New concourse for Harry Potter’s railway station


LONDON: When Harry Potter goes to Hogwarts next semester, he will probably have difficult finding the wall to ram into, after a new concourse was unveiled at London’s King’s Cross station Wednesday. The project, costing over 500 million pounds (about $784 million), was described by rail companies as the "biggest transformation in the 160-year history of King’s Cross Station".

The King’s Cross Station was opened October 14, 1852. It was one of only five Grade 1 listed railway stations in Britain. It has suffered damages throughout centuries, including those from aerial bombing in May 1941.

It is also a site where several films were produced, especially J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, in which Harry and his friends find the Hogwarts Express to their school of witchcraft and wizardry by running with their luggage trolleys through the station wall between platforms nine and ten.

Handling around 47 million passengers each year, the King’s Cross station is one of the busiest transport interchanges in the country. "It is a notoriously crowded station and a redevelopment has been felt necessary for several decades," said Hannah Staunton, communications manager of King’s Cross.

In the shape of a gigantic white tree, the new western concourse covered 7,500 square meters. The futuristic structure incorporated a non-traditional arrangement of beams radiating out across the roof and a diagrid system.

The concourse will provide "three times more circulation space, three times more seating, improved facilities such as more toilets, step-free access throughout and more places to eat, drink and shop", Staunton told Xinhua.