The long-planned closure of the Northern line bank branch has been confirmed by TfL today so that it can complete the upgrade of Bank tube station.

The closure is needed so that a new tunnel and platform that’s been dug next to Bank tube station can be joined into the existing railway. As that needs the existing railway tunnel to be knocked through into the new, trains can’t run through the tunnels, so the line needs to close.

The new southbound platform in 2018

The closure has long been expected, all that was missing was the date – which has now been confirmed as from Saturday 15th January until mid-May 2022. During the closure, trains will not run between Kennington and Moorgate, and there will also be a reduced service between Camden Town and Moorgate.

The track design of the Northern line means that Moorgate and Kennington are the only locations where trains can be turned around at either side of the Bank project work, which is why the closure will be between these stations.

To offset the closure, an enhanced service with a train at least every two minutes will run on the Charing Cross branch of the Northern line in the peak hours. A temporary new bus route, the 733 from Oval into the City (Finsbury Square), will also be introduced on weekdays. It will run every 7-8 minutes to help affected customers reach their destinations.

Although the Waterloo & City line will be running, TfL expects Waterloo, Embankment, Tottenham Court Road, and London Bridge to be amongst the busiest during the closure, so customers may wish to seek alternative options to complete their journeys.

The Bank station upgrade has been underway for several years and will see an entirely new southbound platform open to the public, and the existing southbound platform tracks will be filled in to create a large new concourse. If you’ve used the southbound platform in the past couple of years and seen some odd doors on the “wrong” side of the tracks, these are the passageways that will link to the new southbound platform. A new travolator will link the Northern and Central lines, and later in 2022, new escalators and lifts will link the DLR and Northern lines to a new entrance on Cannon Street.

The new concourse between the Northern line platforms (c) TfL

The background to the Bank station upgrade is here.

The improvements at Bank will mean that there is 40 per cent more space within the station, as well as step-free access to the Northern line for the first time at Bank and improved access to the DLR.

Andy Lord, Managing Director of London Underground, said: “I’d like to reassure everyone that we are doing everything possible to reduce the impact of this closure, with an increased service on the Charing Cross branch and a new bus route into the City. We will also use this closure to carry out maintenance and improvement work at other stations in order to minimise future disruption.”

As well as the work at Bank station, work will be carried out at stations including London Bridge, Borough and Elephant & Castle while the Northern line is closed so that future disruption can be minimised. This will include work on lifts and escalators, as well as refurbishment work at Borough and enabling works for the future Elephant & Castle Station upgrade.

When it reopens in May 2022 though, Bank tube station will look very different.


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  1. Sean says:

    Interesting that there doesn’t seem to be a suggestion of the Waterloo and City extending to a full seven day operation during this period. I would have assumed there’d be enough demand for it but evidently not.

    • John says:

      Those people don’t know how to organise their own stuff let alone a tube network it just proves that disorganisation is still in the network.

  2. Chris Rogers says:

    Knew it was coming but very disruptve of course, though I’m glad London Bridge is no longer ‘my’ work station. Having used Bank in its current form for about 35 years it will be very odd to see it in its new form, once done. Staggering to think how much has been added. The key will still be to find the unadvertised short cuts so you don’t fall for TfL’s trick of sending you the longest possible route…

  3. Lionel Ward says:

    No pain no gain! 🙂

    … is what I’ll be tell my wife, this is on her commute

  4. Adam Edwards says:

    Same sort of closure was done when the platform at London Bridge had a similar makeover. So this is not a new plan but something done before. Given the post Covid reductions in commuting, this will not be as bad as it could have been 3 years ago. In June 2022 it will all have been forgotten as the new spaces at Bank will make a huge difference to how that station functions.

  5. Brian Butterworth says:

    It’s a bit odd that the obvious diversionary route for this, which is the Thameslink plus a little walking, is made hard to see on the attached (to this article) diagram.

    • ChrisC says:

      This map isn’t designed to show alternative routes.

    • S.Taylor says:

      I noticed TFL site isn’t acknowledging Thameslink as an alternative. Neither is any other media that’s informing the public about the closure. It duplicates the Northern line at Kentish Town, Kings X/St Pancras, London Bridge, and Elephant & Castle. A simple change at City Thameslink for the Central, or Blackfriars for the Circle & District will get you to the Square Mile. TL also a useful alternative if you commute in from Tooting, Hendon or Mill Hill.

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