Connecting London: the 5 oldest railway stations

0
909

Walking its streets, you cannot fail but to be charmed by London’s historic aesthetic. Years of legends and tales simply ooze out of the capital’s buildings, and nothing more highlights this than the city’s railway stations. Having connected the region for centuries, these places are more than just transport hubs, but act as cornerstones to the different faces and uses London has had over the years. Here are five of the oldest stations in the city and are, essentially, attractions in their own right.

Deptford Station

Located in the borough of Lewisham, this station was opened in 1836, making it arguable the oldest railway station in London. It was established once the London and Greenwich Railway launched its first section between Deptford and Spa Road, and over the next few years, the line would be extended to London Bridge and Greenwich.

The station actually shut down between 1915 and 1926, and the original building was demolished, only to then be replaced with what can be seen today. Now you can get trains from here to London Cannon Street, Dartford and Sidcup, while additional services also go to Charing Cross.

From The Montcalm, you should walk to the corner of Hyde Park and then along Oxford Street to Bond Street Station (it should be a 10-15 min walk). From here, get the Jubilee line to London Bridge and then get the southeastern heading to Dartford – Deptford is the next stop.

Greenwich Station

Situated around 400 m from the town centre, this station is in zones two and three, and it serves as a connection point between Central London and Dartford. While Cutty Sark is closer to the major tourist attractions, it is actually the nearest National Rail station to Greenwich centre, and it is this line that is one of the oldest in the city.

Designed by George Landmann, the line had opened in 1836, but the station was constructed in 1840. Over the next few decades, the line was extended eastwards towards Maze Hill and it’s next big update would not be until 1999 when the Docklands Light Railway was introduced. The Dartford line now goes towards the likes of the National Maritime Museum and the Isle of Dogs, while typical services also link up the station with London Cannon Street, Charing Cross, Dartford and Sidcup.

To get here, walk to the corner of Hyde Park and then along Oxford Street to Bond Street Station (it should be a 10-15 min walk – or get on the Central line). From here, get the Jubilee line to London Bridge and then get the southeastern heading to Barnehurst – Greenwich is two stops away.

London Bridge

This huge terminus spans two levels and is actually the oldest station in London’s zone one. Boasting nine terminal platforms and six through-platforms, loads of connections go to the likes of Charing Cross, Blackfriars and Cannon Street. Handling over 54 million customers annually, it is both the fourth busiest station in London and the UK, which is hardly a surprise when considering that it also links up East Sussex and Kent, and the Northern and Jubilee underground lines pass through it. This and Waterloo are the two main termini south of the Thames.

Opened in December 1836, it is actually the first and oldest railway terminal in London, and since then there has been various changes of ownership and rebuilding schemes.

From the Montcalm, walk to Marble Arch station and get onto the Central line to Bond Street. Then jump onto the Jubilee line all the way to London Bridge – it is a 20-minute journey altogether.

Euston

This behemoth of a station is the sixth busiest in the UK and it connects London with the West Midlands, the north-west, north Wales and even as far as Scotland. If you are travelling to or from Manchester, Birmingham or Glasgow, you’ll be passing through here. Close to King’s Cross and walkable to all the major central attractions, this is one busy hub.

Euston was actually the first intercity station in London, and it opened in 1837 on what was mostly farmland at the outskirts of the expanding city. The station was named after Euston Hall in Suffolk, the home of the main landowners, and after various injunctions by local farmers, a bill was passed to allow its construction. After various ownerships, the building was demolished around 50 years ago and was replaced with the now-modern look.

To get there, get on the Central line from Marble Arch, and change to the Victoria line at Oxford Circus – this should take you straight to Euston.

Harrow & Wealdstone

Served by Underground, London Midland, Overground and Southern, this station is located between both Wealdstone and Harrow and was opened in July 1837. Both areas were just small settlements at the time.

Probably what the station is most known for is its tragic train crash in 1952, which killed 112 people and 340 were injured – it was the worst train crash in British history. You can now see a memorial plaque above the main entrance on the eastern side.

To get there, it’s a 40-minute journey – get on the Central line from Marble Arch and get off at Shepherd’s Bush. From here, get on a Southern train to the station.

Whether you are looking at any of these stations, all of which are some of the oldest in the world, or are checking out some of the city’s most iconic attractions, such as Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament or the London Eye, be sure to book yourselves into the comfortable and affordable Montcalm hotels. Luxury, space and a low price tag – what more could you really ask for?