Finsbury Park station

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Finsbury Park London Underground National Rail
Finsbury Park station MMB 21.jpg
Finsbury Park is located in Greater London
Finsbury Park
Finsbury Park
Location of Finsbury Park in Greater London
LocationFinsbury Park
Local authorityLondon Borough of Islington
Managed byGreat Northern
London Underground
Station codeFPK
DfT categoryC2
Number of platforms12 (8 National Rail,[1] 4 Underground)
AccessibleYes
Fare zone2
London Underground annual entry and exit
2013Increase 27.07 million[2]
2014Increase 28.00 million[2]
2015Increase 28.85 million[2]
2016Increase 32.74 million[2]
2017Decrease 31.22 million[2]
National Rail annual entry and exit
2014–15Decrease 6.264 million[3]
2015–16Decrease 5.657 million[3]
– interchange Increase 1.744 million[3]
2016–17Increase 7.033 million[3]
– interchange Decrease 1.326 million[3]
2017–18Decrease 6.781 million[3]
– interchange Increase 1.745 million[3]
2018–19Increase 7.615 million[3]
– interchange Increase 2.988 million[3]
Railway companies
Original companyGreat Northern Railway
Pre-groupingGreat Northern Railway
Post-groupingLondon and North Eastern Railway
Key dates
1850Tracks laid
1861Opened (GNR)
1867Opened (Edgware branch)
1904Opened (GN&CR))
1906Opened as terminus (GNP&BR)
1932Became through station (Piccadilly)
1954Closed (Edgware branch, passengers)
1964Closed (Northern City Line)
1968Opened (Victoria)
1970Closed (Edgware branch)
1976Opened (Northern City Line)
Other information
External links
WGS8451°33′53″N 0°06′23″W / 51.564653°N 0.106366°W / 51.564653; -0.106366Coordinates: 51°33′53″N 0°06′23″W / 51.564653°N 0.106366°W / 51.564653; -0.106366
Underground sign at Westminster.jpg London transport portal
LNER Ivatt Atlantic at Finsbury Park in 1946

Finsbury Park is an intermodal interchange station in north London. It serves a number of National Rail, London Underground and bus services. The station is the third busiest Underground station outside Zone 1, with over 31 million passengers using the station in 2017.[4]

Name and location[edit]

The station is named after the nearby Finsbury Park, one of the oldest of London's Victorian parks, opening in 1869.[5]

The interchange consists of a National Rail station, a London Underground station and two bus stations, all interconnected. The main entrances are by the eastern bus station on Station Place. The National Rail ticket office here lies in between one entrance marked by the Underground roundel symbol, while the other is marked by the National Rail symbol, and provides direct access to the main line platforms. A new, larger western entrance by Wells Terrace and Goodwin Place opened in December 2019, as part of the upgrade of the station.[4] There is also a narrow side entrance to the south on the A503 Seven Sisters Road. The complex is located in Travelcard Zone 2.

London Buses routes 4, 19, 29, 106, 153, 210, 236, 253, 254, 259, W3 and W7,[6] and night routes N19, N29, N253 and N279 serve the station and bus station.

History[edit]

Finsbury Park is on the route of the East Coast Main Line from King's Cross to the north of England and Scotland. The southern section of this was built in stages during the 1840s and early 1850s by the Great Northern Railway (GNR). Tracks were first laid through Finsbury Park in 1850 to the GNR's temporary terminus at Maiden Lane just north of the permanent terminus at King's Cross (which opened in 1852).[7] The first station at Finsbury Park opened on 1 July 1861 and was originally named Seven Sisters Road (Holloway).[8]

Soon after the first station opened, the Edgware, Highgate and London Railway (EH&LR) began construction of a line from Finsbury Park to Edgware. The GNR took over the EH&LR shortly before its opening on 22 August 1867. The station was given its current name Finsbury Park on 15 November 1869.[9] The Edgware branch platforms were on each side of the main tracks. The southbound ("up") track of the branch crossed over the main line by a bridge on its way into the station.

