King's Cross railway station
King's Cross railway station, also known as London King's Cross, is a central London railway terminus opened in 1852. The station is on the northern edge of central London, at the junction of the A501 Euston Road and York Way, in the Kings Cross district and within the London Borough of Camden on the border of the London Borough of Islington. King's Cross is the southern terminus of the East Coast Main Line, one of the UK's major railway backbones. Some of its most important long-distance destinations are Leeds, Newcastle and Edinburgh. It also hosts outer-suburban services to Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire as well as a regional service to Peterborough, Cambridge and Kings Lynn. Immediately adjacent to the west is St Pancras railway station, the London terminus for international Eurostar trains, high-speed trains to Kent via High Speed 1 and East Midlands Trains, as well as a major interchange for First Capital Connect services. The two stations are operationally completely separate, but from the passenger's point of view they may be regarded as a single complex for interchange purposes. They share King's Cross St. Pancras tube station on the London Underground network.

King's Cross was originally designed and built as the London hub of the Great Northern Railway and terminus of the East Coast main line. It took its name from the Kings Cross area of London, itself named after a monument to King George IV that was demolished in 1845. Plans for the station were first made in December 1848 by and under the direction of George Turnbull, resident engineer for construction of the first 20 miles of the Great Northern Railway out of London. The detailed design was by Lewis Cubitt, and construction was in 1851”“1852 on the site of a former fever and smallpox hospital. The main part of the station, which today includes platforms 1 to 8, was opened on 14 October 1852. It replaced a temporary terminus at Maiden Lane that had opened on 7 August 1850. The platforms have been reconfigured several times. Originally there was only one arrival and one departure platform (today's platforms 1 and 8 respectively), with the space between used for carriage sidings. In later years, as suburban traffic grew, space for additional platforms was added with considerably less grandeur. The secondary building now containing platforms 9”“11 (and the fictional Platform 9 3â„ 4) survives from that era. A new platform, numbered 0, was opened in 2010. It lies to the east of platform 1, and has created capacity for Network Rail to begin a phased refurbishment of platforms 1-8 that will include new lifts to a new footbridge between the platforms. By 2013 the entire station will have been restored and transformed. When the railways were privatised in 1996, express services into the station were taken over by GNER. Though it successfully re-bid for the franchise in 2005, it was asked to surrender it in December 2006. National Express East Coast took over the franchise on 9 December 2007 after an interim period when GNER ran trains under a management contract. In July 2009, it was announced that National Express was no longer willing to finance the East Coast subsidiary and so the franchise was taken back into public ownership, handing over to East Coast in November 2009. According to recent urban folklore, King's Cross is built on the site of Boudica's final battle, or else her body is buried under one of the platforms. Platforms 8, 9 and 10 have been suggested as possible sites. There are also passages under the station which Boudica's ghost is supposed to haunt. The King's Cross fire of 1987, in which 31 people died, was at the adjacent King's Cross St. Pancras Underground station. A major redevelopment of this station (partly influenced by the report issued after the fire) is currently in progress. Phase One was completed in 2006, and Phase Two is expected to be complete by 2011. In 1972, a one-storey extension designed in-house by British Rail was constructed in front of the station. Although the extension was intended to be temporary, it still stands nearly forty years later. Many consider the extension unattractive, not least because it obscures the Grade I-listed façade of the original station. Before the extension was built, the façade had already become hidden behind a small terrace of shops. The extension is scheduled to be demolished, revealing once again the Lewis Cubitt architecture, when the new ticket hall and concourse area are finished on the station's western side. On 10 September 1973, a Provisional IRA bomb exploded in the booking hall at 12.24 pm, causing extensive damage and injuring six people, some seriously. The 3 lb (1.4 kg) device was thrown without warning into the station by a youth who escaped into the crowd and was not caught.

King's Cross York Road
Before 1976, part of King's Cross was an intermediate station. On the extreme east of the site was Kings Cross York Road, with suburban trains travelling south from Finsbury Park calling here, then going underground using the York Road curve to join the City Widened Lines to Farringdon, Barbican and Moorgate stations. In the other direction, trains from Moorgate came off the Widened Lines via the Hotel Curve, with platform 16 (latterly renumbered 14) rising to the main-line level. Services to and from Moorgate were diverted via the Northern City Line from August 1976.

Location and surroundings
West of King's Cross are, in succession, the reconstructed and restored St Pancras station, the British Library and Euston station, all within a few minutes' walk. Considerable regeneration effort has gone into the area in recent years, with the opening of new hotels and office space under construction. The Network-Rail-owned Power Signal Box (PSB) for the southern end of the East Coast Main Line stands at the country end of the station. The box controls trains as far as Biggleswade and Royston, and also controls the Northern City Line. Peterborough signal box takes over after Biggleswade, and Cambridge after Royston. First Capital Connect also controls all its GN route trains from its control (or 'Service Delivery Centre') at King's Cross PSB.

In 2005, a £500 million restoration plan was announced by Network Rail; it was approved by Camden London Borough Council on 9 November 2007. The plan includes a thorough restoration of the arched roof of the station and the demolition of the 1972 extension, which will be replaced by an open-air plaza. A semi-circular concourse (estimated completion date 2012) will be built in the space directly to the west of the station behind the Great Northern Hotel, which will have some outbuildings demolished. It will replace the current 1972 concourse, shopping area and East Coast ticket office, providing greater integration between the intercity and suburban sections of the station, as well as easier access to St Pancras. The land between and behind the domestic main lines leading from the two stations is being redeveloped with nearly 2,000 new homes, 486,280 m 2 (5,234,000 sq ft) of offices and new roads as King's Cross Central. As part of this restoration programme, refurbished offices have opened on the east side of the station to replace the ones lost on the west side, and a new platform 0 opened underneath them on 20 May 2010. The platform occupies the space of a former taxi rank, and was originally to be known as platform Y, but was renamed to avoid the confusion of having both lettered and numbered platforms. When the refurbishment is complete, all the platforms will be renumbered, the new one becoming platform 1. Although there have been plans for a new platform for some time to increase the capacity at the station, it was ultimately the need to minimise disruption during restoration when other platforms would be temporarily out of use that led to this being built.


East Coast Route






Blair Atholl
















Glasgow Central



Edinburgh Waverley















Bradford Forster Sq


Wakefield Westgate






Lincoln Central (from 2011)

Newark North Gate




London Kings Cross First Capital Connect Great Northern Route

King's Lynn Fen Line

Watlington Peterborough

Downham Market


Ely Huntingdon


Cambridge St Neots

Foxton Hitchin-Cambridge Line

Shepreth Sandy


Royston Biggleswade

Ashwell & Morden

Baldock Arlesey

Letchworth Garden City

Cambridge Junction Hitchin



Hertford Loop Line Welwyn North

Watton-at-Stone Digswell Viaduct

Hertford North Welwyn Garden City

Bayford Hatfield


M25 Welham Green

Crews Hill Brookmans Park

Gordon Hill Potters Bar

Enfield Chase M25

Hadley Wood


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