Oxford Circus – the Story of an Underground Station
Oxford Circus station has never been big enough. It is true that the profound and much overdue reconstruction of 1968 - to accommodate the Victoria Line - produced a huge station with 14 escalators, but today it seems cramped and is most notable for its long and very narrow passageways. One day further reconstruction will be necessary, though the Crossrail project will ease some of the pressure.
In truth Oxford Circus station has never been big enough for its purpose. Indeed the design of the Bakerloo station was so unsatisfactory it had to be rebuilt before it had even opened, which it finally did in 1906, only to be rebuilt again within less than a decade. Nor was the older Central London station much better though it lasted a quarter century before comprehensive reconstruction.
Oxford Circus was the second station to be rebuilt with escalators (before the First World War) and this pair of machines was then the longest in the world.
This present text, part of a proposed booklet, tells the story up until the 1980s. A few illustrations have been prepared (separate download) and these will be added to as time permits.
Any comments, or additional information, will be especially welcome.
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