Recently there was an exhibition about the updated proposals to greatly enhance Bank station capacity, a scheme that should be completed in 2021 if all goes according to plan. As a result of those proposals, although it may seem rather perverse, we should take a look at the details of the new Walbrook entrance to Bank station – something which is in the process of being constructed now. The shell of the station entrance and the bare passageways are due for handover from the developer to TfL in the summer of 2014 and the fully-fitted out entrance is due to open by December 2015.

Recent Exhibition on the Bank Capacity Upgrade Consultation

Those of you who cannot wait for our detailed report on the main proposals for Bank station are referred to IanVisits’ report of the exhibition and Walthamstow Writer’s excellent pair of annotated photos here and here. We will use part of the latter one of these to assist with this article.

We have covered the Walbrook entrance before as part of part 1 on the Bank Upgrade over a year ago. Details were sketchy then and the Bank Capacity Upgrade project team seemed to regard the Walbrook entrance as a separate project which was nothing to do with them. Consequently, at that exhibition, they were unable to provide us any more details than the few that were already in the public domain. This time around though it was very different and the new entrance is shown both on the plans released as part of the consultation and also on the main 3D model. In addition they also had an excellent separate model of the Walbrook entrance at the latest exhibition, albeit located away from the other exhibits where it was easy to miss.

The Walbrook entrance to Bank station will be a new entrance constructed as part of an office development, with TfL only paying for the fitting out of a concrete box that is being constructed by the developer. As reported before, it is going to be very close to Cannon Street station and is primarily intended as a dedicated entrance to the Waterloo & City (W&C) Line.

The existing setup at Bank (W&C)


This 3D picture is part of this PDF consultation document and is looking downwards. It shows the Walbrook entrance to Bank (W&C) platforms. The existing W&C tunnels are shown in mottled light grey and the new Walbrook entrance currently being built is shown in plain light turquioise.

The above detail is an extract taken from one of the information sheets made available as part of the latest consultation on Bank station. It has then been re-orientated so that north is at the top. The two Waterloo & City platforms are on the extreme left, each with their own station tunnel. The location of the buffer stops would only just be inside this 3D representation. Most of the platform would be excluded from this diagram.

Beyond the platforms going in a north-easterly direction are three tunnels. The south-easternmost one on the right is the smallest (least diameter) of the three and is not as obvious as the other two on the model or 3D diagram, for both this reason and also because it eventually goes underneath the middle tunnel.

Down The Drain

The Drain

The Drain – now little used since the availability of the travelator. Thanks to failing angel for making this available on flickr under a creative commons licence.

We will start with the middle tunnel. This passageway uses the original route to the W&C platforms from the surface and originally consisted of a unpleasantly steep slope. It is generally believed that the nickname for the W&C, the Drain, originally referred to just this tunnel. It was built as a cheaper alternative to putting in lifts and as a consequence the platforms were moved back south-eastwards from their originally planned location and the originally intended platform location was used for sidings.

The sloped walkway as originally built was very unpopular and was soon regraded to have a step placed every few yards to reduce the slope. This might have improved the situation slightly but it does appear that for over sixty years this unpleasant passage was a continual source of complaint. For the purposes of this article we will refer to this tunnel as “the Drain”.

The Trav-O-lator

In the early 1960s a replacement was finally provided for the Drain. Or to be more accurate, a more satisfactory alternative was provided. This was, at the time, something very novel called a Trav-O-lator – in effect a moving walkway – but at this location it was installed on an incline. Two were installed. You can read all about them in IanVisits’ excellent article on them. In order to install the travolator or travelators (as they were later generally spelt) the north-westernmost siding tunnel had to be abandoned and tunnelled through.

The travelators almost made the Drain redundant, but not quite. In the morning peak period it was necessary to use both of them in the up direction to enable the arriving passengers to leave the station before the next train arrived. The few passengers who travelled against the main flow had to use the Drain.

Construction of the tunnel to house the travelators was a major civil engineering undertaking in its own right. There is an excellent model at Acton museum of the construction. Recently the travelators were replaced by ones built by a different company. The original Trav-O-lator was a trademarked name associated with a specific company. Because currently quite a few companies offer similar products, it is nowadays considered more correct just to refer to them by the generic term of “moving walkways”.

The Connecting passageway with the rest of the station

On the right hand side there is still the original tunnel that for many years housed a siding. When the DLR Bank extension was built this tunnel was extended and joined to the rest of the labyrinth that is Bank station in order to provide passenger access from the W&C to the DLR. At the same time it also improved interchange with the W&C and both the Central and the Northern Line platforms. By providing this direct connection it was no longer necessary for passengers to go up to ticket hall level and go back down again.

When walking along this tunnel one can deduce exactly how far it originally extended as the original builders buried the tunnelling shield used to construct it at the end. This shield was rediscovered during the DLR works and is now painted in bright red whilst a small plaque nearby explains its significance.

Walbrook Entrance on the model

This extract from one of Walthamstow Writer’s photos shows the tunnels that have been discussed from a different perspective. The camera is pointing towards what is south-east on the model.

The New Entrance and Exit to Walbrook from the Platforms

As can be clearly seen from the plan, and even more clearly from an extract of Walthamstow Writer’s second photo (above), the Walbrook entrance will connect to the W&C platforms just beyond the buffer stops of the south-eastern platform. This will therefore provide an alternative for W&C passengers to enable them to exit the station without having to intermingle with other passengers. It should also help reduce any congestion that there may be at the foot of the moving walkways. Whilst it would make no difference to interchanging passengers, those passengers who are exiting to the street will have a greater choice. The can either continue to use the moving walkways (or much less likely head for the DLR tunnel) or use the new Walbrook entrance.

