Inside Central Station

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The Central Station (Centraal Station) in Amsterdam is the transportation hub of Amsterdam, the only station in the center of the old inner city. It is located on the address Stationsplein, 1012 AB Amsterdam on the South bank of the IJ River at the head of the Damrak so it insulates the city from the open water.

It is the station not only for trains, but also trams, buses and subway. It is as well the perfect point from which to catch a ferry connecting the city to Amsterdam Noord. All the top attractions and main districts of the city are within easy reach by foot. The Central Station is the point, where commuter, regional, and international trains arrive and depart. It is very big; it has to handle more than 1500 trains a day.

The building was built in 1889 according to the plan of P. J. H. Cuypers, and AL van Gendt. Because of the fact that the building is quite big, it takes 8600 wooden piles and three artificial islands to keep the building stable. The outside part of the building is made of red bricks and it is decorated with carvings, spires, and what appears to be a pair of clocks in the towers. However, one of them is chronometer; the second one is a read-out for the wind vane on top of the station. Although the style of the building has some Gothic motifs, it is considered a landmark of Dutch Neo-Renaissance style. People considered those gothic details too Catholic and the building gained the nickname the “French Convent”.

Inside the Central Station there are 15 tracks. 11 of them are along a platform, so there are four island platforms with tracks on both sides along the full length (tracks 4/5, 7/8, 10/11, 13/14), then one side platform with just one track on the full length (15) and finally one bay platform – one side platform with two tracks (1/2). So 10 of the 11 tracks along the platforms have an A and a B side (all except track 1), hence there are 21 places where a train can be positioned for getting on and off.
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