The Anonymous Widower

Is Clapham Common Station Dangerous?

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.

I passed through Clapham Common station this morning and took these pictures.

Well to be fair, the fourth picture is one I took earlier.

Using The Experience At Bank To Advantage

As I write this, there are underground construction workers starting the final push to rebuild Bank station. After dismantling a lot of the Northern Line through Bank station, I would expect that engineers and workers have ideas as to how they could sort Clapham Common station and its near neighbour to the North; Clapham North station.

There would appear to be two possible lines of thought.

One would be to apply the Bank solution of digging a new Northbound tunnel.

  • It would  by-pass the two current stations, by looping to the West.
  • The current Northbound track would be filled in at both stations and used to widen the platform, which would handle Southbound trains on the current track.
  • A new platform on the new Northbound track would be built outside the current tunnel and connected to the widened platform over the old Northbound track, by passageways through the tunnel wall.
  • It should be possible to slip a lift down to the wide island platform to give step-free access.

Hopefully the current access to the surface could still be used.

I also wonder if engineers know enough about Victorian tunnel construction to just strip the tunnel and widen it

  • The tracks would be moved further apart.
  • The island platform would be widened.
  • Step-free access might be difficult.

As with the other method, the current access to the surface could still be used.


















September 22, 2021 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , ,


  1. Well it used to terrify me standing

    Comment by fammorris | September 22, 2021 | Reply

    • I grew up using the Angel Station which had a similar narrow Island platform with trains entering and leaving in opposite directions and when this occurred there was a large amount of wind generated by both trains . Eventually it was agreed this was a dangerous situation given the continued growth in passengers and eventually a new tunnel was built together with a new entrance as part of an office development with escalators replacing the old lifts.
      This development occurred before adding step free access became the norm so the Station remains inaccessible to wheelchair users but does have escalators providing stair free access from street to platform.

      Looking at the above map the first question is how far are these tube stations apart as it might be possible to just rebuild Clapham North and integrate it with the Overground Station and close Clapham Common ?

      If both underground stations remain then it needs to be done as a single job with a TBM boring a new tunnel to encompass both stations and with new entrances with both escalators and step free lifts at both stations . With Clapham Common being used a worksite with the access tunnel eventually used as a ventilation shaft .

      Comment by Melvyn | September 22, 2021 | Reply

      • I use the Angel regularly and I think it could be made step-free. There are two sets of three escalators at ninety degrees with a landing in between.

        Certainly if Crossrail 2 ever comes to the Angel, which I doubt, they would need to rebuild a lot of the station and that would allow step-free access to be added.

        But I do feel that there could be a step-free access created in the old station, if that valuable site were to be developed, which could be likely.

        Angel also has frequent step-free buses to Kings Cross and Moorgate both of which are or will be step-free with lifts fairly soon.

        As the tunnel for both the Clapham stations would probably involve less tunnelling than the new diversion at Bank, which was dug using the traditional method of men with picks and shovels, I suspect a TBM would not be used.

        Comment by AnonW | September 22, 2021

    • It must have been worse in the 1950s, as I can remember trains regularly went through without stopping, blasting the horn. A driver told me, that it was when a small fault occurred and they weren’t allowed to fix it.

      Comment by AnonW | September 22, 2021 | Reply

  2. They should tie up Clapham North’s rebuild with Clapham High Street. Perhaps they can work out another exit at Clapham High Street, whilst bringing step-free access to the Overground station. Clapham Common, though, has more space to work with at the nearby park.

    Comment by Vince Koh | September 23, 2021 | Reply

    • There are a lot of possibilities for the two stations! At least they’re both in Lambeth, so there isn’t the possibility of two councils arguing about who gets the step-free.

      Comment by AnonW | September 23, 2021 | Reply

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