Overview of Walbrook model resized

An overview of the new entrance. Its spaciousness suggests it is believed it will be well used.

The model exhibited at the recent exhibition indicates that this entrance is not going to be some cramped alternative shoehorned into a new development. It looks pleasantly spacious and will provide escalators, lifts and a separate staircase to the platforms. This seems to be in contrast to the relatively small new Bank entrance on the north side of Cannon Street which is proposed as part of the Bank Station Capacity Upgrade.

Details of stairs, lift and escalators resized

The model in more detail showing escalators, stairs and a lift co-existing.

It is not known if anywhere else on London Underground provides all of lifts, escalators and a fixed staircase (other than within the escalator shaft or as an old spiral emergency staircase). It is probably the first time a tube station entrance has been built with both escalators and separate publicly-accessible stairs (not in the escalator shaft). One possible reason for the fixed stairs is that, as with the moving walkways, the intention is to run both escalators upwards in the morning peak and the stairs are needed in case there are passengers wishing to travel in the reverse direction.

The ticket hall seems surprisingly large. Less surprising is the apparent absence of a ticket office. With London Underground anxious to phase out ticket offices (in their traditional form) where possible, it made sense not to build it in the first place.

Ticket Office resized

The entrance in Walbrook currently being built. The ticket hall is large and spacious although one wonders if “ticket hall” is quite appropriate for an entrance with no ticket office and most passengers using Oystercards.

The entrance and exit onto the now-pedestrianised street has clearly been located as far south as possible. This would seem logical in order not to effectively duplicate existing entrances. One consequence of this, as pointed out in an earlier article, is that it is surprisingly close to Cannon Street station. Interchange between Cannon Street (LU) and Bank is not currently recognised as an Out of Station Interconnection (OSI) for ticketing and Oyster purposes but it would seem that logically it should be once the Walbrook entrance is opened.

The Walbrook entrance will be part of Bank station and most readers know that, internally in London Underground, Bank and Monument are treated as a single station. This is partly down to fire regulations which require the interconnected passages to be under unified control. The control room for Bank/Monument is actually located at Monument station and in the event of an incident at the Walbrook entrance or even on the W&C platforms, the quickest way for the station supervisor to get from the control room to the incident will be at street level and in doing so he will practically pass Cannon Street Underground Station entrance.

Opening Hours

What is not known publicly is the opening hours of this future entrance. There would appear to be very little point in it being open when the W&C is closed. The train service on the W&C starts slightly later than other tube lines Monday to Saturday but closes at roughly the same times as other lines. It remains closed on Sunday unless engineering works cause the Northern Line to be suspended in the central area in which case it is opened to reduce the inconvenience to passengers. Expect the W&C to run on Sundays on a regular basis for a few months in 2020 if the main proposals for the Bank Capacity Upgrade are approved.

The opening of the Walbrook entrance will certainly be a minor event compared to the completion of the main passenger upgrade despite being fairly substantial in its own right – one new entrance, four new escalators and two new lifts. It will also probably do little to relieve the rest of Bank station. It should, however, provide some relief to the passageways under the Bank junction itself and also be a welcome foretaste of what we hope is to come.

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There are 83 comments on this article
  1. Milton Clevedon says:

    Thank you. Clearly the primary user is expected to be City workers. Will the foreseen addition to passenger volume require the W&C service to be even smarter on turnrounds? – the bigger source of delay appears to be shunting at Waterloo rather than the stepping-back of drivers at Bank.

    The reference to easy links to Cannon Street or Mansion House is also interesting. It looks about 250 yards to either Mansion House or Cannon Street Underground entrances from Walbrook, so should be more expeditious and less people hassle than the internal interchange via the Northern Line platforms to Monument (nearly 600 yards). So there might well be a case to offer this as an accepted interchange. it would also open up quicker links from East London for those working (or interchanging) at Waterloo. However the mapping of the extra links might be challenging – worth recalling that the Fleet Line would have had a Cannon Street interchange also tied in with Bank!

  2. Robert Butlin says:

    End of para 3 – “were it was easy to miss” (sic)

    [Now corrected. Thanks.PoP]

  3. Milton Clevedon says:

    I’ll correct myself – the entrance shown is even closer than I thought to Cannon Street, only about 170 yards entrance to entrance, though the overall distance is still about 250 yards. That definitely makes it useful for interchanging – there are plenty of internal tube interchanges which are far longer.

  4. James Hardy says:

    Off-topic question but inspired by:

    Bank and Monument are treated as a single station. This is partly down to fire regulations which require the interconnected passages to be under unified control.

    Does this mean that following the opening of Crossrail, Farringdon & Barbican and Moorgate & Liverpool Street will be treated as the joint stations due to their Crossrail station tunnel connections?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Confirm that Bank & Cannon Street is already an OSI

    keeps you up to date.

    [Thanks for that. I have modified the text and expanded that a bit.PoP]

  6. @James,

    Almost certainly yes from the point of view of station control. Of course this should be irrelevant to the general public.

    One area I think is unsatisfactory with Bank/Monument is that it is treated as one station for the purposes of entry/exits counts and I cannot see any sense in this. I hope this practice doesn’t spread to Liverpool St/Moorgate or they become pretty meaningless. Indeed I do not understand why entry/exit counts are not published for each entrance.

    The “single unified control” issue is also a consideration when considering joining up stations and becoming an argument against doing it in cases where it would start to get horribly complex. If Crossrail II Euston-St Pancras ever happens then this is going to have to be given some serious thought.

  7. Malcolm says:

    Surely the single unified control is not infallible dogma. If CR2 (or – shudder – Euston Cross) has a design which produces an unmanageably complex setup in an emergency, but is otherwise desirable, then surely drawing arbitrary lines across a few subways is a better response than abandoning the design.

