When one asks which tube stations are true underground termini, the answer would be Brixton/Walthamstow (both on the Victoria Line) and Bank/Waterloo (both on Waterloo & City Line). Elephant and Castle (Bakerloo Line) plus Heathrow Terminal Five (Piccadilly Line) will also come to mind. It may surprise one to know London once had many more deep level underground tube station termini – all of which are now through stations. This is part two of a feature covering the subject.
Hainault bound train entering the 1946 section of Central Line beyond Liverpool Street.
The last deep level tube station on the original London tube network to retain terminus status was Liverpool Street. Through services commenced in 1946. The work had begun well before World War Two as the picture below shows. This was the case on most of the Central Line’s eastern extensions where the war slowed things up. Liverpool Street tube station was a terminus a decade longer than originally planned.
After Liverpool Street became a through deep level tube station, that was pretty much it. The long, drawn out first phase of London’s tube network had been completed. There were no more tube stations in London that could be made into through stations – unless the capital began building more tube lines.
Just over twenty two years later the Victoria Line came on stream, the first of what can be considered a second phase of new tube lines for London. The Piccadilly Line’s western extensions followed soon after, and the most recent the Jubilee Line. These all had deep level termini that eventually became through stations.
Victoria – originally a terminus before the ‘branch’ on the left to Brixton opened.
The Victoria Line had two underground termini that eventually became through stations. These are Victoria (1969 to 1971 before it became the station en route to Brixton) and Warren Street (before the line was extended to Victoria.) The line’s other temporary terminus, Highbury and Islington, doesnt count as it had formerly been a through station on the Northern City Line.
Hatton Cross, the Piccadilly’s temporary terminus before it was completed to Heathrow.
The Piccadilly’s extension to Heathrow was done in stages and Hatton Cross was the new terminus between 1975 and 1977, before the line opened onwards to Heathrow Central. This too began life as a terminus in 1977, but became a through station in 1984 when the loop to Terminal Four began.
Heathrow (1) 2 & 3 was formerly Heathrow Central, a terminus from 1977-1984.
The Jubilee Line consists of substantial lengths of new tube line. The line opened in stages and North Greenwich was the terminus south from Stratford between 14th May 1999 and 17 Sept 1999. The next stage then was to Bermondsey (until 24 Sept 1999) and finally to Waterloo (until 20 October 1999.)
The architectural delight that is Bermondsey station, a deep level tube terminus for just one week!
Waterloo (Jubilee Line) is clearly the last ever tube station to begin life as a terminus and thus marks the end of the second stage of construction for London’s tube network.
Passengers waiting at Waterloo (Jubilee) this was a terminus for just under a month.
Will there be any more? There’s the possibility Elephant & Castle (Bakerloo) will become a through station (that had first been planned as early as 1931 when proposals were mooted to extend the line to Camberwell) but the present proposals are dependent on final plans being made. That may mean a new through station being built instead and the old one closed. The Bakerloo’s extension has yet to be written in concrete so we may yet get to see an intermediate terminus – perhaps this will be New Cross before the line is completed to Lewisham? Time will tell.
Besides the Lewisham extension mentioned above there’s also the possibility of the Northern line being extended to Clapham Junction. Certainly, the new station at Battersea Power Station has been built with through provision. Its not known when this could happen. It seems Lewisham is touch and go at the moment, and it too means other projects are waiting in the queue for approval too. Battersea Power Station looks likely to be a terminus for maybe one or two decades – therefore Clapham Junction is a rather long term objective.
What is the longest period a deep level tube station had as a terminus?
Finsbury Park (Great Northern & City) station in 1904. Source: Imgur.
The longest without a doubt is Finsbury Park (Great Northern & City) with a record 60 years between 1904 and 1964 before becoming a through station. Following in second place is Liverpool Street with 34 years, delayed considerably by World War Two, and thirdly the old Highgate (aka Archway) which managed 33 years before being extended on to Finchley and Mill Hill East, the only part of the Northern Line’s Bushey Heath extension to be built. Then its back to Finsbury Park (Piccadilly Line) for fourth place, having sustained that role for 26 years. Fifth place is Clapham Common managed 17 years from 1907 to 1924.
What is the shortest period a deep level tube station had as a terminus?
The Jubilee holds three stations as the shortest lived termini, and the record holder is Bermondsey with just one week as a terminus. The tube line that holds the record for most stations that began as termini is however the Bakerloo. The second in the list is Kilburn Park with just two weeks as a terminus. (31 Jan to 11 Feb 1915.) Third is Waterloo (Jubilee) with 3 weeks six days in 1999. Marylebone (Great Central) comes next with 11 weeks and two days as a temporary terminus before the line was extended to Edgware Road.
It could easily be assumed the next, in fourth place, would be Highbury and Islington (Victoria Line) with 13 weeks in that role. However I have already discounted this. It had been in use as a through station for sixty two years, so that’s clearly no terminus even though the Victoria Line stopped there for three months.
The station most definitely in fourth place goes to Warren Street in 1968/1969, because it was a real terminus (13 weeks and five days) before becoming a through station.
In fifth place is North Greenwich (Jubilee) with exactly 18 weeks in 1999.
Lambeth North, once a terminus. Can anyone see the ‘N’ (for either Kennington or Westminster.)
Its back to the Bakerloo for sixth place. Lambeth North station (as Kennington Road and which was renamed Westminster Bridge Road) had 21 weeks and one day as a termini before services were extended to the Elephant. At the other end of the line was Baker Street, another short lived terminus and that’s in seventh place. The list below completes the tally.
From terminus to cess pit? Despite Lambeth North winning awards for its frontage, the station itself is a filthy hell hole. Does TfL even care?
It turns out that London had 25 deep level tube stations that were originally termini. Other temporary termini – such as Piccadilly Circus being the Bakerloo’s terminus from November 1996 to July 1997 or Seven Sisters doubling as a terminus for four weeks in 2016 are not counted as per the rules.
Full list of underground termini in year/month of opening and on becoming through stations.
Stockwell CSLR (1890-1907)
Shepherd’s Bush (1900-1908)
Finsbury Park – GNR/City (1904-1964)
Lambeth North – as Kennington Road/Westminster Bridge Road (March – August 1906)
Baker Street (1906-1907)
Finsbury Park – Piccadilly (1906-1932)
Marylebone – as Great Central (March-June 1907)
Edgware Road (1907-1913)
Charing Cross (1907-1914)
Clapham Common (1907 – 1924)
Euston – City branch (1907-1924)
Archway – as Highgate (1907-1939)
Liverpool Street (1912-1946)
Kilburn Park (Jan-Feb 1915)
Warren Street (December 1968 – March 1969)
Victoria (1969- 1971)
Hatton Cross (1975-1977)
Heathrow Terminals (1) 2 & 3 – as Heathrow Central (1977-1984)
North Greenwich (14 May – 17 Sept 1999)
Bermondsey (17 Sept – 24 Sept 1999)
Waterloo (24 Sept – 20 Oct 1999)
NOTE: Highbury & Islington (September – December 1968) was a terminus on the Victoria Line, but had previously been a through station on the older Great Northern & City Line, so doesn’t really count.