Waterloo & City Line – Walk And Tube Station Visits

This post is part of my Randomly London v. The Tube Challenge. Get the latest about challenge updates here. Donate to Bowel Cancer UK here.

Waterloo Station

The Waterloo & City line is the amuse bouche of my 11 course tube challenge. The line itself is both the youngest* and shortest on the network. At only 1.5 miles (2.5 km) long and consisting of just two stations (Waterloo and Bank), I was able to walk the whole thing in about a half hour. A nice easy start.

However, everything did not quite go according to plan. The original idea was to both ride and walk the line on the same day. I set off on a beautiful sunny Sunday (Aug. 19th, 2012) walking to Waterloo from South Ken. Normally the Waterloo & City Line is closed on Sundays. However, Transport for London (TFL) moved to a 7 day a week schedule for the line during Olympics.

I naively assumed that this applied to the whole period from the opening ceremonies of the Olympics to the closing ceremonies of the Paralympics. Even TFL’s website seemed to indicate the line was going to be open. So I was somewhat surprised to find the whole thing shut down. Really not a big deal, but it meant I had to make a separate trip a few days later to ride the train.

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Bank Station – The End Of The Waterloo & City Line Walk

32 - Bank Station

Bank station was the end point for my Waterloo & City line walk, the first of the 11 lines to be walked as part of the Tube Challenge. At this point it means 2 stations down and 268 to go. This will be the first of 5 total visits to the Bank/Monument complex – the only other station I’ll pass through more often will be King’s Cross St. Pancras.

Random fact about Bank station – It wasn’t until 1940 that the Waterloo and City line platforms were renamed to Bank. Prior to that date the line had terminated at “City” Station, hence the name Waterloo & City line.

Waterloo Station – Start of Waterloo & City Line Walk

Waterloo Station

London Waterloo Station was the first station on my Tube Challenge and this was the first photo I took of the station. At this point 1 down 269 more to go. I will pass through this station twice more during the challenge.

My favourite piece of trivia about the station is the fact that Waterloo used to be the terminus for the Eurostar (subsequently moved to St. Pancras Station). This meant that French passengers had to disembark at a station named in honour of the battle where Napoleon was defeated. Not exactly the symbol of European unity.

Blackfriars Solar PV Bridge – From Waterloo & City Line Walk

Blackfriars Solar PV Bridge

While I don’t think this is a particularly good photo of Blackfriars Railway Bridge, it does show something very interesting going on. The bridge is going to be covered in solar PV panels, which will generate around 900,000 kWh of electricity per year. To put that in perspective a typical large home solar system produces about 3,500kWh per year. Once completed the Blackfriars solar PV system will generate about 50% of the station’s entire power needs.

This combined with the fact that you can already enter Blackfriars station from either side of the Thames – makes it the most interesting railway station in London – in my opinion.

Taken on my Waterloo & City Line walk – part of my Randomly London v. The Tube Challenge.