    Forcing people out onto the pavement and straight down another staircase, for the sake of unitary emergency control, would be a tail wagging a dog.

  8. JamesC says:

    End of paragraph 4 from the end ‘simetimes instigate crowd control’ -> sometimes

    [Fixed. Thanks. PoP]

  9. Malcolm says:

    Entry/exit counts. If they are to be at each entrance, what exactly is an entrance? And does this imply counting people who are using the station tunnels to cross the street?

    The most logical place for a count must be a gateline (or whole open station).

  10. Pedantic of Purley says:


    I am not suggesting that a large combined station with single unified control is necessarily wrong. For a start I would not have the specialist knowledge to have an opinion on the issue. All that I am saying is that a lot of thought would have to go into the procedures at that station – as I am sure they would be. I didn’t mean to suggest that for Euston-St Pancras this should be the basis for serious thought as to whether to do this in the first place as there are obviously great benefits in such a thing if it turns out to be feasible. However if the benefits are less clear cut there may be a case for saying that it just introduces far too much complexity and potential problems that outweigh any gain that may be made – which was the implication given to me when I raised the issue of the problems of large stations.

    Regarding situations to consider … For example, it could easily take 10-15 minutes for a supervisor to get to an incident so maybe you need assistant supervisors with the authority to act. If a quicker route via the street was possible would he be permitted to use that? If so, then he cannot be seen by the cameras in the control room so what would one do if he lost radio contact and did not appear when expected at the incident? If engineering works take place in “engineering” hours would you seriously expect each engineering worker to book with the station supervisor at the Euston end in order to carry out a job that needs access from the St Pancras end? How would the staff at the St Pancras end know that they had authorisation to work at the station? I am sure there are many other scenarios that need thinking through and the more stations that combine together the more complex these scenarios will become.

    It might also make sense to have mini-control room at each main entrance that could dealt with clearly specified incidents without reference to the central control for the entire station or only have to report them after the incident has happened.

  11. @Macolm,
    The most logical place for a count must be a gateline (or whole open station).
    Exactly. I mean it would be highly relevant to have separate counts for Victoria (Victoria Line) and Victoria (District & Circle). It would also be very interesting to have the counts for the new northern entrance when built. It would also be illustrative for Seven Sisters which is a double ended station to name but a couple of obvious examples. And back to the original point Bank (main entrance outside the Mansion House building) and Monument. Later this would be supplemented by Bank (Walbrook entrance) and Bank (Cannon Street entrance).

  12. Malcolm says:

    An interesting article (should have said this before), and refreshing to see that the whole thing looks to be designed with a generous amount of space, particularly considering the presumably-astronomical land costs in the area.

  13. timbeau says:

    Ah – the Cannon Street OSI is only for the NR station: Cannon Street NR to either Cannon Street LU or Bank LU: an LU/LU transfer is not listed. And there can be very few people wanting to transfer from Cannon Street NR to the Walbrook entrance, as that will only be the most direct route if you want the W&C line, which only goes to Waterloo – anyone on a Cannon Street-bound train wanting Waterloo is better advised to bale out at London Bridge, rather than cross the river twice.

    [Well spotted Timbeau. I overlooked that. I have changed the wording (again).PoP]

  14. Ian J says:

    Thanks for the article – fascinating how much history is embodied in the Monument-Bank complex (with more to come).

    It’s worth understanding the reasoning behind the “one unified complex” principle – I assume it came about as a result of the King’s Cross fire, when people were unable to evacuate the station via the closed Midland City (later King’s Cross Thameslink) passageway because British Rail ran that part of the station and none of the Underground staff had a key to the locked gates.

    One minor typo? “other than within the escalator shaft as an old spiral emergency staircase” – do you mean within the lift shaft? (although many escalator shafts do have straight fixed staircases between the escalators. And then there’s Finsbury Park’s spiral escalator…)

    [There was an “or” missing (now corrected). What I really meant was that, as far as I am aware, no station previously had a lift, escalators (or escalators) and, in addition to that, a set of stairs installed that was actually intended to be used – in other words intentionally gives the customer a choice. But you have got me thinking and I suspect that, in fact, this is now the case at Blackfriars.PoP]

  15. Anonymous says:

    No LU – LU listed between Cannon Street and Bank – well that’s just plain sneaky, but it’s my own fault for looking at what was there in front of me.

  16. Walthamstow Writer says:

    The point about “joining up” stations is important in terms of design, station system specification, safety management processes, staffing and operational procedures. I would expect the new entrance for the W&C will be seen in positive safety terms as it will be built to the very latest standards and will reduce evacuation times from the W&C. It may also offer improvements to emergency egress times from some other parts of the Bank complex. I would expect there will have been discussions with the Fire Brigade about this new entrance and the other planned ticket hall and platform improvements as well as full modelling of assumed emergency exit flows.

    As I think I suggested in another recent thread I would expect the Crossrail stations to be managed separately with very clear interfaces with existing LU stations. If you do not do this you run the risk that a fire alarm at Liverpool Street mainline shuts Liv St LU / Liv St Crossrail / Moorgate Crossrail and Moorgate LU. That would be an unacceptable scale of closure given the loss of alternative transport capacity in the area. Of course a very serious fire at Liverpool St mainline would rightly trigger a wider shut down of LU and Crossrail *at Liv St* and possible service suspensions. The emergency procedures and controls have to be designed to take account of the varying levels of risk, impact and probabilities and I’d assume there has already been much work in this area but it will accelerate considerably once the Crossrail concessionnaire is appointed. I can recall the operators having a vast amount of work to do when working out how to run the big stations on the Jubilee Line extension and how to integrate the new facilities into existing Zone 1 places like London Bridge and Waterloo where there were new interfaces with National Rail as well.

