St Pancras Station is William Barlow’s masterpiece; opened in 1868, it was the largest single-span roof in the world and formed the London terminus of the Midland Railway. When I was a growing up, St Pancras was where trains to London brought me; oh the impossible romance and thrill of first being allowed to come up to London by myself at the age of fourteen or so. For me, St Pancras will always be the gateway to the excitement of the big city and the world beyond. Sadly, St Pancras became obsolete in the 1980s when commuter trains were diverted into a tunnel and through the centre of the city, and fell into relative disuse.
But now St Pancras has re-opened, even better than before, for it is no longer merely the home of commuter trains to St Albans but the gateway to Paris, Brussels, and the rest of Europe. These pictures were taken in November 2007, just after the re-opening – there is still some scaffolding here and there, but I’m sure that Barlow would be proud of the restoration of his great Victorian station. Once again the romance of the train returns, and the station buzzes with the anticipation of journeys to far-flung places.
(Click for larger pictures)