Notes: After a bitter struggle with its rivals, the Great Northern Railway obtained powers to built its main line from Doncaster to London on 26th June 1846. From the summit at Potters Bar the line descended continuously for 8 miles at 1 in 200, involving the building of five tunnels. The final obstacle was the spur of high ground outside King’s Cross, pierced by two tunnels on a 1 in 107 grade. A goods depot was provided on Maiden Lane (now York Way), and a temporary passenger terminus was opened there on 7 August 1850
The short extension to King’s Cross was ready in 1852. The original station had an arrival and departure platform separated by fourteen tracks and covered by twin-arched trainshed roof. In 1855 there were 19 departures, 4 of them expresses. By 1862 there were 30, 10 expresses, 13 locals and 7 Midland Railway trains.
On 1st October 1863 the ‘suburban and City’ service was inaugurated to Farringdon Street with suburban trains travelling south from Finsbury Park calling here, then going underground using the York Road curve to join the City Widened Lines to Farringdon, Aldersgate Street and Moorgate. In the other direction, trains from Moorgate came off the Widened Lines via the Hotel Curve into a steeply graded platform in the main line station.
From 1st January 1866 through goods and passenger trains began to the London Chatham & Dover Railway via Snow Hill tunnel. A new station called Kings Cross York Road was opened on 4th March 1879 but as before this was only used by 'up' trains. Kings Cross York Road was a single platform station located at the exit from the easternmost of the 3 double line Gasworks Tunnels just outside the main terminus. Passenger access was down a ramp from York Road. It was only used by GN line suburban trains which were heading for Moorgate from Welwyn, Hatfield, Hertford North and by cross london trains using the Snow Hill tunnel.
After leaving York Road up trains dived down through the sharply curved and steeply graded York Road Tunnel to a junction with the Widened Lines close to what was known as Kings Cross Metropolitan and later became Kings Cross Thameslink station. Initially trains called at Kings Cross Metropolitan in both directions but in later years northbound trains only stopped at Kings Cross Main Line while southbound trains continued to call at York Road and Kings Cross Metropolitan. Kings Cross York Road was closed on 8th November 1976 services to and from Moorgate were diverted via the Northern City Line although the station reopened briefly between 3 - 5th March 1977. The Northern City Line was formerly part of London Underground, and during its history has been part of both the Metropolitan and Northern lines, although it is connected to neither. It is now part of the National Rail network.
The line is underground from Moorgate to just south of Drayton Park, and runs in a cutting from there until meeting the East Coast Main Line south of Finsbury Park. Trains on the line run north to Hertford North, Welwyn Garden City, Stevenage or Letchworth Garden City, forming the inner suburban service of the First Capital Connect Great Northern Route.
The track was lifted through the station and the York Road tunnel although much of the platform remained in place until recently. In 2007 the York Road tunnels was used by contractors working on the underground parts of the new St. Pancras International Station and the site of York Road station is now under redevelopment.
Tickets showing York Road are rare, most just show Kings Cross. Ticket from Michael Stewart