St Pancras railway station: Wikis


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St Pancras
St Pancras International
Midland Hotel above the station buildings
St Pancras is located in Central London
St Pancras

Location of St Pancras in Central London
Location St Pancras
Local authority London Borough of Camden
Managed by Network Rail[1]
Eurostar (UK) Ltd.[2]
Owner London and Continental Railways[3]
Station code STP, SPX
Platforms in use 15
Accessible Handicapped/disabled access [4]
Fare zone 1

National Rail annual entry and exit
2004/5 5.472 million[5]
2005/6 4.893 million[5]
2006/7 5.777 million[5]
2007/8 6.624 million[5]

1 October 1868 Opened as terminus for Midland
15 July 2006 New domestic (Midland) platforms opened
6 November 2007 Relaunched by HM The Queen
14 November 2007 Eurostar services transferred from Waterloo
9 December 2007 Low-level Thameslink platforms opened
29 June 2009 Southeastern High speed domestic platforms open for preview services
13 December 2009 Southeastern High speed domestic services commence

List of stations Underground · National Rail
External links DeparturesLayout

Coordinates: 51°31′48″N 0°07′30″W / 51.530°N 0.125°W / 51.530; -0.125

St Pancras railway station (since 2007[6] also known as St Pancras International[7][8]) is a central London railway terminus situated in the United Kingdom that is celebrated for its Victorian architecture. The Grade I listed building stands on Euston Road in St Pancras, London, between the British Library, King's Cross station and the Regent's Canal. It was opened in 1868 by the Midland Railway as the southern terminus of that company's Midland Main Line, arriving from the East Midlands and Yorkshire. At the time of opening, the arched Barlow train shed was the largest single-span roof in the world.

After avoiding demolition in the 1960s, the complex was renovated and expanded during the 2000s at a cost of £800 million with a ceremony attended by the Queen and extensive publicity introducing it as a public space. A security-sealed terminal area was constructed for Eurostar services to Continental Europe—via High Speed 1 and the Channel Tunnel—along with provisions made for domestic connections to the north and south of England. The restored station houses fifteen platforms, a shopping mall and bus station, in addition to London Underground services from King's Cross St Pancras tube station. St Pancras is owned by London and Continental Railways along with the adjacent urban regeneration area known as King's Cross Central.



The station is the terminus of East Midlands Trains for services from London to the cities of Derby, Leicester, Nottingham, Sheffield, and smaller towns in between.[9] The station provides direct passenger interconnection with Eurostar’s high-speed services to Paris, Brussels and Lille, [10]and First Capital Connect trains on the cross-London Thameslink route, which stop at platforms beneath the station and offer services going south to Gatwick Airport and Brighton, or north as far as Bedford.[11] Domestic services to Kent (run by Southeastern) began in December 2009.[12]

St Pancras is often termed the ‘cathedral of the railways’, and includes two of the most celebrated structures built in Britain in the Victorian era. The main train shed, completed in 1868 by the engineer William Henry Barlow was the largest single-span structure built up to that time.[13] The frontage of the station is formed by St Pancras Chambers, formerly the Midland Grand Hotel (by George Gilbert Scott, 1868–1877),[citation needed] an impressive example of Victorian gothic architecture.



St Pancras station occupies a long thin site orientated north south. The south of the site is bounded by the busy Euston Road, with the frontage along that road provided by the former Midland Grand Hotel. Behind the hotel, the main Barlow train shed is elevated 6 m (20 ft) above street level, with the area below forming the station undercroft. To the west the station is bounded by Midland Road, with the British Library on the other side of the road. To the east the station is bounded by Pancras Road, with King's Cross station on the far side of the road. To the north is King's Cross Central, formerly known as the Railway Lands, a complex of intersecting railway lines crossed by several roads and the Regent's Canal.[14][15]

The main entrance from St Pancras Road
The upper level of The Arcade, looking south under Barlow's roof, just after opening to the public and just prior to Christmas 2007
Eurostar trains in the renovated train shed, January 2008

Platform layout

The international platforms used by Eurostar extend back into Barlow's train shed, whilst the other platforms terminate at the southern end of the extension. The longer international platforms do not occupy the full width of the Barlow train shed, and sections of the floor of this area have been opened up to provide natural light to the new international concourse, named The Arcade, that lies below. This has been fashioned from the undercroft and runs the length of the Barlow train shed to the west of the international platforms. Arrival and departure lounges lie below these platforms, and are accessed from the international concourse. The southern end of the international concourse links to the western ticket hall of the King's Cross St Pancras tube station.[15][16][17]

The various domestic service platforms, both above and below ground level, are accessed from a new street level domestic concourse, named The Market, that runs east west across the station below the point where Barlow's train shed meets the new extension. The domestic and international concourses meet at a right angle. The main pedestrian entrance to the station is at the eastern end of the domestic concourse, a location that (newly) links to the new concourse for King's Cross station and the (new) northern ticket hall for the tube station. Until these were recently completed (December 2009), access to the underground station for domestic passengers involved either an outdoor walk to the main ticket hall, or a walk of similar length along the concourse of the international station to the western ticket hall.[15][17]

There are ticket barriers to all the international platforms of different design to those in general use in the national railway stations. This is partly due to the different standards of ticket size and magnetic strip placement.[citation needed]

Public art

At the south end of the upper level of the station, a 9-metre (30 ft) high, 20-tonne bronze statue named The Meeting Place stands benetath the station clock. Designed by British artist Paul Day, it is intended to evoke the romance of travel through the depiction of a couple locked in an amorous embrace.[18] The sculpture received a mixed critical reception, but it was Day's 2008 addition of a bronze relief frieze around the plinth which caused the most controversy.[19] Originally depicting a commuter falling into the path of an Underground train driven by the Grim Reaper, Day revised the freize before the final version was installed.[20]

