Travel

Exploring London's deserted underground stations


(CNN) — Because the oldest subterranean railway community on this planet, the London Underground has been by way of a variety of modifications because it opened again in 1863.

A number of stations have come and gone within the 150 years or so since then — some by no means really opened within the first place.

Though lots of the UK capital’s nonoperational stations, entrances and passageways are nonetheless standing, the bulk have been closed to the general public for many years.

However a brand new guide from the London Transport Museum uncovers the key world of London’s disused stations and underground buildings.

“Hidden London: Discovering the Forgotten Underground” options dozens of photographs of the deserted areas of the speedy public transit system often known as the tube, in addition to the tales behind them.

Down Avenue station, a disused cease in Mayfair the place former UK prime minister Winston Churchill famously spent the evening throughout World Battle II, is showcased together with Aldwych station in Central London, which closed round 100 years after it opened in 1907.

In the meantime, the non-operational part of Charing Cross tube station, now often used as a filming location for blockbusters like “Skyfall” and “The Bourne Ultimatum,” can also be included.

Mysterious underworld

Hidden London underground images

Passengers can typically catch glimpses of disused tube stations whereas touring.

Courtesy London Transport Museum

“People are fascinated by the London Underground,” Siddy Holloway, engagement supervisor at London Transport Museum and one of many authors of the guide, tells CNN Journey.

“London has so many layers to it, being such an ancient city. There’s a sense that there’s always more going on than meets the eye.”

London Transport Museum has been working excursions of among the sealed-off stations throughout town sporadically because the 1970s.

Nevertheless Hidden London, the museum’s unique program of excursions and occasions at disused stations and secret websites, wasn’t launched till 2015.

It started with excursions of Charing Cross station, Clapham South, Down Avenue and Aldwych, earlier than including eight others, together with the Clapham South deep-level shelter in south London and the deserted tunnels of Euston in central London.

“We accumulated so much new information while researching the tours that we weren’t able to fit everything in,” explains Holloway. “That’s where the book was borne out of.”

Photographers Toby Madden and Andy Davies captured among the eeriest elements of the underground world, such because the sealed tunnels positioned below the Thames and derelict passenger walkways, for the undertaking, which may even type a part of an upcoming exhibition on the London Transport Museum.

Superbly preserved

Hidden London underground images

The reserving workplace at Aldwych station, which closed in 1917.

Courtesy London Transport Museum

“Each station has its own individual charm,” Holloway says. “Film aficionados like being able to stand in the old Jubilee line section of Charing Cross station, where Daniel Craig was running and sliding down escalators in “Skyfall.”

“Aldwych is a really superbly preserved Edwardian station proper within the coronary heart of London, which can also be utilized in movies.

“And Down Street fascinates a lot of people, because you can kind of glimpse it if you’re riding on the Piccadilly Line between Hyde Park Corner and Green Park. Also, it still has all the offices and facilities placed there for the duration of World War II.”

The design and structure on show on the disused stations is fascinating, notably the Edwardian ticket corridor tiling design on the non-operational York Street station, positioned between King’s Cross and Caledonian Street, and the unique ticket workplace at Aldwych.

The explanations behind the closures of the stations, or in some instances, sections of the stations, fluctuate.

Some have been shut to make manner for websites extra outfitted for elevators, others have been terminated to assist pace up the community as London’s inhabitants grew and the tube acquired busier, whereas others closed in order that they could possibly be was air flow shafts.

Off limits

Hidden London underground images

The sealed tunnel entrance that leads from King William Avenue station.

Courtesy London Transport Museum

After all, taking teams of tourists, together with photographers into underground areas which have been closed for many years is not any simple process.

The ratio of tourists to employees in the course of the visits needs to be very excessive to make sure security, whereas all staff concerned will need to have in depth coaching in emergency procedures.

“Most of the sites are non-accessible because they’ve been closed for so long, some of them for 80 or 90 years, so there are many trip hazards,” explains Holloway. “It is an actual exploration. Folks need to have their wits about them.

“We’re going behind the scenes of one of many busiest networks on this planet, so now we have to be adequately ready for any state of affairs.”

Actually, among the stations featured within the guide are nonetheless nearly utterly inaccessible for this very purpose.

King William Avenue, the oldest, disused deep tube station in London, stays out of bounds because it solely has a single entry and exit level.

“When taking individuals right into a disused area, we all the time guarantee there is a secondary exit level,” explains Holloway. “It’s important to present an enough escape route.”

Nevertheless, the staff at Transport for London are intent on including extra disused areas to their programe, with the outdated a part of Moorgate station within the Metropolis of London subsequent on the horizon.

“It is the lure of the unknown that makes it so interesting,” says Holloway. “The visceralness of with the ability to go into utterly distinctive areas.

“The program is becoming more robust as we gain access to more and more sites.”



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