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A Short Guide to Charing Cross Railway Station

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Charing Cross railway station was planned as the London terminus of the South Eastern Railway (SER), it was built on the site of the former Hungerford Market next to The Strand. It was decided that the station would be directly connected to Waterloo by a new bridge which was completed in 1863.

The station was designed by Sir John Hawkshaw, and featured a single span wrought iron roof, 510 feet (155 m) long and 164 feet (50 m) wide, over six platforms. The station was built on a brick arched viaduct and the space below the station has been used for a variety of uses.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Charing Cross station opened in 1864 and The Charing Cross Railway company became part of South Eastern Railway. The frontage of the station was taken up by the Charing Cross Hotel which was designed by Edward Middleton Barry and opened in 1865. The hotel had 250 bedrooms spread over seven floors and extended along Villiers Street. Its location led to its success and a 90-bedroom annexe was built on the other side of Villiers Street which opening in 1878. A bridge over the street connected the two parts of the hotel together.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

In 1887, Hungerford Bridge was widened to provide three more tracks into the station. In 1899, the SER merged with the London, Chatham and Dover Railway to form the South Eastern and Chatham Railway (SECR). At roughly the same time as the building of the hotel, a replica of the Eleanor Cross designed by Edward Middleton Barry was commissioned for the station forecourt. The original Eleanor Cross was built in 1291 and demolished in 1647 and distances in London are officially measured from the original site of the cross. That site now has a statue of Charles I and is still considered the centre of London.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

After its opening, Charing Cross became the main terminus of all SER services including boat trains to Continental Europe. Along with Victoria, it became the main departure point from London to overseas destinations. In 1913 it was possible to travel from Charing Cross to Paris in six and a half hours.

In 1905, the station was the scene of a tragic incident when a 70-foot part of the original roof collapsed, it was possible for the trains and platforms to be evacuated before the roof and girders crashed to the floor. The collapse of part of the wall through the roof of the neighbouring Royal Avenue Theatre caused six fatalities.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Due to its international connections, Charing Cross played an important part in World War I as the main departure point for the military towards the Western Front. The station was also used to receive the sick and wounded before sending them to hospitals around the country.  On 26 December 1918, shortly after the war, the US President Woodrow Wilson met King George V at Charing Cross and there is a plaque to mark this meeting. After the First World War, Charing Cross declined as an international terminal.

Since the late 19th century, people had suggested Charing Cross should be demolished for the valuable land to be reused. In the 1920s, plans were put forward to move the station to the south side of the Thames. Charing Cross sustained considerable damage during the Second World War and was forced to close on a number of occasions. Despite these setbacks, Charing Cross has survived into the 21st century  and is now an important part of the London transport network.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

From the 1970s and 1980s, the station has been modernised with much of the area developed into a office and shopping complex designed by Terry Farrell.

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
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A Short Guide to Marylebone Station in London

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Marylebone station is one of the smaller Central London railway terminus and is connected to the Marylebone Underground tube station. The station is known on the National Rail network as London Marylebone and is the southern terminus of the Chiltern Main Line to Birmingham.

The station opened in 1899 as the London terminus of the Great Central Main Line which linked the capital to the cities of Nottingham, Sheffield and Manchester. The Great Central Railway also linked London to stations in High Wycombe and Aylesbury. Rugby, Leicester, Nottingham, Sheffield and Manchester.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The station was designed by Henry William Braddock and was on a more modest scale than many other London stations. However Braddock did try to develop a style that fitted into the local residential surroundings.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The original plan was for eight platforms, but only four were built, three inside the train shed and one to its west. The cost of the line extension meant plans to build a Great Central Hotel nearby had to handed over to a different. The hotel when it was built had limited success and was converted to offices in 1945, it become the headquarters of British Rail from 1948 to 1986. Strangely the building has gone full circle and was restored as a hotel in 1993.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Marylebone Station has never attracted the large number of passengers like other main London stations but in the early 20th century the line was heavily used for freight. In 1923, GCR was absorbed into the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) and in 1948, LNER was nationalised to form the British Rail Eastern Region. Many prestigious locomotives, such as Flying Scotsman, Sir Nigel Gresley, and Mallard used the line. The construction of Wembley Stadium in 1923 led to the station being used to ferry large crowds to the stadium. From 1949, many long distance trains were scaled with more emphasis on local services towards High Wycombe and Princes Risborough.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Services to the station began to be run down, in 1960 all express services were discontinued, followed by freight in 1965. Marylebone’s large goods yard was closed and Marylebone became the terminus for local services to Aylesbury and High Wycombe only, with few services extended to Banbury. The station was transferred from the Western Region to the London Midland Region in 1973.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

After the 1960s, the station becoming increasingly run down and by the early 1980s, Marylebone Station was under serious threat of closure. British Rail announced plans to close Marylebone in 1984, these plans were challenged by local authorities and the public. Marylebone was reprieved from the threat of closure in 1986 and an £85 million modernisation programme of the station and its services was announced. This was funded by selling part of the station to developers. New platforms were built with new signalling and higher line speeds. In 1993, services to Banbury were extended to the reopened Birmingham Snow Hill station.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Chiltern Railways took over the rail services in 1996 and extended to Birmingham Snow Hill and Kidderminster. In 2006, new platforms were built bringing the total to six. In 2016, services to Oxford began and there are plans to upgrade Marylebone to deal with more traffic.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Other claims for fame for the station is that it is one of the squares on the British Monopoly board and has appeared in many films and TV series. The station was used for several scenes in The Beatles’ film A Hard Day’s Night which were filmed here in 1964.

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
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Ink at the Duke of Yorks Theatre – 9th September 2017 to 6th January 2018

Fleet Street. 1969. The Sun rises. A young and rebellious Rupert Murdoch asks the impossible and launches The Sun’s first editor’s quest: to give the people what they want. No matter the cost.

