42 million people use Euston Underground station every year but few of them would guess that they pass within metres of two disused stations as they make their way through the modern passageways. I recently discovered these lost tunnels on a Hidden London tour with the London Transport Museum, some of which have not been used by passengers for over a hundred years.
When the two branches of the Northern line as we know them today were originally constructed, they were built by two separate companies. In 1903 they each gained parliamentary approval to build underground railways to serve the area near the Euston mainline station. The land on which both stations were to be built was owned by the London & North Western Railway. The L&NWR approved the construction of both stations on the condition that the companies build separate station buildings. One was built on the corner of Melton and Drummond Streets, the other on Seymour Street (now known as Eversholt Street).
Even though the stations had been planned separately, the companies agreed to build a passageway to join their platforms and connect with a third set of lifts and ticket hall in the Euston mainline station. Customers found the mainline station entrance considerably more convenient and the two station buildings at street level were lightly used by comparison. In 1914 the station buildings were closed in order to save money.
The construction of the Victoria line in the 1960s brought two more platforms to Euston and they also took the opportunity to update the configuration of the station and improve the ventilation shafts. A new ticket hall was constructed, new escalators installed and the Northern line platforms widened. The old tunnels were closed and converted into ventilation ducts.
The old tunnels are a bit like a time capsule of the 1960s featuring lots of movie posters from that time.
Unfortunately all tickets for the Euston tours have sold out but there are currently still tickets available for the Clapham South and Down Street tours. I recommend signing up to the London Transport Museum mailing list so you will be notified when new tours are announced and get access to the ticket presale before the general public.
If you’re interested in finding out more about the Hidden London tours you can read my posts on some of their other tours: