What other possible sites could have been found for the Eurostar terminal?

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S&CLER

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St Pancras is an admirable terminal since its renovation, and Waterloo wasn't bad either. But where else might have been eligible for use as an international station for London? Assuming, for the sake of speculation, that the land had remained in rail ownership and not been developed, the only ones I can think of are Broad Street and Bricklayers Arms. Broad Street, including the former goods station alongside, might have allowed a two-level station with separate arrival and departure concourses, but it looks unlikely that the platforms could have been made long enough for Eurostar. And where would the depot have been?

Bricklayers Arms seems more suitable as a large rail-connected site no longer needed for its original purpose. It would have been further out of the centre than any other London terminus (shades of the South Eastern's cheek in advertising it as a west end terminus in the 1850s!) and poorly connected for onward travel. At the very least, an extension of the Bakerloo from Elephant would have been necessary, to give no-change connections to Waterloo, Marylebone and Paddington, and one-change access to Euston, Kings Cross and St Pancras. Liverpool Street and Victoria would have been more problematic to get to. Once again, the depot site would have been a difficulty.

Kensington Olympia probably wasn't big enough, and the West London line is busy enough with its own traffic, and not capable of much expansion. On the other hand, depot access would have been even better than it was for Waterloo.
 
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Jorge Da Silva

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St Pancras is an admirable terminal since its renovation, and Waterloo wasn't bad either. But where else might have been eligible for use as an international station for London? Assuming, for the sake of speculation, that the land had remained in rail ownership and not been developed, the only ones I can think of are Broad Street and Bricklayers Arms. Broad Street, including the former goods station alongside, might have allowed a two-level station with separate arrival and departure concourses, but it looks unlikely that the platforms could have been made long enough for Eurostar. And where would the depot have been?

Bricklayers Arms seems more suitable as a large rail-connected site no longer needed for its original purpose. It would have been further out of the centre than any other London terminus (shades of the South Eastern's cheek in advertising it as a west end terminus in the 1850s!) and poorly connected for onward travel. At the very least, an extension of the Bakerloo from Elephant would have been necessary, to give no-change connections to Waterloo, Marylebone and Paddington, and one-change access to Euston, Kings Cross and St Pancras. Liverpool Street and Victoria would have been more problematic to get to. Once again, the depot site would have been a difficulty.

Kensington Olympia probably wasn't big enough, and the West London line is busy enough with its own traffic, and not capable of much expansion. On the other hand, depot access would have been even better than it was for Waterloo.

I believe White City was considered at one point. Doubt Broad street could do 400 metre platforms

Here is white city plans: https://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/20...on-the-channel-tunnel-terminus-at-white-city/

1617535988607.png

Also Kings cross was considered for a second terminal.
 

Sad Sprinter

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I had a book by BR which showed a fantastic map with all the options, these were:

Temple Mills
Bricklayers Arms
London Bridge
Euston Low Level
Kings Cross Low Level
Euston High Level
St. Pancras
White City
Stratford (southerly approach)
Stratford (easterly approach)
Bishopsgate
Smithfieldsroutes 2.jpg
 
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306024

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Always thought the Broad Street area, in the heart of the city, would have been a reasonable location if starting with a blank sheet of paper. It would have to be deep underground though, not up top on the site of the old Broad Street station, which means you would probably still be removing all the skeletons buried in the area today. The depot would be out at Temple Mills, where it is now.
 
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Old Oak Common would be a good choice today, directly connecting to HS2, plenty of brownfield land, and Crossrail for the West End and City. Sir Edward Watkin's dream finally realised?

The 1960/70s failed attempt at the Chunnel envisaged Kensington Olympia / White City as the terminal - the West London line was much less busy then and the whole area pretty run-down. My 1965 "Locospotters' Album", edited by Geoffrey Kichenside, paints a glamourous picture of British gauge TEE 'INOX' stainless-steel stock on through services to Paris and Cologne - if only! Interestingly Westenhanger was to be a terminal for Berne gauge services then running to Calais / Boulogne/ Ostend - passengers for London would have to change as no new line was planned through Kent. He did correctly predict the 'Shuttle' operation, however, which is pretty much as it is today.
 

swt_passenger

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Always thought the Broad Street area, in the heart of the city, would have been a reasonable location if starting with a blank sheet of paper. It would have to be deep underground though, not up top on the site of the old Broad Street station, which means you would probably still be removing all the skeletons buried in the area today. The depot would be out at Temple Mills, where it is now.
Well do you start off with the possibility that most potential incoming passengers are on business, or are most incoming tourists? And do you assume people travelling out to France or Belgium on business want to start their journey from home, or from their office?
 

