Charing Cross railway station
Overview
 
Charing Cross railway station, also known as London Charing Cross, is a central London railway terminus in the City of Westminster
City of Westminster
The City of Westminster is a London borough occupying much of the central area of London, England, including most of the West End. It is located to the west of and adjoining the ancient City of London, directly to the east of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and its southern boundary...

, England. It is one of 18 stations managed by Network Rail
Network Rail
Network Rail is the government-created owner and operator of most of the rail infrastructure in Great Britain .; it is not responsible for railway infrastructure in Northern Ireland...

, and trains serving it are operated by Southeastern
Southeastern (train operating company)
London & South Eastern Railway Limited, trading as Southeastern is a train operating company in south-east England. On 1 April 2006 it became the franchisee for the new Integrated Kent Franchise , replacing the publicly owned South Eastern Trains on the former South East Franchise...

. It is the fifth busiest rail terminal in London.

The station takes its name from its location next to the central London road junction of Charing Cross
Charing Cross
Charing Cross denotes the junction of Strand, Whitehall and Cockspur Street, just south of Trafalgar Square in central London, England. It is named after the now demolished Eleanor cross that stood there, in what was once the hamlet of Charing. The site of the cross is now occupied by an equestrian...

. The front of the station faces the Strand
Strand, London
Strand is a street in the City of Westminster, London, England. The street is just over three-quarters of a mile long. It currently starts at Trafalgar Square and runs east to join Fleet Street at Temple Bar, which marks the boundary of the City of London at this point, though its historical length...

, while at the other end is the northern end of Hungerford Bridge
Hungerford Bridge
The Hungerford Bridge crosses the River Thames in London, and lies between Waterloo Bridge and Westminster Bridge. It is a steel truss railway bridge—sometimes known as the Charing Cross Bridge—flanked by two more recent, cable-stayed, pedestrian bridges that share the railway bridge's...

, which is crossed by all trains serving the station.
Encyclopedia
Charing Cross railway station, also known as London Charing Cross, is a central London railway terminus in the City of Westminster
City of Westminster
The City of Westminster is a London borough occupying much of the central area of London, England, including most of the West End. It is located to the west of and adjoining the ancient City of London, directly to the east of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and its southern boundary...

, England. It is one of 18 stations managed by Network Rail
Network Rail
Network Rail is the government-created owner and operator of most of the rail infrastructure in Great Britain .; it is not responsible for railway infrastructure in Northern Ireland...

, and trains serving it are operated by Southeastern
Southeastern (train operating company)
London & South Eastern Railway Limited, trading as Southeastern is a train operating company in south-east England. On 1 April 2006 it became the franchisee for the new Integrated Kent Franchise , replacing the publicly owned South Eastern Trains on the former South East Franchise...

. It is the fifth busiest rail terminal in London.

The station takes its name from its location next to the central London road junction of Charing Cross
Charing Cross
Charing Cross denotes the junction of Strand, Whitehall and Cockspur Street, just south of Trafalgar Square in central London, England. It is named after the now demolished Eleanor cross that stood there, in what was once the hamlet of Charing. The site of the cross is now occupied by an equestrian...

. The front of the station faces the Strand
Strand, London
Strand is a street in the City of Westminster, London, England. The street is just over three-quarters of a mile long. It currently starts at Trafalgar Square and runs east to join Fleet Street at Temple Bar, which marks the boundary of the City of London at this point, though its historical length...

, while at the other end is the northern end of Hungerford Bridge
Hungerford Bridge
The Hungerford Bridge crosses the River Thames in London, and lies between Waterloo Bridge and Westminster Bridge. It is a steel truss railway bridge—sometimes known as the Charing Cross Bridge—flanked by two more recent, cable-stayed, pedestrian bridges that share the railway bridge's...

, which is crossed by all trains serving the station. Ticket barriers control access to all platforms, although the bridge entrance has no barriers.

History

The original station building was built on the site of the Hungerford Market
Hungerford Market
Hungerford Market was a market in London, near Charing Cross on the Strand, housed in two different buildings on the same site from around 1680 to 1862. The first market was held from about 1680 in a London house of the Hungerford family. This building became dilapidated, and was replaced by a...

 by the South Eastern Railway
South Eastern Railway (UK)
The South Eastern Railway was a railway company in south-eastern England from 1836 until 1922. The company was formed to construct a route from London to Dover. Branch lines were later opened to Tunbridge Wells, Hastings, Canterbury and other places in Kent...

 and opened on 11 January 1864. The station was designed by Sir John Hawkshaw
John Hawkshaw
Sir John Hawkshaw , was an English civil engineer.-Early life:He was born in Leeds, Yorkshire and was educated at Leeds Grammar School...

