The Anonymous Widower

A Tasteful Lift Installation In A Listed Tube Station

These pictures show Cockfosters station a couple of years ago and recently.


  1. There are two similar entrances on either side of the busy Cockfosters Road.
  2. Both have wide staircases down to the platform level.
  3. There is a subway between the two entrances.
  4. There is also a level light-controlled crossing across Cockfosters Road for those who need to cross the road.
  5. The station was designed by Charles Holden.
  6. The station opened in 1933.

The station is a Grade II Listed Building, which could have made designing a lift system tricky.

This Google Map shows the station layout.


  1. Cockfosters Road at the West of the map.
  2. The white roofs of the buses, indicate, that there is a small bus station at the Western entrance to the station.
  3. The London Transport roundel indicates the Eastern entrance to the station.
  4. There are two trains in the four platforms of the station.
  5. There is a large level car park.
  6. Transport for London have a small office block in the car park.
  7. The London Orbital Path and a hidden path to Trent Park can be accessed from the entrance to the station car park.

It is a well-equipped terminal station.

Transport for London could have opted for a double lift installation with one lift on either side of the road.

But they have opted for a single lift  at the Eastern side of the station.

I took these pictures of the new lift.


  1. The first picture shows the lift in the corner of the station ticket hall and lobby.
  2. From the lift to the trains is a level walk or push.
  3. The second picture shows the surface installation in the car park.
  4. The lift is positioned by the two walking routes and conveniently for anybody being dropped off or picked up by car.
  5. The light-controlled crossing is perhaps fifty metres away to give access to both sides of Cockfosters Road.
  6. The third picture shows a close-up of the lift.
  7. The fourth picture shows a seat, for those who need to wait.

It is a very simple and well-thought out installation.





April 27, 2021 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | ,


  1. It’s amazing what you can do when you TRY! Memo to Network Rail – please copy this approach and start handling your stations with sensitivity.

    There is NO EXCUSE for bad design and poor architecture. Everything, from doorknobs to massive viaducts, should be designed to please the eye as well as the pocket, to be graceful as well as functional. Good design rarely uses more materials, and even if initial costs are higher, lifetime costs are usually lower. It makes sound business sense to include design talent from the concept stage onwards. Good examples: BR Design Panel (1960s), the Danish State Railways (1970s), the Swiss Federal Railways (1960s/70s), Danish shipping line DFDS (1960s/70s).

    Comment by Stephen Spark | April 27, 2021 | Reply

    • I very much feel, that Charles Holden will not be turning in his grave.

      The architects were Scott Brown Rigg,

      I suspect a conventional approach would have been lot more expensive and nowhere near as tasteful. I had a look yesterday when I visited and fitting lifts into the structure by the road would have been very difficult and disruptive to passengers.

      Comment by AnonW | April 27, 2021 | Reply

  2. Cockfosters Station does have the advantage of the trains being at the same level as the ticket hall meaning only one lift was needed from surface to booking hall / Train level thus reducing the cost of this scheme . I did wonder whether placing the lift entrance at surface level on what is the entrance to the car park could restrict access for some wheelchair users given the limited space available.

    Comment by Melvyn | April 27, 2021 | Reply

    • It looks to me, like they’ve been fairly clever in the use of space and there is also a gap in the yellow barrier.

      Comment by AnonW | April 27, 2021 | Reply

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