Tottenham Court Road tube station

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Tottenham Court Road is a London Underground station in central London. It is an interchange between the Central line and the Charing Cross branch of the Northern line. On the Central line it is between Oxford Circus and Holborn, and on the Northern line it is between Leicester Square and Goodge Street. It is located at St Giles Circus, the junction of Tottenham Court Road, Oxford Street, New Oxford Street and Charing Cross Road and is in Travelcard Zone 1.


Central London Railway
The station opened as part of the Central London Railway (CLR) on 30 July 1900 . From that date until 24 September 1933 , the next station eastbound on the Central line was the now defunct British Museum; the next stop in that direction is now Holborn. The platforms are under Oxford Street west of St Giles' Circus, and were originally connected to the ticket hall via lifts at the east end of the platforms. The original station building is in Oxford Street and was designed in common with other CLR stations by Harry Bell Measures. Much modified, it now forms part of the station entrance, and some elements of the original facade survive above the canopy. Apart from those very limited original features of the entrance, the station building otherwise together with a whole row of other elegant old buildings were demolished in 2009.

Charing Cross, Euston & Hampstead Railway
The Charing Cross, Euston & Hampstead Railway (CCE&HR, now part of the Northern line) arrived here on 22 June 1907 but used the name Oxford Street until an interchange (linking the eastbound Central line with the southbound Northern line via the ends of the platform) was opened on 3 September 1908 from when the present name was used for both lines. The next station north on the Northern line was originally called Tottenham Court Road , but was renamed to Goodge Street at this time. The original ticket office was on the south east corner of the junction of Oxford Street and Charing Cross Road, and its original lift shafts and emergency stairs are still extant. The emergency stairs are often used as access down to the ends of the Northern line platform, as there are currently insufficient escalators for the volume of traffic using the station. The lift shafts are used for offices and station facilities. The original CCE&HR station buildings were destroyed when the Centre Point tower block was built.

Like a number of other central area stations, Tottenham Court Road underwent improvements in the early 1930s to replace the original sets of lifts with escalators. A shaft for three escalators was driven from the ticket hall under the junction down to the east end of the Central line platforms ending at an intermediate circulation space. A further pair of escalators descend from this level to the north end of the Northern line platforms. The lifts were removed and the redundant shafts were used as ventilation ducts. In 1938, a chiller plant began operating at the station. It was decommissioned in 1949. Passenger congestion entering and leaving the Northern line platforms was partially eased by the addition of a short single escalator at the centre of the platform leading up to a passageway linking to the intermediate circulation area. However, this is in itself a cause of congestion, as traffic trying to leave the station from the Northern line finds itself in the path of traffic entering and travelling to the Central line. In 1984 the entire station was redecorated, losing the distinctive Leslie Green designed platform tiling pattern of the Yerkes tube lines (which included the CCE&HR), and the plain white platform tiles of the CLR. The 1980s design includes panels of tessellated mural mosaic by Eduardo Paolozzi (whose signature appears at several places within the station), and is a distinct and noticeable feature of the station. The mosaic's frenetic design is intended to reflect the station's position adjacent to Tottenham Court Road's large concentration of hi-fi and electronics shops.

Current developments

Congestion relief
The station had four entrances to the sub-surface ticket hall from the north-east, south-west and north-west corners of the junction and from a subway beneath the Centrepoint building which starts on Andrew Borde Street. The entrances were frequently congested leading to occasions during peak periods of the day when they were briefly closed to prevent overcrowding in the station. To eliminate this congestion, Transport for London is drastically reconstructing large parts of the station. This involves building a much larger ticket office under the forecourt of Centre Point, new sets of escalators to reach the central section of the Northern line platforms from the ticket office and step-free access to the platforms. The subway to Andrew Borde Street is being replaced as part of this development . From the 2nd April 2011 for several months, the Northern line platforms will be closed and trains will not stop.

The western side of the original ticket office will be expanded to include escalators down to Crossrail. To enable this to happen the Astoria theatre has already been demolished and the original Central line entrance will eventually be demolished as well . In addition, as part of the Crossrail project, a new western entrance and ticket hall is being built under Dean Street leading to both the Crossrail platforms and to the parallel Central line platforms. Construction Gallery

Future developments

Chelsea-Hackney line (Crossrail 2)
If the proposed Chelsea-Hackney line is built it will have a station at Tottenham Court Road, and the development plans include facilities to take account of this. This would be the only planned interchange between Crossrail 1 and Crossrail 2. A massive boost in capacity to the existing station will be needed to host both lines. The station was safeguarded as part of the route in 1991 and 2007 . Redevelopment of the station will include space for platforms on the line.

In popular culture
  • The station was used for a sequence in the 1981 film An American Werewolf in London .
  • A scene in the musical We Will Rock You is set in the station; the musical is currently playing across the street at the Dominion Theatre.
  • Scenes from the video clip for Darren Hayes' 2002 single Pop!ular were filmed at the station

Transport links
London Bus route 1, 7, 8, 10, 14, 19, 24, 25, 29, 38, 55, 73, 98, 134, 176, 242, 390 and Night route N1, N7, N8, N19, N20, N29, N35, N38, N41, N55, N68, N73, N98, N171, N253 and N279.


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Building Activity

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