The final Train Travels post I have for you as part of our London trip is a selection of pictures I took between departing London St Pancras, and proceeding up the Midland Main Line towards the Yorkshire City of Sheffield, via the East Midlands…
London St Pancras International, London
The final view of Central London we got as the train pulled out was looking back at St Pancras Station, a truly stunning building, built by the Midland Railway (MR) in 1868. Round at the front of the station lies the Midland Grand Hotel, which makes up the stations exterior facade, including the famous Clock Tower at the Kings Cross end. The Hotel was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott (1811 – 1878, English Architect), and narrowly avoided demolition in the mid 20th century. If you look past the train shed, which was the largest single span cast iron structure in the world when it opened, you can see the outline of the Midland Hotel, with the Clock Tower to the left, and the rest of the building stretching all the way round to the right of the picture. In the centre of the train shed, a number of Eurostar trains are visible. They run along the High Speed 1 line to Folkestone, where they enter the Channel Tunnel, exiting at Calais in France and running through to Paris, Lille and Brussels in Belgium. The services moved to St Pancras in 2007, with the station being renamed London St Pancras International, services having previously terminated at London Waterloo.
Proceeding up the Midland Main Line, we passed through the town of Loughborough, famous as 1 end of the Great Central Railway (GCR), a mainline heritage railway which runs from Loughborough towards the city of Leicester. Loughborough railway station opened in 1872, to replace the previous station of 1840 to allow for a greater number of tracks to run through the area. It was followed in 1883 by Loughborough Derby Road station (Coalville – Loughborough), and Loughborough Central in 1899. Central now forms the GCR Station, whilst Derby Road was demolished in the 1930’s.
East Midlands Parkway
The last major landmark we passed was in the village of Ratcliffe-on-Soar, where a station called “East Midlands Parkway” can be found. It lies 4 miles away from East Midlands Airport, and passengers can interchange with rail services here at the Station via a shuttle bus. The station is 1 of the newer mainline stations, opening in 2009 specifically as a transfer point for the Airport. It also serves Donington Park Racing Circuit, as well as the large Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station, which you can see above. It’s a large coal fired station which opened in 1968, characterised by its 8 653 ft Cooling Towers. We left the area, and proceeded home, however thats not the end of our London adventure, as from London we took 2 day trips into neighbouring counties. The 1st was to the City of St Albans in Hertfordshire, and the 2nd to the City of Chelmsford, and the town of Colchester, both in Essex. Also, keep an eye out for 3 special posts also to do with London, coming up over the next few weeks…