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Last Updated: Sunday, 11 April, 2004, 14:36 GMT 15:36 UK
St Pancras closure is end of era
St Pancras station
The station's front will be converted into penthouse flats
Rail passengers arriving in London will no longer be coming into the historic St Pancras station.

On Friday, 130-years of British rail history ended when the last train pulled out of the Victorian, Grade I listed north London station.

The building will undergo a 310m refit ready for Eurostar services in 2007 and may be given a new name.

From Easter Monday, Midland Mainline will operate services from a temporary station 300 yards north of St Pancras.

It will affect about eight million passengers who travel to and from Manchester, Sheffield, Derby, Leicester, Nottingham and Bedford, until a new station is completed for them in 2006, just to the west of the current site.

Drawing of St Pancras' train shed soon after it opened
St Pancras' train shed was built in 1868

Eurostar is also considering the idea of changing the station's name to increase understanding of its location among continental travellers.

Names like 'London Central', 'London International', 'London Grand Central' and 'Union Station' have been suggested.

Also, from September 2004, a concrete enclosure will be constructed underground between the existing King's Cross Thameslink station and St Pancras station.

This enclosure will ultimately house the new Thameslink station to be known as St Pancras - Midland Road.

Restored and repaired

English Heritage is to oversee the refurbishment which will centre on the train shed and was built in 1868 by the Midland Railway's chief engineer William Barlow.

The glass and cast iron roof, measuring 700ft long, 245ft wide and rising 100ft above the platforms, was the largest clear-span enclosure in the world at the time.

The roof will be restored, re-glazed and repainted and the yellow iron trusses will be returned to their original sky blue colour.

The new Eurostar departure hall will be created in the station, beneath platform level.

The station's former Grand Hotel front will be converted into penthouse flats, while a new hotel is constructed opposite the British Library.

Eurostar expects the station to reopen in less than three years, offering faster journeys to Paris and Brussels.




SEE ALSO:
St Pancras closes for three years
11 Apr 04  |  Nottinghamshire


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