Do Not Alight Here

Walking London’s Lost Underground and Railway Stations

do not alightOn your journey into London, whether dulled by the daily trudge into work or thrilled by the once-a-year expedition,  you’ll stare from the train window at the confusion of tracks, bridges, tunnels and platforms, and once in a while you might just wonder, “How did it all get here?”

The development of the Dickensian city into the metropolis we see now was made possible by massive railway construction projects between the 1840s and the 1870s. Most of those continue to carry millions of passengers every day, 150 years or more later.

This book, ‘Do Not Alight Here’ by the well-travelled Ben Pedroche, charts the other side of the coin – those lines and stations that didn’t make it to the 21st century. In a series of 12 walks and 9 rail and tube journeys Ben shows us scores of once-important structures (or the sites where once they stood) that no longer figure on any map – from Down Street to Upper Sydenham, from King William Street to Queen’s Road.

Gems of the railway landscape

Each chapter offers you a walking tour that follows a theme in a particular part of London. There is a clear map to show you where to start your walk and what you’ll see along the way; a note of the likely time it will take is helpful. Directions are meticulously described, so you shouldn’t miss a thing. Ben gives us the story of each building, helping you to piece together an image of the railway scene in London a century ago. There follow some suggestions for rail and Tube trips to see otherwise invisible gems of the railway landscape.

You will follow a great 800-arch viaduct, spot the stations of the West End of London & Crystal Palace Railway, wonder at tube trains perched on top of a building, identify wartime air-raid shelters deep underground, and peer from a Piccadilly Line train to witness the platforms of long-closed stations. So equip yourself with an Oyster Card and a picnic lunch, and spend two or three enjoyable hours visiting links to the transport history and architecture of London; you’ll get that much-needed exercise at the same time.

This remarkably well-researched volume includes over 60 photographs, and a useful list of references to take your curiosity to new heights – and depths. An ideal gift for the inquisitive Londoner and the intrepid visitor, at a great price. Available in pocket-size, 18cm x 11cm, or larger handbook format, 22cm x 16cm.

Buy this and many other fascinating transport history books here

Do Not Alight Here: Walking London’s Lost Underground and Railway Stations
Author: Ben Pedroche
Publisher: Capital Transport
Price: £8.95 (Handbook); £6.95 (Pocket edition)
ISBN: 978-185414-458-4 (Handbook); 978-185414-459-1 (Pocket edition)