Also on the upper level, above the Arcade concourse, stands a bronze statue of the former Poet Laureate Sir John Betjeman, gazing in apparent wonder at the Barlow roof, designed by British sculptor Martin Jennings. The monument to Betjeman commemorates the poet's successful campaign to save St Pancras station from demolition in the 1960s.[21][22] The 2-metre (6 ft 7 in) high statue stands on a flat disc of Cumbrian slate which is inscribed with lines from Betjeman's poem Cornish Cliffs:

And in the shadowless unclouded glare / Deep blue above us fades to whiteness where / A misty sea-line meets the wash of air.

Other quotes from his poetry are inscribed on discs laid in the floor around the statue.[23]


Requirement for a new station

The interior of the Barlow Trainshed, circa 1870
St Pancras clocktower rises above tenement blocks in King's Cross in the 1980s. Etching by Colin Bailey

The station was commissioned by the Midland Railway. Prior to the 1860s, the company had a concentration of routes in the Midlands and north of London but not its own route to the capital. From 1840, Midland trains to and from London ran from Euston using the London and North Western line via a junction at Rugby. Congestion and delays south of Rugby quickly became commonplace as services expanded.

A new London line was proposed around 1845, towards the end of the period of speculation later dubbed "Railway Mania". The Great Northern line was approved by Parliament in 1846 and a Midland Railway spur from Leicester to Hitchin was agreed in 1847. While the Great Northern line was constructed, the Midland spur was quietly abandoned in 1850 due to financial problems. Pressure from businesses in Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Bedfordshire (notably from William Whitbread, who owned roughly 12% of the land over which the line would run) revived the spur scheme. The line was re-presented to Parliament and approved in 1853. Building began quickly but did not proceed at any great pace: the line was opened in mid-1857. The Midland Railway secured initial running power for seven years at a minimum of £20,000 a year (£1,370,000 as of 2010),[24]. The Midland Company now had two routes into London, through Euston and King's Cross, and traffic quickly expanded to take advantage, especially with the coal trade, with the Midland Railway transporting around a fifth of the total coal to London by 1852.

In mid-1862, due to the enormous traffic for the second International Exhibition, the Great Northern and the Midland companies clashed over the restricted capacity of the line. This was the stimulus for the Midland Company to build its own line, and surveying for a 49.75-mile (80 km) long line from Bedford to London began in October 1862. To provide a site for a station, the Midland Company had been buying large portions of land in the parish of St Pancras since 1861.

Closeup view of the clock tower

St Pancras was an unprepossessing district, with notorious slums. The area's other landmarks were the covered River Fleet, Regent's Canal, a gas-works, St Pancras Old Church (after which the district is named), and St Luke's church with a large graveyard. For the terminus the Midland Railway chose a site on New Road (later Euston Road) a few hundred yards to the east of Euston and immediately to the west of King's Cross station]. The initial plan was to take the station's approach tracks under the canal in a tunnel, as was done for those entering King's Cross station, although the churchyard and the gas-works were added problems. (Thomas Hardy, then a junior architect before he turned to literature, supervised the exhumations). The site was occupied by housing, the estates of Somers Town and the slums of Agar Town. The landlords sold up for £19,500 and cleared out the residents, without compensation, for a further £200. St Luke's was demolished and a replacement built for £12,000 in 1868–69 in Kentish Town. The demolished church was re-erected piece by piece in 1867 as a Congregational church in Wanstead, and still exists (now a United Reformed church).

The company intended to connect from the site through a tunnel (the St Pancras Branch) to the new Metropolitan Line, opened in 1863 running from Paddington to Farringdon Street below the Euston Road, providing for a through route to Kent.

Design and construction

Dent St Pancras Station clock

The Midland Railway directors were determined to impress London with their new station, although the sloping and irregular form of the site posed certain problems. They could see the ornateness of Euston station, with its famous arch; the functional success of Lewis Cubitt's King's Cross station; the design innovations in iron, glass and layout by Brunel at Paddington; and, significantly, the single span roof designs of John Hawkshaw being built at Charing Cross and Cannon Street.

The initial plan of the station was laid out by William Henry Barlow, the Midland's consulting engineer. Barlow persuaded the company to modify its original plans, raising the station 6 metres (20 ft) on iron columns, thus providing a usable undercroft space and also allowing the approach tracks to cross the Regent's Canal on a bridge rather than in a tunnel. The single span 74-metre (243 ft) wide roof was a collaboration between Barlow and Rowland Mason Ordish and was the greatest built up to that time. It allowed the station to make maximum use of the space beneath without obstructions. A space for a fronting transverse hotel was included in the plan and the overall plan was accepted in early 1865.[25]

A close-up of some of the intricate decoration used in the station

A competition was held for the design of the station buildings and hotel in May 1865. Eleven architects were invited to compete, submitting their designs in August. In January 1866 the brick Gothic revival designs of the prominent George Gilbert Scott were chosen. There was some disquiet at the choice, in part because Scott's designs, at £315,000, (£21.4 million as of 2010),[24] were by far the most expensive. The sheer grandeur of Scott's frontage impressed the Midland Railway directors, achieving their objective of outclassing all the other stations in the capital. A subsequent financial squeeze trimmed several floors from the frontage and certain ornateness but the impressive design largely remained.

