Mapping the Development of

Step-free Access Across

London’s Rail Network

Step-Free London

Mapping the Development of

Step-free Access Across

London’s Rail Network

London Station Scouting October 2018

Today, I decided to go into London to see the progress of several step-free access schemes across the city, which is something I have not done in many months. Ranging from small hoardings tucked away from view to massive construction zones linked to commercial development, it was great to see so many of these projects moving forward. With any luck, we should be seeing more than a few openings by the end of the year!

Starting at Paddington, I got a glimpse of the upcoming Elizabeth Line station. In addition to the Elizabeth Line, this new entrance will also give step-free access to the Bakerloo line.

Elizabeth Line entrance at Paddington

Going west to the only TfL Rail West station where step-free access works are now visible, Ealing Broadway has made a recent bold move after years of inactivity. The stairs leading from the ticket hall down to the National Rail platforms have been demolished to make way for the redeveloped stations. Because of this, exiting the station now requires walking the entire length of the station to a footbridge and then coming all the way back to the ticket hall. Hopefully the works will speed up now and be ready for the Elizabeth Line launch in late 2019. One last thing I noticed was how low the National Rail platforms are, especially compared to the extended platform sections. There is currently a very large step between the train and the platform and I am curious to see how well ramp assistance will work at this station.

Making my way towards Central London, I stopped by Knightsbridge and Victoria. As Knightsbridge’s works are tied to a huge redevelopment project, the only visible updates of the new entrance are either hoardings or the massive construction hole of the project. In Victoria, there is no further update on the final lift, with hoardings still in place throughout the station.

Heading north, one of the most visible step-free access works is at West Hampstead on the Overground. With a mostly completed footbridge and a gigantic new ticket hall under construction, this station is set to become an important transport hub in North London. Similarly, the works at Tottenham Hale will create a major interchange point, with quick access to Stansted Airport, Liverpool Street, and Stratford. Unfortunately, it does not seem like work at Tottenham Hale is nearly as advanced, considering both stations were set to open by the end of this year.

Unfortunately, not all major projects are readily visible to passengers, and this is most apparent at Finsbury Park and Moorgate. Despite the significant challenges of adding multiple sets of lifts and new underground corridors, at platform level, the only signs of this are small blue hoardings. With both projects scheduled to be finished by next year, it will not be long before we see what lies behind these doors.

Finally, my last journey of the day was on TfL Rail East. Other than Ilford, all seven inaccessible stations on this line were expected to be step-free by the end of the summer. As you can see, most of these are pretty much ready to open. However, I did not see any sort of work at Goodmayes (not pictured), which either suggests that work is heavily delayed and we will soon hear about this, or the work is being done within the station’s existing structure and does not stand out.

In the end, I was not able to visit all the locations I had planned, including Newbury Park, Northumberland Park, and White Hart Lane. Nevertheless, it is clear that step-free access works are booming across the city, and we will soon enter a period of frequent openings, especially as the Elizabeth Line opens and the TfL step-free access scheme enters its full construction phase.


  1. Something seems to be wrong with this report as Photos are overlaying the printed text making it impossible to see both clearly.

    For information I visited Newbury Park Station a few weeks ago and both lift shafts are progressing.

  2. Todays TFL News in Metro newspaper reports that work starts tomorrow on conversation of westbound entrance at South Woodford Station on Central Line to a ramped access thus making both platforms accessible by summer 2019 .

    This is a scheme under Mayor Khans £200 million fund to improve accessibility. There are still 7 stations to be announced which were supposed to been announced in the summer but are still outstanding.

  3. Re Goodmayes Station … The lifts are at the end of the platform where the entrance is and hidden within the walls !

  4. The lift to the eastbound Circle and District lines at Victoria was operating today bringing step free access to all underground platforms at Victoria Underground Station . This lift is also shown as serving Victoria Line but I failed to check whether this option was available.

  5. I used Moorgate Station today and could see the lift on the Northern Line platform through a window in the hoarding. However, went I went up to the Great Northern platforms I could not see any work re either the above lift or another . Raising a question over how or whether Great Northern platforms will become accessible. The odd thing is escalators run directly between these platforms. I did not investigate sub surface platforms at Moorgate .

    I then travelled to Finsbury Park Station and a lift that looks nearly complete is now on Southbound Great Northern/ Thameslink Central platforms .. Howevet , downstairs hoardings still cover work re tube platforms.

    1. I’ll be honest, this is something I’ve raged about for months now. Moorgate will indeed have step-free access to the subsurface and Northern lines, but apparently NOT the Great Northern platforms. The reason for this is most likely petty fighting between the DfT and TfL, but it leaves Moorgate (Great Northern) as the largest National Rail station in the country without step-free access. The NR lifts at Finsbury Park have long puzzled me. As you note, the new lift is at platforms 5-6. The problem is that no services appear to call at these platforms, as northbound TL and GN services use pl 7 and 8, respectively, and pl 4 and 5 are used by non stopping services. Of course, it would be possible (although I am not sure if it will be the case), for the TL services to open doors at both platform 6 and 7 (it is the same track) and have full step-free access that way. However, the GN services are once again screwed over with no lift for northbound services, unless passengers want to use a TL train to cross between platforms!

  6. I raised the situation on The Anonymous Widower site which is run it seems by a designer of stations and he has produced a report that seems to show a brand new link from Crossrail to Northern/ Northern City Lines although this needs to be confirmed.

    So maybe Moorgate will gain full accessibility. I have added a link below to the site and hopefully the report.

    1. So the new link, directly from the elizabeth line, does indeed reach the Northern line from below. After navigsting trhough the long passageway, there is a lift to take you up to the Northern line. The giant question is, where is the corresponding shaft one level up at the Northern City line platforms? Everytime I go to Moorgate I check to see if there is any sign of the shaft being extended, but there does not seem to be any. I really hope that I’m pleasantly surprised when the works are complete, but I doubt it.

    1. Wow that’s great! Although I’m curious to see what happens at West Ealing. It is supposed to get a whole new ticket hall, so im not entirely sure what the lift shaft and footbridge would link to.

  7. Visited Whitechapel Station today where Night Overground services will start stopping tonight and one can see progress where work is underway fitting out Station with new metal roof structures above underground platforms underway.

    As for lifts I couldn’t see lift for northbound Overground platform but that from entrance to underground and eastbound Overground platform now looks nearly completed with message ” lift under car control ” scrolling across which I take is a technical term for stage lift is at .

    While at Moorgate Station there seems to be plenty of covered up purple signs coverring up direction signs along platform to Elizabeth Line. While site of future lift to eastbound Circle Line can be seen but it’s still a temporary walled off space .

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