London Rail Snooze: Kings X Rehab On Tap

Nov 6th, 2006, 09:48 AM
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London Rail Snooze: Kings X Rehab On Tap

London's Kings Cross station, at least to me, has always ranked up there with the worst, ugliest, tackiest train sheds in all of Europe. Not only congested with very little of the usual station amenities due to having a small central hall, the station boasted a simply awful tacky metal shed-like front, which often seemed littered with scaffolding.

Anyway this horror should change radically as Kings X is rehabbed along with neighboring St Pancras, being totally redone for arrival of Eurostar and Kent Sprinter trains sometime in 2007. St Pancras is nearly finished, upon a look at it last December.

But shabby Kings X remains an eyesoar. But Network Rail has finally submitted a planning application for funding a total refurbishment and modernisation of the old train shed, one of London's busiest stations.

The 400 pound scheme will entail a whole new concourse, with of course the de rigueur Boots the Chemists, WH Smith, fast-food, etc. - the concourse will be thrice as large as the current one. Also planned are a new platform, rehab of the twin-barrel roof and all old platforms, new info systems, escalators, and most impressive, a grandiose new public plaza out front that will evoke the grand public squares on the Continent. though Eurostar trains will arrive at next door St Pancras, they will disgorge their passengers into the common ground between the two stations and the grand new public plaza - if the current derelict aspect of the area fronting the station were to remain passengers from the Continent would be shocked - so London needed a new look for these arrivals.

The area around Kings X has always had a bit tawdry look and feel. Once a redlight area behind the station and a cheap B&B ghetto across the street from the front, expect the whole area to be spiffified in the next years.

Work should start 2007-08 and be finished by 2011.
PalenqueBob is offline  
Nov 6th, 2006, 10:59 AM
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So when do the trains to France start running from Kings Cross/St. Pancras?
WillTravel is offline  
Nov 6th, 2006, 12:15 PM
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scheduled for 2007 around June i believe but not sure of exact date. St Pancras is ready and most of the new high-speed track via Ebbsfleet, where there will be a new station for Kent Sprinters, and Stratford, where Stratford International station is finished, but apparently will only see domestic Kent Sprinters call there, dropping the International for a while, and the new tunnel from Stratford to St Pancras is also finished.

So infrastructure is basically done so trains should start sometime in mid 2007. Maybe someone has a more exact date.
PalenqueBob is offline  
Nov 6th, 2006, 02:42 PM
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That's good news. I've always disliked using either one.
Carrybean is offline  
Nov 6th, 2006, 09:47 PM
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Eurostar says their trains will start from St Pancras International in Autumn 2007. There's no obvious reason to expect this to come forward or go backward: the obvious date would be when the summer timetable lapses (around September 1), but that's just speculation.

Planned ancillary redevelopment is almost entirely north of Euston Road, and will drag on - if approved, since a lot still needs planning approval and financing, and no-one but the developers is desperately of current plans - till at least 2015.

There are all sorts of squabbles and plans around. But there are no significant plans for any further changes to Kings Cross station to come on stream before 2009 at the earliest. Apart from a bit of trivial tidying up, what's there now is what'll be there when St Pancras International opens for business.

There are practically no plans to impose change on the people living and doing business south of Euston Road, where the cheap B+Bs are (and where most of The Vice used to go on).

All our other mainline stations (and most other European cities' mainline stations) are surrounded by shabby, useful, areas. Whatever grandiose and unnecessary yuppiness Network Rail might foist on us, there's fortunately little risk that the Argyle Sq area south of the stations will ever turn into the kind of arid, pointless monument to planners' self-importance the design industry is always yammering on about.
flanneruk is offline  
Nov 7th, 2006, 01:16 AM
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Hi. PalB - as usual you are ahead of the rest of us. however, I would remain sceptical as to these completion dates, especially as you quote a cost of £400!!! I suspect they will be going a little over that budget.
[only kidding - assuming you meant £4 million - or was it billion?]
annhig is offline  
Nov 7th, 2006, 06:39 AM
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annhig: i meant 400 million pounds.

CTRL - Channel Tunnel Rail Link, the new high-speed rail line previously only seen on Continental Europe, will open in 2007, but Kent Sprinters (or whatever fast sounding name they're putting on these domestic high-speed shuttle trains, won't arrive at St Pancras until 2009.

Source of info: Today's Railways UK, Sep 2006 issue. Sounds like Kings X rehab is a done deal, in spite of lack as of yet of formal application acceptance.
PalenqueBob is offline  
Nov 7th, 2006, 07:06 AM
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no matter how much they spend they'll never stop the tomming in york Way.

Or the crack dealing in the bookies.
audere_est_facere is offline  
Nov 7th, 2006, 07:19 AM
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"Sounds like Kings X rehab is a done deal, in spite of lack as of yet of formal application acceptance."

Which, without wishing to sound offensive, shows how little you understand our planning system. Without the approval of Camden Council, not a brick can even get taken out. And there are an AWFUL lot of groups in the area who'll disagree with anything.
flanneruk is offline  
Nov 7th, 2006, 07:37 AM
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to be fair most of the arguements have been had. The arches are going, but the tradesmen will be relocated. The gasometers are being moved a few hundred yards and the old marshalling yards planning came direct from prescott.

There are also attempts to do up Argyll Sq. I still wouldn't stay there myself, but each to their own.

Audere - camden employee until august.
audere_est_facere is offline  
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