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Tottenham Court Road tube station

Tottenham Court Road
Main entrance undergoing reconstruction in 2009
Tottenham Court Road is located in Central London
Tottenham Court Road
Location of Tottenham Court Road in Central London
Location St Giles Circus
Local authority London Borough of Camden
Managed by London Underground
Number of platforms 4
Fare zone 1
London Underground annual entry and exit
2011 23.99 million[1]
2012 36.01 million[1]
2013 38.06 million[1]
2014 36.76 million[1]
Key dates
1900 Opened (CLR)
1907 Opened (CCE&HR)
Other information
Lists of stations
London Transport portal

Tottenham Court Road is a London Underground and future Crossrail station in central London. It is an interchange between the Central line and the Charing Cross branch of the Northern line.

On the Central line it is between Oxford Circus and Holborn, and on the Northern line it is between Leicester Square and Goodge Street. It is located at St Giles Circus, the junction of Tottenham Court Road, Oxford Street, New Oxford Street and Charing Cross Road and is in Travelcard Zone 1.


  • History 1
    • Central London Railway 1.1
    • Charing Cross, Euston & Hampstead Railway 1.2
    • Improvements 1.3
  • Current developments 2
    • Congestion relief 2.1
    • Crossrail 2.2
      • Construction Gallery 2.2.1
  • Future developments 3
    • Chelsea-Hackney line (Crossrail 2) 3.1
  • In popular culture 4
  • Gallery 5
  • Connections 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


Central London Railway

The station opened as part of the Central London Railway (CLR) on 30 July 1900.[2] From that date until 24 September 1933,[2] the next station eastbound on the Central line was the now-defunct British Museum; the next stop in that direction is now Holborn. The platforms are under Oxford Street west of St Giles' Circus, and were originally connected to the ticket hall via lifts at the east end of the platforms. The original station building is in Oxford Street and was designed in common with other CLR stations by Harry Bell Measures. Much modified, it now forms part of the station entrance, and some elements of the original facade survive above the canopy. Apart from those very limited original features of the entrance, the station building otherwise together with a whole row of other elegant old buildings were demolished in 2009.

Charing Cross, Euston & Hampstead Railway

The Charing Cross, Euston & Hampstead Railway (CCE&HR, now part of the Northern line) arrived here on 22 June 1907[3] but used the name Oxford Street until an interchange (linking the eastbound Central line with the southbound Northern line via the ends of the platform) was opened on 3 September 1908[4] from when the present name was used for both lines. The next station north on the Northern line was originally called Tottenham Court Road,[4] but was renamed to Goodge Street at this time.

Main entrance in 2008, prior to current rebuilding

The original ticket office was on the south east corner of the junction of Oxford Street and Charing Cross Road, and its original lift shafts and emergency stairs are still extant. The emergency stairs are often used as access down to the ends of the Northern line platform, as there are currently insufficient escalators for the volume of traffic using the station. The lift shafts are used for offices and station facilities. The original CCE&HR station buildings were destroyed when the Centre Point tower block was built.


Like a number of other central area stations, Tottenham Court Road underwent improvements during the 1920s to replace the original sets of lifts with escalators. Works commenced in 1923; a new subsurface ticket hall, under St Giles Circus, was constructed and the escalators came into service on 28 September 1926 (upper set) and 1 February 1926 (lower set).[5] A shaft for three escalators was driven from the ticket hall under the junction down to the east end of the Central line platforms ending at an intermediate circulation space. A further pair of escalators descend from this level to the north end of the Northern line platforms. The lifts were removed and the redundant shafts were used as ventilation ducts. In 1938 a chiller plant began operating at the station. This was decommissioned in 1949.

Passenger congestion entering and leaving the Northern line platforms was partially eased by the addition of a short single escalator at the centre of the platform leading up to a passageway linking to the intermediate circulation area. However, this is in itself a cause of congestion, as traffic trying to leave the station from the Northern line finds itself in the path of traffic entering and travelling to the Central line.

In 1984 the entire station was redecorated, losing the distinctive Leslie Green-designed platform tiling pattern of the Yerkes tube lines (which included the CCE&HR), and the plain white platform tiles of the CLR. The 1980s design includes panels of tessellated mural mosaic by Eduardo Paolozzi (whose signature appears at several places within the station), and is a distinct and noticeable feature of the station. The mosaic's frenetic design is intended to reflect the station's position adjacent to Tottenham Court Road's large concentration of hi-fi and electronics shops. Some of this mosaic has now been removed in the expansion of the station for Crossrail.[6] These parts are due to be reconstructed and installed in the University of Edinburgh.[7]

Current developments

Congestion relief

The station had four entrances to the sub-surface ticket hall from the north-east, south-west and north-west corners of the junction and from a subway beneath the Centre Point building which starts on Andrew Borde Street. The entrances were frequently congested leading to occasions during peak periods of the day when they were briefly closed to prevent overcrowding in the station.

