Ghost station

Station closedThe London Underground is busy, frenetic, teeming with life, noisy and crowded.

But not this Tube station, which was one of a number which were closed down, forgotten by time, left to its own ghostly eeriness and wiped from the map.

Aldwych – once known as Strand station – was shut for good in 1994 after years of declining passenger numbers.

It was an offshoot of the Piccadilly line and didn’t go any further. Nearby stations including Temple and Covent Garden offered connections to other parts of the city.

The station now holds a tantalising glimpse into a subterranean world which is an empty vessel of tunnels, platforms, lift shafts and a 160-step descent beneath London.

Stringy stalactites hang from the roofs and a damp chill pervades the depths.

A Tube train from 1972 sits on one of the empty platforms, harking back to the days when there was a carriage where smoking was permitted – unimaginable today.

Explicit, vintage graffiti can be spotted on the tiles, while the walls are adorned with wartime posters, as Aldwych is used as a handy period film set.

It’s also an occasional tourist attraction for Londoners as well as visitors wanting a taste of the Tube which isn’t going to be modernised – not ever.

With around 30 people in each tour group, the sense of ghostliness is tempered by the sound of shuffling feet and knowledgeable guides who know the station’s story inside out.

Everyone is busy capturing the lost Underground on their cameras, but this isn’t an opportunity that comes around very often. You’ll wait a long time for a train at Aldwych station…

Click first image to view the gallery

Gallery entranceStrand Station

21 thoughts on “Ghost station

  1. Mike, this is awesome, first because the photos are up to your usual standard, second to discover that visits are organised and third because this brings back great memories of actually using that station when I was a student at King’s next door!! Also reminds me of the old “Museum” station that can be glimpsed on the Central Line. Bought a book a few years back which tells many stories about underground London

    http://www.amazon.com/Underground-London-Travels-Beneath-Streets/dp/0349115656/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1423391321&sr=8-1&keywords=underground+london

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  2. Great post. Love the images – you could easily believe you were there alone! And now I want to take a tour of an abandoned underground station even more than I did before…

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    • Thanks so much, Caz! Yes, it wasn’t that easy to convey the impression that I had the place to myself – now that would really be something. It’s worth keeping an eye on The Londonist which is where I was alerted to the latest batch of tours.

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