First memories of a London terminus?

Sad Sprinter

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Arriving at a London terminus for the first time is always a spectacle despite the decade. I remember being very young and my father taking me to Victoria station just for the look around. Usually we'd only go as far as Clapham Junction, but I can remember the times we went to Victoria and how exciting it seemed to be. All the stock in different colours, the noise and pace of the station, even the posters for West End musicals on the wall. Then a long sleep all the way home from all the excitement.
 
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Arriving under the 'temporary' scaffolding crash deck of Paddington span 4 for the best part of 3 decades was anything but glamorous! Would have been even worse if the 'air rights' had been sold, span 4 demolished and then built over with tower blocks...
 

Mcr Warrior

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Euston's scruffy platforms in early 1970s. Doesn't seem all that much different now!
 

70014IronDuke

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D207 at the buffer stops, platform 1, Kings Cross, with an A2, either 60513 Dante or 60515 Sun Stream at platform 2.

Walking up platform 1, the A2 not at the buffer stops was at the head of an express, which departed at around 17.00.

A walk across to St Pancras found a Fowler 2-6-2T (400xx series) at the buffer stops of platform 3 (I think) having brought some ECS in.

I think this would have been one Saturday in October - November, 1960.
 

Richard Scott

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Paddington in 1986, full of large logo 50s and InterCity/blue-grey liveried HSTs. Lost my grandfather, found him talking to a driver who he'd worked with when he was based at Gloucester!
 

D6130

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Arriving with my mother in the grim concrete bunker that was/is Euston behind E3117 on the Up Royal Scot in September 1966 (D1853 had done the honours between Glasgow and Crewe).....and then crossing to Waterloo on the Northern Line (fascinating, but slightly scary for a nine year-old) and discovering the wonderful glass palace that was/is Waterloo, before departing on a 4-COR/4-BUF/4-COR formation to Havant to visit friends of my parents who lived nearby. Because we were in a hurry, I was frustrated at not being able to get the numbers of the steam locos at the bufferstops but, as we pulled out, I had an excellent view of 35014 "Nederland Line" at the head of a Bournemouth or Weymouth express - the first 'Merchant Navy' to be underlined in my Ian Allan combined volume! (Slightly OT, but 73062 had hauled the Royal Scot empty stock into Central and on arrival at Havant, 76066 was seen on a parcels train. Of course numerous steam locos were spotted between Glasgow and Crewe).
 

nlogax

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Paddington as a toddler sometime in the 70s. I still remember the smell and noise of the place and the vague memory of blue / grey -everything- though I couldn't tell you what trains were what! The smell of diesel locos seems to differ in my memory from how they smell in stations these days. Just me that thinks that?
 

RT4038

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Paddington - my Dad's office alongside Platform 1. Westerns and Warships. Pannier tanks on ECS. Going in the Station Announcers box and the rear of the Booking Office. Walking along a footpath across the roof.
Marylebone - Close to Home. Quietness. DMUs idling, and Black 5s in the afternoon on the turntable and awaiting departure.
Euston - Chaotic and Dirty. EE Type 4s and Sulzer Type 2s, with Standard 2-6-0s on ECS.
King's Cross - Cravens units in the suburban platforms. Deltics, EE Type 4s, Brush Type 2s, Baby Deltics, Pullman cars.
Waterloo - Steam trains blowing off. Waiting in queues under 'letter' boards. Grubby. Milling crowds. Holidays in Swanage and visits to family friends.
Victoria - (Later on). Boat trains, crowds, electric trains. Lots of buses outside.

Didn't go much to the other terminals.
 

Snow1964

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Mine would be Waterloo in early 1970s with its big sweeping concourse (before it was littered with kiosks), thinking this is huge.

Went to Liverpool Street and there seemed to be no concourse, just a jumble of buildings with tracks in the middle of what seemed like 2 unconnected stations
 

pitdiver

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Memories of Waterloo waiting in front of the old wooden departure board to see what platform the train to either Weymouth or Portsmouth Harbour depending on what year. Then waling to the right platform and seeing the wooden batons above the gate line showing where the next train was going.
Then hurriedly walking along the platform looking for the correct coach and our reserved seats. Oh what memories.
 

XAM2175

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My first arrival into a major terminus in the UK was into Glasgow Central in 2012, on a beautifully sunny early-spring day. Very special experience, even if not very remarkable.

My first arrival into a London terminus was off a delayed 390 into Euston a week later. Emerged from the bowels into a ram-packed concourse that I had to fight through in order to reach the tube so I could carry on to Heathrow. Not so special :lol:
 

30909

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1950s London Bridge; Brighton side dark and dingy with the over powering smell of fish.Waterloo, Steam, Baggage, Porters, Corridor Stock, Pullmans, Taxi Road, Newspaper Vans, Post Office Vans. Victoria; spacious and two distinct stations, Brighton side 5 BELL 6 PUL 6 PAN 4 LAV & 4 SUBs and the News Cinema, Kent side steam, smoke, corridor carriages, baggage trolleys, lots of Red RT Buses outside. Fenchurch Street; Tank Engines, Smoke, Steam, Hot Oil, grubby slam door non corridor stock. Liverpool Street; Shenfield Electrics with sliding doors!! Norwich steam hauled Expresses and Harwich boat trains. Lee Valley Jazz services, steam, smoke, hot oil, almost continuous "hurry up" whistles from guards and platform staff , exhaust bark from the N7 tanks.
Brighton: crowded concourse, day trippers, holiday makers, commuters, surly porters. Portsmouth Harbour; Holiday makers, running for the Isle of Wight Ferries, RN Sailors' kit bags and ruck sacks making for the Navy Base or over on the Gosport Ferry for the Navy establishments on the Gosport side of the Harbour.
 

