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A Short History of Euston Railway Station

Euston_Station_London_-_geograph_org_uk_-_1309275

Euston railway station is a London railway terminus serving as the southern terminus of the West Coast Main Line, the main gateway to the West Midlands, the North West, North Wales and part of Scotland.

Unlike the multi million pounds development of St Pancras and King’s Cross, nearby Euston has not had a recent makeover and stands rather forlorn on the busy Euston Road.
However this was not always the case, Euston was the first inter-city railway station in London, opening on 1837 as the terminus of the London and Birmingham Railway.

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The original station was built by William Cubitt and  designed by architect Philip Hardwick, although initially it had only two platforms, it had an impressive entrance known as the Euston Arch.

Euston_Arch_1896

The station underwent rapid change in the 19th century and by the 1930s was increasingly congested, however it was not till the 1960s that the decision was made to demolish the old station and the famous Euston Arch. Although there was considerable opposition, the demolition went ahead and a new building constructed.

The new station was never popular and over time the destruction of the old station was considered “one of the greatest acts of Post-War architectural vandalism in Britain”

Apart from the lodges on Euston Road and Robert Stephenson statue now on the forecourt, little of the old station survives.

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There is a large statue by Eduardo Paolozzi named Piscator  at the front of the courtyard.

In the twenty-first century, many plans have been put forward to redevelop Euston, however the announcement that Euston would be the terminus for the proposed High Speed Two Line  might indicate that Euston might not be the ugly duckling of London railway stations for much longer.