What is it about train stations? They’re certainly a reminder of the most civilized form of mass transportation ever conceived, a place where you can travel in relative comfort, style and not somehow feel dehumanized at the same point. That’s not to say there aren’t routes or stations (especially in India) that can’t be cramped or uncomfortable, but how romantic is our notion of trains? This station was the last terminal in the legendary Orient Express. Embarking or disembarking here would be something special. Just imagine the people who trafficked through this place. I recently chose it as a location for a magazine photo shoot, where I was fortunate enough to be the subject (I’ll let you know the details when the November issue magazine hits the stands). Train stations in Istanbul like this one seem to communicate the transitional nature of this country from a dwindling empire to republic and also the cultural flow from east to west and vice-versa.
It’s somewhat sad that this piece of history through which commuters pass daily will become obsolete when the Marmaray Project is completed. Their journey will be safer, faster and more efficient, but given that a trip through here is equally about the journey and the destination, it’s worth pausing to reflect on a beauty that still draws admirers.