Secrets Of The Central Line

Geoff Marshall shares his favourite bits of Tube trivia from the Central Line. Where can you find the only remaining wooden escalator? Which is the least-used station on the network? And where can you wait at an award-winning bus shelter?

Feel free to share your own favourite bits of Central Line trivia in the comments below.

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  • Mark Walley

    I’ve heard it say (and said it to others) that when you stand on the Central Line platform at Liverpool Street you’re standing below a plague pit. Is this true? I think I heard it on some “haunted tube” pseudo-documentary.

    • Geoff Marshall

      the Piccadilly line definitely dodges round a plague pit near South Kensington, but i’ve not heard that one about Liverpool Street before…

    • HoosierSands

      Mark, I believe you’re thinking of the mass burial ground for Bedlam Hospital that the Crossrail diggers found there. This would indeed be underneath the new *Crossrail* ticket hall but I’m not sure if the existing Central Line platforms are on the same level.

      • Mark Walley

        Ah, I found the source of my story: Ghost of the Underground: A documentary that must have been on one of the terrestrial channels at one point. It’s on youtube and if you look at 4 minutes and 8 seconds it quotes my fact. No citation though.

        • londona729

          Do have another link- that one’s been taken down due to copyright issues….

  • Nigel White

    Great video as always.

    Greenford and Stratford are not the only two Underground stations on the network where you go up to the platform by escalator. The same is true at Canning Town. However, I think they are the only two where you go up from street level to the platform by escalator. At Canning Town after entering the station, you have to go down to the Ticket Hall area, then up again by escalator to the Jubilee Line platform.

    • Geoff Marshall

      The caption at 4:10 does indeed mention Canning Town!

      i’ve just had (sad) rumour in thought, that the wooden escalator at Greenford is be replaced by a new metal one later this year …

      • Nigel White

        Apologies – you do indeed. I was not watching closely enough.

      • Ted Hawthorn Jones

        That’s terrible news! Incidentally, thanks for making these videos, they’re helping in my research for an upcoming project I hope to feature on the underground!

        • spsmiler

          Alperton also has an up escalator – but when it needed refurbishment it was switched off and a brick wall was built so that no-one would see it.

          The aim, as I understand it, is best described in this saying…”out of sight, out of mind”.


  • Takooba

    I covet that clock every time I am in Bethnal Green station.

  • Dani Dicklicker

    At snaresbrook if you flash your dongle at a certain cCtv camera you will be hauled in by security, although if you speak in the right way to the right guy he will reward you with £20 Oyster credit!

    • londona729


      Please elucidate!

  • Dave K

    Always enjoy these little short ‘secrets’ films – more please!

  • Jon

    Nice film – enjoying this series. But Bank of England printing works is at Debden, not on the Hainault loop.

  • Carlos N Velez/Lacerta Bio

    These are great videos

  • Robert Lordan

    Absolutely love these videos… keep up the good work.

  • Jazz For Hire

    These videos are really amazing but are far too short ! The editing.. You jump too fast from one thing to another without explaining things properly.. For example, you didn’t mention that the small round bit in the corridor at Tottenham Court Road (or was it Oxford Circus?) used to be the lift shaft which is why it is that shape – the bit when you shouted out ‘echo…’

    • Geoff Marshall

      Nope, they’re timing is fine – exactly five minutes which is the length that we always set out to make them. We made an exception with the Piccadilly though, as that one is 6 mins long …

      • Jazz For Hire

        …keep these short clips, they’re perfect, but 1 hour long documentaries for each line… these videos are like trailers to the feature-length versions that don’t exist – someone’s got to do it – maybe the BBC

  • Love London

    Great videos Love the underground

  • Whovian Marvel Tube Life

    Where’s the bit where you said about the doors opening both sides at Stratford?