A large space occupied by a beautifully ugly road ramp at Euston station has been cleared to make way for new HS2 platforms.

Euston parcel ramp (c) Google Street View

The West Ramp was added when Euston station was rebuilt in the 1960s and allowed vehicle access to an upper deck once used as a Royal Mail parcel sorting depot, taking parcels from the trains on three dedicated platforms for parcel freight.

The decision to construct a large parcel depot above the station was a legacy of its Victorian predecessor, as so much post was carried by rail through Euston station that it used to cause serious congestion problems on the passenger platforms.

Separating the parcels from the passengers was one of the main aims of the station rebuild, and one of the changes that made Euston station so radical when it opened — all the parcel deliveries were hidden away from passengers, unlike how most other stations used to operate at the time.

It was very cleverly designed, with vans able to come up one side of the station, to the huge 5-acre postal depot and then drive down another ramp on the opposite side of the station, reducing traffic jams on the approach roads.

However, the parcel depot was taken out of use when increased demand for passenger services meant that the parcel services need to be shifted to road traffic. The parcel depot has been used for office space and storage ever since.

The removal of the western approach took 13 weeks to complete, although due to Covid-19 restrictions, work on-site was paused on 23rd March but restarted on 16th April.

The area will eventually become part of the platforms for the HS2 trains.

HS2 Euston West Ramp site (c) Network Rail

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3 comments on “Euston station’s 1960s parcel ramp demolished for HS2
  1. JP says:

    Didn’t miss the dismantling of the parcels tin shed at Paddington much and won’t miss this admirably brutalist parcels ramp at Euston at all.
    However I do miss the taxi ramp down to the platforms at Liverpool Street (and indeed Pad.) and especially miss the magisterial taxi ride as you were wafted up the western access road at Saint Pancras from Midland Road. Sixteen million replica bricks replaced it and the ramp continued through what is now the entrance arch to today’s hotel.

    • RB says:

      Rail Express Parcels and Red Star Parcels withdrew from Euston station sometime before platforms 16, 17 & 18 were converted for passnger train useage. Now platforms 17 & 18 have closed for HS2 works.

  2. John Finn says:

    This takes me back to the 70s and 80s when I used to have to take a taxi ride to Euston Red Star office to send off magazine artwork to Manchester by the midnight train, always with just minutes to spare! Then the taxi would take me home to Hackney, still feeling the stress. I can still remember the jolt of the cab as it rode over the metal speed bump at the top of the ramp.

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