diamond geezer

 Saturday, March 07, 2015

Is this the worst tube station entrance in London?



It might also be the best. Head down these escalators, opened last summer near Pancras Square, and you enter a curving subway with a lightwall running alongside. This is an artwork called 'Pipette', a ninety-metre sweep of softly pulsing stripes that's ridiculously photogenic. It's hard to walk through without whipping out your camera, made easier by the fact that this is a particularly underused passage, so you don't get too many pesky silhouettes to wreck a perfect view. It'll be busier here one day, once all the office blocks above are fitted out, but for now the inaugural lightshow plays itself out in muted glory.



But what's bad about this entrance is how ridiculously far from the platforms it is. Normally when you see a roundel in the street you know a station's not far away, but this one's been installed much further up the road than usual. King's Cross St Pancras underground station exists in linear form close to the Euston Road, but as the heart of the two mainline stations has shifted north, so a web of lengthy passages has developed to feed passengers from one to the other. The Pancras Square subway stretches this credulity even further, its portal two football-pitches-worth away from the original entrance Metropolitan Railway platforms. You can see why they've opened it, because the ability to say "close to tube station entrance" provides a not inconsiderable boost to local property values. But anyone lured in by the roundel along Kings Boulevard will find themselves embarking on a subterranean hike of unexpected proportions, because this is barely a station 'entrance' at all.

I though I'd get my stopwatch out and check the timings from the Pancras Square entrance to a couple of different tube platforms. And blimey it's a long way.

Pancras SquareHammersmith & City/Circle/Metropolitan line
0m 00s Approach escalators and head down into the subway. Woo at the lightwall, woo.
1m 50s Reach the end of the subway and turn left into the main passage from St Pancras to King's Cross.
2m 30s Reach the ticket barriers in the Northern Ticket Hall. For the H&C we're carrying on.
3m 10s Enter the next long, straight, grey passageway, past WH Smiths and a coffee cart.
4m 10s Pass the ticket barriers in the original ticket hall, before turning right towards St Pancras.
5m 30s Reach the H&C ticket barriers - this the first time you've needed to use your Oyster.
6m 20s Having descended to platform level, step through to the platforms themselves and board train.

(To give you some idea how long that is, in six minutes twenty seconds I could have walked all the way from Bow Road station to Mile End station, above ground)

Pancras SquareVictoria line
0m 00s Approach escalators and head down into the subway. Woo at the lightwall, woo.
1m 50s Reach the end of the subway and turn left into the main passage from St Pancras to King's Cross.
2m 30s Reach the ticket barriers in the Northern Ticket Hall. For the Victoria, we're heading through and down.
3m 10s At the bottom of the escalators, turn left along a deep, long, grey (and busy) passageway.
4m 10s To your left is the turnoff for the Piccadilly line, but we're not going that way.
5m 25s Eventually the long grey passageway ends, so turn right down the last set of steps.
5m 40s Having descended to platform level, enter the Victoria line platform and await train.

Pancras SquareNorthern line
0m 00s Approach escalators and head down into the subway. Woo at the lightwall, woo.
1m 50s Reach the end of the subway and turn left into the main passage from St Pancras to King's Cross.
2m 30s Reach the ticket barriers in the Northern Ticket Hall. For the Northern, we're heading through and down.
3m 15s At the bottom of the escalators, continue along a twisty grey passageway.
4m 40s Descend steps to platform level, enter the Northern line platform and await train.

I should point out that pedestrians on Kings Boulevard aren't having to walk further than before to catch to a train, they're merely doing a lot more of that walk underground. I should also say that King's Cross was already a desperately far-flung tube station before this new entrance opened, with some of the directional signs below ground notorious for deliberately sending passengers via a much longer route than necessary. But this new northern entrance stretches credulity even further, to the extent where one has to wonder precisely what constitutes a station entrance any more.

So I wondered, is this the most distant tube station entrance in London, or is there somewhere requiring an even longer walk to catch a train?
(That's any kind of underground train, not just the furthest away. So for example I'm not counting the fact that it's a bloody long way from Monument to the Central line at Bank, because you could have caught the District line much quicker)

6pm update: I think we have a winner...

South Kensington (Science Museum entrance)District line
0m 00s Enter staircase on the far side of the Science Museum, avoiding families and Brownies.
0m 20s Head off down the very long Exhibition Road subway, avoiding pushchairs and tourists.
4m 30s Having passed entrances for all the other museums, finally reach ticket hall.
4m 40s If ticket hall is packed with families, Brownies, pushchairs and tourists, add another minute here.
5m 10s Descend steps (assuming not packed, etc etc) to reach platform level, and attempt to board train.