The Great Northern & City Railway (GN&CR) was an underground railway planned to provide a tunnel link between Finsbury Park and Moorgate in the City of London as an alternative London terminus for GNR trains. The tunnels were constructed with a large diameter to accommodate this service but a dispute between the two companies prevented the GN&CR connecting its tunnels to the GNR platforms. The GN&CR tunnels, instead, terminated beneath the main line station without a connection to the surface and the line operated as a shuttle between Finsbury Park and Moorgate. The line opened on 14 February 1904 and on 1 September 1913, it was taken over by the Metropolitan Railway.[10]

The Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway (GNP&BR) (now London Underground's Piccadilly line) opened on 15 December 1906 between Finsbury Park and Hammersmith in west London. The tube railway originated as the Great Northern and Strand Railway (GN&SR) in 1897 and was initially supported by the GNR as a means of relieving congestion on its main line into King's Cross by constructing a tube line under the GNR's tracks from Alexandra Palace to King's Cross and then to the Strand. The GN&SR was taken over in 1901 by a consortium led by Charles Yerkes before any work had been carried out and the section north of Finsbury Park was cancelled. The GN&SR was merged with the Brompton and Piccadilly Circus Railway to form the GNP&BR.[11] It was constructed with the smaller-diameter tube tunnels common to other underground railways being constructed in London at that time. Its platforms were constructed by the GNR parallel with the GN&CR's platforms beneath the main line station.

Down ECML express passing in 1962

The transport interchange at Finsbury Park had long been recognised as a severe bottle-neck for passengers heading north from central London and calls had been regularly made to improve the situation by extending northwards one of the two underground lines serving the station. Until the mid-1920s this had been resisted by the GNR and its successor the LNER as a threat to its suburban passenger traffic, but mounting pressure finally forced the LNER to relinquish its veto and lift its objections to the Underground making an extension.

With financial support from the government, the Underground began construction of an extension of the Piccadilly line northwards to Cockfosters and the first section, to Arnos Grove, opened on 19 September 1932. The route was opened fully on 31 July 1933.

An LMS Pacific during the 1948 Exchange Trials

By 1935 the GNR had become part of the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER). In 1935 London Underground announced its New Works Programme. This included plans to take over the steam-operated LNER branch lines from Finsbury Park to Edgware, High Barnet and Alexandra Palace – collectively known as the "Northern Heights" lines. These routes were to be joined to the Northern City Line by the construction of new tracks from Drayton Park to the surface at Finsbury Park as had originally been intended by the GN&CR. Trains would then have been able to run from any of the three LNER termini to Moorgate. The Northern City Line tunnels from Drayton Park to Finsbury Park would have been taken out of use. A separate connection between Archway Underground station (then named Highgate) and East Finchley station was also planned, including a new Underground station below the then-existing surface station at Highgate.

In early 1939 London Underground announced that the Drayton Park to Alexandra Palace route would begin operation in autumn 1940 and the branch was transferred to the control of the Northern line. The start of the Second World War caused the postponement and eventual cancellation of this and much of the other plans, leaving operations at Finsbury Park unchanged. The surface connection between Drayton Park and Finsbury Park was abandoned and the Northern City Line continued to run between Moorgate and Finsbury Park in tunnel. Traffic on the Highgate and Alexandra Palace branch diminished and it was closed to passengers in 1954 although it was retained for freight to Edgware and stock movements to Highgate Depot.

