Canary Wharf Underground Station

Canary Wharf is a London Underground station in the Canary Wharf commercial estate; it is on the Jubilee line, between Canada Water and North Greenwich. The station, located in Travelcard Zone 2 and was opened on 17 September 1999 as part of the Jubilee Line Extension. Over 40 million people pass through the station each year, making it second busiest on the London Underground outside Central London after Stratford, and also the busiest that serves only a single line.

Canary Wharf Tube Station
Canary Wharf Tube Station


Before the arrival of the Jubilee line, London’s Docklands had suffered from relatively poor public transport. Although the Docklands Light Railway station at Canary Wharf had been operating since 1987, by 1990 it was obvious that the DLR’s capacity would soon be reached. The Jubilee line’s routing through Canary Wharf was intended to relieve some of this pressure.

The tube station was intended from the start to be the showpiece of the Jubilee Line Extension, and the contract for its design was awarded in 1990 to the architect Sir Norman Foster. It was constructed, by a Tarmac Construction / Bachy UK Joint Venture, in a drained arm of the former dock, using a simple “cut and cover” method to excavate an enormous pit 24 metres (78 ft) deep and 265 metres (869 ft) long. The size of the interior has led to it being compared to a cathedral, and it has even been used to celebrate a wedding. Foster based the design upon previous work done for Bilbao Metro, colloquially named “Fosteritos”. However, the main reason for the station’s enormous dimensions was the great number of passengers predicted; as many as 50,000 daily. It remains the only tube station to accommodate rush hour demand. These predictions have been outgrown, with as many as 69,759 on weekdays recorded in 2006 and within a decade it had become the only station, outside of Zone 1 to be ranked within the top-ten most used station.

Canary Wharf station and the Jubilee line Extension itself were partly funded by the owners of the Canary Wharf complex, with the intention of making it more accessible to commuters. The Canary Wharf group had committed to £500 million of funding for the capital costs, over a period of 24 years. They were, however, underwhelmed by the proposed service frequency. Only five years after the construction of the extension, capacity issues started becoming apparent and upgrades were required. The first step was the lengthening of the trains from 6 to 7 cars. This was done at the end of 2005. The second step was to replace the conventional Jubilee line signalling with the Thales S40 moving-block system. This was eventually introduced into service during 2011 after many delays and teething problems and allows a more intensive timetable to operate with 30 trains per hour running in the peaks.

In a 2013 poll conducted by YouGov, it was voted as the “Most Loved” tube station in London and “despite its immense volume [it is] comfortable and inviting”. Five years after opening, a study concluded that the new station had increased land values by £2 billion.

Text from Wikipedia.

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