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Template:R-I Template:R-I Template:R-I Template:R-I
File:London Victoria station -14Oct2008.jpg

Grosvenor Hotel above Brighton line entrance

Local authorityCity of Westminster
Managed byNetwork Rail
Station codeVIC
Number of platforms19
AccessibleHandicapped/disabled access [1]
Fare zone1

National Rail annual entry and exit
2004–0511px 48.047 million[2]
2005–0611px 47.860 million[2]
2006–0711px 66.749 million[2]
2007–0811px 77.462 million[2]

1860Opened by Victoria Station and Pimlico Railway
1860Leased to London Brighton and South Coast Railway
1862Separate station opened for London chatham and Dover and Great Western Railways

Lists of stations*DLR
External links*Departures
  • Layout
  • Facilities
  • Buses
  • Template:Portal-inline
    Template:Portal-inlineCoordinates: 51°29′48″N 0°08′41″W / 51.4966°N 0.1448°W / 51.4966; -0.1448

    Victoria station,[3] also known as London Victoria,[4] is a central London railway terminus and London Underground station complex in the City of Westminster. It is named after Queen Victoria. It is the second busiest railway terminus in London (and the UK) after Waterloo, and includes an air terminal for passengers travelling by train to Gatwick Airport. The area around the station has also become an important interchange for other forms of transport: a local bus station is in the forecourt, and a terminal for nationwide long-distance road coaches is nearby. Victoria is in Travelcard Zone 1.

    There are effectively four railway stations on the site: two serving main line routes in south eastern England, one underground station built by the cut and cover method serving the District and Circle Lines, and one deep-level tube line station. The National Rail (overground) and London Underground stations will be dealt with separately.

    History - National Rail stations[]

    File:Victoria station 1897.jpg

    Victoria Station in 1897. The separate 'Brighton line' (left) and 'Chatham line' (right) stations are clearly visible.

    The railways of England to the south of London were at a disadvantage with respect to Central London during the nineteenth century, as their lines were south of the river Thames, whereas the main centres of population, business and government were north of the river in the City of London, the West End and Westminster. Victoria Station came about in a piecemeal fashion to help address this problem for the London Brighton and South Coast Railway (LB&SCR) and the London Chatham and Dover Railway (LC&DR). It originally consisted of two adjacent mainline railway stations which, from the viewpoint of passengers, were unconnected.

    The London and Brighton Railway terminus at London Bridge provided reasonable access to the City of London but was most inconvenient for travellers to and from Westminster. As early as 1842 John Urpeth Rastrick had proposed that the railway should therefore build a branch to serve the West End, but his proposal came to nothing.[5] However, the transfer of the Crystal Palace from Hyde Park to Sydenham Hill between 1851 and 1854 created a major tourist attraction in the then rural area south of London. The West End of London and Crystal Palace Railway was incorporated on 4 August 1853 to serve the new site, and constructed a line from the Brighton main line at Sydenham past the site, to a new station at Battersea Wharf, at the southern end of the new Chelsea Bridge. (Despite its location, the new station was called Pimlico; it opened on 27 March 1858.) Shortly afterwards the LB&SCR leased most of the lines of the new railway, thereby providing itself with a route into west London, although it was soon recognised that a terminus would be needed on the north side of the River Thames.

    Three other railway companies were then seeking suitable locations for a terminus in Westminster: the Great Western (GWR) and the London & North Western (LNWR), and the East Kent Railway EKR. The first two of these companies already had rail access to Battersea through their joint ownership of the West London Line with the LB&SCR. In 1858, the EKR, leased the remaining lines of the West End of London and Crystal Palace Railway from Shortlands railway station, and negotiated temporary running powers over the lines recently acquired by the LB&SCR, pending the construction of their own line into west London.[6] On 23 July 1859 these four companies together formed the Victoria Station and Pimlico Railway (VS&PR) company, with the object of extending the existing railway from Battersea across the river to a more convenient location nearer the West End,[7] and the following month the EKR changed its name to the London Chatham and Dover Railway.

    The new line followed part of the route of the Grosvenor Canal and required the construction of a new bridge over the Thames, originally known as Victoria Bridge and later as Grosvenor Bridge. It was of mixed gauge to cater for GWR locomotives. The new station was situated on the former canal basin.


    The Brighton Side concourse area with the escalators to Victoria Place to the right

    The LB&SCR had hoped to amalgamate with the VS&PR and introduced a Parliamentary Bill to allow them to do so in 1860. This was opposed by the GWR and LC&DR and rejected.[8] By way of compromise the LB&SCR was permitted to lease the new station from the VS&PR, but agreed to accommodate the other railways until such time as a second terminus could be built for them on an adjoining site.

