Aldgate East tube station

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Aldgate East London Underground
Platform (15234313935).jpg
Aldgate East is located in Central London
Aldgate East
Aldgate East
Location of Aldgate East in Central London
Location Spitalfields
Local authority London Borough of Tower Hamlets
Managed by London Underground
Owner Transport for London
Number of platforms 2
Fare zone 1
London Underground annual entry and exit
2013 Increase 11.66 million[1]
2014 Increase 12.25 million[1]
2015 Increase 12.84 million[1]
2016 Increase 13.43 million[1]
Key dates
6 October 1884 (6 October 1884) Opened
31 October 1938 resited
Other information
Lists of stations
External links
  • TfL station info page
WGS84 51°30′55″N 0°04′20″W / 51.5152°N 0.0722°W / 51.5152; -0.0722Coordinates: 51°30′55″N 0°04′20″W / 51.5152°N 0.0722°W / 51.5152; -0.0722
Underground sign at Westminster.jpg London Transport portal

Aldgate East is a London Underground station in Spitalfields, East End of London and is due east of the ward of Aldgate in City of London. It is on the Hammersmith & City line between Liverpool Street and Whitechapel, and on the District line between Tower Hill and Whitechapel, in Travelcard Zone 1.[2]


Original station

The original Aldgate East station.

The name "Commercial Road" had been proposed for the original Aldgate East station, which opened on 6 October 1884 as part of an eastern extension to the District Railway (now the District line),[3] some 500 feet (150 m) to the west of the current station, close to the Metropolitan Railway's Aldgate station. However, when the curve to join the Metropolitan Railway from Liverpool Street was built, the curve had to be particularly sharp owing to the location of Aldgate East station, at which the track needed to be straight.

Resited station

The resited Aldgate East station, showing its modernist, simple appearance.

As part of the London Passenger Transport Board's 1935–1940 New Works Programme the triangular junction at Aldgate was enlarged, to allow for a much gentler curve and to ensure trains that were held on any leg of the triangle did not foul any signals or points elsewhere.[4] The new Aldgate East platforms were sited almost immediately to the east of their predecessors, with one exit facing west toward the original location, and another at the east end of the new platforms.

The new eastern exit was now close enough to the next station along the line, St Mary's (Whitechapel Road), that this station could also be closed,[note 1] reducing operational overhead and journey times, because the new Aldgate East had effectively replaced two earlier stations.

The new station, which opened on 31 October 1938[3] (the earlier station closing permanently the previous night[5][6]), was designed to be completely subterranean, providing a much-needed pedestrian underpass for the road above.

The reconstruction of Aldgate East station in progress. To lower the track level, the trackbed has been excavated with an interim support of timber trestles. Then, with the tracks attached to chains from the ceiling, the trestle was dismantled and the tracks lowered down to the new lower track level.

However, in order to accommodate the space needed for this, and the platforms below, the existing track required lowering by more than seven feet (2 m). To achieve this task whilst still keeping the track open during the day, the bed underneath the track was excavated, and the track held up by a timber trestle work. Then, once excavation was complete and the new station constructed around the site, an army of over 900 workmen lowered the whole track simultaneously in one night, using overhead hooks to suspend the track when necessary.[7] The hooks still remain.

A second view of reconstruction under the tracks, showing them ready to be lowered down to their new level.

Past proposals

A campaign was launched by a local councillor in a bid to change the name of the station to Brick Lane tube station by 2012,[8] but this had no official support and was not successful. The same councillor has also campaigned to have Shoreditch High Street railway station renamed "Banglatown".[9]

The station today

The station has no surface buildings.[10] Ticket barriers control access to all platforms.

District and Hammersmith & City line trains running into Aldgate East along two sides of the triangle (from Liverpool Street and from Tower Hill) pass through the site of the earlier station, most of which has been obliterated by the current junction alignment, although the extensive width and height and irregular shape of the tunnel can be observed.

Since the station was built completely under a widened road, and was built after concrete had started to be used as a construction material, the platforms have a particularly high headroom. This—combined with the late-1930s style of tiling, typical of the stations of the then London Passenger Transport Board—gives the platform area of the station a particularly airy and welcoming appearance, unusual on the Underground at the time of construction. The tiling contains relief tiles, showing devices pertinent to London Transport and the area it served; these were designed by Harold Stabler and made by the Poole Pottery.

