In tonight’s episode of 'The Architecture the Railways Built' series on Yesterday, Network Rail’s Jon Burden leads presenter Tim Dunn and viewers on a fascinating tour of King’s Cross station, exploring the rich history and design details of the iconic Grade I listed station.
Jon is responsible for the maintenance of the station and has worked there for more than 20 years, experiencing first-hand the transformation which saw the original train shed roof restored and the addition of a striking new main concourse in 2012.
The redevelopment boosted the concourse area from 2,000m² to 8,000m², as well as providing a wider range of retail outlets and an improved interchange for Underground services and neighbouring St Pancras International station.
Though the mammoth project modernised much of the station to improve passenger experience and meet the ever-growing demand for rail services, King's Cross has retained many aspects of its Victorian heritage and charm, such as the iron roof arches of the train shed, as Jon explains in this clip from the episode:
Jon Burden, works delivery manager at King’s Cross for Network Rail, said:
“I was delighted to be asked to participate in the programme. It was a pleasure to be able to share some of the lesser-known facts I’ve picked up over the years and the intricate details which people passing through the station often miss.
“I was heartened by the show's focus on the architecture of the station; a fascinating story which is rarely told. We’ve had programmes based here in the past focussed predominantly on the operational side of things, which tell an important story but miss the beauty of the simple engineering design of the main train shed roof and the many other design elements which make King’s Cross so special.”
Tim Dunn, railway historian and presenter of ‘The Architecture the Railways Built', said:
“King's Cross station hasn't looked as good as it does today for decades: its transformation has been wholesale, and entirely in keeping with its status as a Grade I listed gem.
“It was a privilege to be able to visit behind-the-scenes and take viewers with us. We're all fascinated by the way things work and the way things are built, and I think that's why the programme has been so successful these last few weeks. It's shining a light into things we might otherwise have missed and showing that almost everywhere has a story to tell.”
A further seven episodes are to follow at the same slot weekly, giving fascinating insights into some of the railway’s most impressive and historic architectural feats, including a visit in next week’s episode to the stunning Grade II listed Ribblehead viaduct in North Yorkshire along with other structures and stations along the scenic Settle to Carlisle line.