I’ve always thought of railway stations as the true cathedrals of the industrial revolution of the 1800’s. Their huge scale, vast, vaulted ceilings and surprisingly ornate interiors often unconsciously ape the great Gothic masterpieces of the past on more than one level.
And truly, York is one of the grandest of them all. Located almost mid way between London and Edinburgh on Great Britain’s main east coast route, it was the largest station in the world when it first opened in 1877. At that time, it had no less than thirteen platforms, but now it’s eleven in all.
It’s a gloriously overblown swathe of Victorian bombast, writ large in stone and steel. Normally, the place is a hive of activity throughout the day and evening, and often late into the night.
So, to capture the vast, imperious old edifice silent and deserted- that was too good to miss. I wandered around the vaulted, venerable old brute in solitary silence, picking out details, facades and nuances that I would never have been able to see in the frantic cut and thrust of the morning commuter blitzkrieg.
More amazing than anything was the sense of stillness. Acres of vast, empty platform yawned as far as the eye could see. A handful of darkened commuter trains looked like snoozing metal snakes, waiting for the arrival of day.
So- here we go. York Station as you’ve never seen it before. Enjoy!