Victoria Station is the second in the Through Time series on London's famous railway termini. 115 million people pass through Victoria each year, making the station London's second busiest after Waterloo. The station is not one, but actually two halves, one built for the London, Brighton & South Coast railway, the other for the London, Chatham & Dover Railway, with the first of these halves opening in October 1860, and the other following in August 1862. As such, its architecture and design has always been a mating of two distinctive styles, each with its own booking office, stationmaster, platform numbering and timetable. The original LBSCR station was plain, with a simple iron girder roof, while the LCDR station had a wide canopy roof. Various rebuildings see us with the station of today. The amalgamation of various lines operating into the South East and Southern England into the Southern Railway, saw the stations finally being joined as one. Victoria has been the gateway to the continent, with boat trains running to various ports in the South Coast and is also a major underground station on the Victoria, District and Circle Lines.
John Christopher has written and edited a number of books on Engineering, Military History and Railway and Road Transport, specializing in the life and works of Isambard Kingdom Brunel and being the series editor for Amberley's Bradshaw's Guides series. He has also appeared in Michael Portillo's Great British Railway Journeys television series. In between writing books, he is a balloon pilot and Land Rover fan. He lives in Gloucestershire.