Embankment tube station

Embankment tube station

London stations| name = Embankment

| years= 1870
1949 | events= Opened (MDR)
Started "Outer Circle" (NLR)
Started "Middle Circle" (H&CR/MDR)
Ended "Middle Circle"
Opened (BS&WR)
Ended "Outer Circle"
Opened (CCE&HR)
Extended (Northern Line)
Started (Circle Line) | platforms= 6 | tubeexits05=17.203 | tubeexits07=19.973

Embankment tube station is a London Underground station in the City of Westminster, known for most of its history as Charing Cross.

The station is served by the Circle, District, Northern and Bakerloo Lines. On the Northern and Bakerloo Lines, Embankment is between Waterloo and Charing Cross stations; on the Circle and District lines, it is between Westminster and Temple.

The station has two entrances, one on the Victoria Embankment and the other on Villiers Street, which leads north to The Strand and the main entrance to Charing Cross main line station. It is in Travelcard Zone 1.


Embankment station was opened on 30 May 1870 by the Metropolitan District Railway (MDR; now the District and Circle lines) when the railway extended its line from Westminster to Blackfriars.cite book |last=Rose |first=Douglas |title=The London Underground, A Diagrammatic History |year=1999 |publisher=Douglas Rose/Capital Transport |isbn=1-85414-219-4 ] The construction of the new section of the MDR was planned in conjunction with the building of the Victoria Embankment and was achieved by the cut and cover method of roofing over a shallow trench. Due to its proximity to the South Eastern Railway's Charing Cross station, the station was originally called "Charing Cross".cite book |last=Harris |first=Cyril M. |title = What's in a name? |publisher = Capital Transport |origyear=1977 |year=2006 |pages=p. 25 |isbn=1-85414-241-0]

The MDR connected to the Metropolitan Railway (MR, later the Metropolitan Line) at South Kensington and, although the two companies were rivals, each company operated its trains over the other's tracks in a joint service known as the "Inner Circle".

On February 1 1872, the MDR opened a northbound branch from its station at Earl's Court to connect to the West London Extension Joint Railway (WLEJR, now the West London Line) which it connected to at Addison Road (now Kensington (Olympia)). From that date the "Outer Circle" service began running over the MDR's tracks.cite web |url=http://www.davros.org/rail/culg/circle.html#history|title=Circle Line, History|work=Clive's Underground Line Guides |accessdate=2008-07-20 ] The service was run by the North London Railway (NLR) from its terminus at Broad Street (now demolished) in the City of London via the North London Line to Willesden Junction, then the West London Line to Addison Road and the MDR to Mansion House - the new eastern terminus of the MDR.

From August 1 1872, the "Middle Circle" service also began operations through the station running from Moorgate along the MR's tracks on the north side of the Inner Circle to Paddington then over the Hammersmith & City Railway (H&CR) track to Latimer Road then, via a now demolished link, to the West London Line to Addison Road and the MDR to Mansion House. The service was operated jointly by the H&CR and the MDR.

On 30 June 1900, the Middle Circle service was withdrawn between Earl's Court and Mansion House.

On 10 March 1906, the Baker Street & Waterloo Railway (BS≀ now the Bakerloo Line) opened with its own deep level station beneath and at ninety degrees to the platforms of the MDR. Although an interchange was provided between the two separate railways, the BS&WR named its station differently as "Embankment".

On 31 December 1908, the Outer Circle service was withdrawn from the MDR tracks.

On 6 April 1914, the Charing Cross, Euston & Hampstead Railway (CCE&HR; now a part of the Northern Line) opened a one stop extension south from its terminus at Charing Cross. The extension was constructed to facilitate a better interchange between the BS&WR and CCE&HR.cite web |url=http://www.davros.org/rail/culg/northern.html#history|title=Northern Line, History|work=Clive's Underground Line Guides |accessdate=2008-07-20 ] Both railway companies were owned by the Underground Electric Railways Company (UER) which operated two separate and unconnected stations at the northern end of main line station - "Trafalgar Square" on the BS&WR and "Charing Cross" on the CCE&HR (both now part of a combined Charing Cross station).

The CCE&HR extension was constructed as a single track tunnel running south from Charing Cross as a loop under the River Thames and back. A single platform was constructed on the northbound return section of the loop.

