London Victoria station

Infobox London station
name = London Victoria

caption = The Grosvenor Hotel which is the frontage of the Brighton Main Line platforms
manager = Network Rail
zone = 1
locale = Belgravia
borough = City of Westminster
latitude = 51.4966
longitude = -0.1448
start = 1862
platforms = 19
railcode = VIC
railexits0405 = 48.047
railexits0506 = 47.860
railexits0607 = 66.749

London Victoria is a major London Underground, National Rail and Coach station in the City of Westminster. It is the second busiest railway terminus in London after Waterloo. It is in Travelcard Zone 1.

National Rail

The National Rail station is officially named London Victoria [Association of Train Operating Companies (2005). " [ National Rail Enquiries - Station Facilities for London Victoria] ". Retrieved December 24 2005.] , a name that is commonly used outside London, but rarely by Londoners. Operationally, there are effectively two separate stations:

* The eastern (Chatham) side, comprising platforms 1–8, is the terminus for services to Kent on the Chatham Main Line and its branches.
* The western (Brighton) side, comprising platforms 9–19, is the terminus for services to Surrey and Sussex, including Gatwick Airport and Brighton on the Brighton Main Line and its branches.

This split is generally held to, as the track layout does not allow much swapping, with only a small number of connecting flyovers between the main lines in the Battersea area, plus a single track connection immediately outside the station. As the Brighton side is the busier of the two, disruption on that line sometimes results in some of its suburban services using the eastern side. This is particularly true of the Gatwick Express, which travels along the Brighton Main Line, as it will often divert over Chatham side tracks during engineering works in order to maintain service levels.

Victoria also serves as the London terminus for the Venice Simplon Orient Express, from Platform 2, the longest platform.

Early history

Its origins lie with the Great Exhibition of 1851, when the "West End of London and Crystal Palace Railway" came into existence, serving the site of the exhibition, which had been transferred to Sydenham from Hyde Park. The terminus of that railway was at Stewarts Lane in Battersea on the south side of the river. In 1858, a joint enterprise, the "Victoria Station and Pimlico Railway", was set up to take trains over the river, 1.25 miles (2km) in length. The railway was owned by four railway companies: the Great Western (GWR); London & North Western (LNWR); the London, Brighton and South Coast (LBSCR); and the London, Chatham and Dover Railways (LCDR). It was incorporated by Act of Parliament in 1858.

The station, opened in 1862, was in two parts: the western side, occupied by the Brighton company, with six platforms, ten tracks and a hotel (the 300-bedroom "Grosvenor"); while the Chatham company occupied a less imposing wooden-fronted building. The latter's station had nine tracks and was shared by broad-gauge trains of the GWR, which arrived from Southall via the "West London Extension Joint Railway" through Chelsea. The approach tracks and station were built on the route and basin of the Grosvenor Canal.

The GWR remained part owner of the station until 1932, although its trains had long since ceased to use it. Each side of the station had its own entrance and a separate station master; a wall between the two sections emphasised that fact.

A plaque marks the arrival of the body of The Unknown Warrior at platform 8 at 20:32 on 10 November 1920.


At the start of the 20th century both parts of the station were rebuilt. It now had a decent frontage and forecourt, but not as yet a unified existence. Work on the Brighton side was completed in 1908 and was carried out in red brick; the Grosvenor Hotel was rebuilt at the same time. The Chatham side, in an Edwardian style with baroque elements, designed by Alfred Bloomfield, was completed a year later. The two sections were connected in 1924 by removing part of a screen wall, when the platforms were renumbered as an entity.

The station was now serving boat trains, and during World War I it became a terminus for trains carrying soldiers to and from France, many of them wounded. After the war the Continental steamer traffic became concentrated here, including the most famous of those trains, the Golden Arrow. The Night Ferry also operated to/from Victoria station. The area around the station also became a site for other forms of transport: a bus station in the forecourt; a coach terminal to the south; and now a terminal for trains serving Gatwick Airport.

The station had a news cinema later a cartoon cinema that would show a continuous programme for travellers. The cinema was designed by Alastair Macdonald, son of Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald and was in operation from 1933 until being demolished in 1981.

The station was redeveloped internally in the 1980s, with the addition of shops within the concourse, and above the western platforms (the "Victoria Place" shopping centre).

On 18 February 1991 an IRA bomb exploded in a litter bin, killing David Corner [An Index of Deaths from the Conflict in Ireland 1969-1993 (1994) Malcolm Sutton ISBN 0-9514229-4-4 " [] ". Retrieved January 12 2007.] , and injuring 38.


