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When did Thameslink stop using St. Pancras?

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bramling

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I've seen pictures of class 319s in St. Pancras as late as 1997 though.

Thameslink has always used St Pancras HL for diversions and engineering work. However I can’t remember anything else during the 1990s, and peak extras or the like went to Moorgate in those days. That’s certainly how I remember it in the mid and late 90s.
 

Bald Rick

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Apart from diversions due to engineering works, such as the mid 2000s Thameslink blockade, when did Thameslink stop running scheduled trains into St. Pancras?

If you mean ‘when did Midland Suburban services stop running regular weekday timetabled services into St Pancras high level other than for engineering works’, then the answer is when the Snow hill tunnel reopened in 1988.
 

Dr Hoo

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If you mean ‘when did Midland Suburban services stop running regular weekday timetabled services into St Pancras high level other than for engineering works’, then the answer is when the Snow hill tunnel reopened in 1988.
The hourly 'all night, all stations' services to/from Bedford did continue to run into/out of St Pancras for a little while longer but I appreciate that they were hardly very relevant to most people.
 

route101

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I got a Thameslink into St Pancras High Level last month, early on a Saturday morning.
 

Richardr

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The early Sunday trains - i.e. before about 9ish - are still timetabled to St Pancras only, and almost always go to the upper platforms. However, that is to allow maintenance work on the tunnel.
 

ChiefPlanner

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Later than 1992 into St Pancras for 319 operations , regularly , - there were 4 am and pm peak services , much appreciated by those in the know , as anything was better than the crime infested walk on the street to Kings Cross Thameslink (as opposed to a fair chance of being mugged at the cashpoint outside , there was often a hefty "offer" of class 1's to often willing purchasers , - often "suits" ! - the area is much improved these days ) , - anyway , these peak services were apart from being 8 car 319's with a decent chance of a seat , often left straight onto the down fast and could be guaranteed of a 17 min trip to St Albans. Off peak , there was a regular 4 car direct to Luton (Airport was not there in those days , for military traffic only - no other passengers allowed - you can guess roughly n the UK where they were going to)

Anyway , with the need to better cycle the 319's into Thameslink services , these peak workings were cycled into the main operation with some Moorgate starters installed. The management of the time had to explain personally to certain well connected SPX travellers at the time what and why they were planning. One of the amelioration factors was a much better PA system at Farringdon and KXT ! .

Of course , SPX High Level is still in regular use for diversions and engineering works - less so now with full bi-di downstairs. They used to have a hefty cost for using "upstairs" as it was a HS2 station.

Trust me , the old St Pancras on dark winters night could be miserable , especially before the rat hole down the sewage smelling corridor to the old Kings Cross tube station , was smartened - but Kings Cross Thameslink was something else.
 

Sad Sprinter

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Later than 1992 into St Pancras for 319 operations , regularly , - there were 4 am and pm peak services , much appreciated by those in the know , as anything was better than the crime infested walk on the street to Kings Cross Thameslink (as opposed to a fair chance of being mugged at the cashpoint outside , there was often a hefty "offer" of class 1's to often willing purchasers , - often "suits" ! - the area is much improved these days ) , - anyway , these peak services were apart from being 8 car 319's with a decent chance of a seat , often left straight onto the down fast and could be guaranteed of a 17 min trip to St Albans. Off peak , there was a regular 4 car direct to Luton (Airport was not there in those days , for military traffic only - no other passengers allowed - you can guess roughly n the UK where they were going to)

Anyway , with the need to better cycle the 319's into Thameslink services , these peak workings were cycled into the main operation with some Moorgate starters installed. The management of the time had to explain personally to certain well connected SPX travellers at the time what and why they were planning. One of the amelioration factors was a much better PA system at Farringdon and KXT ! .

Of course , SPX High Level is still in regular use for diversions and engineering works - less so now with full bi-di downstairs. They used to have a hefty cost for using "upstairs" as it was a HS2 station.

