For perhaps as long as they have existed, closed-down and abandoned railway stations have attracted interest from various people. The exact reason for this is harder to pin down than some may think, and probably varies by a reasonable amount from person to person. This interest applies particularly to underground stations, maybe because of their inaccessibility, but also because they attract the attentions of urban explorers, or 'urban speleologists'.
The London Underground has many abandoned or closed stations due to the way in which it has evolved over the years, with some stations becoming disused due to lack of demand, and others being closed due to proximity to other stations. In some cases entire lines fell into disuse. Some of the more intact stations can be visited, including Aldwych, Brompton Road, Down Street and North End, although these aren't generally open to the public and are only visited by a lucky few.
This entry attempts to list all of the abandoned lines and stations on the London Underground along with many stations which contain disused sections. The stations are listed in alphabetical order.
The present Aldgate East station lies a little to the east of the original, which it replaced in 1938. This was due to the building of a new curved section of track leading from Liverpool Street to join the District Line. If Aldgate East had remained where it was then the curve created would be too sharp for trains, and so the station was moved to allow a smoother bend. Quite bizarrely, the ground beneath the track at the new station was excavated while trains were still running. Wooden trestles held the old track up while the new was being laid more than a metre below, which allowed enough headroom for the station to be built completely underground. The old station's platforms were removed to allow more tracks to run through the section of tunnel, and all that can be seen now is a slight widening where the station used to be. The surface building no longer exists.
Aldwych station opened as The Strand in 1907, and was the terminus of the Great Northern and Strand Railway, which linked the river with King's Cross and Finsbury Park. However, this line later merged with the Brompton and Piccadilly Circus Railway to become the modern-day Piccadilly line, leaving The Strand on a side section of the line. In 1917 one set of tracks was removed, and the station was then served only by a two-carriage shuttle service from Holborn.
Due to its position, the station was poorly frequented, meaning it was largely ignored by station upgrades and still has much of its Art-Nouveau style intact. The lifts are still the wood-panelled originals with Art-Nouveau ventilation screens. It was in fact the £3million cost of replacing these lifts that led to the station closing in September 1994. Although still in good working order, they did not meet the safety standards of the day, with exposed moving parts and high-voltage components.
The branch that runs off towards Aldwych can be seen just after Holborn on a northbound train. The station surface building can still be seen on the Strand, and the platforms are used for filming by various companies and as a rifle range by King's College London. In the Bond film Die Another Day, a mock-up of Aldwych was used as the set for a fictional abandoned station called Vauxhall Cross, which apparently lies just south of the river down a branch line from Hyde Park Corner station.
The station was closed to the public for seven years during WW2, becoming a bomb shelter for artifacts from the British Museum and children. Now that it is closed, the station is used mainly as a film set, with the ticket hall being used for book launches, as an art gallery and for private parties. It was used as a set for the BBC production of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, and for Prodigy's 'FireStarter' video. Lara Croft herself 'visited' Aldwych in Tomb Raider III, and several films have been shot in the disused tunnels. The ‘Aldwych’ sign has been removed, and the front of the station still shows its original red Edwardian terracotta tiles with The Strand displayed in black on a white background.
The station's name was changed in 1915 to Aldwych on the same day that the Northern line part of what is now known as Charing Cross station was renamed ‘Strand’1. Some maps at other stations, such as one at the entrance to the Picadilly line section of Leicester Square station, still show the 'limited service' to Aldwych, the branch being covered up with a small sticker. The original plans for the Jubilee Line extension had the line heading east from Charing Cross to call at Aldwych, making it into a 'proper' station open all the time. However, times and politics changed, which is why the route that was eventually built went through South London and called at the Millennium Dome. Although closed, Aldwych is rumoured to have a resident ghost.
West of Amersham
In the late 19th Century, the Metropolitan line took over several sections of line that ran far into the countryside, allowing the line to continue towards two termini at Verney Junction and Brill. The first part of this line was a simple extension between Amersham and Quainton Road along a goods railway which stills exists today. Although Quainton Road itself lies almost fifty miles from the centre of London, the Metropolitan Railway had its sights on expanding even further. In 1890, it took over operation of the Brill Tramway towards Oxford, and in 1897, it extended its operation along the Aylesbury & Buckinghamshire Railway line towards Verney Junction. At this time the Metropolitan Railway Company had begun to imagine the amalgamation of local railways to create a line between Manchester and France running via London and a channel tunnel, a revolutionary idea at the time, and so was not particularly bothered that its new stations were mostly in the middle of empty countryside.
