Canary Wharf tube station is a London Underground station on the Jubilee Line, between Canada Water and North Greenwich. It is in Travelcard Zone 2 and was opened by Ken Livingstone setting an escalator in motion on 17 September 1999 as part of the Jubilee Line Extension. It is maintained by Tube Lines. Over 40 million people pass through the station each year, making it the busiest station on the London Underground outside Central London, and also the busiest which only serves a single line (the DLR station is completely separate).

Before the arrival of the Jubilee Line, London's Docklands had suffered from relatively poor public transport. Although the Docklands Light Railway station at Canary Wharf had been operating since 1987, by 1990 it was already obvious that the DLR's capacity would soon be reached. The Jubilee Line's routing through Canary Wharf was intended to relieve some of this pressure. The tube station was intended from the start to be the showpiece of the Jubilee Line Extension, and its design was awarded in 1990 to the renowned architect Sir Norman Foster. It was constructed, by a Tarmac Construction / Bachy UK Joint Venture , in a drained arm of the former dock, using a simple "cut and cover" method to excavate an enormous pit 24 metres (78 ft) deep and 265 metres (869 ft) long. The resulting large volume of the interior has led to it being compared to a cathedral, and it has even been used to celebrate a wedding. However, the main reason for the station's enormous proportions was the great number of passengers predicted; as many as 50,000 daily. These predictions have been outgrown, with as many as 69,759 on weekdays recorded in 2006.

The station today
Above ground, there is little sign of the vast interior: two curved glass canopies at the east and west ends of the station cover the entrances and refract daylight into the ticket hall below. A public park is located between the two canopies, above the station concourse. It had originally been intended that the infilled section of the dock would be reinstated above the station. However, this proved impractical because of technical difficulties and the park was created instead. As with the other below-ground stations on the Jubilee Line extension, both station platforms are equipped with platform edge doors. Canary Wharf station has increasingly become one of the busiest stations on the network, serving the ever-expanding Canary Wharf business district. Although it shares a name with the Docklands Light Railway station at Canary Wharf, the two are not directly integrated (in fact, Heron Quays DLR station is nearer at street level, and recent Transport for London maps now show this ). All three stations are connected underground via shopping malls. Out-of-station interchange within twenty minutes between any two of the stations entails no additional charge. Canary Wharf can act as an intermediate terminus for eastbound Jubilee Line trains. When trains terminate at Canary Wharf, they can enter either Platform 1 or Platform 2 (using a set of crossover points west of the station) The station was used as a location for some scenes of Danny Boyle's 2002 film 28 Days Later .

Future proposals
Canary Wharf station and the Jubilee Line Extension itself were partly funded by the owners of the Canary Wharf complex, with the intention of making it more accessible to commuters. Only five years after the construction of the extension, capacity issues are already becoming apparent. It is envisaged that they will be resolved by adopting a new signalling system to allow trains to run more closely together, and thus more frequently. Trains have also been recently increased from six to seven carriages. In the longer term, the building of Crossrail line 1 will bring another rail connection to Canary Wharf and will also relieve pressure on the Jubilee line.

Image gallery
Additional images are available from the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) case study .

Video Gallery

Local notable places
  • One Canada Square, the second tallest building in the UK
  • Canary Wharf
  • Citigroup Centre
  • HSBC Tower


13 photos

Building Activity

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