Facts About London's Mainline Railway Stations
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Facts About London's Mainline Railway Stations

Facts about London's mainline railway stations, factfile of London's mainline railway stations, cannon street station facts, Charing Cross station facts, Clapham Junction station facts, Euston station facts, fenchurch Street station facts, Kings Cross station facts, Liverpool Street station facts, london Bridge Station facts, Marylebone station facts, Paddington station facts, St Pancras station facts, Victoria railway station facts, Waterloo station facts,

London has over 300 mainline, underground and light railway stations.

The British invented the railways, but the first railway line was not built in it's capital, it was infact in County Durham, the Stockton to Darlington line, opened in 1825, but even then, this new line was not for passenger use, it was a freight line, used for the transportation of coal.

Britain's first train station built for passenger use was not in the capital either, but in the City of Liverpool. The station was called Edge Hill Station and opened in 1836.

Today the United Kingdon has 10,106 miles of rail track - 3,331 miles of which is electrified - and hundeds of miles of narrow gauge, heritage and minature railway lines, which between them make up the busiest rail network in Europe.

Britain was also the first country in the world to build an undergound railway, the London Underground - known locally as the Tube - which was built in 1863 and to date, has 250 miles of track and 270 stations, which until 2010 was the longest underground system in the world. Today some 11 cities within the United Kingdom also now have an underground railway system.

London has 12 major, mainline stations, allowing passengers to travel throughout the United Kingdom and across the sea to Europe, by way of the Channel Tunnel, built in 1994.

The oldest of these stations that is still in use, is London Bridge Station, situated in Tooley Street in the London Borough of Lambeth which was opened on the 14th of December 1836.

London's largest railway station is Waterloo Station situated in the London Borough of Lambeth which was opened in 1848, which today sits on 24.5 acres of land and has 19 platforms. The station is not only the largest railway station in London and the United Kingdom -  both by area and by passenger number -  it is also the largest railway station by area and passenger number in Europe.

However, this giant of a station is not London's busiest station by train movement, that honour goes to Clapham Junction Station, situated in Battersea in south London, which sees upwards of 2,000 trains a day or 100 trains an hour, pass along it's tracks. 

Below is a list, giving a small fact file, on each of London's mainline stations. 

   

                     Cannon Street.

Cannon Street station is situated in the City of London and opened in 1866, and today is served by 7 platforms and is the main rail hub for the county of Kent on England's south east coast.

The station is served by it's own underground station of the same name which is accessed by way of the District and Circle lines.

Approaching trains access the station by way of it's specially built rail bridge across the RiverThames and between them the two stations see over 21 million passengers a year pass through their portals.

The station is notorious for having been the site of an IRA bomb attack in 1976, the Marchioness Disaster on the River Thames in 1989 and a rail crash in 1991. 

  

                         Charing Cross. 

Situated on the West End's, Strand in the City of Westminster, Charing Cross station was opened in 1864, and today has 6 platforms and is the main rail hub for trains to England's county of East Sussex.

Trains access the station by way of the Hungerford Bridge across the River Thames.

The station is served by two underground stations, one at Charing Cross and one at Embankment, accessed by way of the Northern and Jubilee lines.

Between them these three stations see in excess of 36 million passengers a year,.

The station is notorious for having had it's roof collapse in 1905 and for being bombed during WWII.

Charing Cross received it's name after becoming the site of the last but one cross in a series of 12 crosses placed along the route between Lincoln and London, which was taken by the courtege of Eleanor of Castille, the deceased wife of King Edward I, which the King had erected between 1291 - 1294.

                                       

     Clapham Junction. 

Clapham Junction station is not one of London's mainline stations but I have mentioned it in this article due to it's significance as being Europe's busiest rail junction and the U.K's busiest interchange station by way of train number.

Built in 1863 and situated in St John's Hill, Battersea in south, west London, Clapham Junction regularly sees over 100 trains an hour / 2,000 trains a day pass through the station.The station has 17 platforms, although Platform One is no longer in use.

The station is not served by way of an underground station.

The station is notorious for the Clapham Junction rail crash of 1988, which saw three commuter trains crash during morning rush hour, resulting in the deaths of 35 passengers. 

