London has a famous underground train system, known worldwide as “the Tube.” It dates back well over a hundred years to 1863 when the world’s first underground railway, the Metropolitan, opened between Paddington and Farringdon and it now boasts 270 stations (there’s a quiz question if ever I’ve heard one) and 11 lines.
But while there are many thriving stations across the capital, there are around 40 which are no longer used – the so-called “ghost stations”. Some of these were closed due to low passenger numbers, others because lines changed their routes. Some also have fascinating histories (Aldwych station, on The Strand, which has been seen on screen in films such as 28 Weeks Later, was used to house the National Gallery’s collection during World War I and the Elgin Marbles, among other artefacts, during World War II).
One of the most recent ghost stations is more of a ghost concourse! Charing Cross, not far from Aldwych, still functions as an overground station and also as part of the Northern and Bakerloo Lines. It was also, for many years, the final stop on the Jubilee Line, but that ended in 1999 when the line was extended and trains began to bypass Charing Cross, going from Green Park to Westminster. In other words, the Jubilee Line platforms were no longer used – or needed (except for filming – it’s where the James Bond film Skyfall was shot, even though that was supposed to be at Temple tube station…)
Until now film fans! Because a unique festival is to be held right on the platform and concourse, with screenings of a number of films at the end of this month. The screenings begin on May 27th with Strangers on a Train (the perfect choice) and include Paddington, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Birdman. But be quick – they’re going fast…
There are 100 tickets on offer for each screening, with prices at £14 for adults and £7 for children. There’s even going to be hot dogs on sale beforehand (you won’t get told off for eating at the station this time). You can find out more at Underground Film Club’s website.
We are so happy to have been shortlisted for the Bibs (Brilliance in Blogging Awards) for 2015, but we really need your help to get through to the final 5. Please could you visit this link and then scroll down to travel and then us (Family Travel Times)? We’d be so grateful. You don’t have to vote in all categories, though there are lots of great blogs in there!