Euston railway station
Euston railway station, also known as London Euston, is a central London railway terminus in the London Borough of Camden and is the sixth busiest rail terminal in London (by entries and exits). It is one of 18 British railway stations managed by Network Rail, and is the southern terminus of the West Coast Main Line. Euston is the main rail gateway from London to the West Midlands, the North West, North Wales and part of Scotland. Its most important long-distance destinations are Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow. It is connected to Euston tube station and near Euston Square tube station of the London Underground. These stations are in Travelcard Zone 1.

History
Although the present station building is in the international modern style, Euston was the first inter-city railway station to be built in London. The station and the railway that it served experienced several changes in management, being owned in turn by the London and Birmingham Railway (1837”“1845), the London and North Western Railway (1846”“1922), the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (1923”“1947), British Railways (1948”“1994), Railtrack (1994”“2001) and Network Rail (2001”“present)

Old building
The original station was opened on 20 July 1837, as the terminus of the London and Birmingham Railway constructed by William Cubitt. It was designed by a well-known classically trained architect, Philip Hardwick, with a 200 ft (61 m) long train shed by structural engineer Charles Fox. Initially it had only two platforms, one for departures and one for arrivals. Also designed by Hardwick was a 72 ft (22 m) high Doric propylaeum, the largest ever built, which was erected at the station's entrance to serve as a portico and became renowned as the Euston Arch. The Birmingham to London line engineer, Robert Stephenson originally planned the railway through north London terminating where King's Cross station currently stands. After encountering severe opposition from landowners, he was forced to build the railway through Tring, Watford and Harrow, terminating at its present site at Euston. Until 1844, trains were pulled up the incline to Camden Town by cables because the London and Birmingham Railway's Act of Parliament prohibited the use of locomotives in the Euston area; this prohibition is said to have been at the request of Lord Southampton, who owned land bordering this section of the line. The station grew rapidly over the following years as traffic increased. It was greatly expanded in the 1840s, with the opening in 1849 of the spectacular Great Hall (designed by Hardwick's son, Philip Charles Hardwick), built 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 the northern end of the hall. Architectural sculptor John Thomas contributed eight allegorical statues representing the cities served by the line: London, Liverpool, Manchester, etc. The station was further from Euston Road than the front of the modern complex; it was on Drummond Street, which now terminates at the side of the station, but then ran all the way across the front of it. 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. Apart from the lodges on Euston Road and statues now on the forecourt, few relics of the old station survive. The National Railway Museum's collection at York includes a commemorative plaque and E.H. Bailey's statue of George Stephenson, both from the Great Hall, the entrance gates and an 1846 LNWR turntable discovered during demolition.

New building
In the early 1960s it was decided that the old building was no longer adequate. Amid much public outcry, the old station building (including the Euston Arch) was demolished in 1961-2 and replaced by a new building. Its opening in 1968 followed the electrification of the West Coast Main Line, and the new structure was intended to symbolise the coming of the "electric age". The contract to build the new station was awarded to Taylor Woodrow Construction Ltd, in 1961. The modern station is a long, low structure with a frontage of some 197 m (646 ft). Part of the station building includes two office towers that look out on to adjacent Melton Street and Eversholt Street, and were formerly home to Network Rail. All of these buildings are in a functional style and the main facing material is polished dark stone, complemented by white tiles, exposed concrete and plain glazing. The station has a single large concourse with the usual assortment of shops and eateries, and is separate from the train shed. A couple of small remnants of the older station were kept, two Portland stone entrance lodges (one of which was a women-only bar from 1995 until 2008) and a war memorial on Euston Road, but were hardly an effective sop to those offended by the loss of the former building. A statue of Robert Stephenson by Carlo Marochetti that stood in the old ticket hall now stands in the forecourt, where it looks down on a convenience food stall. The frontage of the station building is hidden behind office buildings designed by Richard Seifert and a bus station. There is a large statue by Eduardo Paolozzi named Piscator at the front of the courtyard. A series of other pieces of public art, including low stone benches by Paul de Monchaux around the courtyard, were commissioned by Network Rail in the 1990s. Euston handles an intensive train service and a high volume of passengers while providing extensive facilities. The station contains a range of catering units and shops, a large ticket hall and, despite a central London location, 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 that is protected from the elements, while areas in front of intercity platforms exist to allow waiting 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 in a manner that encourages waiting passengers to gather away from platform entrances, and by a walkway under the main concourse which provides a direct link from the commuter platforms (8 to 11 inclusive) to the Underground station. The lack of daylight on the station's platforms compares unfavourably with the glazed trainshed roofs of more traditional Victorian railway stations, but the use of the space above as a parcels depot did release the maximum possible space at ground level for platforms and passenger facilities. The station has 18 platforms. Platforms 8 to 11 are used primarily for London Overground and London Midland commuter services, and are equipped with automatic ticket gates. Two platforms are extra long in order to accommodate the 16-car Caledonian Sleeper services. Manual ticket checks sometimes take place on entry to the platforms that do not have automatic ticket barriers.
  • Euston station and associated offices


