Holborn tube station

Holborn tube station

Holborn is a station of the London Underground in Holborn in London, located at the junction of High Holborn and Kingsway. It is on the Piccadilly Line between Covent Garden and Russell Square, and on the Central Line between Tottenham Court Road and Chancery Lane. It is in Travelcard Zone 1.

It should not be confused with the closed Holborn tramway station which was part of the Kingsway tramway subway.


The station was opened by the Great Northern, Piccadilly & Brompton Railway (GNP&BR, now the Piccadilly Line) on 15 December 1906 with the name Holborn (Kingsway). Kingsway was a new road, cutting south from High Holborn through an area of cleared slums to Strand. The suffix was dropped from tube maps in the 1960s.

The GNP&BR constructed its station where it crossed the Central London Railway (CLR, now the Central Line) tunnels running under High Holborn. The CLR had been operating since 1900, and its nearest station, British Museum, was 250 metres to the west.

Despite being built and operated by separate companies, it was common for the underground railways to plan routes and locate stations so that interchanges could be formed between services. This had been done by other lines connecting with the CLR stations at Oxford Circus and Tottenham Court Road, but an interchange station was not initially constructed between the GNP&BR and the CLR because the tunnel alignment to British Museum station would not have been suitable for the GNP&BR's route to its Strand station (later called "Aldwych"). The junction between High Holborn and the newly constructed Kingsway was also a more prominent location for a station than that chosen by the CLR. The Central Line platforms were not opened to form an interchange between the lines until 25 September 1933.

The opening of the GNP&BR branch from Holborn to Strand station was delayed until 30 November 1907 by the construction of the tramway subway.

Original configuration of station, 1906

In its original configuration, the GNP&BR station had four platforms. Two platforms catered for through-running services, the other two platforms serving the Aldwych branch. One of these was a through platform whose track connected north of the station to the northbound track to Russell Square, the other was a bay platform where trains terminated.

To enable the southbound tunnel to avoid the branch tunnels to Aldwych, it was constructed at a lower level to the other tunnels and platforms. The tunnel towards Covent Garden (at this point heading southwest) passes under the Aldwych tunnels.

Unlike other stations designed by Leslie Green for the GNP&BR, the station frontage of Holborn was constructed in stone rather than the standard red glazed terra-cotta. This was due to planning regulations imposed by the London County Council which required the use of stone for façades in Kingsway. The station entrance and exit sections of the street façade were constructed in granite and the other parts were built in the same style but using Portland stone. [ [http://www.ltmcollection.org/photos/photo/photo.html?_IXSR_=BgtHnFMx1qo&_IXMAXHITS_=1&IXinv=1999/20429&IXsummary=results/results&IXsearch=holborn&_IXFIRST_=32 London Transport Museum, caption to photograph of station] ]

tation modernised, 1933

A proposal to enlarge the tunnels under High Holborn to create new platforms at Holborn station for the CLR and to abandon British Museum station was originally included in a private bill submitted to parliament by the CLR in November 1913LondonGazette
date=25 November 1913
] , although the First World War prevented any works taking place.

Like many other central London Underground stations, Holborn was modernised in the early 1930s. The station frontages on Kingsway and High Holborn were partially reconstructed to modernist designs by Charles Holden. The lifts were removed and a spacious new ticket hall was provided giving access to a bank of four escalators down to an intermediate concourse at the level of the new Central Line platforms. These are the second longest escalators on the Underground network, after those at Angel tube station. A second bank of three escalators continue down to the Piccadilly Line platforms.

Decline of the Aldwych branch

Competing as it did with the tram services along Kingsway, the Aldwych branch was little used even from its opening. In the first year of operation an occasional through service was run, northbound only, to Finsbury Park, but this ended in 1908 and following that the branch was operated as a shuttle service between Holborn and Aldwych, primarily working from the through platform.

The bay platform was rarely used and was taken out of operation in 1917 and converted into rooms for use, at various times, as offices, air-raid shelters, store rooms and an electrical sub-station. The eastern of the two tunnels to Aldwych was also decommissioned.

During World War II the branch tunnels and Aldwych station were temporarily closed (between 1940 and 1946) and used for storage and as an air-raid shelter.

After the war, the service was restored as a rush hour service only. In 1993, London Underground announced that the cost of replacing the lifts at Aldwych was uneconomical and the station was scheduled for closure. After a brief postponement, Aldwych station closed on 30 September 1994.

Incidents and accidents

On 9 July 1980, two westbound Central Line trains collided in the station in the Holborn rail crash. No serious injuries were caused.

On 8 December 1988, a 17 year old Turkish student was found stabbed to death at the station.

Transport connections

London Buses routes 1, 8, 19, 25, 38, 55, 59, 68, 91, 98, 168, 171, 188, 242, 243, 521 and X68 and Night Bus routes N1, N8, N19, N35, N38, N41, N55, N68, N91, N98, N171, N207 serve the site of the station.

ee also

* Leslie Green - Architect of original station.


External links

* [http://photos.ltmcollection.org London Transport Museum Photographic Archive]
** ltmcollection|ps/i0000ops.jpg|Holborn station, Kingsway entrance, 1907
** ltmcollection|pr/i0000opr.jpg|Holborn station, High Holborn exit, 1907
** ltmcollection|36/9897836.jpg|Holborn station, 1925
** ltmcollection|tf/i00001tf.jpg|New Central Line platform, 1933
** ltmcollection|pf/i0000epf.jpg|Oblique angle view of new Kingsway frontage, 1934
** ltmcollection|88/9865088.jpg|New ticket hall, 1934
** ltmcollection|n0/i00008n0.jpg|Passengers using the upper bank of escalators, 1937
** ltmcollection|hd/i00009hd.jpg|Piccadilly Line platform, showing original GNP&BR tiling, 1973
** ltmcollection|ht/i00005ht.jpg|Central Line platform, showing vitreous enamelled metal cladding panels, 1988
* [http://underground-history.co.uk/holborn.php Underground History - Hidden Holborn]


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