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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.

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Kings Cross Station, Boudicca and Harry Potter


King’s Cross station is one of Britain’s major railway terminus  with high speed inter-city connections to destinations in Yorkshire, the North East and northern and eastern Scotland. King Cross is tied closely to St Pancras sharing the tube station on the London Underground network.

King’s Cross was built in 1851–1852, the main design was by Lewis Cubitt of the well known Cubitt family which was based on two great arched train sheds, with a brick structure at the end. In contrast to the ornate and decorative St Pancras, King’s Cross station was built to be based on efficient functionality.

The heyday of Kings Cross was between the 1930s and 1960s when it was the terminus of the high speed lines from Scotland and the North.  Some of the most famous steam trains of the time, the Flying Scotsman, Gresley and the record breaking Mallard steamed into King’s Cross.


In 1972, a new frontage containing a passenger area and ticket office was built to the front of the station, although considered to be temporary, it was still there 40 years later. In 2005, a £500 million restoration was planned that would return the original roof to its former glory and restore the Grade I-listed façade of the original station.


A new concourse was built to facilitate movement around the station and a piazza on the front of the original façade.

The opening of the restored Kings Cross and St Pancras are part of a massive regeneration of an area that had a less than attractive reputation in the last 30 years.


As well as its place in railway history , King’s Cross is also known for two very different reasons, one of the oldest legends related to Kings Cross was related to Roman times when the area was supposed to be the scene of a battle between Boudicca’s Iceni tribe and the Roman Army. This has led to the a series of stories that the Ancient Queen is buried under platform 9 and her ghost stalks the station.


A more recent phenomenon related to Kings Cross is the Harry Potter novels by J K Rowling, according to the books Harry and his friends depart from the fictional Platform 9¾ on the Hogwarts Express to go to Hogwarts School.

King’s Cross have entered into the spirit of Harry Potter by creating a fictional Platform 9¾ which has a luggage trolley  impaled within the wall, which is a mecca for  Harry Potter fans for photographs.


There is also an Harry Potter shop nearby to buy your Harry Potter merchandise.

Kings Cross perhaps does not have the gothic splendour of nearby St Pancras but is worth a short visit to understand another style of Victorian Railway architecture .