MotCO

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With all the recent shopping and building developments around Victoria, would there have been sufficient space for an underground Eurostar terminal there? A new high speed link tunnel would still be required, but it would not have been easy to link to North of London destinations if a through link was required. Unless you tunnelled under London to come up on the WCML or ECML.
 
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To put these in chronological order, White City was the chosen site for the London terminal for the plans which were developed from the 1964 agreement between the UK and France.

If you follow the link in #2, there is a link to a Pathe News report on YouTube; the model railway shown in that toured the country - I remember seeing it in Lewis's store in Liverpool.

Then to #6; these are from BR's original plans for what became HS1. The high speed line would have tunneled under London, and the main terminal station would have been beneath King's Cross, as described in the article. Tracks could have continued northwards with connections to the MML and ECML, and a Eurostar depot would have been constructed at Cricklewood; powers were also sought for a connection between the MML close to where Sainsbury's and Homebase are located at the north end of Belsize Tunnel and south of West Hampstead station on the NLL - this would have been the connection to the WCML.

BR established a King's Cross Project Team located in one of the old buildings in the former GNR goods yard; comprehensive plans for development of the railway owned lands were developed, and if my memory is correct these included multi story housing blocks constructed on an artificial tunnel over the MML south of the NLL. Glossy leaflets of BR's plans were produced - I think I might still have one, but no idea where! There were a lot of objections to BR's proposals as they would have required the demolition of a number of listed buildings around King's Cross, including the Great Northern Hotel, but it fitted in well with plans to run Eurostars north of London; these were very well developed, and would probably have gone ahead if it hadn't been for privatisation.

Until HS1 had been built, Kensington Olympia would have had a role to play for NOL services; Nightstar trains would also have split and joined there, and changed from diesels (37/6s) to electrics (92s) when necessary. Electrification of the WLL and conversion of parts of the NLL from 3rd rail to 25kv AC overhead were associated with this part of the Channel Tunnel project.

BR's plans were then scuppered by Ove Arup; working independently and at their own cost, they produced a plan for a route which was basically what is now HS1. I think it was Michael Heseltine who was responsible for the adoption of Arup's route over BR's - he saw it as a way of regenerating Docklands - and Union Railways was established as a subsidiary of BR to develop it under the leadership of John Prideaux. There is one main difference between Arups' original proposal and HS1 as built; it would have run along the surface following the alignment of the NLL between Stratford and St Pancras. The present rebuilt St Pancras station is basically as envisaged by BR's chief architect, Nick Derbyshire, back in the early 1990s

'Private Eye' got in on the act of routing HS1 between the Channel Tunnel and London; they came up with a route which went all round the country - I think the objective was to avoid every marginal constituency!
 

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To put these in chronological order, White City was the chosen site for the London terminal for the plans which were developed from the 1964 agreement between the UK and France.

If you follow the link in #2, there is a link to a Pathe News report on YouTube; the model railway shown in that toured the country - I remember seeing it in Lewis's store in Liverpool.

Then to #6; these are from BR's original plans for what became HS1. The high speed line would have tunneled under London, and the main terminal station would have been beneath King's Cross, as described in the article. Tracks could have continued northwards with connections to the MML and ECML, and a Eurostar depot would have been constructed at Cricklewood; powers were also sought for a connection between the MML close to where Sainsbury's and Homebase are located at the north end of Belsize Tunnel and south of West Hampstead station on the NLL - this would have been the connection to the WCML.

BR established a King's Cross Project Team located in one of the old buildings in the former GNR goods yard; comprehensive plans for development of the railway owned lands were developed, and if my memory is correct these included multi story housing blocks constructed on an artificial tunnel over the MML south of the NLL. Glossy leaflets of BR's plans were produced - I think I might still have one, but no idea where! There were a lot of objections to BR's proposals as they would have required the demolition of a number of listed buildings around King's Cross, including the Great Northern Hotel, but it fitted in well with plans to run Eurostars north of London; these were very well developed, and would probably have gone ahead if it hadn't been for privatisation.

Until HS1 had been built, Kensington Olympia would have had a role to play for NOL services; Nightstar trains would also have split and joined there, and changed from diesels (37/6s) to electrics (92s) when necessary. Electrification of the WLL and conversion of parts of the NLL from 3rd rail to 25kv AC overhead were associated with this part of the Channel Tunnel project.

BR's plans were then scuppered by Ove Arup; working independently and at their own cost, they produced a plan for a route which was basically what is now HS1. I think it was Michael Heseltine who was responsible for the adoption of Arup's route over BR's - he saw it as a way of regenerating Docklands - and Union Railways was established as a subsidiary of BR to develop it under the leadership of John Prideaux. There is one main difference between Arups' original proposal and HS1 as built; it would have run along the surface following the alignment of the NLL between Stratford and St Pancras. The present rebuilt St Pancras station is basically as envisaged by BR's chief architect, Nick Derbyshire, back in the early 1990s

'Private Eye' got in on the act of routing HS1 between the Channel Tunnel and London; they came up with a route which went all round the country - I think the objective was to avoid every marginal constituency!

