picture (on the upper concourse just above the train – in note box) until our niece Charlotte spotted her on the card.
This is one of Europe’s newest and most spectacular larger railway stations. It was designed by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, and opened in 2009, to replace an older one, and to incorporate track alterations to accommodate international high speed train services. This view is looking more or less N on the E side of the station, towards the central main structure. The architectural contrast with the traditional (19th century?) street, glimpsed in the distance through the side of the station, couldn’t be greater. Having passed through Liège on quite a few occasions over the years, I’ve watched the old station gradually being replaced by this new structure. Strangely perhaps, in some views (though not this one), this station somehow also reminds me of Piranesi’s surreal engravings in his Baroque Carceri (‘Prisons’), in its visions of vaulted spaces ever receding beyond vaulted spaces. Was Piranesi an influence on Calatrava’s design?
According to the Eurail website, "With a maximum speed of 300 km/h (186 mph) these high-speed trains connect major German cities at hourly intervals. International ICE trains connect Germany with Austria (Wien, Innsbruck), Belgium (Brussels, Liège), Denmark (Copenhagen, Arhus), France (Paris), the Netherlands (Arnhem, Utrecht, Amsterdam) and Switzerland (Zürich, Interlaken)." Although the trains are a German service and brand, ICE stands for ‘Inter-City Express’ in English. This set (Tz 4607) bears the city name ‘Hannover’ and is a third generation ICE (Series/Baureihe ICE 3M). This is the 11:14 departure for Frankfurt.
© Darkroom Daze Creative Commons.
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