Ghost Stations of the Tube
January 3, 2014 9:16 AM   Subscribe

The allure of abandoned Tube stations. The eerie empty platforms and booking offices have enthralled photographers. The worlds oldest undeground metro sytem has more than its fair share of abandoned and unopens stations all over the network (abandoned stations, Brompton Road and Kingsway previously).

Last year was the 150th birthday of the first lines. A look back at the history, famous map (previously, here and in CSS3), the return of steam, facts and figures, the underground in film, posters (previously) and photos, essential work that goes on at night, what we talk about when we talk about the Tube and 150 great things of the world oldest underground metro system after 150 years of redesigning London.

Londonist's Secrets of the London Tube (smart ways around the tube system and a guide to the network) Another look at the history of the London Underground and the Northern Line, Super Structures takes a look at the tube and how the Jubilee line was extended. Two documentary series have also been produced called The Tube, about the London Underground network, following the staff and passengers:

The Tube (2003 ITV series) The Tube (2012 BBC series) Previously: Animals on the Underground, the Circle Line, the tube map as a functional circuit board, London's Unfinished Ringways (double), a short story for every station, going (London) Underground, London Underground blogger Annie Mole experiences the New York subway for the first time, Metro-land, London Underground Fashion Victims, Hitchock Underground, The Voice of the Underground is silenced, The Bethnal Green Disaster, Transgender lawyer killed under tube train in London last year bravely created her own life, Tubecrush, London Underground in the 80s and Photographs of London Underground Stations.
posted by Z303 (16 comments total) 83 users marked this as a favorite
Wow. Have you even had time to go to the bathroom since the end of the Sherlock premiere?
posted by rikschell at 9:24 AM on January 3, 2014 [14 favorites]

For a number of (gaming-related) reasons, I've been meaning to research abandoned Tube stations. Thanks for lining it all up for me!
posted by immlass at 9:36 AM on January 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Wow, fantastic post! I have a couple of books on abandoned tube stations, but I'm really looking forward to exploring these links.
posted by sldownard at 9:41 AM on January 3, 2014

I've walked past the Aldwych Station entrance a hundred times--it's right around the corner from the main building of King's College London on the Strand. They occasionally have days where it's open to the public, but I've never managed to get down there on one. This is making me want to find out when the next one is, though.

(There're also the remains of a Roman bath a little further down the street, where (it's said) Guy Fawkes met with his fellow conspirators. I love this town.)
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 10:07 AM on January 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Not to mention some strange alien uses.
posted by Gungho at 10:08 AM on January 3, 2014

This stuff scratches my hidden room/backstage area hankering so good. I look forward to following all these links.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:14 AM on January 3, 2014

Not to mention some strange alien uses.

Such as hiding robotic yeti?
posted by RonButNotStupid at 11:07 AM on January 3, 2014

Tnx for posting! For those interested in a ghost station on the other side of the pond: there's one in Lower Manhattan that's now viewable. The number 6 subway line terminates at the "Brooklyn Bridge / City Hall" station. All passengers used to be asked to leave the train as it turned around under City Hall Park for it's uptown journey. But now they simply announce that "this is the last stop traveling south," and you can ride the train as it turns around. Lo and behold, the old "City Hall" station is now illuminated and visible from the train. Built in 1904 and closed in 1945 (?) it's quite the architectural gem.
posted by Dean358 at 11:51 AM on January 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

I remember using the "tube" in Berlin back in the mid 80s. For a few moments the railway line entered the East sector and rushed past at least one deserted and barricaded subway station. That was always a bit eerie. I doubt many dared to venture there, the border guards of East Germany were not too accommodating.

I have watched the 2012 BBC series and it was totally awesome, highly recommended. What an incredible organization to pull this off every day.
posted by nostrada at 12:30 PM on January 3, 2014

I've only actually seen a few episodes of Sherlock. I was originally planning to post this at the end of last year but could get the post to feel right. The BBC article today gave me the right hook.

Enjoy the gaming. A few of us at that last games company I worked at planned a Cthulhu Mythos game set on the underground. Shame we couldn't get the money to make it.

I have two J. E. Connor books: Abandoned Stations on London's Underground: A Photographic Record and London's Disused Underground Stations. Both good.

Mr. Bad Example
I've also been past Aldwych loads and failed to get on one of the tours. The dates for this year aren't up yet but perhaps we could sort out a meetup when they are.
posted by Z303 at 12:32 PM on January 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Wow, looking forward to digging into this. I've seen the 2012 series of The Tube linked above and it's excellent.
posted by dhammond at 2:36 PM on January 3, 2014

My commute takes me throught the deep Northern Line platforms at Embankment, which are being shut down for a year while the access elevators are renovated. This is their final week of operation, and all of the adverts have been torn off the billboards along the length - several years of stratified admatter raggedly revealing the last black backdrop.

It's not nearly as dramatic as the beautifully decayed stations in the leader, but for the last few days it's been oddly delightful to pass through the platforms in the post-Christmas quiet, sharing a taste of anonymous decay.
posted by forgetful snow at 2:50 PM on January 3, 2014

This is lovely. Thank you. I've been somewhat obsessed with subways and their alternate uses ever since reading Slake's Limbo in middle school.
posted by spamandkimchi at 2:57 PM on January 3, 2014

Re: Sherlock. The new ep does take certain... liberties with the Underground. (Much spoiler)
posted by Devonian at 3:30 PM on January 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Is it odd that every time I see pictures like these my first thought is to rate each one for livability if I were homeless?
posted by MikeMc at 4:32 PM on January 3, 2014

Just for completion's sake, my job a few years back was to schedule Jubilee line trains to the charing cross platform for films. (Recent Examples for which I was not involved, Sherlock, Thor 2)
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 6:19 PM on January 3, 2014

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