For the opening of the CCE&HR extension, the BS&WR and CCE&HR parts of the station were named "Charing Cross (Embankment)" although the MDR platforms remained "Charing Cross". In 1915 this was rectified by changing the name of the whole station to "Charing Cross". The CCE&HR station to the north was renamed "Strand" at the same time.cite book |last=Harris |first=Cyril M. |title = What's in a name? |publisher = Capital Transport |origyear=1977 |year=2006 |pages=p. 17 |isbn=1-85414-241-0]

In the 1920s, as part of the construction of what is now the Northern Line, the CCE&HR was extended south to Waterloo and Kennington where it was connected to the City & South London Railway. The loop tunnel under the river was abandoned (although the present northbound Northern Line platform follows its course) and two new tunnels were bored south. To this day the southbound Northern Line platform is the only one of the four deep level platforms that is not connected to any of the others by deep level walkways. The new extension was opened on 13 September 1926.

The loop itself still exists, although it was penetrated by a bomb and flooded during the Blitz in the Second World War. Fortunately, the loop had been sealed off years before. In September 1938, during the Sudeten Crisis, when war appeared imminent, the Bakerloo and Northern Line tunnels at Embankment were temporarily sealed with concrete to protect against flooding through bombing. The blockage was removed after little more than a week once the crisis had passed. At the outbreak of World War II in September 1939, the tunnels were blocked again until electrically powered emergency doors could be installed in the tunnel mouths. They are each 330 mm thick, weigh about 6 tons and can resist about 800 tons of pressure. The tunnels reopened in December 1939.cite web |url=http://www.davros.org/rail/culg/bakerloo.html#history|title=Bakerloo Line, History|work=Clive's Underground Line Guides |accessdate=2008-07-20 ]

In 1949, the Metropolitan Line operated Inner Circle route was given its own identity on the tube map as the Circle Line.

On August 4 1974, the station was once again renamed to "Charing Cross Embankment". Then, on 12 September 1976, it became "Embankment", so that the merged "Strand" and "Trafalgar Square" stations could be named to Charing Cross.

Local notable places

Above the station is Hungerford Bridge which gives rail and pedestrian access to the South Bank and the Royal Festival Hall.

Outside the riverside entrance to the station is Embankment Pier, offering an interchange with river bus services provided by London River Services.

This station serves the Thames Embankment, Trafalgar Square, Strand and Charing Cross.

In Popular Culture

The station was featured in the 1998 film "Sliding Doors", which was filmed on location; however, all the filming of platforms and underground passages was done on the Waterloo & City Line.

In the movie "Daleks - Invasion Earth 2150 AD", the rebel hideout is identified as Embankment station. However, in 1966 when the film was made, there was no station called Embankment. 10 years after the movie was released, reality conformed to fiction when the station was given back its original name of Embankment.


External links

* [http://www.squarewheels.org.uk/rly/CHX-EMBconundrum The Charing Cross-Embankment-Strand conundrum] explains the various names of the tube stations in this area.
* [http://photos.ltmcollection.org London Transport Museum Photographic Archive]
** ltmcollection|5w/i0000k5w.jpg|Victoria Embankment entrance, 1894
** ltmcollection|05/9875605.jpg|View of MDR platforms, 1894
** ltmcollection|25/9889625.jpg|Victoria Embankment entrance, 1902
** ltmcollection|21/9889621.jpg|Villiers Street entrance to station, 1916 after Charing Cross, Euston & Hampstead Railway extension
** ltmcollection|r3/i00008r3.jpg|View of District platforms, 1921
** ltmcollection|uv/i0000duv.jpg|Ticket hall, 1927
** ltmcollection|82/999282.jpg|Ticket hall, 1929
** ltmcollection|mc/i0000jmc.jpg|Partially closed floodgate at the end of one of the Northern Line platforms, 1943
** ltmcollection|sw/i00008sw.jpg|View of District and Circle Line platforms after refurbishment, 1951
** ltmcollection|mc/i00009mc.jpg|Platform sign showing station name as Charing Cross Embankment, 1975
** ltmcollection|zu/i00000zu.jpg|View along District and Circle Line platforms, 1988
** ltmcollection|fw/i00005fw.jpg|Northern Line platform showing decorative enamelled cladding panels, 1988


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