If you head into a certain Church in the City, you can see catnip for any tube fan — a 3D model of the future Bank tube station as it will be in around 2020.

Not a dystopian vision of a hellish London, but the heavenly result of four years of construction work to improve the area.

All this week, TfL have been holding a consultation on what to do with the warren of tunnels under the streets, and have had a few large display boards, several knowledgeable staff, and The Model, on display in St Mary Abchurch.


The new plans have been updated a bit on the last consultation a couple of years ago, and what is being shown off now is pretty much the final design.

Having looked at around 120 different options for the upgrade, it’s unlikely that they’ll make anymore more than tiny changes now. The public exhibition is therefore more of a box-ticking exercise to show that the public have been consulted. But I’d be shocked if the public come up with any ideas they haven’t already thought of.

The only likely change, and it’s not directly related to the works being planned is that the City of London is looking to pedestrianise some of the roads in the area. There might be an opportunity for some modifications to the existing station entrances as a result of that.

The main gist of the plans is to dig an entirely new southbound tunnel and platforms for the Northern line, then create a much larger set of corridors linking the Northern line platforms to the rest of the station.

central-line-link-moving-walkway     new-northern-line-southbound-platform

The two largest changes from the previous plans are the inclusion of a travolator linking the Central and Northern Lines to speed up the transfer, and the new entrance has flipped around to Cannon Street from the frankly, far too narrow King William Street.

They still plan to demolish the building on the site though, as they need it for the building works facilities during construction.

The station entrance is now also a lot smaller than the previous design would seem to have been, and although only a preliminary concept, the Cannon Street entrance is notable for not having a ticket window. Machine sales only. Which makes sense as by 2020, ticket sales would probably be nearly obsolete anyway.

Other developments over the past couple of years include the use of a new shaft to be dug down near the southern end of the site which will punch through to the old City and South London tunnels and provide tunnelling access for the rest of the site.

There had been murmurings a couple of years back that they might be able to use the old tunnels to run spoil down to the remains of the Jubilee Line extension site in South London. But that has turned out to be not such a good idea.

Most of the tunnelling will be by mechanical diggers and sprayed concrete — the site is too small and complex for a big sexy tunnel boring machine to work in.

If the plans go ahead — and why wouldn’t they — expect some core sample drilling to start around the area within the next few months.

Planning permissions will be filed next year, but approvals, and construction work are not expected until early 2016.

Construction will go on between April 2016 and April 2020. Then the Northern line closes for three months, and the new underground tunnels should be ready for the public in August 2020. It’ll take another year to build the new entrance on Cannon Street, as that would have been a building site until then.

It’s a long wait, but the scale of the works, and that they have to be done while the station is open means things can’t be hurried. Alas.

Even Diamond Geezer approves, which has to be the highest accolade available for London’s transport.

Before all that though, one small smidgen of improvements — as a new entrance for the Waterloo and City line will open towards the end of 2015.

It would be extremely churlish of me to point out that the tube map used in one of the computer images of the station in 2021 doesn’t include the Battersea extension of the Northern Line, or Crossrail on it. But that would be very petty-minded, so I won’t say anything about it.


Of course, in addition to the display boards, which are largely copies of the graphics on their website, and the chance to ask questions — there is the 3D model to look at.

Incidentally, the 3D model was created using a 3D printer. I cannot imagine anything more likely to drive sales of 3D printer through the roof than TfL releasing a range of 3D model templates of their tube stations for London’s transport geeks to make in their homes.



The exhibition is open until Friday evening at 7pm.

Oh, and I found out something interesting about the DLR. That’s for another day.


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Article last updated: 10 May 2021 15:52


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  1. martin says:

    I approve of your use of the Bank-standard spelling of the world ‘travolator’ 🙂

  2. James says:

    That map doesn’t even have the Overground on it – it’s all Silverlink and East London. Odd choice.
    The plans look pretty good though. As a daily user of the Bank-Monument complex, I say this can’t come soon enough.

  3. Greg Tingey says:

    Planning permissions will be filed next year, but approvals, and construction work are not expected until early 2016.
    This is a disgrace.
    Work should commence ASAP – like Easter 2014 …..
    [ There will NOT be any significant objections to this, it is so obvious an improvement to the public good … why cannot 2 whole years be taken off the schedule? ]

  4. R. Stockton says:

    Two things jump into my mind.
    Firstly, whilst practical measures are obviously welcomed, I do find Tfl rather like to think it is ok to completely bulldoze & eradicate the past. There has been of late a view which says to somehow prove how modern & slick things are, you can’t even keep some earlier interesting design features, even decorative ones. If this system was a building on the surface there would be more rules to show due respect & care to older design features. Knowledgable architects would be able to incorporate more visual interest instead of the blanket platform cladding & tile ripping out to impose something non-descript & neutral. There isdesign heritage here that belongs to London & is currently, in myview, shown scant care in these ‘renovations’. I’m not saying nothing should ever change, quite the opposite, but there is a total lack of decorative & atmospheric imagination being shown here with such a great legacy & heritage to drawn on.

