Do you know what the star of the North Station facade is due to?

It's been almost half a century since trains have stopped or left Estació del Nord.

Do you know what the star of the North Station facade is due to?

It's been almost half a century since trains have stopped or left Estació del Nord. Today, buses have replaced trains at the terminus and the old railway facilities are a gymnasium, Guàrdia Urbana barracks and a park. But on the façade there is still the emblem of the old corporate identity of the private company Caminos de Hierro del Norte de España, which operated the Barcelona-Zaragoza line until 1941. That is why a five-pointed star that represents Polaris is still very present.

The station was inaugurated on May 21, 1862 and was part of the line that led to the Aragonese capital through Manresa and Lleida. Those were times when the railway was operated by private companies, in this case, the Compañía del Ferrocarril de Zaragoza a Barcelona. It was only 14 years since the implementation of the first railway in the peninsula that connected Barcelona with Mataró.

Economic difficulties forced the company to be absorbed in 1878 by the company Caminos de Hierro del Norte de España, whose emblem was a five-pointed star. It represents the North star, or Polaris. It is for this circumstance that the Estació del Nord is known as such and not for its cardinal location. The star is today visible on the façade of Calle Nàpols, included in the renovation of the terminal in 1911, in which it acquired its current monumental appearance.

The station and the rest of the line became part of the public company Renfe in 1941, when the Franco regime decided to nationalize the private railway companies. Even the name of North that identified the station was removed from the facade. The historic brand was restored in 2007 and today it shines again among the stars.

The terminal was closed in 1972, and the rail service passed to the new Arc de Triomf. As of 1985, the process of citizen recovery of the station began, within the framework of the pre-Olympic performances. Thus, the Barcelona bus station was installed in part of the old terminal. A gymnasium occupied the old platforms. It was in this sports facility where the table tennis competition took place during the 1992 Games. Urban Guard facilities and a park completed the operation.


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