    In terms of controlling engineering work access then there are clear rules for every location as to where contractors can enter, at what time and how work interfaces are controlled within the station. I noted the other day In TfL papers that several million pounds have been approved to implement new access arrangements on LU with a view to improving efficiency, use of “access” and to save considerable sums of money. This was something I had involvement in before departing LU and it is mind boggingly complex – especially for large scale works or possessions. Lots of opportunities for improvements!

  17. JamesC says:

    Interesting – I wonder what the system makes of somebody who touches out of cannon street lu, touches into thenr station, then touches out of the nr station, and finally touches in to bank…..

  18. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ James C – if they are on PAYG they probably charge them £8 or so for the “in and out” at Cannon St NR depending on how long they were inside the paid area. A new journey would probably be started on entry to Bank (not 100% certain about that). Entering and exiting at Cannon St NR does not create a new linked OSI between LU Cannon St and Bank. OSIs don’t work like that (or at least they didn’t used to!).

  19. Ian J says:

    @Paul C: “how to run the big stations on the Jubilee Line extension and how to integrate the new facilities into existing Zone 1 places like London Bridge and Waterloo where there were new interfaces with National Rail as well”: I remember that when the new Jubilee Line ticket hall opened at Waterloo, there was a temporary wall separating it from the main line station and you did have to go out into the street to get from one to the other – I think that was because the kind of fire safety procedures you mentioned hadn’t yet been fully worked out.

  20. Taz says:

    “one new entrance, four new escalators and one new lift” – looks like two new lift towers, one by each pair of escalators.

    [Looks like you are correct. I think I just presumed that it would be designed so that one lift would be all that would be necessary and didn’t look too carefully. Now corrected, thanks.PoP]

  21. timbeau says:

    @Ian J
    “there was a temporary wall separating it from the main line station and you did have to go out into the street to get from one to the other ”

    TfL frequently close the doors between the two entrances “to reduce crowding in the Jubilee Line hall” – the net result being that everyone has to squeeze past each other (and a bus queue) on the narrow pavement outside to get from one side to the other. One day someone is going to be jostled off the kerb into the path of a bus because of this, but LU don’t see it as a safety issue because it’s not on their property.

  22. Alan Burkitt-Gray says:

    @Timbeau wrote: ‘And there can be very few people wanting to transfer from Cannon Street NR to the Walbrook entrance, as that will only be the most direct route if you want the W&C line, which only goes to Waterloo – anyone on a Cannon Street-bound train wanting Waterloo is better advised to bale out at London Bridge, rather than cross the river twice.’

    Not once the next big stages of the Thameslink project start up (
    January 2015 to August 2016
    Southeastern services to and from Charing Cross will not call at London Bridge …
    August 2016 to early 2018
    Southeastern services to and from Cannon Street services will not call at London Bridge …

  23. Darian Thomson says:

    Yay, my Thameslink problem is fixed when the Direct trains from New Cross/Deptford to Cannon St run non-stop through London Bridge. I’ll use this entrance for the W&C to Waterloo and then onwards to Kingston-upon-Thames 🙂

  24. timbeau says:

    It will certainly help with that, although I would expect many people would change upstream somewhere – Lewisham or New Cross (not an option on the Greenwich line, I admit)

  25. stevekeiretsu says:

    Sorry to lower the tone on the comments here, but… on the photo captioned “The model in more detail showing escalators, stairs and a lift co-existing”, is it just me, or is there a passenger throwing a punch at another passenger at the top of the stairs?

  26. Graham H says:

    @steve – these models can be very realistic, you know.

  27. Stuart says:

    The whole Cannon Street/Bank (Walbrook) thing is a classic case of piecemeal development on LU. When the Cannon Street mainline rebuild was planned, the decision was made to put lifts down into Cannon Street Underground Station and down to the platform – but only the Westbound platform. What practical use is that ? Meanwhile, on the opposite north side of Cannon Street, another new building development, The Walbrook had recently been completed. If only LU/TfL etc had been fore-sighted enough to require space for an entrance to Cannon Street Underground station on the north side of the street. That could have had lift access to the Eastbound platform, and linked up underground to the Bank/Walbrook entrance which is in very close proximity. Then Bank and Cannon Street could have been property linked with step-free access throughout. Missed opportunity …

  28. Darian Thomson says:

    @timbeau I’m afraid New Cross and St. Johns stations have the same issue as the Greenwich line stations.

  29. Pedantic of Purley says:


    I knew someone would suggest this so I put this to the senior engineer present at the exhibition. Hence his comment about the issue of stations getting too large and the disadvantages outweighing the advantages because of fire regulations (see comments above). He also suggested that there was a lot of stuff beneath the surface that would make it impractical.

    Don’t forget that sub-surface London is cluttered with utilities and there is many a time when an “obvious” scheme just doesn’t make any kind of economic sense when one sees what is below the surface – something to think about when one crosses Brixton Hill (A23) on the level to get to Brixton tube station with its sub-surface entrance hall on the other side of the road. In particular, water has an annoying feature of only flowing downhill unless considerable assistance is given.

    I think in the case of the future Cannon Street entrance at Bank station it would have also been a non-starter because the entrance and escalator shaft will be a very tight fit with not a lot of opportunity for variation. Hopefully this will become clearer when we look at the plans for the Bank Station Capacity Upgrade.

    We know that trying to get a lift on the eastbound platform at Cannon St would have gone well beyond what was affordable (i.e. potentially could be covered by a s106 payment by the original developer) and I suspect that it would also be the case for the developer of the Walbrook site at well. TfL probably did well to get such a substantial Walbrook entrance as it is. It all sounds good and neat what you propose but I suspect it would be poor value for money and your proposed enhancement to the scheme would involve real money from fares or taxpayers – not a freebee from the developer. Furthermore it wouldn’t really fit into the design of the Walbrook entrance as it would be difficult to connect to the lower level landing.

