King's Cross St. Pancras tube station

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King's Cross St. Pancras London Underground
King's Cross St Pancras underground station entrance - IMG 0746.JPG
Entrance on Euston Road outside King's Cross station concourse.
King's Cross St. Pancras is located in Central London
King's Cross St. Pancras
King's Cross St. Pancras
Location of King's Cross St. Pancras in Central London
Location King's Cross / St Pancras
Local authority London Borough of Camden
Managed by London Underground
Owner London Underground
Number of platforms 8
Accessible Yes
Fare zone 1
OSI London King's Cross National Rail and
London St Pancras Int'l National Rail
London Underground annual entry and exit
2013 Increase 84.87 million[1]
2014 Increase 91.98 million[1]
2015 Increase 93.41 million[1]
2016 Increase 95.03 million[1]
2017 Increase 97.92 million[1]
Key dates
1863 Opened (MR)
1906 Opened (GNP&BR)
1907 Opened (C&SLR)
1968 Opened (Victoria line)
1987 King's Cross fire
Other information
Lists of stations
External links
  • TfL station info page
WGS84 51°31′49″N 0°07′27″W / 51.5302°N 0.1241°W / 51.5302; -0.1241Coordinates: 51°31′49″N 0°07′27″W / 51.5302°N 0.1241°W / 51.5302; -0.1241
Underground sign at Westminster.jpg London transport portal

King's Cross St. Pancras is a London Underground station located in King's Cross and St Pancras within the Borough of Camden, Central London. It serves King's Cross and St Pancras main line stations and falls within fare zone 1. Being an interchange station between six lines, (the Circle, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan, Northern, Piccadilly and Victoria lines) it is the second busiest station on the network, trailing only Waterloo.[2]


The first underground station at King's Cross opened as part of the original section of the Metropolitan Railway in 1863 and was rearranged in 1868 and 1926. New platforms for the sub-surface lines of the Underground were opened about 400 m (440 yd) to the west in 1941 to make interchanging between the sub-surface lines and the tube lines easier; the 1868 platforms later became the former King's Cross Thameslink station, which closed on 9 December 2007 when the Thameslink service moved to St Pancras International.[3] One of the platforms may be seen from Underground trains between the present station and Farringdon.

The Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway (GNP&BR, now part of the Piccadilly line) platforms opened with the rest of the line in December 1906, while the City & South London Railway (C&SLR, now part of the Northern line) arrived in May 1907.[4] The Victoria line platforms came into use on 1 December 1968 with the opening of the second phase of the line.[5]

Memorial plaque with the clock to the 1987 fire in the station

Notable events

On 18 November 1987, the station was the scene of a devastating fire that killed 31 people. The cause was attributed to a lit match falling into the space under the escalator, setting fire to the grease and rubbish present there, then to the wooden parts of the escalator. The then-unknown fire phenomenon of the trench effect made the fire develop upwards and finally caused it to explode into the station.[6]

As a result, fire safety procedures on the Underground were tightened, staff training was improved and wooden steps on escalators were replaced with metal ones. The existing prohibition of smoking throughout the London Underground network was tightened.[7]

Due to the extensive damage caused by the fire, it took over a year to repair and reopen the station; the Northern line platforms and the escalators from the ticket hall to the Piccadilly line remained closed until 5 March 1989.[8]

On 7 July 2005, as part of a co-ordinated bomb attack, an explosion in a Piccadilly line train travelling between King's Cross St Pancras and Russell Square resulted in the deaths of 26 people.[9]

Station upgrade and expansion

In the aftermath of the fire, London Underground was recommended in the Fennell Report to investigate "passenger flow and congestion in stations and take remedial action".[6] Consequently, a Parliamentary bill was tabled in 1993 to permit London Underground to improve and expand the frequently congested station.[10]

The Northern Ticket Hall, underneath the new Kings Cross concourse, which opened in 2009

The station was eventually upgraded and expanded in conjunction with the Channel Tunnel Rail Link project. Starting in 2000, the upgrade took 10 years to complete at a cost of £810m, doubling the capacity of the station to more than 100,000 people a day.[11]

Two new ticket halls were built – the Western Ticket Hall under the forecourt of St Pancras station,[12] and the Northern Ticket Hall under the new King's Cross station concourse.[11] The existing ticket hall in front of King's Cross station was also rebuilt and expanded.

