London Marylebone (MYB)

London Marylebone was the last of the great London termini to open, though nearly closed in the 1980s.

Type: National Rail
(Chiltern Main Line)
Station code: MYB
Opened: 1899
Platforms: 6
The station was opened in 1899 as the terminus of the Great Central Main Line. The station was opened with four platforms. It was originally planned to be twice the size as the station that was eventually built but plans were changed due to a shortage of money. The station has an adjacent tube station on the Bakerloo Line, on Marylebone's platforms are still written Great Central in the tiles.

The Great Central was never the busiest of lines and London Marylebone remained a relatively quiet terminus. Station usage was improved by London commuter traffic from High Wycombe and Aylesbury. British Railways closed the Great Central North of Aylesbury in 1966. With services reduced to local routes only the station began to be run down and threatened with closure. British Rail indeed issued a closure notice in 1984 and there were plans to convert the station into a coach station with commuter traffic using the London Underground into Baker Street instead. However protests and legal action prevented the closure (plus there were flaws in the coach station plan - low tunnel restrictions would mean only single decker coaches could be used [1]) and the station was officially reprieved in 1986.

London Marylebone then began a renaissance thanks to the huge increase in rail passengers due to the advent of Network South East and the revolution in commuter services into the capital. Part of the station complex was sold to developers but the money raised was used to modernise and refurbish the station.

In the privatised era London Marylebone has had intercity services restored with trains to Birmingham and Oxford. Two new platforms have also been added on the site of former goods sidings. In the days of the Great Central London Marylebone was said sometimes to be so quiet that staff outnumbered passengers, now over sixteen million passengers a year pass through the station with work being done to relieve pressure on the station.
Chiltern 68 015 has just bought an express in from Birmingham

Station frontage

Gate barrier and view of three of the platforms

Station concourse

View of the roof

Chiltern 168 005 waits to depart for the Midlands

[1] John Glover, BR Diary 1978-1985 (Ian Allan, 1985) p. 95