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Old January 10th, 2008, 06:51 AM   #301
hkskyline
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Eurostar says its London-Paris train service carried 8.26 million passengers in 2007
9 January 2008

PARIS (AP) - Eurostar, the operator of high-speed train service between London and Paris under the English Channel, said Wednesday its ticket sales surged 16 percent in 2007 as it carried 8.26 million passengers.

Ticket sales climbed to a record 599 million pounds ($1.2 billion), up from 518 million pounds in the previous year, the company said in a statement. Sales and passenger figures have risen each year since the service started.

The company gave credit to the newly refurbished St. Pancras station in London, which has what is billed as Europe's longest champagne bar on the upper level where Eurostar departs.

"The move to St Pancras International has opened up high-speed rail services to millions more people across the U.K.," Eurostar said. "The new station, together with next door King's Cross and nearby Euston, is linked to towns and cities both north and south of the capital, with connections to seven mainline services and six London Underground lines."

Eurostar is offering round trips from London to Paris or Brussels from 59 pounds ($115), fares that are competitive with low-cost airlines flying those routes. In addition, the train brings travelers from city center to city center, avoiding long rides to airports.

Growth in international markets -- or those outside Eurostar's home markets of the U.K., France and Belgium -- grew strongly during 2007 with ticket sales up by 20 percent against the previous year.

Eurostar is a separate entity from Eurotunnel, which operates a vehicle shuttle service and the Channel tunnel itself.
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Old January 10th, 2008, 06:27 PM   #302
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Songoten2554 View Post
this is the St Pancras new Thameslink Station opening for the FCC (First Capital Connect) pretty cool and modern like the Jubilee line Extension stations
I think it's as bland as hell, and the way the ceiling uncomfortably juts down in the middle just looks minging.
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Old January 11th, 2008, 07:39 PM   #303
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Frankfurt to London: €110 return average (with a main airline like BA, not budget), flying time 1hr 15min. Overall time 4hours max.

Frankfurt to London via Paris: €97 return + Eurostar fare €250 =€347. Total time, 7hours

Why would anyone do this?
Now wait just a minute. I paid €90 return for Eurostar this summer (and ironically, at nearly the end of the Waterloo service, I had a hotel not two blocks from Kings Cross). Granted, I think these were promotional fares, but sncf-voyages.com has plenty of them. Die Bahn usually has cheap fares too - €97 return for Frankfurt-Paris sounds reasonable, but I paid similarly for a three-leg Frankfurt-Strasbourg recently too, and there were promotional fares for other times of closer to €50.

Also, do keep in mind that you're not including the cost of the Heathrow rail connection, nor whatever you're using from Frankfurt-Flughafen to Frankfurt. And 4h is a little short. Last time I did a Frankfurt flight, the check-in window closed 2h30 before the flight left, and the awful little shuttle from the hauptbahnhof added 20 minutes to my trip. Also, I believe the last time I was on the ICE from Frankfurt I had T-Mobile wifi, so I got work done. And boy, are ICE 2nd class seats better than BA coach.

Last edited by UrbanBen; January 11th, 2008 at 07:46 PM.
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Old January 12th, 2008, 11:13 AM   #304
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanBen View Post
Now wait just a minute. I paid €90 return for Eurostar this summer (and ironically, at nearly the end of the Waterloo service, I had a hotel not two blocks from Kings Cross). Granted, I think these were promotional fares, but sncf-voyages.com has plenty of them. Die Bahn usually has cheap fares too - €97 return for Frankfurt-Paris sounds reasonable, but I paid similarly for a three-leg Frankfurt-Strasbourg recently too, and there were promotional fares for other times of closer to €50.
Granted, you can get cheaper fares than I originally stated, but I have yet to find anything as cheap as standard airlines, and I'm not even talking budget ones here.

I maybe flying to London in March, so to check this out, I chose the dates 12th and 15th to travel between Frankfurt and London.

By train, the cheapest connection I could find was €189 return. This sadly needed a combination of the Eurostar site and DB site (I couldn't find a single site that gave me a price right up (DB.de won't give fares to London, and Eurostar only gives a fare to Köln). Actually, the Köln fare wasn't to bad, £38 each way, which if living in Köln, does make it an attractive option to travel.

Still, €189 return was the cheapest I could find, and that meant an 8hour and 20minute journey not including from my house - Add that in, and at least 9hours. Coming back was better at 6hr 50min to my door.

