Posts Tagged ‘railways’

London — By Andrea Kirkby on January 20, 2010 at 9:34 am
Filed under: featuredarticle, london tube, London Underground, railways

Mysteries of the Underground: abandoned stations

Regular readers of this blog will know I have a fascination with the mysteries of the Underground – hidden sidings, abandoned stations, little bits of track that don’t seem to go anywhere, even ghosts on the Tube.

This sign was already out of date when the photo was taken - sign of the times on the Tube?

I’m not the only one – and I’m certainly not the best informed. I’ve just found the fantastic Abandoned Tube Stations web site,which had loads of things I didn’t know. For instance, there used to be an extra platform at South Kensington, which was eventually filled in. That’s why the central platform at South Ken is so wide – and if you look up, you can see how the two original canopies have had an extra piece of glass added in the middle when the conversion was done. A fascinating bit of urban archaeology! I used to use that station quite regularly, and I never knew that.

Then there are the moody photos of abandoned stations, peeling adverts hanging of their walls, platforms empty. Some of these stations are tiny time capsules – they still have signs from their wartime use as bomb shelters advising people not to leave their rugs and blankets in the shelter, or adverts for drinks that are no longer made.

And if you’re really into the Tube, you’ll also want to check out District Dave’s piece on Trainweb about becoming a tube driver.  I was really amazed at the amount of knowledge these guys have to cram in – and how well District Dave describes it, without ever becoming boring. The other thing that impressed me, though, is how each line has its own culture and its own particular issues – for a driver, it’s not just ‘the Underground’, but his or her particular line that’s important. I’ll always look at the Tube a bit differently now.

Photo by Timothy E Baldwin on flickr

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