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Cannon Street

London's Cannon Street has seen many changes of its structure and appearance since its opening on 1st September 1866. The only obvious original part of Cannon Street Station still in existence are the two huge towers either side of the platforms, along with the original side walls (all of which are listed). The original trainshed roof was removed in the late 1950's due to extensive World War II bomb damage and the platforms lost their weather protection as a result. The current six storey office block seen above the station today was constructed in the late 1980's and gives platforms underneath it a rather claustrophobic feel about them. The station had a very similar hotel to Charing Cross Station at the rear, although it was never as successful and subsequently does not survive today. The station is a contrast between "totally functional" and "interestingly historic", due to the totally different designs combined. There are currently seven platforms in use.
 
Cannon St Close up of the towers on 27th December 2002. The large indent visible on the right indicates where the old trainshed structure used to "slot in".

photograph by David Glasspool

 
Cannon Street is a principally a rush hour station and for many years was closed during non-peak hours though today off-peak services operate once again, albeit many are just a shuttle to and from London Bridge where passengers change to or from Charing Cross trains. Kent Networker Units (classes 465 / 466) are usually stationed at Cannon Street overnight, especially on the Sunday, from where they can then make their journey directly to specific stations on the line, or as ECS to Charing Cross Station using the single track which directly links it with Cannon Street.
 
Lines going out from London Cannon Street, 27th December 2002. The lines go left to London Bridge and right to Metropolitan Junction (and on towards Charing Cross Station), literally forming a turning triangle. Since the steam heyday the lines which create the triangle have been reduced, seeing only a single track now leading from Cannon Street to Charing Cross (Seen going off towards the right). The tracks on the far right are sidings.

photograph by David Glasspool

Cannon St
 
Back in the 19th century it was frequently the case that trains from Kent to Charing Cross would travel via Cannon Street. Complaints about the delay caused whilst reversing the train, coupled with competition from other forms of transport, led to this practice being abolished. Then, during the 1980s, the double track line out of Cannon Street and towards Charing Cross was singled since when it has been used mainly for shunt movements.
 
Cannon St Close up of the right tower, 27th December 2002. Once again, the large indent visible on the right indicates where the old trainshed structure used to "slot in".

photograph by David Glasspool

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This page was created 31 December 2002

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