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Broad Street station, London
Death of a Victorian railway station
Story and photos © Mike Slocombe, May 2005

Opened in 1865 as the terminus of a network of commuter railways linking east and west London (via the North London Line), Broad Street was once the third busiest station in London.

The original idea was that Broad Street would be the starting point for Midlands-bound goods from the docks, but even before the building was finished, the developers realised that passenger traffic would prove more lucrative.

Broad Street railway station, London
Broad Street station, shortly after opening (Print from 'Illustrated Times', 11 November 1865).

In the early 1900s, more than one train a minute arrived or left the station during the morning rush hour, with over 27 million passengers using the terminus in 1902 alone.

The growth of competing bus, tram and Tube networks led to the station becoming less popular and after major WW2 bomb damage, the main part of the station was closed in 1950.

The station went into a period of slow decline thereafter, with all but two platforms disused by the 1960s.

The station was marked for closure under the cruel Beeching Axe of 1963, but managed to earn a reprieve after locals lobbied the government.

By 1985, Broad Street had become a pale shadow of its former glories, with just 6,000 passengers per week using the station and only about 300 arriving in the daily morning peak.

The end was announced in June 1985, with demolition of this once-fine terminus station in November that year.

A solitary platform remained in use until 30 June 1986, when the station - and other stations on the North London Line's City Branch - were closed forever.

The site was rapidly swallowed up by a giant Broadgate office and shopping complex, and not a single trace of the station now remains.

Broad Street railway station, London
View of the station showing the dilapidated canopies, 1980.

Broad Street railway station, London
Broad Street No.2 box, situated on the end of platform 9. There used to be a goods yard situated behind and below the signal box, but this had been cleared to make way for a car park by the late 1960s.


Broad Street railway station, London
Years of neglect had left the station in a terrible state, and there was no one around to stop me clambering on to the disused tracks and taking this picture.

Update: Remembering Broad Street station, London


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