Monday, 4 February 2008

Shepherd's Bush (Central Line) refurbishment works

Shepherd's Bush station on the Central Line is closed until mid October for modernisation. What are they actually doing?

This factsheet goes over the details. Basically the plan during the closure is:

  • Demolish the existing building
  • Remove the escalators and install new ones while the building isn't in the way
  • Build a much larger new building, with a large entrance facing east the bus and Overground station, rather than the narrow entrance facing the street.
  • Get started on refurbishing the platform area
Missing from the current plans is the installation of lifts and any other below ground works. This page describes a possible scheme where two new shafts will be dug down to the existing horizontal ventilation tunnel, which will be enlarged for passenger use. The west shaft will connect to the station building and contain a lift, while the east shaft will contain a new set of emergency stairs. A second lift will connect this shaft to the platforms, coming out between them, part way along. You can sort of it see how this works in this picture [hosted by Always Touch Out], though not really.

This news article says London Underground "admitted they now had no plans" to install lifts, and the blurb on TfL's site goes no further than saying they're "evaluating a congestion relief and step-free access scheme". On the other hand, this article says the new shafts have already been created. So I've no idea what's going on.

One thing to note is that, as far as I can tell, there are no plans to enlarge or significantly alter the existing escalator, stair and platform arrangements during any of these works, beyond basic refurbishment.

(btw I don't buy the conspiracy theories on this. If TfL's claims about needing to close the station to replace the escalators are even slightly true, then making it coincide with the station building being out of the way and getting it done before the shopping centre opens is such a forehead-slappingly sensible plan I'm shocked they ever proposed anything else)


Anonymous said...

I totally agree that this is the best option for dealing with the "upgrade" of Shepherd's Bush station even though, as a semi-regular user, I will have to use less convenient alternatives. As a twice-daily user, Mrs THC is most put out, however.


Anonymous said...

I agree that the innards of the old building needed to be demolished, but I don't regard the demolition of the frontage and tiling behind it as justified - its one of the few old central line station buildings left. After its demolition there's only going to be oxford circus with an original building still standing; and even that has been gutted on the inside, while Shepherd's Bush at least had a small amount of its tiling left.

The other thing I don't understand is why they couldn't build the eastern shaft first (the one that the plans show being built next to the West London Line station); that way there would still be a way for people to get to the platform while the western shaft (the one in use until a few days ago) is rebuilt.

Anonymous said...

What is over the bridge up the stairs with a cage around them at the east end of the platforms at present?

Anonymous said...

The picture on AlwaysTouchOut doesn't make any sense, the space available for the West London Line (not depicted) seems to be less than the width of a bicycle (I'm assuming that the east shaft is supposed to go on the west of the West London Line).

Mr Thant said...

1. The eastern shaft is emergency stairs only, ignore the diagram

2. Signal box

3. The West London Line would be beneath the road (Holland Park roundabout) if it were shown. The diagram is mostly nonsense, but I think it's correct in this regard.

Anonymous said...

Conspiracy no, a lot of poor planning and poor information from TfL yes. If only they had thought of this two years ago and implemented a long publicity campaign the locals wouldn’t be the angry folk they are now.

Anonymous said...

the stairs leading up from the end of the platforms(caged area)leads to a vent shaft which leads to another vent shaft that goes in two directions, towards the E/B track and the other leads to Norland road where it comes up to an outhouse building.

Anonymous said...

I can't understand why this station has to have such a megalithic footprint? Underground stations should be holes in the pavement and not take up great swathes of prime real estate, with surface buildings and breezy pedestrian emptinesses. Haven't we got a housing shortage? Hasn't London run out of space for building on? Isn't that why we have to destroy the greenbelt? Hello? Is anybody in there?