Wednesday 29 September 2021

Battersea Power Station Station (2)

Bigger On The Inside Than The Outside

Now that would be the answer to a transport planner's wildest dreams. Plenty of peak hour capacity, no contribution to congestion, no emissions**, free fuel**, computer driven so no need for driver training, minimal parking footprint,  and, even better, easily adaptable to low use rural routes.

** The manufacturers, based on Gallifrey, are a little coy about what fuel is used, but we can be sure that a 25th century vehicle would, by definition, be very low emission. The coal mines on Gallifrey were destroyed in the Great Time Wars and the oil reserves were stolen in one of the many Dalek invasions.

On a less fanciful note, the builders of London's Underground were determined to make an impact with their station design. There was initial consumer resistance to descending into the dark and creepy Stygian Gloom to take a ride.

The City and South London Railway (which begat today's Northern Line) commissioned some snazzy station buildings.

Clapham South would really stand out at a major road junction ...
... and, today, even after gaining the surround of a block of red-brick flats ...
... it is still obvious what it is and what goes on therein.

Even the humble Clapham Common station, which was squeezed into a tiny triangle of land ...
... was given a "classical" dome to match the civic pride of the clock tower.
The drinking fountain is no longer there to refresh weary travellers for free, but even amongst the clutter of the 21st century, the station makes its mark.
Underground, these stations are a tad on the basic side ...
...  and certainly well below the opulence of the newcomers on the Battersea Power station line.
But domes were a theme! this is Oval station way back when.
... with a big daddy dome and a little baby dome. But this is Oval station today ...
... massively done-up and domeless. The big domes were covers for lift equipment and when the lifts were replaced by escalators the domes were removed - shame!

But, because it still has lifts ...
  ... Kennington's dome remains ...
... at one time sporting a variety of windows.
... now removed! fbb could not discover what purpose the windows served.
But just around the corner (well, around two corners actually) strange TARDIS-like manifestations have appeared.

Firstly in Kennington Park ...
... and secondly on Kennington Green.
Here are the locations on Streetmap.
The Green is a little, well, green near the Gasworks of the eponymous cricketers "End" (top centre of map above) and now looks a bit like its artist's impression.
And it really IS bigger on the inside than on the outside.
The visible block is the "head shaft" for ventilation systems (and other clever technical stuff) for the "inbound" Battersea Power Station station line. An equivalent Streetview view may help in locating the shaft (and gasworks!)
Much the same happens at Kennington Park near the junction of Kennington Park Place and Agnes Road (map, centre right). This was on the outbound tunnel.
There is an awful lot more "down below".
In this case, Streetview cannot replicate this particular view of the street because the headshaft is IN the park, seen here via Google Earth.
It all goes to show that building an underground line is a very tricky job. 

Here is a video of a visit well before the job was complete.
Did you spot that the extension tunnels are bigger than standard to provide for a walkway for ease of escape in an emergency? Better safety but more cost for any new tube project to carry; so don't expect a rush of new tube lines in the near future!

There may be little future in the idea to extend the new line from Battersea Power Station station to Clapham Junction station.
It is not very far away, and the link would relieve pressure on the interchanges at Waterloo.

In the Google Earth download, the former power station is top right and the junction bottom left. (click on the aerial view for an enlargement).
And, as we all know, Clapham Junction station is NOT in Clapham - it is in Battersea!

Whatever? there is more to a "simple" new bit of underground than just a couple of tunnels and two stations.

Tomorrow we go to the Races - historically and virtually!

 Next North East blog : Wednesday 30th September 

1 comment:

  1. Wasn't it decided that the Northern line would not go to Clapham Junction as the prime purpose of the extension was to serve the new development at Battersea. It was felt that extending to Clapham Junction would be difficult and the last thing the Northern line needed was thousands of passengers decamping from Waterloo and Victoria trains making them full before they even got started.