Trust me , the old St Pancras on dark winters night could be miserable , especially before the rat hole down the sewage smelling corridor to the old Kings Cross tube station , was smartened - but Kings Cross Thameslink was something else.

Great memories!

Did the old blue/gold Thameslink 319s ever make it into stp?
 

A0wen

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Weren't the wires removed between Kentish Town and St Pancras sometime in the late 90s / early 00s - a few years before the redevelopment of St P ?

That would have stopped any TL diversions.
 

ChiefPlanner

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Weren't the wires removed between Kentish Town and St Pancras sometime in the late 90s / early 00s - a few years before the redevelopment of St P ?

That would have stopped any TL diversions.


There was a phasing arrangement to keep electric access to the various parts , at various times.

The idea of not having electric access when the core was closed for well over 15 months would be unbearable. It was hard enough in any case for the average passenger. Not to mention south of the Thames.
 

A0wen

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There was a phasing arrangement to keep electric access to the various parts , at various times.

The idea of not having electric access when the core was closed for well over 15 months would be unbearable. It was hard enough in any case for the average passenger. Not to mention south of the Thames.

Sorry, wasn't very clear. I thought the wires got reinstated when the temporary platforms were put in place as part of the rebuild at St Pancras. But a couple of years before that they'd been removed because if there was engineering work on TL it meant trains started / terminated from Kentish Town - I'd assumed it was because all TL services headed through the core and Midland Mainline (as it was at the time) were a 100% diesel operation.
 

ChiefPlanner

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Sorry, wasn't very clear. I thought the wires got reinstated when the temporary platforms were put in place as part of the rebuild at St Pancras. But a couple of years before that they'd been removed because if there was engineering work on TL it meant trains started / terminated from Kentish Town - I'd assumed it was because all TL services headed through the core and Midland Mainline (as it was at the time) were a 100% diesel operation.

Complicated , and even after all this time , not worth thinking about ! - there were some cases of the all stations trains turning round at Kentish Town during restricted access. (there was , for example a period when some Bedford trains ran to and from Kings Cross Thameslink in the absence of the fitted out new station box. Delaying the fitting out of the latter was deferred for over a year , a course which hardly encouraged return to use. As the long suffering travellers south of Luton were effectively barred from MML , it was of no consequence whether it was diesel only upstairs.!

"The Blackfriars run through" was challenging , especially with no District line access.
 

WesternLancer

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Later than 1992 into St Pancras for 319 operations , regularly , - there were 4 am and pm peak services , much appreciated by those in the know , as anything was better than the crime infested walk on the street to Kings Cross Thameslink (as opposed to a fair chance of being mugged at the cashpoint outside , there was often a hefty "offer" of class 1's to often willing purchasers , - often "suits" ! - the area is much improved these days ) , - anyway , these peak services were apart from being 8 car 319's with a decent chance of a seat , often left straight onto the down fast and could be guaranteed of a 17 min trip to St Albans. Off peak , there was a regular 4 car direct to Luton (Airport was not there in those days , for military traffic only - no other passengers allowed - you can guess roughly n the UK where they were going to)

Anyway , with the need to better cycle the 319's into Thameslink services , these peak workings were cycled into the main operation with some Moorgate starters installed. The management of the time had to explain personally to certain well connected SPX travellers at the time what and why they were planning. One of the amelioration factors was a much better PA system at Farringdon and KXT ! .

Of course , SPX High Level is still in regular use for diversions and engineering works - less so now with full bi-di downstairs. They used to have a hefty cost for using "upstairs" as it was a HS2 station.

Trust me , the old St Pancras on dark winters night could be miserable , especially before the rat hole down the sewage smelling corridor to the old Kings Cross tube station , was smartened - but Kings Cross Thameslink was something else.
I'm not sure things were quite as bad as some bits of this portrait outlines...but an enjoyable read that does indeed capture aspects of the era! I for one found the creation of the Thameslink Station at KX a boon over preciously having to use the tube with my student luggage.

