This guide to taking trains from and to London Euston focuses on the less obvious aspects of arriving and departing from this station by train.
The station buildings at Euston are either an iconic example of Brutalist transport architecture, or hideously ugly depending on your point of view - but what the 1960s re-build did achieve was merging several component parts of the older station, into one terminal.
So using Euston station is a fairly unique experience, because the main conourse was deliberately designed so that it could be used similarly to how travellers moved through 1960s airport terminals.
As a result the trains are largely hidden from view at a lower level to the concourse, though how you access them is fairly obvious.
Though Euston station is generally a simple station to make sense of, once you’re on the main concourse of the station and waiting for your train
However, what can make Euston a bewildering space for first time users are the crowds, it’s permanently busy because the terminal building wasn’t designed for the volume of travellers which currently use it (pre Covid-19)
How travellers will be navigating Euston is subject to change over the next 10 years and more, because the station is being re-built in order to accommodate the future service of high speed trains.
What’s already been affected by the building works are:
Many of the buildings and somewhat ugly retail spaces surrounding the station are due to be demolished (or have been), so expect to take path ways through a building site, but for the time being the disruption is being cleverly minimised.
Though what won’t be impacted by the building works for some time is the transfer between the main concourse and the trains.
The dominant feature of Euston station is its main departure board and it’s located above the access to the platforms (tracks) that the trains leave from.
As you face the board platforms (tracks) 1-7 are over to the right, the access to platforms 8-11 is straight ahead under the board, and platforms 12 – 16 are over the to the left.
The specific number of the platform (track) that each train is leaving from, will usually appear on the main departure board and on the other departure screens around the station, around 10 -20 mins ahead of the departure time.
In consequence many travellers crowd the concourse, so that they can watch out for the departure details.
Travellers who don’t have reserved seats are understandably keen to be among the first passengers to board, so the confirmation of the platform number usually triggers a rush towards the train.
Although if you DO have a reserved seat and arrive at the station ahead of time, you can take a more relaxed approach to boarding a train.
If you won’t be travelling 1st class on an Avanti West Coast service, so won’t have access to its lounge, the best place to wait for a train can be in the numerous food/drink outlets; to the right of, and now above, the main concourse.
There is also a rather stark waiting room, on the right hand side of the passage way which connects the main concourse with platforms tracks tracks 12-16..
Though if you have a second class ticket and just want to sit and wait for a train, it’s the best option
You don’t have stand in front of the main departure board, in order to be aware of which platform/track your train will be leaving from.
There are departure monitors around the station, including in the 2nd class waiting room, so keep an eye on them for the departure details of your train to be confirmed, because ideally you need to head to the platform (track) at least 5 minutes before your train is due to leave.
There are slopes which lead down from the main concourse to the platforms (tracks) and they provide the only access to the trains; so there are no stairs or escalators to negotiate, but there are no lifts (elevators) either.
Platforms 1-3 weren’t originally intended for use by departing passengers, so the descent down to them is exceptionally stark; and the step-free route to these platforms is the long way round, short flights of stairs provide the quickest means of accessing the trains which use them.
At the foot of all of those slopes which lead down to the trains there are ticket gates and inspectors, so have your ticket(s) to hand as you make your way to the train.
Queues will inevitably form in front of the access to the platform (track), but in our experience these are efficiently managed at Euston.
Though to ensure a prompt departure, the access to the platform is usually closed off two minutes before the train is due to leave, so avoid cutting it too fine!
The First Class coaches will almost certainly be those at the rear of the train, nearest the entrance to the platform/track.
Because Euston is a terminus station and most of the trains that use it are up lengthy, it can take around 3 mins to access the coaches (cars) towards the front of the train; so if time is tight, board by the rear doors of the train.
It won’t matter that you’ll be boarding into First class if you have a Standard class ticket, you will be able to move through the train to the Standard class coaches.
There is only one exit from Euston’s underground station, so when you step off a Northern or Victoria line train and follow the ‘Way Out’ signs, you will ultimately pass through the Underground ticket hall, which is beneath the main station’s concourse.
Escalators connect the platforms the Underground trains arrive at to the ticket hall, but no lifts (elevators) are available.
Once you have passed through the ticket gates in the Underground station, straight ahead will be the passage which leads to the concourse at the station.
The passage way curves to the left and you can't miss the escalators, which go up into the main station building.
Over to the right in this passage are some less obvious lifts (elevators), which also go up to the main concourse.
When you step off the escalator, the direct route on to the main concourse has for the time being been closed off by building works.
Instead you have to briefly step outside the station and then pass through the doors which lead on to the main concourse.
A sign will tell you to turn left to access the main concourse, but you can also go right - and doing so is the quickest route to the ticket hall, where you can purchase or collect pre-booked tickets.
