Kew Gardens station (London)

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Kew Gardens London Underground London Overground
Kew Gardens stn building.JPG
Main entrance on the eastbound side
Kew Gardens is located in Greater London
Kew Gardens
Kew Gardens
Location of Kew Gardens in Greater London
Location Kew
Local authority London Borough of Richmond upon Thames
Managed by London Underground[1]
Owner Network Rail
Station code KWG
Number of platforms 2
Accessible Yes [2]
Fare zone 3 and 4
London Underground annual entry and exit
2010 Increase 3.34 million[3]
2011 Decrease 3.13 million[3]
2012 Increase 3.24 million[3]
2013 Increase 3.52 million[3]
National Rail annual entry and exit
2008–09 Decrease 0.504 million[4]
2009–10 Increase 0.612 million[4]
2010–11 Increase 0.727 million[4]
2011–12 Increase 0.899 million[4]
2012–13 Increase 0.992 million[4]
Key dates
1869 Opened (L&SWR)
1869 Started (NLR)
1870 Started and Ended (GWR)
1877 Started (MR and DR)
1894 Started (GWR)
1906 Ended (MR)
1910 Ended (GWR)
1916 Ended (L&SWR)
Other information
Lists of stations
External links
London Transport portal
UK Railways portalCoordinates: 51°28′38″N 0°17′07″W / 51.4771°N 0.2853°W / 51.4771; -0.2853

Kew Gardens station is a London Underground and National Rail station in Kew in south west London. It is the nearest station to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (located to the west) and The National Archives (to the north east) and is managed by London Underground. The station is served by both the District line and the London Overground services on the North London Line, and is situated midway between Gunnersbury and Richmond stations.The station is in Travelcard Zones 3 and 4.

The main entrance to the station is located at the junction of Station Parade, Station Avenue and Station Approach about 100 yards (90 m) from Sandycombe Road (B353) and is about 500 yards (460 m) from the entrance to the Botanic Gardens and 600 yards (550 m) from The National Archives. The station can also be accessed from North Road, on the other side of the railway line; the two entrances are connected by a pedestrian subway.

Kew Gardens Station Footbridge, a Grade II-listed structure,[5] is next to the station, on the southern side.


The station was opened by the London and South Western Railway (L&SWR) on 1 January 1869,[6] in an area of market gardens and orchards.[7] The station was located on a new L&SWR branch line to Richmond built from the West London Joint Railway starting north of Addison Road station (now Kensington (Olympia)). The line ran through Shepherd's Bush and Hammersmith via a now closed curve and Grove Road station (also now closed) in Hammersmith. Via a short connection from the North & South Western Junction Railway (N&SWJR) to Gunnersbury the line was also served by the North London Railway (NLR).

Between 1 June 1870 and 31 October 1870 the Great Western Railway (GWR) briefly ran services from Paddington to Richmond via Hammersmith & City Railway (now the Hammersmith & City line) tracks to Grove Road then on the L&SWR tracks through Kew Gardens.[8]

On 1 June 1877, the District Railway (DR, now the District line) opened a short extension from its terminus at Hammersmith to connect to the L&SWR tracks east of Ravenscourt Park station.[6] The DR then began running trains over the L&SWR tracks to Richmond. On 1 October 1877, the Metropolitan Railway (MR, now the Metropolitan line) restarted the GWR's former service to Richmond via Grove Road station.[8]

The DR's service between Richmond, Hammersmith and central London was more direct than the NLR's route via Willesden Junction, the L&SWR's or the MR's routes via Grove Road station or the L&SWR's other route from Richmond via Clapham Junction. From 1 January 1894, the GWR began sharing the MR's Richmond service and served Kew Gardens once again,[8] meaning that passengers from Kew Gardens could travel on the services of five operators.

Following the electrification of the DR's own tracks north of Acton Town in 1903, the DR funded the electrification of the tracks through Kew Gardens. The tracks on the Richmond branch were electrified on 1 August 1905.[6] Whilst DR services were operated with electric trains, the L&SWR, NLR, GWR and MR services continued to be steam hauled.

