Construction of Charing Cross station

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GuyBarry

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This question relates to the opening of the modern Charing Cross tube station in 1979, comprising the Bakerloo line platforms (formerly Trafalgar Square station), Northern line platforms (formerly Strand station) and Jubilee line platforms (new construction, closed to the public in 1999).

My question is simply this. Strand station closed down in 1973 to allow for the new construction. Trafalgar Square, on the other hand, never closed down at all and was simply renamed. Why did the conversion take six years in one case and no time at all in the other?
 
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John Webb

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This was shortly after I moved away from London and stopped using that part of the rail and tube network, so I can't be too sure about this, but as I recall, the Northern line station needed complete rebuilding to accomodate new access routes, escalators, etc, while all that happened on the Bakerloo line was the eventual connection through to the Northern line which was fairly quick. The Northern line also had a connection at Embankment, so passengers for Charing Cross could get off the Northern line there and walk up Villiars Street to the side entrance to Charing Cross station.
Hence the time differences.
 

transmanche

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Why did the conversion take six years in one case and no time at all in the other?
Trafalgar Square station was relatively unchanged - other than construction of a passageway to link it to the Jubilee and Northern lines.

Whereas Strand station needed a complete upgrade. Previously access to the platforms was by lift. Construction of the new escalators meant they would cut through the old lift shafts. So the station had to close whilst the work was done.

(That's from memory though... so could be wrong!)
 
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Electrostar

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They did an awful job aesthetically with the ticket hall and subway to the street and mainline station. It's got to be the gloomiest station on the network.
 

100andthirty

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Trafalgar Square station was relatively unchanged - other than construction of a passageway to link it to the Jubilee and Northern lines.

Whereas Strand station needed a complete upgrade. Previously access to the platforms was by lift. Construction of the new escalators meant they would cut through the old lift shafts. So the station had to close whilst the work was done.

(That's from memory though... so could be wrong!)
That's what I remember too!!
 

GuyBarry

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Thanks for all the replies. I only moved to London in 1978 so I don't remember the old Strand station. I hadn't realized how much work had to be done on it.

I visited the new station on the day it opened and travelled on one of the first Jubilee line trains. Little did I know that the line would be closed twenty years later! I don't live in London any more but I imagine the current station layout must be rather odd - almost like having two separate stations again. Does anyone actually change trains there when they can use Embankment instead?
 

A60K

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Generally, no, and on the line diagrams on Bakerloo and Northern line trains Charing Cross is not shown as a mutual interchange, only as a National Rail interchange.
 

317 forever

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Generally, no, and on the line diagrams on Bakerloo and Northern line trains Charing Cross is not shown as a mutual interchange, only as a National Rail interchange.
I have tended to find it quite a long walk from Charing Cross Bakerloo line platforms to the main line station. I put up with it but Embankment might even be nearer. Embankment was named Charing Cross until 1976 anyway.
 

OxtedL

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From the Embankment concourse to the main line Charing Cross concourse is about 200m if you know where you're going. It's certainly very convenient for the District line, never used the Bakerloo at Embankment though.
 

MidnightFlyer

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As far as I know the Jubilee line platform(s) at Charing Cross are still in situ and can be used if need be - whereabouts is the entrance to these platforms?
 

yorksrob

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As far as I know the Jubilee line platform(s) at Charing Cross are still in situ and can be used if need be - whereabouts is the entrance to these platforms?
From the main railway station entrance, when you go down the escallators into the lower concourse (where you turn off to go to the Bakerloo or Northern) immediately in front of the bottom of the escallators is a wall with doors in it.

Behind these doors are a further set of escallators leading down to the Jubilee line platforms. This wall has only been built since the closure of the Jubilee line platforms (the back of which can be seen in the bottom photo on this webpage):

http://www.abandonedstations.org.uk/Charing_Cross_station.html
 

A60K

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As far as I know the Jubilee line platform(s) at Charing Cross are still in situ and can be used if need be - whereabouts is the entrance to these platforms?
They can't be used for passenger exit/entrance because the escalators are no longer operational, but they can be used to reverse trains in the event of a problem south of Green Park. Trains that reverse at Charing Cross are generally detrained at Green Park and pick up passengers from there, although railtours have reversed at Charing Cross with passengers.
 

Tiny Tim

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I'm told that the Charing Cross Jubilee Line station was abandoned because of a political decision to change the planned route - the government of the day wanted it to serve the then-new Docklands development.
 

A60K

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Yes, more specifically the developers of Canary Wharf in 1991 offered a substantial amount towards the cost of the extension on the condition it ran via Waterloo for ready connection to the SW Division British Rail services - a lot of Canary Wharf's potential future workers would be living in that part of the world.

The original plans would have taken the extension in the early 1980s via Aldwych, Ludgate Circus, Cannon Street and Fenchurch Street to SE London.
 

Electrostar

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I discovered yesterday the subways from Trafalgar Square have reopened. I'm not sure what improvements were carried out, neither the exterior signs or subways have been cleaned. There is a smaller ticket hall and barriers with blue painted plastic walls in place of what I assume are the usual brown or green walls. Certainly not up to the usual tube refurbishment standards - so I can only assume the closure wasn't for a refurb!
 

Barn

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I discovered yesterday the subways from Trafalgar Square have reopened. I'm not sure what improvements were carried out, neither the exterior signs or subways have been cleaned. There is a smaller ticket hall and barriers with blue painted plastic walls in place of what I assume are the usual brown or green walls. Certainly not up to the usual tube refurbishment standards - so I can only assume the closure wasn't for a refurb!
I think it was just for escalator maintenance.


 
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