New article: Kings Cross Station

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chaz harrison
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Re: New article: Kings Cross Station

Post by chaz harrison » Thu Jan 28, 2010 9:39 am

65447 wrote:Personally, these are probably a tad more relevant than which scenes of Get Carter! might feature the odd shot of the station.
Different strokes for different folks, J15. part of the charm of the forum is the wide range of experience, both at first and second hand. I like the stuff that railwaymen and ex-railwaymen bring to these topics, but I also value input from enthusiasts. There is room for both! Keep it coming guys!

Chaz

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Re: New article: Kings Cross Station

Post by melton » Thu Mar 25, 2010 9:07 pm

Most of us will be aware of the ww2 bomb damage to the west side offices at KX, for long sheeted over with corrugated iron but I recall checking up on a sad Great War incident in the establishment next door (St Pancras).
Apparently, people had congregated in the cab road (behind the old booking office) during a zeppelin raid when a bomb came through the roof causing many casualties.
I wondered how much damage the station had sustained so took a look.
All the brickwork appeared original but on closer inspection you could clearly see small lumps of shrapnel imbedded in the brick pillars.
I suppose it’s still there, even after all the rebuilding that has taken place.
And yes, I do love the new station, especially as I remember what state the old one had got into! (pity about the ‘bus station’ for the domestic services.)

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Re: New article: Kings Cross Station

Post by StevieG » Fri Apr 09, 2010 11:58 pm

hq1hitchin wrote:
melton wrote:That map is interesting. Most of us are aware of the London Necropolis railway station outside Waterloo, but I didn’t realize that the GN had something of the same. I presume that the Great Northern cemetery station served the same purpose
"I never knew where the GN London terminus was until now, either. Presumably the cemetery used must have been close by Cemetery Box, north of New Southgate, which lasted until the 1970s modernisation scheme. .... ".
The KX Cemetery station at Belle Isle (as we now know it), if I recall reading, was not succesful, never running many trains, lasting for only a few years, and with few trains during some of those.
By the time the GN came to widening from double track on the east side, the service had ceased, and the 'platform' track(s?) along the west side of the main building, and their roofing (I think there was), were demolished for the cutting bank to be cut back and the present retaining wall built.
The main cemetery station building though (as some on here may recall) lasted a very long time, casting its morning shadow over the line until the mid 1950s-early 60s; perhaps only being demolished when the cement depot (no rail connection) was constructed on the site.

At the 'country' end, the Cemetery station was pretty much on the site of the current factory on the up side of the main line about 1 mile N. of New Southgate, until not so long ago the premises of Standard Telephones & Cables, which retained its rail platform until about 1970 [ground frame access off the Up Reception line (released by Annetts Key from the Up Goods-Up Rec. points lever in Cemetery box) ].

If you can access a copy, to me, the definitive history of the GNR's London funeral trains service and its buildings, can be found in :

"The end of the line : the story of the railway service to the Great Northern London Cemetery" ; by Rev. Martin C. Dawes
Pub.: Barnet & District Local History Society 2003
Last edited by StevieG on Sat Apr 10, 2010 3:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
BZOH

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Re: New article: Kings Cross Station

Post by lead_plug » Sat Apr 10, 2010 1:35 pm

I'm not surprised to learn that the country end of the coffin transit was at the site of the STC factory near Cemetery.
I worked there after leaving the footplate, and of all the dreary,crazy places!! Probably the atmosphere of depression lived on from the cemetery station days.
Just imagine trying to assemble and wire intricate radar equipment while wearing woollen gloves and outdoor clothing during the winter.
But the canteen was truly great - I found it pure luxury after years of cheese or jam sandwiches and a swinging tea-can.
Nevertheless I baled out and joined BR as a booking clerk, shift-work and all.

On fine days I sometimes sat out on the rail loading platform during my lunch hour, hoping to see some of the lads go by, but rarely saw a train.
We were all let off our chains once to see King George's funeral train pass on it's way to the Cross. Of course the Communist members of the production personnel took the opportunity to stay at their benches on order to make some feeble sort of point

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Re: New article: Kings Cross Station

Post by manna » Sat Apr 10, 2010 10:28 pm

G'Day Gents
I watched the weeds grow at Cable & Wireless's dock during the 70's and at New Southgate's yard as well , always stock in there although I never saw a loco in there.
Now for my thought? Before the New, Gasworks tunnel was built (eastern bore) in the 1890's, York Road station at the other end of the tunnel, should have been level with the middle tunnel! seeing that it had been there since the 1860's along with the 'Met' tunnel. So any cross London goods train would have had to do a pretty sharp left hand turn as it came out of Gasworks tunnel to access the 'Met' tunnels. Or was there no York Road station, before the third tunnel was built???
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Re: New article: Kings Cross Station

Post by StevieG » Sat Apr 10, 2010 10:45 pm

Can't answer your main question, but I seem to remember (though you may do so better than I) that York Road platform in the 1960s had short but sharp bends in both ends of its platform, in case that's a clue(s), though the rest through the middle wasn't quite straight either.
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manna
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Re: New article: Kings Cross Station

Post by manna » Sat Apr 10, 2010 11:29 pm

G'Day Gents
York Rd station had a bend in it nearly all the way along, here's a map Approx 1874-80, with only two tunnels and what looks like a York Rd platform, and as a bonus two bridges across KX throat?
manna
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Re: New article: Kings Cross Station

Post by lead_plug » Sun Apr 11, 2010 1:10 am

Re:York Road station - I read somewhere recently that prior to the completion of the terminal,
all traffic was dealt with at York Rd.
I haven't checked this out myself, perhaps there exists a map showing the pre-KX terminal situation.

