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London Bridge station

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Title: London Bridge station  
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Subject: London Victoria station, Cannon Street station, London Waterloo East railway station, Charing Cross railway station, East Croydon station
Collection: Former City and South London Railway Stations, Former London, Brighton and South Coast Railway Stations, Former South Eastern Railway (Uk) Stations, Jubilee Line Stations, Network Rail Managed Stations, Northern Line Stations, Railway Stations in Southwark, Railway Stations Opened in 1836, Railway Stations Opened in 1900, Railway Stations Served by Southeastern, Railway Stations Served by Southern, Railway Termini in London, Thameslink Railway Stations, Tube Stations in Southwark
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London Bridge station

London Bridge
The new concourse at London Bridge
London Bridge is located in Central London
London Bridge
Location of London Bridge in Central London
Location Southwark
Local authority London Borough of Southwark
Managed by Network Rail
Station code LBG
DfT category A
Number of platforms 9 (was 16)
(numbered 1–3 & 10–15)
Accessible Yes [1]
Fare zone 1
National Rail annual entry and exit
2008–09 49.901 million[2]
— interchange   4.971 million[2]
2009–10 48.723 million[2]
2010–11 51.478 million[2]
2011–12 52.634 million[2]
— interchange   8.610 million[2]
2012–13 53.351 million[2]
— interchange   8.568 million[2]
2013–14 56.442 million[2]
— interchange   8.815 million[2]
Railway companies
Original company London & Croydon Railway
Pre-grouping South Eastern Railway
London, Brighton & South Coast Railway
Post-grouping Southern Railway
Key dates
14 December 1836 Opened
Other information
Lists of stations
External links
  • Departures
  • Layout
  • Facilities
  • Buses
London Transport portal
UK Railways portal

London Bridge is a central London railway terminus and connected London Underground station in Southwark, occupying a large area on two levels immediately south-east of London Bridge and 1.6 miles (2.6 km) east of Charing Cross. The main line station, which is the oldest railway station in London fare zone 1 and one of the oldest in the world having opened in 1836, contains nine terminal platforms and six through-platforms for services from the south and south-east of London. Through services continue to Charing Cross or Cannon Street. In terms of passenger arrivals and departures it is the fourth-busiest station in London as well as the United Kingdom as a whole, handling over 54 million customers a year. (These statistics do not include the many commuters who transfer between lines at the station.)

London Bridge is served by Thameslink trains running between Bedford and Brighton as well as Southeastern services from Cannon Street to destinations in southeast London, Kent and East Sussex. It is also the terminus for Southern commuter and regional services to south London and numerous destinations in South East England.

The main line station is one of 19 UK stations managed by Network Rail.[3] The Underground station is served by the Jubilee line and the Bank branch of the Northern line. It consists of a ticket hall and entrance area with its main frontage on Tooley Street, along with entrances on Borough High Street, as well as within the main line station concourse and a corridor under the through-platforms (currently 1–6).

London Bridge is one of two main line termini in London to the south of the River Thames, the other being Waterloo. For this reason, neither has a direct connection to the Circle line.


  • History 1
    • Original London and Greenwich Railway station 1.1
    • London and Croydon Railway station 1.2
    • Joint station 1.3
    • South Eastern Railway station 1.4
    • London Brighton and South Coast Railway station 1.5
    • Southern Railway station 1.6
    • British Railways station 1.7
  • National Rail station 2
    • Services 2.1
  • London Underground station 3
  • Station rebuild 4
  • Accidents and incidents 5
  • Connections 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


London Bridge station was opened as the London station on 14 December 1836 south of the River Thames in Tooley Street, making it the first and oldest of the current London railway termini. It was not the earliest station in the present London metropolitan area, as the London and Greenwich Railway opened stations first at Spa Road (in Bermondsey) and Deptford on 8 February 1836. Delays in the completion of a bridge at Bermondsey Street postponed the opening of the line into London Bridge station until December. This meant that by September 1836 trains were able to operate as far as the east end of Bermondsey Street bridge, but no further, with passengers having to walk the last hundred or so yards.[4] Since then the station has had a most complex history, involving frequent rebuilding and changes of ownership.

