#Book Review – London’s Great Railway Stations; O. Green

This is going to be a mini-review rather than a regular one. Why? Because I caught the plague of the millennium right after shelving London’s Great Railway Stations, the protected copy expired while I dealt with it, and that means I have to rely on memory now.

Fun times.

**

This lavish photographic history of the most beautiful and historic railway stations in London tells a story of power, progress and innovation, from the beginning of steam age to the teeming commuter hubs of today.

London has more mainline railway stations than any other city in the world and many of them are amongst its grandest architectural monuments. Its earliest terminals opened in the late 1830s when lines between the capital and the regions were built in the first railway boom. The original station at London Bridge, the capital’s first passenger terminus, was opened in December 1836, six months before Queen Victoria came to the throne. The last main line to London, the Great Central Railway to Marylebone, was opened in March 1899, two years before Victoria died.

Ever since they originally opened, these stations have been at heart of London life and activity and have dominated the architectural landscape. Many are now in the midst of major reconstructions and are the centrepieces for the transformation of whole swathes of London, from Paddington to King’s Cross.

This comprehensive story combines a historical overview, archive illustrations and specially commissioned photography, covering the origins of the earliest stations up to the latest reconstructions and renovations.

Written by the expert author Oliver Green, this is an essential gift for anyone interested in the history of London and its transport.

272 pages
Quarto Publishing Group
Photography, architecture
Goodreads

**

Cover: So lovely. So majestic. 

Yay!

  • London’s Great Railway Stations is a trip across railway stations of the City—I adore self-explaining, no-nonsense titles—from the well-known ones to the more obscure ones. The idea behind it is marvelous, albeit it’d appeal to a niche of coffee books enthusiasts. 
  • The pictures are exquisite. I’ll admit I was expecting to see something more traditional, less steel & glass combo, but the photographer chose them with care. The mix of details and aerial photos adds depth to the book.
  • I can’t remember mistakes or typos in the prose, but since I’m unable to double-check, take this with a grain of salt. I swear I get the reasoning behind expiring copies; sometimes they hinder the reviewing process and may cost stars, though.

Special mention:

  • The egg-box ceiling of one of the stations!  

TL;DR
4 stars on GR.

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