diamond geezer

 Sunday, December 02, 2018


Three stations opened 50 years ago along the second section of the Victoria line. Here are the other two.


Opened: 1st December 1968
Originally opened: 12th May 1907/22nd June 1907
Originally originally opened: 20th July 1837
Interchange with: Northern line (both branches). Overground to Watford Junction. West Coast Main Line to Milton Keynes, Birmingham, Holyhead, Liverpool, Manchester, Carlisle, Glasgow, Fort William, etc.
Tile pattern: Ah, a mural depicting the beloved Euston Arch, which was demolished in 1961 despite the protestations of John Betjeman and others. It stood roughly where the entrance to the central walkway down to the local platforms is today. The presence of an M&S Simply Food is scant recompense for its removal.

Architecture: Euston is one of a small number of tube stations with no buildings above ground. It's also unusual in having no entrance from the street, only from within the mainline station itself. The main escalators descend sequentially from the concrete concourse, which is also of 1968 vintage. One of the original tube station buildings was eradicated in 1934 and replaced by Euston House, which later became British Railways Board HQ. The other, an oxblood beauty on the corner of Drummond Street and Melton Street, faces imminent demolition.
Nearby development: Ah, it's HS2 innit? The latest High Speed project, linking London to cities in the Midlands and the North, will have its southern terminus across former streets to the west of Euston station. Here's a video Geoff made of the affected area earlier in the year before they started knocking the majority down. One imminent arrival is an extensive new taxi rank across the southernmost scrap of muddy grass facing the Euston Road.
Future connections: Assuming HS2 is completed, expect a subway to be knocked through to Euston Square station. Assuming Crossrail 2 goes ahead, expect a long station to slot inbetween Euston and St Pancras. And if all that happens, expect a mega-connected station complex comprising (from west to east) Euston Square (tube), Euston (HS2), Euston (mainline), Euston (tube), Euston St Pancras (Crossrail), St Pancras (mainline), St Pancras (Thameslink), St Pancras (HS1), St Pancras (Eurostar), King's Cross St Pancras (tube) and King's Cross (mainline). But don't hold your breath.

Station layout: Unexpectedly complex for a station with just two lines. That's because it's really three lines, the two branches of the Northern line having started out as separate railways. In short, the Victoria line was built adjacent to the Bank branch, not the Charing Cross branch. 3D diagrams here and here.
Tell me more: The original pair of Northern line platforms on the Bank branch were knocked together to create an extra-wide southbound platform (p6). The new Victoria line southbound platform (p5) was coupled up alongside, with a concourse inbetween. Beyond this was the new Victoria line northbound platform (p5), connected via a separate concourse to a brand new Northern line northbound platform (p3).
Paradoxically: Although the two northbound platforms are adjacent, Northern line trains run west and Victoria line trains run east. Although the two southbound platforms are adjacent, Northern line trains run east and Victoria line trains run west. Basically, if you get the Victoria line from King's Cross to Euston and then swap platforms to the Northern line you'll end up back at King's Cross.

It's so complicated that... the London Transport Museum will charge you £41.50 for a Hidden London tour of The Lost Tunnels. At that price I have totally resisted. But it costs nothing to enjoy the spiral staircase down from the foot of the first set of escalators to the subway connecting the two Northern line concourses. There are 51 steps, if you're counting.
Down below: After all that complexity, the Victoria line platforms aren't much different to all the other Victoria line platforms we've seen already down the line. Which isn't surprising, because that's 1968 for you.

Factnugget: Euston is less than half a mile from its two adjacent stations - the shortest inter-platform distances on the Victoria line.
Some photos: Seven, here.


Opened: 1st December 1968
Originally opened: 22nd June 1907
Previously known as: Euston Road (until June 1908).
Interchange with: Northern line (Charing Cross branch). This is the third consecutive Victoria line station to link with the Northern line.
Tile pattern: This is a favourite design, an actual proper maze, playfully referencing the word 'warren'. This red beauty was designed by Alan Fletcher, and is decently challenging, should you have the time to complete it before the next train rushes into the station.

Architecture: The current station building is of 1934 vintage, replacing the original at the same time as escalators replaced lifts underground. It looks like half a cylinder, in brick, attached to a block of flats.
Nearby development: The road junction outside the station has had a major makeover recently. Across Gower Street is the massively revamped University College Hospital. Across the Euston Road is the somewhat soulless Triton Square development. But Warren Street itself, a minor backroad parallel to Euston Road, hasn't changed much in years.

Station layout: Quite simple for once, because the Northern and Victoria lines are very separate. Enter via the ticket hall. At the foot of the first set of escalators go straight ahead for the Victoria line or back down the other way for the Northern line. After another set of escalators, choose whether to go north or south. It all bifurcates nicely. But it's not great for interchange. A 3D diagram can be found here.
Down below: Same as same as. Even the concourse between the platforms looks entirely familiar. Take away the roundels and the tiled murals and you could be anywhere.

Factnugget: The original station name only lasted 50 weeks, but it still says Euston Road in the tiling on the Northern line platforms.
Some photos: Seven, here.
All the photos: Sixty-four, here (or slideshow here).

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