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Jubilee Line Extension

From Academic Kids

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Canary Wharf tube station

The Jubilee Line Extension is the extension of the London Underground Jubilee Line into southern and eastern London. First proposed in the 1970s, it was constructed in the 1990s and finally opened just before Christmas 1999.

Contents

Stations on the Jubilee Line Extension

The extension proper begins just below Green Park, from where it continues east to:

Before the extension was built, the Jubilee Line terminated at Charing Cross. The section of Jubilee Line track between Charing Cross and Green Park is now unused for passenger services but still maintained for emergency use (and at least one misdirected passenger train has ended up there).

Why the Jubilee Line Extension was built

Original 1970s plans

The construction of the Jubilee Line between Baker Street and Charing Cross had always been intended to be the first phase in a longer Fleet Line (as the Jubilee Line was originally called). In the first version of the Fleet Line Extension plan, the line would run from Charing Cross via Aldwych to Fenchurch Street station, then via the old Thames Tunnel to New Cross and terminate in Lewisham.

This plan was modified shortly before the Jubilee Line was opened in 1979. Under the new plan (and a new name, the River Line), it would instead run via the Isle of Dogs and Royal Docks to the "new town" at Thamesmead. (This route is not dissimilar to the proposed Crossrail route, which would go through the Docklands in a broadly similar direction.) A short extension was built eastwards from Charing Cross — the Jubilee Line tracks actually extend as far as Aldwych, but work soon ground to a halt, and was abandoned.

Extension

Plans to extend the Jubilee Line were revived in the late 1980s, prompted by the urban renewal of the Docklands in east London (through the development of Canary Wharf) and the severe lack of capacity on the existing Docklands Light Railway (DLR). Initially, the developers of Canary Wharf proposed to fund a new Underground line between Waterloo and Canary Wharf, called the Canaryloo, at a price tag of 300m. The government approved the basic idea, backing a slightly longer scheme taking the extension up to Stratford. After local lobbying, an additional station was added in Southwark, at Bermondsey - initially the plan was to zip commuters through Southwark between the City and Canary Wharf. In the end the scheme cost 3.5bn, partly because of huge cost overruns during its construction. Where initially the developers were to pay for most of the scheme, their final contribution was less than 5%. [1] (http://www.lrb.co.uk/v27/n09/meek01_.html)

The extension was authorised in 1990 and finally opened in late 1999, just in time for North Greenwich tube station to serve the Millennium Dome. It has proved extremely successful both in terms of relieving congestion on the DLR and in opening up access to parts of east London with formerly poor transport links. However, its considerable costs have delayed alternative Underground expansions, such as the long-proposed schemes of Crossrail and the Chelsea-Hackney line.

Design aspects of the extension

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Platform edge doors at Westminster tube station.

The physical design of the extension is radically different to anything previously attempted on the London Underground. Stations are characterised by cavernous, stark interiors lined with polished metal panels and moulded concrete walls and columns. Some of the stations are truly enormous — Canary Wharf has been compared to a cathedral, while Westminster is a dramatic vertical void nearly 40 m (130 ft) deep.

The size of the stations was a response to safety concerns — overcrowding and a lack of exits had been significant factors in the 1987 King's Cross disaster — as well as an attempt to "future-proof" stations by designing from the start for a high volume of use. One consequence of this is that most of the extension's platforms and halls are only ever full in a busy rush hour. (North Greenwich in particular is far too large for the numbers using it, following the closure of the Millennium Dome.)

A number of leading architects were employed to design the stations, with the lead being given by Roland Paoletti. It was decided from the outset that although each station would be designed as an individual entity, they would be linked to the others by a common design philosophy and functional elements. Spaciousness was the most noticeable, along with the shared theme of grey and silver polished metal and concrete interiors. More subtly, many of the stations were designed to admit as much natural light as possible. At Bermondsey and to a lesser extent at Canada Water and Southwark, rotundas and shafts allow daylight to reach to, or almost to, the level of the Jubilee Line platforms.

The platforms saw another innovation on the extension, seen nowhere else on the Underground: doors on the platforms that open when trains arrive, to stop people falling or jumping onto the track.

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