diamond geezer

 Monday, December 04, 2017

How many tube stations are there?

TfL have an official answer, which we'll get to shortly.

But tube stations are a surprisingly difficult thing to count, and the precise total depends on the 'correct' answers to the following questions.

Click to make your choice, and you can come back later and see if you were right.

Are King's Cross and St Pancras one station, or two?
1  2

Are Bank and Monument one station, or two?
1  2

Are Edgware Road (Bakerloo) and Edgware Road (Circle, District & H&C) one station, or two?
1  2

Are Charing Cross (Bakerloo) and Charing Cross (Northern) one station, or two?
1  2

Are Hammersmith (District and Piccadilly) and Hammersmith (Circle & H&C) one station, or two?
1  2

Are Paddington (Bakerloo, Circle and District) and Paddington (Circle & H&C) one station, or two?
1  2

Made your choices? OK, now some answers...

Above ground King's Cross and St Pancras are two very separate mainline termini, built by different rail companies on either side of a road. Before 1933 there were two separate Underground stations - one called King's Cross & St Pancras (on the Metropolitan and Circle) and one called King's Cross for St Pancras (on the Piccadilly and Northern) - at which point a proper connecting subway was built and the combination became King's Cross St Pancras. There have been several subterranean shufflings since, and the resulting complex can feel like separate stations when you're traipsing around. But for tube purposes, absolutely, King's Cross St Pancras is one station.

Bank and Monument are an interesting pair. They were two separate stations until September 1933 when the famous escalator link was opened, joining one end of the Northern line at Bank to the sub-surface lines at Monument. From this point onwards they've been staffed collectively, and when TfL count passenger statistics they're always treated as one and the same. But for station-counting purposes they remain separate, Bank and Monument are two stations. I'll prove this later.

Having twin stations on the tube map called Edgware Road isn't ideal. One's been around since the Underground opened in 1863, and the other arrived on the Bakerloo line in 1907, run by a company keen to call it exactly the same thing. Neither station has ever changed its name to avoid undue ambiguity, despite several suggestions over the years that this might be a good idea. They remain unconnected, 150 metres apart, and now on either side of the Marylebone Flyover. And that's why Edgware Road and Edgware Road are incontrovertibly two stations.

The current Charing Cross station has a very chequered history, and until 1979 was two separate stations. Previously there was a Bakerloo line station in Trafalgar Square called Trafalgar Square, and a Northern line station outside Charing Cross called Strand. When the Jubilee line was opened its new terminus connected the two, creating a portmanteau station called Charing Cross. Even though the Jubilee platforms closed 20 years later, and the other two lines remain just as far apart as they ever were, no uncoupling has taken place. Charing Cross remains one station.

The tube map appears to show just one station at Hammersmith, but the reality is very different - a Circle/H&C terminus on one side of Hammersmith Broadway, and a District/Piccadilly station through a shopping centre on the other. The two stations have the same name but separate gatelines, so when TfL are totting up their passenger statistics they always count the two separately. And so, in the first potentially controversial outcome, I can confirm that Hammersmith is officially designated as two stations.

Finally to Paddington. From the earliest days of the underground there were two stations here - Paddington (Bishop's Road) opened 1863 and Paddington (Praed Street) opened 1864. They're at opposite ends of the mainline station, and not connected underground, so were long considered two completely different stations. Only in 1947 did both end up being called the same - plain old Paddington - and the interchange symbol on the tube map has evolved several times since. What the map shows today is misleadingly connected (the Bakerloo's attached to the wrong bit), and suggests that the whole complex is one single station. But this isn't the case, nothing's changed since the 1860s, and Paddington is still deemed to be two stations.

Which brings us back to the question of how many tube stations there are altogether...

If you have a lot of patience and count up all the tube stations on the tube map, it looks very much like there are 268. But Hammersmith is actually two stations, and Paddington is actually two stations, which is why the official total is 270.

I know it's 270 stations because TfL say so on their website.

And I can confirm this using Labyrinth, the excellent Art on the Underground project which placed a maze on the wall of every tube station on the network. There are 270 Labyrinths, numbered from 1 to 270 in the same order as a Tube Challenge which took place in 2009. Labyrinth number 1 is at Chesham, and Labyrinth number 270 is at Heathrow Terminal 5. Bank has Labyrinth number 142 while Monument has 96, confirming that they are indeed different stations. Key for our purposes is that there are two Labyrinths at Hammersmith (248 and 249) and two Labyrinths at Paddington (55 and 240), should you ever go looking. And if there are 270 Labyrinths altogether, then there must be 270 Underground stations, QED.

What's also interesting is wondering how that total might change over the next few years. New tube stations are due at Nine Elms and Battersea in 2020, which'll bump the total up to 272. New tube stations probably won't be opened on the Metropolitan line extension, but if they ever are that'd increase the number to 275. And what of Crossrail? It's not going to be part of the Underground, it's going to be its own separate entity, so it won't suddenly be adding another 29 tube stations. But Crossrail's platforms will be connecting Farringdon to Barbican, and Moorgate to Liverpool Street, so will these suddenly become one station rather than two? More intriguingly Crossrail might also be linking both ends of Paddington, forming one interconnected beast, so will that finally become one station, or stay as two? All that's certain is that the official number of tube stations will remain somewhat subjective, rather than in any way obvious.

<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>

click to return to the main page

...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan21  Feb21  Mar21  Apr21  May21  Jun21
Jan20  Feb20  Mar20  Apr20  May20  Jun20  Jul20  Aug20  Sep20  Oct20  Nov20  Dec20
Jan19  Feb19  Mar19  Apr19  May19  Jun19  Jul19  Aug19  Sep19  Oct19  Nov19  Dec19
Jan18  Feb18  Mar18  Apr18  May18  Jun18  Jul18  Aug18  Sep18  Oct18  Nov18  Dec18
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17  May17  Jun17  Jul17  Aug17  Sep17  Oct17  Nov17  Dec17
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 me
» follow me on twitter
» follow the blog on Twitter
» follow the blog on RSS

» my flickr photostream

twenty blogs
ian visits
blue witch
the great wen
edith's streets
spitalfields life
in the aquarium
round the island
wanstead meteo
christopher fowler
ruth's coastal walk
the ladies who bus
round the rails we go
london reconnections
dirty modern scoundrel
from the murky depths
exploring urban wastelands

quick reference features
Things to do in Outer London
Things to do outside London
Inner London toilet map
The DG Tour of Britain

read the archive
Jun21  May21
Apr21  Mar21  Feb21  Jan21
Dec20  Nov20  Oct20  Sep20
Aug20  Jul20  Jun20  May20
Apr20  Mar20  Feb20  Jan20
Dec19  Nov19  Oct19  Sep19
Aug19  Jul19  Jun19  May19
Apr19  Mar19  Feb19  Jan19
Dec18  Nov18  Oct18  Sep18
Aug18  Jul18  Jun18  May18
Apr18  Mar18  Feb18  Jan18
Dec17  Nov17  Oct17  Sep17
Aug17  Jul17  Jun17  May17
Apr17  Mar17  Feb17  Jan17
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

the diamond geezer index
2020 2019 2018 2017 2016
2015 2014 2013 2012 2011
2010 2009 2008 2007 2006
2005 2004 2003 2002

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
Herbert Dip
capital ring
river fleet

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
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

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
children's tv
east enders
trunk roads
little britain
credit cards
jury service
big brother
jubilee line
number 1s
titan arum
doctor who
blue peter
peter pan
feng shui
leap year
bbc three
vision on
ID cards