Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Camden Town tube station
Camden Town tube station is a major crossover point for the two branches of the Northern Line and the busiest station on the entire London Underground. The station gets particularly busy at the weekend with tourists visiting Camden Market and Camden High Street; To prevent overcrowding, entry to the station from the street is prohibited on Sunday afternoons.
Charing Cross, Euston, and Hampstead Railway
The station began life as part of the original route of the Charing Cross Euston and Hampstead Railway (CCEHR) (now the Northern Line). As the station where the line branched into two routes, one to Hampstead, one to Highgate, the design of the station was rather unusual. The station was shaped like a V. With the narrowness of the roads above, and the necessity to keep directly beneath them to avoid having to give out compensation, the south and northbound platforms of each branch are direcly above one another.
However, after the CCEHR was combined with the City & South London Railway to form the Northern Line, southbound trains at either platform could go to either the old CCEHR route or the City & South London route. This leads to considerable confusion at the platforms, as there is no indication as to which would be the best to get the next train to the destination intended.
The lift access (and that of the emergency stairs) to the platforms was located inside the vertex of the V, leading to four passageways, one to each of the platforms, and four return passageways back to the lifts. This was replaced in later years, particularly due to increasing congestion, with an escalator heading from the original station building to the a circulating area at the northern end of the platforms. This has only two pairs of parallel passage ways, one for each branch, with a small side passage on each leading to the lower platforms. One set of the original lift passageways became part of the ventilation system, but the remaining one adds to the confusion of the station.
Camden Town Junction
Immediately south of the station was built a junction allowing northbound trains to take either of the branches north, and likewise allow the trains south from the branches to join the single southbound track. This resulted in 4 connecting tunnels. However, the CCEHR and City & South London Lines were joined together after the City & South London Line became part of the underground group. This necessitated a short extension from the Euston terminus of the City & South London, to connect with each of the two northerly branches. This added another 4 tunnels to the junction, making it the most complicated junction on the whole network.
In 2003 the points at one of these connecting tunnels were the site of a derailment, which caused damage severe enough that much of the Northern Line was closed for over a week, though no-one was hurt severely (as the trains couldn't move too much due to being confined to the tunnel). After the accident, trains were restricted to travelling either from Chalk Farm to Euston (Bank branch) or from Kentish Town to Mornington Crescent. This situation continued for some time, and many considered whether it would be permanent (particularly as this would make managing the two branches through central london easier). However, full use of the junction was restored in March 2004.
A joint report by London Underground and its maintenance contractor Tubelines concluded that poor track geometry was the main cause, and that because of the geometry, extra friction arising out of striations (scratches) on a newly installed set of points had allowed the leading wheel of the last carriage to climb the rail and so derail. The track geometry at the derailment site is a very tight bend and tunnel bore constraints prevent the normal solution for this sort of geometry - canting the track by dipping the height of one rail relative to the other.
Buck Street Market
The station gets particularly busy at the weekend with tourists visiting Camden Market and Camden High Street to the extent that to prevent overcrowding on the platforms, entry to the station from the street has to be prohibited on Sunday afternoons. There are plans to completely rebuild the platform area, demolishing the original liftshaft space and the current circulating area at the foot of the escalators and replacing them with a large two level atrium (the upper level taking the form of a balcony), which has various access points onto the platforms (with escalator access between levels). This would be reached by a new set of escalators, providing more escalator access than at present from the street.
According to London Underground, achieving this reduction in congestion requires them to demolish the old station building. In addition, to provide both a new temporary exit during construction works, and to comply with modern safety standards, London Underground claim that it is necessary to demolish Buck Street Market, commonly known as Camden Market (one of 5 local markets), the Electric Ballroom, a church, and several houses and shops to the north of the original station.
Apart from complaints about destruction of one of the remaining ox-blood tiled station ticket halls on the Underground, there is a significantly large controversy over the demolition of the buildings to the north. Complaints particularly centre on London Underground's desire to replace the buildings with modern construction out of place, and out of scale, with the remainder of Camden Town, together with complaints about the loss of the buildings and market themselves. This has lead to a public enquiry being held.
In January 2004, consultants Arup published plans commissioned by Save Camden , a group of local market traders, for a remodelling which would preserve the majority of the threatened buildings, including the market.
Camden Town is one of eight London Underground stations with a deep-level air-raid shelter underneath it.
Nearest places include
|Preceding station||Underground Lines||Following station|
|Kentish Town||Mornington Crescent|
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