From Paddington to St Pancras: London's Cathedrals of Steam

Christian Wolmar, together with his book

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  • Full Price: £13.00 Member: £13.00 Other concessions available

The magnificent buildings that are such an important part of London

This event takes place in the British Library Theatre and will be simultaneously live streamed on the British Library platform. Tickets may be booked either to attend in person, or to watch on our platform (online) either live or within 48 hours on catch up. In person ticket bookers will also be sent a bonus link to the online event. Viewing links will be sent out shortly before the event.

London hosts 12 major railway stations, more than any other city in the world. They range from the grand and palatial, such as Paddington and St Pancras, to the modest and lesser known, such as Fenchurch Street and Cannon Street. 

Built between 1836 and 1899 by competing private train companies seeking to outdo one another, the construction of these terminuses caused tremendous upheaval and had a widespread impact on their local surroundings. What were once called ‘slums’ were demolished, green spaces and cemeteries were concreted over, and vast depots and marshalling yards – including where the British Library now sits – sprung up in their place. Today, many have been beautifully modernised.

Writer and railway expert, Christian Wolmar, author of a new book on these stations, traces their development.

Online event bookers can buy a copy of London’s Cathedrals of Steam with tickets at checkout for £14.99 (with UK postage) and watch the event for free.* 

Christian Wolmar is a writer and broadcaster, principally on transport matters. He writes regularly for a wide variety of publications including the Independent, Evening Standard and Rail magazine, and appears frequently on TV and radio as a commentator. His previous books include the widely-acclaimed The Subterranean Railway, a history of the London underground and Fire and Steam, a history of how the railways transformed Britain.

*Prices include postage and packaging (£3 for UK orders and £7.50 for non-UK orders). Books will be dispatched after the event, normally within 7 days. Please ensure your postal address is up to date on your British Library account before placing your order. 

The event accompanies the British Library exhibition Paddington: The Story of a Bear, open in the PACCAR Gallery until 31 October.

Travel partner: Great Western Railway

GWR - Great Western Railway

If you’re attending in person, please arrive no later than 15 minutes before the start time of this event. We are committed to the safety of our event bookers. Click here to find out how we are welcoming you to the Library safely.

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Name: From Paddington to St Pancras: London's Cathedrals of Steam
Where: Knowledge Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show Map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Price: Full Price: £13.00
Member: £13.00
Student: £6.50
Registered Unemployed: £6.50
Senior (60+): £11.00
Young Person (18-25): £6.50
Online Event w/Book (London's Cathedrals of Steam) (UK postage): £14.99
Online Event w/Book (London's Cathedrals of Steam) (Non-UK postage): £19.49
Online Adult: £5.00
Online Member: £5.00
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546