    Whilst step-free access to one platform only at Cannon St underground station is less than ideal it is better than nothing. And in fact it does also eliminate one of the two flights of stairs if using the eastbound platform. For some people with some disability that makes the different between being doable and not doable.There is also the potential future possibility that other stations close by may in turn have a limited opportunity for step-free access in future – hopefully in the other direction.

  30. Milton Clevedon says:

    I’ll put aside the not-so-minor issue of how you estimate passenger flows at multi-way stations. Pinning down the actual volume moving specifically between Lines A and B can be harder than it might appear. Instead, Pedantic’s point about the capacity pressures at Bank set me looking at published numbers.

    Bank+Monument’s recent statistical history is a bit varied. LUL put the 1999 annual passenger entry/exit at the combined Bank+Monument at 19.9 million (saying this included the W&C Line), but grew this to 43.4m in 2000, so something was missing in 1999? The comparators didn’t change, Baker Street was still ca. 23m in both years. Possibly the DLR including interchange flows was counted in from 2000, but the LUL data doesn’t say. It isn’t likely, because DLR’s own data for boarding and alighting at its Bank platforms didn’t exceed 20m passengers until 2011-11.

    A similar figure was recorded in 2001 by LUL, 42.6m (as before this was based on 253 x weekdays, 52 x Saturdays and 59 x Sundays and bank holidays, to give a standardised yearly number – this ‘normalising’ process continues to 2013). Then 39.2m in 2002, and 33.0m in 2003. The notes to the 2003 survey state that “Figures for Bank/Monument now exclude W&C line passengers interchanging with other lines – previous counts for Bank/Monument included all W&C passengers (inc interchangers).” From which one infers that about 6m W&C users were interchanging each year with other lines.

    Forward to 2011, and we see 47.8m passengers on the same basis, so usage of Bank/Monument has grown about 45% over an eight year period – no wonder more passenger handling capacity is needed – and that excludes the interchanges between all lines.

    Now let’s stir the pot and add in DLR, which appears to count to its own operational boundary, so that its annual figures include interchanges with LUL as well as entry/exit with the street. As shown above, it looks as though these are stand-alone figures, not within the LUL counts. DLR City Extension carried 19.6m passengers in 2008-09, and this grew to 23.4m by 2010-11, as a result of various system upgrades and extensions.

    Overall, if we deducted a notional 6m ‘2003 interchangees’ from the DLR (using the W&C as an equivalent, as we have no other immediate figures to grasp here), and expand that by45% to 8m+ by 2011 – we might be looking for 2011 at a major underground complex in the heart of the City handling roundly 62m entry/exit passenger journeys. This is far busier than some main line termini and their associated Underground flows. No wonder that more works are needed.

  31. Pedantic of Purley says:

    Forward to 2011, and we see 47.8m passengers on the same basis, so usage of Bank/Monument has grown about 45% over an eight year period – no wonder more passenger handling capacity is needed – and that excludes the interchanges between all lines.

    Which approximately fits in with TfL’s claim that usage of Bank is growing by 4% a year (about 37% increase over eight years when done cumulatively). When we look at the revised plans for Bank we will see why TfL has every reason to believe that the figure of 4% will be sustained or even increased in the next few years.

  32. Stuart says:


    Thanks for asking the question. Indeed there may well be practical issues. But the engineer may well have “suggested” or over-“suggested” such hurdles to make the point

    However you look at it, the Mansion House – Bank (Walbrook) – Cannon Street – Bank – Monument entrances all within about 300 meters is a total mess, and if TfL cannot concede that, they really have lost the plot. If nothing else, one has to question the point of Mansion House station in the future. And concede that however complicated fire regulations might be, from a passenger perspective Cannon Street has to become a part of the Bank complex from a ticketing perspective at least

  33. timbeau says:

    The point of Mansion House station is that, without it, you’d actually have quite a big stationless desert (at least by central London standards) between Cannon Street, St Pauls, and Blackfriars. Admitedly it would be more useful if the entrance were at the west end rather than the east, (I would guess that would put it somewhere near the Millennium Bridge), but then the name would be even less appropriate than it already is.

  34. Pedantic of Purley says:


    But given that the City of London is where people want to go it does make some kind of sense to have a lot of stations. If dwell time at one station got too large it would effectively reduce capacity over the entire sub-surface railway lines network (District, Metropolitan, H&C and Circle). It doesn’t matter how close the stations are. What matters is are there sufficient people who use it to make worthwhile and, if it closed, could that usage be satisfactorily handled by adjacent stations?

    Just for the record, the first proposal to combine Cannon St and Mansion House that I know of has a plan labelled “Scheme for Interchange with New District Railway Station Replacing Mansion House and Cannon Street And Connecting with the Waterloo & City Railway” dated 19-3-34.


    A good point. Mansion House station always seems to be an oddity to me and not just because of its absurd name. But why an entrance in the west instead of the east. Why not both if the opportunity came about?

  35. timbeau says:

    I meant a western-end entrance would be more useful than an eastern end one, but I’ve no objection to keeping both! Even better, if the west end of the Drain’s platforms could be connected to the existing entrance at MH.

    (now that would make a very big complex: Monument/Bank/Mansion House!)

  36. Hugh S. says:

    Re Bank to Cannon Street changes:-

    I used to work near Tower Hill and for a short while lived near Lancaster Gate on the Central line.I found that the best way to interchange between the Central line and the District line was to leave Bank via the Wallbrook exit and walk the short distance to Cannon Street District line station.This avoids the long walk down to the Northern line platforms and then up into Monument via the escalators!

