© Timothy Pike/view/arturimages
© John McKean, Joseph Paxton: Lost Masterpieces. London 1999, Kap. 2, Abb. 53
Early in the morning on October 1, 1868, the first train rolls into St Pancras Station – the world’s largest enclosure, just completed after a two-year construction phase. The great hall is – aside from the Eiffel Tower and the Firth of Forth Bridge – one of the most important iron structures of the 19th century. To this very day, the space created by the lacy arched trusses has an uplifting effect, and the structure is timelessly elegant. This first train departed from Leeds and required a good six hours to travel the 300 km stretch. Today the trip from London to Gare du Nord in Paris takes only 2 hours 15 minutes. Due to the decision to relocate the terminal station of Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL) from Waterloo Station to St Pancras Station, the latter has been renovated, adapted to meet the new requirements, and expanded. (Matthias Beckh)