Sam Lester

Visiting the secret station

February 22, 2015

A few weeks ago I went on a tour of Aldwych, one of a few stations on the underground network which still exist but are no longer operating (known as ghost stations). The London Transport Museum runs tours a few times a year and they sell out pretty quickly. We got tickets when they were released back in October.

I have a geeky obsession with hidden London and the graphic design and architecture of the tube system so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit a hidden station.

Aldwych has an interesting backstory of being a bit of a white elephant and was eventually closed in 1994. The history and layout of the station has been covered elsewhere in much more depth than I can so I’m just going to present a selection of my best photos from the tour along with a few things that I found interesting.

Lots of eerily quiet and empty tiled tunnels. The yellowish stripe at the bottom of these walls glows in the dark – something they tested out for use in other stations.
The first platform we visited, complete with an old Northern line train. Closed in 1994, it's now used by film crews. 28 Weeks Later, Sherlock and the music video for The Prodigy's Firestarter were shot here, amongst many other productions. The posters on the wall here are fake, used for the recent filming of ITV's Mr Selfridge.
Looking down the tunnel towards Holborn. Everything's in working order and trains still move along here when film crews require it or when TfL uses the station for training.
The other platform, closed in September 1917. It was used for storing some of the British Museum's collection during the second world war, hence the bricked up tunnel.
Lots of real posters on the wall here including these grungy station closed ones. The one on the left is for a department store.
The walls on this platform are much rougher than on the first one – it's sometimes used for testing out different finishes for other stations.
Another shot of some posters. This 'Keeps London Going' one is one of my favourites.
The machinery on the lifts looked well used. They were originally installed in 1907 and were in use until the station closed in 1994.
Can't have a tube post without a shot of the iconic map! This one is on the wall near the ticket office. You can see the Aldwych branch as it would have appeared until it's closure.