This changed with the nationalisation of the railways in 1933, with the Metropolitan line returning to the suburbia of London where it had originally been created. Trains ran to Brill until 1935, and to Verney Junction until 1936. The service continued only as far as Aylesbury Town, but then the line reopened as far as Quainton Road between 1943 and 1948. The service to Aylesbury was finally withdrawn in 1961, having been run on steam locomotives all its working life. The line to Aylesbury still exists today. Before the Metropolitan line was fully electrified, Rickmansworth used to be the change over point between the electric engines that served the trains towards London and the steam engines that served trains towards Amersham. The order of stations on the branches was:
- Great Missenden
- Stoke Mandeville
- Quainton Road3
- Granborough Road
- Winslow Road
- Verney Junction
The Brill Tramway began at Quainton Road, and then called at:
- Waddesdon Road
- Wood Siding
Although it has never become disused, Angel station was rebuilt in 1991 to widen its island platforms and make the change from lifts to escalators. The latter change meant that the surface building had to be moved, with the original structure by Torrens Street becoming disused. Before the platforms were widened, both the tracks ran into the tunnel which now holds just the southbound line, and were separated by only a narrow platform. When the work took place, the northbound tracks were moved further away, meaning that new tunnels had to be built leading out of the station from the relocated northbound platform. This left a short disused section of tunnel at either end of the station, with the new sections joining the original northbound route just outside the station. The changes also involved the removal of the original exit stairs, which used to lead from what is now the middle of the southbound platform up towards the lift shaft, with acess to lift shaft now lying behind a closed door on the cross-platform interchange.
This station is now closed, having been built in the days when Holborn station did not serve the Central line. It was decided that it made more sense to open Central line platforms at Holborn than to build a long connecting tunnel between the two stations. The station closed in 1933, with the surface building later being destroyed, but the platforms can still be seen from the train just west of Holborn.
The location has since been featured in the film Death Line, where it housed cannibals who would raid Holborn station for passengers to eat, and also featured as a stop in the strange pseudo-Underground of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere. It is rumoured to have its own resident ghost.
This station was poorly-frequented due to its close proximity to Knightsbridge station, and by 1909 some trains were already passing it without stopping. It finally closed in 1934 when a new escalator service was built at Knightsbridge, making the two stations even closer together. Part of the station surface building remains and can be seen on Cottage Place, while the location of the platforms can be seen as stretch of brick in the tunnel wall between Knightsbridge and South Kensington.
This station between Loughton and Woodford on the Central line was replaced by a newer station to the north in 1892.
Charing Cross used to serve as the southern terminus of the Jubilee line, but these platforms were concreted off when the line was extended towards Waterloo and then off towards East London in 1999. The rest of Charing Cross station remains open.
Looking at tube maps from 1974 and 1986, it becomes apparent that the stations at Strand and Trafalgar Square somehow managed to disappear between those years, only to be replaced by a single station at Charing Cross. Before any readers depart for the Charing Cross area to look for a disused station, it is important to note that Charing Cross was formed from these two stations when the Jubilee line opened between them. There is in fact no disused station at all, and the only hidden feature is that of the disused Jubilee line platforms mentioned above.
This superfluous station between Angel and Old Street was built before the Northern Line was converted for the larger modern tube trains, and so it was closed in 1922 when the rest of the line was enlarged. The widening of the tracks destroyed its island platform, and the surface building and lift shaft have been converted into a ventilation shaft which lies on the corner of Moreland Street and City Road.
Denham and Harvil Road
As part of the 1935-40 New Works, the Central line was extended from North Acton towards West Ruislip, with the new section opening between 1947 and 1948. The plans had originally included a further section which would run all the way to Denham mainline station to the west, with new stations both there and at Harvil Road, but this was blocked by new laws and the line was cut back to West Ruislip. Had the section been opened it is likely that the area would have been spoilt by housing development. All that remains of the abandoned project today is a short section of Underground line west of West Ruislip, and an empty space alongside the mainline towards Denham.
Down Street station was never heavily used due to its close proximity to Green Park and Hyde Park Corner stations, and so was one of the stations considered for closure in order to improve journey times when the Piccadilly line was extended. It closed in 1932 when escalators were installed at nearby stations, bringing their entrances even closer to the already unpopular Down Street. The station surface building still exists just off Piccadilly, while a stretch of brick in the tunnel wall between Green Park and Hyde Park Corner reveals the location of the old platforms.
