St. Pancras Station

The front elevation of the St Pancras Hotel from Euston Road

I was back in London today, on a hot spring day. One of the many pleasures of being in London is seeing the progress which is now being being made in renewing and extending the capital’s infrastructure and public buildings, after decades of neglect. This of course is being given a boost at the moment as London prepares to host the Olympics.

One of the beneficiaries of infrastructure renewal is the monumental and marvellous St Pancras station and hotel. Opened in 1868 as the London terminus of the Midland Railway Line the station was run down and the hotel closed by the 1960s, when strenuous efforts were made to demolish it. Fortunately these were resisted but we then had to watch the empty hotel decay for several decades before the decision was made to make St Pancras the London terminus for Eurostar, triggering the whole scale redevelopment of both station and hotel. More detail on the hotel’s and station’s history can be found here.

It is one of the few occasions were we seriously outdo the French; the Gare du Nord, from which Eurostar operates in Paris, is pretty shabby be comparison.

St. Pancras at dusk from King's Cross