The end of the line is the beginning of the city ... now

November 26th, 2013, 12pm

It was 7°C with clouds and visibility OK. The breeze was light.

For years Kings Cross was the worst mainline terminus in London. You walked through the barrier into a formless low-ceilinged seventies nowhere like everywhere else – WH Smith, Boots, Upper Crust - then pushed through weary travellers staring up at the departures board to end up out with the smokers on a narrow strip of pavement along the Marylebone Road.

Now, you step off the train into a bright tunnel of light at the end of which you can see red buses moving past, as soon as you are through the barrier you are in the city. Look round and the trains are waiting to go back the way you came. Exhilarating. The way arrivals, departures should be.

“Transparency in every sense … lightness and adoration of light, suggest minimal resistance and consequently a smooth take off and landing.”

Hold on, that’s about airports (from Airworld published by the Vitra Design Museum.) I’d much rather be in an airport than a station; further to go, more time on my hands. But sadly they are heading in the other direction. All those great temples of flight with their windows of sky – where the glass wall of the departures lounge was the beginning of the flight – are becoming boxed in shopping malls, nowheres like everywhere else now.

Adrian, Cassie and Craig said thanks.

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Steve Dearden

Writer, producer and Director of The Writing Squad -

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