Wood Lane (Central line) tube station
The remains of the station pictured in 2001
|Opened by||Central London Railway|
|Key dates||Opened 1908
|Replaced by||White City|
|London Transport portal|
Wood Lane is a disused station on the London Underground located in Shepherd's Bush, west London. It was latterly served by the Central line and from 1908 to 1920 was the western terminus of the Central line's precursor, the Central London Railway (CLR).
Wood Lane station was built to serve the 1908 Franco-British Exhibition and the 1908 Olympic Games. Its location was very confined and its configuration awkward, requiring alterations on a number of occasions to meet operational requirements.
Wood Lane depot
Prior to the 1908 Franco-British Exhibition, the western terminus of the Central London Railway (CLR) was at Shepherd's Bush. North of Shepherd's Bush was the CLR's power station and Wood Lane depot. Trains originally accessed the depot via a single, sharply-curved tunnel from the station's westbound platform, heading northwards under Caxton Street. Trains then exited the tunnel to the north of the depot and used a reversing siding to run into the depot in a southbound direction. Trains running from the depot reversed the process and entered the eastbound platform of Shepherd's Bush station via a junction to the west of the station.
Temporary exhibition station
When the exhibition opened, a temporary station was constructed within the northern perimeter of the depot on the site of the reversing siding. A new tunnel was bored to connect directly to the end of the eastbound tunnel at Shepherd's Bush station, forming a loop.
As constructed for the exhibition, Wood Lane station had just a single track with platforms on each side: one for loading and the other for unloading. Trains entered the station anti-clockwise in a westbound direction from the tunnel under the depot, and exited heading south back into the tunnel in the direction of Shepherd's Bush station.
Following the success of the exhibition a number of other entertainment venues, notably White City Stadium, grew up in the area and the temporary station at Wood Lane became a permanent fixture.
Permanent station expansion
Wood Lane became the western terminus of the CLR. Until the late 1920s, the railway used carriages that were accessed by gated entrances at the carriage ends. When new rolling stock was introduced with sliding pneumatic doors, Wood Lane's loop platforms had to be extended to provide access to all doors but it was not possible to extend the platform on the inside of the loop (the south side) as it interfered with an access track to the depot. A pivoting section of platform was constructed that could be moved to allow access to the depot to be made when required.
CLR services began to operate to Ealing Broadway from August 1920 and Wood Lane was reconfigured to accommodate through-running from Ealing Broadway to the West End of London and the City of London, thereby losing its terminus status.
A new sub-surface tunnel was constructed to the north of the existing loop platforms on which was located a new westbound platform for trains heading to Ealing Broadway. Another new sub-surface tunnel was constructed to the west (and below) the loop platforms, providing an eastbound platform for trains from Ealing Broadway. Trains terminating or starting at Wood Lane continued to use the loop platforms. The station thus had a triangular shape.
The Wood Lane platforms were abandoned and the depot became known as White City depot.
Until the station's demolition between 2003 and 2005, the old eastbound platform could still be seen from passing trains heading from White City to Shepherd's Bush and the former eastbound platform was incorporated into the new depot's roads using the single track, which can clearly be seen when leaving White City station when travelling to Shepherd's Bush.
The site of the station and the depot was redeveloped for the Westfield London shopping centre, and in summer 2005 the curving ramps to the original 1908 platforms and the platforms themselves, in the north-west corner of the site, were removed. A new depot was constructed completely below ground, under the shopping centre on a new site.
Elements of the original Wood Lane street level building facade were dismantled and moved to the London Transport Museum's depot in Acton for reconstruction. The restoration works on the roundel pediment were completed by London Underground in 2009. The Underground roundel is now on display at the current Wood Lane station.
In popular culture
In The Tomorrow People's first serial, Slaves of Jedikiah, the outdoor shots of the abandoned station where the lab was located showed it to be Wood Lane. Also, the dockland scenes in the Doctor Who serial The Dalek Invasion of Earth were enacted there.
- London's Abandoned Tube Stations - Wood Lane
- London's Transport Museum Photographic Archive
- Underground History - Wood Lane Station
- Tube Professionals' Rumour Network - Wood Lane Deport and Station
- White City Development - Wood Lane Station
|Preceding station||London Underground||Following station|