Today in 1852 the London terminus of the Great North Eastern Railway was opened – King’s Cross Station. It holds a special place in my heart of course as it’s where I usually come and go from London. The first time I took the train to London after moving here was to King’s Cross (after being on a delayed train, a nice welcome by National Rail there).
In the time I’ve been here I’ve seen the start of the transformation of the station into what it will look like in a few years time. The foot bridge and the clock on platform 8 removed, the shops shut up, the concorse entrance to the Tube closed off and the raising of scaffolding along the west side of the station, both inside and out. Not to mention the constant repositioning of Platform 9 3/4 to keep tourists on their toes. Bit by bit, chunks of scaffolding have been removed. Just this past week a few of the shops have re-opened so things are starting to slowly come around.
In the end, there will be a new western ticket hall and the present 1970s ticket hall and concorse and outside canopy will be removed. That big green canopy from the front, which to me at least, was always the stand out point during any footage of some of the more unpleasant history that has happened at the station including the 1986 escalator fire and the Tube bombings in 2005.
For me it’s a bit surreal to think this station was around before Canada was properly made a country (same can be said about the Tube as well, just by a few years). I’m looking forward to seeing the finished product. It will be great to see the station with it’s original frontage, though I have mixed feelings about the glass and steel that will adorn the ticket hall.
When not strapped for time I do like to take the train to Liverpool Street. I wish I could go back in time and mooch around Liverpool Street Station before its 1992 redevelopement. I think it’s neat that I’ll have been able to see old (in my time at least) and new King’s Cross. I’m sure sometime this weekend I’ll be catching the Cambridge train from platform 8, past the 4 carragies that are always parked at the end. Yeah, I’ve done this a few times!