Original London and Greenwich Railway station

The original London and Greenwich Railway station at the time of the opening of the line in December 1836 before the roof was erected, and before the ground in front of the group of spectators was cleared to build the original Croydon station

The original station was built with a wooden trussed pitched roof, 56 ft by 212 ft (17m by 65m), shortly after opening. However, prior to its completion, the London and Greenwich Railway entered into an agreement with the proposed London and Croydon Railway for the latter to use its tracks from Corbett's Lane, Bermondsey, and to share its station. The Greenwich railway had however underestimated the cost of building the long viaduct leading to London Bridge and was not able to build a sufficiently large station for the traffic for both companies, and so in July 1836 it sold some land adjacent to its station (then still under construction) to the Croydon railway to build their own independent station.[5]

London and Croydon Railway station

A 1908 Railway Clearing House map of lines around the approaches to London Bridge

The London and Brighton Railway and the South Eastern Railway (SER) were also then planning routes from London to Brighton and Dover respectively, and the British Parliament decided that the London and Greenwich line should become the entry corridor into London from South East England. Thus these two railways were required to share the route of the London and Croydon Railway from near Norwood (which in turn shared the route of the London and Greenwich Railway from Bermondsey to London Bridge). As a result, in 1838 the London and Croydon Railway obtained powers to enlarge the station it was then constructing at London Bridge, even before it had opened for traffic.[6]

The London and Croydon Railway opened its line and began using its station on 5 June 1839, the London and Brighton Railway joined it in July 1841, followed by the South Eastern Railway in December 1842. Fairly quickly it was found that the viaduct approaching London Bridge would be inadequate to deal with the traffic generated by four railways and so between 1840 and 1842 the Greenwich railway widened it, doubling the number of tracks to four. The new lines, intended for the Croydon, Brighton and South Eastern trains, were situated on the south side of the existing Greenwich line, whereas their station was to the north of the London Bridge site, giving rise to an awkward and potentially dangerous crossing of one another's lines. The directors of the companies involved therefore decided to exchange the station sites. The London and Greenwich Railway would take over the newly completed London and Croydon Railway station, whilst a new joint committee of the Croydon, Brighton and South Eastern companies would demolish the first station and build a new joint station on its site.[7]

Joint station

The proposed London Bridge joint station c. 1844

Plans for a large new station were drawn up, designed jointly by campanile'.[9] It opened for business in July 1844 while only partially complete, but events were taking place which would mean that the bell tower would never be built, and the new building would only last five years.[10]

In 1843 the South Eastern, and the Croydon railway companies became increasingly concerned by the high tolls charged by the London and Greenwich Railway for the use of the station approaches, and gained Parliamentary approval to build their own independent line into south London to a new station at Bricklayer's Arms. This line opened in 1844 and most of the services from these two companies were withdrawn from London Bridge, leaving only the Greenwich and Brighton companies using London Bridge station. The Greenwich company, which was in financial difficulties beforehand, was on the brink of bankruptcy and so was forced to lease its lines to the South Eastern Railway, which took effect from January 1845. The following year the Croydon and Brighton companies merged with others to form the London Brighton and South Coast Railway (LB&SCR). As a result of these amalgamations, there were now only two companies wishing to use the two adjoining stations at London Bridge. As a result, the LB&SCR used the unfinished joint station until 1849, when it was demolished to make way for an enlarged station.

The South Eastern Station (left) and the temporary Brighton station c. 1850 after the demolition of the Joint station

South Eastern Railway station

The SER took over the second London and Greenwich station (which had been built for the London and Croydon Railway) and sought to develop that site rather than continue to invest in the former joint station, which became the property of the LB&SCR. The SER station was therefore rebuilt and enlarged between 1847 and 1850, to a design by Samuel Beazley.[11] At the same time yet further improvements were made to the station approaches, increasing the number of tracks to six, which entirely separated the lines of the two railways.[12] Once these extensions were complete the SER closed its passenger terminus at Bricklayer's Arms and converted the site into a goods depot.

London Bridge station remained the London terminus of the SER until 1864 when its station was again rebuilt and five of the existing platforms were converted into a through station to enable the extension of the main line into central London and the opening of Charing Cross railway station, and in 1866 to Cannon Street station.[13] In 1899 the SER entered into a working amalgamation with the London Chatham and Dover Railway (LC&DR) to form the South Eastern and Chatham Railway Companies Joint Management Committee. Junctions were laid to enable trains through London Bridge to reach the LC&DR stations at Holborn Viaduct and St Pauls.

