The lingering spectre of the Euston Arch hangs heavy over Euston Station, but now there’s a tribute to the arch installed where it once stood. That happens to be on the ramp leading down to platforms 8-11, which is a reminder of why it had to go in the first place, it was right in the middle of where the enlarged Euston station needed to be built.
Using funding from the Railway Heritage Trust, Network Rail installed a couple of print replicas of the arch’s massive columns have been placed on the platform ramp in the exact location where the originals stood, with a small sign between them indicating what they represent.
There’s also a large video screen that shows a series of images of the Arch from its birth through to death. Importantly, the photos also show the Arch as it was in the 1950s, after all the land around had built up, so in effect, it was on a side street and cramped in between other buildings.
The printed columns are a bit easy to miss when walking past during the rush hour unless you spot the sign by them and stop to read it, and most of the people on my visit raced past the video to get on a train, but a couple stopped to have a short look.
Andy Savage, executive director at the Railway Heritage Trust, said: “The decision to demolish the Euston Arch totally, rather than relocate it as originally proposed, was one of the greatest mistakes of 1950’s and 60’s railway architecture, although happily its sister structure at Birmingham still shows us its style and size. The RHT is delighted to have been able to propose and fund this scheme, which both shows clearly where the arch was located, and commemorates a great structure.”