  37. Andrew says:

    The Jubilee platforms at Stratford have stairs escalators and lifts too.

  38. Pedantic of Purley says:

    Even better, if the west end of the Drain’s platforms could be connected to the existing entrance at MH
    This was actually discussed on 26th January 1956 when considering options for building the travelator.
    “This was felt to be practicable, but its cost would far outweigh the advantage that would be gained, so the idea was rejected”.

  39. Whiff says:

    I am not a regular user of Bank but whenever I pass through it always seems like a mammoth trek from the DLR platforms to the surface so I wonder how using this new exit will compare.

    Also, I know this is raised every time we discuss this, but does anyone know if any serious considerationhas been given to giving the two distinct halves of Bank station seperate names.

  40. Stuart says:


    “The point of Mansion House station is that, without it, you’d actually have quite a big stationless desert (at least by central London standards) between Cannon Street, St Pauls, and Blackfriars”

    5 minutes walk does not make a stationless desert to my mind, but I guess that is a matter of opinion

    The 1960s (70s ?) rebuild to Mansion House didn’t help since the pedestrian access is so pokey. Same goes for Cannon Street platforms

  41. timbeau says:


    I did say “by central London standards”, and an important consideration is that if MH were not there, it would increase crowding at the neighbouring stations. One can make a very similar argument for Covent Garden.

  42. Pedantic of Purley says:

    The 1960s (70s ?) rebuild to Mansion House didn’t help since the pedestrian access is so pokey. Same goes for Cannon Street platforms
    I have to agree with you on this. I think Mansion House is one of the most depressing Underground stations there is. If it wasn’t for the current state of Whitechapel I would suggest it is the most depressing. At least at Cannon Street it is now only the platforms and not the whole station and the main downside is the awful colour of the tiles which hopefully will change when the platforms are refurbished.

    I think you have to look at this stationless desert thing in context the context of how densely packed the office population is in the area – or more important how densely packed it will be. In the circumstances it really can make sense to have the stations in the City of London little more than a couple of train lengths apart. The Paris Metro has station spacing more normally associated with a tram service in the central area and even in Berlin the U-bahn stations seem, by London standards, to be unduly close together in the centre. Although City Thameslink and Blackfriars main line are very close together I haven’t heard of any calls to close one of them. If you feel that the stations are frustratingly close then in future you will have the opportunity to walk to Liverpool St or Moorgate where you will probably spend two or three minutes just getting to the platform but will have the opportunity to catch an underground train without frequent station stops.

  43. Southern Heights says:

    @Timbeau: If they gave Mansion House station a western entrance, then I think the name Wardrobe would be appropriate… 😉

  44. Murphy272 says:

    @Pedantic of Purley“Although City Thameslink and Blackfriars main line are very close together I haven’t heard of any calls to close one of them.”

    I’m sure there are good engineering and/or crowd control reasons for having a station at City Thameslink but as someone that travels across London I find it annoying and see it as simply an indulgence for City workers. It saves them a maximum of six minutes walk and costs every through commuter about 3 minutes.
    I totally agree with you that stations should be close together on metro / tube services, but I don’t think they should be for mid and long distance rail. In a perfect world that is.

  45. Ian J says:

    @Murphy272: “as someone that travels across London I find it annoying and see it as simply an indulgence for City workers”: but aren’t the City workers the main reason the service is provided in the first place? The ability to get say from Luton to Gatwick is just a useful byproduct that you are able to take advantage of.

  46. c says:

    City Thameslink is hugely busy. Is not every station an ‘indulgence’ for those who make use of it?! Honestly…!

    It’s these indulged ‘City workers’ who create the core demand, excuse the pun.

  47. Alan Griffiths says:

    c 09:55, 31 October 2013

    A few create the Kaur demand

  48. Greg Tingey says:

    – Sub-surface ( i.e. effectivel running-line leve) interchange beneath
    Wallbrook entrance to Cannon ST (District Line) ??
    So that people can use the W&C to transfer to the District line … to get to, perhaps, say, Docklands?
    See also Stuart’s comment And PoP’s discussion ….

    That, I’m sorry to say, is typical – though it does seem to have improved a little, recently. I haven’t encountered zig-zag “tensabarriers” strung across/inside the main entrance to Liverpool ST LUL for some time now.
    [ Yes, they really did do that! ]

    ”Mansion House” was the Eastern terminus of the “Metropolitan District Railway” for some years [ 1871 – 1884 ] – And they had to be kicked, quite hard, by both the government of the day & The Corporation, to extend – & join up with their hated rivals, the “Met” – another aspect of the Forbes / Watkin feud, in fact. IIRC, the original proposed site for MH was much closer to the actual “MH” ….

    Murphy 272
    The real problem there is … no interchange with the Central Line, I’m afraid …

  49. timbeau says:

    Back on topic, why is the frontage of the new building all swirly? Is it just for show? And what is to be in the void between it and the flat interior wall?

  50. SAINTSMAN says:

    Excellent aricle. It’s very positive to see the Waterloo & City (W&C) will now become fully accessible.
    Building an accessible link between Cannon Street and Bank DLR without the need to cross the road would be very welcome – I guess this will need to wait a little longer. When Bank and London Bridge rebuilds are complete I suppose we are left with change at London Bridge and then Northern Line as the accessible connection.

  51. SAINTSMAN says:

    Sorry intended to write “London Bridge and then Northern or Jubilee Lines”

  52. Melvyn says:

    I have read that the original plans for Cannon Street Station was for the Westbound platform lift to be extended down to a subway that would cross to a lift up to Eastbound platform . Whether this was the case and whether it fell victim to Boris cuts I can’t confirm .