        

      Euston. 

Euston Station situated at Euston Road, Camden was opened in 1837 and today is served by 18 platforms which make up the main rail hub for trains to north west England including the English cities of Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester and the Scottish city of Glasgow.

The station is served by the Euston Road underground station on the Victoria and Northern lines, and between them the stations see over 30 million passengers a year.

The station is notorious for having been the site of an IRA bomb attack in 1973. 

    

Fenchurch Street. 

Fenchurch Street station was the first rail station to be built in the City of London when it opened in 1841.Today the station, which is London's smallest mainline station, is served by way of 4 platforms that make up the main rail hub for train travel to the English county of Essex, which is used by over 15 million passengers a year.

The station is not served by an underground station. 

   

  King's Cross.

King's Cross station is situated on the border of the two London Boroughs of Camden and Islington and was opened in 1852.

Today the station has 12 platforms and is the main rail hub for trains to both the English and Scottish east coasts.Trains from this station travel the longest distance of any trains in the U.K - and links with the cities of Peterborough, York and Newcastle and links the English capital with the Scottish capital, Edinburgh.

The station is accessed by way of the King's Cross St Pancas Underground Station, London's largest link underground station that serves six lines.

Between them, these two stations see 24 million passengers a year.

The station is situated one mile away and along the same street as St Pancras Railway Station and after much modernisation and expansion of the two stations over the years,the two stations are now next door neighbours and occupy the same large site

The station has been the site of two of London's biggest commuter disasters. In the King's Cross Fire in 1987, 31 people died after a discarded cigarette set fire to the escalator which linked the underground station with the mainline station during evening rush hour on the 18th of November. 

The station was also part of the 7/7 terrorist bombing of 2005, when an underground train was blown up during morning rush hour 1 minute after it left King's Cross St Pancras underground station, killing 20 people, including the bomber. 

   

  Liverpool Street. 

Liverpool Street station is situated in the City of London and was built in 1874 on the site of a former hospital.

Today the station is served by 18 platforms and is the main rail hub for trains to East Anglia and Stansted Airport.

The station is served by way of an underground station of the same name which is accessed by way of the Central and Metropolitan lines.

Between them the two stations see over 51 million passengers pass through their portals every year, mainly due to the Stansted Express and commuters who work in the City.

The station is notorious for being one of the stations affected by the 7/7 terrorist attack of 2005, when a train was blown up during morning rush hour one minute after leaving the underground station, causing the deaths of 7 people, including the bomber.  

   

London Bridge.

London Bridge station was London's first ever passenger railway station when it opened on Tooley Street in 1836.

Today, after many refurbishments over the years, this large complex housed on two levels is served by 15 platforms and is the main rail hub for trains to England's south coast  which includes the resort city of Brighton and Hove.

The station is served by an underground station of the same name which is accessed by way of the Jubilee and Northern lines.

Between them the two stations see over 48 million passengers a year.

The two stations are synonomous for being the only railway stations in London, to have the word London in their title. 

  

 Marylebone. 

Marylebone station was the last station to be built in London during the Victorian heyday of the railways when it opened in 1899. Today the station, which is situated slap bang in the middle of central London's main tourist area, is served by 6 platforms and is the main rail hub for trains travelling to England's Midlands, The Chilterns, the city of Oxford and the Thames Valley.

The station is served by way of an underground station of the same name which is accessed by way of the Bakerloo Line.

Between them the two stations cater to nearly 12 million passengers a year.

Marylebone - which is pronounced by the majority of British people as Marleybun  but should really be pronounced mary- le- bon - the station and the district of Marylebone was named after the nearby church of St Mary which was situated next to a stream or as it was said in Old English a bourne

    

   Paddington. 

Paddington station Is situated in a quiet residential area, near to St Mary's Hospital in the City Of Westminster.

The station was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and opened in 1838.

The station's Platform One is the site of the Great Western Railway WWI memorial, which honours the deaths of 2,524 former employees of this old railway company, who died in the conflict.

Today the station is served by 14 platforms and is the main rail hub for long distance journeys to England's West Country and the Principality of Wales, which includes the towns of Penzance and Plymouth and the city of Exeter. The station also links the English capital with the Welsh capital of Cardiff and the Welsh town of Swansea.