Following a sell-out season at the Almeida, Ink, written by James Graham (This House) and directed by Rupert Goold (King Charles III), transfers to the Duke of York’s Theatre for a strictly limited season. With a cast featuring Bertie Carvel (Doctor Foster, Matilda) and Richard Coyle (The Associate, The Lover), this ruthless, red-topped new play leads with the birth of this country’s most influential newspaper.

Important information

Running timeTBC

Performance dates

Saturday 9th September 2017 – Saturday 6th January 2018.

For more information or to book tickets, visit the Booking website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

 

Night Tube begins on the Jubilee Line – 7th October 2016

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As part of the roll out of Night Tube services, Transport for London will be launching the  Night Tube on the Jubilee line this week, starting on Friday 7 October, and will be running all night on Fridays and Saturdays.

There will be a train about every 10 minutes. Standard off-peak fares will be charged and Day Travelcards cover journeys made until 04.29 the next day. There will be extended some bus services to help meet increased demand for customers travelling to and from Night Tube stations.

The Night Tube already runs on the Victoria and parts of the Central line with the Northern and Piccadilly line expected to join the system in the autumn.

Full Night Service details

Victoria line – trains running on average every 10 minutes across the entire line

Central line – trains running approximately every 10 minutes between White City and Leytonstone and approximately every 20 minutes between Ealing Broadway to White City and Leytonstone to Loughton/ Hainault

No service between North Acton and West Ruislip, Loughton and Epping and Woodford and Hainault

Jubilee line (starts 7 October) – trains running on average every 10 minutes across the entire line

Northern line (coming this autumn) – trains running on average every 8 minutes between Morden and Camden Town and approximately every 15 minutes from Camden Town to High Barnet / Edgware

No service on the Mill Hill East and Bank branches

Piccadilly line (coming this autumn) – trains running on average every 10 minutes between Cockfosters and Heathrow Terminal 5

No service on the Terminal 4 loop, or between Acton Town and Uxbridge

Fares

TfL will charge standard off-peak fares for travelling on the Night Tube.

Day Travelcards are valid on the day of issue (using the date printed on the card), and for journeys starting before 04:30 the following day. For example, if you buy a Day Travelcard at 11:00 on Friday, you can use it until 04:29 on the following Saturday. Daily capping on Oyster cards and contactless payment cards also applies.

For more information, visit the Transport for London website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and the latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

 

The Night Tube in London

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The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan launched London’s first ever weekend Night Tube service at the end of August 2016 which was used for over 50,000 journeys. At the moment, the Night Tube is only on the Central and Victoria Lines but will be rolled to other lines before the end of the year.

The Night Tube facts

A 24-hour service now runs on the Central and Victoria lines on Fridays and Saturdays

Trains run every 10 or 20 minutes, depending on stations

This new service runs alongside existing Night Bus and taxi services

Night Tube services will begin on the Jubilee line on 7 October

Night Tube services on the Northern and Piccadilly lines will follow by the end of the year

 The service is expected to benefit thousands of workers who have to travel to or from work at night and help Londoners get home quickly and safely after a night out. It will also benefit visitors who arrive in London in the early morning.

For more information, visit the Transport for London website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and the latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

The Launch of the new one hour ‘Hopper’ fare – Monday 12th September 2016

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The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, launched the new one hour bus fare – the ‘Hopper’ – on Monday 12 September. Bus and tram passengers will now be able to take two journeys for the price of one, within an hour.

How does it work ?

Any second bus or tram journey made within one hour of the start of your first journey will be free, if you’re using contactless or Oyster pay-as-you-go.

From 2018, passengers will also be able to make unlimited bus and tram journeys within one hour – once TfL has upgraded its ticketing technology.

The Hopper in 2016

The Hopper fare applies automatically to passengers who are using contactless or Oyster pay-as-you-go

Passengers can switch between buses and trams in any combination, within an hour

The Hopper from 2018:

Transport for London (TfL) are improving their technology so that passengers should be able to make unlimited bus and tram journeys within one hour

Currently, the Hopper saving does not apply if a passenger changes from a bus or tram, to a rail or tube service, and then back to a bus or tram. TfL are improving their technology so that from 2018 these journeys will also qualify for the Hopper fare

The Hopper fare has been introduced to benefit Londoners on low incomes who may rely more heavily on the bus network. Using the Hopper fare, bus passengers can make longer journeys across London for just £1.50 for a standard adult fare.

For more information, visit the Transport for London website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and the latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

 

Standing Room Only on the Escalators at Holborn Station

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One of the first rules of London tube etiquette is when on the escalators, you stand on the right and walk up the left side. This London Underground convention is a accepted rule and much valued by Londoners but often a source of confusion for visitors.

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In a radical break from convention, passengers at Holborn station will be asked not to walk up two escalators after research has found that standing on both sides improved passenger flow and reduced congestion.

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Holborn is one of the stations that has quite long and high escalators, therefore fewer people take up the option of walking up the escalator causing queues to form at the bottom. During a test when standing on both, the results found 16,220 people could travel on Holborn’s 23.4m (76ft 8in) -high escalators during rush hour, compared to 12,745 in normal circumstances.

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So how do you get people to change their escalator habits ? TFL is using a number of approaches during the trial to find out which is most successful. One of the more novel approaches is the ‘hologram’ of a member of the TFL staff explaining the changes, other approaches include electronic “standing only” signs, blue footsteps and handprints on the handrails.

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Early indications are that hundreds of the normally imperturbable commuters are ignoring the advice and walking anyway. But with 56 million people using Holborn annually and congestion a problem at peak times, it may be that one of the common conventions on the Tube is under threat especially in stations with long and high escalators.