There were few options to choose from and the cheapest journey above, required me to get up in Frankfurt at 3:30am! That would get me into central London at about 1pm which is a good time - enough of the day left to enjoy and make the most of it. But damn I will be tired and exhausted.

Now checking the same dates by plane: €102 return, plenty of times to choose from, and a choice between landing at Heathrow or London City. Now, London City is pretty much as convenient to central London as St. Pancres - afterall, it all depends where the hotel is. I can choose a flight for €102 return to arrive at 12:50pm in City Airport and enjoy the same time in London.

Difference, my flight leaves at 11:50 from Frankfurt Main Airport, which means I can sleep in that morning to say 8am. Leave at 9am for the airport to be plenty of time, which gives a total journey of 5 hours. Relaxing, and without stress (London City Airport is a pretty easy going, quick and relaxing airport). In reality, I would leave about 9:45 to the airport, so it would be just over 4hours travel time.

So again, why would I take the train? Not yet. When there is an option from Frankfurt to London, around €100 return, taking 5 hours total (from my door) and can be purchased on one site, I will try it, but there is certainly no options now that I can find.

Then again, it maybe a bit hidden. If you can find a website that offers something better than I could find, I will certainly be thankful ;O)

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Also, do keep in mind that you're not including the cost of the Heathrow rail connection, nor whatever you're using from Frankfurt-Flughafen to Frankfurt.
Good point, but I can get a ticket from London city, which from memory is in Zone3, thus about 50p more to my hotel than St. Pancras would be (I have an Oyster Card).

From Frankfurt, it means nothing as I have a Monthly Travel Card which gives me access to either the central station or airport

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And 4h is a little short. Last time I did a Frankfurt flight, the check-in window closed 2h30 before the flight left, and the awful little shuttle from the hauptbahnhof added 20 minutes to my trip.
Hmmm, I usually arrive 1:30 to 2:00 hours before the flight and never have been caught out on check-in closing. From memory, it is 30minutes before the flight. Then again, I always check in via the machines and just drop my back off. Especially easy when flying BA, and a little harder with Lufthansa.

I get a bus from my local station to the airport. It takes about 40minutes which includes the time to walk to the station and drops off at either terminal so I don't need to use the airport train. This compares to just under 30minutes from my house to the Hauptbahnhof, so there is really only 10minutes difference in it. I always get a taxi back to my house for some reason, whether that is from the Hauptbahnhof or Airport. The Airport does cost twice as much for the taxi ride.

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Also, I believe the last time I was on the ICE from Frankfurt I had T-Mobile wifi, so I got work done. And boy, are ICE 2nd class seats better than BA coach.
This is certainly an advantage (though it's 3G not wifi?). Question? How would that work when crossing borders. I would like to add this to my laptop when I get my new one, but they always seem to be country bound. So a train from Frankfurt to London, would I then have to pay roaming charges as soon as we crossed into Belgium, France and Britain?

On the otherhand, at the airport is free Wifi coverage. Of cause, you don't have this option on board the plane, which is certainly a downside to flying. Though we have all been promised Wifi or 3G coverage in planes soon.

By the way, Yes, the ICE2nd class seats are more comfortable than BA or Lufthansa Coach, however, I would rather sit for 1hour 15minutes in that more cramped plane, than 7-8hours in a train.

There is of cause many other advantages to flying. Luggage: Yes, you do have to wait at the terminal to pick up your luggage (though at London City Aiprort, this is as quick as it can be). But flying has the advantages everywhere else, especially if you have heavy luggage, and sadly mine always is. When flying, as soon as I get to the airport, I drop off my bags. I don't see them again, until I am in London and on my way to the DLR.

By train, I have to lug the things around everywhere. First once in Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof, I have to find a place on the train. It's a big bag, and it can't go up on the racks easily. Sometimes there is no space anywhere, which means I have to have it sitting in another carriage where I can't see it, or by a wall where it falls over constantly bothering other passengers. Not to mention it can be easily stolen as it's not in my line of sight. Then, at each train change (and that one I gave you had four trains). I have to lug them around stations and find space in each train. In Brussels, there is a 40minute wait between trains where I have to keep that damn bag next to me. Sorry, I prefer the flying method. Hand it in, pick it up at destination...
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Old January 12th, 2008, 08:00 PM   #305
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So basically, let's keep investing in high speed rail until it's competitive with air travel over a longer distance. Most of that time issue is getting TO the Eurostar; what would it look like with the destinations that have direct travel to Paris Est, instead of a transfer?

