Trivia: most underwhelming end to a main route?

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Bletchleyite

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To be fair the Euston scrum is an operational choice, they don't have to do it. It's done basically to make life easier for staff at the expense of the passenger experience.
 
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MP33

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Was there a post Beeching closure of a branch line to passengers that as it remained partly open for freight resulted in the passenger service terminating short at a station that was nowhere. The service closing completely to passengers shortly afterwards. The question then asked why did it not close completely in the first place.
 

Parallel

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Not by any means the worst, but I’ve always found Inverness station a bit underwhelming. The majority of the platforms are uncovered and the concourse feels very dated and lacks charm. There’s also not enough seating in my opinion with only a small waiting room and a few benches placed around the concourse. I know that there are plans to refurbish the station in the future however.

Penzance is another I find underwhelming. Not bad - just underwhelming. It’s in a good location but the part under the shed feels dark and could do with a good clean. Last time I was there, the areas next to the ticket office were also not in use. Not sure what was there before - possibly a cafe or something.
 

yorksrob

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Not by any means the worst, but I’ve always found Inverness station a bit underwhelming. The majority of the platforms are uncovered and the concourse feels very dated and lacks charm. I know that there are plans to refurbish the station in the future however.

Penzance is another I find underwhelming. Not bad - just underwhelming. It’s in a good location but the part under the shed feels dark and could do with a good clean. Last time I was there, the areas next to the ticket office were also not in use. Not sure what was there before - possibly a cafe or something.

A nice little cafe !
 

bramling

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Not by any means the worst, but I’ve always found Inverness station a bit underwhelming. The majority of the platforms are uncovered and the concourse feels very dated and lacks charm. There’s also not enough seating in my opinion with only a small waiting room and a few benches placed around the concourse. I know that there are plans to refurbish the station in the future however.

Penzance is another I find underwhelming. Not bad - just underwhelming. It’s in a good location but the part under the shed feels dark and could do with a good clean. Last time I was there, the areas next to the ticket office were also not in use. Not sure what was there before - possibly a cafe or something.

Must say I can’t really agree with Penzance. The final approach is superb, the line winding itself alongside the sea with a tantalising glimpse of St Michael’s Mount, then finishing up in a “proper” station complete with signal box and trainshed. Penzance itself is a bit of an anticlimax though.
 

HSP 2

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Nether of these are termini in the normal scene but are both inter change stations.
1] Kirby, the Northern rail platform is dire with the Mersey rail platform not much better.
2] Ormskirk, the Northern rail platform is dire, with the Mersey rail platform a total contrast wit a decent canopy and booking hall on the platform.
 

morrisobrien

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I hate to say it - but though the station is nice - the area around Swansea High Street is really awful. Decline since the 1970's when the "center of gravity" moved away towards the coast , and what is left is truly grim.
Always think of the 1997 film "Twin Town"regarding the area around Swansea High Street.
 

ChiefPlanner

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Always think of the 1997 film "Twin Town"regarding the area around Swansea High Street.

Excellent film - the long standing Italian cafe where the bag swop was done , regrettably closed a couple of years ago. An excellent place to fuel up before the 4+ hour trip up the Heart of Wales. The area has probably got worse since that film was made.
 

XAM2175

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Outside of the UK Canberra takes some beating. As the only station that serves Australia's capital city, it's a single deserted platform with a brutalist station building two miles from the city centre in the middle of pretty much nowhere. It's not even served by bus services to connect with arriving trains, so if you have no onward transport arranged when you get there you have to call a cab.
The first time I arrived into Kingston was after having lived in Canberra for a number of years so it was exactly what I expected :lol:
The service from Sydney helps with the anticlimax by taking four-and-quarter hours on what is effectively a Class 159 DMU, albiet with a buffet, to cover just shy of 300 km, but the run from Bungendore to Queanbeyan is at least quite pretty.

Euston for me by some distance. Grim approach into a concrete black hole. The ramps I don't mind but unless you are in a centre platform you exit into a narrow passage that feeds into another dark packed concrete box. Outside its similarly narrow and bland 60s architecture. The underground entrance is awful and Square is a walk away & down steps. Hideous for a major terminal. Return and the mad dash to the platform is also a horrible experience. Flatten the lot.
In fairness, having seen photos from when it was new, the concourse at least was very presentable. Modernist architecture plays heavily on negative space to offset its mass, which means it's extraordinarily easy for it to be massacred by careless additions.


(Euston station exterior in the 1960s showing open pedestrian plaza in the forecourt, from Mike Ashworth on Twitter)


(Water feature in Euston forecourt, 1960s, from @_doublearrow on Twitter)


(Architect's render of Euston concourse prior to 1960s reconstruction showing open floorplan and minimal signage in consistent style, from IanVisits on Flickr)
 

GatwickDepress

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Eastbourne and Brighton are nice Seaside town termini, to be fair.
They're both very lovely stations, but they do get incredibly chilly in the colder seasons. I've many happy memories waiting for the last or first train along the East Coastway at Brighton after a night out and freezing my nips off!

