London Underground has just one remaining wooden escalator. It can be found at Greenford tube station on the Central Line. Today is your last chance to ride this relic, the oldest escalator still running on the network. Its removal and replacement is imminent.
By a quirk of construction timing, the station also contains the network’s newest escalator. If you pop by today, you’ll be able to ride its sparkly new steps up to platform level, then descend on the old wooden escalator. OK, it’s a niche thrill, but we know plenty of people who get excited by such things.
The works are part of efforts to upgrade Greenford station, including provision of step-free access. The sad demise of the last wooden escalator will eventually be tempered by a new claim to fame: the Underground’s only incline lift. This is a kind of funicular railway, running up the gradient between the ticket hall and platforms. A similar machine can be found on the north side of the Millennium Bridge, and Crossrail is set to get its own versions, but Greenford will have the only incline lift on the tube network.
If you can’t make it along today, commemorate the momentous occasion by watching our Geoff travelling on the wooden workhorse.