Construction of the station, minus the roof which was a separate tender, was budgeted at £310,000, and after a few problems Waring Brothers' tender of £320,000 was accepted. The roof tender went to the Butterley Company for £117,000. Work began in the autumn of 1864 with a temporary bridge over the canal and the demolition of Somers Town and Agar Town. Construction of the station foundations did not start until July 1866 and delays through technical problems, especially in the roof construction, were commonplace.

The former Midland Grand Hotel at the front of St Pancras railway station

The graveyard posed the initial problems - the main line was to pass over it on a girder bridge and the branch to the Metropolitan under it in a tunnel. Disturbance of the remains was expected but was, initially, carelessly handled. The tunnelling was especially delayed by the presence of decomposing human remains, the many coffins encountered, and a London-wide outbreak of cholera leading to the requirement to enclose the River Fleet entirely in iron. Despite this the connection was completed in January 1867.

The company was hoping to complete most essential building by January 1868. The goods station in Agar Town received its first train in September 1867, but passenger services through to the Metropolitan Railway did not begin until July 1868. Although not finished, the station opened, to little ceremony, on 1 October. The final rib for the trainshed roof had been fitted only in mid-September and the station was a mass of temporary structures for the passengers. The first train, an express for Manchester, ran non-stop from Kentish Town to Leicester - the longest non-stop run in the world at 97 miles (156 km).

The undercroft of the station was used to store beer barrels brought by train from Burton-upon-Trent, a major brewing town served by the Midland Railway.

Work on the Midland Grand Hotel did not begin until mid-1868. Designed by architect George Gilbert Scott and with construction in a number of stages, the hotel did not open to customers until 5 May 1873. The process of adding fixtures and fittings was contentious as the Midland Railway cut Scott's perceived extravagances and only in late 1876 was Scott finally paid off. The total costs for the building were £438,000, (£28.8 million as of 2010),[24] . The hotel building initially appears to be in a polychromatic Italian Gothic style – inspired by John Ruskin's Stones of Venice – but on a closer viewing, it incorporates features from a variety of periods and countries. From such an eclectic approach, Scott anticipated that a new genre would emerge.[26][27]

Following construction, services were provided by the Midland Railway. This was a period of expansion as the major routes to Manchester, Nottingham, Sheffield and Carlisle opened.

Grouping, nationalisation and privatisation

Two Class 45s at St Pancras in 1984. This photograph, when compared with the earlier photograph of the upper level of The Arcade taken from a similar position, shows the scale of the change that has happened to the station.
A Class 47 locomotive about to depart the unfinished station. The gas holder in the background is similar to a 'triplet' gasholder removed during construction of High Speed 1 with the intention that it is rebuilt nearby.

The 20th century did not, on the whole, serve St Pancras station well. The Railways Act of 1921 forced the merger of the Midland with the London and North Western Railway (LNWR) into the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS), and the LMS adopted the LNWR's Euston station as its principal London terminus. The Midland Grand Hotel was closed in 1935, and the building was subsequently used as offices. During the Second World War, bombing inflicted damage on the train shed, which was only partially reglazed after the war.[28]

At the creation of British Railways in 1948, the previous LMS services continued to run. Destinations included the London area services to North Woolwich, St Albans and Bedford. Long distance services reached Glasgow, Leeds, Nottingham, Sheffield and Manchester, with famous named trains including:

The 1960s electrification of the West Coast Main Line between London and Manchester saw the Manchester Pullman running from St Pancras via Derby and Matlock. These trains and those to Glasgow were withdrawn following the completion of the rebuilding of Euston and the consolidation of these services.[citation needed]

By the 1960s, St Pancras station had come to be seen as redundant, and several attempts were made to close the station and demolish the hotel (by then known as St Pancras Chambers). These attempts provoked strong and successful opposition, with the campaign led by the then Poet Laureate, John Betjeman.[21][29]

After the sectorisation of British Rail in 1986, mainline services were provided to the East Midlands by the InterCity sector (Midland Division), with London suburban services to St Albans, Luton and Bedford being provided by Network SouthEast.[30] It was during this period (in 1988) that the Snow Hill tunnel re-opened resulting in the creation of the Thameslink route and the resultant diversion of the majority of suburban trains onto the new route. However the station continued to be served by trains running on the old Midland main line to Leicester, Nottingham and Sheffield, together with a few suburban services to Bedford and Luton. This constituted only a few trains an hour and left the station underused and largely empty.[28]

Following the privatisation of British Rail, the long distance services from St Pancras were franchised to Midland Mainline, a train operating company owned by the National Express Group, with a franchise start date of 28 April 1996. The few remaining suburban trains still operating into St Pancras were operated by the Thameslink train operating company, owned by Govia, from 2 March 1997.[31]

Midland Mainline had initial plans for regular trains from St Pancras to Newcastle and Manchester but these were quickly and quietly dropped. A handful of trains to and from Leeds were introduced, mainly because the High Speed Train sets were maintained there and were already running the route but empty from Sheffield. During the 2000s major rebuild of the West Coast Main Line, St Pancras again hosted trains to Manchester, this time via the Hope Valley route, under the title of Project Rio.[32]

A new role is planned

New signage reflects the international status of St Pancras
Model overciew of the extended St Pancras station (left) and King's Cross station (right)

The original plan for the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL) involved a tunnel from somewhere to the south-east of London, and an underground terminus in the vicinity of Kings Cross station. However a late change in the plans, principally driven by the then Secretary of State for the Environment Michael Heseltine's desire for urban regeneration in East London, led to a change of route, with the new line approaching London from the east. This opened the possibility of reusing the largely redundant St Pancras station as the terminus, with access via the North London Line that crosses the throat of the station.[28][33]

