Underground History


What can I see... ?

A lot of people have said that they've printed out these pages to go on a tour to try to see some of the things I've mentioned. Some also suggested a page with an outlined "tour" that could be printed out and taken, with all the things visible from the public sections of the network outlined.

Well, this isn't a tour outline - you can do this in any order. Here I've attempted to outline some of the things that you can see for each station mentioned on the pages, without having to go on a special tour or go to parts of the network not normally accessible.

This isn't an exhaustive list - but its something to get started on and outlines all the major disused stations in the centre of London along with a few others.

NOTE: This list was compiled in the early 2000s and some things have undoubtedly changed since then. I have eneavoured to keep it up to date as people contact me to let me know of chages but please bear this in mind if you do use this page to seek out some of these locations.

Station Line Where Above Ground Subsurface
Brompton Road Piccadilly Between South Kensington & Knightsbridge Only a fragment remains on a side street just off Brompton Road. A distinctive Leslie Green facade can be seen facing Cottage Place. Travelling eastbound, the tunnels to the right of the train change from cast iron to brick for the bricked off platforms. The view is similar Westbound.
Down Street Piccadilly Between Green Park & Hyde Park Corner A Leslie Green Ox Blood coloured building, now housing a news agent and a small doorway which leads to a staircase to platform level. Travelling eastbound, the tunnels to the right of the train change from cast iron to brick for the bricked off platforms. Two quick flashes of light can be seen as you pass the small metal grilles at the foot of the stairs. Looking back as you leave the station you may catch a quick glimpse of the stub platform (though it isn't lit). The view is similar Westbound.
Aldwych Piccadilly On a disused branch of the Piccadilly, branching just north of Holborn The station is well preserved and can be found on the eastern end of the Strand. An L shaped building, with entrances on the Strand and Surrey Street. Parts of the surface station could once be clearly observed by looking through the metal gate at the Strand entrance, but this has more recently been replaced by a solid door. The station now bears its original "Strand" name. The branch is clearly visible to your right just as you leave Holborn on a northbound train. The now abandoned Aldwych branch platform was visible from the northbound Piccadilly line platforms through some gates, but in the summer of 2002 these were replaced by doors.
York Road Piccadilly Between Kings Cross St. Pancras & and Caledonian Road Another well preseved surface building; although the building is now being used as commercial premises, the station's name, entrance and exit signs are sill seen on the red bricked building, situated on the corner of York Way and Bingfield Street. Can bee seen in both directions by looking out of the right hand window of the train. An open platform area with the platforms themselves removed. Most tile work has been removed but one small patch on the southbound platform has been cleared towards the end of the platform revealing the cream and maroon tile design.
Highgate (high level platforms) Northern Directly above Highate Tube station The station's abandoned platforms and surface buildings are easily observed by leaving the station through the rear entrance (not using the escalator to street level) and walking up the footpath to the left. Look down through the fence. Public access to the station area itself is not alowed, however London Transport Museum occasionally organise public visits to the location. Its not underground...
South Kentish Town Northern Between Kentish Town & Camden Town Now a second hand goods shop, another well preserved Leslie Green red facade building on the corner of Castle Place and Town Road. Can bee seen in both directions by looking out of the right hand window of the train. An open platform area with the platforms themselves removed. It seems to be used as a storage area for line engineers.
Bull & Bush (North End) Northern Between Hampstead & Golders Green A low white building, situated on Hampstead Way. Looking out of the right hand window, lit only by the carriage's lights, the partially completed platform level can be seen when the tunnels suddenly get wider. The cast iron structure of the tunnel walls can easily be seen northbound as you pass through the station's shell. Southbound, the area has been partially walled off for use as storage.
City Road Northern Between Angel & Old Street In 2019, the last remains of the original station building were demolished and replaced by a curious windowless structure named the Bunhill 2 Energy Centre. This is in fact a heat exchanger, designed to convert excess heat from the Underground to heat local homes and amenities. Can bee seen in both directions by looking out of the right hand window of the train. An open platform area with the platforms themselves removed.
King William Street Northern On an abandoned branch of the line, forking just north of Borough. Original station building demolished. Currently under Regis House on King William Street. Access to the old station used to be via a side door at street level of Regis House but this has since been blocked by the expansion of the nearby Bank station. There is also a plaque on the north wall of Regis House, remembering the station. You may catch a glimpse of the branch's original location through the left window having just left Borough northbound. Also, you can catch a glimpse of the tunnels by looking up in London Bridge's Northern Line platforms - the metal grilles open straight into the old tunnels.
Stockwell Northern Just north of the current Stockwell station I'm not sure if the current surface building was the one in use when the old platforms were in use. Looking up the running tunnels northwards you are looking straight into the old station. White tiles can be seen in places but the platform has now gone, being replaced by a crossover area. More can be seen through the window of a train as it passes through.