*It is mentioned in the "Monty Python's Flying Circus" sketch "Blackmail" in the "Live from the Grill-O-Mat" episode.
*In Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest", the title character was found as an infant in a handbag at Victoria Station, much to the consternation of Lady Bracknell. "A "hand"bag?" "The Brighton line" "The line is immaterial!"

London Underground

London stations
name = Victoria Underground

manager = London Underground
zone = 1
locale = Belgravia
borough = City of Westminster
events=Opened (MDR)
Started "Outer Circle" (NLR)
Started "Middle Circle" (H&CR/MDR)
Ended "Middle Circle"
Ended "Outer Circle"
Started (Circle Line)
Opened as terminus (Victoria Line)
Extended south (Victoria Line)
platforms = 4
tubeexits05 = 67.823
tubeexits07 = 76.406

The London Underground station lies to the north of the mainline station concourse.It is currently the busiest station on the system with around 76 million using the station as of 2007. There are two ticket halls: the newer hall, closer to the mainline station serves the Victoria Line; the other, further north serves the District and Circle Lines. The ticket halls are connected by a pedestrian passage beneath the Bus station.


The first part of the station was opened on 24 December 1868 by the Metropolitan District Railway (MDR, now the District Line) when the company opened the first section of its line between South Kensington and Westminster stations. 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 1 February 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. 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 1 August 1872, the "Middle Circle" service also began operations through Victoria 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 31 December 1908 the Outer Circle service was also withdrawn.

The original MDR station was rebuilt at the beginning of the 20th century initially as a single storey structure. An office building was constructed above it later.

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

The new Victoria Line station was opened on 7 March 1969 when the third phase of the line began operating south of Warren Street. Initially, Victoria served as the temporary terminus of the line whilst the final phase was under construction to Brixton. Services to Brixton began operating on 23 July 1971.


Victoria is a proposed stop on the Chelsea-Hackney Line also known as Crossrail 2. [ [ - Crossrail 2 ] ] [ [ T2025 Transport vision for a growing world city - 28 November stakeholder event slides ] ] [$FILE/chelsea+hackney+line+safeguarding+leaflet+february+2008.pdf] The route was safeguarded in 1991 [] and 2007 and any rebuilding of the station will have space for Crossrail 2 platforms. [ [ London Connections: Look ma, Crossrail 2 ] ] In the safegaurded route it was between Chelsea and Piccadilly Circus.

Current situation

The station is now the busiest on the London Underground system, serving nearly 80 million passengers per year. The station was not built for this number of passengers, which results in severe overcrowding. To prevent any dangerous situations like crowds pushing people off the platforms onto the track, crowd control measures are in place at the busiest times. This effectively means closing all the entrances to the Underground platforms and operating as an exit-only station until the overcrowding is relieved. These measures can last anywhere between a couple of minutes (when minor delays are occurring) up to several hours (during major incidents).

In order to provide a lasting solution to this problem, a major upgrade [ [ Transport for London. Victoria tube station] ] of the station is planned, including a new exit/entrance to both Victoria and Circle/District Line platforms at Bressenden Place. This upgrade is due by 2014 [ [ Transport for London. Victoria tube station: Next steps] ] .



An abandoned Victoria Underground station features in the "V for Vendetta" comic book series as the base for the anarchist freedom fighter "V".

Coach station

Victoria coach station is half a mile south-west of the railway stations. It is the main London coach terminal and serves all parts of the UK, and mainland Europe.


External links

* [ London Transport Museum Photographic Archive]
** Mainline station
*** ltmcollection|82/i0000982.jpg|Exterior view of Victoria station, 1890
*** ltmcollection|r3/i0000fr3.jpg|The departures board, platforms 12-14, 1933
** Underground station
*** ltmcollection|04/9824504.jpg|Original Metropolitan District Railway station, 1900
*** ltmcollection|37/9859037.jpg|Victoria Underground station, 1916
*** ltmcollection|94/9858194.jpg|Victoria Underground station with new construction above, 1928
*** ltmcollection|81/9869081.jpg|District Line ticket hall, 1938
*** ltmcollection|62/9891262.jpg|District & Circle Line ticket hall, 1971
*** ltmcollection|6j/i000096j.jpg|Victoria Line platform, 1974
*** ltmcollection|7k/i0000e7k.jpg|Busy escalators at Victoria, 1970
* [ Station information] on Victoria Station from Network Rail

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