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The Railway: Keeping Britain on Track E01/6: King’s Cross



Documentary following the staff at London’s King’s Cross station, the gateway to Leeds, York, Newcastle and Edinburgh for the 47 million people who travel through the station every year.

The 1970s concourse at King’s Cross is cramped and dark, doing nothing to help the spirits of the passengers – something that Alexis, who works on the passenger information point, knows all too well from her experience of dealing with frustrated travellers. Steve, who sells tickets in the travel centre, says he regularly relies on his conflict resolution training.

There is hope that a brand new concourse will lift everyone’s spirits. East Coast manager Steve Newland wants the opening to coincide with customer service levels worthy of a five-star hotel, a vision that is frustrated when broken-down trains and fatalities on the line bring everything to a standstill.

Laxman has worked at the station for 35 years, during which time he has witnessed both an IRA bombing and the King’s Cross fire. He is a much-loved staff member but will not be there to see the new concourse filled with passengers, as retirement beckons. His last day at work is a very sad one for everyone at the station.

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