A Euston station era ends #2

A Euston station era ends #2

This is the second part covering the Euston station underground taxi rank – and features some more stuff that has now been ‘lost’ since the old taxi rank closed nigh on a year ago. The above picture shows the intersection where the various routes from the taxi ranks and public car park joined up before ascending back up to Melton Street. The blue arrow sign on the far wall is the bottom of the ramp to Melton Street.

It’s not known at this point as it all depends on Oakervee, but if HS2 does get the signal to continue its construction, this part of the old taxi rank area will in fact be re-used to build the new connection passageways to Euston Square station and people will be walking through these spaces once again in their new role. The end of the Euston Square platforms are about 50 metres beyond the far wall where the blue arrow sign is!

In fact much of the old taxi rank area will be given over to the new tube ticket hall planned for the HS2 terminus. It does of course mean a substantial amount of demolition however a new large underground space will be created and this will form the box for the new ticket hall and new escalator banks.

This is the former entrance to the public car parking area. It was closed off in October 2018. This area will in fact become part of the new tube ticket hall area under HS2 plans. The roadway level will have to be lowered but I think the ceiling area will remain the same height.

This is not a very good representation however it shows rough plans for the HS2 construction and how the old Euston (1960s) tube ticket hall will be demolished. The space for a new and larger ticket hall will come from the spaces released by old taxi rank area. The blue shaded are the interconnecting concourses that will lead to HS2 and to Euston Square. That for Euston Square will be utilised from the spaces shown in the above two photographs.

In the first post we looked at the taxi rank in general. Here were look at some of its features a bit more closely. I mentioned signs and here are some of the signs that could be found.

My favourite was this one. A number of railway stations (including London Victoria) still have these boxed signs, and Euston has many in this blue colour, but not a taxi sign anymore!

A sign with a common sense message.

Fixed fare shared taxi – this was one of two special services provided the other was from Paddington station.

These black and white signs were probably seventies or eighties for all I know.

Through traffic only.

This was in the public car park area which had been closed but it could be seen through the fencing placed over the entrance to this part.

Even private stuff could be seen posted abut the taxi rank!

The best signs were perhaps these stainless steel ones from the sixties. They used to be illuminated from behind.

Most people knew there were lifts and stairs down to the taxi rank, but not many knew it had a direct escalator! It wasn’t that obvious from the station concourse even though it ran next to the main bank of escalators to the tube.

Here’s a view looking down the taxi rank escalator. The main escalators were much lower down on the other side of the wall at left. The huge advert space is what most people going down to the tube will see.

Right at the bottom of the taxi rank’s escalator was the railway chaplain’s office. Many of the major stations in the UK have a chaplain. If not there will be one allocated from a station nearby. They are managed by the Railway Mission.

Digital notice at Euston informing of the changes to the taxi rank from 6th January 2019. Up to the 5th January the lifts mentioned here also denoted the taxi rank…

… here are those lifts again. These were built in 2009. Notice the sign by the lift doors…

… as can be seen here, giving details of the old underground taxi rank. This was taken on the last day the old rank was operational.

This was the next day, 6th January 2019. The taxi rank information has been covered over.

The access point to the taxi rank from the lift (and stairs) had been fenced off as seen here early am 6th January 2019. The signs to the lifts & underground for taxi users still could be seen at this point in time they had not yet been covered up.

The same view taken in the new year 2020.

One can look through a glass partition to one side of the new Network Rail hoarding – and catch glimpses of the old taxi rank. Very little was being stored here at this time. Clearly its not yet being demolished. There’s probably soft stripping of equipment going on but not the actual demolition at the time of writing.

Remember my pic of the main entrance to the old taxi rank from the station concourse? Here it is again!

The same entrance on the 6th January 2019! At the right side of this is the huge black granite stone plaque which commemorates the Queen’s opening of Euston Station in 1968. I do not know what has happened to it.

A peep through the windows a few weeks later showed that infilling of the stairs had begun. A new floor was placed here and the area now forms partially the new entrance to the tube station and also partially the new passenger waiting area in the main concourse.

Where the entrance to the taxi rank was, this new passenger waiting area has been installed. Behind the partition is the new tube station entrance lobby. The people in the immediate front area do not realise they are sitting above a now defunct passenger corridor!

I covered these changes in depth in a two part feature last year focused mainly around the changes to the tube are and concourse. Part one is here. Part two is here.

This is the former taxi rank’s one dedicated escalator access point. On the 6th hoardings were built around it and demolition work has been underway ever since.

What will happen here is a new part of the main station concourse will be introduced. The space to the rear too is currently being remodelled and linked to the changes being undertaken in the main concourse, a new and wider entrance into the the station itself will also be formed.

I hope all these further new changes will be covered in a future post!

In retrospect these changes are sort of restoring the larger passenger space that was once a major part of the new Euston station when it opened in 1968 – which was that it was intended to represent an air terminal. This space existed in large more or less the same until the 2000’s when it was decided to introduce new retail units, and then the upper cafe area was built. What Network Rail are doing is restoring some of the circulation space that was lost. Its a difficult job because although these are termed ‘improvements’ in other parts of the station spaces are having to be retrenched to make way for HS2. I think over time (if HS2 goes ahead) the concourse will once again be made larger and most of the retail units will be moved to the new HS2 terminus.

Finally, if anyone wants to see a picture of the new taxi rank in use as soon as it had opened on the 6th January 2019, here’s one!

Just opened and only two taxis present! It was a Sunday & since no tubes were running at that time I got the bus instead to arrive early & record these scenes.