Euston, one of London’s most important mainline stations, opened in 1837 as the terminus of the London and Birmingham Railway, later the London and North Western Railway (LNWR).
The train-shed had an iron-trussed pitch roof planned by Robert Stephenson and designed by Charles Fox. Outside stood a Doric Arch designed by Sir Philip Hardwick.
The London to Birmingham was the first trunk railway in the world and Hardwick’s arch represented a monument to railway achievement. Either side of the arch were stone lodges, each had a grand Doric central door and linked together by ornamental gates. This cast-iron screen was designed by the locksmith and inventor, J J Bramah. At the time of completion, the Euston arch was higher than any other building in London.
In 1846 Sir Philip Hardwick, along with his son Philip C Hardwick, designed the Great Hall at Euston, one of the finest public rooms in London. The station was extended again in 1873.
Between 1963 and 1968, every trace of the old station was destroyed by British Railways. The construction of a new station building was carried out in conjunction with the electrification of the West Coast Main Line. The new station was opened by HM Queen in 1968.
To the front of the station are reminders of the old station. Beside the Euston Road stand two Portland stone lodges that once guarded the entrance to the old station.The war memorial, another survivor, is set a little further back.
Today Euston Station serves the north and north-west of England and Scotland (including the Scotrail sleeper) and has a suburban line north to Watford. Euston is also home to Network Rail (previously the British Railway Board, and then Railtrack).