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Kings Cross ILN 1852

King's Cross in 1852.

DISTRICT(1888) p138 - King's Cross Station (plan)

Plan of King's Cross in 1888. Originally there was only one arrival and one departure platform.

Morning rush from King's Cross (CJ Allen, Steel Highway, 1928)

Steam trains at King's Cross in 1928.

Kings Cross York Rd tunnel 2002

The tunnel to York Road Station in 2002. The tunnel is between the EWS Loco and the white van. The station platform is under the potacabins. Author: Trish pt7.

Over viewEdit

King's Cross (also Kings Cross) is an inner city area of Greater London, England, 2.5 miles (4.8 km) north of Charing Cross. It is the location and namesake of King's Cross railway station, one of the major gateways into London from the North.  It was also heavly populated and importent beck in the 1850s. Formerly a red light district, the area has been regenerated since the mid-1990s with the terminus of the Eurostar rail service at St Pancras International opening in 2007 and the construction of King's Cross Central, a major redevelopment in the north of the area. 

King's Cross railway station is a major London railway terminus which opened in 1852 on the northern edge of central London. King's Cross is the southern terminus of the East Coast Main Line, providing high speed inter-city services toYorkshire, the North East and ScotlandVirgin Trains East Coast is the main inter-city operator with destinations including LeedsNewcastle and Edinburgh. Other inter-city operators serving the station include Hull Trains and Grand Central services. King's Cross is also a terminus for Great Northern which provides commuter services to North LondonHertfordshire,CambridgeshireBedfordshire and Norfolk. Immediately to the west across Pancras Road is St Pancras International, the London terminus of Eurostar services to continental Europe. The two stations share King's Cross St Pancras tube station on the London Underground network and taken together form one of Britain's biggest transport hubs. The station is 820 yards (750 m) north-east of Euston, the southern terminus for the West Coast Main Line.

The railway station and related railway line have been owned by the firstly the Great Northern Railway (GNR) (1852–1923), then the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) (1923–1948), the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (1923–1947), British Railways (1948–1994), Railtrack (1994–2001) and Network Rail (2001–present).

London King's Cross Railway StationEdit

Kings Cross ILN 1852

King's Cross in 1852.

DISTRICT(1888) p138 - King's Cross Station (plan)

Plan of King's Cross in 1888. Originally there was only one arrival and one departure platform.

Morning rush from King's Cross (CJ Allen, Steel Highway, 1928)

Steam trains at King's Cross in 1928.

HistoryEdit

Its foundingEdit

King's Cross was built between 1851 and 1852 as the London hub of the Great Northern Railway and terminus of the East Coast main line. It took its name from the King's Cross area of London, which was named after a monument to King George IV that was demolished in 1845. Construction was on the site of a fever and smallpox hospital and it replaced a temporary terminus at Maiden Lane that had opened on 7 August 1850. 

Plans for the station were first made in December 1848 under the direction of George Turnbull, resident engineer for construction of the first 20 miles (32 km) of the Great Northern Railway out of London. The detailed design was by Lewis Cubitt, the brother of both Thomas Cubitt (the architect of Bloomsbury, Belgravia and Osborne House), and of Sir William Cubitt (who was chief engineer of The Crystal Palace built in 1851, and consulting engineer to the Great Northern and South Eastern Railways). The design is magnificent in its simplicity, being based on two great arched train sheds, with a brick structure at the south end designed to reflect the main arches behind. In size, it was inspired by the 200 yards (180 m) long Moscow Riding Academy of 1825, which it handsomely exceeded at 269 yards (246 m). At the time King's Cross station was the last word in functional modernity. Lewis Cubitt was also responsible for the design of the Great Northern Hotel, and the 1847 cast-iron railway bridge over the River Nene at Peterborough.

The main part of the station, which today includes platforms 1 to 8, was opened on 14 October 1852. 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. As suburban traffic grew additional platforms were added in the 1860s and 1870s with considerably less grandeur. The suburban station building now containing platforms 9–11 is from that era.