, with a single span wrought iron
Wrought iron
thumb|The [[Eiffel tower]] is constructed from [[puddle iron]], a form of wrought ironWrought iron is an iron alloy with a very low carbon...

 roof arching over the six platforms on its relatively cramped site. It is built on a brick arched viaduct, the level of the rails above the ground varying from 13 feet at the north-east end to 27 feet at the bridge abutment at the south-east end. A year later the Charing Cross Hotel, designed by Edward Middleton Barry
Edward Middleton Barry
Edward Middleton Barry was an English architect of the 19th century.-Biography:Edward Barry was the third son of Sir Charles Barry, born in his father's house, 27 Foley Place, London. In infancy he was delicate, and was placed under the care of a confidential servant at Blackheath...

, opened on 15 May 1865 and gave the station an ornate frontage in the French Renaissance style.

Eleanor Cross

Contemporary with the Charing Cross Hotel was a replica of the Eleanor Cross
Eleanor cross
The Eleanor crosses were twelve originally wooden, but later lavishly decorated stone, monuments of which three survive intact in a line down part of the east of England. King Edward I had the crosses erected between 1291 and 1294 in memory of his wife Eleanor of Castile, marking the nightly...

 in Red Mansfield stone, also designed by Edward Middleton Barry
Edward Middleton Barry
Edward Middleton Barry was an English architect of the 19th century.-Biography:Edward Barry was the third son of Sir Charles Barry, born in his father's house, 27 Foley Place, London. In infancy he was delicate, and was placed under the care of a confidential servant at Blackheath...

, that was erected in the station forecourt. It was based on the original 13th century Whitehall Cross that had been demolished in 1647. Distances in London are officially measured from the original site of the cross in Whitehall, now the statue of Charles I, and not from this replica cross.

The condition of the cross deteriorated until it was in such a vulnerable condition that it was placed on the English Heritage
English Heritage
English Heritage . is an executive non-departmental public body of the British Government sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport...

 At Risk Register in 2008. A ten-month project to repair and restore the cross was completed in August 2010. This work included recreating and attaching almost 100 missing ornamental features including heraldic shields, an angel, pinnacles, crockets and finials; securing weak or fractured masonry with stainless steel pins and rods and re-attaching decorative items which had previously been removed after becoming loose.

1905 roof collapse

A 77 feet (23.5 m) length of the elegant original roof structure, comprising the two end bays at the south of the station, and part of the western wall collapsed at 3.45pm on 5 December 1905. A gang of men were employed at the time in repairing, glazing and painting the section of roof which fell. Shortly after 3.30pm a loud noise was heard in the roof and it was noticed that one of the main tie rods had broken and was hanging down. Part of the roof began to sag and cracks appeared in the western wall. It was another 12 minutes before the collapse occurred, which enabled trains and platforms to be evacuated and incoming trains to be held back. The roof, girders and debris fell across four passenger trains standing in platforms 3, 4, 5 and 6 and all rail lines were blocked. The part of the western wall which fell crashed through the wall and roof of the neighbouring Royal Avenue Theatre (now the Playhouse Theatre
Playhouse Theatre
The Playhouse Theatre is a West End theatre in the City of Westminster, located in Northumberland Avenue, near Trafalgar Square. The Theatre was built by F. H. Fowler and Hill with a seating capacity of 1,200. It was rebuilt in 1907 and still retains its original substage machinery...

) in Northumberland Avenue which was being reconstructed at the time. Six lives were lost (two workmen on the roof, a W.H. Smith bookstall vendor and three workmen on the Royal Avenue Theatre site).

At the Board Of Trade Inquiry into the accident doubts were expressed by expert witnesses about the design of the roof, even though the cause of the failure was attributed to a faulty weld in a tie rod. Consequently, the South Eastern and Chatham Railway
South Eastern and Chatham Railway
The South Eastern and Chatham Railway Companies Joint Management Committee , known by its shorter name of the South Eastern and Chatham Railway was a working union of two neighbouring rival railways, the South Eastern Railway and London, Chatham and Dover Railway , that operated services between...

 decided not to repair the roof but to replace it. An enormous travelling timber gantry had to be constructed to take the remainder of the station roof down safely. The replacement was a utilitarian post and girder structure supporting a ridge and furrow roof. The curve of the original roof design can still be seen on the interior brickwork. The station was re-opened on 19 March 1906.