The idea of using the North London line proved illusory, and it was rejected in 1994 by the then transport secretary, John MacGregor, as difficult to construct and environmentally damaging. However the idea of using the under used St Pancras station as the core of the new terminus was retained, albeit now linked by 12.4 miles (20 km) of specially built tunnels to Dagenham via Stratford.[28][33]

London and Continental Railways (LCR), which was created at the time of British rail privatisation, was selected by the UK government in 1996 to undertake the reconstruction of St Pancras, the construction of the CTRL and to takeover the British share of the Eurostar operation, Eurostar (UK). LCR has had ownership of St Pancras station since the privatisation of British Rail in order to allow for the station's redevelopment to take place. Financial difficulties in 1998, and the collapse of Railtrack in 2001, caused some revision of this plan, but LCR retain ownership of St Pancras station.[3]

The design and project management of reconstruction was undertaken, on behalf of LCR, by Rail Link Engineering (RLE), a consortium of Bechtel, Arup, Systra and Halcrow. The original reference design for the station was by Nick Derbyshire, the former head of British Rail's in-house architecture team. The master plan of the complex was by Foster and Partners, whilst the lead architect of the reconstruction was Alistair Lansley, a former colleague of Nick Derbyshire recruited by RLE.[15][34][35]

St Pancras trainshed during renovation (2004) with the spires in the background

In order to accommodate the unusually long Eurostar trains, and to provide capacity for the existing domestic trains to the Midlands and the proposed domestic services on the high speed rail link, the existing station train shed was extended a considerable distance northwards, by a new flat roofed shed. The station was planned to feature 13 platforms under this extended train shed. Services to the East Midlands would use the western platforms, Eurostar services would use the middle platforms, and domestic high-speed services to Kent would occupy the eastern platforms. The Eurostar and one of the Midland platforms would extend back into the Barlow train shed. Access to the Eurostar platforms for departing passengers would be via a departure suite on the west side of the station, and then to the platforms by a bridge above the tracks within the historic train shed. Arriving Eurostar passengers would leave the station by a new concourse at the north end of the station.[33]

This original design was later modified, with access to the Eurostar platforms from below, utilising the station undercroft and allowing the deletion of the visually intrusive access bridge. By dropping the extension of any of the Midland platforms into the Barlow train shed, space was freed up to allow wells to be constructed in the station floor, which provided natural daylight and access to the undercroft.[33]

The station is rebuilt

The reglazed and repainted Barlow trainshed in September 2007
This statue of John Betjeman, celebrating his role in saving the station, was unveiled at the re-opening of the station
Paul Day's statue The Meeting Place

Shortly before the station rebuild commenced, the overhead wiring used by the electric suburban trains was removed. As a consequence, all suburban trains from Bedford and Luton were diverted to King's Cross Thameslink and beyond, and the Thameslink train operating company ceased to serve St Pancras for a period. (In fact these trains only used St Pancras if there was engineering work further south on the Thameslink line.)[citation needed]

By early 2004, the eastern side of the extended train shed was complete, and the Barlow train shed was closed to trains.[36] From 12 April 2004, Midland Mainline trains terminated at an interim station occupying the eastern part of the extension immediately adjacent to the entrance.[37]

As part of the construction of the western side of the train shed extension, which now began, a new underground 'box' was constructed on the Thameslink route, which at this point ran partially under the extended station. This box was intended to eventually house new platforms for the Thameslink service. In order for this to happen, the existing Thameslink tunnels between Kentish Town and King's Cross Thameslink had to be closed between 11 September 2004 and 15 May 2005 while the works were carried out. As a result, Thameslink services from the north terminated in the same platforms as the Midland Mainline trains, while services from the south terminated at King's Cross Thameslink.[38]

After the blockade of the route was over, the new station box was still only a bare concrete shell, and could not take passengers. Thameslink trains reverted to their previous route, but ran through the station box without stopping. The budget for the Channel Tunnel Rail Link works did not include work on the fitting-out of the station, as these works had originally been part of the separate Thameslink 2000 works programme. Despite lobbying by rail operators who wished to see the station open at the same time as St Pancras International, the Government failed to provide additional funding to allow the fit out works to be completed immediately following the line blockade. Eventually, on 8 February 2006, Alistair Darling, the then Secretary of State for Transport, announced £50 million worth of funding for the fit-out of the station, plus another £10-15 million for the installation of associated signalling and other lineside works in the area.[38][39][40]

In 2005 planning consent was granted for a refurbishment of the former Midland Grand Hotel building, which will be refurbished and extended as a hotel and apartment block.[41][42]

By the middle of 2006, the western side of the train shed extension was completed, and on 14 July 2006 the Midland Mainline trains moved from their interim home on the east side to their ultimate home on the west side of the station.

According to a BBC Two series broadcast in November 2007, the rebuilding cost was in the region of £800 million,[43] up from an initial estimate of £310 million.[44]

The international station opens

In early November 2007 Eurostar conducted a testing programme in which some 6000 members of the public were involved in passenger check-in, immigration control and departure trials, during which the 'passengers' each made three return journeys out of St Pancras to the entrance to the London tunnel. On 4 September 2007, the first test train ran from Paris Gare du Nord to St Pancras.[45] Children's illustrator Quentin Blake was commissioned to provide a huge mural of an "imaginary welcoming committee" as a disguise for one of the remaining ramshackle Stanley buildings immediately opposite the station exit.[46]

St Pancras station was officially re-opened as St Pancras International, and the High Speed 1 service launched, on 6 November 2007, by The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh.

