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X marks the spot: the new King’s Cross concourse opens

Posted at 4:30 pm, March 19, 2012 in News
Kings Cross gets a new concourse

King’s Cross Station has had a makeover. In what rail bosses are describing as ‘the biggest transformation’ in its 160 year history, the station has had a £500m refurbishment which aims to transform it into a ‘transport-super-hub’. The giant latice structure, completed ahead of the Olympics, is designed for the increasingly large numbers of passengers to move freely  about their business. The next stage of the plan is to transform the front in an overhaul (after the Olympics) that harks back to the station’s Victorian history, whilst catering to the realities of modern day transport. Along with the redevelopment, comes the further gentrification of King’s Cross with a branch of healthy fast food chain Leon and a new Yalla Yalla restaurant. Today was the grand public opening and overall people seemed impressed. At one point a female passenger even congratulated one of the workmen on his stellar contribution, as couples took photos of themselves in front of the white lattice structure. We chatted to a few people to see what they thought…

Colin, a student from Scotland didn’t have a cross word to say about the redesign, whilst Lucian, a member of the station maintenance staff was enthusiastic about the space, waxing lyrical about the light and breezy atmosphere but appeared stunned by the cost of refurbishment. Virginia, a cleaning lady waiting for her train home was similarly shocked by the cost of the project suggesting that it was ‘a bit much’ and thought that the money could have been spent on other things, ‘especially at the moment’. This said, it turned out she had never actually been through King’s Cross before and was unaware that a refurbishment had even taken place. She was wondering why so many people were taking photos though. Keith, one of the gentlemen who’d come down armed with his camera, was hugely enthusiastic about the redesign, calling it ‘excellent; money well spent, something really had to be done’. And for those of you worried about Platform 9 3/4, the sign has been moved and now resides in the new concourse. Didi Mae Hand

What do you make of the revamped King’s Cross Station? Comment below or tweet us at @TimeOutLondon.

Platform 9 1/3 in the newly refurbished Kings Cross concourse

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