The London and North Western Railway was always known as 'The Premier Line'. Formed from the amalgamation of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, the London and Birmingham Railway and the Grand Junction Railway, its tentacles were eventually spread widely throughout the United Kingdom. Whilst these early railways still form part of the railway network today, much of the distinctive style of the LNWR has been eliminated. There are still a few examples of the characteristic approach to running a railway which made employees proud to work for 'The Nor-Wessie'.
Take, for example, the two Entrance Lodges at Euston station, virtually all that remains of a once-great terminal. The two lodges face Euston Road, flanking Euston Grove, which once led to the station itself and is now the entrance to the bus station. The picture below shows the front of the right-hand lodge, looking from Euston Road. The left hand lodge is identical, apart from the names of stations served. Click on the picture to enlarge the view. Portland Stone has been used - it has good colour, is long-lasting and will accept intricate carving, even in deep relief, as seen in the group of figures at the top.
Note how the initials of the railway 'LNWR' appear in a cursive script elaborately interlaced and embraced by a laurel wreath. This device appears twice on each face of the building - there is to be no doubt as to who is responsible for raising these edifices!
But the nicest piece of self-publicity is the list of places served by the railway, arranged in alphabetic order. The place names start on the left lodge, in two columns facing Euston Road, then continue in two columns on the side of the left lodge facing Euston Grove. The list then continues of the right lodge, first on the side facing Euston Grove and finally concluded in two columns facing Euston Road. Some of the spellings are not what we would now use, but I have copied below what appears on these splendid survivors. Each name is terminated in a full stop. Here are the names to impress the prospective traveller:-
ABERDEEN. ABERYSTWITH. AYLESBURY. BANBURY. BARNSLEY. BEDFORD. BELFAST. BIRMINGHAM. BIRKENHEAD.
BLACKBURN. BLACKPOOL. BOLTON. BRADFORD. BURNLEY. BURY. BURTON. BUXTON. CAMBRIDGE.
CARLISLE. CARNARVON. CHESTER. CORK. COVENTRY. DERBY. DEWSBURY. DUDLEY. DUBLIN.
DUMFRIES. DUNDEE. EDINBURGH. FLEETWOOD. GLASGOW. GREENOCK. HALIFAX. HEREFORD. HUDDERSFIELD.
INVERNESS. KESWICK. KIDDERMINSTER. LANCASTER. LEAMINGTON. LEEDS. LEICESTER. LIVERPOOL. LLANDUDNO.
MACCLESFIELD. MANCHESTER. NEWARK. NEWPORT. NORTHAMPTON. NOTTINGHAM. OLDHAM. OXFORD. PAISLEY.
PERTH. PETERBORO. PRESTON. ROCHDALE. SHEFFIELD. SHREWSBURY. STAMFORD. STIRLING. STOCKPORT.
STOKE. SWANSEA. TENBY. WAKEFIELD. WARRINGTON. WARWICK. WHITEHAVEN. WIGAN. WOLVERHAMPTON.
In these days of mass air travel to exotic locations, the impact of this list of place-names is reduced, but imagine the effect on passengers in the early decades of the twentieth century. Then, a journey by train could be an adventure. How unlike our weary, over-priced travels on our present railways.