It gives me great pleasure to officially launch High Speed 1, Britain's first High Speed Railway and to re-open this magnificent station, St. Pancras International.[47]

During an elaborate opening ceremony, actor Timothy West, as Henry Barlow, addressed the audience, which was also entertained by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the singers Lemar and Katherine Jenkins. In a carefully staged piece set-piece, the first Class 395 train set and two Eurostar train sets arrived through a cloud of dry ice in adjacent platforms within seconds of each other.[48][49] During the ceremony, Paul Day's large bronze statue, The Meeting Place, was also unveiled.

At a much smaller ceremony on 12 November 2007, the bronze statue of John Betjeman by sculptor Martin Jennings was unveiled by Betjeman's daughter, the author Candida Lycett Green.[50]

Public service by Eurostar train via the completed High Speed 1 route started on 14 November 2007. In a small ceremony, station staff cut a ribbon leading to the Eurostar platforms.[51] In the same month that the station opened, the station's traditional services to the East Midlands were transferred to a new franchisee, East Midlands Trains.[52]

The low level platforms for the Thameslink services opened on 9 December 2007, replacing King's Cross Thameslink station. Since Thameslink trains had last used St Pancras station, the franchise had changed hands (on 1 April 2006) and services are now operated by First Capital Connect.[53]

Connection to King's Cross

A pedestrian subway was built during the St Pancras station extension. The subway runs under Pancras Road from the eastern entrance of the St Pancras domestic concourse; it was designed to connect to the new northern ticket hall for the King's Cross St. Pancras tube station (opened November 2009), and a future new concourse for King's Cross railway station.



East Midlands Trains (Midland Main Line)

An East Midlands Trains Class 222 Meridian awaiting departure for Derby
An East Midlands Trains HST awaiting departure for Nottingham

Since 11 November 2007, St Pancras (domestic) platforms 1–4 provide the southern terminus for services on the Midland Main Line operated by East Midlands Trains, with routes to the East Midlands and Yorkshire regions of England. Towns and cities served include Luton, Bedford, Wellingborough, Kettering, Market Harborough, Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham, Derby, Chesterfield and Sheffield. Occasional trains also run to Oakham, Melton Mowbray, Newark, Lincoln, Dronfield, Doncaster, Wakefield, Leeds, York and Scarborough.[9]

The current timetable has five off-peak services per hour; three fast and two semi-fast:[9]

Service Pattern Destination Calling At Main Stock Journey Time
XX:00 Corby Luton, Bedford, Wellingborough, Kettering 222 1hr 40mins
XX:15 Nottingham Market Harborough, Leicester, East Midlands Parkway HST 1hr 44mins
XX:25 Sheffield Leicester, Loughborough, East Midlands Parkway, Long Eaton, Derby, Chesterfield 222 2hr 27mins
XX:30 Nottingham Luton Airport Parkway, Bedford, Wellingborough, Kettering, Market Harborough, Leicester, Loughborough, Beeston 222 1hr 56mins
XX:55 Sheffield Leicester, Derby, Chesterfield 222 2hr 7mins

First Capital Connect (Thameslink route)

On 9 December 2007, as part of the Thameslink Programme, St Pancras International gained platforms on the Thameslink network operated by First Capital Connect (FCC), replacing the King's Cross Thameslink station to the south. In line with the former station, the Thameslink platforms are designated A and B.[54][55] The new station has met with some criticism due to the extended length of the route from the Thameslink platforms to the underground when compared to King's Cross Thameslink.[56] The Thameslink Programme involves the introduction of 12-car trains across the enlarged Thameslink network, and as extending the platforms at the existing King's Cross Thameslink station was thought impractical (requiring alterations to the Clerkenwell tunnel and the Circle/Hammersmith & City/Metropolitan Underground lines, which would be extremely disruptive and prohibitively expensive),[57] a new Thameslink station was proposed, to be situated under the existing St Pancras station.

The new Thameslink platforms at St Pancras

The station allows passengers to travel to such destinations as Bedford, Luton and St Albans in the north, and to Wimbledon, East Croydon and Brighton in the south. There are also direct services to London Gatwick and London Luton airports. When completed, the Thameslink Programme will enlarge the Thameslink network more than threefold from 50 to 172 stations.[58]

After the bay platforms at London Blackfriars closed in March 2009 for the station's reconstruction, Southeastern services which previously terminated at Blackfriars were extended to Kentish Town (off-peak), or to St Albans, Luton or Bedford (peak-hours), calling at this station.[59] Trains services south of Blackfriars are operated by Southeastern, north of Blackfriars by First Capital Connect.

Southeastern (High Speed 1 and Kent Coast)

Southeastern runs high speed Domestic services at 140 miles per hour (225 km/h) on High Speed 1 tracks and up to 100 miles per hour (160 km/h) on standard tracks in Kent, allowing passengers from Ashford International to travel to London in 36 minutes.[60] High speed services go to Strood, Chatham, Gravesend, Margate, Ramsgate, Dover Priory, Folkestone Central, Ashford, Ebbsfleet and other Kent destinations.

The Southeastern platforms shortly after the launch of the High Speed Preview service to Ashford

The first domestic service carrying passengers over High Speed 1 ran on 12 December 2008, to mark one year before regular services were due to begin. This special service, carrying various dignitaries, ran from Ashford International to St Pancras.[61] Starting in June 2009, Southeastern provided a preview service between London St Pancras and Ebbsfleet, extending to Ashford International during peak hours.[62] On 7 September 2009 Southeastern extended the peak time services to Dover and Ramsgate[63] On 21 November 2009, the preview service was introduced to Faversham.