London Underground had for many years been planning a new route across central London to relieve pressure on the central sections of the Piccadilly and Northern lines. In the early 1960s the plans were consolidated into a single plan for the Victoria line. The route of the new line was designed to provide the maximum number of interchanges with other Underground and British Rail lines as possible, and Finsbury Park was an ideal candidate for this.[12] The plan called for the reconfiguration of the four underground platforms used by the Northern City Line and the Piccadilly line. To allow the construction works necessary for the provision of cross-platform interchanges between the Piccadilly and the Victoria lines the Northern City service to Finsbury Park was ended on 3 October 1964.[13] After this date trains from Moorgate ran only as far as Drayton Park.[14]

The Northern City platforms became the southbound platforms for both the Piccadilly and Victoria lines which were connected to the previously dead-end tunnels to the north of the platforms. The old southbound Piccadilly line platform then became the Victoria line northbound platform, with the northbound Piccadilly line platform unchanged. New connecting tunnels were constructed. There are cross-over connections between each pair of northbound and southbound tunnels to enable stock transfers, given that the Victoria line is otherwise completely self-contained.[citation needed]

The first section of the Victoria line, including Finsbury Park, opened between Walthamstow Central and Highbury & Islington on 1 September 1968.[15] When the Victoria line was built in the 1960s, the walls in Finsbury Park station were decorated with mosaics of duelling pistols,[16] which can still be seen. This was based on a mistaken identification of Finsbury Park with Finsbury Fields, which was used by Londoners since medieval times for archery and sports, and also associated with 18th-century duels and one of the first hot air balloon flights. Finsbury Fields was close to the present-day Finsbury Square, 3 miles (5 km) south.[17] At the same time the long entrance subways and the Wells Terrace booking hall (at the bus station end) were rebuilt to a high standard.[citation needed]

London Underground continued to use the Edgware branch occasionally for stock movements between its depot at Highgate and Finsbury Park until September 1970. The tracks were removed in 1971 and the platforms at Finsbury Park which served this line were demolished; their location is now the pedestrian access to the eastern station entrance. The bridge over Stroud Green Road which carried the tracks was removed. The abutment walls remain.[citation needed]

In 1976 part of the abandoned Northern Heights plan was completed in reverse. The Northern City Line, which had originally run to the underground part of the station was transferred from London Underground to British Rail. An unfinished surface connection between Drayton Park and Finsbury Park begun as part of the "Northern Heights" project was completed to make it possible to bring trains to the surface at Finsbury Park and run through trains from Moorgate on to the north. The service commenced operation on 8 November 1976.[citation needed]

Station upgrade[edit]

In the late 2010s, the station was upgraded and refurbished throughout, including the provision of step free access, ticket barriers and a new, larger western entrance to the bus station, Goodwin Street and Wells Terrace.[18][19]

Step free access to both the Piccadilly and Victoria lines, as well as to platforms 1&2 and 5&6 of the National Rail station was completed in January 2019.[20][18][21] The new western entrance was constructed in collaboration with Telford Homes, the developer of "City North" - a residential and commercial development adjacent to the station. This new, larger entrance opened in December 2019[4], replacing an older entrance constructed in the 1970s, which closed in July 2016 as part of the City North development works.[22]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

On 9 November 1959 a freight train ran away and collided with an empty coaching-stock train. The collision occurred on a bridge over a road, severely damaging the bridge.[23]

Current and future National Rail services[edit]

Current services[edit]

The above-ground National Rail station, which has a separate ticket office to the Underground station, is managed and served by Great Northern. Trains from Moorgate and King's Cross form inner suburban services to Welwyn Garden City and Hertford North and outer suburban services start from Kings Cross towards Peterborough and Cambridge. Inner suburban service formerly did not serve the Moorgate branch at night and at weekends, being diverted to London Kings Cross instead. There are currently six platforms but only five tracks, as platforms 6 and 7 share a track (though platform 6 is no longer separately numbered or utilised). The platforms were renumbered on 19 May 2013 to prepare for two new up platforms, with all existing numbers increased by 2. Typically, platform 1 is used by southbound suburban services to Moorgate, platform 2 by southbound regional services to King's Cross and southbound Thameslink services, platform 7 (and occasionally also platform 5) by northbound regional services from King's Cross and northbound Thameslink Services, and platform 8 by northbound suburban services from Moorgate.

