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London Victoria
London Victoria station -14Oct2008.jpg
Grosvenor Hotel above Brighton line entrance
Victoria is located in Central London

Location of Victoria in Central London
Location Belgravia
Local authority City of Westminster
Managed by Network Rail
Station code VIC
Platforms in use 19
Accessible Handicapped/disabled access [1]
Fare zone 1

National Rail annual entry and exit
2004/5 48.047 million[2]
2005/6 47.860 million[2]
2006/7 66.749 million[2]
2007/8 77.462 million[2]

1862 Opened

List of stations Underground · National Rail
External links DeparturesLayout

Coordinates: 51°29′48″N 0°08′41″W / 51.4966°N 0.1448°W / 51.4966; -0.1448

Victoria station,[3] also known as London Victoria,[4] is a major central London railway terminus, London Underground and coach station in the City of Westminster. It is the second busiest railway terminus in London (and the UK) after Waterloo. It is in Travelcard Zone 1. It is named after the British monarch Queen Victoria.


National Rail

Operationally, there are effectively two separate stations:

This split is generally held to, as the track layout does not allow much swapping, with only a small number of connecting flyovers between the main lines in the Battersea area, plus a single track connection immediately outside the station. As the Brighton side is the busier of the two, disruption on that line sometimes results in some of its suburban services using the eastern side. This is particularly true of the Gatwick Express, which travels along the Brighton Main Line, as it will often divert over Chatham side tracks during engineering works in order to maintain service levels.

Victoria also serves as the London terminus for the Venice Simplon Orient Express, from Platform 2, the longest platform.

There are Ticket barriers to platforms 1-12 and 15-19. Platforms 13 and 14, where the Gatwick Express service departs, are without ticket barriers.


Early history

The Brighton Side concourse area with the escalators to Victoria Place to the right

Its origins lie with the Great Exhibition of 1851. The West End of London and Crystal Palace Railway was incorporated on 4 August 1853 to serve the new site of the exhibition, which had been transferred to Penge from Hyde Park. There were plans for a large terminal, but at first a temporary station was constructed in Battersea, at the southern end of the new Chelsea Bridge. The station, despite its location called the Pimlico Terminal, opened on 27 March 1858.

However, it was soon recognised that a terminal was needed on the north side of the River Thames, and on 23 July 1858 the Victoria Station & Pimlico Railway was incorporated, with the object of extending the railway across the river to a more convenient location nearer the West End. The railway was owned by four railway companies: the Great Western (GWR); London & North Western (LNWR); the London, Brighton and South Coast (LBSCR); and the London, Chatham and Dover Railways (LCDR).

The station opened on 1 October 1860 (the temporary terminus in Battersea having closed the day before).[5] It was formed in two parts: the western side, occupied by the Brighton company, with six platforms, ten tracks and a hotel (the 300-bedroom Grosvenor); while the Chatham company occupied a less imposing wooden-fronted building. The latter's station had nine tracks and was shared by broad-gauge trains of the GWR, which arrived from Southall via the West London Extension Joint Railway through Chelsea. The approach tracks and station were built on the route and basin of the Grosvenor Canal.

The GWR remained part owner of the station until 1932, although its trains had long since ceased to use it. Each side of the station had its own entrance and a separate station master; a wall between the two sections emphasised that fact.

A plaque marks the arrival of the body of The Unknown Warrior at platform 8 at 20:32 on 10 November 1920.

During World War II, many bombings were targeted on the station because many refugees were exported from this station, causing the roof of the station to be very weak.


Chatham Side concourse

At the start of the 20th century both parts of the station were rebuilt. It now had a decent frontage and forecourt, but not as yet a unified existence. Work on the Brighton side was completed in 1908 and was carried out in red brick; the Grosvenor Hotel was rebuilt at the same time. The Chatham side, in an Edwardian style with baroque elements, designed by Alfred Bloomfield, was completed a year later. The two sections were connected in 1924 by removing part of a screen wall, when the platforms were renumbered as an entity.

The station was now serving boat trains, and during World War I it became a terminus for trains carrying soldiers to and from France, many of them wounded. After the war the Continental steamer traffic became concentrated here, including the most famous of those trains, the Golden Arrow. The Night Ferry also operated to/from Victoria station. The area around the station also became a site for other forms of transport: a bus station in the forecourt; a coach terminal to the south; and now a terminal for trains serving Gatwick Airport.

