Featured Image Source: HoneyGaLe, Under Creative Commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gare_Antsirabe_2_2012.jpg
The rail system in Madagascar was predominately built by the French colonists in the early 20th century. The meter gauge system is built up of four main railways, the TCE between Antananarivo and Toamasina, the MLA between Moramanga and Ambatondrazaka, the TA between Tananarive and Antisirabe and the FCE between Fianarantsoa and Manakara. During this time the French built some exceptional train stations in a variety of styles, sizes and forms.
Soarano Station, Antananarivo
Soarano Station located in the capital city of Antananarivo is a masterpiece of classic colonialistic architecture.
The building is beautiful in its symmetry and simplicity. A central arch with clock and tower form the main entrance. The building has three smaller glass doorway arches on each side. The building ends at each end with a small square corner form. The movement from curved forms to a much more French romantic end building is an interesting choice but works very well in this small building. The scale and tangibility of this building is really what makes it special. Currently, the station has been renovated into an upper-class restaurant.
Fianarantsoa Station, Fianarantsoa
Built in the highlands of Madagascar’s hinterland it is built in a fitting style. A large tiled roof with a large overhang to give shelter in the long wet rainy season. It yellowish exterior and natural stone first floor let it blend in with the dirt and the dust of the city. It looks more like a mansion than a station but beautiful it is. The line made it to Fianarantsoa on the 1st of April 1936, there was some discussion to electrify the line but sadly this never happened.
Antsirabe station, Antsirabe
A building out of this world. Its bright red accents and spotless white walls really make this building incredible. The building reminds one more of an early 20th-century zoo than a grand station but it is beautiful never the less. It is a building of grandeur and elegance with an almost Arabic feel to it. It is a sight to behold. The building was finished in 1923, around the same time as many other large landmarks in the city.