My Word is my Bond Street

Tuesday 25th October 2022

A new National Rail station opened for business yesterday as the TfL run Elizabeth line finally welcomed Bond Street to the network. It was only three years and ten months later than originally expected from the “Crossrail is on time and on budget” fantasy world of the previous management. That was the promise regularly trotted out until the team arrived into the real world with a bump in summer 2018 and finally admitted it was neither (on time or on budget).

Bond Street was always the difficult child that needed extra care and attention to overcome significant construction challenges, but it’s good to see all is now well, and the station is at last ready to welcome workers, West End shoppers, American candy store lovers, tourists and leisure seekers.

Inevitably the station was fairly quiet on its first day yesterday with most passengers seemingly visiting for the intrigue, for recording the event for their own posterity or uploading as a vlog for their enthusiast audience or even penning a few words for a blog.

Like other Elizabeth Line central area stations, Bond Street’s subterranean extent is truly vast and includes contingency space on the platforms for longer trains at some time in the future as well as the station having the now familiar separate entrances/exits at either end of the platforms.

Huge corridors ….

…. link the eastbound and westbound platforms…

… as well as other cross platform corridors which split half way along for passengers to gain access to escalators to and from street level.

Bond Street’s eastern entrance/exit is located at Hanover Square, a stone’s throw from Oxford Circus …

…. while the western one is in Davies Street right by one of the entrances/exits to the Underground station of the same name for the Central and Jubilee lines.

Both the entrances/exits are relatively modest in size compared to what’s below ground. From a distance you’d be hard pressed to spot them being dwarfed as they are by development above, especially at Hanover Square….

… and with building work still continuing at Davies Street.

Both ticket halls have just three ticket machines built into the wall (such is the power of contactless capping these days) …

… which offer the full gambit of National Rail tickets.

The Hanover Square ticket hall is not quite as big…

…. as the Davies Street entrance where you have a sizeable walk even to reach the ticket gates (below).

Once through the gates at Hanover Square, while it may be short on distance at street level, there’s a very long escalator to take you below ground. At 60 metres I’m told it’s just 1 metre short of the record holding Angel Underground station 61 metre installation.

Back at Davies Street there’s an artistic mosaic above the escalator as you head down which is based on numbers; the significance of which was completely lost on me.

Unlike the Hanover Square almost record breaking escalator, at Davies Street it’s split into two shorter sections with a landing halfway down.

Here there’s another art installation this time based around lighting ….

…. which is all about creating reflections and shadows, but again it was rather lost on me.

From this landing there’s a long corridor which will take you to….

…. the adjacent Central and Jubilee line Underground station platforms ….

… and if you find the walk too much, there’s helpfully a couple of recessed bench seats along the way to take a rest.

Back to the landing and the second escalator takes you down to platform level.

Lifts at both entrances/exits also provide fully accessible arrangements …

…as you’d expect.

Updated digital line diagrams showing the station now open are above the platform doors…

…. but I noticed at least one printed line diagram inside the carriages still showing the station as “opening soon”.

As with other Elizabeth Line stations through the central core there are no adverts on the walls ….

…. and network maps are available on the platform door infrastructure.

My visit yesterday concluded with being handed a promotional pen which was a nice touch …

…. and there was no doubting the line on which this new addition to both National Rail and TfL’s portfolio of stations belongs with an oversized roundel on display in both ticket halls.

Roger French

Blogging timetable: 06:00 TThS

11 thoughts on “My Word is my Bond Street

Add yours

  1. I have a sneaky feeling that all internal Car Diagrams will be updated for when through running starts from 06 November 2022. Makes more sense to start it from then rather than the redo twice or do the Underground routine of sticky labels everywhere which is just wrong..

    Like

  2. A splendid sequence of photos, Roger.

    Although I am no lover of advertising, I do feel that those long corridors could benefit from some distraction while you walk. It would help to to make the walk seem less tedious.

    Like

  3. Was any reason given publicly for the excessive delay? Something has gone seriously wrong for a station to be 4 years late, and much later than the other stations. If there is a significant extra cost, will there be any public investigation, after all, public money was involved?

    Like

    1. Well there was a lot of creative progress reports for the whole line.

      The management must in my view have been hiding the lack of progress. If there were proper project reviews, you could not possibly go from being a few weeks away from opening the line to delivering it almost 3 years late

      As far as I know no explanation has been given for this fiasco

      One problem and that was known very early on was how to integrate 3 different signalling system’s(GWR, GA and TfL)

      Like

  4. Looking at the photograph of the three self-service machines, why place them so close together. Given the likelihood of users not being regulars, there could be long dwell times at a machine. Similarly, there is a likelihood of lots of baggage accompanying the irregular passengers, so space to have those within view while using the machines would be helpful.

    Like

  5. Re the 3 ticket machines being close – the congestion problem is already indicated by the photo showing 2 people doing one purchase are effectively blocking 2 ticket machines.
    Maybe because it ‘looks nice’ – in which case how other ‘looks nice’ features are there that won’t be good in practice.

    Is the closeness of the ticket machines a feature of other stations?

    Like

  6. As one who fairly frequently uses the Farringdon-Paddington link, my initial delight at using the Elizabeth Line has muted somewhat. The sheer scale of walking, stairways, escalators nullify any time advantages over the Hammersmith and City link.

    Like

    1. Looking at these stations it tends to indicate over design. The station are larger than needed and the stations are too fancy. All adding to cost and meaning longer walks

      Like

  7. So far only limited changed have been made to the TfL Overground and Network rail service yet on a number of lines passenger traffic has dropped very significantly. A mixture of the impact of Covid and the opening of the Elizabeth line

    If you want to travel from Heathrow to Central London of further in most cases the Elizabeth line is the obvious choice. The Piccadilly line being painfully slow and the Padding line meaning a slow journey from Paddington

    Like

    1. For anyone travelling between Heathrow and Kings Cross/St Pancras, the Elizabeth line option isn’t actually that much better than the painful Picc.

      You’d think that the interchange with Thameslink at Farringdon would make it easy, but because the signed route between TL and EL is so long it impacts the time gain and for passengers with luggage it then becomes a case of “Do we jump on the tube which takes an hour but there’s no faffing around, or do we do the Lizzy line and the route march at Farringdon with all our bags?”

      For those with luggage or who don’t like walking along the seemingly never-ending tunnels, they’ll stick with the Picc. As I shall mostly do now that I’ve tried it.
      (Yes, I’m aware there’s a “secret” route between TL and EL at Farringdon, but few airport travellers will know about it!)

      As for passengers between Heathrow and Paddington, nothing changes when through Lizzy line workings start: they have the choice of the non-stop Heathrow Express or the stopping Lizzy line (which replaced the ‘Heathrow Connect’). I don’t know what Bob means by the Padding line.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: