Gara de Nord Bucuresti (Bucharest North Railway Station) is the largest railway station in Romania.
It is also the main railway station in the capital.
The vast majority of mainline trains to and from Bucharest originate from Gara de Nord.
Owned by CFR (Romanian Railways Company) Bucharest North is the end of the line and it currently has 8 platforms and 14 tracks.
According to some estimates from 2009, North Station serves daily about 200 trains and about 10,000 people.
Their number is higher in winter and summer.
Then additional trains to the seaside and the Prahova Valley are put into circulation.
The only periods when traffic in the station is approaching 15,000 people per day are those around religious holidays.
The station is served by various tramways and bus lines as well as a subway station.
An express bus line and the hourly Henri Coanda Express trains connects Bucharest North Railway Station to Henri Coanda International Airport (Otopeni).
Domestic trains passing through Bucharest North Station reach as far as Oradea, Suceava, Galati, Mangalia, Timisoara, Craiova and Ploiesti.
International trains go to Hungary (Budapest), Bulgaria (Sofia), Republic of Moldova (Chisinau), Ukraine (Kiev), Austria (Vienna), Turkey (Istanbul), Russia (Moscow).
La Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits inaugurated Orient Express train in 1906.
Even since then they have negotiated with the Romanian government the route.
So that includes Bucharest North Railway Station as a stopping station before Constanta.
There it is done the transfer on the ship to Istanbul.
Currently, Orient Express train carries out 2 cruises per year.
The story of North Station in Bucharest begins in September 1868.
Then, the first foundation stone is placed in the presence of King Carol I of Romania on a place chosen by His Majesty.
The construction of the U-shaped structure finished in September 1872.
Then they put in service the first railway on the route Roman – Galati – Bucharest – Pitesti.
At the beginning they named it after Targoviste Road nearby (Calea Targovistei nowadays known as Calea Grivitei).
Only in 1888, the station received the current name.
Initially this station was not designed to become Bucharest’s main station.
But in time it became the most important railway hub of Bucharest and Romania.
The North Railway Station has begun to become scanty even since 1880.
Due to the visit of Emperor Franz Joseph of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, between 1895-1896 they built a new wing of the station which included a “Royal Hall”.
In 1928 the station had 6 departure tracks and 4 arrival tracks.
The North Railway Station, the building that should not have existed
North Railway Station had an impressive destiny witnessing many important historical events.
The first was the visit of Tsar Alexander II of Russia in 1877.
In 1943 Marshal Alexander Averescu held a speech in front of the crowd gathered within North Railway Station.
During the World War II, the North Station played an important part in the Romanian railway network.
And it was the main departure point for troops headed to the Eastern Front.
So the station and its surroundings were heavily bombed by the Allies in April 1944 during a campaign aimed at the Axis supply lines.
In December 1947, Bucharest North Station witnessed the return in the country of His Majesty King Michael I.
The most important railway hub in Romania remained standing not only in spite of the 1944 bombings but also of the Ceausescu’s initiative to demolish it.
The period between 1950 and 1990 saw a very high increase of rail traffic.
But since 1990 the number of passengers has decreased several times, a process that has occurred in all of Romania.
The last restoration of the building, included on the list of historical monuments, took place between 1997-1999.
Restored and modernized, Bucharest North Station could become a high-speed train station.
And a real commercial center, like shopping malls, as a point of attraction for travelers and railway operators.
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