Great Northern trains called at Kings Cross York Road, then went through a tunnel, into Farringdon, Barbican, then the former Kings Cross Met (the non LUL platforms being the now closed KX Thameslink), and finaly running to Moorgate via the 'Widened Lines' (AKA: the Thameslink route)The returned via Kings Cross Met, Barbican and Farringdon, without stopping at Kings Cross Met, and called at platform 16 at Kings Cross station. King's Cross York Road Platform closed in 1976 and the line was closed in 1979. The Moorgate trains then become part of the new Thameslink service to Kentish Town in 1986.

Kings Cross Goods Yard incorporated the two main-line railway termini on the Euston Road, used by Kings Cross Station and St Pancras. It was first laid out by the Great Northern Railway Company in the early 1850s.

WW1Edit

Traffic was heavy, especially with troop and supply trains.

WW2Edit

It was hit by several bombs. On the 4th of February, 1945, a passenger train stalled in Gasworks Tunnel, ran back and was derailed in the station. Two people were killed and 25 were injured.

Cold WarEdit

The 'Beeching Axe'Edit

It was advised that the track layout should be revised, platforms shortened and York Road's small island platform was to be scrapped. The station was consider to be a bit inificant at the time.

Redeveloping Kings Cross Goods Yard and stationEdit

Kings Cross Goods Yard incorporated the two main-line railway termini on the Euston Road, used by Kings Cross Station and St Pancras. Maiden lane (now York Road) goods depot was built in 1850 by the GN. It was first fully laid out by the Great Northern Railway Company (GN) in the early 1850s, but expanded slightly in the 1870s, 1880s, 1890s early 1920s, late 1930s and late 1940s.

The sprawling mass of some 58 areas of warehouses, sheds, stables, abandoned turntables, offices and sidings chosen for redevelopment by British Rail in 1986. The ambitious proposals for the redevelopment by the London Regeneration Consortium were abandoned after the over-inflated property market collapsed in the late 1980's. When St Pancras the site for the international terminal for the Channel Tunnel high-speed rail link plans were reviewed. Selective recording of the area and some of the buildings was carried out by the RCHME recorded a selection of the buildings between 1990 and 1999 in the Kings Cross redevelopment area record.

In 1972, a single-storey extension designed in-house by British Rail was built on to the front of the station to contain the main passenger concourse and ticket office. Although intended to be temporary, it still stood 40 years later, obscuring the Grade I-listed façade of the original station. Before the extension was built, the façade was hidden behind a small terrace of shops. The extension was demolished in late 2012, revealing once again the Lewis Cubitt architecture. In its place, the 75,000 sq ft King's Cross Square was created, which was opened to the public on 26 September 2013. Many of the train stabling sidings were then upgraded and the worn out older parts removed.

In 1991 British Rail proposed a new station under King's Cross, with four platforms for international trains through the Channel Tunnel, and four for Thameslink trains, with some commuter trains to be diverted to St Pancras. These plans were abandoned in favor of the international trains using a new terminal at St Pancras.

IRA bombEdit

On 10 September 1973, a Provisional IRA bomb exploded in the booking hall at 12.24, causing extensive damage and injuring six people, some seriously. The 3 lb (1.4 kg) device was thrown without warning by a youth who escaped into the crowd and was not caught.

Life todayEdit

KingsCrossDevelopmentModel

Model showing the current redevelopment of the Kings Cross area with the new High Speed 1 terminal behind the barrel vaulted St Pancras station on the left. Photograph © Andrew Dunn, 27 October 2004. Website: http://www.andrewdunnphoto.com/

A new platform, numbered 0, was opened in 2010. To the east of platform 1, it created capacity for Network Rail to achieve a phased refurbishment of platforms 1–8 that includes new lifts to a new footbridge between the platforms. By 2013 the entire station will have been restored and transformed. The restoration project was awarded a European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage/Europa Nostra Award in 2013.

Famous trainsEdit

A number of famous trains have been associated with King's Cross, such as the Flying Scotsman service to Edinburgh, and the Gresley A3 and later streamlined A4 Pacific steam locomotives, which handled express services from the 1930s until the early 1960s. The most famous of these was Mallard, which still holds the world speed record for steam locomotives (set in 1938).

