GES250 - Aldgate East (Disused) Station, London
The original Aldgate East Station was built in October 1884, and sited a 100m or so to the West of the current station. This is the former station building...
It was closed in 1936 to allow the widening of the Minories Junction nearby. This is the below ground cut and cover station before it was dismantled, from an unknown sourced newspaper article.
The track at the new Aldgate East station had to be held from the ceiling 2m above the planned track bed while the route was adapted. You can see the track suspended in this pic, and from below in the next picture here. Both from the National Archives. The moving of the station East meant that St. Mary's Station could be closed. Thus, when the new Aldgate East opened in 1938, it replaced two stations.
I hadn't planned to visit this so-called Ghost Station as not only did the station not look particularly appealing from pics I'd seen, but it sat between two live stations, with no obvious way in. When our plans changed unexpectedly, we decided to have a look anyway. Access involved a re-visit to a previous abandoned station, which sits on the other side of Aldgate East live station, St. Marys. This shot sits halfway between St Marys and Aldgate East station, looking towards Aldgate East.
Passing through a live station is something one tries to avoid as much as possible, it being very high risk. However, we did pass through the live station, and almost immediately we were in the remnants of the old Aldgate East Station. The most prominent remnant feature of which is the two iron steel bridges passing over the tracks. On the left and right can be seen what's left of the old platforms. The narrow platform on the left used to be a lot wider and have a wall on the far left. This has been broken up to allow the circle line to pass through on what would have been the platform area. The main entrance would have been where the lit up orange area is at the back of the photo, and the two metal bridges carried passengers across to the other platform on the right, Eastbound.
Taking a few precarious steps to the right, this is looking down what's left of the Eastbound platform, looking towards Aldgate/West. The stairs would have descended in a recess area out of sight on the right. Now a ladder goes up to them. The old pillars still remain holding up the roof.
Looking East up the Eastbound platform seen above from the other end. The light in the distance is the new station.
A few steps to the left of the above shot, looking East to the new live station in the distance.
We popped up onto the Eastbound platform, and climbed up the filthy ladder, thick with brake dust residue. In fact the whole area was pretty nasty. Even on the tracks below, our torches were picking up lots of unknown particles in the air. These are breathed in not just by track workers and explorers, but also commuters every day. There were no footsteps up here until we arrived, showing how rare people come up here. This is looking over the tracks to the Eastbound platform. The caged area in the middle of the far end being the ladder, in the foreground the few remaining steps from the Westbound side where the station was.
A 180 degree shot from above, showing the remaining steps going to a drop. The Circle line tracks just visible in the distance under the cables.
Just down from the Western-most of the footbridges, nearest Aldgate station and on the former Westbound platform side, lies a passageway into the below ground remains of the former station. The steps at the end turn left, and pass a toilet and washing area.
The washing area sits on the left in this photo, looking towards the point where the passageway above enters the 'building.'
Striking a pose in a large hall area, possibly the former ticket hall and waiting area. A long corridor heads off on the left hand side. The right hand 'doorways' lead into a smaller hall.
The left hand passage from the hall above, on the other side of the wall is a smaller hall.
What's described above as the smaller hall. Possibly a former waiting area or staff room of some kind. With Aldgate being a stabling station (where trains are stored over night), this might have been a drivers area. The markings on the floor show some kind of cubicles, so maybe toilets or showers. All these things go through one's mind, along with the fear that you could bump into someone.
We gingerly opened the door at the end of the first section of corridor, and found another equal length section. Some doors led to equipment rooms, the door adjacent to the camera here had 'BTP' on the door. We didn't hang around! The door at the end GE105 went to earlier in the trip, and said tracks were visible through it. So the end of these rooms/building must be at the far end of the shot below.
A reverse shot of the area i'm referring to as the ticket hall/waiting area. The passage way on the right leads back to the tracks where we came in. he door on the left leads to a cupboard. The door in the central leads to an empty room.
The room on the left above, nothing amazing, but don't smoke here.
Looking down the passageway back to the tracks from the building. Across from the clear light, the wall on the left stops and the cables continue. We had to duck under the cables to get back to the tracks. The red light in the distance sits next to the tracks.
All done, we headed off back through the live station. As we I took this shot, we heard an alarm of some kind ring out. GE063 was nervous, but I felt certain it was probably connected to a phone ringing or something. Even so, I hurried up and took the shot below. The tracks on the left are for the Hammersmith & City line, and pass through on the original tracks of the former station. The tracks on the right are for the Circle Line, and pass through the removed platform area of the Westbound tracks and behind the 'building' visited above.
Having passed through the station again, I felt certain we were alone there. This was an opportunity that couldn't be wasted, how many people have stripped off on a station and not been immediately arrested?!
Having quickly getting dressed again, I headed back up the tracks to St. Marys. This is a shot with the new Aldgate East behind me, and St Marys just beyond the lights. It's a crossover point to swap trains between tracks if needed mid-service. GE063 hadn't hung around for my starkers moment, and was waiting for me at St Marys.
I joined up with GE064, and we headed to the emergency exit. Unfortunately, the exit's alarm had been repaired. Putting two and two together, GE077 must have triggered the alarm when he left earlier than us. This is what we heard that I thought was a phone ringing on loudspeaker or something. With a need to get quickly out, we pushed the fire escape handle and walked out onto the street. The alarm is silent at the door, but I'm guessing it was ringing out our exit from the system in the live station. Thanks to GE077 and GE063.