01 December 2007
St Pancras then and now
Patrick Crozier

As was (just before closure):


As it is now (after the expenditure of £800m’s worth of extorted cash):


All I can say is that they got something for their money.  Oh, it has some ridiculous touches: that statue, the longest champagne bar in Europe1, but it is magnificent.  Probably the best station in the world.

At times like this I am reminded of Brian Micklethwait quoting P J O’Rourke admiring a US aircraft carrier: “Now, that’s the way to waste public money.”


1.  Who, exactly, goes around measuring the lengths of champagne bars?  Anyway, it’s not the bar itself that’s long - just the seating area.  The stupidest champagne bar in Europe, perhaps.


  1. Well, if the other transport bloggers would care to join me at the champagne bar sometime before the 13th (when I am off to Australia), I would be happy to buy you all a glass of champagne.

    Posted by MIchael Jennings on  01 December 2007 at 09:49 pm

  2. I would love to, assuming a date is agreed that I can do.  But where exactly on the champagne bar?

    I suggest we meet at John Betjamen, and from then on stick together.

    Posted by Brian Micklethwait on  02 December 2007 at 02:23 am

  3. Patrick

    Why don’t we attempt to do a podcast from there?  That might be cool.  Is that technically possible?  Maybe not, because of power supply reasons.

    Hey, maybe we could use my horrid little machine, which runs on batteries.  That actually might work.  Assuming I remember to switch it on.  We could hand it round, using it as a microphone, with someone umpiring who has it.

    Posted by Brian Micklethwait on  02 December 2007 at 03:29 am

  4. As for people measuring champagne bars, I am slightly intrigued by the “in Europe” part of the statement. Where are the longer champagne bars outside Europe? Dubai seems to be the leading place for building the “largest <something> in the world” at the moment, but as alcoholic drinks are only semi-legal there, I doubt it is likely to beat St Pancras in this one. (Isn’t there a famous champagne bar in Grand Central station in New York?)

    Posted by MIchael Jennings on  03 December 2007 at 01:17 am

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