Secret And Hidden Bits Of The Northern Line

Geoff Marshall
By Geoff Marshall Last edited 18 months ago
Secret And Hidden Bits Of The Northern Line

Secrets of the Underground is one of Londonist's most-watched series, racking up millions of views.

In it, Geoff Marshall, former Guinness World Record holder for visiting all stations on the Underground in one day, explores the city's iconic transport network uncovers trivia you can impress your friends with.

If you've never seen the series, enjoy this classic about the Northern line. Find out where you can find the tube's highest and lowest points. Which station fibs about the number of stairs? What's the significance of the archer statue at East Finchley? And where can you spy a fake owl monitoring the platforms?

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

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Last Updated 07 December 2016


There's a nice pictorial record of the Northern Line here:


Can you actually ride the Kennington Loop? I thought the driver cleared the train before it moves on?


When talking about Mill Hill East, on screen it says that it's one of only three single platform stations on the Underground... I make it four...


Would have been a nice touch to put the North End and South Kentish Town stations in but I can imagine it would have been an absolute nightmare to film.


Enjoyed that. Thank you.

Richard Graham

Really good :) Shame you couldn't go into too much detail because of the time though. Never mind. Room for a sequel perhaps?


Great stuff Geoff, nice and informative. I must try the Kennington loop :)

Chuck Boyd

Geoff, really enjoyed that! Sure hope people there realize you are the go-to-person regarding The Tube. Best of luck.



Well done, Geoff - very evocative for someone who used to live a mile from Edgware and who explored the the railway from Highgate to Alexandra Palace.

When will the line from Morden be extended throigh the Northern Line sidings down to Sutton?

Peter Twist

There used to be another loop at Embankment, to allow the trains to turn around before the line was extended to Morden. This explains the curved northbound platform, hence "mind the gap"! The loop extended under the river and, although sealed up, was struck by a wartime bomb with dramatic consequences. IanVisits on 26/11/11 gives a full account.


great episode! :) thanks, Geoff.


awww nothing interesting at colindale? where I used to live xx

Rowan Beckworth

great! always wondered what happened if you stayed on at Kennington..

DaNi Shalom

Theres a short girl who works at Oval, some saturdays..if you ask her to show you her "Ovals" she WILL whoop out a drawing of her ovaries!


About the the Angel station. I first started coming to London from the US in the summer in 1992, and the single-platform station was still extent. So, it is more like twenty years ago that the Angel station was revamped. In the old days, the way down was via a long elevator ride rather than the long escalator ride now there.


The North End ghost station known as Bull and Bush has an entrance close to where Hampstead Way meets North End road. I'm told that it was disguised as an electricity sub-station at the beginning of WWII.

Marco Pirazzoli

you didn't mention that between Bank and Moorgate, the platforms cross each other and they eventually swap place!!!!!

Lamine Aimouche

i use to take this line alot ;)

Richard Brownnutt

As a kid, I remember a plaque above the tunnels at Morden (too far to see from the platforms, but could be seen from the car park) which talked of a world record rail tunnel from Morden to Finchley. Obviously superseded by the Channel Tunnel and others, but did this plaque exist or did I dream it? And where is it now?!

Richard Brownnutt

Also, I remember a large sports ground near North Cheam which had an LT roundal outside it on a high post. Locals said it was to be the site of North Cheam station (with the Morden line extending south through the depot). Is this true? Were there to be any intermediate stations e.g. at Stonecot Hill?


There used to be a corresponding arrow at Morden Station, but it was stolen.


I find these videos interesting but 'secret' is overstating so many things. What, that exit to get to the other platform that is signposted and everyone is walking through is 'secret'. Hmm no. And secret exit only escalator... so there's this escalator running that no one uses/knows about? No.

I guess I'm nerdy about language as he is about the tube. I do like these videos none the less.

Gonçalo Morais

I love these oddities!


I really enjoy these tube vids. Bits of life we see, yet don't know are right in front. Thanks for making them.

Vicky Londres

My first line in London. Living in Highgate, then Camdem. I miss it dearly.


Great video Geoff. Not on the Northern Line but on the Met Line platform of Moorgate there is a diamond shaped version of the roundel sign right at the end of the platform. I have read conflicting descriptions of why this sign is there. One explanation mentions that the Met Line used this for a while as they wanted to remain distinct from the rest of the underground. Another explanation says that this was nearly used universally but the roundel was preferred. A third explanation says that this was put there for the anniversary of the Met Line but I don't think this is correct as the anniversary was 150th and not 60th which would denote diamond. As the underground expert, do you know of the definitive description as I haven't noticed this shaped sign at any other stations? Thanks.