Britain's biggest construction project and first high-speed rail link are officially opened by the Queen
The opening of St Pancras by the Queen today marked not only the completion of Britain’s biggest construction project but also the arrival of a 68-mile high-speed rail link from Central London to the Channel tunnel.
The rail link, which is called High Speed One and took 13 years and £5.8bn to build, has finally enabled the English to catch up with the French, reigniting our enthusiasm for train travel.
Eurostar trains will arrive in Paris from St Pancras just two hours and 15 minutes later, having travelled at 186mph and shaving 20 minutes off the journey time.
The £800m refurbishment of the station involved restoring the 1868 trainshed designed by Thomas Barlow and its neo-gothic, grade-I listed brick shell by George Gilbert Scott.
Contained within what was once the widest single-spanned structure in the world, there are now six Eurostar platforms, international departures and arrivals lounges, passport controls and of course Europe's longest Champagne bar.
- To read more on the renovation of St Pancras and see our huge gallery of pictures click here.
- To read why St Pancras is the best home for Eurostar read Christian Wolmar's column here.
Let us know what you think below, whether you're a disgruntled South Londoner who's lost their gateway to Europe or a rail enthusiast who believes High Speed rails should replace air travel
St Pancras in numbers
300 ft Length of the Champagne Bar – the longest in Europe
234 ft Width of the trainshed roof, built in 1868. At the time it was the widest single-span structure
17 Number of trains that will leave St Pancras every day to Paris
£5.8bn Cost of High Speed One
152 Number of bridges construction along the rail link
16 Miles of tunnel built