The Anonymous Widower

Nine Elms Station Opens

I took these pictures at Nine Elms station today, after it opened.


  1. The space is generous on the wide island platform.
  2. Access between platform and train is level.
  3. There is a set of three escalators and a lift connecting the platform to the surface.

The underground parts of the station feel very much like Canary Wharf station without the platform edge doors and fewer escalators.

Why Aren’t There Platform Edge Doors?

I was chatting to someone and they wondered how the station and Battersea Power Station station had been built without platform edge doors.

  • The thought had occurred to me too and we both thought that EU regulations meant that new underground platforms had to have these doors.
  • As the 1995 Stock on the Northern Line are very similar to the 1996 Stock on the Jubilee Line, it is unlikely to be a technical or design issue.
  • I also think it would be unlikely to be a cost issue given the size of the budget for the two stations.

Look at this picture of a train in Nine Elms station.


  1. The platform is long and straight.
  2. The platform is generally wider than some of London’s older Underground platforms.
  3. The track is arranged, so that the door openings and carriage floors line up with the platform edge, so that wheelchair users, bugger pushers and case draggers can go safely across.
  4. There is only a small gap between the train side and the platform edge, between the doors on the train, which is probably too small for anybody capable of walking can fall through.
  5. There is no Mind The Gap written on the platform. There is just a yellow line.
  6. There are no obstructions on the platform.

This second picture shows the structure of the track.


  1. The four rail electrification system is clearly visible.
  2. The far rail is energised at +420 VDC.
  3. The centre rail is energised at -210 VDC.
  4. The two running rails don’t carry any current.
  5. There is a suicide pit between the running rails and under the centre rail to protect anybody or anything falling onto the tracks.

I do wonder if Transport for London have done an analysis and found that the number of serious accidents on stations with these characteristics is small enough, to build these two new stations without the doors.

Other factors could include.

  • Stadler are the masters of step-free access and have built several innovative fleets of trains for safe step-free access without platform edge doors. Although they have nothing to do with this project, their statistics would be relevant.
  • The UK has left the EU, so we’re ignoring the regulation.
  • The Northern Line might get new trains.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see this philosophy of straight uncluttered platforms being applied across the Underground.

This picture shows the Southbound platform at Angel station.


  1. This platform was built in the early 1990s.
  2. It is wide and uncluttered.

Note that the trains were introduced after the station was opened, so that is perhaps, why the train floors are higher.


September 21, 2021 - Posted by | Design, Transport/Travel | , , , , ,


  1. You’ve got the energised rails the wrong way around

    Comment by fammorris | September 21, 2021 | Reply

    • I thought I had at the time, but I just misread Wikipedia. Thanks!

      Comment by AnonW | September 21, 2021 | Reply

  2. Why no PED?

    Reportedly cost of retrofitting all the trains to integrate with the PED (for just 2stations, which won’t be busy for some time)

    Comment by MilesT | September 21, 2021 | Reply

  3. But I think that these two stations are safer than nearly all the other deep level stations.

    When Angel was rebuilt they could have made it safer and it will be interesting to see what happens at Bank.

    Comment by AnonW | September 21, 2021 | Reply

    • Simply remember that the photo above covers what used to be where trains in both directions fitted with a Island platform in between which was narrower than the spacing of those lines of blue stickers !

      The feeling one got when trains entered in both directions was something I grew up with and can still be experienced at some stations at Clapham at southern end of the line

      Comment by Melvyn | September 21, 2021 | Reply

  4. I understand there is passive provision for the PED to be installed at a later date. The next fleet renewal will be fitted with the equipment needed to operate the PED.

    Comment by JohnC | September 22, 2021 | Reply

  5. It is probably also because they did not intend to modify the existing widened southbound platform at Angel. The northbound platform is not very excusable as it is newer.

    Comment by Vince Koh | September 23, 2021 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: