South Ruislip – Central line

Q. How many stations are there with Ruislip in?

A. Not as many as there are with Acton in them.*

*Overground included

Further along the Central line as it ambles its remarkably frequent way towards central London is South Ruislip. This is another station where Chiltern trains stop, although it was originally known as Northolt Junction when built as a GWR station way back in 1908. Nowadays, the slightly dated-looking platforms: enormous mirrors, a faded red fence and dated signs are clearly visible through the bushes and shrubbery from its younger brother, the Central line’s platforms.

(Click for larger version)

South Ruislip Underground station panorama

This is the first station on my very short-lived travels where it seems any thought has been put into the station building and as an architectural statement it almost works. The initial ‘drum’, shown below from 1954 (apparently six years after the Central line started stopping although the ticket hall looks very much incomplete) certainly has merit and is almost Holden-esque, but seems to have been replaced in the 1960s with a rather disappointing semi-replica – if it was a school report, it would read ‘shows promise but could do better‘.


©TfL from the London Transport Museum collection


Exterior of South Ruislip

Inside it works a little better, especially with the concrete modernist artwork patterned with pebbles to give different textures.

Complete with pebbles Ticket hall

At platform level (at risk of sounding like a townie) it was pleasant to look down the track and see little but countryside and open space even if the area itself wasn’t actually as rural as this looks.

Heading towards Northolt

Most interesting, in an arty way, though quite unintentionally I’m sure, was the ‘ghost’ roundel placed at the end of the eastbound platform. The building itself looks rather new, so I wonder what reason the roundel was taken off? (or indeed put there in the first place as it’s right at the end of the platform next to the ‘out of bounds’ swinging gates – for confused train operators perhaps?)

Ghost roundel


Verdict:? Another fairly quiet station. A pity the original ticket hall structure has been replaced with a 1960s inferior model, although it’s not a bad effort for the 1960s and probably not as bad as it could have been.

More photographs of this station are in the South Ruislip set of my Flickr page.


Category: Central line, South Ruislip Comment »

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