Euston opens as 1st London Station
What a symbol of the difference in vision between the confident Victorian era and the short-sightedness of post-war Britain. The pioneers who established our railway network built a massive Doric portico outside the first terminus in London, Euston Station; in the 1960s their ancestors knocked it down in an act of cultural vandalism. Perhaps there is hope for this generation as a campaign now exists to have the portico restored.
Before Euston was built the trains from Birmingham had an unsatisfactory endpoint at Chalk Farm, built in 1833. But George Stephenson who was developing the London and Birmingham Railway always envisaged the line continuing closer to the capitalís centre. It was he who planned the original station at Euston Grove with just two platforms, one for arrivals, one departures, sheltered beneath a massive wrought-iron roof. The building was designed by Philip Hardwick, and soon after was the 72í high portico outside it. This portico acquired the name Euston Arch in common parlance.
There was a notable engineering oddity about Euston from its opening on July 20 1837: because Lord Southampton, master of the Quorn Hunt, Conservative grandee, and a major landowner locally, objected to the potential noise and dirt, no locomotives were allowed between Euston and Camden Town. Instead trains were pulled from the terminus to Camden by a cable device until 1844, when engines were at last allowed.
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