New passageways and escalators were provided to increase capacity, and 10 new lifts provide step free access throughout the station.[13][14]

As part of the station upgrade, Art on the Underground commissioned the first permanent artwork to be installed on the Underground since the 1980s.[15] The stainless steel sculptures, Full Circle by artist Knut Henrik Henriksen, are located at the end of two new concourses, on the Northern and the Piccadilly lines.[16]

Ticket halls

Following completion of the station upgrade in 2010, Kings Cross St Pancras now has eleven entrances and four ticket halls.[17]

A tunnel leading to the Pentonville Road entrance (formerly a connection to the Thameslink platforms)
  • The "Tube ticket hall" is in front of King's Cross station, was expanded and refurbished as part of the station upgrade and is signposted as the 'Euston Road' way out from the tube lines.[17]
  • The "Pentonville Road" entrance was the former ticket hall for King's Cross Thameslink station. It has underground passageway connections to the Piccadilly and Victoria lines. It was taken over by London Underground when the Thameslink platforms closed.[18]
  • The "Western Ticket Hall" is under the forecourt of St Pancras station, adjacent to Euston Road. It provides access to St Pancras Station via the St Pancras undercroft and opened on 28 May 2006.[12]
  • The "Northern Ticket Hall" is west of King's Cross station, underneath the new concourse. The new ticket hall and associated connections to the tube lines were opened on 29 November 2009.[11] It is signposted as the 'Regent's Canal' way out from the tube lines.[19]

Platform level tiling

A platform on the London Underground.
Tiled motif on the Victoria line platforms

The stations along the central part of the Piccadilly line, as well as some sections of the Northern line, were financed by Charles Yerkes,[20] and are famous for the Leslie Green designed red station buildings and distinctive platform tiling. Each station had its own unique tile pattern and colours.

Like other stations on the line, the Victoria line platforms at the station have a tiled motif in the seat recesses. The design by artist Tom Eckersley references a cross of crowns.[21][22]

Future proposals

Crossrail 2

In 1991, a route for the potential Chelsea-Hackney line was safeguarded through the area.[23][24] This proposal has since evolved into a proposed rail route based on Crossrail called Crossrail 2, which would link both Euston and Kings Cross St Pancras, into the station Euston St. Pancras.[25][19] This proposed scheme would offer a second rail link between King's Cross and Victoria in addition to the Victoria line. In the 2007 safeguarded route, the next stations would be Tottenham Court Road and Angel.

Docklands Light Railway extension from Bank

In 2011, strategy documents by TFL and supported by the London Borough of Camden proposed an extension of the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) Bank branch to Euston and St Pancras to help relive the Northern line between Euston and Bank, which would offer direct connections to Canary Wharf and London City Airport.[26] Transport for London have considered driving a line from Bank via City Thameslink and Holborn to the two transport hubs but may not be developed until the full separation of the Northern line happens.[27][28][29][30]

Piccadilly line

In 2005 a business case was prepared to re-open the disused York Road Underground station on the Piccadilly line, to serve the Kings Cross Central development and help relieve congestion at King's Cross St Pancras.[31] York Road station closed in 1932 and was about 600 m (660 yd) north of King's Cross St Pancras.