Drayton Park to Finsbury Park
Although there are no actual abandoned stations along this route, this section of disused line has a rather strange history. In 1904, the Northern City Line ran underground from Moorgate to Finsbury Park, with the tracks surfacing at Drayton Park station on the way. The original intention was for the line to run overground between the Drayton Park and Finsbury Park, but there was a quarrel between rail companies and so a tunnel was built instead.
In 1913 the line was sold to the Metropolitan railway company, and so it became the Northern City line of the Underground when it was nationalised in 1933. However, this didn't last long, with the Victoria line poaching the platforms and a small section of tunnel at Finsbury Park4. This meant the closure of the Drayton to Finsbury section of the line until 1975, when the line was bought by British Rail and a new overground section and platforms at Finsbury Park were built. The disused tunnels are still there today.
Ealing Common to Windsor
Part of the Great Western Railway and now operated by First Great Western, this line formed part of the Metropolitan District Railway5 between 1883 and 1885, with two of its stations being relocated after the first year. District line trains would depart from the course of the present tube line north of Ealing Common, stop at a separate and now-disused station at Ealing Broadway, and then call at the following stations:
A station at Iver has since opened between West Drayton and Langley, but this station was never served by District line trains. The current line runs out of Paddington station, and can be seen on a London Connections map.
The original station opened in 1871 just to the east of the current one, but was too close to a junction, causing trains from High Street Kensington to navigate a tight bend on the run-up to the station. The station was replaced by the current one further away from the junction in 1878, allowing use of a new tunnel section which eased the curve into the station.
Epping to Ongar
Until 1994, the Central line started further east of Epping at Ongar station, with an overground shuttle service running between the two stations, but this branch of the line was not frequented often enough to make it profitable. The line used to run from Epping to:
- North Weald
- Blake Hall9
Euston originally featured a pair of stations, one owned by the City & South London Railway, and one by the Charing Cross, Euston & Hampstead Railway. These two lines10 both opened in 1907 and competed, and as well as the Euston mainline station building, which was shared between the two, each line had its own surface building connected to it by tunnels. Both extraneous surface buildings were closed in 1914, though the Charing Cross branch building can still be seen at street level. Later on, the Bank branch platforms were moved so as to be much closer to the Victoria line, and the disused platforms and tunnel to King's Cross are still there.
This station was originally the terminus of the Paddington to Farringdon Street section of the Metropolitan line, but closed in 1865, just two years after opening, when the line was extended towards Moorgate. It was replaced by Farringdon station.
The original terminus of the Hammersmith & City line was built at Hammersmith in 1864, slightly to the north of the current one, which replaced it in 1868. There was also a station at Hammersmith (Grove Road) on the branch of the line towards Ravenscourt Park - see 'Shepherd's Bush'.
Harrow & Wealdstone to Watford Junction
The Bakerloo line opened in 1906, and was extended in 1917 to run further north to terminate at Watford Juction. LNWR (later LMS, British Rail, and currently Silverlink) rail services between London Euston and Watford Junction began sharing the section between Queen's Park and Watford Junction in 1922. However, this section was closed to Bakerloo Line traffic in 1982, partially due to its proximity to the Harrow-on-the-Hill to Watford section of the Metropolitan line. By then, the Bakerloo Line service between Queen's Park and Watford Junction had been reduced to four trains an hour at peak hours only. However, the peak hour Bakerloo Line service between Queen's Park and Harrow & Wealdstone resumed in 1984, and a full service was restored in 1989. The stations no longer served by the Bakerloo line between Watford Junction and Harrow & Wealdstone are in the following order:
- Watford Junction
- Watford High Street
- Carpenders Park11
- Hatch End
- Headstone Lane
Heathrow Terminal 5
When the Heathrow loop at the end of the Piccadilly line was built in 1983 - 5, a widened section and shaft to the surface were built where the planner imagined the fifth terminal would one day be built. The fifth terminal is in fact being built too far away to build the station here, but the widened section of tunnel still exists and can be seen from the train.
Highbury & Islington
Although this station is open and serves both the Victoria line and several mainline routes, the original surface building built to serve the Northern City line to Moorgate12 can be seen across the road from the current station building. Renovation of the disused building started in May 2001 to prepare it for re-use as the new terminus of the East London line13.