Bus servicesEdit

  1. 10  
  2. 17 
  3. 30 
  4. 45 
  5. 46 
  6. 59 
  7. 63 
  8. 73 
  9. 91 
  10. 205 
  11. 214 
  12. 259 
  13. 390 
  14. 476
  15. N63 
  16. N73
  17. N91

StatsEdit

UsageEdit

Real life platformsEdit

  1. 12 for public use (0 to 11).
  2. 2 for stabling locos (12 and 13).
  3. The unbuilt on part of the former York Road Station (14).

King's Cross's fictitious platformsEdit

  1. Platform 9¾ is for the students and muggles's to get to Hogwarts on the Hogworts Express.
  2. Platform 7½ is used by Wizards to get home and to Hogwarts on their own special steam train.

King's Cross York Road Platform (ex-serface station)Edit

Over viewEdit

Maiden lane (now York Road) goods depot was built in 1850. Between 1863 and 1976, part of King's Cross was an independent intermediate station. It opened in 1879 and was accessed by a stairway from from York road. It was on the extreme east of the site was King's Cross York Road, with suburban trains from Finsbury Park calling here, then using the relatively narrow, sharply curved, and sharply graded York Road Tunnel to join the City Widened Lines to Farringdon, Barbican and Moorgate. 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. The GN suburban services run from Moorgate to Welwyn, Hatfild and Herford North or across London via the Snow Hill Tunnel.

Services to and from Moorgate were diverted via the Northern City Line from August 1976.

HistoryEdit

City Widened Lines (1)

The City Widened Lines between King's Cross and Moorgate Street and their connections.

The 'Beeching Axe' advised that the track layout should be revised, mainline station platforms shortened and York Road's small island platform was to be scrapped to leave only the main roadside one. The line between Kentish Town and Moorgate was renamed the Moorgate Line when the line through Snow Hill Tunnel was reinstated for Thameslink.

Future plansEdit

There are none since it was mostly levveled and built on, with the remnants nearest the bricked up tunnels used to store railway workmens' equipment.

Bus connectionsEdit

  1. 17
  2. 59
  3. 259
  4. 10
  5. 45
  6. N63
  7. 91
  8. 390
  9. 63
  10. N91

ImagesEdit

LUL's King's Cross St Pancras tube stationEdit

King's Cross St Pancras underground station entrance - IMG 0746

The entrance on Euston Road outside King's Cross station concourse in 2011.

Over viewEdit

King's Cross St Pancras (AKA: King's Cross St Pancras Underground Station or King's Cross St Pancras Tube station) is a London Underground station located within the London Borough of Camden. It serves King's Cross and St Pancras main line stations and falls within fare zone 1. Being an interchange station between six lines, (the Circle, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan, Northern, Piccadilly and Victoria lines) it is the second busiest station on the network, second only to Waterloo.

HistoryEdit

File:Kings Cross St Pancras stn Piccadilly northbound look south.JPG
File:Kings cross tunnel.jpg
File:Kingscrossmemorial.jpg

The stations along the central part of the Piccadilly line, as well as some sections of the Northern line, were financed by Charles Yerkes, and are famous for the Leslie Green designed red station buildings and distinctive platform tiling. Each station had its own unique tile pattern and colours.

The first underground station at King's Cross opened as part of the original section of the Metropolitan Railway in 1863 and was rearranged in 1868 and 1926. In 1940 Metropolitan Railway services (today's Metropolitan, Circle and Hammersmith and City line services) ceased to call at the station's 2 London Underground platforms due to bomb damage. New platforms for the sub-surface lines of the Underground were opened about 400 m (440 yd) to the west in 1941 to make interchanging between the sub-surface lines and the tube lines easier

The 2 1868 platforms later became the former King's Cross Thameslink station, which closed on 9 December 2007 when the Thameslink service moved to St Pancras International. One of the platforms may be seen from Underground trains between the present station and Farringdon.

