Why Are The Platforms At Angel So Wide?

By M@ Last edited 22 months ago
Why Are The Platforms At Angel So Wide?

Ever noticed the whopping great width of the southbound platform at Angel tube station? Passengers are allocated around twice as much space as the trains, in marked contrast to other stations where it's more like 50/50. A similar thing happens at Euston.

The reason is simple. Angel and Euston used to have island platforms, as still sported at Clapham Common and Clapham North stations.

The island platform at Clapham Common, by zen whisk in the Londonist Flickr pool.

Such a set-up just about functions in Clapham, but was a major headache at busier Angel and Euston. The narrow waiting space — just 3.7m — soon became overcrowded and potentially dangerous.

Both stations were reworked: Euston during the construction of the Victoria line in the 1960s, and Angel in the early 1990s. In each case, one side of the island platform was filled in, creating a double-width platform. Trains were diverted into a newly excavated section of running track.

At Angel, the major engineering didn't stop there. The unreliable lifts (brilliant video) were removed and a new station entrance was built on Upper Street, some distance from the original entry on City Road. This required a set of extra-length escalators, which remain the longest on the network... and made this possible:

Last Updated 18 August 2016

Continued below.

Tube Geek

You mention this in the Secrets of the Northern Line video, I think.


There's an excellent documentary by acclaimed filmaker Molly Dineen about the Angel before the island platform was filled in - on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?.... Very atmospheric.


I really don't think you should be promoting the ski video, ridiculously dangerous and likely to inspire others. Please consider removing, it doesn't add a great deal to your piece so won't diminish your work.

Greg Tingey

London Bridge, Northern Line & soon to be similar at Bank ...


Amazing video, although maybe not appropriate! Fascinating article, as ever, though.


I got a bit of a geeky thrill the other day when I was looking out of the right side of a northbound train going into Angel and saw the old alignment of the tunnel where it used to go into the island platform.

I had been looking for any remnants of City Road, but that wasn't successful.


The old Angel station was terrifying (and very dirty, too)!

Melvyn Windebank

While not quite the same a similar enlargement is now underway at Bank Station which has separate platforms but very little room to move added to which platforms are used by passengers interchanging to / from Monument Station. Plans include a new Southbound platform and combining existing Southbound platform/ track with a new interchange subway between platforms .