Second World War

Following bomb damage in the Second World War
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the hotel received extensive repairs in 1951, ten years after being bombed. In general, this consisted of a whole new set of top floors. The elaborate Mansard roof
Mansard roof
A mansard or mansard roof is a four-sided gambrel-style hip roof characterized by two slopes on each of its sides with the lower slope at a steeper angle than the upper that is punctured by dormer windows. The roof creates an additional floor of habitable space, such as a garret...

 of the upper floors of the hotel was rebuilt in a plain neo-Georgian white brick.

Recent events

In 1990 most of the area over the platforms was covered by Embankment Place, a post-modern office and shopping complex designed by Terry Farrell and Partners. This development led to the replacement of almost the whole of the 1906 roof. The rear two spans of this structure - immediately adjacent to the existing concourse roof - were retained as part of an enlarged waiting area. In addition the original retaining side walls of the station which once supported it remain in near complete condition. Most of the Embankment Place complex is currently occupied by PricewaterhouseCoopers
PricewaterhouseCoopers
PricewaterhouseCoopers is a global professional services firm headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the world's largest professional services firm measured by revenues and one of the "Big Four" accountancy firms....

.

Services

Trains run a high frequency service between Charing Cross and London Bridge calling at Waterloo East. As of December 2010 the typical off-peak service from the station is:
  • 2 tph via
  • 2 tph via
  • 2 tph Gillingham
    Gillingham (Kent) railway station
    Gillingham railway station in the town of Gillingham , north Kent, is on the Chatham Main Line between and Rainham stations. Train services are provided by Southeastern....

     via and
  • 2 tph avoiding
  • 2 tph via
  • 2 tph via Sevenoaks
  • 2 tph via Tunbridge Wells
  • 1 tph Dover
    Dover Priory railway station
    Dover Priory railway station is the main station in Dover in Kent, with the other station being Kearsney situated on the outskirts of Dover. . All train services are provided by Southeastern...

     and , dividing at
  • 1 tph via Dover and Canterbury West, dividing at Ashford International


Connections

Charing Cross is served by two London Underground
London Underground
The London Underground is a rapid transit system serving a large part of Greater London and some parts of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Essex in England...

 stations, one at each end: Charing Cross
Charing Cross tube station
Charing Cross tube station is a London Underground station at Charing Cross in the City of Westminster with entrances located in Trafalgar Square and The Strand. The station is served by the Northern and Bakerloo lines and provides an interchange with the National Rail network at station...

, and Embankment
Embankment tube station
Embankment is a London Underground station in the City of Westminster, known by various names during its history. It is served by the Circle, District, Northern and Bakerloo lines. On the Northern and Bakerloo lines, the station is between Waterloo and Charing Cross stations; on the Circle and...

. Originally Embankment was called Charing Cross, while the present Charing Cross was Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square is a public space and tourist attraction in central London, England, United Kingdom. At its centre is Nelson's Column, which is guarded by four lion statues at its base. There are a number of statues and sculptures in the square, with one plinth displaying changing pieces of...

 (Bakerloo line
Bakerloo Line
The Bakerloo line is a line of the London Underground, coloured brown on the Tube map. It runs partly on the surface and partly at deep level, from Elephant and Castle in the south-east to Harrow & Wealdstone in the north-west of London. The line serves 25 stations, of which 15 are underground...

) and Strand (Northern line) stations, combining under the new name when connected by the new Jubilee Line
Jubilee Line
The Jubilee line is a line on the London Underground , in the United Kingdom. It was built in two major sections—initially to Charing Cross, in central London, and later extended, in 1999, to Stratford, in east London. The later stations are larger and have special safety features, both aspects...

 station in 1979. The change of name acknowledged that Strand and Trafalgar Square were closer to the station than Embankment. Note that additionally, for a short time, the stations were signed as "Charing Cross Embankment" and "Charing Cross Strand". The Jubilee line platforms are no longer served, following the 1999 extension of the line
Jubilee Line Extension
The Jubilee Line Extension is the extension of the London Underground Jubilee line from to through south and east London. An eastward extension of the Jubilee line was first proposed in the 1970s and a modified route was constructed during the 1990s...

 in which it was diverted to Westminster
Westminster tube station
Westminster is a London Underground station in the City of Westminster. It is served by the Circle, District and Jubilee lines. On the Circle and District lines, the station is between St. James's Park and Embankment and, on the Jubilee line it is between Green Park and Waterloo. It is in...

 and onwards south of the river Thames.

External links

  • Station information on Charing Cross railway station from Network Rail
    Network Rail
    Network Rail is the government-created owner and operator of most of the rail infrastructure in Great Britain .; it is not responsible for railway infrastructure in Northern Ireland...

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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