London Bridge station: everyone who's commuted from here knows about its uncanny ability to make trains disappear. Here are some things you might not know about it.
1. London's oldest terminus (but also not)
London Bridge is the first and oldest of London's existing railway termi. It opened in 1836, as part of the London and Greenwich Railway, therefore getting in on the act before Liverpool Street, Waterloo, Paddington and the other big guns. It wasn't the first termini though — that honour went to Bermondsey Spa and Greenwich, which opened on the same line earlier in the year.
2. Ankle scandal!
When London Bridge station initially opened, there were complaints about something very unusual — the height of the platforms. They were quite low, so there was a big step down from the train to the platform. This caused women to show what was considered, an unacceptable amount of ankle... and in some cases even legs, visible to the prying eyes of station workers, male travellers and other creeps who used to go there just to see this happen. Maybe.
3. Part of it is now in Wales
In 2013, parts of the original station roof were taken down and given to Vale of Rheidol Railway in Aberystwyth — a small steam route for tourists. Several elements, including 16 columns and 14 beams, were also saved by Network Rail.
4. Wave at Bridget Jones
You know how Bridget Jones lives in that one bedroom flat (all by herself) near Borough Market? You can get an excellent view of that flat from The Shard, surrounded by London Bridge rail tracks. Imagine the sound of those trains constantly rumbling by... maybe that's why she could afford it. Remember to give her a wave next time you go past on the train.
5. Listed... but not entirely
For a station of its age and importance, it'll come as no surprise that London Bridge station is listed. Thing is, it's not entirely listed — only two sections of it are. The first part consists of platforms 9-16, Brighton side. The second is the bridge over the north end. If you're not standing in one of these areas, the ground beneath your feet is slightly less hallowed.