Rejuvenated St Pancras
St Pancras, a marvel of High Victorian engineering, has just reopened with five stations in one: the Eurostar, “burrowing at speed under East London”, fast domestic services to Kent (from 2009), Midland mainline, Thameslink, and six London Underground lines at Kings Cross St Pancras.
William Barlow designed the iron-and-glass train station “for the nation that invented railways” in 1868. John Betjeman, who possibly wrote more poems about railway travel than any other poet, led the campaign to save St Pancras from demolition in the 20th century.
You might wonder if shaving 20 minutes off continental travel was worth the £800 million bill, but as others have said, ‘Damn the expense!’ The station is said to be comfortable and efficient.
Designer William Barlow, who left school at 16, was an interesting fellow.