The station is served by an underground station of the same name which is accessed by way of the Bakerloo, Central, District and Hammersmith and City lines.

Between them the two stations cater to over 29 million passengers a year. 

  

  St Pancras International. 

St Pancras Railway Station is London's most prestigious railway station building.

The original building was designed by William Henry Barlow and the station platform area designed by George Gilbert Scott.The platform area roof, known as a train shed, was designed by Roland Mason Ordish and was the largest, single span roof in the world upon it's completion in 1868.

The station was also graced by the addition of the Midland Grand Hotel ( 1873 - 1935 ) also designed by George Gilbert Scott - situated at the front of the station -  and was the most opulent hotel in London upon it's opening in 1873.

Today the Grade I listed station is considered, in railway enthusiast circles, as the cathedral of railway buildings, and is served by 15 platforms which are the main rail hub for trains to the English Midlands and home to the new Eurostar Terminal, which takes passengers to the French capital of Paris and the Belgium capital of Brussels via the Channel Tunnel.

The neighboring hotel, which fell into decline after closing in 1935, was given an £ 800 million facelift during the start of the new century and is now the luxury 5 Star, 211 roomed St Pancras Renaissance London Hotel, owned and run by the Marriott International hotel group.

The hotel was opened again to guests in March of 2011, but it's official opening will not be until May 5, 2011, to coincide with the buildings 138th birthday.

The station is served by the giant King's Cross St Pancras underground station and between them see upwards of over 18 million passengers a year.

The station is named after the martyred Saint Pancras of Rome, who died in AD 304 aged 14. Saint Pancras is the Patron Saint of children. 

   

 Victoria. 

Victoria station is situated in the City of Westminster and is annexed to the Victoria Coach Station and served by two underground stations, making the whole area the largest transportation hub in the United Kingdom, with 70 million passengers a year using the rail station, 80 million passengers a year using the underground stations and 10 million passengers a year using the coach station.

The original rail station was opened in 1860 and incorporates the 4 Star Grosvenor Hotel on it's upper storeys.Today the station is served by 19 platforms which are the main rail hub for trains to the English south east coast and Gatwick Airport.

The coach station was opened in 1932 and provides coach travel to every corner of the U.K and to Europe and beyond.

The two Victoria underground stations were built one hundred years apart, with the elder of the two served by the District and Circle lines and the newer one served by it's own Victoria line, both of which were opened in 1969.

The station is notorious for being the site of two bomb blasts, one in 1884 and an IRA attack in 1991.

The station is also reknowned for having problems with flooding, and was actually closed down by flash floods in both 2007 and 2009. 

  

  Waterloo. 

Waterloo station is situated in the London Borough of Lambeth and was opened in 1848.

Today the station is the largest station in Europe, covering some 24.5 acres and sports 19 platforms.

It is the main rail hub for trains to the Thames valley area, including the large towns of Reading and Slough and England's south coast .The station serves over 86 million psssengers a year.

The station is served by it's own underground station of the same name which is accessed by the Bakerloo, Jubilee and Northern lines.

The station is also the site of Waterloo Pier, a part of the London River Services, which is a busy passenger, river transport hub.

The station is synonomous for being London's most filmed station in the movies and on T.V.

The station was named after the famous Battle of Waterloo which was fought in Belgium in 1815.

                                            For facts about the London Underground system please visit  

                                            london-guide-the-london-underground-system-history-facts 

                         All images courtesy of Oxyman, Sunil, Penn Station, dkl and Ewan Munro, wikimedia commons.

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Comments (6)

Very nice presentation.

Ditto mark.

Another excellent reference work.

Excellent work, DeeBee. St Pancras and King's Cross are my favourite stations. Euston was impressive too before its arch was demolished. Can I just suggest one correction? Stockton and Darlington are both in County Durham, not Yorkshire.

Ranked #1 in Local Reviews

Jeez what am I like? Thankyou Michael, I'll go and change my boundaries straight away !

Fascinating stuff. I used to like to stand on the platform at Clapham Junction and watch all the trains pass each other, many of them not stopping at Clapham. I also like Fenchurch street which unlike some of the others has an old London feel to it.

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