The T-Mobile service was wifi - through their hotspot program or some such. I'm sure it was 3G or what have you from the router to the cloud, but from the router to me it was 802.11g.
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Old January 13th, 2008, 09:02 AM   #306
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So basically, let's keep investing in high speed rail until it's competitive with air travel over a longer distance. Most of that time issue is getting TO the Eurostar; what would it look like with the destinations that have direct travel to Paris Est, instead of a transfer?
I agree. I tend to use trains whenever it is a viable option. I just never agreed with some people who seem to think it is always viable and we should all just take trains. Yes, 5 hours door to door for the same price on a train is usually more comfortable than the same 5 hours door to door by plane. But if the plane is half the price, and the actual discomfort is only a 1hour flight journey, then plane still wins.

But rest assured, when the day comes (as has been promised for years now) of a Frankfurt service to London 4hours or under, then I will certainly choose it over flying - especially if it is direct.

Or, an alternative that I love, is night trains. A night service from Frankfurt leaving say 10pm and arriving in London at 7 or 8am is perfect for me as well, as long as there are private cabins that are competative to flying costs.

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The T-Mobile service was wifi - through their hotspot program or some such. I'm sure it was 3G or what have you from the router to the cloud, but from the router to me it was 802.11g.
Cool, full wifi on the train. I didn't know they offered that or if it's only on some selected ICE services. Sounds great. Do you know of any other trains that offer this? Although technically, within a country like the UK, 3G services would suffice as there would not be any roaming charges.
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Old January 14th, 2008, 07:24 AM   #307
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It seems obvious that Eurostar's service isn't really supposed to compete with airlines beyond Brussels, Paris or London. Even though they might sell tickets to other cities, this doesn't seem to be part of their core business and it also doesn't look as if they needed those longer-distance passengers.
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Old January 14th, 2008, 08:03 PM   #308
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It seems obvious that Eurostar's service isn't really supposed to compete with airlines beyond Brussels, Paris or London. Even though they might sell tickets to other cities, this doesn't seem to be part of their core business and it also doesn't look as if they needed those longer-distance passengers.
I think that upgrades to TGV service do impact Eurostar ridership, though - and of course St. Pancras will make more of Britain (northward) available to riders.

I spend most of my time in Europe in Strasbourg. Now that there's the TGV Est nonstop to Paris, it's quite easy for me to get to London - and believe me, I do!
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Old January 15th, 2008, 12:09 AM   #309
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I think that upgrades to TGV service do impact Eurostar ridership, though - and of course St. Pancras will make more of Britain (northward) available to riders.

I spend most of my time in Europe in Strasbourg. Now that there's the TGV Est nonstop to Paris, it's quite easy for me to get to London - and believe me, I do!
Of course expanding and upgrading the infrastructure will lead many new passengers to Eurostar, which is fantastic. But what about typical regional airline customers who want to reach their final destination in less than three or four hours and at an affordable cost, like Justme? I think Eurostar is neither able nor willing to compete for those passengers in particular just yet, except between London, Brussels and Paris (or smaller cities in between).
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Old January 15th, 2008, 08:53 PM   #310
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Of course expanding and upgrading the infrastructure will lead many new passengers to Eurostar, which is fantastic. But what about typical regional airline customers who want to reach their final destination in less than three or four hours and at an affordable cost, like Justme? I think Eurostar is neither able nor willing to compete for those passengers in particular just yet, except between London, Brussels and Paris (or smaller cities in between).
That's part of the reason the Paris-Berlin HSR link is under way. All of these upgrades are incremental, but SNCF says all their new rail will be built for 360k, and the TGV-Est runs at 320k now but is built for 350k later.

Really, the best thing to do is to bring a book and *always* take the existing links to build ridership and help support expansion.
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Old January 16th, 2008, 02:01 AM   #311
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i heard the accomodation for normal commuters(the terminal next to St.Pancras) is only very basic and people have to walk a long way for transfers. but of course, they don't bring that much profit as Eurostar travellers. hurray for privatised "public" transport!
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Old January 16th, 2008, 04:07 AM   #312
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i heard the accomodation for normal commuters(the terminal next to St.Pancras) is only very basic and people have to walk a long way for transfers. but of course, they don't bring that much profit as Eurostar travellers. hurray for privatised "public" transport!
What terminal are you talking about?
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Old January 16th, 2008, 08:52 AM   #313
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i heard the accomodation for normal commuters(the terminal next to St.Pancras) is only very basic and people have to walk a long way for transfers. but of course, they don't bring that much profit as Eurostar travellers. hurray for privatised "public" transport!
You must be talking about Kings Cross Station. This is right next door to St. Pancras. It is rather old but massive renovation plans have been revealed and should commence soon.

