St. Pancras (now known as London St. Pancras International) was commissioned by the Midland Railway. Before the 1860s, the company had a network of routes in the Midlands, in south and west Yorkshire, and in Lancashire, but no route of its own to the capital. Up to 1857 the company had no line into London, and used the lines of the London and North Western Railway for trains into the capital; after 1857 the company's Leicester and Hitchin Railway gave access to London via the Great Northern Railway.
In 1862, traffic for the second International Exhibition, suffered extensive delays over the stretch of line into London over the Great Northern Railway's track; the route into London via the London and North Western was also at capacity, with coal trains causing the network at Rugby and elsewhere to reach effective gridlock. This was the stimulus for the Midland to build its own line to London from Bedford.
One day, Gordon, Duck, and a visiting engine were arguing about what the name of the big station at London was. Gordon thought it was King's Cross, the other engine believed it was Euston, and Duck believed it was Paddington, as he used to work there. Gordon became determined to find out what the name of the station truly was, and got his chance when the engine that was to pull the train to London derailed. However, Gordon was saddened to find out that there was more than one station in London when he arrived at St. Pancras.