diamond geezer

 Friday, May 21, 2004

The Jubilee line extension May 1999

When the Jubilee line was opened 25 years ago, it was always intended that it would be extended further. The line was meant to head east from Charing Cross to an enlarged station at Aldwych, then on to new stations at Ludgate Circus and Fenchurch Street (still the only mainline London terminal with no tube connection). From here the railway would have headed down to New Cross and Lewisham, or eastwards through the decaying London Docks to Silvertown and Thamesmead, or both. (Look, maps) But the money ran out before any of that could happen, and it took the promise of hard cash from the developers of Canary Wharf to kickstart the extension plans again. In 1990 new plans were put forward to extend the Jubilee line from Green Park to Stratford, severing the ten-year-old connection to Charing Cross. The chosen route linked central London to Docklands by heading south of the Thames into areas previously poorly served by underground services. (Look, more maps. Look, a seriously in-depth history of the whole story)

Construction of the Jubilee line extension began in 1993. The extension was 10 miles long, serving eleven stations (three of them completely new). It would cost more than £3 billion to build and was a bold step into the future. All stations would be fully accessible with lifts to street level. All stations would have platform-edge doors (they improve airflow as well as safety). All stations would be enormous enough to cope with increased passenger traffic over the next five decades. And, most importantly of all as it turned out, all stations would be designed independently by different architects. And wow aren't they fantastic? It's almost worth taking a trip down the line stopping off at every station just to admire the stunningly impressive use of concrete. Which is what I'll be doing on here each day for the rest of the month. Prepare to stand in awe.

Jubilee line extension opening (1999)
Friday 14th May: North Greenwich to Stratford opened (by John Prescott)
Friday 17th September: Bermondsey to North Greenwich opened
Friday 24th September: Waterloo to Bermondsey opened (but not Southwark or London Bridge)
Thursday 7th October: London Bridge opened
Saturday 20th November: Green Park to Waterloo (but not Westminster) plus Southwark opened, Charing Cross closed
Wednesday 22nd December: Westminster opened, just in time before...
Friday 31st December: Millennium Dome opened. If nothing else, it got the Jubilee line extension built.

Jubilee line extension links
all my Silver Jubilee posts on one page
my Jubilee photo blog (with bonus extra photos)
much better photos than I've taken
more much better photos than I've taken
even more much better photos than I've taken
reviewing the new stations
a literary view of an engineering masterpiece

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