Although this station has active deep-level platforms, it also has a set of platforms next to a disused line in a surface cutting between two tunnels. This was the Great Northern Railway line between Finsbury Park and Alexandra Palace, and was in the process of being electrified as part of the Northern Heights project14 when the Second World War halted progress. The surface station closed in 1954, and the surface platforms are now overgrown, although residents nearby claim to still hear the sounds of trains passing by.
To see the disused station, leave the deep-level station via the rear entrance instead of taking the escalator up to the street. Walk up the footpath to the left and look down through the fence, and the disused platforms should be visible. For reference, the Great Northern Railway line from Finsbury Park passed through the following stations, which might one day all have become tube stations:
- Finsbury Park
- Stroud Green
- Crouch End15
- Cranley Gardens
- Muswell Hill
- Alexandra Palace
This station was completely rebuilt in 1992 to make way for a road bridge over the redeveloped A40. This was, however, a good excuse for a shiny new station which won the 'Underground Station of the Year' award that year.
Due to the existence of the disused branch off towards Aldwych, Holborn station contains two disused platforms. The first of these, platform 5, served a branch off from the current northbound tunnel, which headed south to become the eastern of the two tunnels towards Aldwych and can be seen just after leaving the station on the way towards Russell Square. Platform 5 was built opposite the existing northbound platform, and used to be visible through gates between the two. The second platform, platform 6, was abandoned much earlier in 1917, when the eastern of the two tracks towards Aldwych was abandoned as the branch's shuttle service only needed one line. The line into platform 6 was the western of the two lines and merely a siding, so that the only connection from the branch to the main Piccadilly line being via platform 5. Platform 6 was connected directly to south end of the current northbound platform, and was used as a deep-level shelter during the Second World War.
Although an open station, Holloway Road does in fact have a rather strange history involving an abandoned part of the station. Behind the lift shafts currently in use lies a disused shaft which originally housed the world's first spiral escalator, which was removed in the 1950s due to the fact that it was a complete failure. The escalator now lies in pieces in the Acton depot.
Hounslow Town was built in 1883 as one of two termini for trains heading from Osterley, the other being the branch towards Hounslow East, running through Hounslow Central and Hounslow West stations, which is now part of the Piccadilly line to Heathrow. The aim of this branch was to extend the line onto the London & South Western Railway tracks to Twickenham, but the LSWR rejected this plan on the grounds that the District trains were already using their line from Hammersmith and would not be allowed to steal any more passengers. This made the original Hounslow Town branch superfluous, and it was closed in 1886.
The station was reopened in 1903, with trains splitting at Osterley to send carriages to both Hounslow Town and Hounslow West. After electrification in 1905 a section of track was added between the two termini, allowing trains to return to Osterley along the Hounslow Town branch while missing out Hounslow East. However, the proximity of Hounslow East station proved fatal for Hounslow Town, and it was closed in 1909 to improve running times.
Known as Hounslow Barracks between 1884 and 1925, this station was moved in 1975 to allow more room for the construction of Heathrow Extension loop of the Piccadilly line.
King's Cross station's original Circle line platforms were destroyed by a bomb in 1940, and advantage was taken of the situation to relocate the platforms to the west in 1941 to allow better connections with the other lines at King's Cross St Pancras. One of the old platforms can be seen from the train between Farringdon and King's Cross. The rest of the old station was converted for use as King's Cross Thameslink station, serving the Thameslink widened lines that run next to the Underground line, but this will eventually close as a new Thameslink station is being built underneath St Pancras mainline station.
King William Street
The City & South London Railway16 originally ran from Stockwell to Borough, and then straight on to King William Street near Monument station, just north of the river Thames. The station closed in 1900 when the 'modern' part of the Northern line towards Moorgate was built, as the terminus at King William Street faced eastwards, and was at the top of an uphill stretch of tunnel that required some trains to take several run-ups before they made it into the station.
The disused branch was sealed either side of the Thames to prevent flooding, and the southbound tunnel was partly destroyed when the Jubilee line platforms were added at London Bridge station. However, the tunnels can be seen directly above the Northern line platforms at Bank. The surface building has been replaced by Regis House with the platforms being accessible via a manhole in the basement.
The original Liverpool Street underground station, opened in February 1875, was replaced in July 1875 when the Metropolitan line was extended to a new terminus under the Liverpool Street mainline station. The line has since been extended further, and the Central line platforms were built at a later date.
