London's furthest sighted tube stations?

London's furthest sighted tube stations?

Everyone talks about how near or how far a tube station is, whether its for walking, a short cut or simply an out of station interchange. Or for example its a means of avoiding the tube altogether – like Leicester Square – Covent Garden, White City – Wood Lane, Queensway – Bayswater, Lancaster Gate – Paddington or even Farringdon – Blackfriars (there we are that alternative offered by Thameslink has just gone down the plug hole!) Its often somewhat disconcerting when one exits from a tube station somewhere in London and finds there’s another practically a few yards away leaving one wondering whether they could have walked or chosen a better transport route.

One of the closest out of station interchanges which might be disconcerting to some is the one at Hammersmith. Two separate stations with two pairs of different lines right opposite each other on either side of a main road. From King’s Cross its either one route or the other. When you arrive at Hammersmith the other station is pretty much right in your face!

There are still many things about London’s underground railway system no-one talks about. I can think of many topics no-one has mentioned, probably everyone is too obsessed with the number of stations in total or whether there’s ghosts on the tube!

For example no-one seems to have discussed subjects such as what is the furthest tube station that can be seen from another? Or even the furthest tube roundel out of London (the answer is not what anyone is going to think lol!) In terms of the furthest stations from each other there’s Mile End – Stratford or Finsbury Park – Seven Sisters – however I am talking about seeing other stations from where one is standing. An easy one would be White City to Wood Lane. Its definitely not going to be Mornington Crescent to Camden Town, even though they are near each other (just half a kilometer) you cannot see one from the other.

Because of London’s streets and they way they are built its rare to really be able to see a long way down any particular street. Even Oxford Street has some slight kinks in it’s alignment – preventing anyone from seeing the next tube station down the road despite all of this street’s stations (four) in just under two kilometres (1.97km or 1.22 miles) notwithstanding the fact one can be at these stations and just make out the lights of the next further along the tube tunnels themselves. In some rare occurrences each station can be seen from the other along Oxford Street but its quite a tall order and besides the distances between are not worth examining to see if any records can be broken because one just cannot see Tottenham Court Road from either Marble Arch or Bond Street!

I am aware there are some groups of tube stations in Central London that are particularly clustered quite close to each other because of strange quirks in construction history and in terms of road alignments the Euston and Marylebone Roads has some interesting anomalies, which comes about in part because the Metropolitan Railway built the first ever underground line using this road in the 1860s but missed out on several possible stops.

Other companies filled in the gaps, these being Warren Street, Euston and beyond Great Portland Street there’s Regent’s Park, Marylebone, Edgware Road on the Bakerloo Line. In terms of the ‘New Road’ (which was the old name for the Euston and Marylebone Roads combined) there are tube stations that are a short distance apart and in several cases can also be seen from one another, such as Great Portland Street to Warren Street.

In terms of sighting tube stations from others, some other examples we have are Aldgate to Aldgate East 276 metres (or 302 metres), Mansion House to Monument (500m or 551 yards), St Pauls to Bank 529 m (or 1738m), Mile End to Bow Road 628 metres (or 687 yards), Kennington to Oval 854 metres (or 694 yards), Whitechapel to Stepney Green 946 m (or 1035 yards) – some of these examples would be where one stands just outside a tube station (though not right by its entrance) and be able to see the other station down the road whether its part of the building or the station’s roundel (I prefer to see the roundel but if not part of the station buildings will do.) BTW I’m not including other lines such as Overground or DLR.

Other examples such as Highbury and Islington to Holloway Road and Mornington Crescent to Camden Town are just not possible because although the road is reasonably straight the position of the buildings just does not allow it.

The record holder for the furthest distances visible between tube stations that I am aware of would be Redbridge station from Gants Hill looking straight down Eastern Avenue – a distance of 1.40km (0.87miles or 1516 yards.) More often than not one can be on the upper deck of a bus passing the Gants Hill tube roundel and in that instant see Redbridge station in the distance.

From Warren Street One can see Euston Square, Great Portland Street and Goodge Street tube stations. Since one can see bits of King’s Cross including the tube station itself from Euston Square I wondered if it was possible to see King’s Cross tube station from Warren Street tube station…

Its a tall order too. But if it was achievable would it be a record? It would certainly be a record for Central London even though it would not be as great as the example at Gants Hill. First Euston road isn’t perfectly straight. Secondly, King’s Cross is actually in a dip (its a valley because a river once ran through it!) Thus there was the question whether any part of King’s Cross tube station would be high enough to be visible despite being within this dip.

