London Underground is planning to partially demolish its tube station entrance within Marylebone station in order to add a third escalator and expand the number to ticket gates it has.
The plans call the replacement of the current staircase between the two escalators with a third escalator, and that requires the ticket gateline to also be expanded.
The two escalators at Marylebone station are now life expired, hence, the project plan to replace them and the central staircase with two brand new HD Metro Type Machines, adding a third escalator of this same type in place of the existing staircase.
The original proposal by the project team was to deliver the works under a full station closure, but that was rejected, and the plans amended to keep the station open during the building works. In order for the station to remain fully operational, 2 escalators must be in operation at one time.
Therefore, the central staircase must be converted to an escalator before the existing escalators can be replaced. Then the remaining two escalators will be replaced one at a time.
It means a longer delivery time to complete the works, but at least the station will remain open throughout, and as the upgrade is adding capacity, the building works shouldn’t see any extra overcrowding occurring.
Responding to the planning application, the St Marylebone Society said that it is pleased that the Underground station would now remain open during construction as closure would put pressure on other nearby stations.
However, as a result of implement the additional escalator, the existing position of the gateline would itself be in breach of LU Standards as the space between the ticket gates and the escalators would not be large enough to cope with larger numbers of people able to use the escalators at once. Therefore, the gateline needs to be relocated and extended 1.5 metres onto the Chiltern Railway concourse, and an additional 2 gates installed.
As a result of the changes at the ticket gates, there will be a 30% increase in ticket gate capacity, and although that is just going from 5 gates to 7 ticket gates, it does represent a throughput of nearly 4,000 people per hour.
That’s an unintended, but very welcome secondary upgrade to the tube station.
The current rather utilitarian tube station entrance within the delightful mainline station was rebuilt by British Rail’s Network South-East in 1988, and has their typical metal panel design and colour scheme. The part of the station to be demolished is the former ticket office, although the replacement panels will match the design of the rest of the station.
The planning application is here.