Gloucester Road Tube Station - History - Sub-surface Station

Sub-surface Station

The station was opened as Brompton (Gloucester Road) on 1 October 1868 by the Metropolitan Railway (MR, later the Metropolitan line) when it opened an extension from Praed Street (now Paddington). The station acted as the temporary terminus of the railway until 24 December 1868 when the MR opened tracks to South Kensington to connect to the first section of the Metropolitan District Railway (MDR, later the District Line) which opened on the same day from South Kensington to Westminster. The station was provided with four platforms sheltered by an elliptical glazed iron roof. A two-storey station building in cream-coloured brick with arched windows and an ornamental balustrade at roof level was built at the eastern end. Initially, the MR operated all services over both companies' tracks.

Residential development had been gradually spreading westward from Belgravia since the 1840s, but the area around the station site was mainly in horticultural use as market gardens when the new line was constructed. The planning of the line encouraged the local land owners, including Lord Kensington, to extend Cromwell Road westwards and the opening of Gloucester Road station, stimulated rapid residential development in the surrounding area.

On 12 April 1869, the MDR opened a south-westward extension from Gloucester Road to West Brompton where it opened an interchange station with the West London Extension Joint Railway (WLEJR, now the West London Line). At the opening there was no intermediate station – Earl's Court station did not open until 1871 – and the service operated as a shuttle between the two stations. On 1 August 1870, the MDR opened additional tracks between Gloucester Road and South Kensington and the West Brompton shuttle became a through service.

On 3 July 1871, the MDR opened its own tracks between Gloucester Road and High Street Kensington. These tracks, the Cromwell Curve, were opened without Parliamentary authority in an unsuccessful attempt by the MDR to improve its share of the revenues between High Street Kensington and South Kensington stations which were divided on the basis of mileage of track owned by the two companies.

On 1 February 1872, the MDR opened a northbound branch from its station at Earl's Court to connect to the West London Extension Joint Railway (WLEJR, now the West London Line) at Addison Road (now Kensington (Olympia)). From that date the Outer Circle service began running over the MDR's tracks. The service was run by the North London Railway (NLR) from its terminus at Broad Street (now demolished) in the City of London via the North London Line to Willesden Junction, then the West London Line to Addison Road and the MDR to Mansion House – at that time the eastern terminus of the MDR.

From 1 August 1872, the Middle Circle service also began operations through Gloucester Road, running from Moorgate along the MR's tracks on the north side of the Inner Circle to Paddington, then over the Hammersmith & City Railway (H&CR) track to Latimer Road, then, via a now demolished link, on the WLEJR to Addison Road and the MDR to Mansion House. The service was operated jointly by the H&CR and the MDR.

On 30 June 1900, the Middle Circle service was withdrawn between Earl's Court and Mansion House, and, on 31 December 1908, the Outer Circle service was also shortened to terminate at Earl's Court. In 1949, the Metropolitan line-operated Inner Circle route was given its own identity on the tube map as the Circle line. In 1907, "Brompton" was dropped from the station's name to bring it into accordance with the deep-level station.

In the 1970s, the eastbound Circle line platform was taken out of use and the track layout was rearranged to remove the westbound Circle line track and widen the island platform. The eastbound Circle and District lines both serve the north side of the island platform and the westbound Circle line which was redirected to serve the south side of the island platform. The disused platform is used for Art on the Underground installations, often placed into the brick recesses in the northern retaining wall. In the 1990s a deck was constructed above the District and Circle line platforms on which was constructed a shopping mall and apartment building.

Circle and District line platforms looking east Artwork by Chiho Aoshima on display on disused platform, 2006

Read more about this topic:  Gloucester Road Tube Station, History

Other articles related to "station":

South Kensington Tube Station - History - Sub-surface Station
... The station was opened on 24 December 1868 by the Metropolitan Railway (MR, later the Metropolitan line) and the Metropolitan District Railway (MDR, later the District line) ... The original South Kensington station, designed by the MR's engineer John Fowler, had two platforms although it was intended that this would be supplemented as MDR services extended ... The enlarged station had two through platforms for each company and a bay platform for terminating MR trains from the west ...

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