London Brighton and South Coast Railway station

The London Brighton and South Coast Railway station c. 1853
The two stations, as seen from the line c. 1853

The LB&SCR took over the unfinished joint station, which they demolished in 1849 and opened a temporary station in 1850.[14] This was rebuilt and enlarged in 1853-4 to deal with the additional traffic from the lines to Sydenham and Crystal Palace. A three-storey box-like structure was erected, with the name of the railway emblazoned on the top parapet.

Plan of the stations by 1888, with the SER's separate high- and low-level tracks, and the LB&SCR's new platforms 4, 5 and 6 and Terminus Hotel

In 1859 the London Chatham and Dover Railway applied to the LB&SCR for running powers from Sydenham to London Bridge, but was refused.[15] However, some ticketing arrangement was made between the two companies as the LC&DR advertised connections to and from London Bridge in its timetables in The Times and Bradshaw's Railway Guide for July 1861.[16][17] This arrangement was short-lived pending the construction of the LC&DR line to Holborn Viaduct. The LB&SCR also built the Terminus Hotel at the station in 1861, but this was not successful due to its site on the south bank of the river and so was turned into offices for the railway in 1892.

An Act of Parliament of 1862 gave the LB&SCR power to enlarge the station further.[18] Over the next few years under the direction of new Chief Engineer Frederick Banister,[19] the company built four more platform-faces in an adjoining area to the south of its existing station to cope with additional traffic generated by the completion of the South London Line and other suburban lines to Victoria station.[20] This had a single-span trussed-arch roof measuring 88 ft by 655 ft (27m by 200m), and was designed by J. Hawkshaw and Banister.[19] During the first decade of the twentieth century LB&SCR station at London Bridge was again enlarged, but overall London Bridge station remained a sprawling confusion.[21]

The station in 1922 shortly before Southern Railway ownership.

The chaotic nature of the station at the turn of the century was described in John Davidson's poem, "London Bridge":

Inside the station, everything's so old,
So inconvenient, of such manifold
Perplexity, and, as a mole might see,
So strictly what a station shouldn't be,
That no idea minifies its crude
And yet elaborate ineptitude.

— John Davidson, Fleet Street and Other Poems[22]

The LB&SCR electrified the South London Line from London Bridge to Victoria in 1909 using an overhead system. Once this experiment proved to be successful other suburban services from the station were electrified, including the lines to Crystal Palace in 1912.[23] Electrification of the main line to Croydon was not however completed until 1920 due to delays resulting from the First World War.[24]

Southern Railway station

The grouping of the railways of southern England to form the Southern Railway in 1923 at last brought the two adjoining stations under single ownership. Between 1926 and 1928 the Southern Railway electrified the SE&CR suburban lines at London Bridge using a Third rail electric system, and converted the existing LB&SCR routes to the same system. At the same time it installed colour light signalling. The Southern Railway electrified the Brighton Main Line services to Brighton and the South Coast in 1932/3, so that by 1936 90% of trains at the station were electric.

Both the London Bridge stations were badly damaged by bombing in the London Blitz in December 1940 and early 1941. The shell of the two stations was patched up but the former Terminal Hotel, then used as railway offices, was rendered unsafe and demolished.[25]

British Railways station

Central Section concourse before the 1978 rebuilding
The station approach before the 1978 rebuilding

British Railways, which took over responsibility for the station in 1948, continued the electrification of the lines from London Bridge during the 1950s and 1960s. However, by the early 1970s the station could no longer cope with the volume of traffic. Thus between 1972 and 1978, British Rail (as it was then known) undertook a major redevelopment of the station and its approaches.[26] This included a £21 million re-signalling scheme, and a new station concourse designed by N. D. T. Wikeley, regional architect for the Southern Region. This was opened 14 December 1978. New awnings were added over the former S.E.R. platforms, but the arched Brighton roof was retained. It has been described as "one of the best modern station reconstructions in Britain."[27]

National Rail station

A plan of lines in and out of London Bridge Station

The through platforms, 1–3, are on the north side of the station and are served by Cannon Street trains.

