Wimbledon Park tube station on the District line has become the 86th station on the London Underground to go step-free after a new lift came into use on Monday.
The station has a single island platform between the two railway tracks, and leads up a staircase to a very small ticket office building that looks more like a very small cottage, described as being built in the “Dutch classical style”.
To squeeze a lift into the site meant extending the back of the ticket office a bit in a new steel structure, and then adding the lift shaft down to the platform level.
Wimbledon Park station is now served by one lift which provides access to the central platform for both east and westbound District line services. The line is accessible from street to platform, with boarding ramps available for use by station staff to assist customers who need them.
The lift was originally expected to be opened in March 2020, but we all know what happened last year to delay construction.
A niggle is that as you go into the station, the existing wide access ticket barrier is on the right side of the entrance, whereas the lift is on the left side. That couldn’t be changed without rebuilding the whole gateline as well, but there’s plenty of space between the lift and the wide ticket barrier that it’s not a significant issue.
A bit of history
The station opened on 3rd June 1889 as part of the London and South Western Railway which, starting on 1 July 1889, ran its own trains over the line from a connection at East Putney to its Clapham Junction- Barnes line.
Mainline rail services through Wimbledon Park were ended by the Southern Railway on 4 May 1941, although the line remained in British Rail ownership until 1 April 1994 when it was transferred to London Underground.
Although a tube station, three South Western Railway services run to and from Waterloo along this line in the early hours of the morning. There are some occasional empty trains and diversions through the station. That makes the station unusual in that you can be waiting for a tube train, and an SWR train will pass through instead — without stopping though.
Elsewhere, work is continuing at Osterley, as well as at Harrow-on-the-Hill and Sudbury Hill, all of which are scheduled to become step-free before the end of the year.