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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Should ghost Tube stations be resurrected?

There's been a couple of Londoners in the news lately who've been making moves to get some of the system's 40 disused London Underground stations opened. If you're lucky you might be able to get on the odd tour of Aldwych station, but they're few and far between.

Adrian Davies lives close to the old "Brompton Road" Tube and believes there's a case for opening it, and not just from a historical viewpoint. He told the BBC in
the film below, "While this station saw little passenger traffic in the 1930s times have changed. There are a lot of tourists, a lot of shoppers, I think it would be a busy station today and take some of the pressure off other stations on the line."

Screengrab from BBC Ghost Tube Stations Feature - click to watch film

Ajit Chambers is also on a mission to get stations re-opened. However, he thinks they would make great tourist attractions. He is also feature in the BBC's film above. TimeOut spoke to him about his plans and he said

"I have created a company that is planning to open up the 26 disused ghost stations underneath London as 'tourist adventures'. So far my proposal has been very warmly accepted by the Mayor of London; the transport commissioner has handed it to the MD of the London Underground. I have offered to raise the capital myself to start the pilot station as an operational proof of concept and am waiting for the Mayor of London to give me the go-ahead to send my survey team down into the first station."

He seems quite determined and I wish him luck with his endeavours - which you can read in full here. Although I don't think he should hold his breath. The party line from TfL isn't in favour (warm acceptance from the Mayor aside). Howard Collins from London Underground said "To make them safe, even for visits, requires a lot of resources and special arrangements.

"Our focus is upgrading the system. We are spending billions of pounds of investment: upgrading with new trains; adding air-con trains on some lines and working on track signalling.
"

What do you think? Would you like to see some of these stations restored to their former glory? Do you think it's worth the expense? Which stations re-opening could actually help take pressure off other stations in the network?


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