In some ways, Ramsgate, Margate and Hastings in its day, remind me of the big American terminals, with a very grandiose booking hall and more down to earth platform area. The platform canopies at Margate are a work of art. Growing up in Ashford, it struck me that its were similar, but sadly had had their valances removed in the 1960's (and later swept away altogether in 1992).

It was a lovely building, the old Southern Railway booking hall at Hastings. Scene of many happy childhood days out.
One thing that always sticks with me about the old booking hall at Hastings was how easily sound echoed around it. We used to get the last train back from Three Oaks after an evening at the pub there every Friday and I'd get chided for trying to make as much noise as I could. :D
 

Mordac

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I haven't seen the new station which opened last year (or possibly 2019?), but the old Londonderry station was a grim single platform hole, the other side of the river from where most people want to go, for better or worse.
 

yorksrob

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They're both very lovely stations, but they do get incredibly chilly in the colder seasons. I've many happy memories waiting for the last or first train along the East Coastway at Brighton after a night out and freezing my nips off!


One thing that always sticks with me about the old booking hall at Hastings was how easily sound echoed around it. We used to get the last train back from Three Oaks after an evening at the pub there every Friday and I'd get chided for trying to make as much noise as I could. :D

Yes, lots of flat shiny surfaces as I recall.
 

Steve Harris

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To speak out for Corby, I wonder how many of its detractors have been there recently (pre-Covid).

The population has increased from around 53,000 to 72,000 in 19 years. Yes; a thousand people moving in every year to the massive housing developments. Believe it or not the re-opening of the line was to, err, y'know 'regenerate' the place.
I don't think your maths quite add up! As a figure of 1000 people moving in every year (for 19 years) doesn't take account of any births.

So basically, most small towns termini and especially seaside towns are bleak, and dumps?
Yes and no. I think it basically boils down to if footfall has nose dived or not !

Years ago loads of people used to go to Skegness and Gt Yarmouth by train, but now it is a lot lot less, hence the stations tend to go to seed. Whereas Brighton still has a high footfall and the station is a lot better kept.
 
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Geoff DC

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Must say I can’t really agree with Penzance. The final approach is superb, the line winding itself alongside the sea with a tantalising glimpse of St Michael’s Mount, then finishing up in a “proper” station complete with signal box and trainshed. Penzance itself is a bit of an anticlimax though.
Quite Right Bramling. !! - I live in Penzance, a dreadful place to come on holiday, if you must come to Cornwall, Newquay & St Ives are so much nicer.

BUT Devon, Yorkshire or Lancashire are even nicer and not so rammed with Tourists
 

yorksrob

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Quite Right Bramling. !! - I live in Penzance, a dreadful place to come on holiday, if you must come to Cornwall, Newquay & St Ives are so much nicer.

BUT Devon, Yorkshire or Lancashire are even nicer and not so rammed with Tourists

I've been coming to Penzance on holiday for the last five or six years and I love it !

It's got some good pubs and some good restaurants, and the walks to Mousehole and St Michaels Mount are very enjoyable.

I also use it as a good base to visit the rest of Cornwall as well.
 

bramling

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I've been coming to Penzance on holiday for the last five or six years and I love it !

It's got some good pubs and some good restaurants, and the walks to Mousehole and St Michaels Mount are very enjoyable.

I also use it as a good base to visit the rest of Cornwall as well.

Must admit I’d opt for St Ives, on the fringes of the season - something like April being a good bet. And where more appropriate to stay than the Tregenna Castle Hotel, formerly owned by the GWR.

One could add St Ives station to the list of anticlimaxes. A single platform, portacabin and the rest of the site now a car park. Nothing wrong with St Ives itself though.
 

yorksrob

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Must admit I’d opt for St Ives, on the fringes of the season - something like April being a good bet. And where more appropriate to stay than the Tregenna Castle Hotel, formerly owned by the GWR.

One could add St Ives station to the list of anticlimaxes. A single platform, portacabin and the rest of the site now a car park. Nothing wrong with St Ives itself though.

I must admit, I go to St Ives on a day trip or two every time and I love it. However it it is quite busy and touristy and I think there's something quite homely and undiscovered about Penzance. It's nice to go back to.
 

Mikey C

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I've been coming to Penzance on holiday for the last five or six years and I love it !

It's got some good pubs and some good restaurants, and the walks to Mousehole and St Michaels Mount are very enjoyable.

I also use it as a good base to visit the rest of Cornwall as well.
Yes, it's not as if someone stays for a week in Penzance, and just stays there! There are lots of nice day trips to be made from Penzance, whether walks or further afield, and it's probably a more convenient base than St Ives
 

yorksrob

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Yes, it's not as if someone stays for a week in Penzance, and just stays there! There are lots of nice day trips to be made from Penzance, whether walks or further afield, and it's probably a more convenient base than St Ives

Indeed, and I like the town itself. It's a bit more relaxed than some of the hot spots.
 

