Northern Line

 

EUSTON

 

Euston station didn't close; like its mainline namesake, it just was redeveloped beyond recognition.

 

Press Refresh or Load Image if the image doesn't appear

 

The Northern Line was an amalgamation of two lines: the City & South London Railway, and the Charing Cross, Euston & Hampstead Railway. Both of the original companies had separate surface buildings at Euston as well as a third shared one in the mainline station.

Both of the external station buildings were closed in 1914, leaving only the shared one in the mainline station in use. That they had only opened in 1907 is testament to the waste that direct competition and a lack of a cohesive planning strategy can cause: they were built at the insistence of the LNWR in exchange for allowing the shared one to be built on its property (the rationale behind this is somewhat mystifying). The arrival of the Victoria line necessitated a remodelling of the station but unfortunately it now has one of the more confusing layouts on the underground.

 


 

CITY & SOUTH LONDON RAILWAY

 

An attempt at a diagram showing the two sets of Northern Line platforms in relation to the shared lifts. The numbers on the diagram show where the photos further down the page were taken from. The platform numbering is how it was before the Victoria Line was opened.

To open the diagram in a new window, click here.

 

 

 

 

This passage leads to the lifts that were shared between the two competing companies and which led up to Euston mainline station. The lifts themselves are just about visible at the end of the passage.

(photo: 2009)

 

 

 

The direct connecting passageway between the two lines has this oddity: a deep level ticket office. The space inside the office is very limited and must have provided a claustrophobic working area. The passageway leads down toward the City Branch platforms.

(photo: 2009)

 

 

 

The ticket office window.

(photo: 2009)

 

 

 

Press Refresh or Load Image if the image doesn't appear

View of the ticket office from the opposite direction.

(photo: 2008)

 

 

 


Looking down from the direct connection passageway. The passageway on the left leads to the shared lift shafts. The south-western end of the City Branch island platform can be seen at the bottom of the stairs beyond the grille (the southbound track is on the left of the white line - the northbound track has been diverted elsewhere).

Some idea of the cramped nature of these passageways can be gained from this photo. It dates from 1979. For a similar view thirty years later, move your cursor over the image.

 

 

 

View of the grilled gate from the platform side. The steps leading up can just be made out. The wall on the left is built on the trackbed area of the former alignment of the northbound track.

(photo: 1979)

 

 

 

Press Refresh or Load Image if the image doesn't appear
As detailed on the previous page, platform 3, the northbound City branch, was diverted to provide a cross-platform interchange with the northbound platform of the new Victoria line. As the two City Branch platforms were of an island formation, the track bed serving the old platform 3 was filled in to create an extra wide City branch southbound platform (renumbered from platform 4 to platform 6) relieving the dangerous overcrowding that had been occurring on the small island platform.

The diversion of the northbound City Branch track led to this section of the old tunnel becoming disused north of the station. The new northbound tunnel rejoins this alignment a little further away from the station.

(photo: 2008)

 

 

 

Press Refresh or Load Image if the image doesn't appear
The City Branch southbound platform looking north. Compare with Dewi Williams' 1950s photo. The northbound track was on the left here, this photograph taken from approximately the position of the old platform edge. The narrow aspect of the platform space that had to serve both northbound and southbound directions at a very busy station can be appreciated here.

The ventilation windows seen on the upper left are the remains of the passageways leading to the C&SL lifts and are detailed below.

(photo: 2008)

 

 

 

Press Refresh or Load Image if the image doesn't appear

The ventilation shafts viewed in the photo above this one, don't look particularly interesting. However, this is what lies behind them: the remains of the passageways leading to the C&SLR station building in Eversholt Street. The station building was located on the east side of Euston station, closed in 1914 and demolished in the 1930s.

According to Rails Through The Clay (1): "At the east end of the island platform, a gallery suspended from the tunnel roof led to two lifts communicating with a surface ticket hall in Eversholt Street."
It should be remembered that the platform length was originally much shorter than it is now and that these access portals would not have been two-thirds along the platform as they are now (the City Branch was closed for widening of the tunnels and lengthening of the station platforms between 1922 and 1924).

(photo: 2008)

 

 

 

Press Refresh or Load Image if the image doesn't appear

Facing the other way. One of the portals for the lifts can be seen bricked up on the left of the photo.

(photo: 2008)

 

 

 

View of the lift portals.

(photo: 2009)

 

 

 

The aged tiling still aesthetically pleasing.

(photo: 2009)

 

 

 

Press Refresh or Load Image if the image doesn't appear
The shaft for the emergency stairs. It is partially filled in but the metalwork for the steps can be seen embedded in the wall.

(photo: 2008)

 

 

 

The location of the surface building, demolished in the 1930s. A photo of the original building can be viewed here.

(photo: 2009)

 

Press Refresh or Load Image if the image doesn't appear

The City & South London Railway's island platform (the southbound City Branch of today's Northern Line) looking toward Kings Cross. As noted above, the layout here was originally that of a narrow island platform, the same type that can still be seen at Clapham North and Clapham Common (themselves earmarked for platform widening). With the arrival of the Victoria line, the northbound track was diverted elsewhere, allowing the old northbound track to be filled in, providing a very wide southbound platform (and same-level interchange with the Victoria Line). Similar works have been carried out at the Angel and London Bridge.

The photo above shows the end of the platform and the truncated remains of the old northbound platform/track (a brick wall has subsequently been built in the place of the railings seen here).

(photo: 1979)

 

 

 

Same bit of platform as above but facing the other direction.

The track to the right of the photographer is that of the southbound City branch (trains will approach the camera). The track leading under the camera's position crosses over to the old northbound track, from which another tunnel branches off: the connecting tunnel to the Piccadilly Line at Kings Cross. (If you look at the Piccadilly line tunnel as a train is approaching the eastbound platform at Kings Cross, you will see the other end of this connecting tunnel.)

For Dewi Williams' photo of the City Branch platforms before reconstruction, click here, or for his home page (much interesting stuff on there), click here.

(photo: 1979)

 

 

 

Press Refresh or Load Image if the image doesn't appear
Facing the opposite way from the photo above. The left hand tunnel is the southbound. The right hand tunnel houses the old northbound (which can be seen in this photo) and to its right, out of shot, the link tunnel to the Piccadilly line.

(photo: 2008)


 

(1) Desmond F. Croome & Alan A. Jackson - Rails Through The Clay: A History Of London's Tube Railways. (Capital Transport Publishing, Middlesex. 1993. ISBN 185414 151 1)
 


 

King William Street (Northern Line)

 

 

Photos taken between 1977 and 1981, except where stated.