As part of the preparation for HS2 redevelopment, the statue of railway pioneer Robert Stephenson has been removed from Euston Railway Station and put into storage.
The Grade II listed statue is 150 years old and made from cast bronze it stands on a base of polished Aberdeen pink granite.
The statue arrived in Euston in 1871 and has stood in the current location since 2008.
Robert Stephenson developed the London and Birmingham and was the first intercity railway into London.
Special planning permission was obtained from Camden Council to move the statue of Robert Stephenson.
Other heritage assets at the station, including the plaques commemorating Victoria Cross recipients, will be safeguarded as the redevelopment of Euston Railway station for HS2 continues.
Joe Hendry, station manager at Euston station, said: “We will miss having the statue at the station – so it’s absolutely vital that this tremendous part of railway history benefits from best-in-class protection. It’s been a great team effort to plan this work as part of the wider HS2 redevelopment. It means Robert Stephenson, who was involved with the development of the first Euston station, continues to be part of the station’s story”.
Laurence Whitbourn, Euston area director for HS2 Ltd, said: “As we build Britain’s new high-speed railway, we are continuing Robert Stephenson’s work and improving Britain’s rail network for years to come. We are grateful to Network Rail for being the custodians of the statue for many years, and CSJV for managing its removal with such sensitivity, and I look forward to having the statue back at Euston in pride of place in the new HS2 station”.
Caroline Raynor, the lead archaeologist at Costain-Skanska JV, said: “Robert Stephenson played a hugely significant part in the development of the railway in the 19th century. Costain-Skanska JV are proud to be part of the team who are protecting this Grade II Listed statue so that it can be reinstated to watch over future generations of rail travellers as they make their way through Euston. Amongst the team, he has become something of a favourite and a heritage celebrity – our engineering mascot as part of a huge railway engineering project.”
Andy Savage, executive director of the Railway Heritage Trust, said: “The Railway Heritage Trust understands and supports the statue’s temporary removal from the site. HS2 Ltd has consulted us several times, over the principle of its removal, the method of doing it, and how it will be stored. In our view, they have been totally professional about this. We look forward to the return of the statue, which we would hope can be reinstated in its original position between the two Euston Road Lodges. HS2’s works make this option possible for the first time in 60 years.”
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