Lord's, Marlborough Road and Swiss Cottage
Both Lord's and Marlborough Road Metropolitan line stations were closed when St John's Wood station was built on what is now the Jubilee line. The Lord's station surface building on St John's Wood Road was demolished in the 1960s, and all that remains of the station are a concrete platform and some stairs leading up to an emergency exit at the foot of a hotel on Lodge Road. Meanwhile, the Metropolitan line Swiss Cottage station was also replaced by a deep-level Jubilee line station. All three stations can be seen from the train in the above order with Lord's being the furthest south.
Mark Lane and Tower of London
Tower of London station opened in 1882 on the Metropolitan line, but was replaced two years later by Mark Lane station to the west due to the creation of the Circle line leading to greater demand. Mark Lane station then closed in 1967 due to overuse; to be replaced by the larger Tower Hill station built exactly where Tower of London station used to be. Tower of London station was therefore completely destroyed, but Mark Lane station's subway is still in use, with the main stairway to the station barred off. The platforms at Mark Lane were destroyed when a third set of rails was added so that trains may terminate at Tower Hill, but the station can still be seen from the train just west of Tower Hill station.
This section actually refers to an older version of New Cross Gate station. Originally, there were two railway companies, each with a mainline station in the New Cross area. Both stations were named New Cross and both were served by the East London Railway17 underground line. The stations were both taken over by Southern Railway in 1923, and so one of the stations was renamed New Cross Gate. However, before this change in nomenclature, what is now New Cross Gate Underground station was moved, leaving an abandoned station with the name New Cross.
Also known as Bull & Bush, this station was abandoned in 1906 while still under construction due to objections from local residents and worries that the station would be underused. The platforms had already been built, the deepest on the underground at 67m18 below street level. During the Cold War a shaft to the platform was dug, and the platforms housed the Underground's flood defence mechanism control centre. Although hidden as an 'electric substation' until the end of the Cold War, the station now serves as an emergency exit for the Northern line between Hampstead and Golders Green stations.
The 1930s Northern Heights project to extend the Northern line consisted of three sections - the electrification of the Great Northern railway line from Finsbury Park to Alexandra Palace via Highgate19, the electrification of the line from Finchley Central to Edgware, and the building of an extension up from Edgware towards the north. None of these projects were completed, as the need for the lines disappeared after the Second World War.
After the end of the war, the section of the Northern line between Finchley Central and Mill Hill East was electrified, but only about a hundred metres of track was electrified north of the station. This section of railway can be seen running north from Mill Hill East station today. The rest of the line from Mill Hill East to Edgware was removed, although the embankment the railway used to run on can still be seen.
Had the line from Mill Hill East to Edgware been electrified, it would have joined up with the existing line from Burnt Oak and contained one other station, Mill Hill The Hale. An extension would then have been built heading north from Edgware to:
- Bushey Heath
- Elstree South
- Brockley Hill
Northfields & Little Ealing
Originally known as Northfield Halt, this station was served by the District line between South Ealing and Boston Manor on what is now part of the Piccadilly line, but was closed and replaced by the current Northfields station to the east in 1932.
Osterley & Spring Grove
This station was served by the District line between Hounslow East and Boston Manor on what is now part of the Piccadilly line, but was closed and replaced by the current Osterley station to the west in 1934.
Park Royal & Twyford Abbey
This station was the predecessor to the modern Park Royal station on the Piccadilly line, and was built in 1903 to serve the Royal Agricultural Society showgrounds when the line was extended up to meet the Metropolitan line at Rayners Lane. However, the showground was unsuccessful and the station was replaced in 1931 by another placed further south so as to serve the main road.
The original Preston Road station was opened in 1908 to serve the local clay pigeon shooting site that was to be used for that year's Olympics. The station was replaced by a more convenient location further to the west in 1931, although trains heading eastwards still called at the old station instead until the following year.
This station pushes the definition of 'abandoned station' to the limit, as it was planned to be built between Manor House and Turnpike Lane on the Piccadilly line, but was redesigned as a ventilation shaft building at the last moment. The design was copied from one already planned for construction between Wood Green and Bounds Green.
St Mary's (Whitechapel)
This station used to lie between Aldgate East and Whitechapel in the days when the East London line was connected by a curve from St Mary's to Shadwell. The station was generally unpopular due to the cramped setting of the station and the tight curve on which the station stood. Service was slowly reduced until 1938 when Aldgate East station was moved further east, leading to St Mary's being surplus to requirements. The station building was hit by a bomb in 1940, and now all that remains are some emergency exit doors.