Platforms 1–6 were extended to accommodate 12 car trains in the early 1990s, when slam-door suburban rolling stock was being replaced. The track realignment necessary to achieve the platform extensions encroached on the track approaching platform 7, a terminal platform. The platform, which used to be the opposite face of an island with platform 8, was taken out of use and the track-bed filled in.

Platforms 5–6 were demolished in 2015 and Platform 4 is now disused.

The terminal platforms, 8–15, are on the south side of the station and are mostly served by Southern services toward south London and the south coast. Platforms 4–9 are currently (as of February 2015) closed as part of rebuilding works and expected to be completed in 2016; platform 16 is closed permanently.


Mainline railways around the South Bank
Charing Cross
Hungerford Bridge
South Western Main Line
Waterloo East
Blackfriars Road (1864-1868)
Elephant & Castle
Blackfriars / City Thameslink
Blackfriars Bridge (1864-1885)
Cannon Street
London Bridge
River Thames
Brighton and South Eastern Main Lines

As of January 2015 the typical off-peak service from the station is:


Between January 2015 and September 2016 no services to Charing Cross will call at this station. A limited service will run after midnight to end of service from Charing Cross via Cannon Street.


Weekends and Weekdays



Between late December 2014 and early 2018, Thameslink services will not run through to/from London Blackfriars.

London Underground station

London Bridge
Tooley Street entrance
Location The Borough
Local authority London Borough of Southwark
Managed by London Underground
Number of platforms 4
Accessible Yes [28]
Fare zone 1
London Underground annual entry and exit
2011 65.44 million[29]
2012 67.16 million[29]
2013 69.88 million[29]
2014 74.98 million[29]
Railway companies
Original company City & South London Railway
Key dates
1900 Opened
7 October 1999 Jubilee line started
Other information
Lists of stations
London Transport portal
Northern line platforms
Jubilee line platforms

The Underground station is between Southwark and Bermondsey on the Jubilee line, and between Borough and Bank on the Northern line. The station is the fifth busiest on the Underground network and is the only station on the London Underground network with 'London' in its name (while the NR termini are named, for instance, 'London Waterloo' the Underground station is simply named 'Waterloo').

Originally Northern line trains ran to a terminus at King William Street bypassing London Bridge, but the construction of a new station at Bank to provide greater capacity and allow northward extension required a new tunnel alignment, and provided the opportunity for a station at London Bridge. The station entrance was originally at Three Castles House on the corner of London Bridge Street and Railway Approach, but has since been moved to Borough High Street and Tooley Street. The original entrance remained standing until March 2013 when it was demolished.

The Northern line platforms were rebuilt during the late 1990s to increase the platform and circulation areas in preparation for the opening of the Jubilee line. The station is arranged for right-hand running. This is because it is in a stretch of the Northern line (from just south of

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
(Limited off-peak service until 2018)
  East Croydon
London Cannon Street
(Trains to London Charing Cross or
Waterloo East non-stopping until
August 2016)
South Eastern Main Line
  Sevenoaks /
Orpington /
Rochester or Chatham
(Peak hours only)
London Cannon Street
(Trains to London Charing Cross or
Waterloo East non-stopping until
August 2016)
Greenwich Line
South Eastern Main Line
  New Cross
Hither Green
Terminus   Southern
Brighton Main Line, Tattenham Corner Line
and Redhill routes
  New Cross Gate
Norwood Junction
East Croydon
Terminus   Southern
Caterham Line/South London Metro (Outer)
  New Cross Gate
Terminus   Southern
London Bridge to West Croydon
and Beckenham Junction
  South Bermondsey
Historical railways
London Cannon Street or
Waterloo East
  South Eastern
and Chatham Railway

Greenwich line
  Spa Road
Preceding station   London Underground   Following station
towards Stanmore
Jubilee line
towards Stratford
towards Morden
Northern line
Bank branch
towards Edgware, Mill Hill East, or High Barnet
(via Bank)
  • "London Bridge redevelopment" (PDF). Publicity leaflet. Network Rail. 9 May 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 January 2012. Retrieved 10 April 2013. 
  • "London Bridge – a vision for the future" (PDF). Public information display panel. Network Rail. 6 May 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 January 2012. Retrieved 10 April 2013. 
  • "London Bridge – a bigger, better station" (PDF). Public information display panel. Network Rail. 9 May 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 January 2012. Retrieved 10 April 2013. 

