Today’s the 90th anniversary of a Piccadilly line extension

At present, thirteenth March 2023, marks the Ninetieth anniversary of one among a number of extensions of the Piccadilly line, with two new stations opening at Southgate and Oakwood.

Southgate station

The Piccadilly line first opened in 1906 with a line from Hammersmith to Finsbury Park, with plans to broaden northwards blocked by the Nice Northern Railway. Nonetheless, the terminus at Finsbury Park was hopelessly overcrowded with trams struggling to hold folks northwards, and in 1929, approval was given for an extension as much as Cockfosters.

It took a few years to dig the tunnels from Finsbury Park to Arnos Grove and that extension opened in September 1932 with none ceremony.

On thirteenth March 1933, a second extension was accomplished, opening up stations at Southgate and Oakwood, though on the time it was referred to as Enfield West.

As a part of the Ninetieth-anniversary celebrations, yesterday there have been excursions of Southgate tube station to indicate off Charles Holden’s genius design.

Southgate Station

Southgate station is among the most distinctive tube stations on the community, with its well-known low-rise round design completed off with the Tesla-coil fashion finial. The station was practically referred to as Chase Facet or Southgate Central, however finally settled on plain Southgate, other than a few days in 2018.

As you may anticipate from the architect, Holdon paid a variety of consideration to particulars, such because the round ripples within the ceiling the place the pole holds the roof up, to the circle within the floor tiling, and even constructing a separate round highway junction house exterior the place one wasn’t actually wanted. Nevertheless it appears to be like higher for it.

There are a variety of good touches right here, such because the surviving passimeter field within the center, the place folks used to verify tickets — a operate now carried out by the ticket obstacles, they usually used bronze panels when the escalators had been changed, slightly than the gray metal that escalators are normally lined with. Even the plastic bin bag holders have a touch of heritage about them.

What was a shock is that this station has a hid tunnel.

Designed to offer cupboard space for engineering works, the tunnel runs between the 2 railway tunnels and supplies direct entry to the railways (by means of locked gates after all), and as a lot because the structure exterior delights, a little bit of unfinished uncooked tunnel is at all times a delight to see.

A lot in order that the tour guides needed to be slightly stern with getting folks to depart!

There are plans to present the station a little bit of a touch-up later this 12 months to revive a number of the heritage that wants consideration, together with restoring the unique golden ball on the high of the Tesla-coil finial.

It’s good although that TfL employees hand over their time to volunteer as tour guides, and share their very own fascination with the historical past of the London Underground.

Oakwood station

Additional up the road is the second station to open 90 years in the past — at Oakwood.

In a approach, this appears to be like very totally different, however feels acquainted. It’s a a lot bigger ticket corridor, with a tall glass lined house and flat ribbed concrete roof. Extra of a dominant field than the low mendacity Southgate station, it was constructed to be a landmark within the then empty countryside.

Down on the platform, there’s a protracted shallow roof supported by some impressively skinny concrete arms that splay out subtly and the glazing within the center prevents the low roof from feeling oppressively low.

The railway viaduct

Nonetheless, there’s one thing else value for this extension – and that’s a big viaduct.

When the Piccadilly line runs north of Arnos Grove it must cross a protracted shallow valley to get to Southgate, in order that they constructed a brick railway viaduct by means of the valley. One thing you received’t actually discover from contained in the practice, however very a lot value a go to to see from the bottom. Fortuitously, it’s simple to rise up shut as they stored the land across the viaduct open as a public park.

So pleased birthday, not simply to 2 architecturally well-known tube stations, but additionally to the much less well-known however actually needs to be, railway viaduct.

This text was revealed on ianVisits


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