MR services were withdrawn on 31 December 1906 and GWR services were withdrawn on 31 December 1910,[8] leaving operations at Kew Gardens and Gunnersbury to the DR (by then known as the District Railway), the NLR and L&SWR. By 1916, the L&SWR's route through Hammersmith was being out-competed by the District to such a degree that the L&SWR withdrew its service between Richmond and Addison Road on 3 June 1916, leaving the District as the sole operator over that route.[9]


The two-storey yellow brick station buildings are unusually fine examples of mid-Victorian railway architecture and are protected as part of the Kew Gardens conservation area. The station is one of the few remaining 19th-century stations on the North London Line and had one of the last illuminated banner signals on the London Underground, possibly because of the footbridge. This signal was replaced by an electronic version in 2011.

Kew Gardens is the only station on the London Underground network that has a pub attached to it. The pub has a door (no longer in use) which leads out onto platform 1. Previously known as The Railway, the pub has been renovated and reopened in 2013 as The Tap on the Line.

Kew Gardens Station Footbridge[edit]

Kew Gardens Station Footbridge
Carries Pedestrians
Crosses Railway
Locale Kew, London
Longest span 23 metres[10]
Opened 1912
Heritage status Grade II listed structure

The footbridge to the south of the station is also noteworthy and is Grade II-listed in its own right.[5][10] The railway line bisected Kew, but it was not until 1912[10] that the bridge was provided to allow residents to cross the tracks safely. It is a rare surviving example of a reinforced concrete structure built using a pioneering technique devised by the French engineer François Hennebique.[11] The bridge has a narrow deck and very high walls, originally designed to protect its users' clothing from the smoke of steam trains passing underneath. It also has protrusions on either side of the deck to deflect smoke away from the bridge structure.[12] It was restored in 2004[13] with a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.[12]


Kew Gardens currently has the following London Underground (District line) and London Overground (North London Line) services, which are operated by the D78 Stocks and Class 378s:

District Line[edit]

North London Line[edit]


London Buses route 391 serves the station.

In popular culture[edit]

Kew Gardens station appeared in the BBC comedy-drama Love Soup (2008) as the fictional "Hove West" station.[14]


See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Step free Tube Guide" (PDF). Transport for London. Archived from the original on 26 January 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Multi-year station entry-and-exit figures" (XLS). London Underground station passenger usage data. Transport for London. 2014. Retrieved 27 July 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Station usage estimates". Rail statistics. Office of Rail Regulation.  Please note: Some methodology may vary year on year.
  4. ^ a b "Kew Gardens Station Footbridge". Urban Design. Transport for London. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c "District Line, Dates". Clive's Underground Line Guides. 27 March 2011. Retrieved 25 July 2011. 
  6. ^ The rural character of the area around the station is shown on the Ordnance Survey map of 1874.
  7. ^ a b c d "Hammersmith & City Line, Dates". Clive's Underground Line Guides. Retrieved 4 July 2008. 
  8. ^ "District Line, History". Clive's Underground Line Guides. Retrieved 4 July 2008. 
  9. ^ a b c "Footbridge at Kew Gardens Station, Richmond upon Thames". British Listed Buildings. 26 September 2002. Retrieved 20 September 2013. 
  10. ^ Hennebique Ferro-Concrete, Theory and Practice, A Handbook for Engineers and Architects (4th ed.). London: L.G. Mouchel & Partners. 1921. p. 381. 
  11. ^ a b Hannah Thorpe (13 September 2003). "Kew footbridge project wins £42,700 lottery grant". Richmond and Twickenham Times. Retrieved 13 July 2013. 
  12. ^ Plaque, Kew Gardens station footbridge
  13. ^ Love Soup, Series 2, Episode 2 – Smoke and Shadows (1 March 2008)

External links[edit]

Preceding station   Underground no-text.svg London Underground   Following station
District line
towards Upminster
Preceding station   Overground notextroundel.svg National Rail logo.svg London Overground   Following station
North London Line
towards Stratford
  Former services  
  London and South Western Railway
towards West Brompton
  Metropolitan Railway
towards Paddington
  Great Western Railway