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British Industrial History

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Blackfriars Railway Station

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The mainline railway station was opened as St Paul's by the London, Chatham and Dover Railway (LC&DR) on 10 May 1886 when it opened the St Paul's Railway Bridge across the River Thames.

The St Paul's bridge was constructed to supplement the LC&DR's existing Blackfriars railway bridge, which had opened in 1864. This carried trains on the LC&DR's busy City Line from south London into the LC&DR stations at Ludgate Hill, Holborn Viaduct and, via the Snow Hill tunnel and a connection to the Metropolitan Railway near Farringdon, on to King's Cross and St Pancras stations.

In advance of the opening of St Paul's station, the earlier LC&DR Blackfriars Bridge station on the south side of the river was closed to passenger traffic on 1 October 1885 and became a goods-only station.

St Paul's station was renamed Blackfriars on 1 February 1937. Gradually, the structure of the original Blackfriars railway bridge deteriorated until it was unsound. The bridge deck was removed in 1985 and only the piers in the river and the orange bridge abutments remain.

The station was rebuilt along with the Underground station in the mid 1970s and was formally reopened on 30 November 1977. A part of the stonework elevation from the 1886 LC&DR station has been preserved at platform level in the mainline station indicating many destinations in the south-east of England and on the continent. St Paul's Bridge is now known as the Blackfriars Railway Bridge.

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