The station had a news cinema later a cartoon cinema that would show a continuous programme for travellers. The cinema was designed by Alastair Macdonald, son of Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald and was in operation from 1933 until being demolished in 1981.

The station was redeveloped internally in the 1980s, with the addition of shops within the concourse, and above the western platforms (the "Victoria Place" shopping centre).

Accidents & Incidents

On 18 February 1991 an IRA bomb exploded in a litter bin, killing David Corner [6], and injuring 38. A general bomb warning for all mainline stations had been received by telephone at 7:00 am, but the Metropolitan Police Anti-Terrorist Branch chose not to close the stations.[7] Since that time, there have been no litter bins anywhere on the station platform.[citation needed]

On 7 July 2009 flash flooding closed both the mainline and underground stations causing major distruption to commuters. Water overflowed from the roof drainage system causing flooding on the main concourse, flooding several retail outlets.

On 20 July 2007 flash flooding closed the station.

Preceding station National Rail Following station
Terminus   Southeastern
Catford Loop Line
  Denmark Hill
Chatham Main Line
(via Herne Hill)
Bromley South
Terminus   Southern
Brighton Main Line
  Battersea Park
Clapham Junction
East Croydon
Terminus   Southern
Oxted Line
  Clapham Junction
Terminus   Southern
Gatwick Express
  Gatwick Airport
Terminus   Venice Simplon Orient Express
  Folkestone West

The station in fiction

In Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, the title character was found as an infant in a handbag at Victoria Station, much to the consternation of Lady Bracknell. "A handbag?" "The Brighton line." "The line is immaterial!"

London Underground

Victoria tube antrance.jpg
Entrance on Terminus Place
Location Belgravia
Local authority City of Westminster
Managed by London Underground
Platforms in use 4
Accessible Handicapped/disabled access [8]
Fare zone 1

London Underground annual entry and exit
2005 67.823 million[9]
2006 72.992 million[9]
2007 76.406 million[9]
2008 78.41 million[9]

1868 Opened (MDR)
1872 Started "Outer Circle" (NLR)
1872 Started "Middle Circle" (H&CR/MDR)
1900 Ended "Middle Circle"
1908 Ended "Outer Circle"
1949 Started (Circle line)
1968 Opened as terminus (Victoria line)
1971 Extended south (Victoria line)

List of stations Underground · National Rail

The London Underground station lies to the north of the mainline station concourse. It is currently the busiest station on the system with around 77 million using the station (not including interchanging passengers) as of 2007, 60.2 million (including interchanges) using the Victoria line platforms.[10]. There are two ticket halls: the newer hall, closer to the mainline station serves the Victoria line; the other, further north serves the District and Circle Lines. The ticket halls are connected by a pedestrian passage beneath the Bus station.


The first part of the station was opened on 24 December 1868 by the Metropolitan District Railway (MDR, now the District Line) when the company opened the first section of its line between South Kensington and Westminster stations. The MDR connected to the Metropolitan Railway (MR, later the Metropolitan line) at South Kensington and, although the two companies were rivals, each company operated its trains over the other's tracks in a joint service known as the "Inner Circle".

On 1 February 1872, the MDR opened a northbound branch from its station at Earl's Court to connect to the West London Extension Joint Railway (WLEJR, now the West London Line) which it connected to at Addison Road (now Kensington (Olympia)). From that date the "Outer Circle" service began running over the MDR's tracks. The service was run by the North London Railway (NLR) from its terminus at Broad Street (now demolished) in the City of London via the North London Line to Willesden Junction, then the West London Line to Addison Road and the MDR to Mansion House - the new eastern terminus of the MDR.

From 1 August 1872, the "Middle Circle" service also began operations through Victoria running from Moorgate along the MR's tracks on the north side of the Inner Circle to Paddington then over the Hammersmith & City Railway (H&CR) track to Latimer Road then, via a now demolished link, to the West London Line to Addison Road and the MDR to Mansion House. The service was operated jointly by the H&CR and the MDR.

On 30 June 1900, the Middle Circle service was withdrawn between Earl's Court and Mansion House. On 31 December 1908 the Outer Circle service was also withdrawn.

The original MDR station was rebuilt at the beginning of the 20th century initially as a single storey structure. An office building was constructed above it later.

In 1949, the Metropolitan Line operated Inner Circle route was given its own identity on the tube map as the Circle Line.

