This is a small and perfectly formed mainline station, taking in commuters from the Chilterns, and those of us from the West Midlands who have defected (with good reason) from Euston.
There is a direct service from Stourbridge in Worcestershire via Birmingham, Solihull and Banbury to London. Although it takes about 30 minutes longer than Virgin for the trip from Birmingham to London, the bonus of not having to arrive at Euston often makes up for this. It can also be quicker, depending where you are heading in London.
The station is directly above the Bakerloo line tube, and the Baker Street bus services are around 100 metres away. There is a taxi rank immediately outside, and the whole station is on a single level.
The concourse at Marylebone is always clean and tidy (with frequent litterpickers at work), and there are a reasonable number of seats. The shops include M&S Simply Food, a branch of WH Smith, a very nice AMT coffee stand (lovely staff - and the hot spiced apple warms the parts that coffee can't reach) and a Cornish pasty shop. One of the great things about Marylebone is that the shops are not all clones; there is a great cheese shop which does very reasonably priced lunches, plus another food outlet which does inventive salads and fruit/yoghurt desserts.
Marylebone does suffer from the platform roulette syndrome. Departure platforms are announced late, and trains sometimes line up two to a platform, meaning that you need a speedy hike up a loooooonnnnngggg platform and expert avoidance of fellow passengers if you are going to get a seat on a rush hour train. Aside from this, it's a haven of relative calm, and my station of choice for London visits.
For the small size of the station, it is very busy on a summer Saturday but not overwhelmingly so. There are a bunch of food places - I was surprised by the tastiness of the halloumi melt bagel at the bagel stand, and there's also a coffee place and the usual pasties, upper crust, and M&S. There was a queue for the ticket machines, so they could use more of them, but it's actually not too bad. My favorite part is the architecture - walking up to the entrance, it has such a grand appearance for a station with only a few platforms - impressive!
Marylebone is one of London's smallest, and certainly most charming station, as well as being the newest terminus. Now operated by Chiltern Railways, trains run to High Wycombe, Wembley, Aylesbury, Banbury, Stratford-upon-Avon and via Birmingham (Snow Hill) to Kidderminster.
Opened in 1899, charming is not what the directors of the Great Central Railway would have wanted to hear. The Great Central, linking London to Leicester, Nottingham, Sheffield and Manchester, was a grand undertaking, the brainchild of Sir Edward Watkin, who envisaged a line linking England to the Continent, via a Channel Tunnel. The line was built to the European loading gauge (which governs the height, width and length of rolling stock), rather than the more restrictive British standard.
But building the line at such a late stage into London was expensive: there was more development to build through, and although the route of the Metropolitan Railway was followed for much of the way, the last few miles required expensive tunnels and cuttings to avoid the steep gradients into Baker Street nearby.
By the time they reached London, they had virtually run out of money, and there was not enough money even for an architect - the station was designed by the company's Civil Engineer. Instead of a grand terminus, there are charming domestic-style buildings in red brick, with terracotta capitals decorated with the simplest of egg and dart motifs. When built, it only had three platforms. The line never lived up to expectations, and was never expanded, despite having the most comfortable and modern trains.
The rationalisation of the Beeching regime in the 1960s saw the closure of the Great Central main line, and Marylebone settled down to serving the Banbury and Aylesbury commuter services. For years, there was talk of closure. Its salvation came with the privatisation of British Rail, and the advent of Chiltern Railways. Their drive has seen passenger services develop to Birmingham via Banbury, the reopening of Birmingham's Snow Hill station, and more passengers using Marylebone than ever before: they even recently expanded the station, inserting new platforms to cater for the volume of trains.
Although a slower option to Birmingham than Virgin, prices are rather lower and its half-hourly services are still the best way to reach places like Aylesbury, Stratford, Solihull, Warwick, Banbury, Leamington and Bicester. The station itself is now buzzing, with shops (including an M&S Simply Foods) and cafes. The concourse is bright and airy, with the ironwork beautifully restored.
There is a direct connection to the Underground (Bakerloo), a covered taxi rank and cycle storage. Being so small, everything is a few seconds walk away, and the whole station provides step-free access. Chiltern's web-site also provides live real-time departures information.