    Secondly, the lack of ticket offices is not useful as claimed here. I use Oyster on the overground. They will sell you a card but Southeastern stations can’tdeal with problems, refunds, information or sell you a new one. I had to go to my “nearest” tube station, which is Cannon Street, a 25 minute overground journey away. The office there could print an instant receipt, could see my card logged two attempted ‘exits’ in a row (a faulty barrier) & had overcharged me, causing the money to run out. They rectified the whole thing.
    Now, there’s no-one there when I’m there – I’ve had to walk to other stations when I’ve had a problem. The ticket office deals with much more than paper tickets. It makes no sense to take away the ability to buy Oystercards from a station! Especially when they want to push through cashless buses (a fundamentally flawed plan in my experience. Seen too many people, including lone women late at night kicked off buses into my local high crime area when Oystercards have run out & the drivers never have change for £5 or £10 notes when they try to pay. I digress somewhat here but honestly, how to penalise honest passengers in trouble! I’ve seen other women on the bus getthe change out to pay for a woman once, rather than see her risk getting attacked in trying her luck at charging her card at the deserted overground station, then wait 25 mins on the street alone for the next one. I’ve nearly paid for someone else myself. Well done Tfl. Buses have carried change for years without a problem. Trying to imply its a massive problem, holding up buses & making them late is entirely false. Especially when, as you claim, most journeysare made by Oystercard. You protest too much, just so you don’t have tomake sure drivers have coins. Who really wants to be forced into having an Oystercard for odd bus journeys? And now you’re removing/reducing ticket offices from stations? I guess if you don’t build it you don’t have to pay anybody to work in it. It’s not about actual service, as the bus proposal proves – it’s about reducing services available to paying passengers, thereby reducing staff. Which ultimately means we get less assistance & help.

    Another reason I think the single window/low staff idea is bad – I was unfortunate enough on an after dark tube journey (about 9.30 pm on a Sunday) to realise I was being followed by a strange man. I thought “I’llbe ok” & went to the only ticket office window. It was closed. The station was unmanned at the barriers. I was scared. The man was keeping up with me. I had nowhere to go. There were no nearby shops but I knew there was a Chinese takeaway about 50m up the dark road outside. I decided to run for it – I had no choice. I darted out of the station, deliberately ran into the road into oncoming traffic to makeitdifficult for him to follow me. It worked. He was forced back onto the pavement & I just about avoided getting run over. I ran back to the pavement outside the takeaway. He saw me & gave chase again. But I knew I had a safe place to go now. I turned & looked at him. He realised I knew what he was doing but didn’tback off. As I walked into the Chinese I then finally saw him turn & run away.
    I had to risk my life to get away from an attacker because I was in a station where one window meant low staff levels were considered ok. It wasn’t even late at night. Because as long as it can only be attributed to buying tickets, the other critical reasons to have services provided & staff present are missed. That guy wouldnot attack me under CCTV – he was waiting for me to get on the street. But with low staff levels leading to an invisibility of working humans there was nowhere for me to go, no-one to call on. And I was being followed by another passenger. I’m ok now but I couldn’t travel after dark for several weeks. This was several years ago but with more stations going this way, I feel less & less safe. I consider myself really lucky I got away & wasn’t hurt. I don’tcare if you have CCTV – that doesn’t protect me, just gives the police a nice picture of who did it after I’m attacked. I’d rather not be attacked in the first place. There is a mentality attached to the provision of no or one ticket office window & that mentality leads to unmanned stations being deemed acceptable & lack of practical passenger services.

    • iAMaLONDONER says:

      Did you report the attack to the police and take part in the consultation TfL held?

      I completely agree with the points you have raised btw.

      I’m rather miffed at what TfL has done to the Victoria line and the loss of the 1960s blue decor..

  5. Simon says:

    > “the Northern Line closes for three months”

    Is this the whole thing? Surely that would seem excessive if they could get away with just closing the Bank branch?

  6. Neil says:

    Ok, I can’t stand the suspense, what’s the DLR story 😛

  7. renel says:

    That is so cute, I would of never thought of that. I am definitely making me one or maybe a few! Lol

    BIM Whanganui

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