    The situation here demonstrates the problem with piecemeal development instead of looking at the big picture and planning to cover all these nearby stations as a single project. In fact I notice that at Monument Station there are hoardings which mention another new entrance linked to a nearby development !

    The discussion re Mansion House demonstrates how this station would be much better if it had a western entrance making it better spread between Blackfriars and Cannon Street and also would overcome the steep stairs the station has from platforms, which are then followed by more stairs to street level!

    This area shows how its a pity London does not have New York style platforms that link stations together with a continuous platform !

    As for City Thameslink well that was originally Holborn Viaduct terminus designed to service High Holborn commuters and so a replacement station was built with a new entrance at South end on Ludgate Hill. This station could be transformed if a new Central Line station was built beneath Holborn Viaduct which could be linked to City Thameslink and even have a subway link to nearby Faringdon Crossrail Station !
    While future extension of the DLR might add to the confusion if Cannon Street got a DLR stop followed by City Thameslink Ludgate Hill entrance !

    Despite all these plans it seems Central Line at Bank will still not become step free as a lift is not included in plans for new escalators from Northern Line.

  53. Del Tic says:

    There have been some blue hoarding ups near the gateline at Monument for longer than I care to remember. What’s behind them?

  54. Stuart says:

    @Del Tic

    I think it a new control room, but not sure. Indeed the “new entrance” boasts re Bloomberg Place are a bit misleading given how far from Monument that will be. Easier to take a train to Cannon Street or Mansion House

  55. timbeau says:

    Very interesting model – it’s difficulkt to tell as most of the buildings soiwn have now gone, but it doies appear that the platforms are actually closer to the entrance to Mansion House station than to Bank!

  56. Walthamstow Writer says:

    TfL have announced that they have awarded a contract to break through into Bank station and fit out the box being constructed as part of the Bloomberg Place development. The box is handed over to TfL next Summer and construction / fit out by Hoctief should take two and a half years. Another development to add to the burgeoning timeline of openings / changes from 2016 to 2019.

  57. So two years late (not TfL’s fault) and timed perfectly to be absolutely no use whatsoever in assisting with alternative arrangements during the Thameslink works at London Bridge.

  58. ngh says:

    FYI The listed building consent notices of the other bigger Bank works were in the Standard last night

  59. Walthamstow Writer says:

    TfL have announced that the site at Walbrook has been handed over to them by the developers of the Bloomberg building. This means TfL’s contractor can commence the tunnelling works to link into Bank station and also fit out the new station.

    One immediate consequence will be the closure of the W&C line connecting tunnel, to the DLR and other lines, from this weekend for 10 months. There is link from the press release to some press office images of the new ticket hall and escalators.

  60. timbeau says:

    Discussion of the plans for the other “Bank job” made me look this up. The original article suggested it should have been finished by now, but the Bloomberg developers only handed the site over last month, instead of “summer 2014” – never trust a deadline defined by the seasons – and the connection to the Northern Line is expected to be closed for ten months, so presumably we are looking at September at the earliest.

    Why the delay?

  61. timbeau says:

    “September at the earliest” turns out to be over-optimistic:

    The link in WW’s post above says “late 2017” for the opening , so not only is the handover fifteen months late but the construction period is now two years instead of 15 months, and the total delay is two years.

  62. 100andthirty says:

    I thought it was only Network Rail that could over-run programmes – or have I been reading too many newspapers and listening to too many politicians?

  63. Stuart says:

    No recent progress reports on here, but from what can be seen at surface level behind the Bloomberg Place hoardings along Walbrook, this is starting to look well advanced. What is the scheduled opening date ?

  64. John U.K. says:

    @Stuart – 7 October 2016 at 15:42
    No recent progress reports on here, but from what can be seen at surface level behind the Bloomberg Place hoardings along Walbrook, this is starting to look well advanced. What is the scheduled opening date ?

    This appears to be the latest info, but ther are contact details provided there.

  65. Stuart says:

    @John U.K.

    Not sure that link relates to the Walbrook entrance to the W&C line

  66. timbeau says:


    That link is to the big project on the Northern Line platforms.

    This is the (completely separate) Walbrook project at Bank, giving direct access to the line-that-must-not-be-named.

  67. Walthamstow Writer says:

    @ John UK – the most recent official comment on the Walbrook scheme I can find is in the Q4 TfL operations and invesmtent report. That shows only a couple of milestones with bringing into service scheduled for Dec 2017 so quite a long way to go. Unfortunately the change in Mayoral regime and decisions to rejig TfL’s governance and meetings has caused a gap in reporting. I have yet to say any document giving a project update to the Board or a sub committee and we are almost at the point where a Q2 report is due but we haven’t seen a Q1 one yet. I’m not sure how well that stacks up alongside promises of better transparency given we have seen information on revenues, costs, headcount and a few other metrics.

  68. Jonathan says:

    Apparently the connecting passage from the W&C to the DLR and other lines has finally re-opened. (This was originally due to re-open in the early Autumn of 2016.)

  69. David says:

    A general point which comes out of this thread is the fact that many commuters would benefit greatly in having entrances/exits at both ends of the platform at some well separated stations. Depending in part on the depth of the line this often yields entrances a considerable distance apart on the surface. The argument about Mansion House (yes, needing a name change) is well made – it could better serve St Pauls, One New Change and the Millenium Bridge, prominent tourist destinations, with a new western entrance. Aldgate East is a good example of two ended access particularly when also made possible from different sides of a busy road.

  70. timbeau says:

    Two entrances also help with distributing passengers along the platform – but not at Bank W&C where both entrances are at the same end. Access from the ticket hall of Mansion House (station – not the actual residence!) would have been much more useful than the Walbrook entrance we have actually got.

