Finchley Central tube station
The station is on the High Barnet branch of the Northern line, between West Finchley and East Finchley stations and is the junction for the short branch to Mill Hill East station. The station is above ground and is in Travelcard Zone 4.
Finchley Central station was built by the Edgware, Highgate and London Railway (EH&LR) and was originally opened as Finchley and Hendon on 22 August 1867<ref name=Butt>Template:Cite book</ref> by the Great Northern Railway (GNR) (which had taken over the EH&LR) in what was then rural Middlesex.<ref name=CULG_1>Clive's Underground Line Guides - Northern Line, Dates</ref> The station was on a line that ran from Finsbury Park to Edgware via Highgate. A branch line from this station was constructed by the GNR to High Barnet and opened on 1 April 1872.<ref name=CULG_1/> The station was renamed several times: to Finchley on 1 February 1872; Finchley (Church End) on 1 February 1894; and it was given its current name Finchley Central on 1 April 1940.<ref name=Butt />
After the 1921 Railways Act created the Big Four railway companies, the line was, from 1923, part of the London & North Eastern Railway (LNER). The section of the High Barnet branch north of East Finchley was incorporated into the London Underground network through the "Northern Heights" project begun in the late 1930s. The station was first served by electric Northern line trains on 14 April 1940.<ref name=rose>Template:Cite book </ref> After a period where the station was serviced by both operators, LNER steam services ended in 1941.<ref name=CULG_1/> Northern line services to Mill Hill East began on 18 May 1941, due to the need to carry passengers to and from the large army barracks nearby.<ref name=rose/>
Charles Holden designed replacement buildings for the station, but the curtailment of the Northern Heights Plan, caused by the Second World War, means that this was not implemented and the station still retains much of its original Victorian architectural character today. As one of two EH&LR stations retaining its original buildings, (with Mill Hill East), it is one of the oldest parts of the Underground system, pre-dating the first tunnelled section of the Northern line (the City & South London Railway) by more than twenty years.<ref name=C&SLR>The City & South London Railway opened in 1890 between King William Street in the City of London and Stockwell in Southwark.</ref>
Close to the station on the north side United Dairies had a large creamery and milk bottling plant, which was provided with a siding and access to an unloading dock for milk trains.
The station today
The station has two entrances. The main one, leading directly to the ticket hall, is from an access road on the north side of the tracks which for many years lacked a name, but on 13 November 2006 was named Chaville Way after one of Barnet's twin towns. Chaville Way is a turning off the main road opposite Nether Street at the point where the main road changes name from Ballards Lane to Regent's Park Road. It also leads to the station car park. The second entrance is to the south in Station Road.
The two entrances are connected by a footbridge over the tracks from which stairs lead down to the platforms. Because the station only has one ticket hall, but two entrances, it does not have fully gated access. At the Station Road entrance, there is just a pair of Oyster card validators.
The station has three platforms. Platform 3 is served by southbound trains. The other two are served by northbound trains, platform 1 mainly for trains terminating at Finchley Central or going to Mill Hill East, platform 2 mainly for trains going on to High Barnet.
Work was recently carried out by Tube Lines for the purpose of providing disabled access to each platform. One lift connects the northbound island platform with the station footbridge and the other connects the southbound platform with the ticket office; they opened in summer 2008.
Finchley Central was the station used in the 1930s by Harry Beck, designer of the original Tube map, and features a commemorative plaque on the southbound platform together with a facsimile poster of Beck's iconic 1933 design.
The following London Buses serve the station:
- 82 (North Finchley Tally Ho Corner to Victoria Terminus Place) every 8 minutes
- 125 (Winchmore Hill, Station Road-Finchley Central Station) every 10 minutes
- 143 (Brent Cross Shopping Centre-Archway Station) every 12 minutes
- 326 (Brent Cross Shopping Centre-Barnet Spires Shopping Centre) every 12 minutes
- 382 (Mill Hill East tube station-Southgate tube station) every 15 minutes
- 460 (North Finchley Tally Ho Corner-Willesden Bus Depot) every 12 minutes
- N13 (North Finchley Tally Ho Corner-Aldwych) every 20 minutes from 0019-0459
- N20 (Barnet Church-Trafalgar Square) every 30 minutes from 2356-0526
- London Transport Museum Photographic Archive
- Finchley Central stn northbound lift.JPG
Looking northwards with new (2008) lift on the northbound platforms
- Finchley Central stn southbound.JPG
Looking southwards. The top of the lift shaft (open 2008) is visible in the background
- Finchley Central 01.jpg
Looking south from northbound platform 2
- Finchley Central Stn platforms N.JPG
Platforms looking north, with High Barnet tracks curving right beyond the bridge.
- Finchley Central Stn platforms S.JPG
Platforms looking south
- Finchley Central Stn Station Rd entrance.JPG
Station Road entrance
- Finchley Central roundel.JPG
Roundel on northbound platforms