diamond geezer

 Thursday, December 14, 2006

York Road station
York Road station
Station opened: Saturday 15th December 1906
Where on the tube map? Between King's Cross and Caledonian Road (station 5 here)
Distance from Kings Cross station: 650m north
Distance from Caledonian Road station: 1.3km south
Location: on the corner of York Way and Bingfield Street [map]
Named after: York Way, which used to be called York Road
Lying almost on top of: the main railway lines north from Kings Cross station, just as they emerge from the first tunnel
Station building designed by: Leslie W Green - with one of his iconic crimson-glazed arched frontages
A bit of history: York Road station was never busy, being a bit too close to Kings Cross to be really worthwhile. Even as early as 1909 many Piccadilly line trains no longer bothered to stop here. Sunday services were withdrawn in 1918.
Station closed: Monday 19th September 1932
What's it like now? The station building still stands, severed from its neighbours, aloof and alone like an old mausoleum [photo]. The facade's still in pretty good shape, the tiles remain a satisfyingly deep ruby red, and the words "YORK ROAD STATION", "ENTRANCE" and "EXIT" are still clearly visible across the front [photo]. There's now a big metal fence around the building, and a high padlocked gate to the left which may one day need to be used as an emergency exit from the station below. A lonely bus stop lurks on the pavement outside, from which there are surprisingly good views across the bleak openness of the Kings Cross Railway Lands. It's still easy to see why the local passenger trade never took off. York Road is rather more astonishing than any abandoned tube station deserves to be, to be honest, just by still being here.
What can you see from a passing train? Keep an eye out of the right-hand window and you may spot a platform-sized cavity, but with the platform itself removed. As an added treat for southbound travellers, a small patch of wall is visible revealing the station's original maroon and cream tile design.
What does the station look like inside today? There's a highly informative page with photographs here.
Will the station ever be reopened? Maybe. Local councillors certainly hope so. There is an awfully long gap on the Piccadilly line between Kings Cross and Caledonian Road, and nowhere to get off. The best chance for a reopened station comes through redevelopment brought about by the controversial Kings Cross Central project just across the road, sometime in the distant near-future. But probably not. New residents and office workers will have to get the bus like the rest of us.

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