Thameslink Programme publicity:

  • London Transport Museum Photographic Archive
    • Underground Station in 1915
    • Underground Station in 1929
  • Station information on London Bridge station from Network Rail
  • More photographs of Underground station

External links

  • Ransom, P.J.G. (1990). The Victorian Railway and How It Evolved. London: Heinemann.  
  • Simmons, Jack (1991). The Victorian Railway. London: Thames & Hudson.  
  1. ^ "London and South East" (PDF). National Rail Enquiries.  
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Station usage estimates". Rail statistics.   Please note: Some methodology may vary year on year.
  3. ^ "Commercial information". Our Stations. London: Network Rail. April 2014. Retrieved 12 April 2014. 
  4. ^ Turner, J.T. Howard (1977). The London Brighton and South Coast Railway. 1. Origins and formation. London: Batsford. pp. 41–2.  
  5. ^ Turner (1977) p.42
  6. ^ Turner, (1977) pp.26–39.
  7. ^ Turner, (1977) pp.176–9.
  8. ^ Cole, David (1958). "Mocatta's stations for the Brighton Railway". Journal of transport history (Manchester: Manchester University Press) 5: 149–157.  
  9. ^ Ellis, C. Hamilton (1971). The London Brighton and South Coast Railway. Shepperton: Ian Allan. p. 223.  
  10. ^ "A notable station centenary". The Railway Gazette: 966–7. 11 December 1936. 
  11. ^ Eliis, p.223.
  12. ^ Turner, J.T. Howard (1978). The London Brighton and South Coast Railway. 2. Establishment and growth. London: Batsford. p. 23.  
  13. ^ London Railways Track Map for 1870 Establishment and growth. London: Quail Map Company. 1983. p. 23. 
  14. ^ Railway Gazette 11 December 1936 p.966
  15. ^ Bradley, D.L. (1979). The Locomotive History of the London Chatham and Dover Railway. Railway Correspondence and Travel Society.   p.6.
  16. ^ Bradshaw, George (1861). Bradshaw's monthly railway and steam navigation guide. Bradshaw.  p.16.
  17. ^ The Times Wednesday, 5 Dec 1860, p.2.
  18. ^ 25 & 26 Vic. cap.78 30 June 1862,
  19. ^ a b "Federick Dale Banister". Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  20. ^ Turner, (1978) pp.185–93.
  21. ^ Heap, Christine and van Riemsdijk, John (1980). The Pre-Grouping Railways part 2.   p.78.
  22. ^ Davidson, John (1909). Fleet Street and Other Poems. London. 
  23. ^ Turner, J.T. Howard (1979). The London Brighton and South Coast Railway. 3. Completion and maturity. London: Batsford. pp. 172–9.  
  24. ^ Turner, (1978), pp.206–7.
  25. ^ Ellis, p.223.
  26. ^ Eddolls, John (1983). The Brighton Line =. Newton Abbott: David & Charles. pp. 31–2.  
  27. ^  
  28. ^ "Step free Tube Guide" (PDF).  
  29. ^ a b c d "Multi-year station entry-and-exit figures" (XLS). London Underground station passenger usage data.  
  30. ^ Yonge, John (November 2008) [1994]. Jacobs, Gerald, ed. Railway Track Diagrams 5: Southern & TfL (3rd ed.). Bradford on Avon: Trackmaps. map 39B.  
  31. ^ Horne, M: The Jubilee Line, page 80. Capital Transport Publishing, 2000.
  32. ^ Network Rail (2005b) – pg.18, paragraph 2.24
  33. ^ Network Rail (2005b) – pg.18, paragraph 2.25
  34. ^ Network Rail (2005b) – pg.18, paragraph 2.26
  35. ^ Network Rail (2005a) – pg.17, paragraph 4.2.4
  36. ^ Network Rail (2005b) – pg.18, paragraph 2.27
  37. ^
  38. ^ a b Middlemass, Tom (1995). "Chapter 5". Stroudley and his Terriers. York: Pendragon.  
  39. ^ Trevena, Arthur (1980). Trains in Trouble. Vol. 1. Redruth: Atlantic Books. p. 34.  
  40. ^ Moody, G. T. (1979) [1957]. Southern Electric 1909–1979 (Fifth ed.). Shepperton: Ian Allan Ltd. p. 37.  
  41. ^ Moody, G. T. (1960). Southern Electric: the history of the world's largest suburban electrified system (3rd ed.). Hampton Court: Ian Allan. p. 138. 
  42. ^ Tendler, Stewart (29 February 1992). "IRA rush-hour bomb injures 29 at station". The Times (London). 


