Cathedrals of Steam: How London's Great Stations Were Built - And How They Transformed the City

Cathedrals of Steam: How London's Great Stations Were Built - And How They Transformed the City

by Christian Wolmar


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London hosts a dozen major railway stations, more than any comparable city. King's Cross, St Pancras, Euston, Marylebone, Paddington, Victoria, Charing Cross, Cannon Street, Waterloo, London Bridge, Liverpool Street and Fenchurch Street—these great termini are the hub of London's transport system and their complex history, of growth, decline and epic renewal has determined much of the city's character today. Christian Wolmar tells the dramatic and compelling story of how these great cathedrals of steam were built by competing private railway companies between 1836 and 1900, reveals their immediate impact on the capital and explores the evolution of the stations and the city up to the present day.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781786499202
Publisher: Atlantic Books
Publication date: 02/01/2021
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 718,269
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Christian Wolmar writes regularly for a wide variety of publications, including the Independent, Evening Standard, and Rail magazine, and appears frequently on TV and radio as a commentator on transport issues. His previous books include Fire and Steam; Blood, Iron and Gold; Engines of War; The Great Railway Revolution; and To the Edge of the World.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Maps xi

Acknowledgements xiii

Introduction 1

1 Starting slowly 7

2 The railway in the sky 19

3 The first cathedrals 43

4 A modicum of order 71

5 Breaching the City walls 91

6 Upstaging King's Cross - or not? 109

7 Southern invasion 139

8 The three sisters 163

9 The workers' station 199

10 A terminus too far 217

11 London's unique dozen 233

12 Settling down and dodging the bombs 259

13 Round London with Sir John Betjeman 277

Appendix I Timeline for the opening of London's terminus stations 305

Appendix II Passenger numbers in the year to 31 March 2019 at the London terminuses 307

Select Bibliography 309

References 313

Index 323

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