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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Although the present station building is in the International Modern style, Euston was the first inter-city railway station to be built in London.
The station and the railway that it served experienced several changes in management, being owned in turn by the London and Birmingham Railway (1837–1845), the London and North Western Railway (1846–1922), the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (1923–1947), British Railways (1948–1994), Railtrack (1994–2001) and Network Rail (2001–)

The original station was opened on July 20, 1837, as the terminus of the London and Birmingham Railway constructed by Robert Stephenson. It was designed by a well-known classically trained architect, Philip Hardwick. A short road called Euston Grove ran from Euston Square towards the arch. Two hotels, the Euston Hotel and the Victoria Hotel, flanked the northern half of this approach.
Apart from the lodges on Euston Road and statues now on the forecourt, few relics of the old station survive. The National Railway Museum's collection at York includes a commemorative plaque and E.H. Bailey's statue of George Stephenson, both from the Great Hall, the entrance gates and an 1846 LNWR turntable discovered during demolition.

Old building
In the early 1960s it was decided that the old building was no longer adequate and needed replacing. Amid much public outcry the old station building (including the famous Euston Arch) was demolished in 1962 and replaced by a new building, which opened in 1968. Its opening coincided with the electrification of the West Coast Main Line, and the new structure was deliberately intended to symbolise the coming of the "electric age".
The modern station is a long, low structure with a frontage of some 647 ft. Part of the station building includes two office towers that look out onto adjacent Melton Street and Eversholt Street, and are home to Network Rail. All of these buildings are in a functional style and the main facing material is polished dark stone, which is complemented with white tiles, exposed concrete and plain glazing. The station has a single large concourse populated with the usual assortment of shops and eateries, and is separate from the train shed. A couple of small remnants of the older station were kept, two Portland stone entrance lodges and a war memorial on Euston Road, but were hardly an effective sop to those offended by the loss of the former building. A statue of Robert Stephenson by Carlo Marochetti that stood in the old ticket hall now stands in the forecourt where it looks down on a convenience food stall. The frontage of the station building is hidden behind office buildings designed by Richard Seifert and a bus station. There is a large statue by Eduardo Paolozzi named Piscator at the front of the courtyard. A series of other pieces of public art including low stone benches by Paul de Monchaux around the courtyard were commissioned by Network Rail in the 1990s.
Euston is regarded by some as ugly and unpleasant

New building
Following privatisation of the railways in the 1990s, the station was taken over by Railtrack and was subsequently transferred to Network Rail. In 2005 Network Rail was reported to have long-term aspirations to redevelop the station, removing the 1960s buildings and providing a great deal more commercial space by utilising the "airspace rights" above the platforms, but there are many major office projects in London at a more advanced stage of planning, so this project is unlikely to proceed for many years.
In December 2005 Network Rail announced plans to create a subway link between the station and Euston Square tube station as part of the re-development of Euston station, creating a direct link between the two Euston stations which at the moment are separated by a five minute walk along Euston Road.
On 5th April 2007 British Land announced they had won the tender to demolish the existing 40 year old building and rebuild the terminal. Spending some £250m of their overall redevelopment budget of £1bn for the area. As a result the number of platforms will increase from 18 to 21.

London Euston Privatisation

Main article: Euston tube stationLondon Euston See also

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