Aldgate East tube station
Eastern entrance next to Whitechapel Art Gallery
Location of Aldgate East in Central London
|Local authority||London Borough of Tower Hamlets|
|Managed by||London Underground|
|Number of platforms||2|
|London Underground annual entry and exit|
|6 October 1884||Opened|
|Lists of stations|
|London Transport portalCoordinates:|
The station is currently undergoing refurbishment, with the platform walls being entirely retiled. However, when Metronet collapsed in the Summer of 2007, all work at Aldgate East was halted. This included the retiling of the station platforms and the refurbishment of the east ticket hall, which reopened on 31 March 2009. On the platforms, some areas of tile have been removed without being replaced, exposing the concrete beneath, whereas in other places the walls are still clad in pale yellow tiles.
Ticket barriers control access to all platforms.
The name "Commercial Road" had been proposed for the original Aldgate East station, which opened on 6 October 1884 as part of an eastern extension to the District Railway (now the District line), some 500 feet to the west of the current station, close to the Metropolitan Railway's Aldgate station. However, when the curve to join the Metropolitan Railway from Liverpool Street was built, the curve had to be particularly sharp due to the presence of Aldgate East station, at which it needed to be straight.
As part of London Transport's 1935-1940 New Works Programme, the triangular junction at Aldgate was enlarged, to allow for a much gentler curve and to ensure that trains held on any leg of the triangle did not foul the signals and points at other places. The new Aldgate East platforms were sited almost immediately to the east of their predecessors, with one exit facing west toward the original location, and another at the east end of the new platforms.
The new eastern exit was now close enough to the next station along the line, St Mary's (Whitechapel Road), that this station could also be closed, reducing operational overhead and journey times, as the new Aldgate East had effectively replaced two earlier stations.
The new station, opened on 31 October 1938 (the earlier station closing permanently the previous night), was designed to be completely subterranean, providing a much needed pedestrian underpass to the road above. However, in order to accommodate the space needed for this, and the platforms below, the existing track required lowering by more than seven feet. To achieve this task, whilst still keeping the track open during the day, the bed underneath the track was excavated, and the track held up by a timber trestle work. Then, once excavation was complete and the new station constructed around the site, an army of over 900 workmen lowered the whole track simultaneously in one night, utilising overhead hooks to suspend the track when necessary. The hooks still remain[update].
District and Hammersmith and City line trains running into Aldgate East along two sides of the triangle (from Liverpool Street and from Tower Hill) pass through the site of the earlier station, most of which has been obliterated by the current junction alignment, although the extensive width and height and irregular shape of the tunnel can be observed.
Since the station was built completely under a widened road, and was built after concrete had started to be used as a construction material, the platforms have a particularly high headroom. Combined with the late 1930s style of tiling typical of the stations of the then London Passenger Transport Board, the platform area of the station presents a particularly airy and welcoming appearance, unusual on the underground at the time of construction. The tiling contains relief tiles, showing devices pertinent to London Transport and the area it served, were designed by Harold Stabler and made by the Poole Pottery.
A campaign was launched by a local councillor in a bid to change the name of the station to Brick Lane tube station by 2012, but this has no official support and has not been successful. The same councillor has also campaigned to have Shoreditch High Street railway station renamed "Banglatown".
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Aldgate East tube station.|
- "Multi-year station entry-and-exit figures" (XLS). London Underground station passenger usage data. Transport for London. 2014. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
- H.F. Howson, London's Underground, 4th ed. London: Ian Allan, 1967, OCLC 502266970, p. 47.
- Howson, pp. 47–48.
- "Bid to name Tube stop Brick Lane". BBC News (bbc.co.uk). 2006-12-15. Archived from the original on 16 January 2007. Retrieved 2007-01-10.
Tower Hamlets councillor Abdul Ullah wants the Tube station to be renamed in time for the 2012 summer Olympics. He told BBC London: "I think it will truly reflect the character of the area by renaming Aldgate East... people get it confused with Aldgate." He said the area's tourist trade was being affected because, while people had heard of Brick Lane and its reputation for curry restaurants, they could not find it on a Tube map.
- "Calls to rename East End station". BBC News (bbc.co.uk). 2008-05-20. Retrieved 2008-06-10.
Tower Hamlets councillor Abdal Ullah said the new station should be called "Banglatown" to reflect the strong Bangladeshi community. But a TfL spokesman said "It is important that a station name takes into account the street or the official name of its area, as recorded on official maps."
- Butt, R. V. J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations: details every public and private passenger station, halt, platform and stopping place, past and present (1st ed.). Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1-8526-0508-1. OCLC 60251199.
- Jowett, Alan (2000). Jowett's Nationalised Railway Atlas (1st ed.). Penryn, Cornwall: Atlantic Transport Publishers. ISBN 0-9068-9999-0. OCLC 228266687.
- London's Abandoned Tube Stations - Aldgate East
- More photos and Google Street View imagery of this station
|Preceding station||London Underground||Following station|
|Hammersmith & City line||
|Preceding station||London Underground||Following station|