The station was built in two stages. The Northern line station opened on 18 December 1890 as part of the first deep-level tube, the City and South London Railway (C&SLR). The Baker Street & Waterloo Railway (BS&WR) station opened on 5 August 1906, five months after the rest of the line. Although belonging to separate companies, the platforms were connected below ground from 10 August 1906. The C&SLR station was similar in design to the station at Kennington. It was partially rebuilt in the 1920s when the C&SLR tunnels were modernised, and was rebuilt during the construction of the Elephant & Castle shopping centre and roundabout in the 1960s and again at the start of the 21st century, reopening on 12 December 2003. The BS&WR station building remains much as originally constructed and is a typical Leslie Green structure. The main alteration is a modern glass-sided and glass-topped flat-roofed extension abutting the original western elevation, giving access to three of the six arches. These arches, in a classic deep-red faience style, formed the original perimeter: two are infilled with street-facing shops.
The station has two surface buildings, widely separated by a large roundabout. There are no escalators. At the more northerly (Bakerloo) one, entrance is through the original entrance and exit is through the new extension, adjoining Skipton House. To get from either ticket hall to the platforms it is necessary to use lifts or very narrow and steep spiral stairs. The northern building provides the most direct access to the Bakerloo line, while the southern one is linked more directly to the Northern line. From inside the station, the northern exit is labelled as the London South Bank University exit and it is at the southern tip of the triangular campus. Visitors who turn right on leaving this exit will see signs to the university. (Some but not all exit signs also mention the Imperial War Museum.) The southern exit is labelled the Shopping Centre exit and the exit for interchange to National Rail. There is a sandwich bar to the left of the Bakerloo line entrance. There is an out-of-station interchange facility with Elephant & Castle (National Rail) station. The station has cash machines, Euro cash machines, lifts, a bridge, payphones, and wi-fi.
ELEPHANT & CASTLE - TfL NOTICE: Bakerloo Line ticket hall improvements will start to take place from September 2015, when the ticket office in this station closes. Work will last for up to three weeks as we install additional ticket machines. The ticket office will not reopen when the work is complete. To pay for travel, you can now: . Use your contactless payment card . Use the smarter ticket machines or . Buy tickets or top up your Oyster card online or at nearby Oyster Ticket Stops. Improvement works are underway at Elephant and Castle. Some pedestrian subways outside the station are now closed, affecting those crossing St George's Road and Newington Causeway. For new crossing information, please check posters in the station or signs on the street. We are continuing our work to improve the reliability and efficiency of the lifts serving both ticket halls at Elephant & Castle. During the work there will be a lift service to/from both ticket halls, however, queues are possible at peak times, so please allow a little extra time for your journey. There is a staircase to the platforms, so please take care if you do walk down.
Connections: National Rail. Northern Line. London Buses routes 1, 12, 35, 40, 45, 53, 63, 68, 100, 133, 136, 148, 155, 168, 171, 172, 176, 188, 196, 333, 343, 344, 360, 363, 415, 453, 468, C10 and P5 and night routes N1, N35, N63, N68, N89, N133, N155, N171 and N343 serve the station.