The Anonymous Widower

The Operation Of Edgware Road Station

Edgware Road station has been changed dramatically over the last few years, by becoming the balance station in the Circle line. The platforms are organised this way according to Wikipedia.

The usual service pattern is: platform 1 for outer rail services to Kings Cross, Liverpool Street and beyond, platform 2 for circle line to High Street Kensington and Victoria, platform 3 for district line trains to Earls Court and Wimbledon, and platform 4 (inner rail) for Shepherds Bush Market and Hammersmith. This may vary in times of disruption – trains can go east from any of platforms 1 2 and 3 and to any of the westbound destinations from platforms 2 3 or 4.

As I came back from Paddington station, I got out of the station to get a newspaper and I also watched Circle line trains reverse on Platform 2. There actually waiting for a few minutes and cleaners were cleaning the trains before they returned back through Victoria. It was all very efficient.

It would appear that most of the transfers at the station, just involve a simple cross platform transfer, although not always.

But by adding lifts and sorting out the access between Platforms 1 and 2,  and 3 and 4, would improve those travelling through the station, especially for those who need step free access or are travelling with heavy cases.

As an example, if you are coming north through Notting Hill Gate station on the District or Circle line and want to go west at Edgware Road station, you are best to get a District line train, but if you’re going east, a Circle line train is better.

February 4, 2013 - Posted by | Transport | , , , ,


  1. […] I had to go round to High Street Kensington today, so I went by the Circle line from Kings Cross St. Pancras station to Edgware Road station, where I changed across between Platform 4 to Platform 3 to the District line for Kensington High Street station.  Coming back, I got a Circle line train back to Edgware Road, from where I got another Circle line train to Moorgate, by walking from Platform 2 to Platform 1. So they were two very easy step free changes. Here’s some pictures, which compliment those I took yesterday. […]

    Pingback by Edgware Road Station Revisited « The Anonymous Widower | February 5, 2013 | Reply

  2. A rather remarkable station it is.

    Comment by linyangchen | February 15, 2013 | Reply

    • It just shows how if you organise things properly, you can turn a troublesome problem into a smooth-running system.

      I think at Edgware Road, someone thought long and hard about how to organise the trains.

      Years ago, I was working for a chemical company. We had a problem with a plant that made polypropylene, as it was rather complex. So a mathematician created a board game of the plant and one Sunday, everybody came in and over some beers, they examined what happened. Arguments got very heated, but everybody learned a lot, Later, when the plant was in trouble, they’d been known to get the board game out to find the answers.

      That was a very 1960s solution, but there is no reason why you shouldn’t do something similar today.

      Comment by AnonW | February 15, 2013 | Reply

      • The board game sounds something like what they call system dynamics today – all the stakeholders sitting down, considering all the feedback loops in the complex system and thrashing out the problem together using some transparent models (conceptual or computational). Unfortunately not every organization uses this powerful approach even today; I wonder to what extent London Underground has a culture of systems thinking.

        Comment by linyangchen | February 17, 2013

  3. I used to travel back to Suffolk ten years ago occasionally with a driver/instructor on the Central line, who lived near me. He used to talk a lot of sense about how they organised the trains. I suspect, that they use a lot more operation by consensus than you think. Did you see the documentary on the Underground a year or so ago?

    Comment by AnonW | February 17, 2013 | Reply

  4. I did catch a bit of it, but not the whole thing as I was very busy with my studies at the time. I would agree they must have developed their consensus system to quite a high degree, given how monumentally complicated the Underground is.

    Comment by linyangchen | March 2, 2013 | Reply

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