Friday, 7 September 2018

Chronoyster - 30 June 1879

On 30 June 1879, the Metropolitan Railway extended from Swiss Cottage to West Hampstead.

NB. This is not the same as the current Swiss Cottage station. It closed in 1940, after the new line, which is now the Jubilee line, and the current station, which is nearby, opened in 1939.

Finchley Road

The nearby O2 Centre, which opened in 1998, four years before the BT Cellnet mobile network was rebranded.

West Hampstead

A tale of three stations.

Open stations: 48

Next: 1 July 1879

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Chronoyster - 1 October 1877

On 1 October 1877, the Metropolitan Railway started serving Hammersmith (Grove Road).

Hammersmith (Grove Road)

I won't normally blog about closed stations, but I think Hammersmith (Grove Road) deserves an explanation.

In 1869, the London and South Western Railway (LSWR) opened a new line that branched off north of Kensington (Olympia), then called Addison Road. The new line went in a loop, under then parallel to the Metropolitan Railway, now the Hammersmith & City line (HCR), then headed west towards Richmond. Hammersmith (Grove Road) was a new station on this line.

In 1870, a junction was opened north of Grove Road, connecting the LSWR line with the HCR and the Great Western Railway briefly ran services between Paddington and Richmond.

On 1 October 1877, the Metropolitan Railway also started running services along this route, so that is the date that Grove Road became an "Underground" station.

The stations between Hammersmith and Richmond that featured on my last blog (1 June 1877) come from when the District Railway extended from their Hammersmith station to a junction with the LSWR line. The District Railway had a competitive advantage with a more direct route to central London, and gradually the other train companies withdrew from the Richmond route. The Metropolitan service ended 31 December 1906, so that's when Grove Road ceased to be an "Underground" station. Eventually, the LSWR loop, Grove Road (and LSWR's Shepherd's Bush station) closed completely in 1916.

On 1 February 1878, Earl's Court was relocated to its current position.

Open stations: 46

Next: 30 June 1879

Wednesday, 22 August 2018


I recently got back from spectating at the European Athletics Championships in Berlin. While I was there I did, of course, find a few interesting things on the U-Bahn.

Leaving Friedrichstra├če station, I almost thought I was outside Liverpool Street! Both this sculpture and the one in London are part of a series commemorating the "Kindertransport" which saved the lives of many Jewish refugee children before World War II. The sculptor, Frank Meisler, who passed away in February at the age of 92, was one of those children. There are also sculptures at Gdansk in Poland and at the Hook of Holland.

Wittenbergplatz station, with its marvelous entrance building in the middle of the square, is worth a visit anyway, but on platform 1 you can find this London Underground roundel. The plaque below explains that it was a gift from the London Transport Executive in 1952, to mark the 50th anniversary of the Berlin U-Bahn.

Wittenbergplatz, along with many other notable stations, is the work of Swedish architect Alfred Grenander. He worked on U-Bahn stations from 1902 until his death in 1931. I went to the end of line U3 to visit one of his 1929 works, Krumme Lanke, which is said to have inspired Charles Holden in his 1930s designs for the Piccadilly line, including Chiswick Park.

Friday, 17 August 2018

Chronoyster - 1 June 1877

On 1 June 1877, the District Railway extended from Hammersmith to Richmond.

This is the first branch of the Underground south of the Thames.

Ravenscourt Park

then Shaftesbury Road

Ornate ironwork above the entrance

Turnham Green

My source for many of the interesting sights on the underground is the "150 Great Things About The Underground" blog.


Gunnersbury would probably get my vote as ugliest station, as it is in a concrete cutting, surrounded by multi-storey car parks.

Kew Gardens

Coincidentally, IanVisits recently blogged about this bridge, and he can provide all the details much better than me.

"The Tap On The Line" was the last pub accessible from an Underground station, but now there is no access from the platform.


Open stations: 45

Next: 1 October 1877

Thursday, 2 August 2018

Close to home - Station 4 - Southampton Central

Station: Southampton Central
Station code: SOU
Distance from my house: 3.510km
Visited duting journey 1: Chandlers Ford to Millbrook

Southampton Central is the main station of the city. It sits between St. Denys and Millbrook, which I have already blogged. Because of the way the railway curves through the city centre, it is slightly further from my house (only 459m further away than Millbrook).

When the station first opened in 1895, it was right on the seafront. A series of land reclamation projects expanded the docks, largely funded by the London and South Western Railway, left the station landlocked and allowed it to expand from two platforms to four.

The passenger footbridge within the station, includes this mural which was installed in 1988.

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Chronoyster - 18 November 1876

On 18 November 1876, the Metropolitan Railway extended from Liverpool Street to Aldgate


Photo taken from over the wall opposite the entrance

Tribute to those who died at Aldgate on 7 July 2005.

On 1 March 1877, North End (Fulham) was renamed West Kensington.

Open stations : 40

Next : 1 June 1877

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Close to home - Station 3 - Swaythling

Station: Swaythling
Station code: SWG
Distance from my house: 3.385km
Visited during Journey 1: Chandlers Ford to Millbrook

Swaythling is the next stop north of St. Denys, in the direction of London.

The station building, on the side for trains heading to Southampton city centre, is only open weekdays mornings, and apparently contains a ticket office. There is a ramp up to the footbridge leading to the other side and the direction of Southampton University.