Gauging the Future
Tony Aldous on mid-19th century plans for a railway station in the centre of London.
The dream of a nineteenth-century Solicitor to the City of London Corporation of a central railway station within the Square Mile with trains running both north and south of the Thames is about to be achieved – paid for by the developers of post-Big Bang office blocks. It promises to bring Channel Tunnel express trains to within ten minutes' brisk walk of the Bank of England, as well as providing fast services to Gatwick and Stansted airports.
The City Solicitor, Charles Pearson, argued, before a 1846 Royal Commission, for a central station at Farringdon Street for all lines north of the river but linked through to the south. Farringdon was indeed built, but lack of money prevented it from being the grand affair originally projected. The Commission recommended that main termini be kept on the periphery of the City.