The first underground station at King's Cross opened as part of the original section of the Metropolitan Railway in 1863 and was rearranged in 1868 and 1926. New platforms for the sub-surface lines of the Underground were opened about 400 m (440 yd) to the west in 1941 to make interchanging between the sub-surface lines and the tube lines easier; the 1868 platforms later became the former King's Cross Thameslink station, which closed on 9 December 2007 when the Thameslink service moved to St Pancras International. One of the platforms may be seen from Underground trains between the present station and Farringdon.

The Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway (GNP&BR, now part of the Piccadilly line) platforms opened with the rest of the line in December 1906, while the City & South London Railway (C&SLR, now part of the Northern line) arrived in May 1907. The Victoria line platforms came into use on 1 December 1968 with the opening of the second phase of the line. The Victoria line escalators cut through the location of the original Piccadilly line lifts.

On 18 November 1987, King's Cross St Pancras Underground station was the scene of a devastating fire that killed 31 people. The cause was attributed to a lit match falling into, and setting fire to, an escalator machine room, combined with a then-unknown fire phenomenon of the trench effect, which caused the fire to explode into the station. As a result, fire safety procedures on the Underground were tightened, staff training was improved and wooden steps on escalators were replaced with metal ones. The existing prohibition of smoking throughout the London Underground network was tightened. Due to the extensive damage caused by the fire, it took over a year to repair and reopen the station; the Northern line platforms and the escalators from the ticket hall to the Piccadilly line remained closed until 5 March 1989.

The King's Cross fire broke out on Wednesday 18 November 1987 at approximately 19:30 at King's Cross St Pancras tube station, a major interchange on the London Underground. The fire killed 31 people and injured 100 people. As well as the mainline railway stations above ground and subsurface platforms for the Metropolitan lines, there were platforms deeper underground for the Northern, Piccadilly, and  Victoria lines.

There were two separate escalator shafts leading down to the Victoria and Piccadilly lines; the Northern line was reached from the Piccadilly line. Stairs connected the Piccadilly and Victoria line platforms and from these there was a subway to platforms used by British Rail Midland City (later Thameslink) trains to Moorgate and an entrance in Pentonville Road.

The fire started on an escalator serving the Piccadilly line and 15 minutes after being reported, as the first members of the London Fire Brigade were investigating, the fire flashed over, filling the underground ticket office with heat and smoke.

The subsequent public inquiry determined that the fire had started due to a lit match being dropped onto the wooden escalator (which was installed in 1939 and last deep cleaned in 1957) and suddenly increased in intensity due to the previously unknown trench effect. London Underground were strongly criticised for their attitude toward fires. Staff were complacent because there had never been a fatal fire on the Underground, and had been given little or no training to deal with fires or evacuation.

The publication of the report led to resignations of senior management in both London Underground and London Regional Transport and to the introduction of new fire safety regulations.

Smoking was quickly banned on the London Underground and all wooden escalators were removed with in a few years except for a few in fairly open stations like Greenford station. Greenford had the last one on LUL removed in 2014.

On 7 July 2005, as part of a co-ordinated bomb attack, an explosion in a Piccadilly line train travelling between King's Cross St Pancras and Russell Square resulted in the deaths of 26 people.

Although most of the platform tilework has been redone, the Piccadilly line platform in this photo shows the tile rings that each station along the central part of that line had at opening.

The stations along the central part of the Piccadilly line, as well as some sections of the Northern line, were financed by Charles Yerkes, and are famous for the Leslie Green designed red station buildings and distinctive platform tiling. Each station had its own unique tile pattern and colours.

Future plansEdit

Since 1991, a route for a potential Crossrail 2 has been safeguarded, including a connection at King's Cross St Pancras and Euston, forming the station Euston King's Cross St Pancras. The proposed scheme would offer a second rail link between King's Cross and Victoria in addition to the Victoria line. The locations for any new stations on the route will depend on the loading gauge of the final scheme. In the 2007 safeguarded route, the next stations would be Tottenham Court Road and Angel.

