Looking at Buildings

Building Types


Big Stations

As the railways flourished, stations became larger and larger, both to cope with increasing traffic and sometimes also to provide shelters spanning more than one platform (called, prosaically, train sheds). These big town stations are of two basic forms, the Through Station and the Terminus.

The greatest exteriors were often to be seen at the termini, which were easier to arrange so that a grand, coherently designed building led directly to a concourse with equal access to all the platforms. Through stations generally have longer and lower buildings, though their train sheds may be just as impressive as at the greater termini. The need for passengers to cross the running lines was solved in various ways: by footbridges, by underpasses and subways, or by planning the station on different levels so that the buildings sat over the tracks or extended beneath them.

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The Midland Hotel, St Pancras Station