Marylebone 125

Train named as Marylebone station celebrates landmark anniversary

Train operator Chiltern Railways has celebrated the history of 125 years of London Marylebone station with local residents and industry stakeholders.  

One of Chiltern’s Intercity (Class 168) trains has been named ‘Marylebone 125’ to mark the occasion, with a range of celebrations taking place throughout the day. The event also included the unveiling of a new historic exhibition at the Harewood Avenue entrance to the station and a reception at the Landmark Hotel to celebrate the social and economic impact the station has had on local communities across the Chiltern network. 

The anniversary marks 125 years since the opening of Marylebone, as the London terminus of the Great Central Railway on 15 March 1899.  The station was designed by Henry William Braddock, a civil engineer working for the Great Central Railway. It was considered modest in design at the time due to budgetary constraints, but fast forward to the present day, is considered as one of the jewels in the crown of London’s rail offering. 

The anniversary comes as Chiltern Railways continue work to deliver its Right Route 2030 vision of modernised customer facilities, additional capacity and a cleaner, greener fleet for its customers.  

Train Naming Ceremony at London Marylebone Station
“We are proud to call Marylebone our London home and to celebrate its 125th anniversary with members of the local community, Chiltern colleagues and industry partners. We are determined to make Marylebone an even better station for our customers and our neighbours as part of our Right Route 2030 ambition for Chiltern.” – Richard Allan, managing director of Chiltern Railways

To commemorate the rich history of the London terminus, in collaboration with the Baker Street Quarter Partnership and Chiltern Railways Community Investment Fund, new contemporary art installations have been unveiled at the Harewood Avenue entrance of the station.  

These displays tell the story of the station over time, with historical archive material and pictures documenting the construction of the station, the challenges it faced during WW2 and the Beeching cuts of the 1960s, before exploring the recent period of growth under Chiltern Railways. A newly commissioned narrative map celebrates Marylebone’s connection to local communities and the importance of the wider Chiltern Railways rail network. 

Marylebone Station Decorated for the Event

“The new displays at the station consider the people behind Marylebone’s creation and its impact on and importance to the surrounding community with the graphic map celebrating the value of the Station and its national connections – which remain so vital to local economies and so many people today.” – Penny Alexander, Chief Executive of  the Baker Street Quarter Partnership

The wider station has been adorned with commemorative decorations, staff dressing up as Victorian railway workers, and free cakes for customers passing through to catch their services. 

The train naming, unveiled by Managing Director Richard Allan, the Lord Mayor of Westminster Cllr Patricia McAllister, and Penny Alexander, CEO of Baker Street Quarter Partnership was complemented by a performance from the St Edwards Primary school choir. 

Representatives from the local community were then welcomed to the Landmark Hotel for a reception. The Great Central Hotel (now the Landmark Hotel) was previously converted to offices and served as the headquarters of British Rail from 1948 to 1986.  

Jazz band Catch 22, supported by Chiltern’s Community Investment Fund, performed as stands from the Great Central Railway, the Edward Watkin Society, and Chiltern’s own historic archives, provided guests with even more insight into the station’s proud history.