    The Brighton Line station[]

    The LB&SCR side of Victoria station opened on 1 October 1860, the temporary terminus in Battersea having closed the day before.[9] It consisted of six platforms and ten tracks with an entrance on Victoria Street. The site also included a hotel (the 300-bedroom Grosvenor).

    In 1898 the LB&SCR decided to demolish its station and replace it with an enlarged red-brick Renaissance-style building.[10] Since widening of the station was prevented by the existing LCDR station and the Buckingham Palace Road, increased capacity was achieved by lengthening the platforms and building crossovers, to allow two trains to use each platform simultaneously.[11] Work was completed in 1908, and included the rebuilding of The Grosvenor Hotel at the same time.

    Overhead electric trains began to run into Victoria on 1 December 1909, on the line to London Bridge. The line to Crystal Palace was electrified on 12 May 1911.[12]

    The LB&SCR introduced the first all-Pullman train in the UK in December 1881 running from Victoria to Brighton, as the 'Pullman Limited'. Another all-Pullman service was introduced in 1908 under the name of the Southern Belle, then described as "... the most luxurious train in the world...".

    The London Chatham and Dover Line Station[]


    The London Chatham and Dover Railway Station as rebuilt by the South East and Chatham Railway.

    File:Victoria Station Concourse.jpg

    Chatham Side concourse

    The LC&DR completed its main line as far as Canterbury on 3 December 1860 and began to use the LB&SCR station on that day.[13] The GWR began its broad-gauge services soon afterwards.

    The Chatham company opened its own station on 25 August 1862, occupying a less imposing wooden-fronted building with an entrance on Wilton Road.[14] The Chatham line station had eight platforms, five of which were of mixed-gauge and shared by broad-gauge trains of the GWR, which arrived from Southall via the West London Extension Joint Railway through Chelsea. The approach tracks and station were built on the route and basin of the Grosvenor Canal.

    The South Eastern and Chatham Railway Station[]

    From 1899 the LC&DR entered a working union with its rival in Kent, the South Eastern, to form the South Eastern and Chatham Railway (SECR). As a result services from its station at Victoria began to be rationalised and integrated with those from the other SECR termini.

    The LC&DR station was rebuilt and re-opened on 16 June 1906. The frontage of the new building was designed by A. W. Blomfield, architect to SECR, and is in Portland stone.

    During World War I the station became a terminus for trains carrying soldiers to and from France, many of them wounded. A plaque marks the arrival of the body of The Unknown Warrior at platform 8 at 20:32 on 10 November 1920.

    Southern Railway station[]

    The two stations at Victoria came under joint ownership in 1923 with the formation of the Southern Railway (SR). The following year, steps were taken to integrate the two stations. The platforms were renumbered in a single sequence, openings were made in the wall separating them to allow passengers to pass from one to the other without going into the street, and various alterations were made to the tracks to allow for interchangeable working.[15] The SR also concentrated Continental steamer traffic at Victoria, introducing the most famous of those trains, the Golden Arrow, in 1926, and the Night Ferry, in 1936.

    The station was also equipped with a news cinema (later a cartoon cinema) that would show a continuous programme for travellers. The cinema was designed by Alastair Macdonald, son of Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald, and was in operation from 1933 until being demolished in 1981. The GWR remained part-owner of the station until 1932. Thereafter it retained running powers into the station, although it does not appear to have used them.[16]

    The station suffered some bomb damage during the Second World War but not as much as other London termini.[citation needed]

    Southern Electric[]

    The greatest change to the station during the 1920s and 1930s was the introduction of third rail electrification for all suburban and many main line services, replacing the original LB&SCR overhead scheme by 1929 and largely replacing steam traction, except on Chatham Section mainline trains. Services to Orpington were electrified in 1925 and Epsom the following year. By 1932 the Brighton main line was electrified, quickly followed by those to other Sussex coastal towns and Portsmouth by 1938.[15] The brand name "Southern Electric" was applied to all these services. The Brighton Belle, the first electric all-Pullman service in the world, ran from Victoria from 29 June 1934 until its withdrawal on 30 April 1972.

    British Railways Station[]

    British Railways took responsibility for the mainline and suburban station on 1 January 1948. During the 1950s and early 1960s British Railways completed its Kent-Coast Electrification schemes which meant that most of the remaining services from the station were electrified (including the Boat trains). Some minor services were withdrawn, and the few remaining steam services to Oxted railway station and East Grinstead railway station were replaced by Diesel-electric multiple units.

