Archive for September, 2010

London’s Ghost Stations

The London Underground or ‘tube’ network has long been carrying crowds of people around for many years now and is a popular mode of travel for thousands of Londoners every day.

The network takes up almost 300 miles of track, both below and above the ground, and actually links almost every part of the capital city, so if you’re staying in any of the hotels in London, the network makes commuting that bit easier for the weary London traveler.

Since 1863, there have been many stations that have opened and closed and nowadays there are numerous abandoned stations or “ghost stations” as they are also referred. Below you can read about a few of these stations and their fascinating stories;

Down Street (1907-1932) – This station was closed in 1932 and the fascinating fact about this one is that the brick work on the tunnel wall will actually change colour as you travel on the Piccadilly Line between Green Park and Hyde Park Corner.

King Willian Street (1890-1900) – This station opened in 1890 and was closed on 24th February 1900 and was used as an air raid shelter during the war. Today, the only access to the station is via the basement of Regis House, who still use some of the tunneling nowadays in order to carry fibre optic cables. There are still posters up on the walls of the station that date back to the air raid shelter days and the tunnels leading to it can still be seen today from the Northern line.

Bull and Bush (completed 1907) – This can clearly be seen between Hampstead and Golders Green on the Northern Line. The unique fact about this particular station is that, although completed in 1907, it was never opened.

Brompton Road (1906-1934) – This station was situated between Knightsbridge and South Kensington stations on the Piccadilly Line and ended up closing in 1934. During World War II the station’s platforms were bricked up in order to be converted into offices and the floors were built in a lift shaft to enable them to convert it into a 4 story operations centre as used by London’s anti-aircraft control centre.

British Museum (1908-1933) – If you gaze out of the window on your journey between Tottenham Court Road and Holborn on the Central Line then you can see this station which was closed in 1933 when the new Holborn startion we know today was erected. The station had a very important job during World War II as it was used by the Ministry of Defence as an administrative office.

Aldwych (1907-1994) – Aldwych is actually a closed branch line so it cannot be seen from underground, however, the station still exists and is now used for private parties and also as a film and TV set. The station can still be seen from the street and is probably most deserving if it’s “ghost station” title as ‘Fluffers” (people who clean the tracks at night) have apparently spotted the ghost of an actress on the tracks many times. This may be explained by the fact that the station was actually built on the site of the Royal Strand Theatre.

© 2010 Pat Travels the World
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