Tube stations that began life as a terminus

Tube stations that began life as a terminus

When one asks which tube stations are true underground termini, Brixton, Walthamstow (both Victoria Line) and Bank, Waterloo (both Waterloo & City Line), Elephant and Castle (Bakerloo Line) plus Heathrow Terminal Five (Piccadilly Line) will most likely also come to mind.

There were loads more underground tube station termini at one time but all these are now through stations. It is those we take a look at, in terms of when the line opened and when the stations became through routes. The six stations mentioned above are still termini so are not included, neither are any former termini stations on the sub-surface lines included as these would have originally been in the open – and thats a separate subject altogether.

This is a completely new perspective on London’s tube system. I have never seen the topic discussed anywhere and that’s why I have written this.

As many of us will know, the first deep level tube was the City and South London Railway (CSLR.) Its carriages and locomotives were dragged up to the surface for maintenance and repairs. There were termini at King William Street and Stockwell. People may think both do not count as they are no longer extant on the current Northern Line system.

King William Street definitely doesn’t count because it was abandoned in favour of a new route northwards. In fact the entire line north of Borough to King William Street was abandoned, and a new alignment (including stations at London Bridge and Bank) took the line to Moorgate, which was the line’s new northern terminus for a short period.

Clapham Common – the original CSLR station was a terminus until 1924. This is the new enlarged station built on the site of the old.

The old Stockwell station ceased to be a terminus when services were extended to Clapham Common – another terminus before the Northern Line reached Morden in 1924. The original Stockwell station was closed in November 1923 and the present one slightly further south opened in 1924. It was partially rebuilt in 1971 to accomodate the Victoria Line yet doesn’t count because it was always a through station.

The old (abandoned) CSLR station was originally a terminus, before services were extended, and trains still run through the site of the old station so that counts.

This Northern Line train is seen leaving the newer Stockwell station – which doesnt count under the rules. Yet the remainder of the train at that very moment is passing through the old Stockwell station – which DOES count 🙂

I have a slight problem with Clapham Common station. At this time of writing this update (28 June 2017) I had looked at my reprint of the City & South London Railway re-opening 1924, which informs me Clapham Common was rebuilt. On page 23 of the book it says “On the southern section entirely new stations have been constructed at Clapham Common and Stockwell.” I’m not fully certain of the implications of this so I cross referenced this with photographs and maps to double check.

Originally the station entrance was on the corner of Clapham Park Road. The platforms were accessed by lifts/stairs at the northern end. In 1924 the station was rebuilt – the new entrance being on the centre island in Clapham High Street further south and giving access via escalators and stairs to the southern end of the platforms. No mention of the station being totally rebuilt is cited anywhere else, not even in Charles Lee’s Northern Line – a Brief History (1973).

I’m not too certain what this means, is it like Clapham North (which the book claims was ‘undergoing an extensive remodelling’) and which looks pretty much like Clapham Common anyway! The book clearly states Clapham Common is entirely a new station so am not sure it should even be included in this list of former tube termini unless the extent of this work can be correctly ascertained.

In the other direction the CSLR was extended, first to Moorgate as previously mentioned, before being extended to Angel and ultimately Euston (Bank branch). Euston became a through station in 1924 when the line was extended to Camden.

Euston (Bank branch.) This was originally an island platform – and the City & South London Railway terminus until 1924.

The second tube to be opened was the Central London Railway (CLR) in 1900, again entirely underground. The first station, Shepherds Bush, seems a mixed bag but I suppose its allowed as terminus refers to passenger operations. Hence Shepherd’s Bush was a terminus for passenger services even though trains continued empty to the depot at Wood Lane. It became a through passenger station in 1908 and that left Bank as the CLR’s one and only deep level terminus station.

Shepherd’s Bush – a terminus until 1908 even though trains continued out of service to the depot at Wood Lane.

Bank remained the CLR’s eastern terminus until 1912 when Liverpool St opened as a terminating station, a status that was maintained for many years. We will come back to Liverpool St later.

Bank station – the Central London’s eastern terminus for quite a few years.

Next in the list of line openings, the Great Northern & City line opened between Moorgate and Finsbury Park in 1904, with underground termini at both places. This line eventually became the City (or Highbury) branch of the Northern Line. The Finsbury Park platforms terminated adjacent to the Piccadilly’s. Since the City branch was neither extended to Alexandra Palace nor Bushey Heath, how did this particular station become a through one? That’s simple! It was taken over by the Victoria Line – whose line extended towards Walthamstow.

Finsbury Park Victoria Line. London’s only tube station that looks like a roller coaster! The result of trying to fit modern 1960’s infrastructure within an underground terminus built sixty years earlier!

The Baker Street & Waterloo (aka Bakerloo) opened March 1906 from Baker Street to Kennington Road (now Lambeth North.) The latter was a terminus for five months until the line extended to the Elephant. In the opposite direction, it opened to Marylebone (aka Great Central) for a short while in 1907 before reaching Edgware Road that same year.

Paddington,  the Bakerloo’s terminus 1913-14. This current dead end (a terminus of sorts!) within the station area will become a ‘through route’ to Crossrail when it opens in 2018.

The Bakerloo terminus at Paddington was originally meant to be south of the mainline station. Those plans were dropped and Edgware Road remained the terminus whilst the company debated the direction its line should take. The desire to connect to the main lines at Queens Park meant the Bakerloo had to build a circuitous route to bring it right underneath Paddington station facing north towards Queen’s Park. Paddington was the Bakerloo’s terminus between 1913 – 1914.

The northbound platform at Finsbury Park. The Piccadilly’s terminus until 1932.

The Piccadilly Line opened in 1906 as the Great Northern, Piccadilly & Brompton Railway. Its one and only underground terminus was at Finsbury Park (already a terminus for the Great Northern & City) and the facility became a through one in 1932 when services were extended to Arnos Grove.

The Hampstead tube’s original southern terminus at Charing Cross.

Charing Cross, Euston and Hampstead of 1907 – both Charing Cross and the original Highgate (aka Archway) were the underground termini. The line continued into the open at Golders Green station and to access the line’s depot. In 1914 the Hampstead Tube was extended to Embankment, making Charing Cross a through station.

Embankment station – ‘end of the line’ – but not even a terminus. Confusing! 🙂

Embankment wasn’t a terminus, even though it was a destination. Trains reached the station via a now closed loop then continued their journeys northwards. The Embankment loop line closed when the line was extended to Kennington in 1926.

The changes at the Hampstead tube’s southern end left Archway (the old Highgate station) as the line’s one and only true underground terminus, a role it retained for a good thirty three years.

High Barnet train leaving the old Highgate (1907-1939) en route to the new Highgate (opened 1941)

Some may point out Charing Cross on the Jubilee Line as being an underground terminus. Its like King William Street on the City and South London Railway, its not a through station in any way or form because it was by-passed completely.

Continued in part two.