GES221 - Knightsbridge Station, Disused Section
The station was part of a modernising plan in the 1930s, where lifts were removed and replaced with escalators. As such, areas of stations were abandoned. Lift shafts turned into ventilation shafts, as with other stations. This was the original entrance to the station, inside would have been the lift shaft seen below.
This is a crudely drawn layout of the station. The layout is similar to Euston C,C, E & H disused station.
I met up with GE060, a some time visitor to London. We'd messaged a few times, and had helped each other out. He'd mainly wanted to document graffers, but wasn't one himself. He knew about a way to get into abandoned sections of the tube, the downside was the only time to do it was during live service. He'd been here before, and recommended the height of rush hour to do it. I thought he was mad, but was also keen to see more abandoned tube. It hadn't been documented before, but he was happy to let me have a look. So there we were, the fear pulsing through us, a wall of commuters lined the platform, and a train pulled in as the people on the train looked to alight. While the two forces fought each other like a physics project, GE060 worked his magic. The door opened, and no one seemed to bat an eyelid as we quickly slipped in.
We ended up at the base of the stairs. The other side of the silver door is the Eastbound Piccadilly line. Behind the camera is a similar door we'd just come through. The steps to the right lead up to the lifts level. Getting the door opened involved some trial and error from GE060, but finally it clicked, and we could ascend to see an area i'd never heard about. A true sense of discovery on the Underground.
A quick pose on the steps up from the platforms. Fearing we wouldn't get any further, I wanted a memento of where we'd gotten too.
The passageway twisted after it passed over the Westbound tracks, and was full down one side with tools and components for track workers. In the foreground a wheelie bin full of crowbars. I was fully engaged in an adrenalin fantasy. Trains ran beneath us, and numerous doors could at any moment open to see us busted.
A shelving rack full of bits and pieces that keep things running.
Just past the tools area, was the old lift shaft, now used for ventilation. The entrance taking up the left side of the photo would have been the entrance or exit from the lift. The other side of the pillar would have been the same.
A clearer shot of the lifts entrances or exits. Inside the shaft would have been the lifts.
A shot from the other side of the lift shaft, looking towards the former emergency staircase.
The tunnel curves on either side of the emergency stairwell, the stairwell shaft is just passed me in this picture on the right.
Inside the former lift shaft. The track trucks piled on top of each other. Spookily or scarily, a red light was flashing on one of them.
The spirals of tiles leading up where there were once stairs. The top is now capped.
The other passageway that runs parallel to the other one already explored. This is looking towards the lift shaft. Behind the camera is a locked door into the live station.
Turning 180 degrees from the previous shot, this shows the other bridge across the Westbound platform to the locked door mentioned above. It's hard to describe in words the apprehension one feels, stood a few metres from a door that could open any second.
Inside the vent was a small isolated shed with electrical equipment inside. The shaft had ladders on it, so it would seem rude not to see what was above.
The top of ladder from the vent visible in the centre of the picture. There was little here, other than a few walls with stretched hexagonal holes in them. They lead around to the other side of the vent shaft.
With little more to see, we quickly descended the shaft again, and made our way out. Happy to have found something unique in a system we thought had been covered to death. Maybe there were more disused areas to find we'd not heard about. Thanks to GE060 for making access so unique.