Bus connectionsEdit

  • 10
  • 17
  • 30
  • 45
  • 46
  • 59
  • 63
  • 73
  • 91
  • 205
  • 214
  • 259
  • 390
  • 476
  • N63
  • N73
  • N91
  • N205 

LUL's former York Road stationEdit

York Road station

The frontage of York Road, a disused tube station on the Piccadilly Line between King's Cross and Caledonian Road.

Over viewEdit

York Road is a disused station on the London Underground, located between King's Cross and Caledonian Road, with its entrance at the corner of York Road (now York Way) and Bingfield Street. It opened on 15 December 1906 and was one of the original stations on the Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway (GNP&BR), the precursor to today's Piccadilly line.

HistoryEdit

Unlike most other GNP&BR stations, the lifts descended directly to platform level. The platform layout is almost identical to that at Caledonian Road, but the two tracks form very gentle convex curves with respect to bases of the lift shafts between the tracks.

The platform tiling was carried out by G. Woolliscroft & Sons of Hanley, Staffordshire, and was made up of white with maroon and brick red patterning. Most of the tiling has since been painted over in grey, but a small section remains untouched and can be seen at the Finsbury Park end of the former eastbound platform.

A small signalling cabin stands near this section of tiling, and was used to operate a crossover immediately to the northeast of the station. This signal box remained operational until 25 April 1964, although by this time the crossover was little used, having been largely superseded by a new one built at King's Cross eight years previously. However, the disused cabin still stands and can be seen from passing trains.

Plans for a emergency teliphone realay facilaty were floated in the mid 1970s, but they never ame to anything in the end.

Being sited in a poor industrial area, the station saw little use, and Sunday services were withdrawn entirely from 5 May 1918. The station remained open for weekday and Saturday traffic only until 19 September 1932, when it was permanently closed.

The surface station buildings are still clearly visible, on the left heading south down York Way towards King's Cross. The former platform area below is also visible from passing trains in both directions, although part of the eastbound platform is bricked off. As with most other disused Underground stations, the platform itself has been removed. As the site is currently used as an emergency exit from the tunnels, one of the passageways between the platforms is permanently lit by a series of lamps.

Future plansEdit

In 2005 a business case was prepared to re-open the disused York Road tube station on the Piccadilly line, to serve the Kings Cross Central development and help relieve congestion at King's Cross St Pancras. York Road station closed in 1932 and was about 600 m (660 yd) north of King's Cross St Pancras.

One of London's largest redevelopment projects, King's Cross Central, began construction in 2008 across the road from the station. Islington council and Transport for London commissioned a study in 2005 to consider the possible reopening of the station. At the same time, however, it was recognised that other transport priorities reduced the likelihood of such a project moving forward in the near future. The site would need extensive overhauls to bring the station up to modern day standards, at a cost estimated at £21 million in 2005. Local political groups have been keen to see the station reopened in order to reduce passenger congestion at King's Cross St Pancras and to encourage development in the surrounding community. The Islington Liberal Democrats advocated the reopening of the station in their 2006 local election manifesto, and at least one candidate for the Islington Conservative Party similarly campaigned for the station to be reopened. However, to date, the reopening proposal has not been taken forward.

Bus connectionsEdit

N\A.

Former Great Northern Cemetery StationEdit

Over viewEdit

It was a station that moved corpses and mourners cheaply from London to New Southgate Cemetery.

HistoryEdit

Started in 1855 and opened in 1861 just north of the main station on the Islington side, was constructed a facility for taking coffins and mourners away from the city to the burial grounds at New Southgate Cemetery. This was similar in function to the London Necropolis railway station which was adjacent to Waterloo station in the south, but was intended to be a cheaper, more affordable service. The station was at the road level, with coffins lowered by hydraulic lift to the railway level. It never made a profit and was closed in 1873 after just twelve years in operation.

Future plansEdit

Non.

Bus connectionsEdit

N\A.

King's Cross Thameslink\Kings Cross Met' railway stationEdit

Over viewEdit

20040910-005-kings-cross-thameslink

King's Cross Thameslink before its closure.

City Widened Lines (1)

The City Widened Lines between King's Cross and Moorgate Street and their connections.