<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>


click to return to the main page


...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
life viewed from london e3

email    twitter    G+

my flickr photostream

What's on this weekend?
Sun 4 December (8am-10pm)
Tower Bridge fully closed
For one day only, cross the river by free passenger ferry!

twenty blogs
853
arseblog
ian visits
londonist
scaryduck
blue witch
city metric
the great wen
onionbagblog
edith's streets
spitalfields life
linkmachinego
in the aquarium
round the island
wanstead meteo
london museums
christopher fowler
ruth's coastal walk
london reconnections
dirty modern scoundrel

quick reference features
Things to do in Outer London
The DG Tour of Britain
Comment Value Hierarchy

read the archive
Dec16  Nov16  Oct16  Sep16
Aug16  Jul16  Jun16  May16
Apr16  Mar16  Feb16  Jan16
Dec15  Nov15  Oct15  Sep15
Aug15  Jul15  Jun15  May15
Apr15  Mar15  Feb15  Jan15
Dec14  Nov14  Oct14  Sep14
Aug14  Jul14  Jun14  May14
Apr14  Mar14  Feb14  Jan14
Dec13  Nov13  Oct13  Sep13
Aug13  Jul13  Jun13  May13
Apr13  Mar13  Feb13  Jan13
Dec12  Nov12  Oct12  Sep12
Aug12  Jul12  Jun12  May12
Apr12  Mar12  Feb12  Jan12
Dec11  Nov11  Oct11  Sep11
Aug11  Jul11  Jun11  May11
Apr11  Mar11  Feb11  Jan11
Dec10  Nov10  Oct10  Sep10
Aug10  Jul10  Jun10  May10
Apr10  Mar10  Feb10  Jan10
Dec09  Nov09  Oct09  Sep09
Aug09  Jul09  Jun09  May09
Apr09  Mar09  Feb09  Jan09
Dec08  Nov08  Oct08  Sep08
Aug08  Jul08  Jun08  May08
Apr08  Mar08  Feb08  Jan08
Dec07  Nov07  Oct07  Sep07
Aug07  Jul07  Jun07  May07
Apr07  Mar07  Feb07  Jan07
Dec06  Nov06  Oct06  Sep06
Aug06  Jul06  Jun06  May06
Apr06  Mar06  Feb06  Jan06
Dec05  Nov05  Oct05  Sep05
Aug05  Jul05  Jun05  May05
Apr05  Mar05  Feb05  Jan05
Dec04  Nov04  Oct04  Sep04
Aug04  Jul04  Jun04  May04
Apr04  Mar04  Feb04  Jan04
Dec03  Nov03  Oct03  Sep03
Aug03  Jul03  Jun03  May03
Apr03  Mar03  Feb03  Jan03
Dec02  Nov02  Oct02  Sep02
back to main page

diamond geezer 2015 index
diamond geezer 2014 index
diamond geezer 2013 index
diamond geezer 2012 index
diamond geezer 2011 index
diamond geezer 2010 index
diamond geezer 2009 index
diamond geezer 2008 index
diamond geezer 2007 index
diamond geezer 2006 index
diamond geezer 2005 index
diamond geezer 2004 index
diamond geezer 2003 index
diamond geezer 2002 index

my special London features
a-z of london museums
E3 - local history month
greenwich meridian (N)
greenwich meridian (S)
the real eastenders
london's lost rivers
olympic park 2007
great british roads
oranges & lemons
random boroughs
bow road station
high street 2012
river westbourne
trafalgar square
capital numbers
east london line
lea valley walk
olympics 2005
regent's canal
square routes
silver jubilee
unlost rivers
cube routes
metro-land
capital ring
river fleet
piccadilly
bakerloo

ten of my favourite posts
the seven ages of blog
my new Z470xi mobile
five equations of blog
the dome of doom
chemical attraction
quality & risk
london 2102
single life
boredom
april fool

ten sets of lovely photos
my "most interesting" photos
london 2012 olympic zone
harris and the hebrides
betjeman's metro-land
marking the meridian
tracing the river fleet
london's lost rivers
inside the gherkin
seven sisters
iceland

just surfed in?
here's where to find...
diamond geezers
flash mob #1  #2  #3  #4
ben schott's miscellany
london underground
watch with mother
cigarette warnings
digital time delay
wheelie suitcases
war of the worlds
transit of venus
top of the pops
old buckenham
ladybird books
acorn antiques
digital watches
outer hebrides
olympics 2012
school dinners
pet shop boys
west wycombe
bletchley park
george orwell
big breakfast
clapton pond
san francisco
thunderbirds
routemaster
children's tv
east enders
trunk roads
amsterdam
little britain
credit cards
jury service
big brother
jubilee line
number 1s
titan arum
typewriters
doctor who
coronation
comments
blue peter
matchgirls
hurricanes
buzzwords
brookside
monopoly
peter pan
starbucks
feng shui
leap year
manbags
penelope
bbc three
vision on
piccadilly
meridian
concorde
wembley
islington
ID cards
bedtime
freeview
beckton
blogads
eclipses
letraset
arsenal
sitcoms
gherkin
calories
everest
muffins
sudoku
camilla
london
ceefax
robbie
becks
dome
BBC2
paris
lotto
118
itv