Farringdon station

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Template:Distinguish Template:Use dmy dates Template:Use British English Template:Infobox London station Farringdon station is a London Underground and National Rail station in Clerkenwell, just north of the City of London in the London Borough of Islington. It is currently one of the less important mainline central London stations, but that will change significantly when it becomes an important interchange station between the two largest transport infrastructure programmes currently under way in London, the Thameslink Programme and Crossrail, both of which are scheduled for completion in 2018.


The station was opened on 10 January 1863 as the terminus of the original Metropolitan Railway, the world's first underground metro line. The station, initially named Farringdon Street, was originally a short distance from today's building. The line ran from Farringdon to Template:LUL stations, a distance of Template:Convert. The station was relocated on 23 December 1865 when the Metropolitan Railway opened an extension to Moorgate. It was renamed Farringdon and High Holborn on 26 January 1922, and its present name on 21 April 1936.<ref name="rose">Template:Cite book</ref> It was built in conjunction with a freight route to take livestock to a depot to its south to supply Smithfield Market; there are cattle ramps onto West Smithfield street for this purpose. Smithfield was redesignated as a wholesale 'deadmeat' market only before the initiation of services; the freight station was last used in the 1920s but remain insitu.

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The Metropolitan Railway's second Farringdon station, 1866.
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The station frontage carrying the name 'Farringdon and High Holborn', 1989.

The lines from Farringdon to Template:Stnlnk station run alongside the now culverted River Fleet, which was above ground here until 1734. The station building is an unusually well-preserved piece of early 20th-century London Underground architecture; it still has its original signage (with the name "Farringdon and High Holborn" on the façade) and other indications of the Metropolitan Railway's original main-line style operation, with a sign for a "Parcel Office" surviving on the exterior wall.

After the bay platforms at London Template:LUL stations closed in March 2009, Southeastern services that previously terminated at Blackfriars were extended to Template:LUL stations, St Albans, Luton or Bedford, calling at this station.<ref name="fcc_thames">Template:Cite web</ref> First Capital Connect trains to Moorgate ceased at the same time. Trains south of Blackfriars are operated by Southeastern, north of Blackfriars by First Capital Connect.

Current developments

There are currently two major rail development projects in progress that involve Farringdon. Crossrail is an entirely new east-west railway, scheduled to open in 2018; the Thameslink programme is a major upgrade to the existing north-south Thameslink route, enabling longer and more frequent trains, scheduled to be completed in 2018.

After the completion of Crossrail, Farringdon will be one of the country's busiest stations by number of trains passing through.<ref name="rh_232">Template:Cite web</ref> It will be the only station where passengers can change between Crossrail and Thameslink. A new building, housing a dedicated ticket hall, has been constructed to serve these extra passengers. The new building is to the immediate south of the original station, which itself has been upgraded as part of the programme.

An additional entrance has also been built at the north end of the original station, serving Turnmill Street.

Thameslink upgrade

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File:Farringdon station MMB 03 319447.jpg
First Capital Connect unit 319447 heads south from Farringdon. On the left is the blocked-off branch to Template:Rws, closed as part of the Thameslink upgrade.

Farringdon Station has been rebuilt<ref name="nr_6282">Template:Cite web</ref> to accommodate longer Thameslink trains and to make other improvements to the station.<ref name="nr_6270">Template:Cite web</ref> The existing station building has been refurbished with a new roof canopy covering the north end of all four platforms and a permanent new entrance and concourse facing Turnmill Street. An additional ticket hall has been built on the south side of Cowcross Street providing access to the Thameslink platforms, which have been extended southwards underneath this building, allowing the station to handle 240m (12-car) trains. Platforms have been widened to accommodate increased passenger numbers. This process required the bridge that formed Cowcross Street to be demolished and rebuilt. Cowcross Street will be pedestrianised.<ref name="tl_202">Template:Cite web</ref> Lifts have been provided throughout.

The existing listed ticket hall and concourse have been remodelled, for use by London Underground and Thameslink passengers. Interchange within the station has been improved by removing the interchange bridge and installing new stairs and lifts with access to all four platforms, allowing passengers with impaired mobility to use the station.