The full service began on 13 December 2009. The current timetable is:[12]

Service Pattern Destination Calling At Journey Time
XX:12 Dover Priory Stratford International, Ebbsfleet International, Ashford International, Folkestone West, Folkestone Central 1hr 9mins
XX:25/28 Faversham Stratford International, Ebbsfleet International, Gravesend, Strood, Rochester, Chatham, Gillingham (Kent), Rainham (Kent), Sittingbourne 1hr 05mins
XX:42 Margate Stratford International, Ebbsfleet International, Ashford International, Canterbury West, Ramsgate, Broadstairs 1hr 28mins
XX:55 Faversham Stratford International, Ebbsfleet International, Gravesend, Strood, Rochester, Chatham, Gillingham (Kent), Rainham (Kent), Sittingbourne 1hr 05mins


Eurostar (High Speed 1)

Eurostar train at St Pancras

The full Eurostar timetable came into operation on 9 December 2007. The basic service provides 17 pairs of trains to and from Paris Gare du Nord every day, 10 pairs of trains to and from Bruxelles-Midi/Brussel-Zuid, and 1 train to and from Marne-la-Vallée for Disneyland Paris. Additional services run to Paris on Fridays and Sundays, with a reduced service to Brussels on weekends. Additional weekend leisure-oriented trains also run to the French Alps during the skiing season, and to Avignon in the summer.[64][65]

Trains observe a mixture of stops at four intermediate stations (Ebbsfleet International, Ashford International, Calais-Fréthun and Lille-Europe) with some trains running non-stop. Non-stop trains take 2 hours 15 minutes to Paris, and just under 1 hour 50 minutes to Brussels, with stopping trains taking 5 or 10 minutes longer depending on whether they make one or two stops.[64][65]

Transport Links

London bus routes 10, 17, 30, 45, 46, 59, 63, 73, 91, 205, 214, 259, 390, 476 and night route N63, N73 and N91.

Service patterns

Preceding station   National Rail   Following station
Terminus East Midlands Trains
Terminus Eurostar
First Capital Connect
Terminus Southeastern
High Speed 1

Platform usage

Platforms Operator Use
1–4 East Midlands Trains Mainline services to Leicester, Nottingham, Derby, Lincoln, Sheffield, Corby, Leeds etc
5–10 Eurostar International services to Paris and Brussels
11–13 Southeastern High Speed to Kent Coast
A-B First Capital Connect "Thameslink" Bedford and Luton to Brighton and Sevenoaks

Future developments

A "Javelin" train
German ICE (Inter-City Express) trains could soon reach St Pancras


Eurostar will begin calling at Stratford International station as the first stop from St Pancras International, once the Docklands Light Railway extension to the station is completed in 2010.[66] As of February 2010, there was no fixed connection between the new Stratford International station and the older Stratford station (also known as Stratford Regional).[67]

Transmanche Metro

In February 2010, the Transmanche Metro service began to have more foundations as local councillors of Kent and Pas-de-Calais announced that they were in talks to establish a frequent 'metro' service between London and Lille stations. The service would start at Lille Europe and call at Calais, Ashford International and Stratford International before reaching St Pancras. Since High Speed 1 opened Ashford and Calais have an infrequent service and as mentioned above, Eurostar trains do not call at Stratford International. The service is hoped to be running by 2012 for the London Olympics.[68]

Olympic Javelin

During the 2012 Olympic Games, St Pancras International will be the terminus for the Olympic Javelin service, a seven-minute duration shuttle train service designed to ferry spectators between the London Olympic Park in Stratford and Central London.[69]

European high-speed

In January 2010, the European railway network was opened to liberalisation that will allow greater competition.[70] Both Air France-KLM and Deutsche Bahn have indicated their desire to take advantage of the new laws to run new services via High Speed 1 that will terminate at St Pancras.[71][72][73]

In December 2009 Deutsche Bahn received permission to run Intercity-Express (ICE 3M) trains through the Channel Tunnel after a safety requirement to have splittable passenger trains was lifted. Deutsche Bahn had previously expressed a desire to run through trains between London and Germany.[74][75][76] Direct rail services between St Pancras and Cologne Central station may commence before the 2012 Olympics.[77]


Midland Grand Hotel extension under construction

A five-star hotel to be operated by Marriott International will occupy parts of the original hotel, including the main public rooms, together with a new bedroom wing on the western side of the Barlow trainshed. Though originally scheduled to open in 2009, the Marriott Renaissance St Pancras has been delayed to 2011. The apartments, which are being developed by the Manhattan Loft Corporation, will occupy the majority of the upper floors of the main block of the original hotel.[41][42][78][79]

King's Cross St Pancras tube station

King's Cross St Pancras tube station is the station on the London Underground serving both King's Cross and St Pancras main line stations in the London Borough of Camden. It is in Travelcard Zone 1.[80]

Major work is ongoing at King's Cross St Pancras tube station to link the various station entrances to two new ticket halls for London Underground and reduce overcrowding.[81][82]

Preceding station   Underground no-text.svg London Underground   Following station
towards Hammersmith
Circle line
towards Edgware Road
towards Hammersmith
Hammersmith & City line
towards Barking
Metropolitan line
towards Aldgate
Northern line
towards Morden
Piccadilly line
towards Cockfosters
towards Brixton
Victoria line