Station improvements

The station was Metronet’s first refurbished (and show-piece) station, refurbished in ‘heritage’ style.[11] Work actually began at platform level earlier in 2007.[11] On 9 March 2007 it was noted that every other platform bullseye and its associated blue enamel “Way Out” plate below had been removed on both platforms, marking the end of the only sub-surface ‘New Works’ station.[11] By 14 March all the roundels had been removed and temporary signs substituted.[11] The north-east entrance was also closed from 10 March 2007 until 2009.[11] As of 23 May 2007, the tiling was removed on the eastbound platform and the walls were rough cemented but the tiles remained on the westbound one, although it only took a few days.[11] The new framework for lighting and cabling had been installed.[11]


District line

This is the general off-peak frequency. During peak times trains also operate to Wimbledon. During off-peak times, 3 trains per hour from Wimbledon terminate at Barking (as of December 2014).

Hammersmith & City line

The typical off-peak service in trains per hour (tph) is:

Circle line

There is no regular service, however there are two trains per day that run from Barking to Edgware Road via Victoria before 6 a.m. (as of February 2015).[15]


Seven London Bus routes serve the station: 15, 25, 67, 115 and 135, and night routes N15 and N550.[16] In addition, bus route 25 provides a 24-hour bus service.[16]

Nearby tourist attractions

Notes and references


  1. ^ The station closed on 30 April 1938, six months before the resited Aldgate East station opened.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d "Multi-year station entry-and-exit figures" (XLS). London Underground station passenger usage data. Transport for London. March 2017. Retrieved 28 May 2017. 
  2. ^ Transport for London (December 2017). Standard Tube Map (PDF) (Map). Not to scale. Transport for London. Archived (PDF) from the original on 16 January 2018. 
  3. ^ a b c Clive's Underground Line Guides - District line
  4. ^ H.F. Howson, London's Underground, 4th ed. London: Ian Allan, 1967, OCLC 502266970, p. 47.
  5. ^ Chronology of London Railways by H.V.Borley
  6. ^ Forgotten Stations of Greater London by J.E.Connor and B.Halford
  7. ^ Howson, pp. 47–48.
  8. ^ "Bid to name Tube stop Brick Lane". BBC News. 2006-12-15. Archived from the original on 16 January 2007. Retrieved 2007-01-10. Tower Hamlets councillor Abdul Ullah wants the Tube station to be renamed in time for the 2012 summer Olympics. He told BBC London: "I think it will truly reflect the character of the area by renaming Aldgate East... people get it confused with Aldgate." He said the area's tourist trade was being affected because, while people had heard of Brick Lane and its reputation for curry restaurants, they could not find it on a Tube map. 
  9. ^ "Calls to rename East End station". BBC News. 2008-05-20. Retrieved 2008-06-10. Tower Hamlets councillor Abdal Ullah said the new station should be called "Banglatown" to reflect the strong Bangladeshi community. But a TfL spokesman said "It is important that a station name takes into account the street or the official name of its area, as recorded on official maps." 
  10. ^ Tube Facts - Tube Stations that have no surface buildings
  11. ^ a b c d e f g "Station Refurbishment Summary" (PDF). London Underground Railway Society. July 2007. Retrieved 28 March 2015. 
  12. ^ a b Clive's Underground Line Guides - Hammersmith & City line
  13. ^ "Hammersmith & City line timetable: From Aldgate East Underground Station to Whitechapel Underground Station". Transport for London. Retrieved 28 March 2015. 
  14. ^ "Hammersmith & City line timetable: From Aldgate East Underground Station to Liverpool Street Underground Station". Transport for London. Retrieved 28 March 2015. 
  15. ^
  16. ^ a b "Buses from Aldgate and Fenchurch Street" (PDF). Transport for London. September 2014. Retrieved 28 March 2015. 


External links

  • London's Abandoned Tube Stations - Aldgate East
  • More photos and Google Street View imagery of this station
Preceding station   Underground no-text.svg London Underground   Following station
District line
towards Upminster
towards Hammersmith
Hammersmith & City line
towards Barking
  Former services  
Preceding station   Underground no-text.svg London Underground   Following station
District line
towards Upminster
towards Hammersmith
Metropolitan line
Hammersmith branch (1884-1938)
towards Barking
Metropolitan line
Hammersmith branch (1938-1990)
towards Barking
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