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Bank and Monument stations

From Academic Kids

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Bank tube station entrance with the Bank of England in the background
A Circle & District Line platform at Monument underground station
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A Circle & District Line platform at Monument underground station
A Northern Line platform at Bank underground station
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A Northern Line platform at Bank underground station
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A Docklands Light Railway platform at Bank underground station
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Unique tilework at these stations represents the coat of arms of the corporation of london

Bank and Monument are interlinked London Underground stations, spanning the length of King William Street in the City of London. The stations are officially one station with separate entrances and names, the complex is officially known as the Bank-Monument complex. The complex is in Travelcard Zone 1.

Bank is named after the nearby Bank of England. On the Central Line, the station is between St. Paul's and Liverpool Street. On the Northern Line the station is between London Bridge and Moorgate. It is currently the only other station apart from Waterloo on the Waterloo & City Line. It is a terminus for the Docklands Light Railway (DLR), the next station being Shadwell.

The Waterloo & City platforms are connected to the Central Line booking hall by two slightly inclined moving walkways.

Monument, named after the Monument to the Great Fire of London, by which it is situated, is on the Circle and District Lines between Cannon Street and Tower Hill.

Contents

History

Metropolitan Inner Circle Completion Railway

Built as part of the link from Mansion house to Aldgate by city financiers, after the Metropolitan and Metropolitan District companies fell out with each other, the station at Monument on the District and Circle lines opened in 1884.

Waterloo & City Railway Company

Many of the railway companies were trying to get closer access to the City of London. The first to achieve this was the Waterloo & City Railway company, with their shuttle from Waterloo reaching Queen Victoria Street and having a station opened at its head, by the Mansion House, in 1898. The station was originally called City.

The slopes to the platforms were later provided with one of the few sets of moving walkways on the whole underground system, unusually inclined at a slight angle. Advertising at the Waterloo & City station often takes the form of large painted murals on the walls and ceilings of the sloped exits, forming one of the largest advertisements on the underground.

City & South London Railway

The first station to be known as Bank opened in early 1900 when the City and South London Railway (now part of the Northern Line) opened its extension to Moorgate. The earlier terminus, King William Street, was closed.

Since the platforms were now under King William Street (unlike the original route), the ticket office had to be built close to the junction with Lombard Street. However, property prices in the area were too expensive for the railway to afford to site their ticket hall, and so the company negotiated to build the ticket office in the crypt of the church of St Mary Woolnoth. This necessitated moving some of the bodies elsewhere, and shoring up one of the corners of the church. Unusually for stations converted to escalators, the original lift access from the crypt is still in use.

Central London Railway

The eastern terminus of the Central London Railway (today's Central Line) followed on July 30, 1900. Upholding the requirement of remaining directly under streets (to avoid compensating property owners for vibrations) meant that, by situating it directly under Threadneedle street and Poultry, the platforms had an extreme curve to them, so that going westbound it is not possible to see one end of the platform from the other.

The high cost of property in the City, coupled with the presence of the Royal Exchange, the Bank Of England, and the Mansion House, meant that the station had to be built entirely underground from the start. Unfortunately the station was sited under the centre of one of the busiest traffic junctions in central London. The station was unusual in using separate lift shafts for each lift due to the need to prevent undermining the junction above, which would be the case with wider shafts.

Negotiations with the Corporation of London eventually gave permission on the condition that the station building included subways to act as pedestrian road crossings. The proximity of the Waterloo & City and City & South London stations, and the non-competing directions they travelled in, meant that it was only a short time before the ticket halls were connected. At deep level, connection between the Central platforms, and those of the City & South London had to wait until the introduction of escalators into the station in the 1920s.

On January 11, 1941 during World War 2 the Central Line ticket hall suffered a direct hit from a German bomb. The roadway - the area surrounded by the Bank of England (the intended target), the Royal Exchange and the Mansion House - collapsed into the subways and station concourse, killing 56 people.

Monument Link

It became noted that the southern end of the Northern (i.e. City & South London) Line platforms was remarkably close to Monument station, and so it was that in 1933, an escalator was built to provide the connection. At this point the names of the two stations became Bank-for-Monument and Monument-for-Bank.

DLR

The DLR built a tunneled extension to arrive at platforms parallel to (but deeper than) the Northern Line platforms, opened in 1991. The DLR platforms also provided a corridor between them, and connected it up to the Central line at one end, eventually reaching the platforms via the base of the disused lift shafts. Monument was connected at the other, to an extension to the westbound platform, meaning that there was no longer the requirement to pass down the busy Northern line platforms in order to change lines. In addition, a new link was provided to the Waterloo and City lines from the concourse to the Central Line. The complexity this gave to the station has lead to it gaining the unofficial name "The Worm" amongst staff.

Disaster Exercises

On Sunday September 7, 2003 Bank station was used for a disaster training exercise, billed as "the most realistic live disaster exercise of its kind". The event, lasting several hours and involving about 500 police, fire, ambulance and London Underground personnel, was intended to prepare the emergency services for mass decontamination in the event of a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear attack.

The Future

The original Central London Railway station had straight-to-platform lifts, but with the introduction of escalators cutting through the shafts, such access for the mobility impaired was lost. The only fully accessible part of the station for the mobility impaired are the DLR platforms, via lifts from the Street (again using part of St. Mary Woolnoth - the rectory). In addition to accessibility problems, Bank is one of the most congested stations at peak times on the whole of the Underground. In consequence, Transport for London have committed themselves to significantly transforming the station and removing some of the bottlenecks, and rendering the level of mobility impaired access much higher.

Trivia

  • London's first public toilet was located close to the Royal Exchange exit of Bank station.
  • The Bank of England exit of the station is built into the Bank itself, and is the only grade I listed building on the Underground network.

External links

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