London Buses routes 17, 21, 35, 40, 43, 47, 48, 133, 141, 149, 343, 381, 521 and RV1 and night routes N21, N35, N133, N199 and N381 serve the station; some via the bus station. River buses serve London Bridge City Pier.


  • On 1 February 1884, the 12:05 pm London Bridge to Victoria, hauled by LB&SCR Terrier No.71 Wapping, collided with a D1 tank which was fouling the exit from the platform. Two carriages derailed.[38]
  • On 27 November 1895, a local train hauled by LB&SCR Terrier No. 70 Poplar collided with the buffer stops.[38]
  • On August 1926, an F1 class locomotive overran the buffers and crashed into a brewery.[39]
  • On 9 July 1928, B2X class locomotive No. B210 was in a sidelong collision with an electric multiple unit after the driver of B210 misread signals. Two people were killed and nine were injured, six seriously.[40]
  • On 23 January 1948, a train formed of a 6PAN and a 6PUL unit, which formed that day's 7:30 am service from Ore coupled with the 8:50 am from Seaford, was allowed to draw up to the inner home signal, where it should have stopped. Instead, it overran the signal and collided at a speed of between 15 and 20 mph (24 to 32 km/h) with an empty stock which had formed the 8:20 am from Brighton and was waiting to depart London Bridge's platform 14 for New Cross Gate. This train was formed of two 6PAN units. The train that was struck was forced through the buffers and demolished a bookstall. Two train crew and one passenger were killed and 34 people were injured.[41]
  • On 28 February 1992, a bomb planted by the Provisional IRA exploded at the station, injuring 29 people.[42]

There have been 36 recorded accidents at London Bridge station, the earliest on 6 December 1850 and the latest on 22 October 1956, but relatively few of these have caused fatalities.[37] The most serious accidents were:

Accidents and incidents

The increase in through-platforms will also allow London Bridge to function as an emergency terminus for services approaching the station from the west.[35] To accommodate these alterations, the listed northern wall of the terminus train-shed is being demolished and replaced with a new retaining wall, and the listed bays of the roof over the terminating platform are being dismantled and stored.[36]

Work started in 2013 and is expected to be completed in 2018.

A new station concourse is being built to improve circulation; this requires the demolition of brick vaults between Stainer and Weston Streets, which will themselves become part of the new concourse (and therefore cease to be thoroughfares).[32] The space relinquished by the existing concourse will allow Network Rail to expand the adjacent bus station,[33] and new retail facilities will be built into the existing western arcade, which will be re-opened and extended to link the Underground station and Joiner Street.[34]

London Bridge station is undergoing a major transformation as part of a wider project known as Masterplan to accommodate longer 12-car Thameslink programme trains and provide many other benefits. Three terminus platforms are being closed and three new through-platforms created to allow additional services to continue either to Cannon Street or Charing Cross, or to Blackfriars and onwards via the Thameslink route.

A plan of lines in and out of London Bridge Station after station rebuild

Station rebuild

There are two platforms on each line and two main sets of escalators to and from the Tooley Street ticket hall. All four platforms are directly accessible from the Borough High Street entrance/exit.

in common with all other stations on the extension. platform screen doors; some of these are now on display in the station. The Jubilee line platforms have been fitted with mosaics and fragments of pottery remains were found, including Roman, although trains had been running through non-stop from the previous month. To enable the Jubilee line to be constructed, months of major engineering works to relocate buried services in the surrounding streets had to be undertaken. A new ticket hall was created in the arches under the main-line station, providing improved interchange. During excavations a variety of Jubilee Line Extension as part of the [31] The Northern line station opened on 25 February 1900 as part of the


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