Irascible

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Paddington in probably 1975, probably Western-hauled ( was from Exeter & non AC mk2 for sure, I remember my dad holding me on the table so I could stick my head out the sliding bit of the window! ) was a lot scruffier than now, that's for sure. Concourse more cramped, the baulk trackwork always stuck in my head ( although that was still there for ages anyway ) but I think the ancient red stock on the Circle/District sticks out the most. Was amazed how big the roof was, I'd never been anywhere like that.
 
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6Gman

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Euston's scruffy platforms in early 1970s. Doesn't seem all that much different now!
Believe me it was much scruffier when I first arrived there - c.1963 in the middle of its rebuilding.

People who criticise the post-68 Euston should have seen the old one!
 

Dr_Paul

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Waterloo, early 1960s. A huge place with a tall glass roof and gloomy passageways and walkways leading off in all manner of directions. A huge profusion of baffling passageways underneath the concourse. A few steam locomotives slipping and making a great deal of noise. Tall green information boards which rattled when the slats changed after the trains departed. Enormous pneumatic buffer stops. Lots of tramps in various stages of intoxication.
 

Mcr Warrior

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Believe me it was much scruffier when I first arrived there - c.1963 in the middle of its rebuilding.

People who criticise the post-68 Euston should have seen the old one!
Not quite that old, but the point you make is well taken. Still looked scruffy IMHO so soon after the major makeover to which you refer. ;)
 

Dr_Paul

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People who criticise the post-68 Euston should have seen the old one!

The old Euston, so I'm told, was an enthusiast's delight and an absolute nightmare for staff and passengers.
 

Gloster

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It would have been Waterloo, somewhere around 1967: all I can remember is the glass roof. Though from later trips the platform gates and the large destination indicator have stuck in my mind
 

75A

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Victoria on a Saturday in January 1970, have travelled up from Bognor, couldn't believe how big it was compered to Bognor which only has 4 platforms.
Then going down an Escalator into a whole in the ground, and being terrified when this shiny silver Victoria Line train appeared from nowhere and seemed to be going far too fast to stop. Happy Days.
 
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Harvester

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My first visit to Paddington in August 1962. On my arrival 7034 Ince Castle was simmering at the buffer stops, and after a five hour stay more Castles, Kings, Halls and a County seen. Diesels included Warships, Hymeks and brand new Westerns.
 

Neptune

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Kings Cross 1979. Arrived on 254023 (43100 & 43101) and my dad has a photo of 4 HST‘s lined up on platforms 3-6. No Deltics from what I recall sadly but 31405 was there with its FP white stripe. We also took in St Pancras, Euston, Marylebone and Paddington that day. Didn’t get to the other terminals until 1980.

My love of London terminals has extended to the Paris terminals too.
 

superjohn

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Eighties King‘s Cross for me too. Arriving on the suburban side on a class 312 and walking through the cramped corridor to the main shed. It was roughly where the Waitrose is now and you emerged onto platform eight. I recall it being very narrow and lined with timetable posters. Anybody stopping to consult them would immediately cause an obstruction.
 
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I can't remember my first one, but late 70s I always loved Liverpool Street. It was pretty much a dump, but for spotting for someone from the North West, it was a real treasure trove. Everything would be a cop.
 

Harvester

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Believe me it was much scruffier when I first arrived there - c.1963 in the middle of its rebuilding.

People who criticise the post-68 Euston should have seen the old one!

I went to Euston trainspotting with my cousin in 1963, and with all the demolition going on it’s amazing we were allowed to stay. I surprisingly recorded two Stanier 8Fs 48635 and 48667 there that day (30/8/63). They could have been on duty to remove wagon loads of rubble.
 

APT618S

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Arriving into King's Cross behind 55006. Loco fuelling point still open. Pre-HST, so lots of locos around.
 
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Marylebone station. 28th April, 1956. We (my dad, mother and brother and me) were in London for the Rugby League Challenge Cup Final, between St Helens and Halifax. St Helens won by 13 points to 2: their first win of the trophy. After the match we took a train into London. I had a bad migraine attack, but despite that I still spotted my first ex-Southern Railway loco, an S15 class, No. 30509. On arrival at Marylebone, I was violently sick, thankfully into a gutter. Nurses in the first aid room looked after me while I slept for about three hours, and when I at last woke up I felt fine. We all had a brief walk nearby before taking a tube train back to Wembley, and then the long coach ride home - no motorways then.
 

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