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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 12, Issue 3 (June 1, 1937)


The March Marshalling Yard, L. and N.E. Railway, Cambridge.

The March Marshalling Yard, L. and N.E. Railway, Cambridge.

Bearing in mind the vast improvements introduced at the new Wellington Railway Station, considerable interest attaches to the remodelling and rebuilding of several important Home railway passenger stations—work which is now in hand, or contemplated in the near future. One of the biggest improvement works in progress covers the creation of a new and greater Euston Station in London, where our largest group railway—the London, Midland and Scottish—has its headquarters. Curiously enough, we celebrate on July 20th next, the one hundredth anniversary of the opening of the first section of the London and Birmingham Railway, from Euston to Boxmoor (24½ miles). The London terminus of this pioneer line was known as Euston Square, throughout operation between London and Birmingham commencing in 1838. The original Euston Station was quite adequate to the needs of the period, and the great arch and hall, designed by that genius among early railway architects, Hardwick, were remarkable contemporary contributions to advanced station design. The new Euston should produce equally outstanding examples of the railway architect's genius and adaptability, and provide a fitting headquarters terminus for its owners.

City passenger stations have undergone tremendous improvement in the last few decades. Time was when a railway station was merely a place for the entraining and detraining of passengers, and nothing more. To-day, the railway station is a most important civic and recreational centre. Leipzig, in Germany; Milan, in Italy; and the Eastern station, in Paris, are three continental examples of outstandingly well-designed stations. At Home, numbers of the principal city stations combine space, dignity and artistry, among the better-known being the Southern Railway's Waterloo and Victoria stations in London, the Victoria station of the L. M. & S. at Manchester; the Great Western Company's London terminus at Paddington; and the York station of the London and North Eastern. Some of the London tube stations, also, are fine works in their own class. The railway station being the veritable city centre, it often becomes possible for the modern station designer to provide a fine edifice at reasonable cost, through the additional commercial uses to which the building may be put. Rows of shops, and so on, are frequently included in modern station design. They add to the attractiveness of the station, and the rents derived therefrom provide a valuable source of revenue.