Monday, October 20, 2014

10 abandoned London Underground stations

London Underground is the oldest and one of the largest transit systems in the world. During its 150 year history, some of the stations built had to close, mainly due to low passenger numbers. In this post, we take a look at 10 such "ghost stations".

1.  Aldwych tube station

Aldwych station opened in 1907 (as Strand Station) and closed in 1994 due to low passenger numbers. Since then, it has been used as the setting for scenes for various movies and TV programs including V for Vendetta and Atonement.

See also: Visiting the abandoned Aldwych Tube Station

2. City Road Tube Station

City Road station was open from 1901 till 1922 when it shut down due to low usage. The station's building was demolished during the '60s but the lift shaft remains still in place. 

3. Mark Lane tube station

Mark Lane tube station opened in 1884 to replace the Tower of London station which closed down after only 2 years of operation. In 1946 it was renamed Tower Hill. Due to very high passenger volume it had to shut in 1967 and the present Tower Hill station opened as its replacement (at the site of the old Tower of London station). 

4. Charing Cross tube station - Jubilee line platforms

Charing Cross station is served by the Northern and Bakerloo lines but between 1979 and 1999 it also served the Jubilee line. Today, the 2 Jubilee line platforms are still maintained and used only for cinema and tv productions.

5. York Road tube station

York Road station opened in 1906. As it was situated in a poor industrial area it was only used by a small number of passengers. Since 1918 the station was open only on weekdays and in 1932 it closed permanently. During the last years it has been proposed to reopen the station in order to decrease passenger congestion at the neighbouring King's Cross St. Pancras station but the proposal has not been taken forward.

6. St. Mary's Tube Station

St. Mary's station opened in 1984 and shut down in 1938 as the Aldgate East station was relocated to a very close distance. The station was used as an air-raid shelter and the station's building was severely damaged during the Blitz. Today, the platforms of the station is accessible to London Underground staff through an anonymous door at street level.

7. British Museum tube station

British Museum station stayed open from 1900 till 1933 when Holborn station expanded less than 300 feet (91 meters) away. Then, the station was re-used up to the 1960s as a military administrative office and emergency command post. In 1989 the surface building was demolished and the station (or what's left from it) can't be accessed anymore by street level.

8. King William Street tube station

King William Street station stayed open for only 10 years, from 1890 to 1900. It shut down because due to its layout, its capacity was restricted. The original station's building was demolished during the 30s but part of the station was used as an air-raid shelter during World War II. The only way to access the station today is through a manhole at the basement of the contemporary office building that was constructed over the station's location. 

9. Down Street tube station 

Down Street station opened in 1907. It was used by very few passengers so the trains didn't stop at the station at all very often. It finally closed in 1932. During World War II it was converted to a bunker. Today, part of the station's building has been converted to a retail outlet. 

10. South Kentish Town tube station

South Kentish Town station open in 1907 and closed 17 years later due to low usage. During the Blitz of the Second World War it was one of the stations adapted for use as an air-raid shelter. Today, the station is used as an access point for permanent way works and as an emergency exit point for passenger services.


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