The next station we’re stopping at on our #StationStories tour is King’s Cross St. Pancras…
Image provided by the London Transport Museum www.ltmuseum.co.uk
Lines: Circle Line, Hammersmith & City Line, Metropolitan Line, Northern Line, Piccadilly Line and Victoria Line.
King’s Cross St. Pancras Tube station first opened in 1863 and as the name suggests serves both mainline stations, King’s Cross and St. Pancras. The area in which the stations are located is named after a monument of King George IV. Having undergone significant refurbishment over the past few years, the area around both stations is fast becoming the ‘capital of digital’ in London. Guardian News & Media are already based in the area, and it’s rumoured that Google, Facebook and Twitter could soon be moving to new developments in the area.
King’s Cross is home to London’s newest square and one of the largest of its kind in Europe. On the banks of Regent’s Canal lies Granary Square, a popular and vibrant hub surrounded by historical building, fountains and restaurants. The square is the size of Trafalgar Square and so is the perfect stage for live events. It has already played host to various music festivals since the opening in 2012. Outside the gateway to King’s Cross station another square can be found; Pancras Square is a beautiful space with plenty of restaurants, cafes and bars to choose from.
The Tube station was subject to a horrible fire in 1987, resulting in 31 deaths, and so changes were made to prevent this happening again. The wooden escalators were removed, replacing them with metal ones and smoking was officially banned.
King’s Cross railway station opened in 1852 and then just 16 years later in 1868, St. Pancras opened. These mainline stations are in the heart of London, enabling millions of people to travel at high-speed from places like Cambridge, Yorkshire and even Edinburgh resulting in the station being an important commuter station. The stations are right next to each other with a pedestrian subway enabling easy access between them. In 2005, King’s Cross station was granted a £500 million restoration which brought this station into the future. The famous arched roofs were redesigned to look more contemporary, with the criss-cross pattern almost depicting the multi-routes the station has to offer.
The underground part of the station underwent extensive remodelling works to cope with the opening of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link. The expansion of the station was completed by 2009, giving the station a total of 4 entrances. In 2007, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh officially opened the High Speed 1 service (Eurostar) at St. Pancras station, enabling passengers to travel between the UK and Continental Europe. Since then, the station has been known as St. Pancras International.
Did you know?
- The area of King’s Cross was previously a village named, “Battle Bridge”. The name is linked to the tale that the site was a main battle between the Romans and the British Iceni tribe led by Boudica
- King's Cross St. Pancras Tube station is served by more Underground lines than any other station on the network
- King's Cross is one of only four stations on the Monopoly board, alongside Liverpool Street Station, Fenchurch Street station and Marylebone Station
- Smoking was banned on the Underground as a result of the King's Cross fire in November 1987 which killed 31 people. A discarded match was thought to be the cause of that inferno
- King's Cross station is also mentioned by the famous band, “The Pet Shop Boys” in their song named none other than: “King’s Cross”. You can also see the station in their music video for the song, “Rent”
- Interestingly, King’s Cross station featured in the immensely popular “Harry Potter” films, “The Philosopher’s Stone and “The Chamber of Secrets” and, as a result, now features an integrated Platform 9 ¾ for fans to take their photos with. In fact, it got so popular the station had to change the position of it a few times
- The Underground station along the central part of the Piccadilly Line and some sections of the Northern line include Leslie Green’s distinctive platform tiling, however each station has its own unique tile pattern and colours
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#StationStories - A celebration of the iconic London Underground and its surrounds