Workers testing electricity at Finsbury Park on Platform 5

Thameslink services[edit]

In 2018, as part of the Thameslink Programme, Finsbury Park was linked to the Thameslink network via a new tunnels which connects the Great Northern Route to the lines into St Pancras. This has enabled through services to run from Cambridge and Peterborough via Finsbury Park and London Bridge to Gatwick Airport, Horsham and Brighton.[24][25]

Currently not all trains labelled on the train as 'Thameslink' actually travel through the Thameslink core, as many serve King's Cross instead. During the week there are four trains an hour in each direction through the core to/from Finsbury Park, two to/from Peterborough to Horsham and two to/from Brighton to Cambridge. On Saturdays from 15 December 2019 there is one train per hour in each direction between Brighton and Cambridge, two trains per hour in each direction to/from Peterborough and Horsham.[26] On Sundays there is only one train per hour in each direction to/from Gatwick Airport to Cambridge.

The introduction of Thameslink services at Finsbury Park was part of the Thameslink Programme, and in the connected 'RailPlan 2020' consultation it was stated that they planned to start a peak hours service of two trains an hour from Welwyn Garden City to Blackfriars from May 2018 and a two trains per hour service from Cambridge to Maidstone East from December 2019[27]. However, neither of these services yet exists, probably due to the fact they require a frequency of 24 trains per hour (tph) to be going through the Thameslink core, and currently the highest frequency is 20tph[28]. Automatic Train Operation (ATO) will be required to achieve 24tph, and this is not yet fully implemented, though it is claimed that it started being used on off-peak trains in December 2019[29].

New Platform 1[edit]

In February 2008 Network Rail published its East Coast Main Line Route Utilisation Strategy (ECMLRUS).[30] This recommended improvements to the tracks able to carry passenger trains between Alexandra Palace Station and Finsbury Park. In March 2009 Network Rail published its CP4 Delivery Plan 2009, which involved the bringing back into service of an abandoned southbound platform; this plan was confirmed in a June 2010 update to the plan.[31] Regular use of this new platform, Platform 1, commenced at the December 2013 timetable change. and since that date regular use of platform 3 has ceased, with platforms 1 and 2 now used instead. Since the December 2015 timetable change, the Northern City line to Moorgate operates through until end of service during the week and at weekends, rather than diverting to Kings Cross at weekends.[32]

Other station facilities[edit]

British Transport Police maintain a presence at Finsbury Park and have a police station at the Wells Terrace entrance.[33]


Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Drayton Park   Great Northern
Northern City Line
  Harringay or
Alexandra Palace
St Pancras International
or
London King's Cross
  Thameslink
Thameslink
  Stevenage

or Potters Bar

Disused railways
London King's Cross
Terminus
  British Railways
Eastern Region

Edgware, Highgate & London
  Stroud Green
King's Cross
Suburban
(northbound)

or
King's Cross
York Road
(southbound)
  British Rail
Eastern Region

City Widened Lines
  Harringay
  Historical railways  
Holloway & Caledonian Road
Line open, station closed
  Great Northern Railway
East Coast Main Line
  Harringay
Line and station open
Holloway & Caledonian Road
Line open, station closed
  Great Northern Railway
East Coast Main Line
  Stroud Green
Line open, station closed

London Underground[edit]

The station is served by the Piccadilly and Victoria lines. Although thought of as a 'deep-level' tube station, Finsbury Park has no escalators as its lines are less than 6 m below street level. The old units were the last hydraulically-operated lifts on LT.[citation needed]

Access to the Piccadilly and Victoria line platforms was previously by staircase only, reached via two narrow passages that prevented the installation of ticket barriers. As part of the upgrade of the station in the 2010s, ticket barriers were installed at both the eastern and western entrances to the station, as well as the provision of step free access throughout the station.[34]

