diamond geezer

 Monday, May 17, 2004

A comprehensive history of Charing Cross underground station

It's surprisingly complicated this, so do follow closely. There are four separate station locations round Charing Cross, which I'll label (down by the river), (outside the mainline station), (beneath Trafalgar Square) and (up Aldwych). If you click here and scroll down to 'Bakerloo line' you can follow all this on a map. For a detailed underground plan of Charing Cross station today, click here. For further explanation of the whole renaming mess, click here. And if you can't cope with what follows don't worry, because I promise I'm taking a three-day break from the Jubilee line tomorrow.

1870: A District line station opens on the Embankment to the south of Charing Cross mainline station, and is named Charing Cross.
1906: A Bakerloo line station opens beneath Charing Cross District line station, but is called Embankment instead. Another Bakerloo line station opens 350 metres northwest at Trafalgar Square.
1907: The Northern line opens, terminating just north of the mainline station at a station called Charing Cross♣. Meanwhile the Piccadilly line opens a branch from Holborn to Strand.
1914: The Northern line is extended 250 metres southwards from Charing Cross♣ to join the Bakerloo line at Embankment station, which is renamed Charing Cross (Embankment). Meanwhile Charing Cross♣ is renamed Charing Cross (Strand)♣.
1915: Charing Cross (Embankment) is renamed Charing Cross, and Charing Cross (Strand) is renamed Strand♣. Meanwhile the old Strand station is renamed Aldwych.
(deep breath, here comes the Jubilee line)
1973: Strand♣ station on the Northern line is closed to prepare for the arrival of the new Fleet Jubilee line.
1974: Charing Cross station is renamed Charing Cross Embankment.
1976: Charing Cross Embankment is renamed Embankment (and so it remains).
1979: The Jubilee line opens. It terminates at a newly-enlarged Charing Cross♣ station, linking the old Bakerloo♠ and Northern♣ line stations. The Bakerloo line platforms are renamed Charing Cross (for Trafalgar Square). The Jubilee line tunnels continue almost as far as Aldwych, because this is expected to be the next station when the line is extended further...
1994: ...but no, Aldwych station is closed instead (read about the now-disused station here and here).
1999: The Jubilee line extension from Green Park to Stratford is opened, and the 20 year-old tunnels from Green Park to Charing Cross♣ are closed (see photos here).
2004: Charing Cross♣ station still feels like two stations joined by a very long subway, so if you want to save yourself a long walk you should change between the Bakerloo♠ and Northern♣ lines at Embankment instead.

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