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Putting York Road Tube Station Back on the Map

October 28, 2009

Ever wondered why there’s such a long gap between Kings Cross and Caledonian Road tube stations on the Piccadilly Line?

York Road Station on the Tube Map

York Road Station - Reinstated on the Tube Map

If you look closely as you fly past underground, through the accumulated grime of many years, you might spot the distinctive purple and cream tiling of York Road station. York Road station is just one of 28 abandoned underground stations that lie scattered across London’s tube network.

York Road station opened on 15 December 1906 on what was then the Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway but, being in a mainly industrial area, it suffered from low passenger demand from the outset. It held on for more than 25 years until finally, in September 1932, it was closed and the station was left deserted. The site of the station is still easy to spot from York Road as the entrance façade with its striking Leslie Green designed tiling has survived intact.

A quick history lesson is all well and good, but what makes York Road station particularly interesting is that this mothballed station is just across the road from the new Kings Cross Central redevelopment project. At 67 acres, Kings Cross Central is the largest regeneration scheme currently underway in Europe, but there don’t appear to be any plans to reopen the station to accommodate the dramatic increase that’ll be seen in the area as a result.

And given the comments made by Sir Simon Milton yesterday in reference to the proposed extension to the Northern Line to Battersea, it looks as if the onus for any changes to the tube network will be on the private sector. Milton said that the Transport for London budget is fully expended until 2018 and “given the state of the public finances we cannot put any more pressure on it”.

The current York Road station is just a smidgen outside the confines of the mammoth regeneration project, but surely the chance to bring the station back to life to serve the 2,000 new homes, 500,000 sq ft of shops and 4.8million sq ft of office space is too good an opportunity to miss?

Perhaps we need to start a campaign to put York Road station back on the map…

6 Comments leave one →
  1. October 28, 2009 3:44 pm

    *Apparently Stuart Cottis, Caldedonian Ward Conservative Candidate, campaigned for the reopening of York Road station in 2006, but without success.

  2. October 28, 2009 6:10 pm

    Would seem sensible to unmothball this station with the new development across the road – however, when did seeming sensible get anything done! Good luck

  3. October 29, 2009 1:29 am

    William Perrin over on the King’s Cross Environment blog has been advocating the re-opening of York Road station for a while. It seems that London Underground has commissioned a study by Halcrow Engineering, which was not very favourable, but some of its assumptions are not necessarily accepted by local people. Have a look at

    Personally I would like to see at least two of the three lost stations (York Road and Brompton Road) on the main drag of the Piccadilly line re-open. Down Street would be more difficult to justify, as it is very close to Hyde Park Corner, but not many people can like using the rather gloomy subway across Park Lane at night, especially as the evenings grow shorter, so why not Down Street too!

    The Aldwych branch is a different matter. Re-opening could only be justified in the context of an extension of the branch to Waterloo.

    Just my few thoughts!

    • October 29, 2009 10:28 am


      Thanks for flagging the feasibility study.

      Not convinced that I’d agree with the report’s assertion that “around 9,200 passengers would use York Road Station during the morning peak” given the scale of redevelopment that’s underway. Seems a hugely conservative figure to me…

  4. October 30, 2009 10:51 am

    Michael, I agree that only 9,200 passengers in the morning peak at York Road seems a very pessimistic estimate, at any rate, once the regeneration project is complete. I do hope that local people press hard for re-opening. Would the developer contribute towards the capital cost of re-opening the station (probably crucial in the present financial climate)?

  5. BJO permalink
    November 1, 2009 12:42 pm

    fully agree with reopening these stations, convenience AND personal safety important. Similar problems with own local rail.

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