Geoff DC

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OK - Penzance is OK - just don't tell everyone, we dread the holiday season as we can't enjoy where we live
and moving around is a nightmare with so much holiday traffic, especially off the main routes where visitors don't know how wide their cars are - or often how to reverse back to a passing place.

I guess the reason we've handled lockdown so well is because we have to do it every year from June to September
 

Hardcastle

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Borth’s not too bad! It even has a nice little museum.

Pwllheli on the other end of the line though ... I nominate it for this thread.
I like Borth as a place but it's just the station i realise this is off topic so will leave off it.
 

Dr Hoo

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I don't think your maths quite add up! As a figure of 1000 people moving in [to Corby] every year (for 19 years) doesn't take account of any births.


Yes and no. I think it basically boils down to if footfall has nose dived or not !

Years ago loads of people used to go to Skegness and Gt Yarmouth by train, but now it is a lot lot less, hence the stations tend to go to seed. Whereas Brighton still has a high footfall and the station is a lot better kept.
Thank you for reading my post, which wasn't intended to be a definitive demographic survey or actuarial assessment of Corby. As a former steel-making town with various historic social problems it actually had quite a high morbidity/early death issue, thus tending to balance births.

But as you point out, some of the younger families moving in have indeed been making a few Corby babies at times rather than bringing them in with them.

Nevertheless, my point remains - that the nice new station (which by no stretch of the imagination could be described as 'going to seed', unlike some other candidates) and the steadily improving train service - shortly to go half-hourly and electric - is a vector for urban improvement, modal switch to public transport, improved air quality, promoting active access on foot and by cycle, stimulating inwards investment, etc. Just what railways can do well.

Now we need to see places like Great Yarmouth going the same way...
 

Bletchleyite

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OK - Penzance is OK - just don't tell everyone, we dread the holiday season as we can't enjoy where we live
and moving around is a nightmare with so much holiday traffic, especially off the main routes where visitors don't know how wide their cars are - or often how to reverse back to a passing place.

I guess the reason we've handled lockdown so well is because we have to do it every year from June to September

Penzance I quite like as a station - it very much has the right feel.
 

bramling

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I must admit, I go to St Ives on a day trip or two every time and I love it. However it it is quite busy and touristy and I think there's something quite homely and undiscovered about Penzance. It's nice to go back to.

With St Ives it depends on when you go. Something like April is absolutely perfect, the place is half empty. Obviously summer is a different story entirely.
 

yorksrob

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With St Ives it depends on when you go. Something like April is absolutely perfect, the place is half empty. Obviously summer is a different story entirely.

I (and my family) usually go in late September, which seems to be a sweet spot in terms of weather and not being too busy. I imagine April works as well for the same reasons !
 

STEVIEBOY1

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Edinburgh - Tweedbank?
Hopefully that may become a through station at some time in the future if they ever build - rebuild the rest of the route to Carlisle.

I’m not sure it entirely fits your definition, but the GC services heading Northbound would seem to end in totally uninspiring fashion by becoming quite slow, circuitous and stopping frequently on lines that are fairly secondary and obscure in places.
(I quite liked my trip with them a couple of years ago to Bradford, I was not in a hurry, the journey from when the train turns off from the main EC line and trundles around parts of South ? & West Yorkshire was interesting, I think it took as long to do that Yorkshire part as it did to come all the way from London.) Bradford Interchange is very 1970s though.
Marylebone is OK though.

Bradford Forster Square is somewhat anonymous for a City Centre terminus.

Of the London terminals, London Marylebone and London Fenchurch Street both seem a tad functional.
I think Forster Square has been rebuilt somewhat, the platforms being further along the line than they used to be, the Midland Hotel adjacent looks quite grand and there is still a walkway from the hotel to the station.

London Victoria - Sheerness anyone?
I used to travel to Sheerness alot when I was younger, I had family in that area. The old station building was quite impressive, but was rebuilt in the late 1960s or early 1970s after a train sadly went through the buffers and into the booking hall. It always surprised me how long the 2 platforms still are there, there was a 3rd line in the middle, I suppose used for locos to run around. There used to be 3 stations in the Sheerness area, East on the old line to Leysdown and Dockyard, infact the later was there before the Town Station, trains used to reverse at Dockyard to go to the Town Station until a direct line was put in You can still see some of the lines going towards the docks, not sure if they are still used now? They did use to be a lot of cars imported at Sheerness and transported around the UK by rail.
 
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yorksrob

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I think Forster Square has been rebuilt somewhat, the platforms being further along the line than they used to be, the Midland Hotel adjacent looks quite grand and there is still a walkway from the hotel to the station.

It has. The old Forster Square has had a tax office built on it.

Interchange commits the cardinal sin of not being the glorious old Exchange station, complete with trainshed. Now there was a terminus fit for a city !
 
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