Preceding station   Underground no-text.svg London Underground   Following station
Piccadilly line
towards Cockfosters
towards Brixton
Victoria line
  Former Service  
Preceding station   Underground no-text.svg London Underground   Following station
TerminusMetropolitan line
Northern City Branch
(1913-39)
towards Moorgate
Northern line
Northern City branch
(1939-64)
  Abandoned Plans  
Preceding station   Underground no-text.svg London Underground   Following station
Gillespie Road
towards Strand
  Great Northern & Strand   Harringay
towards Wood Green
Northern line
Northern Heights Plan
towards Moorgate

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Citations

  1. ^ Finsbury Park station has eight National Rail platforms, numbered 1 to 8, but only six tracks given that platforms 2/3 and 6/7 share a single track each.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Multi-year station entry-and-exit figures" (XLSX). London Underground station passenger usage data. Transport for London. January 2018. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Station usage estimates". Rail statistics. Office of Rail Regulation. Please note: Some methodology may vary year on year.
  4. ^ a b c "TfL Press Release - New station entrance open at Finsbury Park". Transport for London. Retrieved 23 December 2019.
  5. ^ Weinreb et al. 2008, p. 292.
  6. ^ "Finsbury Park Station Onward Travel Information" (PDF). National Rail Enquiries. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  7. ^ Jackson 1984, p. 76.
  8. ^ Butt 1995, pp. 27,208.
  9. ^ Butt 1995, p. 208.
  10. ^ Rose, Douglas (2016) [1980]. The London Underground, A Diagrammatic History (9th ed.). Douglas Rose/Capital Transport. ISBN 978-1-85414-404-1.
  11. ^ Badsey-Ellis, Antony (2005). London's Lost Tube Schemes. Capital Transport. pp. 77 and 138. ISBN 1-85414-293-3.
  12. ^ HMSO 1959, p. 10.
  13. ^ Day & Reed 2010, p. 163.
  14. ^ Rose 2007.
  15. ^ Day & Reed 2010, p. 166.
  16. ^ Day, John R. (1969). The Story of the Victoria Line. Westminster: London Transport. p. 80, and photos between pp. 58–59. 968/2719 RP/5M.
  17. ^ tfl webpage; see external links
  18. ^ a b "Finsbury Park Tube station becomes step-free". Transport for London. Retrieved 26 February 2020.
  19. ^ "City North Newsletter, 6th September 2019" (PDF). City North Newsletter. City North. Retrieved 24 November 2019.
  20. ^ "Step-free access arrives at Finsbury Park station". Islington Gazette. 28 January 2019. Archived from the original on 1 February 2019. Retrieved 1 February 2019.
  21. ^ "Finsbury Park Station Details". Great Northern. Great Northern. Retrieved 24 November 2019.
  22. ^ "New entrance opens at Finsbury Park railway station". www.ianvisits.co.uk. Retrieved 26 February 2020.
  23. ^ Earnshaw, Alan (1989). Trains in Trouble: Vol. 5. Penryn: Atlantic Books. p. 38. ISBN 0-906899-35-4.
  24. ^ "Major raft of improvements begins at Finsbury Park". First Capital Connect. Archived from the original on 20 April 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
  25. ^ "Timetables". Thameslink. Thameslink. Retrieved 24 November 2019.
  26. ^ "Route info sheet 7: Kent Thameslink" (PDF). Railplan 2020. Govia Thameslink Railway. Retrieved 24 November 2019.
  27. ^ "ATO on Thameslink (?) and December 2019 timetable discussion". RailUKforums. Railforums.co.uk. Retrieved 24 November 2019.
  28. ^ "Thameslink Dec 2019 - Where are we at?". Rail forums. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  29. ^ East Coast main Line RUS
  30. ^ NR Enhancements delivery plan. June 2010 update, pages 112 and 117–120
  31. ^ GB eNRT December 2015 Edition, Table 24
  32. ^ "British Transport Police, London Underground Area". Archived from the original on 21 December 2008. Retrieved 14 December 2008.
  33. ^ "Finsbury Park station - new entrance and step-free access". Transport for London. 6 March 2015. Retrieved 26 February 2020.

Sources

External links[edit]