HAMMERSMITH & CITY: the West end Having walked from Hammersmith to Royal Oak, how about riding it? There are eight stations in total, each a bit different, but still very much of a type. Here are a few notes on each, plus two photos. Feel free to add your own thoughts in the comments boxes, and I'll add the most interesting later.
• Designed by the Great Western Railway Chief Architect P.E. Culverhouse, and opened in 1909.
• The prow-ended central ticket office was removed as part of an upgrade in 2010.
• The Next train indicator by the entrance tells you which platform to head to, but not how long before the train goes ("oh damn, it's just left, I'll have to walk back to the entrance to see which train's leaving next") [exterior][interior]comments
• Entrance is via one of the arches in the viaduct, in an entirely non-attractive way.
• The platforms have been extended to take longer trains, then bits of them painted a non-attractive shade of yellow.
• There are no Next Train Indicators anywhere between here and Royal Oak. Please listen for announcements. [exterior][interior]comments
Shepherd's Bush Market
• Used to be called Shepherd's Bush, except there were two of them, so TfL grasped the opportunity of an imminent Circle line extension to rename the station - something usually deemed too impractical and expensive.
• The stairs are narrow and really steep, and therefore entirely buggy-unfriendly.
• Goldhawk Road could also have been called Shepherd's Bush Market, because the market runs between the two stations. [exterior][interior]comments
• Opened in 2008 to serve Westfield, so all silvery-glassy modern.
• Deliberately built without a ticket office, to save TfL the bother of closing it later.
• There's an old-style roundel in mosaic, massive size, at the end of the passageway through the arch. It was salvaged from the surface building of the old Wood Lane station on the Central line. [exterior][interior]comments
• Yet another station entered via an arch in a viaduct up steps to reach a long facing platform with an extended bit at the end.
• This time the extended bits have a lot of brown on them. It's not much nicer than the yellow.
• The platform canopies look quite arson-friendly. Please don't check this, obviously. [exterior][interior]comments
• It's "Ladbroke Grove (for Portobello Road)" on the roundels on the platforms.
• The eastbound platform has an 'Information and assistance' window, from which staff make "next train" announcements that are broadcast all down this end of the line.
• Even 23 years after the line was rebranded, the handrails in the stairwells are still painted Metropolitan purple. [exterior][interior]comments
• After a run of viaduct-level stations, this one's back at ground-ish level.
• Has a special side entrance wide enough for ten-abreast entry, round the back of The Metropolitan pub, for use solely during Notting Hill Carnival chucking out time.
• Beyond this station the H&C dives under the Great Western mainline and emerges on the other side. [exterior][interior]comments
• A permanent sign out the front points the way to the Notting Hill Carnival (and to Bayswater, and to Warwick Avenue).
• The station has a "Community Board" in the entranceway off the bridge. The paucity of notices on the board suggests there's not much of a community round here.
• The island platform, in a chasm with mainline trains rushing by, is a lonely place. [exterior][interior]comments