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Finchley Central tube station

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Finchley Central London Underground
Finchley Central station.jpg
Finchley Central is located in Greater London
Finchley Central
Finchley Central
Location of Finchley Central in Greater London
Location Finchley
Local authority London Borough of Barnet
Managed by London Underground
Number of platforms 3
Accessible Yes [1]
Fare zone 4
London Underground annual entry and exit
2011 Increase 5.49 million[2]
2012 Increase 5.51 million[2]
2013 Decrease 5.33 million[2]
2014 Increase 5.68 million[2]
Railway companies
Original company Edgware, Highgate and London Railway
Pre-grouping Great Northern Railway
Post-grouping London and North Eastern Railway
Key dates
22 August 1867 (1867-08-22) Station opened as Finchley and Hendon
1 February 1872 Renamed Finchley
1 February 1894 Renamed Finchley (Church End)
1 April 1940 Renamed Finchley Central
14 April 1940 Northern line service introduced
3 March 1941 LNER service ceased
1 October 1962 Goods yard closed[3]
Other information
Lists of stations
London Transport portalCoordinates: 51°36′04″N 0°11′33″W / 51.6011°N 0.1924°W / 51.6011; -0.1924

Finchley Central is a London Underground station in the Church End area of Finchley, North London.

The station is on the High Barnet branch of the Northern line, between West Finchley and East Finchley stations and is the junction for the short branch to Mill Hill East station. The station is above ground and is in Travelcard Zone 4.


Finchley Central station was built by the Edgware, Highgate and London Railway (EH&LR) and was originally opened as Finchley and Hendon on 22 August 1867[4] by the Great Northern Railway (GNR) (which had taken over the EH&LR) in what was then rural Middlesex.[5] The station was on a line that ran from Finsbury Park to Edgware via Highgate. A branch line from this station was constructed by the GNR to High Barnet and opened on 1 April 1872.[5] The station was renamed several times: to Finchley on 1 February 1872; Finchley (Church End) on 1 February 1894; and it was given its current name Finchley Central on 1 April 1940.[4]

After the 1921 Railways Act created the Big Four railway companies, the line was, from 1923, part of the London & North Eastern Railway (LNER). The section of the High Barnet branch north of East Finchley was incorporated into the London Underground network through the "Northern Heights" project begun in the late 1930s. The station was first served by electric Northern line trains on 14 April 1940.[6] After a period where the station was serviced by both operators, LNER steam services ended in 1941.[5] Northern line services to Mill Hill East began on 18 May 1941, due to the need to carry passengers to and from the large army barracks nearby.[6]

Charles Holden and Reginald Uren designed replacement buildings for the station, but the curtailment of the Northern Heights Plan, caused by the Second World War, means that this was not implemented and the station still retains much of its original Victorian architectural character today.[7]

As one of two EH&LR stations retaining its original buildings (with Mill Hill East), it is one of the oldest parts of the Underground system, pre-dating the first tunnelled section of the Northern line (the City & South London Railway) by more than twenty years.[8]

Northern Line tube train arriving at the south bound platform 3 at Finchley Central.
View over to the site of the former unloading dock for milk trains to the United Dairies depot, 2008

Station layout[edit]

The station has two entrances. The main one, leading directly to the ticket hall, is from an access road on the north side of the tracks which for many years lacked a name, but on 13 November 2006 was named Chaville Way after one of Barnet's twin towns. Chaville Way is a turning off the main road opposite Nether Street at the point where the main road changes name from Ballards Lane to Regent's Park Road. It also leads to the station car park. The second entrance is to the south in Station Road.

The two entrances are connected by a footbridge over the tracks from which stairs and lifts lead down to the platforms. Because the station only has one ticket hall, but two entrances, it does not have fully gated access. At the Station Road entrance, there is just a pair of Oyster card validators.

The station has three platforms. Platform 3 is served by southbound trains. The other two are served by northbound trains, platform 1 mainly for trains terminating at Finchley Central or going to Mill Hill East, platform 2 mainly for trains going on to High Barnet. Platforms 1/2 are on the same island platform and platform 3 is on a side platform.

Work was recently carried out by Tube Lines for the purpose of providing disabled access to each platform. One lift connects the northbound island platform with the station footbridge and the other connects the southbound platform with the ticket office; they opened in summer 2008.

Finchley Central was the station used in the 1930s by Harry Beck, designer of the original Tube map, and features a commemorative plaque on the southbound platform together with a facsimile poster of Beck's iconic 1933 design.


London Buses routes 82, 125, 143, 326, 382 and 460 and night routes N13 and N20 serve the station.

Cultural references[edit]

The station features in the Finchley Central mind game, which in turn became the basis for the game Mornington Crescent in the BBC Radio 4 series I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue.[9]


  1. ^ "Step free Tube Guide" (PDF). Transport for London. Archived (PDF) from the original on 3 June 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Multi-year station entry-and-exit figures" (XLS). London Underground station passenger usage data. Transport for London. June 2015. Retrieved 20 June 2015. 
  3. ^ Hardy, Brian, ed. (March 2011). "How it used to be - freight on The Underground 50 years ago". Underground News (London Underground Railway Society) (591): 175–183. ISSN 0306-8617. 
  4. ^ a b Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations. Yeovil: Patrick Stephens Ltd. p. 96. ISBN 1-85260-508-1. R508. 
  5. ^ a b c Clive's Underground Line Guides - Northern Line, Dates
  6. ^ a b Rose, Douglas (1999). The London Underground, A Diagrammatic History. Douglas Rose/Capital Transport. ISBN 1-85414-219-4. 
  7. ^ "Gallery Search". Royal Institute of British Architects. Retrieved 2 October 2010. 
  8. ^ The City & South London Railway opened in 1890 between King William Street in the City of London and Stockwell in Southwark.
  9. ^ Partington, Jonathan R.. "Paradoxes and Unplayable Games". Retrieved 27 September 2015. 

External links[edit]

Preceding station   Underground no-text.svg London Underground   Following station
towards High Barnet
Northern line
towards Morden or Kennington