  71. [email protected] says:

    Do I recall correctly that the City Corporation safeguarded a site for a station under Cannon Street somewhere, with a view to its use by their much desired western extension of the DLR, not to terminate at Bank, but to proceed westwards towards Fleet Street and the Strand. I seem to recall a hand-out leaflet produced by them, what happened to all that?

  72. Stuart says:


    I believe the safeguarded site beneath Cannon Street was for the Fleet Line (later Jubilee) extension to Fenchurch Street and on to Docklands. There is, I believe a straight section of DLR tunnel below Tower Hill District & Circle station which could facilitate access if developed in the future

  73. ngh says:

    Re Stambourne,
    Being used for the new Northern Line bank ticket hall and entrance with demolition of the buildings on site nearly down to ground level.

  74. ngh says:

    PS It was originally for the Fleet line as Stuart has pointed out.

  75. Melvyn says:

    @Stambourne. That was associated with eastwards extension of the then Fleet ( now Jubilee) Line which was planned to be extended eastwards from Charing Cross beneath Strand, Fleet Street to Fenchurch Street Station and docklands but was replaced by present route via Waterloo.

    I suppose these works may still lay under Cannon Street unused ….

    Way back in October 2013 the subject of Cannon Street only having lift access to westbound platform with suggestion that another station in this area might coverthe eastbound trains. Well we now have Tower Hill Station accessible in both directions but in order to switch directions users have to exit one part Tower Hill Station and re-enter the other and no weather proof cover has been provided!

    When the new accessible entrance to Bank Waterloo and City Line opens will the exit at Waterloo end be adequate to qualify as being step free ?

  76. @Stuart, Melvyn, ngh

    The Fleet Line Stage II Cannon Street works are described in the first part of the Fleet/Jubilee series.

  77. Stuart says:

    “Being used for the new Northern Line bank ticket hall and entrance with demolition of the buildings on site nearly down to ground level.”

    I don’t think that can be correct. I read (I think from the LR article LBM has linked) that the Fleet Line provision was on the south side of Cannon Street, under the building at 80 Cannon Street. Yet the new Northern Line entrance is to be on the north side of Cannon Street a couple of blocks to the east, underneath what was 135 Cannon Street

  78. ngh says:

    Re Stuart,

    If you read the linked article carefully it says:

    Cannon Street Fleet Line station was to be double-ended, lying between the mainline railway station* and Monument**, providing an interchange to the Northern line via Bank station at the latter.

    **The proposed eastern entrance site is being used for the new Northern line entrance (Confirmed by one of the senior project engineers 😉 )
    *The western at 80 Cannon Street is effectively where the M&S food store now is at the station entrance.

  79. Stuart says:


    Well I still don’t see how that worked given that (1) site to the north of Cannon Street would not lie between Monument and Cannon Street station, and (2) the demolished building facing Cannon Street (which housed a McDonalds) was a 1960s build (the one behind it on King William Street was more the correct period but even further away from the line between Monument and CS. But far be it from me to question a project engineer

    It does add a further chapter to the whole spaghetti that is the Bank, Monument, Cannon Street and Mansion House complex. Three stations on the District and Circle of which at least two are sub-scale and ill-connected. Shame that with all the recent (and past) redevelopment in the area, a more suitable solution couldn’t be crafted to ease interchange and overcrowding

  80. timbeau says:

    The eastern site is, I assume the one at no 145 seen here
    https:[email protected],-0.0878831,3a,75y,357.44h,85.41t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sXFDcSukFE9HRoTSLupUnxg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1
    in the act of having its hoarding painted TfL blue.

    The Fleet Line, as I understand it, was to have run underneath the District Line, which in turn runs under Cannon Street (the thoroughfare, from which the main line station takes its name). Allowing for the slope of escalators, it is about a train length from the the main line station which takes its name from the thoroughfare, and as is now being demonstrated, ideally placed for a tie in under the ground to the Bank/Monument complex. Having entrances on both sides of the road under which the line runs seems to be not only possible but desirable – not to mention commonplace – you need look no further than Monument for an example.

  81. ngh says:

    Re Stuart /Timbeau,

    Timbeau has understood perfectly including escalator distance offsets. The sites of the former 135 and 145 Cannon Street were in safeguarded area for the eastern Fleet entrance /interchange which prevented rather small 60’s buildings being demolished and replaced with bigger one(s) with larger deep foundations for a long time. (The D&C line platforms western ends are just east of the the 145 site)
    The District and Circle run under Queen Victoria Street cutting the corner with Cannon Street with Mansion House station then along Cannon Street and then Eastcheap. The Fleet line would have been underneath along Cannon Street and Eastcheap before heading further north at the start of Great Tower Street to Fenchurch Street Station instead. The DLR used the Fleet alignment under Eastcheap.
    It is also worth remembering that Station naming and illustration convention in the Bank-Monument complex has changed over the years.

    Worth having look at the 3D station plan on ianvisits:

    The eastern end of the Fleet line station would have been well linked to the western end of the District and Circle platforms and the southern end of the Northern platforms with both lifts ans escalators possible.

  82. Stuart says:

    Indeed, the building is long since gone as part of the redevelopment of the block for the new Bank entrance

    Yes, I like those 3D station diagrams. That said, I don’t think the Northern and DLR platforms are quite a right angles – I think the angle is really that between King William Street and Cannon Street/East Cheap, so not much more than 45 degrees. But by their nature, they are diagrammatic

    What would be interesting would be to show the relative locations of Cannon Street and Mansion House stations – there would surely be a far shorter link between the Bank W&C platforms and Mansion House than Central line at Bank to Monument station

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