Fictional uses

Notes and references

  1. ^ "Station Facilities: London St Pancras Domestic (STP)". National Rail Enquiries. Retrieved 2008-09-09. 
  2. ^ "Ownership and Structure". 
  3. ^ a b "About London & Continental Railways (High Speed 1)". 
  4. ^ "London and South East". Rail Map for People with Reduced Mobility. National Rail. September 2006. Retrieved 1 January 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Station usage". Rail statistics. Office of Rail Regulation. 12 March 2009. Retrieved 19 January 2010. 
  6. ^ Brown, J (2009). London Railway Atlas. Ian Allan Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7110-3397-9. 
  7. ^ Official name of the station according to the Department of Transport, released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request at retrieved 2008-12-02.
  8. ^ Official name of the station according to the London Borough of Camden released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request at retrieved 2008-12-02.
  9. ^ a b c "Route 1 Timetable" (PDF). East Midlands Trains. December 2009. Retrieved 2010-01-10. 
  10. ^ [1] Offical Eurostar Website Access Date 23 January 2010
  11. ^ First Capital Connect Thameslink timetable Accessed 23 January 2010
  12. ^ a b Southeastern: Highspeed timetable
  13. ^ Fryer, Jane (2007-03-15). "Full steam ahead at £800m St Pancras". Daily Mail (Associated Newspapers Ltd). Retrieved 2010-01-26. 
  14. ^ "Going to St Pancras Station". London and Continental Stations and Property. Retrieved 2007-12-02. 
  15. ^ a b c d "St Pancras International". Modern Railways (Ian Allan Publishing): pp. 50–57. November 2007. 
  16. ^ "Station Plan - Platform Level" (PDF). London and Continental Stations and Property. 2007-09-26. Retrieved 2007-11-29. 
  17. ^ a b "Station Plan - Undercroft Level" (PDF). London and Continental Stations and Property. 2007-09-26. Retrieved 2007-11-29. 
  18. ^ "The Meeting Place". BBC London. 2007. Retrieved 7 February 2010. 
  19. ^ "Reaper’s grim welcome at St Pancras". The Sunday Times. 12 October 2008. Retrieved 7 February 2010. 
  20. ^ Paula Fentiman (13 October 2008). "St Pancras frieze toned down". The Guardian. 
  21. ^ a b "The Betjeman statue now on platform…". Camden New Journal. 2007-05-24. Retrieved 2007-11-30. 
  22. ^ "Art that embraces a new future for St Pancras". The Independent. 2007-02-14. Retrieved 2007-11-26. 
  23. ^ "Sir John Betjeman sculpture". Martin Jennings. 2007. Retrieved 7 February 2010. 
  24. ^ a b c UK CPI inflation numbers based on data available from Measuring Worth: UK CPI.
  25. ^ "Structurae - Saint Pancras Station (1869)". Nicolas Janberg ICS. Retrieved 2007-12-17. 
  26. ^ (After Lord Palmerston vetoed Scott's Gothic designs for the Foreign Office) "At St Pancras, however, Scott got his chance. This time he decided to play down the Italian element. The polychromy is still there, but the skyline is no longer rectangular but syncopated, no longer Italian but Dutch or Flemish; and some of the details are Early English or Early French. The Cloth Hall at Ypres is the origin of the station entrance tower; Oudenaarde town hall probably supplied the inspiration for his gabled and pinnacled hotel entrance; the mouldings around the great entrance are Early French; the first-floor oriel windows incorporate distant echoes of Bishop Bridport's tomb at Salisbury Cathedral; other windows just as clearly, are Anglicised Venetian. With a pedigree like that — Pugin, Ruskin and Viollet-le-Duc — no wonder Scott thought his design 'almost too good for its purpose'." J Mordaunt Crook, The Dilemma of Style, John Murray, London 1989 p93
  27. ^ "Classic and Gothic will probably run on for many years collaterally ... til at length ... they will unite in style infinitely more Gothic than Classic" Scott, Secular and Domestic Architecture, 1858 p277 cited in Mordaunt-Crook
  28. ^ a b c d "How St Pancras was chosen". BBC. 2007-11-14. Retrieved 2007-11-19. 
  29. ^ a b c "Meet me at St Pancras". Daily Telegraph. 2007-11-10. Retrieved 2007-11-30. 
  30. ^ "What was Network SouthEast?". Network SouthEast Railway Society. Retrieved 2008-09-08. 
  31. ^ "Franchised Passenger Services - Midland Mainline". Association of Train Operating Companies. Retrieved 2007-11-30. 
  32. ^ "Track access agreement between Network Rail and Midland Mainline" (PDF). Track Access Executive. Retrieved 2008-01-06. 
  33. ^ a b c d "From concept to reality". Modern Railways (Ian Allan Publishing): pp. 51. November 2007. 
  34. ^ "LCR organisation". Modern Railways (Ian Allan Publishing): pp. 42. November 2007. 
  35. ^ "St. Pancras Brings Taste of Grand Central, Romance to London". Bloomberg L.P.. 2007-10-26. Retrieved 2007-11-30. 
  36. ^ Marston, Paul (10 April 2004). "Last train pulls out of St Pancras". The Telegraph. 
  37. ^ "King's Cross & St Pancras Upgrade". Always Touch Out. Retrieved 23 Jan 2010. 
  38. ^ a b "New station for Thameslink trains". BBC News ( 2004-08-29. Retrieved 2006-11-14. 
