After hiding in “train sight” for decades, un-used London Tube stations are “on track” to be London’s next big tourist attraction.
This is because Transport for London (TFL) is planning on inviting companies to bid to convert the abandoned stations and tunnels into tourist attractions that include hotels, shops, and museums.
What a tram-endous opportunity!
There are at least 40 Overground and Underground stations in London, as well as hundreds of old horse tunnels that are in very poor condition due to disuse, and the resulting neglect.
Over the years Tube stations have been closed for reasons ranging from low passenger numbers to re-routing of the tunnels. One of the most famous abandoned stations is Aldwych, which was used to hide the National Gallery’s art collection during the First World War, and then British Museum’s artifacts during the Second World War.
The idea was first proposed by former banker Ajit Chambers in 2009. He had estimated that an untapped £3.6bn was harboured by the abandoned underground network.
Chambers came up with the idea after finding a map detailing the 26 “ghost stations” that were concealed within the Tube network. He found several that could possibly be transformed, and started The Old London Underground Company.
After meeting with London Mayor Boris Johnson in 2011, Chambers identified 34 suitable sites. The first stage encompasses 13 of these, with plans to convert them into art galleries, nightclubs and, potentially, a National Fire Brigade museum.