    The station was redeveloped internally in the 1980s, with the addition of shops within the concourse, and above the western platforms (the "Victoria Place" shopping centre). A major re-signalling scheme was also carried out to the station approaches.

    File:460007 at London Victoria.jpg

    The Gatwick Express at Victoria in 2003

    Gatwick Express[]

    The other major change to the station under British Railways was the gradual development of services to the new Gatwick Airport railway station after its opening in June 1958. In 1984 the non-stop Gatwick Express service was started aiming for a 30-minute journey time. This has been coupled with the provision of an airport lounge and check-in facilities at first-floor level, with dedicated escalators down to the Gatwick Express platforms. British Airways and other major airlines have their own check-in desks there.

    National Rail Station[]

    Operationally, there continues to be two separate main line termini:

    • The eastern (Chatham) side, comprising platforms 1–8, is the terminus for Southeastern services to Kent on the Chatham Main Line and its branches. This also serves as the London terminus for the Venice Simplon Orient Express, from Platform 2, the longest platform. It was used for boat trains to Dover and Folkestone, until these were made redundant by the introduction of direct Eurostar trains to the continent in 1994.
    • The western (Brighton) side, comprising platforms 9–19, is the terminus for Southern (including Gatwick Express) services to Surrey and Sussex, including Gatwick Airport and Brighton on the Brighton Main Line and also the East Grinstead branch on the Oxted Line.

    The track layout does not allow much swapping, with only a small number of connecting flyovers between the main lines in the Battersea area, plus a single-track connection immediately outside the station. As the Brighton side is the busier of the two, disruption on that line sometimes results in some of its suburban services using the eastern side. This is particularly true of the Gatwick Express, which travels along the Brighton Main Line, as it will often divert over Chatham-side tracks during engineering works in order to maintain service levels.

    There are ticket barriers to platforms 1-12 and 15-19. Platforms 13 and 14, where the Gatwick Express departs, are without ticket barriers.

    Accidents and incidents[]

    7 September 1866 a LB&SCR train misrouted due to a signaller error and point actuator defect, collide with another, 7 injuries.[17]

    26 February 1884 an explosion occurred in the cloak-room of the LB&SCR Victoria Station injuring seven staff,[18] which was a part of the Fenian Dynamite Campaign 1867–1885.

    27 August 1910 1866 a derailment (LB&SCR) due to inadequate signalling arrangements, 4 injuries.[17]

    25 April 1933 (Southern Railway) Buffer stop collision due to driver error 80 injuries.[17]

    9 December 1949 (British Railways Southern Region) Signal passed at danger, sidelong collision and derailment. 11 injuries.[17]

    18 February 1991 a Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) bomb exploded in a litter bin, killing David Corner,[19] and injuring 38. A general bomb warning for all mainline stations had been received by telephone at 7:00 am, but the Metropolitan Police Anti-Terrorist Branch chose not to close the stations.[20] Since that time, there have been no litter bins anywhere on London stations.[citation needed]

    20 July 2007 flash flooding closed the station.

    7 July 2009 flash flooding closed both the mainline and underground stations causing major disruption to commuters. Water overflowed from the roof drainage system causing flooding on the main concourse, flooding several retail outlets.

    Preceding station National Rail logo.svg.png National Rail Following station
    Terminus   Southeastern
    Catford Loop Line
      Denmark Hill
    Chatham Main Line
    (via Herne Hill)
    Bromley South
    Terminus   Southern
    Brighton Main Line
      Battersea Park
    Clapham Junction
    East Croydon
    Terminus   Southern
    Oxted Line
      Clapham Junction
    Terminus   Southern
    Gatwick Express
      Gatwick Airport
    Terminus   Venice-Simplon Orient Express
      Folkestone West

    The station in fiction[]

    In Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, the title character was found as an infant in a handbag at Victoria Station, much to the consternation of Lady Bracknell. "A handbag?" "The Brighton line." "The line is immaterial!"

