Plans have been announced to try and spruce up a subway next to Baker Street station that has a curious secret within it.

 

People entering Baker Street station often cross the busy road outside by a set of traffic lights — that were only installed a decade ago — preferring to avoid the long-serving, but run down subway that runs under their feet. A delay of a few minutes seemingly preferable to the steps and sometimes noisesome tunnel.

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Part of the reason for the lack of tunnel use is probably down to a simple distaste for tunnels — but also, certainly for visitors leaving the station, that the tunnel is not particularly obvious. In fact, for the northern side, it’s pretty well hidden from view in a cluster of small shops.

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There were plans back in 2008 to do away with that cluster of shops and build a much more obvious entrance, which was tied to plans to improve platform access to the Met/Circle line platforms below. Those plans were put on hold.

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Now a local business action group, and TfL is proposing a smaller scale project that will initially see the tunnel closed overnight to dissuade night time dwellers, and eventually a bit of a refurb.

However, what lies down here also is a long since closed off entrance to the tube station itself — sealed off behind a metal barrier, yet just about visible if you stand on the nearby steps and on tip-toes.

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If you do peer over the top, then you’ll see a tube-tiled corridor leads off, with two sets of stairs easily seen heading down, and an another corridor at the end. According to the planning documents, the two staircases lead down to the Circle line platforms, with the corridor running under the street to a set of stairs on the opposite platform.

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Although I haven’t been able to find out when the entrance closed, it seems likely that it would have been at least when ticket barriers were introduced, as otherwise people have an easy way to bypass them.

So there you are, a little sealed off bit of tube tunnel that is just about visible, if only you had known about it. And now you do.

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4 comments
  1. Sakhr says:

    I do remember those plans. Weren’t they axed by Boris Johnson when he came to power in 2008, when he scrapped plans to improve accessibility to stations across London.

    Amazing shot above the shutters. To me, that looks like the staircase at the front end of the Circle Line Westbound platform. The staircase is still in operation, and just leads over to the rear of the Eastbound platform. I’ll walk over it tonight and get a shot of the shutter from the other side.

  2. Sakhr says:

    No, no, my mistake. This shot must be at the rear of the Eastbound platform. Because over on the other side of the road and slightly further along, you have the (peak-hours only) exit that’s at the rear of the Westbound platform.

    Also, notice the green emergency exit sign in your shot.

  3. Carl says:

    As Sakhr says; everything on the other side of the barrier is publicly accessible, albeit nicely retro in style as it’s unrefurbished. Regularly used it in the past as a quicker way of getting from WB circle (plat 6) to Plat 1 Met via plat 5. I remember there being “old” line maps in there for many years.

  4. Paul says:

    It closed sometime in the mid-2000s.

    It used always to be closed but unlocked, so, if you knew about it, you could get in and out of the station for free!

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