084/270: #Kenton – The Intruder

Kenton shares many similarities with sister stations at Harlesden (079) and North Wembley. This is another example of a set of brand new stations being constructed wholesale with standardised designs. Sadly some of the stations on this stretch of the branch appear a bit under loved. Not least of all at Kenton, where the footbridge here has been in a permanent state of renovation for a good forever.

In its place is a temporary, and equally rickety, scaffolded footbridge. At the foot of which on the northbound side is a sign which is all manner of wrong. If you thought the incorrect font at Paddington (055) was bad then wait till you take a look at the intruder below… Along with its sisters this station is managed by Network Rail which may go someway to explaining the lower standards of upkeep along the branch. Now you might forgive Network Rail for using Rail Alphabet, the once standard font for mainline signage, instead of London Underground’s preferred New Johnston, but what they’ve actually ended up using is Transport Heavy – the font used on all of Britain’s Road signs.

It hurts my OCD.

Image copyright A Carter – CallingAllStations.co.uk

Station Index

083/270: #HarrowAndWealdstone – The Veteran

Ah Harrow & Wealdstone, I’ve been looking forward to you. Now we finally get to discuss, as promised at Kennington (049), what constitutes the oldest station on the Underground.

I know this is going to cause much debate, probably upset some purists and generally cause havoc amongst the railway community. But, I’m going to do it anyway as sometimes I like to play devils advocate.

Harrow & Wealdstone is the oldest station on the Underground.

WAIT WHAT?!

“But I thought you said Kennington was… and what about Baker Street… and and Paddington and and….”

Well all of those are in some way correct, it just depends on how you bend the definition of oldest:

  • Kennington is the oldest tube station (i.e. deep level) which also features an original street level building. Opened 1890. 127 years old.
  • Paddington through to Farringdon on the Circle Line is the oldest passenger Underground Railway. Opened 1863. 154 years old.
  • Snaresbrook and Woodford are the oldest stations on the network still to retain all or part of their original buildings. Opened 1856. 161 years old.
  • And finally, Harrow & Wealdstone is the oldest continuously existing station on the network served by Underground trains. Opened 1837. 180 years old.

Now I’m going to admit, the inclusion of Harrow & Wealdstone is fairly dubious as the station has been rebuilt so many times it’s akin to Trigger and his broom from Only Fools And Horses. Can it truly be the same broom if you’ve replaced both handle and brush multiple times? Nevertheless there has been a station on this site for going on 200 years, and despite the fact the Bakerloo Line wouldn’t arrive here until 80 years into the station’s existence, it’s still something I find impressive.

So come on, what do I really think, is Harrow & Wealdstone really the ‘oldest’ Underground station? Well notice how I’ve been careful in my naming of both here and Kennington… and let’s just say that there’s still Snaresbrook, Woodford and a whole host of Circle Line stations still to visit…

Image copyright A Carter – CallingAllStations.co.uk

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