    London Underground[]

    Template:R-I Template:R-I Template:R-I Template:R-I
    File:Victoria tube antrance.jpg

    Entrance on Terminus Place

    Local authorityCity of Westminster
    Managed byLondon Underground
    Number of platforms4
    Fare zone1

    London Underground annual entry and exit
    200511px 67.823 million[22]
    200611px 72.992 million[23]
    200711px 76.406 million[24]
    200811px 78.41 million[25]

    1868Opened (MDR)
    1872Started "Outer Circle" (NLR)
    1872Started "Middle Circle" (H&CR/MDR)
    1900Ended "Middle Circle"
    1908Ended "Outer Circle"
    1949Started (Circle line)
    1968Opened as terminus (Victoria line)
    1971Extended south (Victoria line)

    Lists of stations*DLR


    There are two connected London Underground stations at Victoria, on different levels and built more than a century apart. The oldest, on the north side of the Bus Station, serves the District and Circle Lines, which were constructed by 'cut and cover' methods just below road level. The newer station, closer to the mainline station serves the Victoria line which is a deep-level 'tube' line. Each has its own ticket hall, which are connected by a pedestrian passage beneath the Bus station. Taken together, Victoria is currently the busiest station on the London Underground system with around 77 million using the station (not including interchanging passengers) as of 2007, 60.2 million (including interchanges) using the Victoria line platforms.[26]

    Metropolitan District Railway (District Line) Station[]

    The first part of the station was opened on 24 December 1868 by the Metropolitan District Railway (MDR, now the District Line) when the company opened the first section of its line between South Kensington and Westminster stations. The MDR connected to the Metropolitan Railway (MR, later the Metropolitan line) at South Kensington and, although the two companies were rivals, each company operated trains over the other's tracks in a joint service known as the "Inner Circle". The line was operated by steam locomotives, creating the necessity to leave periodical gaps open to the air.

    On 1 February 1872, the MDR opened a northbound branch from its station at Earl's Court to connect to the West London Extension Joint Railway (WLEJR, now the West London Line) which it connected to at Addison Road (now Kensington (Olympia)). From that date the "Outer Circle" service began running over the MDR's tracks. The service was run by the North London Railway (NLR) from its terminus at Broad Street (now demolished) in the City of London via the North London Line to Willesden Junction, then the West London Line to Addison Road and the MDR to Mansion House - the new eastern terminus of the MDR.

    From 1 August 1872, the "Middle Circle" service also began operations through Victoria, running from Moorgate along the MR's tracks on the north side of the Inner Circle to Paddington, then over the Hammersmith & City Railway (H&CR) track to Latimer Road and then, via a now demolished link, to the West London Line to Addison Road and the MDR to Mansion House. The service was operated jointly by the H&CR and the MDR.

    On 30 June 1900, the Middle Circle service was withdrawn between Earl's Court and Mansion House. On 31 December 1908 the Outer Circle service was also withdrawn.

    The original MDR station was rebuilt at the beginning of the 20th century, initially as a single storey structure. An office building was built above it later. The line was also electrified in 1902/3.[27]

    In 1949, the Metropolitan-Line-operated Inner Circle route was given its own identity on the tube map as the Circle Line.

    Victoria Line Station[]

    The new Victoria line station was opened on 7 March 1969, when the third phase of the line began operating south of Warren Street. Victoria served as the temporary terminus of the line while the final phase was under construction to Brixton. Services to Brixton began on 23 July 1971.


    Victoria is a proposed stop on the Chelsea-Hackney line also known as Crossrail 2.[28][29][30] The route was safeguarded in 1991[31] and 2007 and any rebuilding of the station will have space for Crossrail 2 platforms.[32] In the safeguarded route it was between Chelsea and Piccadilly Circus. There are also plans for The DLR to link up to Victoria from Bank using old Jubilee line tunnels and some new ones.

    Terminus {{{{{system}}} lines|{{{line}}}}} Terminus
    towards [[Template:S-line/LUL left/Circle tube station|Template:S-line/LUL left/Circle]]
    Circle line
    towards [[Template:S-line/LUL right/Circle tube station|Template:S-line/LUL right/Circle]]
    towards [[Template:S-line/LUL left/District tube station|Template:S-line/LUL left/District]]
    District line
    towards [[Template:S-line/LUL right/District tube station|Template:S-line/LUL right/District]]
    towards [[Template:S-line/LUL left/Victoria tube station|Template:S-line/LUL left/Victoria]]
    Victoria line
    towards [[Template:S-line/LUL right/Victoria tube station|Template:S-line/LUL right/Victoria]]

    Current situation[]

    The station is now the busiest on the London Underground system, serving nearly 80 million passengers per year. The station was not built for this number of passengers, which results in severe overcrowding. To prevent any dangerous situations like crowds pushing people off the platforms onto the track, crowd control measures are in place at the busiest times. This effectively means closing all the entrances to the Underground platforms and operating as an exit-only station until the overcrowding is relieved. These measures can last anywhere between a couple of minutes (when minor delays are occurring) up to several hours (during major incidents).

