Hidden London: The Abandoned Euston Tunnels

Euston station today presents itself as a unified mainline railway terminal with a London Underground station nestled beneath, connecting the two branches of the Northern line and the Victoria line. Historically though this wasn’t the case – the two legs of the Northern line started life at the beginning of the 20th Century as two distinct railways, operated by different private companies, each having their own entrances at surface buildings either side of the old Euston station.

Those private companies were later combined, absorbed into the public London Transport, and in the 1960s the Victoria line came along. This involved extensive rearrangement of the underground space to enable easy cross-platform interchange between the Victoria line and City branch, as well as replacing the old inefficient lifts with escalators. Upstairs Euston terminal itself was completely demolished and rebuilt. All these changes resulted in a section of the original access tunnels between the Northern line branches being made redundant and cut off.

Fast forward to 2016, and the London Transport Museum are organising a series of “Hidden London” tours to visit these abandoned Euston tunnels, and that’s exactly what I got to do yesterday…

 

The tour was very informative, our enthusiastic and engaging guides first giving a background briefing in the old Leslie Green station building before we headed into the main tube station and through a door at the end of one of the Northern line platforms into the abandoned tunnels. There was lots of information given on route and plenty of opportunity for lingering and taking photos. It lasted almost an hour and a half and although not cheap at £35, I came away feeling that it had been worth the price and eager to go on a future Hidden London tour. If you’re a massive transport or infrastructure nerd, it’d be hard to come away disappointed.

 

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