Thursday 2nd March 2023
I blogged about the £655 million capacity upgrade to Bank Underground station in January 2022 when the Northern Line Bank branch closed for five months to enable the new southbound tunnel and platform to be completed and opened.
Since then contractors have been beavering away on all the other enhancements including a new moving walkway, new escalators and lifts and a brand new entrance in Cannon Street. This latter development opened on Monday bringing this massive project to completion after almost seven years of construction work.
I had a wander around the expanded station yesterday afternoon to check it all out.
In 2019 110,000 passengers used the station during the morning peak period alone. Forty percent of these changed trains between one of the five Underground lines and Docklands Light Railway which serve the station along with neighbouring Monument using three ticket halls, six lifts, 10 platforms, 15 escalators and a 300-foot moving walkway connecting the Waterloo & City line.
Bank was renowned for its narrow subterranean labyrinthine passageways, staircases, exits and entrances …
…. as it sought to distribute passengers interchanging between the Northern and Central lines as well as the Waterloo & City line and DLR while not forgetting the Circle and District lines connected via the adjacent Monument station.
Now Bank has been transformed into a major interchange with what I understand to be 16 entrances from the street, five ticket halls, 27 escalators, nine lifts and 10 platforms.
Capacity has increased by 40%.
As I wrote in January 2022, it seems incredible all this work has been achieved with the station continuing to function and only the five month closure of the Northern line to connect the new tunnel and platform.
Here’s the new entrance in Cannon Street which opened on Monday ….
…. and here it is as I photographed in January 2022. The next development will be a development over the site which will certainly help fund the project.
TfL reckon passengers changing between the Northern line and DLR will save nine minutes off their journey thanks to the more direct interchange route with three new escalators ….
…. while the new 95-metre walkways make switching between the Central and Northern lines so much easier.
The former interchange arrangements via passageways and stairs are still in use in both cases if you prefer and unsurprisingly I found them to be relatively quiet as you have to defy directional signage to access them.
The new access in Cannon Street had its grill/gates partly blocking the entrance yesterday afternoon which seemed odd…
…. and only two of the three ticket machines were working….
…. as was one of the two departure signs – just the Northern line being shown. No doubt these are teething problems which will soon be sorted.
There’s the inevitable piece of art work/sculpture on display as you head down the first set of two banks of three escalators…
….I’m not sure what it represents. It looks like an expensive fitted wardrobe door to me.
The words BANK STATION have been set in the concrete above the entrance, which is rather nice giving a sense of permanence.
But the quirkiest thing of all, as I covered back in January last year, is just how close Bank’s new entrance in Cannon Street is to Monument as well as Cannon Street station itself as I illustrated at the time ….
Now the entrance is open you really do get a sense of how close they all are taking less than a minute to walk between them.
What’s been achieved here really is hugely impressive. You really notice the difference when walking in the original parts of the station ….
…. and these new additions.
To have found the room for so much expansion is an incredible achievement and to have built it while keeping the station functioning is very impressive.
Well done to everyone involved in this project.
So what’s next? Camden Town and Holborn are often talked about as needing serious upgrade work. Anyone got a few hundred millions to spare?
Blogging timetable : 06:00 TThS
Thanks for this – Yes, Camden Town certainly does need looking at, especially if a direct link to Camden Road station could be incorporated, even if only to the Highgate branch Northern line platforms. One of the big missing connections on the ‘Overground Circle’ is to the Northern line (on the north side of central London). If there’s not able to be building development above Camden Town station to pay for the improvements, maybe there could be above Camden Road station?
17 entrances, 5 ticket halls, 31 escalators, 8 lifts, and 4 moving walkways it seems.
Camden town is a bottle neck as the two Northern Line branches converge there
There is actually an abandoned tunnel there which was used ass an air raid shelter. A number of these were contracted along the Northern line. There was a plan that they would be joined up to provide an express Norther line service. This never happened though
It is unclear as to why that section of tunnel could not be used to provided additional platform capacity at Camden town to alleviate the bottle neck
There are even passageways that connect to he Northern line but they have been sealed up
Presumably those tunnels are quite a bit deeper than the current ones?
I have a book by Andrew Martin in which he cherishes the hope of a Camden Town rebuild but feels that most of Camden itself would have to be rebuilt for it to happen?
Rhere are two tunnels that run parallel to the existing tunnels. Having found some details the big problem is they are not wide enough for a platform, Thete are only 5 meters in diameter.
If you search on London Deep Level shelters and look for Wikipedia you should find some details