London Euston Platform

London Euston Platform

London Euston Entrance

London Euston Entrance

London Euston Platform

London Euston Platform

 

Euston was the first intercity railway station in London, opened on 20 July 1837 as the terminus of the London and Birmingham Railway (L&BR). The building was demolished in the 1960s and replaced with the present building in the international modern style. The site was chosen in the early 1830s by George and Robert Stephenson, engineers of the L&BR. The area was mostly farmland at the edge of the expanding city. The station was named after Euston Hall in Suffolk, the ancestral home of the Dukes of Grafton, the main landowners in the area. Objections by local farmers meant that, when the Act authorising construction of the line was passed in 1833, the terminus was at Chalk Farm. These objections were overcome, and in 1835 an Act authorised construction of the station, which then went ahead. The original station was built by William Cubitt. It was designed by the classically trained architect Philip Hardwick with a 200 ft (61 m)-long trainshed by structural engineer Charles Fox. It had two platforms, one for departures and one for arrivals. Also by Hardwick was a 72 ft (22 m)-high Doric propylaeum, the largest ever built, erected at the entrance as a portico, known as the Euston Arch.

 

Until 1844 trains were pulled up the incline to Camden Town by cables because the L&BR's Act of Parliament prohibited the use of locomotives in the Euston area; this is said to have been in response to concerns of local residents about noise and smoke from locomotives toiling up the incline. The station grew rapidly as traffic increased. It was greatly expanded with the opening in 1849 of the Great Hall, designed by Hardwick's son Philip Charles Hardwick in classical style. It was 126 ft (38 m) long, 61 ft (19 m) wide and 64 ft (20 m) high, with a coffered ceiling and a sweeping double flight of stairs leading to offices at its northern end. Architectural sculptor John Thomas contributed eight allegorical statues representing the cities served by the line. The station stood on Drummond Street, further back from Euston Road than the front of the modern complex; Drummond Street now terminates at the side of the station but then ran across its front. A short road called Euston Grove ran from Euston Square towards the arch. Two hotels, the Euston Hotel and the Victoria Hotel, flanked the northern half of this approach. As traffic grew, the station required further expansion. Two platforms were added in the 1870s with new service roads and entrances, and four in the 1890s, bringing the total to 15. In the early 1960s it was decided that a larger station was required. Because of the restricted layout of track and tunnels at the northern end, enlargement could be accomplished only by expanding southwards over the area occupied by the Great Hall and the Arch. Amid much public outcry, the station building and the Arch were demolished in 1961–2 and replaced by a new building.

The station has catering units and shops, a large ticket hall and an enclosed car park with over 200 spaces. The screening-off and positioning of platforms away from a spacious main concourse results in a waiting area protected from the elements, while areas in front of the intercity platforms allow passengers to queue without obstructing passenger flow in the main body of the station. Passenger flow is further aided by the positioning of the main departure indicator board to encourage passengers to gather away from platform entrances, and by a walkway under the main concourse that provides a direct link from commuter platforms 8 to 11 to the Underground station. The lack of daylight on the platforms compares unfavourably with the glazed trainshed roofs of traditional Victorian railway stations, but the use of the space above as a parcels depot released the maximum space at ground level for platforms and passenger facilities. The station has 18 platforms: platforms 8 to 11 are used for London Overground (usually platform 9) and London Midland commuter and regional services, and have automatic ticket gates. Platforms 1, 2, 14 and 15 are extra long to accommodate the 16-car Caledonian Sleeper. The station has wi-fi, payphones, cash machines, Euro cash machines, boarding ramps, escalators and toilets.

 

Connections: Circle Line (Euston Square). Hammersmith + City (Euston Square). Metropolitan Line (Euston Square). Northern Line. Victoria Line. The station area is served by London Buses routes 10, 18, 30, 59, 68, 73, 91, 168, 205, 253, 390, 476 and night routes N5, N20, N73, N91, N205 and N253.