Gare de Saint Léon is one of the eight major termini of Port de Courouis, and is the largest train station in the country to date. Colloquially referred as Saint Leon Central by the citizens of Port de Courouis, the veritable Gare de Saint Léon serves hundreds of intercity, commuter, and international trains on 25 platforms, both underground and above-ground.
The grand station was an ambitious project by railroad tycoon, Lionel Casseaux to serve as a terminus for his train company, the Compagnie de Isperie Ferroviaire et des Grands Express des Transcontinentale, or more commonly known as Étoile Ferroviaire, which operated long distance cross-country express trains to the corners of Isperia and beyond. The station was also built to bring the terminus, which was previously located at the Gare Chevalier located in the southern district of the city, closer to the city center.
To build their new station, Étoile Ferroviaire bought the old Gare Prouvaire which had burnt down in 1883 (and had since been abandoned) and also the surrounding buildings, with an area that is almost three city blocks in total. Located between the capital's finance and entertainment districts, the site was most strategic, and would prove to be very beneficial for the new station.
Demolition work began in 1909, clearing the entire area of the old train tracks and buildings. Construction work soon followed soon after excavation was completed in 1910, first by building new connections from the city’s existing subway network and train tracks to connect with the new station.
Construction was completed in December 1915, and the Gare de Saint Léon was revealed to the public’s eye at last. Built in neoclassical style, the Gare de Saint Léon is grandest and largest train station in Isperia to date, serving in total of 35 platforms (25 above ground, and 10 below ground).
The Gare de Saint Léon possessed both monumental spaces and intricately crafted detail especially on its facades. The North Facade, which served as the main entrance, was the most artistically constructed facade of the station. With its tall, columned portico, the North Facade sported tall glass stained windows which are crowned with a monumental arched window. Marble statues of important figures and ancient deities, together with an intricate clock piece crowned the entire facade.
Walking through the portico of the North Facade, visitors would descend into the Main Concourse through a large sweeping marble staircase, decorated with a large, 33ft (10m) tall marble statue of the ancient Isperian deity of travel and commerce stood watch on top of a gilded dais.
The Main Concourse is the largest hall built in the station. At 328 ft (100 m) long by 133 ft (40 m) wide by 137 ft (42 m) high, the concourse is the center of activity in the station, decorated with intricate marble and granite work, with a number of huge, stained glass windows letting in natural light into the hall, and topped with a massive coffered and vaulted ceiling made of concrete, plated with gold leaf. The vast, polished marble floor ran uninterrupted through the length of the concourse, circling around the Information Center which sat directly on the center of the hall. Ticketing booths are located on the longitudinal sides of the concourse, serving at least twenty train routes within and beyond Isperia.
The second level of the Main Concourse served as lounges and galleries. The centerpiece of the area is a finely appointed lounge and restaurant called the Le Grand Salon de Saint Léon. The Grand Salon is specially reserved for passengers traveling on any international luxury trains.
Located to the left of the Main Concourse is the East Concourse, which served as a secondary entry point from the eastern facade. Measuring 279 ft (85m) by long by 85ft (26m) wide by 50ft (15m) high, the East Concourse, also functioned as a waiting hall for passengers. Ticketing booths and entryway for the city’s subway transport system are also located in the Eastern Concourse.
Originally built as an extension of the Main Concourse in the 1920s, the West Concourse was quickly regarded to be its own area. The West Concourse was built to accommodate additional train tracks especially when the Gare de Saint Léon connected its lines to the Grand Port Maritime du Courois. It also serves as an annex to the nearby high end hotels and shopping centres, such as the Hotel Grand Sommet, the Savoy Continental, and the Arcade du Solaire—the first indoor shopping arcade in Isperia.
Gare de Saint Léon’s interior also housed restaurants and shops. Located directly beneath the North Concourse was the Dining Concourse. The Dining Concourse is surrounded by dozens of fine restaurants, bars, cafes, delis, bakeries, and newsstands, as well as more than 30 retail stores. The Dining Concourse was later expanded to connect with the Metro Concourse to accommodate the ever growing number of passengers.
Train platforms are accessible through a second set of marble staircase located south of the Main and West Concourse. Brass plated wrought iron checkpoint separated the concourses from the platforms. All 25 train platforms themselves are located sheltered from the weather by two, humongous glass and steel vaulted dome supported by a series of steel pillars covered in decorative paneling. Three large four-faced clocks were hung from the centre vaulted ceiling, illuminated with electric lights from within decorated the platform hall, while elevated concrete and stone walkways provide connections between the platforms.
The Gare de Saint Léon quickly became the busiest train station in the city since its grand opening by King Théophile I in April 23rd 1916, hosting about 4,000 to 6,000 people on a weekly basis, including famous dignitaries, celebrities, and government officials alike. Construction of Gare de Saint Léon inspired the construction for other major stations throughout Isperia, such as the Gare de l'Aquilon in Nouveseille city and the Gare Central de Lucière in Lucière city.
As well as quickly growing to be the main railway station of the country, Gare de Saint Léon has also also the hub for famous international trains including the Express du Soleil which leaves for the sunny Isperian Riviera, and the Étoile Express—the flagship luxury express train of Étoile Ferroviaire which brought passengers across the continent to exotic countries beyond.