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Commuter

An installation by Rob Godfrey

Charing Cross Station and Hungerford Bridge.

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During the 1840s the the South Eastern Railway (SER) built its London terminus at London Bridge, on the South Bank of the river Thames. However, by the following decade many of the SER's rivals were planning to build stations on the north side of the river, closer to the heart of London. The SER realised that it too needed a north bank terminus and began to look for a suitable location, the site of a local marketplace being the eventual candidate. The plot of land was ideally placed along the Strand, with prime access to Parliament and Buckingham Palace (the name 'Charing Cross' comes from a nearby road junction and statue).

Work on the SER extension from London Bridge began in 1859, the most difficult and laborious task being the building of a viaduct to the South Bank. The viaduct was shortly followed in 1860 by the assembling of a lattice iron girder bridge, designed by Sir John Hawkshaw and weighing 7000 tons, to stretch the gap over the Thames to the station site. Building of the station was gruesome, for it involved excavating some 7000 corpses from a cemetery (these corpses were subsequently conveyed on the Funeral Train by the London Necropolis & National Mausoleum Company from Waterloo, for reburial at Brookwood, near Woking). Charing Cross Station opened for business on 11th January 1864.


Charing Cross Station, showing the above platform office development which was built in the late 1980s.

 


The modern Charing Cross at platform level.

 


View across Hungerford Bridge from platforms 1 and 2.

 


View across Hungerford Bridge from platform 3.

 


View across Hungerford Bridge from platform 5.

 


View across Hungerford Bridge from platform 5.

 


View across Hungerford Bridge from platforms 5 and 6.

 


The platforms and Hungerford Bridge, showing the new pedestrian walkways built in 2001.

 


View of Hungerford Bridge from the South Bank.

 


The South Bank end of Hungerford Bridge and the tracks to/from Waterloo East Station.

 


Charing Cross Station in the 1970s.

 


Hungerford Bridge in the 1970s.

 

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e-mail: rob@spiderbomb.com

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