Friday, 17 November 2017

Hidden Charing Cross Station


In 1999, the Jubilee Line was extended to Stratford, via the soon-to-open Millennium Dome. However, south and east London's gain was Charing Cross's loss: formerly the terminal station for the line, it was now bypassed altogether. Instead, the Jubilee line south of Green Park diverted to Westminster and beyond. 


The result: two platforms of Charing Cross underground station were closed. However, that doesn't mean that they are abandoned. On the contrary, their disused status has allowed them to serve three new functions. First, they are used as sidings and stabling for the extended Jubilee line, and for ventilation: useful, but not very exciting. They are use for much more than that, though. 


Second, the former Jubilee Line station is a popular location for filming. If you want a fairly modern tube station, with escalators and all the rest but without those pesky passengers, Charing Cross is probably your location of choice. Visitors have ranged from James Bond to Paddington - and they've left some subtle traces. 


You'd have to do a lot of circuits of this station to find the District and Circle lines, since they actually run through nearby Embankment Station. The signage is left from filming of Skyfall, where it served as a (somewhat inaccurate) stand-in for Temple Station. (The 'stand on the right' signs were also removed from the escalators to avoid injury during the chase scene.)


Art of Lies is nowhere to be found on IMDB, and won't be in cinemas near you. 


And if you want to sign up to this 'fiber optic' broadband provider, think again: there are no contact details. These are filming artefacts: as showing real posters on screen can cause copyright issues, some have been replaced by generic mock-adverts instead.  


Even the famous roundel has been remodelled for one event!


Finally, the platforms are used to test proposed innovations. Some have since been extended across the network, such as raised platform 'bumps' for step-free access. Others, like these glow-strips near platform ages, have not made it further than Charing Cross.


We might add a fourth use: tours of these platforms are a popular part of London Transport Museum's Hidden London programme. Booking for the next season is about to start, and includes Clapham South Deep Level Shelter and abandoned tunnels at Euston





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