There has been a rumour, a dark legend of lore and myth that one day in some heavenly future, the Bakerloo Line will be extended south of Elephant and Castle.

However, what if instead of heading south, it actually turned north again — to Bank station instead?

Such was a proposal made by Liberal MPs back in March 1967.

It was a fairly complex plan, and apart from being utterly bonkers in the implementation, was actually quite an interesting idea.

Put simply, the Bakerloo line would have stopped at Waterloo, and then curved around to the Waterloo and City Line and run up to Bank station. Then a loop would have extended it to Liverpool Street and Farringdon, before heading back to Bank.

But what about the southern bit of the Bakerloo Line from Waterloo to E&C?

That would have been taken over by the Piccadilly Line!

Those with long memories for tube-lore, will remember that odd little shuttle line running from Holborn down to Aldwych station. There were plans approved, but cancelled to extend the line down to Waterloo.

The Liberal’s plans of 1967 would have restored that extension, and seen the Piccadilly line then take over the southern runt of the Bakerloo line.

Here is a mock-up, if you will forgive the poor photoshopping. Click on the map for a larger version.

mock-up-tube-map

The plan was drafted by Mr Lubbock, Liberal MP for Orpington and presented to Barbara Castle, Minister for Transport.

Their main complaint was that the newly proposed Crossrail service, and the extensions to the Victoria and Fleet lines were too expensive, too “northern”, not doing enough for the south of the river.

Their alternative proposals would have cost around £65 million.

It was also bonkers for engineering reasons.

The aim was to loop the Bakerloo line down to Waterloo station and let it take over the Waterloo & City line, which is quite a substantial bit of tunnelling work.

Then in trying to extend the Waterloo & City line into the new loop, would mean smashing through the middle of the Central Line at Bank, or lowering the W&C line, and building an entirely new set of platforms.

Oh, and joining the Picadilly line onto the southern end of the Bakerloo would require some fairly sharp curving of the tunnels. Not impossible, but a bit too tight for comfort.

Weirdly though, their plans did nothing to address the northern bias of the railway. In fact, it probably made it worse, as they also planned mainline upgrades, which were also mainly to the north of the river.

And today, if the Piccadilly line was now terminating at Elephant & Castle, there would probably be a lobby to extend it down to Camberwell, as people want with the Bakerloo line today.

Nothing changes.

From The Times, March 29, 1967

From The Times, March 29, 1967

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5 comments on “The crazy plan to divert the Bakerloo Line to Bank Station
  1. Martin Stiles says:

    I note the escalator link from St James to the block of ‘Government Offices’ by the Thames. I wonder if that was the proposed Leslie Martin redevelopment of Whitehall, as highlighted in the recent ‘Almost Lost’ Exhibition ?

  2. Daniel Tonks says:

    “Piccadilly line then take over the southern runt of the Piccadilly line.” 😉

  3. laz says:

    I had no idea Crossrail was on the drawing board since the late 60s

  4. The London Underground Lover! says:

    Nahhhh, the Bakerloo Line should extend east from Elephant and Castle while the Waterloo and City Line should extend to Shoreditch

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