Why Is There A Platform 0 At King's Cross?

Laura Reynolds
By Laura Reynolds Last edited 17 months ago
Why Is There A Platform 0 At King's Cross?
Photo: mcmillant75

Not satisfied with being home to the wizardly Platform 9 3/4, King's Cross station is also home to the distinctly non-magical platform 0.

This glitch in the matrix only appeared in May 2010, when the platform was officially opened by then Transport Secretary Philip Hammond as part of the complete refurbishment of the station. Before the refurbishment, the platform didn't exist, and the numbered platforms started at 1.

The new platform was added underneath the new Network Rail offices, next to the existing platform 1. With platforms 1-11 already in existence, it didn't make sense to name it platform 12, as it would be the opposite side to the station from platform 11. Renumbering all of the platforms was ruled out, to avoid confusing commuters who used the station regularly and were familiar with the existing layout.

There was talk about naming it platform Y (it's on the side of the station running parallel to York Way), but it was thought that having both letter and numbered naming systems would be confusing to passengers — let's face it, it's a chaotic enough station already.

A couple more facts about platform 0: it's the longest platform in the station, as it was designed for longer trains, to increase capacity on the network. Furthermore, diesel trains are not allowed to use this platform except in emergencies. The reason for this is to reduce pollution affecting York Way residents, and to prevent fumes from entering the station's ventilation system.

As we reported in our secrets of the trams video, West Croydon station has no platform 2.

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Last Updated 01 June 2016

MattFromLondonist

I used to walk along it every day. There used to be a 'secret' entrance/exit onto York Way at the northern end. It was much more pleasant to walk along here than York Way itself.

Tube Geek

Doesn't this also mean the trolley going to platform 9 3/4 is in the wrong place (between 8 & 9, rather than between 9 & 10)?

Juno

I don't suppose Britain will ever go metric, if London was likely to go into meltdown just because some platform numbers were changed.

And yet somehow they can stop the Circle Line being a circle and nobody seems to have raised an eyebrow.

Christine

Norwood Junction has a platform 2, but no trains ever use it!

WestbourneLife

Fascinating article again! Thank you.

jdslater

I worked at Stratford station for over 15 years and no one could tell me why there was no platform 7.