Architectural controversy
Euston's 1960s style of architecture has been variously described as "hideous", "a dingy, grey, horizontal nothingness" and a reflection of "the tawdry glamour of its time" entirely lacking in "the sense of occasion, of adventure, that the great Victorian termini gave to the traveller". Writing in The Times , Richard Morrison stated that "even by the bleak standards of Sixties architecture, Euston is one of the nastiest concrete boxes in London: devoid of any decorative merit; seemingly concocted to induce maximum angst among passengers; and a blight on surrounding streets. The design should never have left the drawing-board " if, indeed, it was ever on a drawing-board. It gives the impression of having been scribbled on the back of a soiled paper bag by a thuggish android with a grudge against humanity and a vampiric loathing of sunlight". Access to parts of the station is difficult for the disabled. The ramps that descend from the concourse down to platform level are too steep for unassisted wheelchairs but the introduction of lifts in May 2010 now makes it possible for the taxi rank and underground station to be easily accessible from the main concourse. The demolition of the old Euston Station building in 1962 has been described as "one of the greatest acts of Post-War architectural vandalism in Britain" and is believed to have been finally sanctioned by the then Conservative Prime Minister Harold Macmillan. The new train shed featured a low flat roof, making no attempt to match the airy style of London's major 19th century train sheds. The attempts made to preserve the earlier building, championed by the later Poet Laureate Sir John Betjeman, led to the formation of The Victorian Society and heralded in the modern conservation movement. This loss may, however, have saved the nearby high gothic St. Pancras Station when similarly faced with demolition by British Rail in 1966 as the actions of this conservationist movement ultimately led to its being renovated in 2007 as the terminus of the high-speed route to the Continent. The demolition of the original building is often compared to the 1964 demolition of New York's Pennsylvania Station, as it alerted preservationists of both cities to the importance of saving historical buildings. Platforms 14 and 15, with the empty stock of a Down express in 1962

1973 IRA Attack
Extensive but superficial damage was caused to the station by an IRA bomb which exploded close to a snack bar at approximately 13:10 on 10 September 1973, injuring eight commuters. The Metropolitan Police had received a three minute warning but were unable to evacuate the station completely before the device exploded. In 1974, the mentally ill Judith Ward was convicted of this and other crimes despite the evidence against her being highly suspicious. She was completely acquitted in 1992, and the actual culprit has not been apprehended.

Privatisation
Ownership of the station transferred from British Rail to Railtrack plc in 1994, later passing to Network Rail in 2002 following the failure of Railtrack. In 2005 Network Rail was reported to have long-term aspirations to redevelop the station, removing the 1960s buildings and providing a great deal more commercial space by utilising the " air rights" above the platforms. In December 2005 Network Rail announced plans to create a subway link between the station and Euston Square tube station as part of the re-development of Euston station, creating a direct link between the two Euston stations, which at the moment are separated by a five-minute walk along Euston Road.

Second rebuilding announcement 2007
On 5 April 2007, British Land announced that it had won the tender to demolish the existing 40-year-old building and rebuild the terminal, spending some £250m of its overall redevelopment budget of £1bn for the area. As a result the number of platforms will increase from 18 to 21. Media reports in early 2008 hinted that there is now a strong chance that the old Euston Arch could be rebuilt. More than three years after Network Rail announced its modernisation scheme for Euston Station, no development agreement with preferred developer British Land has been signed. Nor has a masterplan been produced by the Network Rail-British Land team since the developer was appointed two years ago and questions are being raised about the commitment of British Land to the project. Euston Station is already struggling to cope with the number of passengers and it is only a matter of time until train services in and out of the station are affected. For operational reasons, there is an urgent need to expand the facilities available, build new platforms and lengthen existing platforms to ensure a situation does not arise where trains have to queue outside the station. In recent months, Network Rail has relocated a number of food retail units outside on the station forecourt. Many argue that this step has been taken to ease congestion in the station where overcrowding, particularly at rush hour, is already posing a threat to the comfort and safety of passengers. Sydney & London Properties, as project manager to the Euston Estate Limited Partnership, launched a Vision Masterplan in May 2008 with the aim of stimulating debate about the future of the station and the surrounding neighbourhood.