If you won’t be collecting or buying tickets, and if you don’t want to break into a run, it will take at least five mins to make the transfer between stepping off of the Underground and boarding your long-distance train; so allow a minimum of 10 mins for a stress-free transfer.
Euston Square station isn’t at Euston station, take a second look at the Underground Map and you’ll notice that the line between Euston Square and Euston is dotted; and as the key on the map shows, the dotted line means that you can walk between the two stations in under 10 minutes.
Euston Square is served by the Circle and Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan Lines, though in central London these lines share the same tracks.
Any westbound train from stations between Liverpool Street and Kings Cross will call at Euston Square; it doesn't matter which line the train is travelling on.
Ideally board an eastbound train to Euston Square towards the rear of the train and a westbound train towards the front, you’ll then be by the exit when you step off the train.
Euston Square station has more than one exit to the street, so you will need to follow the signs pointing the way to Euston station - stairs are the only means of exiting the station from trains heading east, but there is a lift between the platform and the street on the westbound platform.
If you have taken the stairs which lead to the Euston station exit, when you reach the street, turn right, then in the distance on the corner of the next road junction/intersection, you will see two large signs on a pole, a national rail symbol over an underground symbol.
These are indicating the location of Euston mainline station.
The walk will take around 3 - 5 mins, there is a busy road junction to cross and Euston station is set back from the street; so more than enough time to receive a soaking if the weather is poor.
If you don’t quicken your pace you will need to allow a minimum of 10 mins, between stepping off a train at Euston Square and boarding a train in Euston station.
When you reach the road junction, you will see the taxi rank on the other side of the street, and you need to enter this area and walk over to the far side of it, until you have no choice but to turn left; when you are by the charming pair of lodges/cottages, which house the Euston Tap pub/bar.
Once you’ve turned to the left, you will now be following the step-free route into the station, that’s also used by travellers that have been dropped off by taxi.
A sloping path with a canopy has been provided and you can follow this to the doors, which lead into the main terminal building.
Euston is a terminus station, so the only means of exiting from the platforms (tracks) is to head towards the front of the train.
The platforms (tracks) are at a lower level, so beyond the front of the train you will see sloped walkways leading upwards.
These are the only usual means of reaching the main concourse, which is where all the exits from the station can be accessed.
However, these sloped walkways are comparatively steep, they were constructed long before passengers began to pull wheeled suitcases.
If you would consider requesting mobility assistance, because you would have difficulty managing luggage up a staircase, then our advice is to request it for your Euston arrival.
Euston station is served by the Northern and Victoria Lines – the Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan Lines use a separate Underground station named Euston Square, which is located outside the main station.
The entrance to Euston Underground has been temporarily relocated and it is now outside the station.
So once you have ascended to the main concourse, walk across it to the front of the station building, exiting by the first set of doors that you come to.
Then once you have exited the station, you will need to turn left or right, depending on the doors you have used – the entrance to the underground station, will be just a few steps away, it will seem as though you are re-entering the station
The main access down to the Underground station ticket hall is by escalator, but there are also lifts/elevators down to this level.
You'll find them on the right on the main concourse, by the entrance to the mainline ticket office, though be aware that there are no lifts down from the Underground's ticket hall to the trains.
Whether you will be taking the Northern or Victoria Line, there is only one set of escalators which leads down to the trains from the ticket hall in the Underground station.
However at the foot of this escalator, you need to take different routes to the THREE parts of the station that the trains to central London leave from - and they are:
So you need to pay particular attention to the signs when you the step off of the escalator which leads down from the ticket hall.
The Northern Line is unusual because it takes two separate routes from Euston through central London, so the southbound trains EITHER travel via:
So it can make sense to think of these as separate lines; Euston is one of the few Underground where it matters which specific platform your train is leaving from.
The Northern Line trains ‘via Charing Cross’ leave from platform (track) 2, while the Northern Line ‘trains via Bank’ use platform 6.
When you reach the foot of the escalator down from the ticket hall you need to turn left to access the Charing + branch and right for the City branch.
When you’re on the main concourse, follow the route from here which leads to the relocated taxi rank – use the exit doors on the right hand side of the concourse, those that are over the by the ticket office.
On the other side of the doors you will see a roofed step-free path, which leads down to the taxis, which will then be over to the right.
Keep going ahead, until the charming old pair of buildings, which house the Euston Tap pubs, are on your left: when you reach them you need to turn right and walk towards the road junction, which is on the far side of the area used by the taxis.
When you reach the road junction/intersection, cross the street and keep walking ahead, you will be on Euston Road.
The entrance to Euston Square station, will be on the left, before you reach the next road junction.
