The Anonymous Widower

Do We Need More Angels?

Before my reader, thinks I’ve gone all religious, I’m talking about the Angel tube station.

The station was substantially rebuilt in the early 1990s and this is said in Wikipedia in a section about the rebuilding.

For years since its opening, the station regularly suffered from overcrowding and had a very narrow island platform (barely 12 feet (3.7 m) in width), which constituted a major safety issue and caused justified fear among passengers. Consequently, the station was comprehensively rebuilt in the early 1990s. A new section of tunnel was excavated for a new northbound platform, and the southbound platform was rebuilt to completely occupy the original 30-foot tunnel, leaving it wider than most deep-level platforms on the system. The lifts and the ground-level building were closed and a new station entrance was opened on 10 August 1992 around the corner in Islington High Street together with the northbound platform while the southbound platform opened on 17 September 1992. Because of the distance between the new entrance and the platforms, and their depth, two flights of escalators were required, aligned approximately at a right angle.

So that explains why the station is unusual and safe. Rather than unusual and scary!

This map from shows the layout of the tunnels through Angel station.


  1. The dotted lines of the original tracks.
  2. The track to the North (top) was the original Northbound track.
  3. The Southbound track still has the same layout.
  4. The original twelve-foot island wide platform has now been widened to create the platform labelled 2.
  5. The platform labelled 1 and the track labelled 1992 is new work.
  6. The other dotted line was a siding.

I suppose the only complaint, is that the new station is not step-free, but then the work pre-dated the time from when disabled-access became commonplace.

London Bridge station went through a similar process in the late 1990s.

This map from shows the track layout of the Northern and Jubilee Lines at the station.

London Bridge Tube Station

London Bridge Tube Station

The work that will be carried out at Bank station follows some of the things that were done over twenty years ago at Angel.

This map from shows the current layout at the station.

bank Tube Station

bank Tube Station

Note the following about the current layout and future developments.

  • Platforms 3 and 4 are the current Southbound and Northbound platforms respectively, with non-traditional on the right running.
  • A new single-track Southbound tunnel is being built to the West of the current one, to create a space between the lines.
  • The current platform 3 will become part of the passenger space as it has at Angel.
  • Platforms are being widened.
  • Better  step-free access is being created.
  • There will be escalators direct to the Central Line.
  • Oversite development is being added on the top of the new station entrance on Cannon Street.
  • In some ways too at Bank station, the precedents set by the new Walbrook Square entrance are also being followed.

This visualisation, shows what the new Bank station will look like.

I think more stations can be rebuilt along using similar techniques.

Clapham North and Clapham Common stations are the last two Northern Line platforms with an island platform in the tunnel and must be towards the top of any list. This map from shows their locations.

Note their closeness to Clapham High Street station, I am sure, that eventually a better solution to these two stations will come about because of property development in the area.

  • Euston station must be added, but this will probably be sorted with HS2 and the rebuilding above.
  • Camden Town station is planned for a major upgrade with property development on top.
  • Finsbury Park station is being improved, but given the station’s future importance, is what is planned enough?

And then there is always Highbury and Islington station, which is probably the worst station on the Victoria Line for platform access.

This map from shows the lines through the station.

Note the following about Highbury and Islington station.

  1. The Overground has been sorted with step-free access.
  2. The bridge outside the station, which was decidedly dodgy will be fixed soon.
  3. Islington Council have ambitious plans for Highbury Corner.
  4. The Northern City Line is being upgraded to a high frequency with new Class 717 trains.
  5. The frequency on the North London Line is going to be increased a notch or so.
  6. There will be more trains to the South on the East London Line.
  7. The Victoria Line is going to get closer to forty trains per hour.

All of this adds up to a desperate need to rebuild the station with more escalators and lifts, probably on both sides of the Holloway Road.

There is a further unlikely possibility at Highbury and Islington station.

Note the Canonbury Curve in the map, which lies on a single-track electrified line that links the North London Line to Finsbury Park on the East Coast Main Line, Thameslink and the Northern City Line.

If, as I suspect, that in a few years the Northern City Line is upgraded to a higher frequency, once the new Class 717 trains, there will be an even bigger need to sort out this station.


September 10, 2016 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , ,

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