Was Cricklewood really going to have a Eurostar depot? That would make sense, otherwise Eurostars from Kings Cross would of had to reverse at Kensington to reach North Pole.

If Thatcher survived, called and won a 1991 election, I'm sure the CTRL would have been built to BR's plans-seeing as she wouldn't have let Heseltine into the Cabinet even if he paied her.
 

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Always thought the Broad Street area, in the heart of the city, would have been a reasonable location if starting with a blank sheet of paper. It would have to be deep underground though, not up top on the site of the old Broad Street station, which means you would probably still be removing all the skeletons buried in the area today. The depot would be out at Temple Mills, where it is now.

It is a bit of a trade off. St Pancras means good connections to a very large number of UK destinations, but something in the City means better for business travellers. You can't really please both unless you stick it underground through central London.
 
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Was Cricklewood really going to have a Eurostar depot? That would make sense, otherwise Eurostars from Kings Cross would of had to reverse at Kensington to reach North Pole.

If Thatcher survived, called and won a 1991 election, I'm sure the CTRL would have been built to BR's plans-seeing as she wouldn't have let Heseltine into the Cabinet even if he paied her.

Yes

However, we are talking 25-30 years ago, and I can't remember the closure of North Pole ever being suggested, so perhaps it was only intended to be a light servicing/cleaning depot with heavy maintenance remaining in West London. But certainly, it was planned to have some sort of facility at Cricklewood for Eurostars using King's Cross Low Level

Thatcher took a personal interest in the CTRL, and senior BR managers made a presentation on their plans to her; she asked about the tunnel cross section and this was given to her, and when they described the width of the emergency side walkway planned, she quipped "that wouldn't be wide enough for Cyril Smith" - at that time he was the very portly MP for Rochdale. Someone fell asleep, so she woke him up and made him ask a question; it was something daft about the colour of sand!
 

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Yes

However, we are talking 25-30 years ago, and I can't remember the closure of North Pole ever being suggested, so perhaps it was only intended to be a light servicing/cleaning depot with heavy maintenance remaining in West London. But certainly, it was planned to have some sort of facility at Cricklewood for Eurostars using King's Cross Low Level

Thatcher took a personal interest in the CTRL, and senior BR managers made a presentation on their plans to her; she asked about the tunnel cross section and this was given to her, and when they described the width of the emergency side walkway planned, she quipped "that wouldn't be wide enough for Cyril Smith" - at that time he was the very portly MP for Rochdale. Someone fell asleep, so she woke him up and made him ask a question; it was something daft about the colour of sand!

Really? That's fascinating. The history of the CTRL is one of my obsessions. I wrote an alternative history timeline on another website a few years ago from the premise of Thatcher not being toppled in 1990 and the effect it has on BR (it eventually gets privatised by Brown in the 2000s instead). Was Thatcher pro the BR scheme then over Arup?

If the BR scheme was chosen to be built, I highly doubt the Kings Cross branch would be built because the Low Level station would just be so difficult to build. The costs would likely soar massively as the economy picked up through the 1990s and land prices rise. I wouldn't be surprised if we would be left with a line going as far as Warwick Gardens and Waterloo being the Eurostar terminus until something like HS2 came along.
 
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Really? That's fascinating. The history of the CTRL is one of my obsessions. I wrote an alternative history timeline on another website a few years ago from the premise of Thatcher not being toppled in 1990 and the effect it has on BR (it eventually gets privatised by Brown in the 2000s instead). Was Thatcher pro the BR scheme then over Arup?

If the BR scheme was chosen to be built, I highly doubt the Kings Cross branch would be built because the Low Level station would just be so difficult to build. The costs would likely soar massively as the economy picked up through the 1990s and land prices rise. I wouldn't be surprised if we would be left with a line going as far as Warwick Gardens and Waterloo being the Eurostar terminus until something like HS2 came along.
I'm afraid I can't answer your question about Thatcher's preference; I was told about the presentation by somebody who was there over a lunch in 1995, and I can't remember when it took place. However, I think the guy who fell asleep was Nicholas Ridley, and according to Wikipedia he ceased to be a member of cabinet in 1990, and the decision to go for the Arup route wasn't made until later, if I remember correctly.

I know that Richard Edgeley who was MD of EPS at that time walked the whole of the proposed BR route and familiarised himself with a lot of detail; consequently, when he was meeting with people affected by BR's proposals, he was able to say things like "you mean where that telephone box is in front of the pub?", and that helped a lot with communication
 
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