Though look out for it, as it’s a contender for London’s most anonymous Underground station entrance.
You’ve reached Euston Square when you can see an underground sign on a pole above a staircase, which leads down from the street.
The staircase will take you down to a ticket hall which provides access to both the trains heading east or west.
Though the only access to the eastbound platform at Euston Square is by staircases.
However, the westbound platform has lift (elevator) access, but to reach it, you have to walk passed this entrance and turn left at the next intersection.
You need to cross to the other side of Euston Road and use the main entrance to Euston Square, which is the glass fronted building on the street corner.
Any eastbound train will take you to Farringdon, Barbican, Moorgate* and Liverpool Street* stations.
Any westbound train will take you to Baker Street, but only the Circle and Hammersmith & City line trains go to Edgware Road and Paddington.
The trains will look the same, regardless of which line they are serving, so check the indicators on the platform and on the sides of the trains.
*The Northern Line provides a direct connection between Euston and Moorgate, and if you’ll be heading to Liverpool Street from Euston, an alternative option is to take the Northern Line to Moorgate and connect there for Liverpool Street.
For the time being transferring to Paddington Station from Euston station by Underground is a tad awkward.
First you need to make your way to Euston Square station which is down the street from Euston.
When walking down Euston Road to this station, if you need or want to use a lift (elevator) to access the trains, then walk by the first entrance to the station that you'll come across.
You need to cross Euston Road to the main entrance to the Underground station, the glass-fronted building on the corner - it houses an elevator down to the trains.
Once you are on the westbound platform at Euston Square you need to board a train which will be heading to Hammersmith.
If the train you will be taking on from Paddington will be leaving within 30 mins of your departure from Euston Square - OR if you will be taking the Heathrow Express, then remain on the Underground train until it arrives at Paddington.
That sounds like a piece of obvious advice, but Paddington has two separate parts to its Underground station.
All trains from Euston Square heading to Hammersmith will arrive at the Paddington Underground station that provides a short-cut to the mainline trains including The Heathrow Express – particularly useful for its regular users, but potentially confusing to everyone else.
However, that Underground station is some distance from the main concourse, which is home to the food/drink outlets and stores at the station.
So if you’ll want to make use of those before you board your onward train from Paddington, then the better option is to take a westbound train from Euston Square and then make a seemingly illogical connection at Edgware Road station.
When you step off the train there, cross the platform at that station and board a District Line train towards Wimbledon or a Circle Line train via Victoria.
It seems bizarre, but those other trains on from Edgware Road will arrive at the different part of Paddington Underground station, which is much closer to its main station building and all its associated facilities.
A one-stop hop on the Underground is a comparatively expensive means of heading to King’s Cross and St Pancras stations from Euston station;if you’re willing to pay the tube fare, you may as well take a taxi.
If you do take the Underground, a southbound Northern Line train via Bank is a better option than taking the northbound Victoria Line.
This is because the transfer from the Northern Line to the trains at King’s Cross, St Pancras station is easier than from the Victoria Line – though if possible board the towards the front of the train.
Or take the bus:
From bus stop C in the bus station in front of the station, it’s a two stop ride on bus routes 91 and 390 to St Pancras
From bus stop D in the bus station it's a two stop ride on routes 30 and 73 and 205 to King’s Cross.
Or walk; It's a 10 - 15 min walk to St Pancras from Euston, so being a pedestrian is easier and cheaper than taking the Underground, but if the weather isn't conducive, take the Northern Line and avoid the Victoria Line; you won't have to walk so far on arrival at St Pancras.
If you want to walk head to the left hand side of the station concourse and then access Euston Road, which is the main street in front of the station, it's on the other side of the bus station and a small green area.
When you reach Euston Road turn to the left and four blocks over you will see the entrance to The British Library on the left.
For St Pancras:
Ttake the next street on the left, which is named Midland Road.
St Pancras station is on the right-hand side of the street, you'll soon come to the entrance on Midland Road pictured below.
Once you're in the station, go right for Eurostar arrivals and departures, up a level for the East Midlands and Southeastern trains, and the entrance to the Thameslink part of the station will be over to the left
For King's Cross:
Keep going straight ahead waking in front of St Pancras station, on the next block, over to the left, you can't miss seeing King's Cross station.
Behind a branch of Pret a Manger you'll see the entrance to King's Cross pictured below.
*= If you’re thinking of heading to St Pancras in order to take a Thameslink train heading south towards Brighton or Gatwick Airport, take the Northern Line to London Bridge instead and make the transfer there, that route will be much easier; and is all undercover, if the weather is poor.
This is one of more than 300 station guides available on ShowMeTheJourney, which will make it easier to take the train journeys you want or need to make. As always, all images were captured on trips taken by ShowMeTheJourney.