The Widened Lines (also known as the City Widened Lines), officially called the Thameslink Core Route by Network Railas a part of the Thameslink Programme, is the name of a railway line that now forms a section of the Thameslink route from King's Cross to Farringdon within central London. For most of its life the line ran from King's Cross to Moorgate, and it was completed in 1866 when the Metropolitan Railway was widened from two to four tracks between King's Cross and Farringdon and a four-track railway opened from there to Moorgate.

The tracks were owned by the Metropolitan Railway but were used mainly by other railway companies. Connections to theGreat Northern Railway (GNR) at King's Cross and London, Chatham and Dover Railway (LC&DR) at Farringdon allowed cross-London services to run. There was very soon a connection to the Midland Railway at St Pancras, near King's Cross. In the early 20th century competition meant the cross London services died, although the GNR and Midland services into Moorgate survived. In 1976 the former GNR services were diverted via the Northern City Line to Moorgate, and in 1988 the cross-London route reopened for Thameslink. The line east of Farringdon closed in 2009 to allow the platforms at Farringdon to be extended to take 12-car trains.

The line between Kentish Town and Moorgate was renamed the Moorgate Line when the line through Snow Hill Tunnel was reinstated for Thameslink.

HistoryEdit

Pre-1976Edit

A curve from left to right shows the Metropolitan Railway and King's Cross, Farringdon Street, Aldersgate Street, and Moorgate Street stations. The Widened Lines are shown starting just before King's Cross and then following the Met, crossing over the line before reaching Farringdon, then continuing to Moorgate where they terminate. Junctions with the Widened Lines are shown near Kings' Cross linking to lines coming from the main line stations at King's Cross and St Pancras and between Farringdon and Aldersgate linking with a line going south through Snow Hill station.

Great Northern trains called at Kings Cross York Road, then went througha tunnel, into Farringdon, Barbican, then the former Kings Cross Met'\Metropolitan (the non-LUL platforms being the now closed KX Thameslink), and finally running to Moorgate via the 'Widened Lines' (AKA: the Thameslink route). The returned via Kings Cross Met, Barbican and Farringdon, without stopping at Kings Cross Met', and called at platform 16 at Kings Cross station.

The first underground station at King's Cross opened as part of the original section of the Metropolitan Railway in 1863 and was rearranged in 1868 and 1926. In 1940 Metropolitan Railway services (today's Metropolitan, Circle and Hammersmith and City line services) ceased to call at the station due to bomb damage and London Underground set up in a new site near by. New platforms for the sub-surface lines of the Underground were opened about 400 m (440 yd) to the west in 1941 to make interchanging between the sub-surface lines and the tube lines easier; the 1868 platforms later became the former King's Cross Thameslink station, which closed on 9 December 2007 when the Thameslink service moved to St Pancras International. One of the platforms may be seen from Underground trains between the present station and Farringdon.

1976-1991Edit

King's Cross York Road Platform closed in 1976 and the line was closed in 1979. The Moorgate trains then become part of the new Thameslink service to Kentish Town in 1986.

Post-1991Edit

In 1991 British Rail proposed a new station under King's Cross, with four platforms for international trains through the Channel Tunnel, and four for Thameslink trains, with some commuter trains to be diverted to St Pancras. These plans were abandoned in favor of the international trains using a new terminal at St Pancras.

The station was replaced in 2007 because of substandard platform widths and lengths, lack of step-free access, lack of easily accessible fire escape routes, and a poor-quality passenger environment. The cost of upgrading the station to modern standards would have been in excess of £60 million. It would also have caused serious disruption to the nearby Circle/Hammersmith & City/Metropolitan LUL lines and nearby roads.

King's Cross Thameslink on Pentonville Road closed on 8 December 2007 when the Thameslink platforms at nearby St Pancras opened. A passage way and booking hall still stay open to allow public access other LUL facilities. The Met' platform next to the cutting wall is in use as a store for rail workers' supplies and tools.

The foot tunnel from King's Cross St Pancras tube station to the ticket office of the former Thameslink station remains open from 07:00 to 20:00 on Mondays to Fridays, to provide extra access to London Underground platforms from Pentonville Road.