My over riding recollection of KX TL station is the liberal use of NSE's favourite cream terrazzo tiling throughout (including up the walls IIRC)! It looked rather smart. But it always seemed to be too small for the passenger flows, esp up and down the stairs to platforms when a train unloaded.
 

ChiefPlanner

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I'm not sure things were quite as bad as some bits of this portrait outlines...but an enjoyable read that does indeed capture aspects of the era! I for one found the creation of the Thameslink Station at KX a boon over preciously having to use the tube with my student luggage.

My over riding recollection of KX TL station is the liberal use of NSE's favourite cream terrazzo tiling throughout (including up the walls IIRC)! It looked rather smart. But it always seemed to be too small for the passenger flows, esp up and down the stairs to platforms when a train unloaded.

The station would have "managed" without the ever growing patronage , and whilst it was recorded as "glitzy" when it opened (remember it had been a horribly quiet peak only station with a handful of peak only trains for many years) , once the Bedpan electrics took off and later with Thameslink growth leaped forward, The utter inability to widen the northbound platforms , encumbered by signaling equipment cases was a particular challenge. The northbound platfrom of course had the highest % of waiting passengers. It was often easier to circulate via Farringdon and the Circle / Met line.

The railway could not be blamed for the high crime and challenges that brought in the local area (the station was safe enough) , remember a lot of the streetscape - spreading towards the Argyle Square area and north towards the railway lands were effectively derelict or in run down condition (apologies to the hotel area south of Camden Town Hall) and indicative as to how the urban realm can affect rail patronage. I often used to walk through the deep level tube station rather than on the street. Especially at night and in the dark. Nothing happened , but you were well aware of your surroundings.
 

WesternLancer

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The station would have "managed" without the ever growing patronage , and whilst it was recorded as "glitzy" when it opened (remember it had been a horribly quiet peak only station with a handful of peak only trains for many years) , once the Bedpan electrics took off and later with Thameslink growth leaped forward, The utter inability to widen the northbound platforms , encumbered by signaling equipment cases was a particular challenge. The northbound platfrom of course had the highest % of waiting passengers. It was often easier to circulate via Farringdon and the Circle / Met line.

The railway could not be blamed for the high crime and challenges that brought in the local area (the station was safe enough) , remember a lot of the streetscape - spreading towards the Argyle Square area and north towards the railway lands were effectively derelict or in run down condition (apologies to the hotel area south of Camden Town Hall) and indicative as to how the urban realm can affect rail patronage. I often used to walk through the deep level tube station rather than on the street. Especially at night and in the dark. Nothing happened , but you were well aware of your surroundings.
Yes, good points. I suppose in some ways not so different than many environments in close proximity to major stations, both in UK and indeed on the continent, when one looks back on it.
 

ChiefPlanner

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Yes, good points. I suppose in some ways not so different than many environments in close proximity to major stations, both in UK and indeed on the continent, when one looks back on it.

The DB - who I have had several excellent visits with (on a work basis) , stressed over the last 30 years that a combined refurbishment of local areas and stations was critical in levelling up urban and especially city areas. Amazing how Camden as an area has picked itself up , but one wonders where the "street life" has gone to. Some dead I am sure.
 

WesternLancer

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The DB - who I have had several excellent visits with (on a work basis) , stressed over the last 30 years that a combined refurbishment of local areas and stations was critical in levelling up urban and especially city areas. Amazing how Camden as an area has picked itself up , but one wonders where the "street life" has gone to. Some dead I am sure.
Maybe some of them have migrated to areas around Brussels Midi station :s

Yes, it is indeed interesting - these sorts of urban regeneration programmes are very good - and welcome, esp where they involve good transport access, but as you say, there will always have been people displaced and the dynamics of that are not simple.

