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The first railway terminus at Euston 1837

Euston station was the first mainline station to be built in London.

    • In July 1837, the London and Birmingham Railway opened it’s first terminus.
    • It was to have been built at Camden at Chalk Farm but it was proposed that that it should be brought closer to the metropolis and an Act of parliament in 1835 allowed the line to be extended to Rhodes Farm in Euston.
    • The original terminus at Camden meant that the incline to Euston could be avoided.
    • Now that the line was to be extended a rope haulage system had to be installed to haul the train from Euston to Camden where the steam locomotives could take over.

As steam technology improved and the engines became more efficient, so the rope haulage system was abandoned.

It’s most impressive feature was the Euston Arch, 70 feet high and 44 feet wide and designed by architect Philip Hardwick. The arch rested on impressive doric columns, made from grit stone from Bramley Fall in Yorkshire. The columns complimented the ionic columns at the entrance to the terminus at Curzon Street in Birmingham.

Much of the most impressive architecture designed and built in the C19th was for public buildings and the coming of the railways to the capital was an excuse to create something truly impressive.

As we explore more of our family history we have often discussed what it must have been like to live in the areas where these colossal building projects were taking place. Looking at sketches and photos of the building works for Euston as it was developed, brings home the scale of the task they faced.

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