The Anonymous Widower

The Piccadilly And Victoria Lines, Manor House Station And Harringay Green Lanes Station

The planners and the politicians created a real dog’s breakfast here, when the Victoria Line was designed and built in the 1960s.

A Few Facts

I’ll start with a few facts, as far as we can trust Wikipedia.

From the Planning and construction section of the entry for the Victoria Line.

A test tunnel from Tottenham to Manor House under Seven Sisters Road had been bored in 1959 and was later incorporated into the running tunnels.

From the entry for Seven Sisters station.

The section of Victoria line between Seven Sisters and Finsbury Park stations is the longest between adjacent stations in deep level tunnels on the London Underground network.

From our own observations.

There is a ventilation station at the junction of Green Lanes and St. Ann’s Road. This was put in, as it’s a long way between Turnpike Lane and Manor House stations. The Cockfosters Extension section of the entry for the Piccadilly Line says this.

It was also planned to build a station between Manor House and Turnpike Lane at the junction of Green Lanes and St Ann’s Road in Harringay, but this was stopped by Frank Pick, who felt that the bus and tram service at this point was adequate. However, a ‘Ventilation station’, in similar architectural style to tube stations of the time was provided at the site, and is visible today. There was also some opposition from the London and North Eastern Railway to the line.

I think we underestimate the influence the LNER had on shaping London’s railways. Much was positive, but some was about protecting their interests.

I had a great uncle, who lived in Harringay and in the 1950s, we’d go and visit him on the 29 bus, as it was a long walk from Turnpike Lane.

What Might Have Been

Here again from various parts of Wikipedia.

From the Victoria Line section of the entry for the Piccadilly Line

During the planning stages of the Victoria line, a proposal was put forward to transfer Manor House station to the Victoria line, and also to build new “direct” tunnels from Finsbury Park to Turnpike Lane station, thereby cutting the journey time in and out of central London. This idea was eventually rejected due to the inconvenience to passengers that would have been caused during rebuilding, as well as the costs of the new tunnels.

From the entry for Seven Sisters station.

During the planning phase of the Victoria line, thought was given to converting Manor House into a Victoria line station and diverting the Piccadilly line in new tunnels directly from Finsbury Park to Turnpike Lane via Harringay Green Lanes, but the idea was abandoned because of the inconvenience this would cause, as well as the cost.

From fifty years and more after construction of the Victoria Line it might seem to be a feasible plan on a cursory look.

  1. It would speed trains on the Piccadilly Line to Kings Cross and Central London, as the route is shorter.
  2. There would be an extra station at Harringay Green Lanes on the Piccadilly Line, which would replace Manor House.
  3. It might also be feasible to turn the ventilation station at Green Lanes into a station.
  4. There would be an extra station at Manor House on the Victoria Line.

Also affecting these services will be this summer’s upgrade to the Victoria Line which will allow thirty-six trains per hour on that line.

So if you take the two improvements together passengers on both the Victoria and Piccadilly Line would get a better service with extra stations.

Enter Crossrail 2

Crossrail 2 will add another dimension to the planning in this area.

I’ll start with a personal observation from my childhood.

Many times, I travelled from Oakwood to Leicester Square or South Kensington and it’s a long way! It probably still is! And in trains that are a lot more crowded.

The opening of Crossrail 2 will affect the Piccadilly and Victoria Lines.

  1. Passengers on the Piccadilly Line from Wood Green northward may switch to Crossrail 2 at Turnpike Lane.
  2. Passengers on the Victoria Line from Walthamstow may switch to Crossrail 2 at Tottenham Hale.
  3. Many passengers from the London Boroughs of Barnet, Enfield, Harringey and Waltham Forest, will change their route to Central London with the arrival of Crossrail 2. And before that an upgraded Thameslink.

I think overall, we’ll see an easing of the lot of passengers on both the Piccadilly and Victoria Lines, by the end of the next decade. The Piccadilly Line should also have been upgraded with new and larger trains, running to an increased frequency. The Future Upgrades section for the Wikipedia entry for the Piccadilly Line says this.

On current plans, resignalling work on the Piccadilly line will begin in 2019 and new trains should be in service by 2022.

If the Piccadilly Line eases South of Turnpike Lane, then there may be scope for opening more stations on the line at perhaps the ventilation station on Green Lanes and Harringay Green Lanes.

And what about an interchange to the North London Line at Maiden Lane to serve the Kings Cross Central development?

How Could New Stations Be Built?

Doing anything at present to create any new stations on the Piccadilly Line is probably not feasible, as it would be impossible to shut the Piccadilly or Victoria Lines for long enough to do anything substantial. There’s been enough chaos caused by shutting the outer reaches of the Victoria Line this summer.

Transport for London have a similar problem about creating a link between the Central Line and the East London Line at Shoreditch High Street station. Transport for London feel that nothing can be done until Crossrail opens. I discussed that link in Will Shoreditch High Street Be Connected To The Central Line?.