The new Victoria line station was opened on 7 March 1969 when the third phase of the line began operating south of Warren Street. Initially, Victoria served as the temporary terminus of the line whilst the final phase was under construction to Brixton. Services to Brixton began operating on 23 July 1971.


Victoria is a proposed stop on the Chelsea-Hackney line also known as Crossrail 2.[11][12][13] The route was safeguarded in 1991[14] and 2007 and any rebuilding of the station will have space for Crossrail 2 platforms.[15] In the safeguarded route it was between Chelsea and Piccadilly Circus.

Preceding station   Underground no-text.svg London Underground   Following station
towards Hammersmith
Circle line
towards Edgware Road
District line
towards Upminster
towards Brixton
Victoria line

Current situation

The station is now the busiest on the London Underground system, serving nearly 80 million passengers per year. The station was not built for this number of passengers, which results in severe overcrowding. To prevent any dangerous situations like crowds pushing people off the platforms onto the track, crowd control measures are in place at the busiest times. This effectively means closing all the entrances to the Underground platforms and operating as an exit-only station until the overcrowding is relieved. These measures can last anywhere between a couple of minutes (when minor delays are occurring) up to several hours (during major incidents).

In order to provide a lasting solution to this problem, a major upgrade of the station is planned,[16] including a new northern exit/entrance on the north-west corner of Victoria Street via a new additional ticket office under Bressenden Place leading to both the Victoria Line and the Circle and District Line platforms. This upgrade is due by 2017.[17] The work will also enlarge the existing Victoria Line ticket hall serving the railway station, and add a new relief bank of escalators there; although this aspect of the scheme has been criticised as access to platforms from the new escalators will be very long and indirect, compared to the direct access using the existing escalators.[18]



An abandoned Victoria Underground station features in the V for Vendetta comic book series as the base for the anarchist freedom fighter "V".

Coach station

Victoria coach station is about 300 metres[19] south-west of the railway stations. It is the main London coach terminal and serves all parts of the UK, and mainland Europe.


London Underground

Circle and District lines

Side Platform
Eastbound Platform 2
Arrow right.svg
District towards Upminster
Circle towards Hammersmith
Arrow right.svg
Arrow left.svg
District towards Wimbledon, Richmond or Ealing Broadway
Circle towards Edgware Road
Arrow left.svg
Westbound Platform 1
Side Platform

Victoria line

Arrow right.svg Victoria towards Walthamstow Central Arrow right.svg
Northbound Platform 3
Island Platform
Southbound Platform 4
Arrow left.svg Victoria towards Brixton Arrow left.svg

Transport Links

London bus routes 2, 11, 16, 24, 36, 38, 44, 52, 73, 82, 148, 170, 185, 211, 436, 507, C1, C2, C10, and night routes N2, N11, N52, N73 and N44.


  1. ^ "London and South East". Rail Map for People with Reduced Mobility. National Rail. September 2006. Retrieved 1 January 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Station usage". Rail statistics. Office of Rail Regulation. 12 March 2009. Retrieved 19 January 2010. 
  3. ^ "Stations Run by Network Rail". Network Rail. Retrieved 23 August 2009. 
  4. ^ "Station Codes". National Rail. Retrieved 23 August 2009. 
  5. ^ "Railway Magazine", March 1958
  6. ^ Malcolm Sutton (1994). "An Index of Deaths from the Conflict in Ireland 1969-1993". Retrieved 12 January 2007. 
  7. ^ The Irish Troubles: A Generation of Violence 1967-1992 by John Bowyer Bell (ISBN 0-7171-2201-8), page 786
  8. ^ "Step free Tube Guide". Transport for London. December 2009. Retrieved 8 February 2010. 
  9. ^ a b c d "Customer metrics: entries and exits". London Underground performance update. Transport for London. 2003-2008. Retrieved 19 January 2010. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ - Crossrail 2
  12. ^ T2025 Transport vision for a growing world city - 28 November stakeholder event slides
  13. ^$FILE/chelsea+hackney+line+safeguarding+leaflet+february+2008.pdf
  14. ^
  15. ^ London Connections: Look ma, Crossrail 2
  16. ^ Transport for London. Victoria tube station
  17. ^ Transport for London. Victoria tube station: Next steps
  18. ^ See eg the submissions by the Victoria Interchange Group to the Victoria Station Upgrade Public Enquiry
  19. ^ "Victoria Coach Station". TfL. Retrieved 26 December 2009. 

External links


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