Piccadilly Line

ALDWYCH branch line (Part 1)



The (seemingly pointless) short branch line between Holborn and Aldwych was a curious by-product of the amalgamation of plans for two separate lines; the Brompton & Piccadilly Circus, and the Great Northern & Strand.

Originally a double tracked line, with two platforms at either end, it was reduced to single line running in 1917, due to the low volume of traffic, and closed completely in 1994.




The station location is in the centre of this map. Also shown is the route of the line leading to it.
The close proximity to Temple station is obvious here.



Of the two Holborn platforms, the easterly one - seen here - was the one that remained in use. This view is facing south toward Aldwych prior to the closure of the branch.




Facing the opposite direction. The track seen here joins the main eastbound Piccadilly line a short distance into the tunnel. The join can be seen on the right hand side of an eastbound Piccadilly line train shortly after leaving Holborn station. Strangely, the other platform at Holborn was a dead end: it did not connect with the Piccadilly Line at all.





A section of the Holborn platform converted for use a storeroom.





The main eastbound Piccadilly Line platform at Holborn had a cross-platform connection with the Aldwych branch platform above. A subway and steps - seen here - also connected it with the westbound Piccadilly line platform (the main Piccadilly line tunnels at Holborn were built one above the other due to the width restriction of the road at surface level).





Pre-Heathrow extension map of the Piccadilly Line, still in situ in 2008.




The other Aldwych branch platform at Holborn, the western one, was put to other uses after its closure in 1917. This view shows the original tunnel wall on the left.





Another part of the western platform. Facing toward Aldwych.





Facing the opposite direction. The original platform edge can be seen on the bottom left of the photo. The camera position is on the filled-in track area.





The western tunnel leading from the long disused platform at Aldwych. This view is looking back toward Holborn.





Looking back toward the Holborn platform from the crossover between the two Aldwych tunnels. The tunnel leading to the platform closed in 1917 is on the left, partially hidden by the fencing.




Looking toward Aldwych station. The original double tunnel construction can be clearly seen here.
The tunnel on the left leads to the platform at Aldwych that was closed in 1917.




Approaching Aldwych.

Continues on next page...


For Nick Catford's detailed pages about Holborn & Aldwych stations, click here: www.disused-stations.org.uk


Aldwych branch Part 2 (Piccadilly Line)






Photos taken between 1977 and 1981, except where stated.

All photos ©2000-2008. Reproduction prohibited.