  39. ^ "'Ghost station' fear over Chunnel". BBC. 2005-05-05. Retrieved 2007-11-19. 
  40. ^ "Thameslink station given go-ahead". BBC. 2006-02-08. Retrieved 2007-11-19. 
  41. ^ a b "Marriott International and Manhattan Loft Corporation redevelop Gilbert Scott Masterpiece". 2006. Retrieved 2007-11-21. 
  42. ^ a b "St Pancras Chambers, London, NW1". Manhattan Loft Corporation. Retrieved 2007-11-21. 
  43. ^ "The 800 Million Pound Railway Station"
  44. ^
  45. ^ "First Outing for Faster Eurostar". BBC News. 2007-09-04. Retrieved 2007-11-21. 
  46. ^ The Independent Cover-up! Quentin Blake drafted in to hide 'unsightly' buildings, 21 October 2007
  47. ^ "The Queen's speech at the launch of High Speed 1, the UK's first high speed railway and the official opening of St Pancras International, 6 November 2007". British Monarchy website. Retrieved 16 December 2009. 
  48. ^ Abbot, James (December 2007). "St Pancras 06-12-2007". Modern Railways (Ian Allan Publishing): pp. 6. 
  49. ^ "HM The Queen opens St Pancras International". London and Continental Stations and Property. Retrieved 2007-12-16. 
  50. ^ Higgins, Charlotte (13 November 2007). "Betjeman's daughter unveils St Pancras tribute". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 February 2010. 
  51. ^ "In pictures: First Eurostar from St Pancras". Guardian Unlimited. Retrieved 2007-12-16. 
  52. ^ "Royal Diary for 06/11/07". Retrieved 2007-11-05. 
  53. ^ "Mayor unveils new London station". BBC. 2007-12-10. Retrieved 2007-12-11. 
  54. ^ 'New station sets the standard' 10 December 2007
  55. ^ First Capital Connect site on St Pancras International
  56. ^ Go Petition (2008-12-16). "Petition on changes to Thameslink station". Retrieved 2008-01-21. 
  57. ^ Network Rail (2005-11-04). "Thameslink 2000 Closures Statement of Reasons" (PDF). pp. 19–20. Retrieved 2006-11-27. 
  58. ^ Network Rail (2006-10-18). "The £3.5bn Thameslink Project Clears Major Hurdle". Retrieved 2006-11-14. 
  59. ^ "Train times 22 March - 16 May 2009 Thameslink route". First Capital Connect. Retrieved 20 March 2009. 
  60. ^ "Southeastern Railway - High Speed Trains". Southeastern. Retrieved 2008-10-28. 
  61. ^ "Class 395 whisks minister to London". Railway Gazette. Retrieved 2008-12-17. 
  62. ^ "High speed preview services announced". Southeastern. Retrieved 2009-06-07. 
  63. ^ "Southeastern:High speed preview reaches Dover and Ramsgate". Southeastern. Retrieved 13 August 2009. 
  64. ^ a b "The new Eurostar service". Modern Railways (Ian Allan Publishing): pp. 68–69. November 2007. 
  65. ^ a b "Eurostar Timetable" (PDF). Eurostar. Retrieved 2007-12-22. 
  66. ^ "Stratford International". London and Continental Railways. Retrieved 2007-12-12. 
  67. ^ "DLR - Stratford International Extension". Transport for London. Retrieved 2007-12-12. 
  68. ^ "Commuter trains from Calais to Kent 'could be running before 2012 Olympics', claims French mayor". Daily Mail. 5 February 2010. Retrieved 18 February 2010. 
  69. ^ "£20m bullet trains to serve Olympic Park"]. London 2012 Committee. 2004-09-28. Retrieved 2005-07-06. 
  70. ^ "EU agrees to liberalise rail by 2010". Euractiv. Retrieved 11 May 2009. 
  71. ^ "Airlines plot Eurostar rival services". 10 September 2008. Retrieved 11 September 2008. 
  72. ^ "Air France to launch 'quicker' train to Paris as Eurostar monopoly ends". The Independent (London). Retrieved 11 May 2009. 
  73. ^ "£5.2 billion state aid plan to make Eurostar profitable". Railway Herald. Retrieved 3 June 2009. 
  74. ^ Murray, Dick (19 December 2007). "German rival for Eurostar". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 7 February 2010. 
  75. ^ "Deutsche Bahn gets access to Channel Tunnel". Deutsche Welle. 2009-12-16.,,5018915,00.html. Retrieved 2009-12-22. 
  76. ^ AFP (2009-12-16). "Deutsche Bahn gets green light for Eurotunnel use". Asia One News. Retrieved 2009-12-22. 
  77. ^ Lydall, Ross (3 February 2010). "The train at St Pancras will be departing for ... Germany via Channel Tunnel". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 7 February 2010. 
  78. ^ "St Pancras: The right side of the tracks". The Times. London. 5 July 2009. 
  79. ^ "Sleeping beauty awakes: the St Pancras Midland Grand hotel". 22 May 2009. 
  80. ^ "Your guide to fares and tickets within Zones 1-6". Transport for London. February 2009. 
  81. ^ "King's Cross ticket hall unveiled". BBC News. 25 May 2006. 
  82. ^ "Balfour Beatty to build King's Cross ticket hall". 25 May 2006. 
  83. ^ "The Ladykillers (1955)". Internet Movie Database Inc. Retrieved 2007-12-02. 
  84. ^ Douglas Adams. The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul. ISBN 0-434-00921-0. 
  85. ^ "London: The Hollywood extra". Associated Newspapers Limited. 2001-04-20. Retrieved 2007-11-30. 
  86. ^ "Filming Locations for Batman Begins". The Worldwide Guide To Movie Locations. Retrieved 2007-11-30. 

External links


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