Edgware Road tube 110th anniversary

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On 15 June 2017 the station has been open for 110 years.

The 100th anniversary of the Bakerloo (1906) took place in 2006 and Marylebone tube’s station’s 110th was very recent (its very briefly alluded to here).

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1908 map showing the extent of the Bakerloo Line (Wikipedia)

Edgware Road tube station was the terminus of the Bakerloo from 1907 until the line was extended to Paddington 1 December 1913.

The Bakerloo Line had originally been planned to head to a terminus underneath Paddington roughly where Sussex Gardens is. This terminus would have faced south west, and Edgware Road station was built with its platforms curving towards that original planned terminus.

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The original plans were soon dropped, and in 1908 the Paddington section mooted as a branch line using the original platforms, with an extension (not that built later) mooted using new platforms to link up with what was the proposed Kearney tube – a line linking northwards to Kilburn and Crickelwood. This indecision lengthened the time Edgware Road station remained a terminus. Eventually the Baker St & Waterloo Railway Company decided on a connection to the LNWR at Queen’s Park, en route to Watford Junction. That meant a sharp turn was needed to bring the tube right underneath Paddington station before heading northwards.

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The front grille is modern and has a blank shield. It replaced a LT roundel. Does that make sense?

The original station entrance can be seen on this BBC page.

Edgware Road tube station has the distinction of being the last such station on the old tube system to be built with lifts. The next, Paddington, is the first contemporary tube station to be built with escalators, or moving stairs as they were originally called – as were the next three towards Queens Park.

DSC 0410 - Edgware Road tube 110th anniversaryTrains headed to Paddington out of service weeks before the passenger service was launched on 1 December 1913.

Although Edgware Road station officially became a through facility for passengers from 1st December 1913, it ceased operation as a turn back facility earlier. The new turn back was at Paddington and trains ran empty for a number of  weeks between there and Edgware Road. It is clear that as soon as new turn back facilities were available, the reversing tracks (the tunnels for these can still be seen at both Marylebone and Edgware Road, that at Baker Street no longer exists) were taken out. It will be a surprise to many these facilities were taken out almost at the beginning of the Bakerloo’s life.

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The ceiling just inside the entrance with perhaps original style brass lamp shades.

One downside of withdrawing these reversing facilities was any problems that occurred meant the entire line had to be shut down. The only other turn back facility then was at the Elephant. On 24 Nov 1913, an out of service train lost a brake shoe at Edgware Road. This welded to the live current rail and short circuited the track’s power. As news reports relate, even though the tracks remained live between Baker Street and the Elephant, the line had to be shut down because there was there was no other turning point available. Clearly the crossover at Piccadilly Circus had not yet been commissioned by this time, or if it had, some restriction prevented its use.

Evidence of the station as a terminus can be seen in the following pictures of the westbound platform.

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With a train in the station one can barely see where the tunnel originally ended just beyond the platform.

The station tunnel ended with this very short section of non standard tube diameter tunnel, which clearly accommodated the buffer stops. The tunnel beyond to Paddington, the nominal tube standard of 11ft 8ins (3.56m), begins almost immediately. Marylebone doesn’t have this arrangement because the tunnels to Edgware Road had already been built but not completed. There are other embellishments that indicate the unique single track terminus at Edgware Road and one of these is a wider section of station tunnel. It does seem that the eastbound platform had track in it but was not used. When it was known the Bakerloo’s extension would be some years away, Edgware Road station then began using both platforms.

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That’s better! The original terminus arrangement can clearly be seen. The 1913 tunnel to Paddington is apparent.

How many steps down to the platform and lift distribution area? 125 steps! That takes one down about forty eight feet (14m). Its about sixty feet (18m) from street level down to actual platform level.

Edgware Road station is one of only four stations on the Bakerloo to keep its lifts and stairs. The others are Regent’s Park, Lambeth North and The Elephant.

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The side building which originally had beautiful lettering declaring it as ‘Edgware Road.’

Edgware Road is unusual that it has both a Leslie Green building as well as a very simple, basic building. There has been debate whether Leslie Green designed the building in question (it still stands today in Bell Street.) If Green had designed it, was that a cost cutting measure or a sop at his bosses as he had disagreements with them? The actual truth isn’t known, probably the history is lost altogether. Originally a smithy stood here as shown below. The side of the public house next door, the Green Man (the only pub left in Edgware Road) can be seen in both pictures.

Originally the building had the words Bakerloo Rly – Edgware Road, a few short years later it was changed to Bakerloo Tube – Edgware Road.

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The original smithy photo can be seen here uncropped.

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The top lift landing with the doors leading onto Bell Street. This is now an emergency exit.

It is obvious the lifts were originally the other way round, departures directly in from the street, and arrivals out into Bell Street. The above photo would have been where passengers once exited the lift and then turned left into Bell Street.

The present arrangement is excruciatingly bad. People have to walk behind the lift lobbies in order to access the lifts. One can’t see if the lifts are in service or not! One can walk round, find just the one lift in service, its at the lower stage and one then has to walk back round the other side to access the stairs to the platform!

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The dreadful current arrangement at the lifts that TfL seems so bent on keeping!

Had they been kept the original way round it would have worked better. I just cannot see any reason the current arrangement has as being better over the old one. A s a former London Transport accessible committee member I can see TfL has a complete mess here. It should consider switching the flows into and out of the lift round the other way.

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Some of the original tiling still in use at Edgware Road tube station.

The ticket office windows were a Leslie Green touch and commonly used throughout used the Bakerloo, Northern and Piccadilly Lines, however each station/line used different colours.

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Edgware Road’s station Green Wall fronts onto Marylebone Road, right opposite the flyover, and occupies part of the space vacated by the huge Gaumont cinema, demolished in the 1960s. Here’s a before and after showing the Gaumont and the flyover. Although its entrance was further south, the main cinema was actually squeezed into a plot right behind the tube station.

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Green Wall on south side of the tube station.

The Green Wall is not designed to cool the ever so hot Bakerloo Line as so many of us would wish! Rather its there to counter pollution along the Marylebone Road and improve the quality of the local air. This release from TfL explains.

References:

Wikiwand Baker St & Waterloo Railway

Wikipedia Edgware Road – Cricklewood proposals

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