Kensington Olympia railway station in the 1980s
A lesser known west London station
(Photos © urban75, October 2009)
Served by London Overground, National Rail and London Underground trains, Kensington (Olympia) station is situated in West London, in Travelcard Zone 2.
A station has been located in or around this site since 1844, when the West London Railway built its short lived southern terminus on 27 May 1844 as 'Kensington', which closed six months later.
Another station called 'Addison Road' followed on 2 June 1862, eventually forming part of the 'Middle Circle' service which ran from Paddington to the north and South Kensington to the south. Wikipedia's entry continues the story:
From 1869, the L&SWR operated trains from Richmond to London Waterloo via Addison Road, until their branch via Shepherd's Bush closed in 1916.
In 1940 Addison Road, as well as the link to the Metropolitan line at Latimer Road, closed along with the other West London Line stations, but in 1946 it was renamed 'Kensington (Olympia)' and became the northern terminus of a peak-hour shuttle service to Clapham Junction, as well as a District line shuttle to Earl's Court.
The current District Line bay platform opened in 1958, but the previous (1872) connection between the District and the main line south of the station wasn't finally lifted until 1992. Two years later, a full passenger service between Willesden Junction and Clapham Junction was reinstated after a gap of 54 years.
There are currently plans for London Overground to connect the station to an orbital rail line to improve access between East and West London during the 2012 Olympics.
Overall station view, circa 1986.
From 1966, the station served as a Motorail terminus, carrying car trains from Kensington Olympia to Perth, Inverness, Fort William, Sterling, Edinburgh and Glasgow. The trains were abandoned in 1997. Independent article.
Close up view showing Kensington South main signalbox and surviving mechanical signals. There was a mix of both LNWR upper and GWR lower case signals at the station, which once boasted two signalboxes to control the traffic.
Snowy scene, taken from the middle platform in the winter of 1986.
Wikipedia 1988 view
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