Inside the abandoned central London Tube stations which survive to this day

Historic black and white images give a glimpse inside London's abandoned central London Tube stations which still survive to this day.

Londoners are being given the chance to explore inside sealed-off stations including Aldwych and the Jubilee line branch of Charing Cross this winter.

Though all tickets for these stations were snapped up within hours of being released, additional tours are expected next year.

Remarkable photographs show the escalators leading down to the old Jubilee line platform at Charing Cross and an eerily-deserted platform at Aldwych station on the Strand.

Aldwych and Charing Cross Jubilee line stations were shut in the 1990s and both had unusual lifespans, says London Transport Museum historian Siddy Holloway.

Aldwych station was initially named 'Strand' when it opened (TfL)

Aldwych, initially named Strand after the central London street it is located on, opened as a Piccadilly line branch station in 1907.

Ms Holloway told the Standard: “It’s a typical Leslie Green-designed station, with its oxblood red tiles. It was on a really short branch line, and very infrequently used.

“By the First World War, it was being used to store the most valuable paintings from the National Gallery.

“In the Second World War, it was used as a shelter and could fit 1,500 people, as well as artefacts from the Tate and V and A museums.”

Aldwych station was used to protect people - and valuable artefacts - during the wars (AFP/Getty Images)

Aldwych shut in 1994, with transport bosses deciding it was not worth keeping open.

Ms Holloway said: “It was a shuttle service from Holborn, but was just a really awkward station. It would have actually been quicker to get off at Holborn and get on a bus.

“It was meant to serve the theatre crowds, but never lived up to its possibilities.”

A few hundred metres away at Charing Cross station, the Jubilee line platform opened in 1979 – but had an unusually short life.

Prince Charles opens the Jubilee line branch of Charing Cross station in 1979. It only lasted 20 years (Getty Images)

Ms Holloway said: “The Jubilee line station was only open for 20 years, which is unusual.

“The upgrade of the Docklands in the 1980s caused the Jubilee line to divert, and when the Jubilee line was extended, it didn’t make sense to keep it open as the track would have been so steep.

“It left an enormous volume of valuable real estate. Today, it’s used as a train stable for when there are busy events, as well as emergency exercises and filming.

“It was used for Skyfall, as one example, and we love people to watch the film and locate where they stood on the Hidden London tours.”

Hidden London also offers tours including abandoned tunnels at Euston and subterranean shelters at Clapham South. For more information, visit
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