I don't regret the improvements, although I must say that I miss some of thre more basic / trad caffs and simple retail / newsagent / more 'authentic' pub type places that have gone to be replaced by a more corporate style of retail / catering offer. This is somewhat inevitable of course, if a bit regrettable.

Thinking about your posts reminds me of reading Ian Merchant's Parellel Lines which I enjoyed reading. IIRC it opens with a section describing him standing on the street admiring St Pancras station and being accosted by a lady of dubious virtue (as a fake old railway sign featured on another thread would have described it). I recall it being wittily written.

In fact I see the section concerned features in this review


The first page begins with our author appreciating the architecture of London's St Pancras Station from the other side of the Euston Road. He is approached by two prostitutes. Trouble is, being the kind of person who goes to King's Cross to look at enormous gothic buildings, he does not at first twig that they are prostitutes.

"We've got a place we can go," one tells him. "Hundred and fifty quid for both of us."

He thinks she's talking about their rent. "That seems reasonable," he says.

The confusion is eventually sorted out, to his embarrassment, but the joke was good enough to keep me reading - and the jokes got better throughout the book. (Incidentally, I still cannot work out which part of it, if any, is "pastiche".)
 

ChiefPlanner

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Maybe some of them have migrated to areas around Brussels Midi station :s

Yes, it is indeed interesting - these sorts of urban regeneration programmes are very good - and welcome, esp where they involve good transport access, but as you say, there will always have been people displaced and the dynamics of that are not simple.

I don't regret the improvements, although I must say that I miss some of thre more basic / trad caffs and simple retail / newsagent / more 'authentic' pub type places that have gone to be replaced by a more corporate style of retail / catering offer. This is somewhat inevitable of course, if a bit regrettable.

Thinking about your posts reminds me of reading Ian Merchant's Parellel Lines which I enjoyed reading. IIRC it opens with a section describing him standing on the street admiring St Pancras station and being accosted by a lady of dubious virtue (as a fake old railway sign featured on another thread would have described it). I recall it being wittily written.

In fact I see the section concerned features in this review


The first page begins with our author appreciating the architecture of London's St Pancras Station from the other side of the Euston Road. He is approached by two prostitutes. Trouble is, being the kind of person who goes to King's Cross to look at enormous gothic buildings, he does not at first twig that they are prostitutes.

"We've got a place we can go," one tells him. "Hundred and fifty quid for both of us."

He thinks she's talking about their rent. "That seems reasonable," he says.

The confusion is eventually sorted out, to his embarrassment, but the joke was good enough to keep me reading - and the jokes got better throughout the book. (Incidentally, I still cannot work out which part of it, if any, is "pastiche".)

I have enjoyed this thread (made me think a bit) - to get back to Ian Marchant , he is an ex Lampeter student and is known to some of my older friends (he studied there in their time) , and I would enjoy a catch up with him on Wales and railways. Some of his most recent writing is very good.

Yes - unreconstructed Kings Cross / Camden had some good little official businesses that plugged away through the bad times , until very recently or so. The art-deco "Modern Cafe" by the Scala was a great local Italian with everything you could want from a good business. "Mabels" pub and the "Exmouth" (near Euston) well known railway pubs where jobs were offered , meetings prepared for and settled afterwards and rules exams were if not carried out , certainly practised for. A good few others , even if the clients changed at say weekends as to weekdays. Huge loss to see good "greasy spoons" go - as they are the spirit of London. (and indeed the suburbs)

Yes the odd person was dragged out of the canal , yes there was a lively business down in Goods Way with "senior" people and ladies of the night , the odd "if you want it , iv'e got it , coke and crack" etc........it has either gone on line or to ground. Or as you suggest migrated to either Midi or near the Gare du Nord. Both terrible areas and not to be hanged around in. I suppose London felt safer as you knew where the OK places to go to were.

Mind you , as a shift worker I used to get approached on the way to early turn. A bardic and uniform cap was "fair game" to ask.
 
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