Epping to Ongar branch The line can be seen running beyond Epping at the station's north platform. The northern extremity of the Central Line The tracks can be seen continuing on north east in Epping station. The first station would have been Blake Hall. This is now a private residence and now doesn't look much like a station. The next is North Weald. Again the station building is now a private residence but the platforms remain. The easiest to see is the terminating station at Ongar. Several trains including a steam locomotive are in storage there. The station house is a private residence, but the station building itself is used by a taxi company. No access to the platform is allowed. Electric Underground trains no longer run on the branch and the electirc rails have since been removed, however the Epping Ongar Railway Society currently run diesel and (occasionally) steam services on most weekends and holidays along the original route.
British Museum Central Between Holborn & Tottenham Court Road Nothing remains of the surface building - and no access door in modern buildings has been provided isolating the station from the surface. The white tiled walls (now very dirty and covered in graffiti) can easily be seen through the right hand window of the train in both directions.
Wood Lane Central Between White City & Shepherd's Bush Nothing now remains of the original station. This station was located partly above surface and partly below. Until the mid 2000s, a red painted building with distinctive roundall patterns used to signify the station's location, but this has now been demolished as the whole area has been extensively re-developed into a new shopping complex and bus station. Until mid-2005, one of the station's platforms was still visible on an east-bound train, but this has now been removed - nothing of the original station now remains.
Wood Lane Hammersmith & City Between Shepherd's Bush & Latimer Road Nothing remains of this station that can be observed from public ground. Inside what used to be the BBC Television Centre, the small building that served as the ticket office is still there and was used as a store room while TVC was still being used by the BBC. The holes in the viaduct that used to support the cantalevered wooden platform are still visible. Nothing remains to be seen.
Kings Cross St. Pancras Metropolitan, Circle and Hammersmith & City Between Farringdon and the current station platforms Can easily be observed (and partially visited) as part of the station is used today by the Thameslink mainline service as a station and platform. The disused section can be seen by looking over the wall to the Underground tracks as you walk down the steps to the platforms.
[Update: I'm now not sure of this location as I've been told that even the Thameslink platforms are now no longer in use. I'm unable to currently confirm this personally]
An abandoned platform is observable through the left window as you travel from Farringdon.
Tower Hill (Mark Lane) District & Circle Between Monument & Tower Hill The surface building can be seen on the corner of Byward Street and Seething Lane. The old station's crossover bridge is used today as a subway under the road. The subsurface section is best observed on a westbound (anticlockwise) train. The station's eastbound platform, through the right hand window of the train is partially lit and a staircase can be seen leading upwards. Better hope there isn't a train coming clockwise though or you'll see nothing!
St. Mary's Hammersmith & City and District Between Aldgate East & Whitechapel Original surface building bombed out during the Blitz - nothing remains. The platforms were bricked out during the war so seeing anything here is tricky. The only things out of the ordinary that can be seen are the lips of the original platforms which just out slightly for the length of the platforms. The Westbound platform also appears to have an illuminated doorway, presumably for emergency exit. Your only chance of seeing these are by looking out of the right hand window across the track that runs in the opposite direction - and hope a train doesn't pass on this track at that moment!
Lord's Metropolitan Between Baker Street & Finchley Road To be completed. This location is very difficult to spot as the platforms were walled after closure.
Marlborough Road Metropolitan Between Baker Street & Finchley Road To be completed. This location is very difficult to spot as the platforms were walled after closure.
Swiss Cottage Metropolitan Between Baker Street & Finchley Road I'm not sure - I suspect the same approximate location is currently being used by the Jubilee station of the same name. An inconspicuous doorway within the station leads to the platform today. A short open area without tunnel can be seen from the train. A small stub platform has been constructed to access a doorway.
Uxbridge Road Metropolitan Between Kensington (Olympia) & Latimer Road - track now removed. Although the track has been removed, the station's surface location would have been near the large roundabout at the end of Shepherd's Bush Green. Not underground.
Charing Cross Jubilee Abandoned Jubilee Platforms at Charing Cross Part of the existing station. As you come down the escalator from the mainline station, the escalators down to the Jubilee platforms can be seen through 2 small windows in the partition wall that's since been constructed (known to staff as the Great Wall of Charing Cross). On the Bakerloo side of the station, the passageway has also recently had a partition wall built - not much can now be seen this end. The branch can easily be seen when riding the Jubilee line between Green Park and Westminster - it leads off to the right (travelling from Green Park) and the new tunnels become wider and quieter.
Shodeditch Formerly on the East London Line No longer directly on any railway, on Code Street, Shoreditch. The surface building (now vandalized) still stands. All tracks and the entire platform area were filled in shortly after the station closed to allow the new Overground Line extension to be built.

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Last Modified: April 20th 2021 - but please bear in mind that I no longer live near London and am unable to verify the accuracy of some of these locations.

All material on this page is © 2002-2021 Hywel Williams unless otherwise noted

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