The Anonymous Widower

All Platforms Should Be Wide Like This

It is my view, that all platforms, like this one at Angel station should be wide.


  • It must be less likely, that passengers get knocked onto the tracks.
  • Wide platforms must be easier for all passengers to navigate.
  • Blind people with of without guide dogs must find it easier.

Let’s see a few more. And with step-free access between platform and train!

January 9, 2021 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | ,


  1. Clapham Common and Clapham North are surely the scariest stations on the Underground when crowded. It’s extraordinary that TfL and the H&SE tolerate continued operation of two stations with narrow island platforms on one of the busiest lines in London. Standing there during one pre-Covid morning rush-hour proved so frighteningly unsafe – people were almost hanging over the platform edge and the incoming train was brushing against them – that I took the next train south and completed my journey by bus. It was slow but infinitely safer.

    Even Balham mainline (island platforms 1 & 2) can get uncomfortably crowded in the peaks and sometimes staff have to prevent access for safety reasons, because there’s a serious risk of people falling off the platform on to the tracks. What must it have been like in the wartime blackout when the platforms were even narrower?

    Comment by Stephen Spark | January 9, 2021 | Reply

    • There used to be a few more stations on the Northern Line like the Clapham horrors, but they’ve gone now, just as Bank will be gone soon.
      But getting rid of them, is bit a cheap process?

      Comment by AnonW | January 9, 2021 | Reply

      • Certainly not cheap – until a surge on to the platform results in multiple people falling under a train. I do feel it’s only a matter of time before something of the kind happens. Then it will be a case of “why did no one foresee this or do something about it?”

        Comment by Stephen Spark | January 9, 2021


    The,Angel Station used to have a narrow island platform ( see above link) which I used for much of my life with the bonus as a child of when two trains entered in opposite directions!

    Entry/exit to platform was by a staircase at tge end of tge platform which lead to the lifts which went to street level. The alternative was the spiral staircase!

    Euston Station had a similar island platform until the Victoria Line was built.

    Those island stations at Clapham at the southern end of Northern line are adjacent to each other so building a new section of tunnel covering them all with new platforms together with step free access and escalators if demand warrants could be done as a single project.

    Comment by Melvyn | January 9, 2021 | Reply

  3. It simply won’t happen except on newer lines where it has in a lot of instances. In many locations such as the major interchanges, the amount of room available to expand platforms is effectively zero. However, having said that, the only possible way (with major expense) would be to open up the below ground concourses and platforms into an open plan type environment. Again, not always possible in a lot of locations.

    Comment by Andrew Bruton | January 10, 2021 | Reply

    • Revive the 1930s Express Tube plan for the grossly overcrowded southern section of the Northern Line – still the only practical direct route from south London to the City and points east thereof. Rather than waste billions on the misbegotten Crossrail 2, I’d prefer to see the planners look at building parallel Northern Line tunnels for a limited-stop service and extending from Morden down to, say, Sutton (better than the mayor’s silly little tram idea) or even taking over the near-moribund Chessington branch.

      Comment by Stephen Spark | January 10, 2021 | Reply

      • I wouldn’t be surprised that when Transport for London engineers, share a pint of real ale after a hard day’s work, that this system gets discussed.

        The other fantasy discussion topic is probably what to do with the Northern City Line out of Moorgate.

        Now that it has a proper terminus at Stevenage and new trains, with decent signalling on the way, it must surely be able to handle a lot more trains.

        It was intended, that this line would be extended to just North of Bank, but I wonder, if a travelator extension could be made between Moorgate and Bank stations under the roads.

        More complicated would be a single-track tunnel under the City, like the Wirral Line in Liverpool.

        Comment by AnonW | January 10, 2021

    • The new layout at Bank Station could be a big eye opener. They have dug a new tunnel and there will be a wide concourse between the two platforms.

      The other trick in the design of the extended stations at Camden Town, Highbury & Islington, Holborn and Walthamstow Central is to build a second entrance, at the other end of the platform, like they did at Knightsbridge many years ago.

      This gives step-free entrance and halves the passenger flow along the platform.

      Comment by AnonW | January 10, 2021 | Reply

  4. […] The new Southbound platform is wide and compares well with the wide platform at Angel station, that I wrote about in All Platforms Should Be Wide Like This. […]

    Pingback by Bank Station – 16th May 2022 « The Anonymous Widower | May 16, 2022 | Reply

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