To eliminate this congestion, Transport for London is drastically reconstructing large parts of the station. This involves building a much larger ticket hall under the forecourt of Centre Point, new sets of escalators to reach the central section of the Northern line platforms from the ticket hall and step-free access to the platforms. The subway to Andrew Borde Street is being replaced as part of this development.[8]

From 2 April until 28 November 2011, the Northern line platforms were closed for structural upgrade works and Northern line trains ran non-stop through the station.[9]

Tottenham Court Road b&w picture from 2006

From 5 January until 29 November 2015, the Central line platforms will be closed, meaning Central line trains will not be stopping at the station. On January 12, the new ticket hall opened for the first time. The station which previously required commuters going through the Central line level concourse to get to the Northern line, via a one-way system, now has escalators directly to Northern line level followed by stairs to the platforms. The escalators are said to be among the longest in the tube, and take a minute top to bottom if you stand on them.[10]


The western side of the original ticket office will be expanded to include escalators down to Crossrail. To enable this to happen the Astoria theatres have already been demolished and the original Central line entrance will eventually be demolished as well.[8]

In addition, as part of the Crossrail project, a new western entrance and ticket hall is being built under Dean Street[11] leading to both the Crossrail platforms and to the parallel Central line platforms.

The Crossrail station 'box' was constructed as part of the Underground ticket hall works, and completed in an un-fitted form by 12 January 2015.[12] Similar to the situation with Thameslink platforms at St Pancras, the line developers are responsible for the fitting-out works which create the actual station infrastructure.[12]

Construction Gallery

Future developments

Chelsea-Hackney line (Crossrail 2)

If the proposed Chelsea-Hackney line, now known as Crossrail 2 when built, it will have a station at Tottenham Court Road, and the development plans include facilities to take account of this. This would be the only planned interchange between Crossrail 1 and Crossrail 2. A massive boost in capacity to the existing station will be needed to host both lines. The station was safeguarded as part of the route in 1991 and 2007.[13] Redevelopment of the station will include space for platforms on the line.

In popular culture

  • The station was used for a sequence in the 1981 film An American Werewolf in London.[14]
  • A scene in the musical We Will Rock You is set in the station; the musical played across the street at the Dominion Theatre from 2002 to 2014.[15][16]
  • Scenes from the video clip for Darren Hayes' 2002 single "Pop!ular" were filmed at the station
  • The music video to the Pet Shop Boys' 2002 single Home and Dry" features mice running across tracks and eating discarded food at the station



London Buses routes 1, 7, 8, 10, 14, 19, 24, 25, 29, 38, 55, 73, 98, 134, 176 and 242 and night routes N1, N20, N5, N7, N8, N19, N20, N29, N35, N38, N41, N55, N68, N73, N98, N171, N207, N253 and N279 serve the station.


  1. ^ a b c d "Multi-year station entry-and-exit figures" (XLS). London Underground station passenger usage data.  
  2. ^ a b Clive's Underground Line Guides – Central Line, Dates
  3. ^ Clive's Underground Line Guides – Northern Line, Dates
  4. ^ a b Rose, Douglas (1999). The London Underground, A Diagrammatic History. Douglas Rose.  
  5. ^ Railways Through The Clay; Croome & Jackson; London; 1993; p169
  6. ^ [4]
  7. ^ [5]
  8. ^ a b Crossrail – Proposal for eastern ticket hall
  9. ^ [6]
  10. ^
  11. ^ Crossrail – Proposal for western ticket hall
  12. ^ a b "New Ticket Hall opens at Tottenham Court Road".  
  13. ^$FILE/chelsea+hackney+line+safeguarding+leaflet+february+2008.pdf
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ We Will Rock You to close after an astonishing 12 years –

External links

  • London Transport Museum Photographic Archive Central line station building in 1914
  • City of Westminster, Draft Planning Brief – Crossrail: Tottenham Court Road Station (Eastern Ticket Hall), May 2005, Retrieved 31 January 2008
  • Photos of Paolozzi's mosaics in the station
  • Conservation of the TCR Station Mosaics
  • prior to installation of Paolozzi mosaicsAn American Werewolf in LondonImages from
  • Rebuilding work and schedule (Transport for London)
Preceding station   London Underground   Following station
Central line
towards Epping, Hainault
or Woodford (via Hainault)
towards Kennington or
Morden (via Charing Cross)
Northern line
Charing Cross branch
  Future Development  
Preceding station   Crossrail   Following station
Line 1
towards Abbey Wood or Shenfield
Line 2
  Former service  
Preceding station   London Underground   Following station
towards Ealing Broadway
Central line
towards Liverpool Street
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