The elevation between Warren Street and King’s Cross happens to be around thirty three feet difference and of course those in the know will be aware that the section of Metropolitan Line approaching Euston Square is also the summit of the original 1863 line between Paddington and Farrindgon.

King’s Cross tube spotted from right outside the new Euston Square station building.

Crop of the above image showing the King’s Cross tube roundel.

It is known one can just see King’s Cross tube station from Euston Square – despite the wonky road alignment and the dip downwards. The distance is 939 metres (or 1027 yards) which comes below Whitechapel-Stepney Green and Gants Hill-Redbridge. But Warren Street? Nah! Its even more round the corner and the dip is at its greatest here. But if it was possible surely it would be the furthest distance that could be perceived from another tube station in Central London – almost equating the Whitechapel and Gants Hill examples.

I tried and tried and it was very difficult. The big problem is the traffic. There’s just so much of it that any sighting of King’s Cross tube station was just not possible even though I could see elements of the Cross with a massive zoom lenses, such as the famous lighthouse. Maybe it was just too far down the dip and thus out of sight from Warren Street?

Is that really the King’s Cross tube roundel which can be sighted from Warren Street? Taken Boxing Day pm.

I did several sessions even a late night session when the traffic was quieter. After quite a few attempts and several changes of position but keeping right by the wall of Warren Street’s station buildings itself, (I wasnt going to stand just a few yards outside the station or anything, in my view it really had to be done from the station itself!) I finally got some tangible results. One of the problems was there seemed to be a coach permanently parked in my line of sight which prevented a full sighting of the tube roundel.

Despite having written this post for Boxing Day, I still wasn’t satisfied, so on Boxing Day itself (today this pm in fact) I went out again to try some further attempts – the traffic was much quieter and whats more there wasnt a coach parked in the line of sight and so got a much better sighting of the King’s Cross Roundel!

Bingo! The tube roundel can just be seen through a maze of street posts! Boxing Day pm.

The original pair of images first used to illustrate this post were replaced by these better ones I took on Boxing Day itself. There was one problem however – I couldn’t get the other signs (HSBC, Burger King etc) in the newer shots because there was a constant obstruction somewhere on this alignment (probably a bus standing outside the former Camden Town Hall) so I had to use the larger crop from the image originally used on this post to illustrate the relationship between these and the King’s Cross tube entrance and roundel.

Even though its three quarter miles off here’s evidence (in spite of the poor resolution) King’s Cross tube can practically be seen from Warren Street!

I was able to capture the tube roundel sited on the south side of the King’s Cross thoroughfare – as well as part of the modern and substantial glass fronted subway building that features too on the south side of the road at King’s Cross.

I could also see the detail of signs at King’s Cross such as those shown below belonging to Burger King, HSBC, and a bureau de change.

The HSBC and Burger King signs which are shown in the long distance night shot. Source: Google Streets.

The signs belonging to the above premises are to the right, so first is the HSBC, then Burger King, then the blue Bureau de Change. To the left of this is the subway entrance and then beyond this is the roundel by the second subway entrance.

The tube roundel in question which can be seen from Warren Street. Some of the other lights seen in the long distance night shot probably belong to the King’s Cross post office although the resolution is not sufficient to see exactly what.

Some may claim its no record of any sort because its not something one can look down the road and be quite likely to see. Its probably something that needs certain conditions to be able to see and probably not without any optical equipment either.

The roundel which is visible from Warren Street tube station – three quarters of a mile away.

Nevertheless from my findings it seems the furthest possible distance one can sight another tube station anywhere in Central London is almost three quarters of a mile! The distance from Warren Street to King’s Cross tube is 1.19km (0.74 miles or 1320 yards.) This is of course beaten by the much easier one from Gants Hill to Redbridge in East London.

Next is part two of this series to prove King’s Cross tube station can be seen from Warren Street (and vice versa.) Also to show despite assumptions to the contrary – that both Kings’s Cross and Warren Street can be seen from outside the entrance to Euston station!

Part Two of this post here.