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Re: New article: Kings Cross Station

Post by StevieG » Sat Jun 12, 2010 3:20 pm

I (StevieG), on 09/Apr/10, wrote: " The KX Cemetery station at Belle Isle (as we now know it), if I recall reading, was not succesful, never running many trains, lasting for only a few years, and with few trains during some of those.
By the time the GN came to widening from double track on the east side, the service had ceased, and the 'platform' track(s?) along the west side of the main building, and their roofing (I think there was), were demolished for the cutting bank to be cut back and the present retaining wall built.
The main cemetery station building though (unsurprisingly, rather church-like) lasted a very long time (as some of our readers here may recall), casting its morning shadow from high over the line from above the up side retaining wall until the mid 1950s-early 60s; perhaps only being demolished when the cement depot (no rail connection) was constructed on the site. " .....

.... " If you can access a copy, to me, the definitive history of the GNR's London funeral trains service and its buildings, can be found in :

"The end of the line : the story of the railway service to the Great Northern London Cemetery" ; by Rev. Martin C. Dawes
Pub.: Barnet & District Local History Society 2003 "
I had a feeling I'd seen more material on the GN Cemetery stations, at sometime in the dim & distant ... :

- the London Railway Record (qtrly.), Pub'r.: Connor & Butler; Oct. 1999 issue; - Article "The Great Northern London Cemetery And Its Railway Service", also by Martin C.Dawes, on pp.254-260; (4 photos).
['the KX Cem'y station's spire was demolished sometime after 1953 due to poor condition'. 'Demolition of the rest of the station was in final stages by May 1962'.]

- the Railway Magazine, Pub'r The Tothill Press; Oct. 1954 edition; (price; "TWO SHILLINGS AND SIXPENCE" ! :) ), Article "Kings Cross Cemetery Station" by R. G. Lucas, on pp.713-715; (2 photos).

Looking in passing, at the cemetery station's site just the other day, - for a right-seeming distance not far from Gasworks Tunnel eastern bore's north portal, there are a few extra courses of plain brickwork surmounting the main retaining wall below, which must surely be the station's last visible remains.
BZOH

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Re: New article: Kings Cross Station

Post by strang steel » Sat Jun 12, 2010 5:37 pm

I have these two photos from 1992 which may be useful:-

John
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Re: New article: Kings Cross Station

Post by richard » Sat Jun 12, 2010 9:47 pm

Thanks - I think the current "GNER blue" Class 91 pictures are sufficient. They could be useful for other people though. It is the livery I prefer the Class 91s in - perhaps when they are rereleased in N I'll buy a "swallow" set...


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Re: New article: Kings Cross Station

Post by StevieG » Sun Jun 13, 2010 12:03 am

manna wrote:G'Day Gents
York Rd station had a bend in it nearly all the way along, here's a map Approx 1874-80, with only two tunnels and what looks like a York Rd platform, and as a bonus two bridges across KX throat?
manna
Meant to respond to this at the time, manna.
Two bridges; - yes. The northern of the two (even if not so named in 1870) was at some time known as Congreve Street, but still only led to the gas works, AFAIK, so probably went when or just before, the gas works was demolished.
If you see some occasional early-ish photos of the station yard in these times, sight of what was going on, and seeing signals, looks to have been pretty diabolical, thanks to these bridges, and the tendency of smoke to linger around.

Wouldn't be surprised if the old KX East and West 'boxes were the fairly low affairs that they were, so that, being erected in days when track circuits were in their infancy (the old 'blurb' handout given to people on official visit/tours of the station, used to say that a TC in Gasworks Tunnel was one of the first ever uses of TCs in this country), it allowed the signalmen to see through below the bridges, in order to make the best of the available sight-lines, given the various impediments of the bridges' piers, for essential observations of when trains and locos had passed signals / gone clear of points etc.
Last edited by StevieG on Sun Jun 13, 2010 11:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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manna
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Re: New article: Kings Cross Station

Post by manna » Sun Jun 13, 2010 10:43 am

G'Day Gents

Yes two bridges would make KX a very cramped layout, so it would be logical to have two low signalbox's, would'nt it be nice to see a couple of really early pics of KX, to give us a clearer idea of what it was like with only two tunnels!!
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Re: New article: Kings Cross Station

Post by kudu » Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:58 am

lead_plug wrote:Re:York Road station - I read somewhere recently that prior to the completion of the terminal,
all traffic was dealt with at York Rd.
I haven't checked this out myself, perhaps there exists a map showing the pre-KX terminal situation.
I think you may be confusing York ROAD and York WAY. The first, temporary, station was at York Way (then called Maiden Lane) north of the Gas Works tunnel. York Road was only opened when the connection to the Met was made in 1863.

The station was resited when the second tunnel was built in 1878. (The third (1892) tunnel was on the other side.)

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Re: New article: Kings Cross Station

Post by StevieG » Tue Jun 15, 2010 10:15 am

A considerable time ago, I recall following some writings somewhere (The GNR Society's Newsletter perhaps?) much contributed to by Peter Kay, about attempting to identify the site of Maiden Lane station in the latter day huge Kings Cross Goods Yard.

I think it went something like :
Ended up without a 100% conclusive answer, but that a row of columns with right period-style decorative ironwork between their tops, which constituted the side of some long roofing of one of the easterly trainshed-like canopies (supported the east side edge of the Potato Market trainshed, I think) 'up the Goods Yard', very strongly resembled those depicted in engravings as supporting the west side roof line of the 'temporary' Maiden Lane terminus.

Haven't been anywhere in the yard (or what of it that may still be recognisable) for years now, and although I think I recall the shed in question (years before reading about its possible origins), and that it probably still stood until perhaps 20 years ago, but I rather suspect that the whole thing will since have been flattened.
BZOH

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