Ghost stations and abandoned subways are often considered the holy grail of urban exploration. Despite the grandeur and eerie mystery of many abandoned railway stations, it’s the hidden, lost places beneath that really capture the imagination of urban explorers. Some subway stations have been closed for so long that talk of them has become urban legend. This article examines some very real destinations, some of which haven’t been explored for generations.
Abandoned subways range from shallow cut-and-cover routes to deep level subterranean platforms accessed by decaying corridors and seemingly endless stairways. In some cases their tracks have been lifted. In others they remain in situ, largely inaccessible within sealed tunnels. Some have been used for urban art exhibits, sanctioned and unsanctioned, while others hide vintage artistic treasures lost for generations (click Next).
Deserted London Underground (the Tube)
Few subways run as deep as the London Underground, known as the tube. The oldest and second largest subway system (after Shanghai), around 40 abandoned platforms and stations lurk on the network. One of the best known – although rarely photographed – abandoned tube stations is Aldwych (originally called Strand), which operated from 1907 to 1994 and famously sheltered Londoners during the Blitz of 1940.
(Images: via YouTube)
From behind the sealed entrance to the deepest level platform, Aldwych largely remains as it was during the 1940s. The ghost station contains a labrynth of passageways, some of them in use until the station closed in 1994. Several passageways have been closed to passengers since 1917, while others were never even opened to the public.
Aldwych tube station has two abandoned platforms. Platform A (above top) closed in 1994 but is occasionally used by film companies as trains can still access it. Platform B, on the other hand, has been lost and forgotten for generations. Operational for only ten years, the above image offers a rare glimpse of a platform that has been sealed off since 1917. Deep inside the subterranean station, a tiled corridor leads to another London time capsule – the Kingsway Tramway Subway (next).