Despite being right next to each other, in between (and underneath) are the tube lines. So, the connections or transfers are not that far apart, nothing more than I have seen in other major stations around the world.
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Old January 16th, 2008, 04:09 PM   #314
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i heard the accomodation for normal commuters(the terminal next to St.Pancras) is only very basic and people have to walk a long way for transfers. but of course, they don't bring that much profit as Eurostar travellers. hurray for privatised "public" transport!
Well considering the location of both buildings are centuries old, and surprisingly enough haven't moved further apart from each other, I don't see how anyone in this century can be to blame for this.

And do you think this looks basic?

[IMG]http://*************************/london/jpgs/london_building_aw230607_2743.jpg[/IMG]
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Old January 16th, 2008, 08:07 PM   #315
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I imagine he's talking about the St. Pancras domestic terminal. It's no architectural marvel but perfectly pleasant and functional. At present it takes a couple of minutes longer to get to the Tube but when the improvements and King's Cross St. Pancras Underground station are finished in 2009 there will be a new entrance at the domestic terminal. As far as getting to King's Cross for domestic transfers, it's a minute's walk away - when the improvements are finished this will be via a public square and a large new concourse by McAlsan and Partners.
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Old January 16th, 2008, 09:04 PM   #316
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Also there's the practical consideration. To respond further to himbaman, more platforms were needed to house international, domestic midland mainline and domestic high speed Kent commuter trains, but due to road and building layout at the public end to the station at least some of these platforms had to start further back. So which trains should go from which platforms? Well Eurostar are 20 cars long whereas the domestic trains are maximum 12 cars. To fit on a platform the Eurostars have to take the long platforms, and there wasn't really space to have platforms go further to the north of the site as this is where the junctions needed to go.
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Old January 16th, 2008, 09:27 PM   #317
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You must be talking about Kings Cross Station. This is right next door to St. Pancras. It is rather old but massive renovation plans have been revealed and should commence soon.
no, he's talking about S.P.I.L.L (or the Thameslink platforms) and the Midland Mainline platforms at St Pancras. The MML is a glass box tacked on the side of the station furthest from Kings Cross, about halfway down the station. All there is is platforms and a couple of benches. The Low Level platforms are just a bland white underground box - a couple of platforms and that's it. They are also even further away from Euston Road and still the same distance from Kings Cross - the old Thameslink station was quite a walk from the Circle line station, the new one is just as far, only further away from both Kings Cross and the other Underground lines.
Quote:
Despite being right next to each other, in between (and underneath) are the tube lines. So, the connections or transfers are not that far apart, nothing more than I have seen in other major stations around the world.
actually, the Piccadilly, Victoria and Northern lines are under Kings Cross, and the SSL station is under St Pancras. What the new station design has done is pushed the MML into almost spartan addition to the main station of which the closest bit to the tube is further away than what used to be the furthest away bit of the station. Thameslink has the same distance to the circle line and the west side of Kings Cross, however access to the deep level tubes (which is of far more use) is at least twice as far and you now have to walk through a busy shopping mall, rather than a purpose built tunnel, which makes it harder, as there's all sorts of side turns and random flows.
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Well considering the location of both buildings are centuries old, and surprisingly enough haven't moved further apart from each other, I don't see how anyone in this century can be to blame for this.
I don't either, as the plans for St Pancras are 1990s. They kicked the MML out of the Barlow Shed, and stuck it in some platforms tacked onto the extension, on the more inconvenient side. St Pancras seems designed first and foremost to be a Eurostar Station, then a posh mall, then finally a domestic station and major interchange. Then again, it reminds me very much of an airport (LAX international terminal is a good example, as it has next to nothing near the gates) with gates far away, only without the waiting areas.

