The Winchester

"Not all those who wander are lost" – Tolkien

Cut and Cover #3 – The Met Line Three.

with 3 comments

December 2010

A certain unease always sets in when down on London’s underground train lines. Attemping to access the very same set of tracks a week previously had seen us facing a train coming towards us, well after service. Although we we have always been aware of the risks associated with this sort of activity, the unpredictable London Underground network of tubes and cut and cover never lose that ability to unnerve.

Cut and Cover Tunnel

The Boxing Day driver strikes added to the day of non-service on Christmas itself, an annual treat for those bold enough to walk the zero clearance deep tube lines that make up the bulk of the network in the nucleus of the capital. Work trains are an enigma, and the slim chance that a train will be returning to the depot or using those bits of track on the early hours of Christmas Day are enough to deter all but the hardiest and most dedicated.

Good Lord! There’s a man on the track!

The Metropolitan line was announced out of service for Boxing Day, and although other lines were running reduced services, we saw this as the best opportunity to take a look at the remaining stations we’d come close to last time out. Other services were not running either, but access around those points was deterred by the number of people around at this earlier point in the evening.


Lords is barely underground, the end of the stubby platform juts out into the open air, and provides an excellent opportunity for those who want to see a station but don’t fancy a hike to do so. Access from the surface would be via an alarmed door, and on many occasions we’ve seen workers loitering or vans parked, a presence which often cuts short proceedings. As such, this door is not an option, and never has been. The station itself is scant reward, there are few signs of it’s old purpose and the station building topside has been demolished.

Dual Running

We spent a good 20 minutes in Lords, the lack of the tunnel lights further north indicated lines were still supplied with current. It’s a double edged sword; if there’s no lights, there’s no workers, but if there’s no workers, there’s always the chance of trains. A drivers strike should be sufficient to allay all fears, but as the UE Kingz implore, “You Have To Choose” .


Our choice was to proceed up the tunnel, a good 700 metres to Marlborough Road. Signs were present that work of sorts had been going on at this old station: Portable flourescent lights beamed out at this open section of track. Several windows looked down on us, the occupants oblivious, if even present. The original station had a glass roof, but this was removed when the station was taken out of service.

Open at Marlborough Road

The old stairwells for passenger access were present, although a modern stairwell had also been raised. Like Lords, the stub of a platform remained, however few other signs were there that this used to be a station. The original stations building is now a restaurant.

Modern Stairs

Swiss Cottage was the next station, and another 670 metres of track were the obstacle. Single file we walked up, finding the tunnels splitting again. Confidence was higher here, having traversed the more risky, more open section.

Looking back at Marlborough Road.


I was expecting more from Swiss Cottage. Without much light, it is obviously difficult to see what is not illuminated. The original iron roof supports were present and despite my assumptions that the station would offer more, it was little more than another section of cut and cover.

Old Ironwork

Finishing the job at the Met Line Three was satisfying, if only for the unusual experience of a section of line with three consecutive disused platforms. I’m loathe to describe them as stations, they were nothing like Mark Lane or City Road.

This was of course done by Siolo back in 2009 – Props for taking the plunge!

The weekend saw  fresh tube conquered by other members of the ‘London B team’, more possibilities open up every time we venture down. Knowledge is key for these activities and knowledge about the system and how it ticks is what we’re gaining by doing this.

Written by Winch

December 27th, 2010 at 7:25 am

Posted in Trains

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3 Responses to 'Cut and Cover #3 – The Met Line Three.'

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  1. This makes me wish id used my xmas break a bit better!

    That sign in SC is mint, reason alone to take the stroll..


    3 Jan 11 at 1:34 pm

  2. To be honest, the sights down there are less spectacular than the experience. I’m sure it’s better with the lights on, but lights mean workers…


    13 Jan 11 at 2:55 pm

  3. […] Cross was more typical of an abandoned station that other cut and cover examples. Lords, Swiss Cottage and Marlborough Road are shells, and Mark Lane is missing a platform and it’s stairs. Kings Cross has both […]

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