Creating new stations on the Piccadilly Line probably can’t be done, until Crossrail 2 is opened, as how do the passengers get to work, rest and play?

I think that in a few years time actually creating the stations will not be as difficult as it would be today, from a construction point-of-view. The experience gained on building Whitechapel station on Crossrail, where a technique called uphill excavation has been used, might be applicable.

Conclusion On The Piccadilly Line In Harringay

My view is that a sort out of the Piccadilly Line and its stations in Harringay is possible and probably very worthwhile, but only after Crossrail 2 has been opened.

Planned Rail Development At Harringay Green Lanes Station

Over the next few years, there will be two major developments on the GOBlin through Harringay Green Lanes station.

The line is going to be electrified with 25 KVAC overhead lines, which will mean putting up structures to support the cables. The bridge across Green Lanes will probably be replaced, as it doesn’t look to be in the best of condition and to be safe, it will probably be replaced before the wires are erected.

The new electric trains will be four-car and this will probably mean the platforms have to be extended. I suspect that Transport for London may well future-proof the station and extend the platforms for perhaps six or even eight-car trains.

There is definitely space at the eastern end of the station to do the platform extension, but why not extend the platforms over the bridge and perhaps even use glass sides, as they’ve done at Deptford.  Extending over the road will also mean that in future a western entrance or link to Harringay station could be created.

As no plans to replace the bridge have been published that I can find, could it be that Network Rail and their architects are working with property developers to design a proper flagship station?

I also think that designing a station to carry the overhead wires in its structure, as I’ve seen at Liege station, may simplify the design and save on the cost of the building.

Property Development And Harringay Green Lanes Station

If you want a profitable development, building car parking is a waste of money, so good access to public transport is essential.

For this reason and especially for housing, property development will be the force that drives the development of London’s transport system.

There is a lot of scope for property development in the area around Harringay Green Lanes station.

This document from the London Borough of Harringey entitled Harringay’s Local Plan lists a large number of development sites around the station.

On Page 92 the document details the St. Ann’s Hospital Site, which lies to the north of the GOBlin. It details how the South West corner of the hospital site will be connected to Green Lanes and the station.

On Page 94 the document goes on to talk about the Arena Retail Park, which adjoins the station.

Both sites have something that developers love. They are both in single ownership; one public and the other private.

So you can have control of the sites without the sort of problems that Tottenham Hotspur have had on building their new stadium, which has delayed the development for some years.

As it will be in the developers’ interest and profitability to have good public transport, I would be very surprised not to see a very good station built at Harringay Green Lanes to serve their developments and also to improve the transport opportunities for locals. This is said in the document.

Access to Harringay Green Lanes Station should be improved by creating a
new entrance on Portland Gardens.

Also, no sane developer would build this station without a secret place, where the escalators and lifts to the Piccadilly Line could be installed. As an example, Tottenham Court Road and perhaps Angel stations, are already ready to accept Crossrail 2.

I believe that given the amount of property development that will take place in the area, a new station at Harringay Green Lanes will be one of the first new buildings to be constructed.

Imagine the advertising potential for your development to see a shiny glass and steel station built over Green Lanes, as you drive or ride a bus through the area. Buiilding the station partly over the road would mean you need to use less valuable land and it would be easier to create a Hackney style link to Harringay station along the railway. If you want to see what can be done, go to Deptford station.


If you have a flagship station at one end of Green Lanes in Harringay, why not have one at the other by converting the ventilation station into a real one?

I just wonder if that should and could be done before Turnpike Lane is rebuilt for Crossrail 2, so that there is an alternative station, if Turnpike Lane had to be closed.

Crossrail have shown that they like to be good neighbours and converting the ventilation station could be something they’d look at to cool the anger of diverted passengers and local residents. The superb new Pudding Mill station on the DLR was built by Crossrail, as the old station was in their way and had to be demolished. I was very surprised that the new station is so spectacular, but I suspect that through good design, clever use of space and leaving out expensive escalators and various utilities not needed if there are driverless trains and no booking office, that the station wasn’t as expensive as it looks. The property developers and West Ham United won’t be complaining.





August 16, 2015 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , ,


  1. […] according to this document on the Harringey Council web site. I talked about the possibilities in The Piccadilly And Victoria Lines, Manor House Station And Harringay Green Lanes Station, where I believe a flagship station could be built across Green […]

    Pingback by Could The Gospel Oak to Barking Line Transform East London? « The Anonymous Widower | August 17, 2015 | Reply

  2. […] It should be said, that the station sits in the middle of an area, that Harringey Council want to redevelop and that this will involve a new station. I wrote about stations in the area in The Piccadilly And Victoria Lines, Manor House Station And Harringay Green Lanes Station. […]

    Pingback by Are We Seeing A New Approach To Electrification On The Gospel Oak To Barking Line? « The Anonymous Widower | January 26, 2016 | Reply

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