Future plansEdit

None.

Bus connectionsEdit

  • 4
  • 8
  • 11
  • 15
  • 17
  • 23
  • 25
  • 26
  • 45
  • 46
  • 56
  • 63
  • 76
  • 100
  • 172
  • 242
  • 521

Snow Hill Tunnel (London)Edit

OverviewEdit

Farringdon station Thameslink southward extension look south2

The northern portal of the tunnel in 2012, seen from Farringdon station.

The original Thameslink rail network was created by joining the electrified network south of the Thames with the then recently electrified line between Bedford and St Pancras to the north via the Snow Hill tunnel, allowing passengers to travel between stations to the north and south of London, including Bedford, Luton Airport, Gatwick Airport and Brighton, without changing trains or using the London Underground.

New dual-voltage rolling stock was required for the service on account of differing electrification standards north and south of London; lines south of the river are electrified using a 750-volt third rail and those to the north by the more modern 25 kV overhead system. Services began in 1988 and the route was fully inaugurated in May 1990.

Passenger traffic between destinations in north and south London served by Thameslink services quadrupled after the first year of operation. The success of this initial project encouraged British Rail to develop proposals to extend the network.

HistoryEdit

Pre-1941Edit

Blackfriars snow hill RJD 1

1914 map showing the area of Snow Hill tunnel.

Snow Hill Tunnel is a railway tunnel on the northern edge of the City of London between City Thameslink and Farringdon stations. The tunnel runs beneath the Smithfield meat market and was constructed using the cut and cover method immediately prior to the building of the market. The tunnel opened on 1 January 1866 to help the railways cross under London, like the underground lines did and still do.

Snow Hill tunnel was constructed by the London, Chatham and Dover Railway (LC&DR) to connect its tracks from the Ludgate Viaduct to those of the recently opened Metropolitan Railway's Widened Lines south of Farringdon station. To the north-west, the Widened Lines in turn connected to the tracks of the Great Northern Railway at King's Cross and the Midland Railway at St Pancras via tunnels running beneath the two main line termini. Snow Hill tunnel thus provided the crucial link in the only north-south railway route through central London, enabling cross London passenger and goods services to be run by a number of main line railway companies.

When first opened the tunnel had an additional eastwards connection to the Metropolitan Railway's tracks, enabling trains from the south to also serve Aldersgate (now Barbican) and Moorgate Street (now Moorgate) stations. The eastward curve also connected to a goods station beneath Smithfield market. The curve and the goods station are no longer in use.

Passenger services operated across London through the Snow Hill Tunnel from mid-Victorian times until World War 1, when services terminated at Moorgate from the Midland line to the north, and at Holborn Viaduct from the south, as an economy measure at a time when most inner cross-London traffic had been lost to buses and trams. There were low-level platforms under the main part of Holborn Viaduct station known as the Snow Hill platforms: these can still be seen when leaving City Thameslink station traveling northwards. They are now only used to store maintenance equipment and railway supplies.

1941-1985Edit

On 14 June 1941 railwayman George Dow proposed in an article in the London evening newspaper The Star that "new routes, in tunnel, be built from Marylebone south to Victoria, and from King's Cross south to Charing Cross." Both were to connect with a Paddington-Liverpool Street tunnel that he proposed, anticipating Crossrail by 40 years. He also proposed a north-east/south- west route from Liverpool Street to Charing Cross, all designed to give London a comprehensive main-line network of connections.

A passenger station, also named Snow Hill, was opened in the tunnel in 1874 providing an interchange with the LC&DR's adjacent terminus at Holborn Viaduct Railway Station. Snow Hill station closed to passengers and freight alike in 1916 although the tunnel remained in use for goods traffic from WW1 until the end of the 1960s.

The Snow Hill Tunnel route remained open for cross-London freight trains until 1970 when the short section between Farringdon and Holborn Viaduct was closed due to under use, and the cost of fixing failing poor repairs made during the 1940s.

The tracks were lifted in 1971 and the tunnel was abandoned for 15 years until works began in 1986 to bring the north-south route back into operation as part of the Thameslink route. Farringdon Station was gutted during the electrification of the 'Widened Lines' in December 1980. Port would be powered by SR 3rd Rail and part wold be powered by MLR overhead cable.

