Victoria Platform

Victoria Platform

Victoria Entrance

Victoria Entrance

Victoria Platform

Victoria Platform

 

During the summer of 1857 a scheme for an independent 'Grosvenor Basin Terminus' in the West End of London, 'for the use of the Southern Railways of England' was mooted. The station was originally referred to as the 'Grosvenor Terminus' but later renamed 'Victoria' as it was sited at the end of Victoria Street.] Three other railway companies were also seeking a terminus in Westminster: the Great Western (GWR), the London & North Western (LNWR), and the East Kent Railway (EKR). The first two 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 also negotiated temporary running powers over the lines recently acquired by the LB&SCR, pending the construction of its own line into west London. On 23 July 1859 these four companies together formed the Victoria Station and Pimlico Railway (VS&PR) company, with the object of extending the railway from Stewarts Lane Junction, Battersea across the river to a more convenient location nearer the West End, and the following month the EKR changed its name to the London Chatham and Dover Railway. The station later had a news cinema (later a cartoon cinema) that showed a continuous programme. 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 first part of the station was opened on 24 December 1868 by the District Railway (DR, now the District line) when the company opened the first section of its line, between South Kensington and Westminster. The DR 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.

 

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. In order to provide a lasting solution to this problem preparatory building work has begun on major upgrade of the station. 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 to be finished by 2018. The station has wi-fi, cash machines, Euro cash machines, payphones, toilets and escalators.

 

Connections: National Rail. Victoria Coach Station. Victoria, District Line. London Buses routes 2, 11, 16, 24, 36, 38, 44, 52, 73, 82, 148, 170, 185, 211, 436, 507, C1, C2 and C10 and night routes N2, N11, N73, N44 and N136 serve the station at the Victoria bus station.