Between 1887 and 1906, the Hammersmith & City line into Hammersmith would split into two branches, with one branch being served by the now-closed Hammersmith (Grove Road) station just west of the current terminus. This line would then continue to Ravenscourt Park on a curved section of line which no longer exists, and then run along the District line to Richmond.
The viaduct that runs from Hammersmith (Grove Road) to Ravenscourt was in fact part of a now long-forgotten line that finally closed in 1916. It ran from Kensington (Olympia) station on Addison road, west through a station at Shepherd's Bush, and then south through Hammersmith (Grove Road) and on to Ravenscourt Park. The viaduct was only later commandeered for the Hammersmith & City line.
Apart from the Shepherd's Bush station that closed in 1916, there is another disused Shepherd's Bush on the Hammersmith & City line which was replaced by Goldhawk Road station to the south and a new Shepherd's Bush station to the north.
Shoreditch station opened in 1876 and closed in 2006, having consisted of a single platform serving a single track next to the disused Bishopsgate goods yard as well as the station building upon Brick Lane, a road notable for its wide variety of curry restaurants. The station was situated just to the south of the railway line into Liverpool Street, and the Underground line at Shoreditch used to continue onto the mainline tracks until the tube line was electrified in 1913. While open, the station was the northernmost terminus of the line, but due to a shortage of passengers, trains only called there during rush hours and at weekends.
Due to plans to extend the East London line to form part of the new London Overground network, Shoreditch station is now disused. Trains will leave the original route of the line to call at a new station at Shoreditch High Street while passing along the route of the old Broad Street viaduct, the only remaining structure from the old national railway station of the same name. The fact that the disused North London line runs along most of the desired route of the extension means that Shoreditch station really had very little chance of being included in the project.
Southend and Shoeburyness
In 1902, the District line was extended from Whitechapel to Bow, allowing the line to run on from Bow towards Upminster on the tracks of the London Tilbury & Southend Railway (LTSR). In 1910, the District line began to run 'excursions' to Southend, with trains running past Upminster on the LTSR tracks and onto the route of the modern day c2c railway. Trains would run as normal up until Barking tube station, where an LTSR locomotive would then take over. The service was extended towards Shoeburyness a year later, but was eventually canceled in 1939. However, the service effectively makes stations such as Leigh-on-Sea and Shoeburyness abandoned Underground stops.
This station lies on a short branch from Acton Town to the location of the current overground station of the same name20, and was originally built as a freight line in 1889. Passenger services started a short while later, with through trains to Hounslow East. Eventually the line became unpopular, with one-car shuttle runs only, and then closed in 1959. The branch was apparently known as the 'tea run', as a kettle would just about boil in the time taken to run a train along the branch and back.
South Harrow station was replaced by a new station slightly to the north in 1935, providing better access to the main road nearby.
South Kensington station was first served by the Metropolitan District railway in 1868, with the two pairs of tracks entering the station from the west to be served by four platforms. This soon became a problem, with too many trains trying to pass onto the single pair of tracks to the east of the station, and so planning permission was obtained in 1897 for an express line into the City to be built directly underneath the existing District line.
Work on the new express line began at the same time as the construction of the Piccadilly line, with the latter making use of the 1897 planning permission to build their tunnels and platforms at South Kensington right next to the express line. The station would then consist of three levels, with the new eastbound platforms lying below the westbound ones, so that both new District platforms would lie below the existing sub-surface line, and both new Piccadilly platforms would lie beneath the road next to the surface building. However, this decision led to the realisation that the Piccadilly line would make the express line obsolete, and so work on the District line soon stopped, leaving just a pair of incomplete platforms at South Kensington. Meanwhile, the island platform in between the two pairs of sub-surface tracks became disused as fewer District line trains called at the station.
Despite the change in plan, the Piccadilly line platforms were still built one below the other, with lifts to the District line above calling at each platform separately. Escalators were eventually added, starting from the abandoned District platform next to the eastbound Piccadilly platform, but cutting through the other District platform above on the way to the surface. Curiously, the circulating area at the top of the escalators joins onto the abandoned island platform between the two pairs of sub-surface District tracks, allowing passengers to cross over to the open platforms without passing through the ticket hall.