It was necessary to build the Thameslink platform extensions to the south, since there is a sharp gradient to the immediate north of the station. This has resulted in the two-station branch to Moorgate being permanently closed. The platform extensions cross the former Moorgate line and reach within a few metres of the entrance of the Snow Hill Tunnel.<ref name="temp1">Network Rail (2005a) - pg.9, paragraph 2.1.5</ref> The alternative of realigning both the Thameslink and Circle/Hammersmith & City/Metropolitan LUL lines was impractical as the latter crosses over the former on a bridge almost immediately to the north of the station.<ref name="temp1" />

Crossrail development

Template:See also Farringdon Crossrail station is being built between Farringdon and Template:LUL stations underground (tube) stations and it will have interchanges with both of them.<ref name="cr_5393">Template:Cite web</ref> Access at the Farringdon end will be via the new Thameslink ticket hall. Work is anticipated to be complete in 2018.<ref name="crossrail">Template:Cite web</ref><ref name="Crossrail 2018">Template:Cite news</ref> Crossrail will link Farringdon to two more London airports (City and Heathrow), the Olympic Park in Stratford, Canary Wharf, Bond Street/Oxford Street and Maidenhead. The station will also be a hub for cross-London travel, being the only station to be on both the north-south Thameslink service and the east-west Crossrail service.<ref name="cr_farringdon">Template:Cite news</ref>

Dual traction current supply

File:Farringdon station Thameslink southbound driver warning.JPG
Warning to drivers heading south from Farringdon in August 2012

Farringdon station is notable because First Capital Connect trains switch between the 25 kV AC overhead supply used to the north of London and the 750 V DC third rail supply used to the south while standing at the platform. The trains that formerly ran to Moorgate used 25 kV AC throughout their journeys.

Until the start of the Thameslink Programme southbound trains that were unable to switch to DC were taken out of service at Farringdon and stabled at Moorgate to prevent them from blocking the core section of the Thameslink route. As this option is no longer possible the catenary has been extended to City Thameslink to enable these trains to continue to the southbound platform at City Thameslink using AC and then return northwards using the new crossover in Snow Hill Tunnel.<ref name=thames_45"">Template:Cite web</ref> The pantograph on southbound trains is normally lowered at Farringdon.

Underground trains serving Farringdon use the four-rail 630 V DC system.

Nearest places

File:Farringdon station MMB 22 S-Stock.jpg
Metropolitan line S Stock train at Farringdon
  • Clerkenwell
  • Smithfield
  • Barbican Estate
  • Finsbury Estate
  • Holborn
  • Old Street
  • Shoreditch


File:Farringdon station MMB 11 C-Stock.jpg
Farringdon is served by the Circle, Metropolitan and Hammersmith & City lines of the London Underground.
File:Farringdon station MMB 08 377521 377520.jpg
Farringdon is in the core of the Thameslink network, and is served by First Capital Connect. These Template:Brc Electrostar units operate over the Template:Rws to Template:Rws route, whilst Template:Brc units operate the remaining services.

The London Underground part of the station is served by the Metropolitan, Hammersmith & City and Circle lines, the stations on either side being Template:LUL stations and Template:LUL stations.

Farringdon is also served by First Capital Connect trains from Brighton to Bedford, calling at Gatwick Airport, or from Luton to Sutton or Wimbledon. The stations on either side are City Thameslink and St Pancras International.

Until 20 March 2009, some First Capital Connect weekday peak-hour trains ran into Moorgate and terminated there rather than continuing south to Blackfriars and beyond. These services were withdrawn to allow the junction at the south end of the station to be removed so that the platforms could be extended to take 12-coach trains.

Passengers can still travel from Farringdon to Barbican and Moorgate using the London Underground service.

Farringdon is in Transport for London's Travelcard Zone 1.

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Transport links

London bus routes 63 and night route N63.

References in popular culture

In stream of consciousness lyrics, the electronica group Underworld refer to the station as the "tubehole on Farringdon Street" (sic) in their 1993 track Dirty Epic.<ref name="SongMeanings">Template:Cite web</ref>



External links

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Template:Transport in London Template:UKrailwaystations Template:Circle line navbox Template:Hammersmith & City line navbox Template:Metropolitan line navbox Template:Crossrail navbox Template:TSGN and SE Stations