London Buses routes 10, 17, 30, 45, 46, 59, 63, 73, 91, 205, 214, 259, 390 and 476 and night routes N63, N73, N91 and N205 serve the station.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e "Multi-year station entry-and-exit figures" (XLSX). London Underground station passenger usage data. Transport for London. January 2018. Retrieved 22 July 2018. 
  2. ^ "London Underground station passenger usage data". Transport for London. March 2017. Retrieved 20 September 2017. 
  3. ^ "New station sets the standard". Watford Observer. Retrieved 20 September 2017. 
  4. ^ Robert., Day, John (2008). The Story of London's Underground. Reed, John. (10th ed.). Middlesex: Capital Transport Pub. ISBN 1-85414-316-6. OCLC 474118499. 
  5. ^ "CULG – Victoria Line". Retrieved 20 September 2017. 
  6. ^ a b Paul Channon (12 April 1989). "King's Cross Fire (Fennell Report)". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). House of Commons. col. 915–917. 
  7. ^ "Sir Desmond Fennell – Obituary". The Telegraph. 5 June 2011. Retrieved 20 September 2017. 
  8. ^ "CULG – Northern Line". Retrieved 20 September 2017. 
  9. ^ "London Blasts – What Happened". BBC News. BBC News. July 2005. Retrieved 20 September 2017. 
  10. ^ "London Underground (King's Cross) Act 1993". Retrieved 19 September 2017. 
  11. ^ a b c "King's Cross St. Pancras Tube station doubles in size as state-of-the-art ticket hall opens". Transport for London. 27 November 2009. Retrieved 20 September 2017. 
  12. ^ a b "Mayor and Transport Secretary open Kings Cross St Pancras Western Ticket Hall". Transport for London. 25 May 2006. Retrieved 20 September 2017. 
  13. ^ Cole, Margo (22 April 2010). "Major Project – King's Cross Underground Ticket Halls" (PDF). New Civil Engineer: 27–29. 
  14. ^ "King's Cross St. Pancras Tube station is step-free with 10 new lifts". Transport for London. 27 September 2010. Retrieved 20 September 2017. 
  15. ^ "Full Circle – Art on the Underground". Art on the Underground. Retrieved 20 September 2017. 
  16. ^ "Henrik Henriksen sculpture goes Full Circle at St Pancras for latest Art on the Underground piece | Culture24". Retrieved 20 September 2017. 
  17. ^ a b "Why do the signs at King's Cross St Pancras, London's biggest tube station, seem to take you the long way round?". CityMetric. Retrieved 20 September 2017. 
  18. ^ Arquati, Dave. " – King's Cross & St Pancras Upgrade". Retrieved 20 September 2017. 
  19. ^ a b "Crossrail 2 factsheet: Euston St. Pancras station" (PDF). Crossrail 2. October 2015. Retrieved 20 September 2017. 
  20. ^ "The Man Who Painted London Red". 1 January 2010. 
  21. ^ Spawls, Alice (17 July 2015). "On the Tube". London Review of Books. Retrieved 20 September 2017. 
  22. ^ Harrison, Maxwell. "Victoria Line Tiles". Victoria Line Tiles. Retrieved 20 September 2017. 
  23. ^ Chelsea–Hackney Line Safeguarding Directions, June 2008 Part A (PDF), Crossrail, accessed 22 December 2010
  24. ^ Chelsea–Hackney Line Safeguarding Directions, June 2008 Part B (PDF), Crossrail, accessed 22 December 2010
  25. ^ "Euston St. Pancras – Crossrail 2". Crossrail 2. Retrieved 20 September 2017. 
  26. ^ "TfL Moots New DLR Routes, Including Victoria And St Pancras". Londonist. 3 May 2011. Retrieved 17 November 2016. 
  27. ^ "Potential DLR extensions" (PDF). Transport for London. 21 September 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 March 2012. Retrieved 28 January 2013. 
  28. ^ "Asset data". 
  29. ^ "Agenda" (PDF). 
  30. ^ "Board Report Template for TfL Meetings" (PDF). Retrieved 2018-07-20. 
  31. ^ "York Road Station Re-opening – Business Case Analysis" (PDF). Halcrow Group Limited. 2005. p. 6. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 July 2011. The objective would be to ensure that public transport users travelling from the KCC development would benefit from travelling via York Road Station rather than using King’s Cross St Pancras Station. This in turn leads to the subobjective of providing congestion relief for King’s Cross St Pancras Station. 

External links

  • "Photographic collection". London Transport Museum. 
    • Piccadilly line station in 1906
    • Metropolitan line station in 1910
    • Metropolitan line platforms in 1934 before being moved to the west
    • Piccadilly line platform in early 20th century
  • "More photos of King's Cross St. Pancras". Tube Photos. 
  • "Schematic plan of station following completion of Northern Ticket Hall in November 2009". Parking in Stevenage Blog. 
Preceding station   Underground no-text.svg London Underground   Following station
towards Hammersmith
Circle line
towards Edgware Road (via Aldgate)
Hammersmith & City line
towards Barking
Metropolitan line
towards Aldgate
Northern line
City Branch
towards Morden (via Bank)
Piccadilly line
towards Cockfosters
towards Brixton
Victoria line
  Proposed services  
Piccadilly line
towards Cockfosters
  Abandoned plans  
Euston Square
towards Hammersmith tube station, Kensington (Addison Road),
Uxbridge, Chesham, Verney Junction or Brill
  Metropolitan Railway   Clerkenwell
towards Whitechapel
  Former services  
towards Hammersmith
Metropolitan line
Hammersmith branch (1864–1990)
towards Barking
towards South Harrow
Piccadilly line
towards Finsbury Park
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