It was one lucky night, when everything seemed to work on our favour. One night, after many days and nights spent on researching, constantly trying and failing many times. One night full of excitement, overwhelming stress. That night we managed to visit Down Street abandoned station.
In the last 18 months we spent countless hours driving around Ldn talking about places we want to see, revisit some. I was never bothered to write things down, making lists with stuff to tick off. I can’t remember when we started thinking about Down Street abandoned station, it spontaneously turned up during one of our endless conversations. Was it just after we went to Aldwych? Probably..
It was always an idea of doing something that seems to be not doable. It took us ages to finally start our research, checking the place, waiting for a perfect moment. A perfect moment when everything is like we planned it to be. And that moment came.
I don’t remember being on that high adrenaline before, even our trip to Mail Rail was less stressful than this one. We had to stay alert all the time.
The place is truly amazing, I was so happy that we managed to get there, and took my time to admire one on Ldn’s hidden gems. After some time I chilled out a bit. We stood there, listening to trains passing by.
Down Street station lies between Green Park and Hyde Park Corner on the Piccadilly Line. Evidence of its presence can be identified through the train windows between these stations by a change in the tunnel surface from the blackened cast iron segments to a section of beige brickwork. The station was opened on 15 March 1907, a few months after the rest of the line. The surface building was on Down Street, just off Piccadilly in Mayfair. It was never a busy station, as the surrounding area was largely residential and its residents were too wealthy to be regular tube passengers. The neighbouring stations were also fairly close by. After the station was closed (21 May 1932) it was almost immediately modified. The western headwalls of both platform tunnels were modified to allow a step plate junction (a junction where tunnels of differing diameters join—the step is the vertical wall filling the gap between them) to be installed, providing access to a new siding located between Down Street and Hyde Park Corner stations. In 1939, the platform faces were bricked up and the resulting space used as an underground bunker. The main wartime occupants of the station were the Emergency Railway Committee, but it was also used by Churchill and the war cabinet until the Cabinet War Rooms were ready for use. Since the end of the war the station has been used only as an emergency access point to the tube. The surface building, designed by Leslie Green, is still standing.
We spent there long enough to take some pictures of the tracks, balancing between third lines.
A few more shots:
For me it was one of the most memorable experience. Down Street abandoned station is just beautiful, it feels like time stopped there.
On that night we conquered one of Ldn’s most iconic and elusive treasures. Knowing all the risks involved I would still have attempted it.I loved it…