Need to get from the East End to Merton? Here’s a trip you’re unlikely to find to find on Journey Planner: jump on the District line at Walford East, and change at Bank for the Northern Line. Take it southwards, passing through Union Street station, until you reach Hickory Road, and you’re done.
Bank aside, the stations listed above, alongside other plausible-sounding destinations like Vauxhall Cross, Hammersmith Bridge, Hobbs End and Putney Green, are among the many to have sprung from literature, film, television and even the slip of a cartographer’s pen. We’ve done our best to place them onto the map above; below, you’ll find a gallery of screenshots, models, and associated ephemera.
Most of the stations are from film and television, the most famous being Walford East, the departure point from which the denizens of Eastenders go “up west”. Others are based on stations that could have been part of the Tube network (Crouch End was part of a branch line until it closed in the 1950s), or used for TfL training purposes, such as West Ashfield and the stations that lead from it. One appears to have been created by an absent-minded Tube mapmaker while another is “located” in Paris, which would probably require a super-charged Oyster Extension Permit to reach.
In terms of geography, many of the stations are improbable and unnecessary, given the layout of the existing lines. A special award for needless complexity goes to Vauxhall Cross station, an underground lair full of gadgetry in Bond film Die Another Day: despite on-screen maps identifying it as part of the Piccadilly line, 007 accesses the station via a secret entrance on the southern side of Westminster bridge, nearly a mile from the eponymous transport interchange. The Piccadilly line is regularly abused in a such manner, with at least four single-stop branch stations, much like Aldwych was until it closed in 1994. Speaking of which, Aldwych is (unsurprisingly) the most commonly used filming location.
In selecting these stations, we’ve concentrated on those that (a) we can get a picture of, and/ or (b) we have been able to plot with a reasonable degree of certainty on the map. There are almost certainly more out there than listed in this selection, so if you know of something we’ve forgotten, or you want to quibble about some of the locations or methodology used, then dive into the comments and let us know.
See our guide to alternative Tube maps for more.
Nick Cooper’s excellent site on the Underground in film and TV was an indispensable resource in making this post. Thanks also to Ian Visits, Annie Mole, and Beth Torr for their photos / reports / DVD loans