The Eurostar St Pancras International Station: stunning and impressive

 

It is amazing just how fast time goes by. Looking back at blog postings, I realised that it was November 2007 that it was the first time that I caught the Eurostar to Paris from the then new (and just opened) London base at St Pancras station. The station is next to the Kings Cross station in North London. At the time of my first visit, the Eurostar had only moved there from the somewhat cramped space at London Waterloo about 5 days before.

So what were my thoughts and observations then and now after having been through the station about 20 times a year since then:

It is a stunning space. The renovation of the run down 150 year old station is quite spectacular. The look and drama of the new station is helped by the massive glass and steel roof (and I do mean massive). When you enter the station, you enter into this glorious open and gleaming space. It is breathtaking!

The place and layout evolves as they learn what works, and what does not and to ensure as smooth as possible passage. The large open spaces make for a much easier trip to fetch tickets and the many check in terminals and security points help a huge amount. At peak time in the early morning when many people catching the trains to Paris and Belgium, the lines at security can be slow – but do clear fast as they are less onerous than airports.

The facilities once you go through the ticket check-in machines and French Passport Control are strangely non-existent. This seems odd and perhaps the plan is to encourage passengers to loiter in the large retail mall before check-in (or in the huge champagne bar upstairs) rather than hang about in the embarkation area. There was only a Cafe Nero with a huge queue as a result and a smallish WH Smith newsagents. I had actually wondered what facilities there were and had toyed with hanging about before going into the embarkation area. I wish I had!

Work space. There is, which is good, a very long stretch of a desk area with UK and Euro plug sockets galore so about 40 or more people could be sitting on their PC. And there are cash machines where you can draw out Euros as well as Pounds.

And the area overall looks great, with beautiful wooden floors, funky seats and white pillars. Very nicely done overall.

The Business Lounge is on the right of the hall, and you need either a Business Premier ticket or the Eurostar Carte Blanche card to get access. The buisness lounge is over 2 floors and busy, with good selection of newspapers and magazines and drinks. Review and more on the business lounge use the link below.

There is free wi-fi in the hall and station. But still now wi-fi on the train


So my overall view? Really beautiful and well done. Not quite ready though!

Eurostar Train at London St Pancras (2)
Eurostar platfroms at London St Pancras
Eurostar Train at London St Pancras
Eurostar platfroms at London St Pancras
St Pancras International Eurostar Cafe Nero
Cafe Nero in the boarding lounge at Eurostar St Pancras
St Pancras International Eurostar (5)
Boarding lounge at Eurostar London St Pancras

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