    In order to provide a lasting solution to this problem preparatory building work has begun on major upgrade of the station.[33] This will include a new northern exit/entrance on the north-west corner of Victoria Street which will be accessible via a new additional ticket office under Bressenden Place that will lead to both the Victoria Line and the Circle and District Line platforms. This upgrade is due by 2018.[34] The work will also enlarge the existing Victoria Line ticket hall serving the railway station and add a new relief bank of escalators there. This aspect of the scheme has been criticised as access to platforms from the new escalators will be very long and indirect compared to the direct access using the existing escalators.[35]



    An abandoned Victoria Underground station features in the V for Vendetta comic book series as the base for the anarchist freedom fighter "V".

    Coach station[]

    Main article: Victoria Coach Station

    Victoria coach station is about 300 metres[36] south-west of the railway stations. It is the main London coach terminal and serves all parts of the UK, and mainland Europe.

    Transport links[]

    London bus routes 2, 11, 16, 24, 36, 38, 44, 52, 73, 82, 148, 170, 185, 211, 436, 507, C1, C2, C10, and night routes N2, N11, N52, N73 and N44.


    1. Template:Citation step free south east rail
    2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Template:Citation ORR rail usage data
    3. Stations Run by Network Rail. Network Rail. Retrieved on 23 August 2009.
    4. Station Codes. National Rail. Retrieved on 23 August 2009.
    5. Turner, John Howard (1978). The London Brighton and South Coast Railway 2 Establishment and Growth. Batsford. ISBN 0-7134-11-98-8.  p.116-7.
    6. Turner 1978 p.121.
    7. Turner 1978 p.122.
    8. 'Victoria Station and Pimlico Railway', Daily News 2 August 1860.
    9. "Railway Magazine", March 1958
    10. Betjeman, John (1972). London's historic railway stations. London: John Murray, 98. ISBN 0-7195-3426-7. 
    11. Bonavia, Michael R. (1987). The history of the Southern Railway. London: Unwin Hyman, 17. ISBN 0-04-3851-7-X. 
    12. Turner, J. T. Howard (1979). The London Brighton and South Coast Railway: 3. Completion and Maturity. London: Batsford, 172–5. ISBN 0-7134-1389-1. 
    13. White, H. P. (1961). A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain: 2 Southern England. London: Phoenix House, 40. OCLC 271476914. 
    14. Body, Geoffrey (1989). Railways of the Southern Region. London: Patrick Stephens Ltd, 201. ISBN 1-85260-297-X. 
    15. 15.0 15.1 Marshall, D.F. Dendy (1968). History of the Southern Railway. London: Ian Allan, 396. ISBN 0-7110-0059-X.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Marshall (1968)" defined multiple times with different content
    16. Template:Cite news
    17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3
    18. The Times 26 February 1884.
    19. Malcolm Sutton (1994). An Index of Deaths from the Conflict in Ireland 1969-1993. Retrieved on 12 January 2007.
    20. Bell, John Bowyer (1994). The Irish Troubles: A Generation of Violence 1967-1992. Dublin: Gill & MacMillan, 786. ISBN 9780717122011. 
    21. Template:Citation step free tube map
    22. Template:Citation London Underground performance exits 2003 to 2011
    23. Template:Citation London Underground performance exits 2003 to 2011
    24. Template:Citation London Underground performance exits 2003 to 2011
    25. Template:Citation London Underground performance exits 2003 to 2011
    27. John R. Day, The story of London's underground, (1963), London: London Transport, p.61-2.
    28. - Crossrail 2
    29. T2025 Transport vision for a growing world city - 28 November stakeholder event slides
    32. London Connections: Look ma, Crossrail 2
    33. Transport for London. Victoria tube station
    34. Transport for London. Victoria tube station: Next steps
    35. See eg the submissions by the Victoria Interchange Group to the Victoria Station Upgrade Public Enquiry
    36. Victoria Coach Station. TfL. Retrieved on 26 December 2009.

    External links[]

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    Template:Major railway stations in Britain

    Template:Use dmy dates

    de:Bahnhof Victoria (London) fr:Gare Victoria gan:韋庫拖里阿站 it:Victoria Station nl:Station London Victoria ja:ヴィクトリア駅 no:Victoria stasjon, London pl:Victoria Station pt:Victoria (Metropolitano de Londres) ru:Виктория (вокзал) zh:維多利亞車站 (倫敦)