Finally, a word about the Great Central Hotel. This grand building, between the station and Marylebone Road, was built separately and dwarfs the station behind. Opened in 1899, and designed by the architect R W Edis, it was a byword for luxury, with its huge central Palm Court - the forerunner of to-days atriums. For many years the HQ of British Railways, in 1986 it was acquired and restored, and once again is resplendent at the 5-star Landmark Hotel. A covered entrance runs behind the hotel to the station, allowing visitors to arrive and depart in the dry. The rooms - at 592 square feet - are larger than my flat
(See separate review on Qype for the Landmark Hotel)
From all the London railway stations I've travelled from/to, Marylebone is my favourite so far. As the other reviews have already stated, the station is quaint and charming and never overly crowded like.
The kiosks and coffee outlets have a decent choice of refreshments, though they don't all accept bite cards. And I've never had to queue for too long at the ticket machines.
Great for commutes to/from Birmingham and usually cheaper than other services, so I've found.
I work near this station and mainly use it for the Bakerloo line home. However the other main use is for food and drink. The station has a great old feel to it and is always clean. In the mornings I normally grab a coffee at AMT where the staff are always helpful. For lunch a lot of the staff in my office use it as there are a number of great place. Soup, Bagels, Cheese shop, as well as M&S which is handy for lunch and other bits on the way home. There is an Etsu, not to be confused with Itsu. They do cooked meals, coffee, sandwiches, wraps. Good for a hot breakfast or a baked potato at lunch. There is also a Burger King and Ratazza with a pub next door.
Upper Crust is in the other corner next to WHS and a pie stand who do great bacon rolls. There is also a Paul's being built although it does not look like work has started on it for some time. There is a barber shop and key cutting place on your way out. Its in a good place for bus connections.
Our family (including our two kids, aged 3 and 5) used Marylebone several times in the summer when we used to get a train from our hotel (in Wembley) into the middle of London and back again.
It's not the biggest rail terminus in London, although the platforms are long and it can be quite a walk from your train carriage to the station exit. Given that, it surprised us just how crowded the place could get -- but the busyness was really just down to the fact that they seemed to be consistently late announcing the platforms (not very helpful).
The signage is good, and there are quite a few shops etc. We had to use the toilets (more than once!) and they weren't too bad either.
The main drawback as far as we were concerned was that the tube station attached to the rail station was only on the Bakerloo line -- it would have been helpful to have had more connections available.
But all in all, there are worse rail stations than this in the capital.
I use this station occasionally to get to West London (particularly if the metropolitan line from Baker Street is not running). The station itself is very attractive from the outside.
There is a large florist, a neewsagent, pasty stand, coffee bar and M&S Food on the main concourse.
However, there always seems to be such long queues at the ticket machines and the desk, which is a pain as the trains don't run that frequently and you could easily miss your train even if you are there 20 minutes early.
Marlyebone is probably my favourite of all London termini, it's lovely and small, and the ironwork glows beautifully in from the sunshine streaming through the centre of the arched roof. Of course, the real reason I'm always so excited to come is here is because I know I'll be boarding the Class 67 hauled service of the Wrexham and Shropshire railway, and harking back to a golden era in rail travel. but I'll leave that for another review!
One of the nicer stations in London, it has a good selection of food available and it's pretty clean.
If I could choose a favourite station it would be this petite one 200m from Baker Street (which is tube hell). This historic, charming station may have a special place in my heart as it is where I used to arrive when I was a wee youngster and venturing up to the Big Smoke for a day out. The staff are friendly although at weekends the queues can be monstrous use one of the machines instead if you can although they don't accept Solo cards. There is a good florist, an excellent cobbler, a card shop and the usual suspects refreshment wise if you are on a budget the cheese shop does rolls for about £1.50 which are pretty tasty.
Always go to this station to get to football as i like it alot as i always try and pry myself away from shops like Krispy Kremes before a game lol friendly tube and train staff aswell
I use Marylebone station when travelling into London from Haddenham and Thame parkway. It's very conveniently situated, with its own underground station on the Bakerloo line, and a short walk from Baker Street underground to connect with the circle line. The toilets are free, and there are several nice coffee stands, plus a small newsagent, florist, pasty shop. It can be crowded at rush hour, specially when everyone is waiting for the last minute platform announcement, but Chiltern Railways are a very reliable operator, and coming into or out of Marylebone always feels less stressful than the other, huge, mainline stations.
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