York Road – An Abandoned London Underground Station
York Road was once a station on the Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway in London, England. It is one of many abandoned stations on the London Underground network. Others include Aldwych, City Road and Aldgate East.
York Road station opened in 1906 and was located between King’s Cross and Caledonian Way. Its main entrance was on the corner of York Road. The platforms were located 27 metres (89 feet) below the the booking hall which was at surface level. A circular lift shaft contained two elevators constructed by the Otis Elevator Company. The layout was almost identical to the station at Caledonian Road.
Map of the Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway
Here’s an early map of the Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway.
The Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway (GNP&BR) was created when the Brompton and Piccadilly Circus Railway (B&PCR) and the Great Northern and Strand Railway (GN&SR) merged in 1902. When the line opened in 1906, it stretched 14 kilometres (8.8 miles) from Hammersmith to Finsbury Park. It was built mainly in two tunnels underneath London apart from a short overground stretch on the western side of the line. Stations on the line included Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square and Hyde Park Corner. Earl’s Court was the first station on the underground network to install escalators. Today, the GNP&BR is part of the Piccadilly Line.
Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway poster
A poster for the Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway.
Passenger numbers on the line were well below expectations and despite efforts to connect the line to the rest of the London underground railway network, the GNP&BR’s owners, Underground Electric Railways Company of London (UERL), continued to lose money. At the time, they also owned the Hampstead and Bakerloo tubes. They merged their three lines, which up until then had been separate companies, to form the London Electric Railway (LER). Despite this, the losses continued and the LER, along with all of the other underground lines, were nationalised and came under government ownership.
With the entire network now being controlled as part of a single transport system for the first time, a number of stations with low passenger numbers closed. They included York Road, Down Street, Brompton Road and Aldwych on the Picadilly Line. York Road had seen decline for a number of years previously. From 1909, some trains did not stop at the station to improve service times to other stations. Sunday services ceased entirely in 1918. It was closed during the general strike of May 1926 and didn’t reopen until October despite the strike only lasting 9 days. It closed for good on the 19th September 1932.
York Road Facade.
The York Road Station building. It was boarded up until 1989.
York Road Underground Station
Recent work has been undertaken to make the building more secure. It has also been tidied up.
The station is still visible on what is now called York Way. It was refurbished in 1989 to make it look more appealing on the streetscape. Underground, the platform has been removed, as is the case with most disused London Underground stations, but the platform area can still be seen by passing trains. A lit emergency exit is maintained in the event that an evacuation from the tunnels is required.
Efforts were made to have the station reopened in 2005 however the plan has yet to come to fruition. The campaign remains ongoing.