High Speed 2
Proposed footprint On 11 March 2010, the Secretary of State for Transport announced that Euston was the preferred southern terminus of the proposed High Speed 2 line to Birmingham and the north. This would require the expansion of the station to the south and west in order to create sufficient new long platforms. These plans, if taken forward, would preclude the 2007 reconstruction plans from going ahead and would entail complete reconstruction (involving inter alia the demolition of 220 Camden Council flats), with half the station serving conventional rail services and the new half high-speed trains. The Command Paper suggests restoring the old Euston Arch and an "artist's impression" includes such a rebuilt structure. In order to relieve pressure on Euston during and after the rebuilding for High Speed 2, HS2 Ltd has proposed the withdrawal of London Overground services between Euston and Queen's Park, and the diversion on to Crossrail of eight London Midland trains per hour from Milton Keynes.

Services

May 2010
Four train operating companies use Euston: Virgin Trains operates an intensive express network, from Platforms 1-7, 12-15 and 16-18.
  • 3tph to Birmingham New Street, with at least 1tph extended to Wolverhampton, one per day of which is combined with Birmingham New Street to Glasgow Central and Edinburgh Waverley trains
  • 3tph to Manchester Piccadilly via Stoke-on-Trent or Crewe
  • 1tph to Liverpool Lime Street via Stafford
  • 1tph to Chester, with some extended to Holyhead, Bangor or Wrexham General, all via Crewe
  • 1tph to Glasgow Central (though some terminate short at Carlisle, Lancaster or Preston) via Crewe
London Midland operates long-distance commuter and outer suburban services, from Platforms 8 to 11, 12-15 and 17.
  • 2tph all stations to Tring
  • 1tph to Milton Keynes Central
  • 1tph to Northampton, via Milton Keynes
  • 1tph to Birmingham New Street, via Northampton
  • 1tph to Crewe, via Northampton, the Trent Valley, and Stoke.
London Overground operates local commuter services, usually departing from platform 9.
  • 3tph to Watford Junction via local stations in North West London.
First ScotRail operates daily Sleeper services, from platforms 1 or 15.
  • Highland sleeper service to Aberdeen, at 21:15 Fort William and Inverness.
  • Lowland sleeper service at 23:50 to Glasgow Central and Edinburgh Waverley.


London Underground
Main article: Euston tube station Main article: Euston Square tube station Euston station is directly above and connected to Euston tube station, which is served by the Victoria Line and Northern Line (both Bank and Charing Cross branches) of the London Underground. Euston Square tube station on the Circle Line, Hammersmith & City Line and Metropolitan Line is a five-minute walk from the station along Euston Road. If the High Speed 2 line, which would terminate at Euston, goes ahead then Transport for London (TfL) plan to change the safeguarded route for the proposed Chelsea”“Hackney line to include Euston between Tottenham Court Road and Kings Cross St. Pancras.

Preceding station London Overground Following station South Hampstead towards Watford Junction Watford DC Line Terminus National Rail Watford Junction First ScotRail Lowland Caledonian Sleeper Terminus Crewe First ScotRail Highland Caledonian Sleeper (southbound) Terminus Watford Junction First ScotRail Highland Caledonian Sleeper (northbound) Terminus Watford Junction London Midland London " Crewe Terminus Harrow & Wealdstone London Midland London - Birmingham Terminus Watford Junction Virgin Trains London - Birmingham Terminus Tamworth Virgin Trains London - Glasgow Terminus Watford Junction Virgin Trains London - Chester/ Holyhead/Wrexham General Terminus Watford Junction Virgin Trains London - Liverpool Terminus Watford Junction Virgin Trains London - Manchester Terminus Watford Junction Virgin Trains London - Wolverhampton Terminus Preceding station London Underground Following station Great Portland Street towards Hammersmith Circle line Transfer at: Euston Square King's Cross St. Pancras towards Edgware Road (via Aldgate) Hammersmith & City line Transfer at: Euston Square King's Cross St. Pancras towards Barking Great Portland Street towards Amersham, Chesham, Uxbridge or Watford Metropolitan line Transfer at: Euston Square King's Cross St. Pancras towards Aldgate Mornington Crescent towards Edgware, Mill Hill East or High Barnet Northern line Charing Cross branch Transfer at: Euston Warren Street towards Kennington or Morden (via Charing Cross) Camden Town towards Edgware, Mill Hill East or High Barnet Northern line Bank branch Transfer at: Euston King's Cross St. Pancras towards Morden (via Bank) Warren Street towards Brixton Victoria line Transfer at: Euston King's Cross St. Pancras towards Walthamstow Central

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