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Which Station is That?

Maggio 2013
Un esperto di trasporti, Colin del Strother (intervistato nel numero in edicola), ci racconta del sistema ferroviario londinese: perché a Londra esistono così tante stazioni? È presto detto...

di Mark Worden


Victoria Station, during last year's Olympic Games
Victoria Station, during last year's Olympic Games
Colin del Strother
Colin del Strother

Speaker: Mark Worden (Standard British accent)

If you take a train to New York, there’s a fair chance that you will get off at Grand Central Station, but if you take a train to London, your station could be any one of the following: Victoria, King’s Cross, Liverpool Street, Euston, Paddington, St. Pancras and Waterloo, to name but a few. Why is this? We asked Colin del Strother, a Blue Badge guide and expert on the history of transport:

Colin del Strother (Standard British accent)

When the railways started to be built into London there was a massive railway boom, but it was lots of different companies, lots of different people building railways, and they all had their own plans to build a terminus in London and to build lines in, and at one time there were 19 companies all vying to have their own station in London, and they more or less reckoned that if they’d built the lot of them, there wouldn’t have been that much left of Central London, after all the railway stations… the railway lines had been dug! So laws were introduced, a kind of exclusion zone, a kind of ring, was set up, that the stations could only come into a certain distance from Central London. An alternative idea would have been to have had a single grand central station and one proposal was to have that at Farringdon Station, so all the lines would have run into one link and had a huge… a huge interchange there, but I think it was decided it was either too expensive or too impractical and that strategy wasn’t followed in London. There is still a kind of renovation of that idea in modern times, to some degree because Farringdon today… Farringdon became the terminus for the world’s first underground line, the first… beginning of the London Tube in 1863. We’ve just had the 150th anniversary of that, and it’s also linked to some other services called Thameslink, but many people will have heard of Crossrail, which is the big new underground railway being built right… from west to east across London, including serving Heathrow Airport, that’s due to open in 2018, and that will interchange with the London Underground system at Farringdon, so Farringdon will become a more substantial interchange station again, as Crossrail develops.

(Colin del Strother was talking to Mark Worden)

(Colin del Strother runs tours on a variety of subjects. To arrange one, contact him at www.britainsbestguides.org; colin.naomi@btinternet.com; (0044) 7535 787745).

To read the main article, click here.

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