However, it's worth bearing in mind that the MML/Thameslink transfers will be a lot easier when the LU Northern Ticket Hall opens (which won't until the HS1 domestic services start, as the entrance is right by that - it's equipped with escalators already, but I don't think that the other passageways are done). However that doesn't change the fact that they seem like afterthoughts, tacked on (like the suburban bit of Kings Cross). St Pancras MML is possibly now the worst London Terminal - what would have been good is something like all the other ones - it doesn't have to look that good, it just has to have a decent waiting area/milling around space (that isn't a shopping mall and attempted tourist destination). Basically, what should have happened is that the worlds longest champagne bar and that area on the upper level between the MML and Euston Road, could have been full of waiting areas, non-specialist shops, of the kind you'd find in other NR termini - a Burger King, an AMT coffee shop (or Costa, or Starbucks) - basically things other stations have, rather than premium brands. Instead you have hardly anything - just the path to the stupid statue (which is underneath the clock, and as you can see the clock from anywhere on the top deck, not just if you are right by it, it would work far better as a meeting place, if only it was actually on a place where people would go, rather than on a minor route that's duplicated), the champagne bar, lots of holes so you can look down on the mall and a coffee shop (at least there's something right).
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Old January 17th, 2008, 02:14 AM   #318
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Bear in mind that once The Circle opens in 2008 the domestic area (or at least very near it) will be full of high street brands like Fine Burger co., Yo! Sushi, Paul, Pret and Starbucks. I think St Pancras is primarily an international station focused on the Eurostar - I can't see why there's anything wrong with that. It's what it was designed for and it's what the passenger numbers will reflect when they're published.
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Old January 17th, 2008, 02:17 AM   #319
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no, he's talking about S.P.I.L.L (or the Thameslink platforms) and the Midland Mainline platforms at St Pancras. The MML is a glass box tacked on the side of the station furthest from Kings Cross, about halfway down the station. All there is is platforms and a couple of benches. The Low Level platforms are just a bland white underground box - a couple of platforms and that's it. They are also even further away from Euston Road and still the same distance from Kings Cross - the old Thameslink station was quite a walk from the Circle line station, the new one is just as far, only further away from both Kings Cross and the other Underground lines.
The new Thameslink station wasn't neccessarily built for passenger convenience, but for the introduction of 12 car trains and better connection with St Pancras. Where else do you suggest they place the new station? You appear to have all the problems but none of the ideas? Hey, why not build a box under a Grade I listed building and see how English Heritage feel about that. And I don't think Thameslink commuters will be complaining when they receive 12 car trains, have a station that is no longer exposed to the elements, or have platforms wide enough to actually accomodate the amount of passengers that use the station. And if the new station is a "bland white box" it's still 100x more aestheticly pleasing then that hideous post-modernist carbuncle with platforms that resemble a chessboard. Another point: the station is closer to the MML station, something which you later imply is 'neglected' or 'just tacked on'.

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Originally Posted by sotonsi View Post
actually, the Piccadilly, Victoria and Northern lines are under Kings Cross, and the SSL station is under St Pancras. What the new station design has done is pushed the MML into almost spartan addition to the main station of which the closest bit to the tube is further away than what used to be the furthest away bit of the station. Thameslink has the same distance to the circle line and the west side of Kings Cross, however access to the deep level tubes (which is of far more use) is at least twice as far and you now have to walk through a busy shopping mall, rather than a purpose built tunnel, which makes it harder, as there's all sorts of side turns and random flows.
When the new Northern Ticket Hall opens, which you've mentioned yourself, one will no longer have to walk through the international terminal.

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However, it's worth bearing in mind that the MML/Thameslink transfers will be a lot easier when the LU Northern Ticket Hall opens (which won't until the HS1 domestic services start, as the entrance is right by that - it's equipped with escalators already, but I don't think that the other passageways are done). However that doesn't change the fact that they seem like afterthoughts, tacked on (like the suburban bit of Kings Cross). St Pancras MML is possibly now the worst London Terminal - what would have been good is something like all the other ones - it doesn't have to look that good, it just has to have a decent waiting area/milling around space (that isn't a shopping mall and attempted tourist destination). Basically, what should have happened is that the worlds longest champagne bar and that area on the upper level between the MML and Euston Road, could have been full of waiting areas, non-specialist shops, of the kind you'd find in other NR termini - a Burger King, an AMT coffee shop (or Costa, or Starbucks) - basically things other stations have, rather than premium brands. Instead you have hardly anything - just the path to the stupid statue (which is underneath the clock, and as you can see the clock from anywhere on the top deck, not just if you are right by it, it would work far better as a meeting place, if only it was actually on a place where people would go, rather than on a minor route that's duplicated), the champagne bar, lots of holes so you can look down on the mall and a coffee shop (at least there's something right).
Where would this "mall" go? I'm sorry but "between Euston Road and the MML" platforms is a bit vague. Do you mean where the champagne bar is?
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Old January 18th, 2008, 09:14 AM   #320
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What is happening to the old Eurostar platforms at Waterloo station? Are they staying or being re-aligned for general use?
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