1986-1990Edit

The north-south route back into operation as part of the Thameslink route in 1986. New tracks were laid and services reopened in 1988.

Overhead electrification, completed in 1982, allowed the northern section to run as the Midland City Line from Bedford via the Midland Main Line to St Pancras, and via the City Widened Lines to Moorgate.

The Snow Hill tunnel was re-opened by British Rail to passenger trains after 72 years, with Thameslink beginning in May 1988. On 29 January 1990 the section between Blackfriars and Farringdon was temporarily closed to permit the construction of a new alignment. The route through the site of the long-closed Ludgate Hill station, over Ludgate Hill to Holborn Viaduct was abandoned and demolished. The replacement route under Ludgate Hill was opened on 29 May 1990 by the Network SouthEast (sector of British Rail) concurrently with City Thameslink station, which was initially called St Paul's Thameslink but was renamed in 1991 to avoid confusion with St Paul's station on the Underground (Central line), about 500 m (550 yd) away.

In the south the services divide: main-line trains run through London Bridge to East Croydon and Brighton, but the other route has a more convoluted history. In 1988–91 trains went via Bromley to Orpington and Sevenoaks, and via Herne Hill and East Croydon to Purley (off peak only). Later, non-Brighton trains ran via Elephant & Castle and Streatham to West Croydon, Carshalton Beeches, Sutton, Epsom, Leatherhead and Effingham Junction, to Guildford.

After 1990Edit

British Rail proposed to expand and upgrade the original network in the early 1990s, with plans to increase the number of stations served from 50 to 169 and to increase passenger capacity by allowing 12-carriage trains and allowing more trains per hour. In 1993 responsibility for the project, intended to be complete by 2000, was transferred to Railtrack as detailed in the Railways Act of 1993. This privatisation, combined with a recession in the UK economy, caused the first of many delays to the project. On the privatisation of British Rail, Thameslink was franchised to Thameslink, a subsidiary of Govia.

Around 1994 the second branch was cut back to West Croydon as this route crossed the commuter networks of what were to become several different rail companies, and rail privatisation made the route increasingly difficult to maintain.

Around 1995 the route was changed completely, with a route to Sutton via Mitcham Junction continuing on a loop to Wimbledon rejoining itself south of Streatham replacing the West Croydon service.

By late 1998, more than 28,000 passengers were carried at morning peak times.

From 1 April 2006 the franchise was taken over by First Capital Connect along with some services previously operated by WAGN. The branding of most trains, stations, and signs has been changed to match the name of the new company, but City Thameslink and West Hampstead Thameslink were not renamed as Thameslink refers to the route. After criticism of the loss of the apt name for this group of routes, First Capital Connect's publicity began calling this set of services its "Thameslink route" to distinguish it from the former WAGN services.

King's Cross Thameslink on Pentonville Road closed on 8 December 2007 when the Thameslink platforms at nearby St Pancras opened.

On 14 September 2014, Govia Thameslink Railway took over operations from First Capital Connect with routes now branded as Thameslink and Great Northern.

Spelling its nameEdit

King's Cross is seen spelt both with and without an apostrophe:

  1. King's Cross is used in signage at the Network Rail and London Underground stations, on the tube map and on the official Network Rail webpage. It has been used on official maps from Underground companies since 1951 The apostrophe was used on them only very rarely before 1951. 
  2. Kings Cross is used in the National Rail timetable database and other National Rail railway pages, and on the thetrainline.com online booking system. 
  3. Kings X, Kings + and London KX are abbreviations used in space-limited contexts, such as on Chiltern Railway's tickets. 
  4. KGX is the station code. 
  5. Some street maps and local newspapers use KC, Kings cr's, Kings' cr's, Kings cr's, or King's cr's

Also seeEdit

  1. London Euston Railway Station
  2. Acton Town to South Acton Tube Line
  3. Famous buildings
  4. British railways and tramways from 1945 to 1990

SourcesEdit

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