South Kentish Town
Built in 1907, this Northern line station was not unpopular enough to deserve closure until 1924, when it was closed due to a power strike and never reopened. The surface building is still present, and the rebuilding of the platforms is always a possibility due to the overcrowding of nearby Camden Town station. At the moment, the platformless station can be seen in both directions between Camden Town and Kentish Town stations.
In 1924, Stockwell station was completely rebuilt to the south of the original station, in preparation for the building of an extension of the Northern line between Clapham Common and Morden. The old surface building was later demolished to be replaced by a ventilation structure for the Victoria line during the late 1960s. The original platforms may be seen from the train just north of the current station.
See 'Lord's, Marlborough Road and Swiss Cottage'.
Tower of London
See 'Mark Lane and Tower of London'.
The original terminus at Uxbridge was constructed at Belmont Road with a view to an extension of the line, but it was replaced in 1938 by a new more convenient station a few hundred yards away. The old terminus is now used as sidings.
A branch used to run from a bifurcation just west of Latimer Road to Kensington (Olympia) by way of a now disused station at Uxbridge Road. The line at Kensington was in fact continuous between the Metropolitan21 and District lines, allowing trains to run along an 'outer circle'.
Watford and the Croxley Rail Link
As mentioned in the Harrow & Wealdstone to Watford Junction section22, the Bakerloo line originally ran all the way to Watford Junction along mainline tracks, providing that area with an Underground service. Although the section between Harrow & Wealdstone and Watford Junction is no longer served by tube trains, there are in fact plans to provide a local Underground service to the area once again.
In 1868, the Watford & Rickmansworth Railway opened between Watford Junction and Rickmansworth Church Street, leaving the existing line towards Harrow & Wealdstone just before Bushey station. This new line proved unsuccessful, but was bought by the LNWR and extended through Watford to Croxley Green in 1912. A new stop was built at Watford Stadium in 1984 when nearby Watford FC were promoted, but soon became unsuccessful again as the football club failed to draw sufficient crowds to keep the railway open. In 1996, the line closed after a road was built across the line, cutting off the terminus at Croxley Green.
Ten years later, the railway is to be opened once again. The Metropolitan line from Croxley will be diverted onto a viaduct which will take it over the Grand Union Canal and onto the route of the disused railway. This route will avoid both the existing Watford station, which will become disused, and the old Croxley Green terminus, which lies in the trees just south of the site of the new viaduct. A new station will be built by the Ascot Road bypass, but the old Watford Stadium station will remain closed as it is the wrong side of a new regeneration project to supply access to the stadium. The order of stations on the new extension will be:
- Ascot Road
- Watford West
- Watford Stadium (disused)
- Watford High Street
- Watford Junction
Wembley Exhibition Station
A temporary station was opened to the south of Wembley Park in 1923 to serve the Empire Exhibition nearby. The station was served by non-stop trains from Baker Street, and was also used by passengers heading for Wembley stadium until the station was replaced by an extra platform at Wembley Park station in 1937.
The original Hammersmith & City line station of this name opened in 1866, but was replaced by a new station further east in 1971.
Wood Lane and White City
There are actually two separate abandoned Wood Lane stations, one on the Hammersmith & City line and one on the Central line. These stations were intended to serve the Franco-British Exhibition of 1908 and then close, but instead stayed open for many years.
The Central line station was built at what was originally the depot at the end of the line, and so a loop was constructed to allow trains to pass along a single line running anticlockwise and calling at Wood Lane and then Shepherd's Bush. When the Central line was extended to Ealing Broadway in 1920, two new tunnels were built to allow through-traffic, with one tunnel just north and one just below the existing loop. This awkward triangular layout led to the station being closed in 1947 to be replaced by the current White City station to the west. The old station has been demolished.
The Hammersmith & City line station was built between Shepherd's Bush and Latimer Road at the same time, and remained open until 1959 when one of the wooden platforms was destroyed in a fire. The station had been renamed White City station after the Second World War, and there are plans to build a new station with that name in the future.
York Road station opened on what is now the Piccadilly line in 1906, and was generally unpopular due to the presence of nearby King's Cross station. The station closed in 1932, and can be easily seen as a solitary dark red surface building on the road now known as York Way. An open platform area can be seen both ways between King's Cross and Caledonian Road, with a glimpse of purple and white tiling when heading southbound. The station surface building lies amongst industrial buildings and may one day reopen in connection with the ongoing redevelopment of the area's railways.