Aldwych is probably the most famous of the various disused, but still extant, stations on the London Underground. The station was originally called Strand after the street the station is located on and was the terminus of a short branch of the Piccadilly Line from Holborn.

Type: London Underground
(Piccadilly Line)
Opened: 1907
Closed: 1994
Platforms: 2
Strand, which was renamed Aldwych in 1915 (the Strand name was given to the nearby Northern Line station at Charing Cross), always struggled for custom. Originally it had 2 platforms but one platform was closed as early as 1917 and later used to store paintings from the National Gallery [1] during the zeppelin bombing raids late in World War 1.

During World War 2 the station was fully closed and used as an air raid shelter. Low passenger numbers continued to dog the station and it was considered for closure many times with various schemes for extensions coming to nothing. The station was reprieved over and over again but in the early 1990s the original lifts needed replacement and the cost was uneconomic considering less than 500 people typically used the station every day so Aldwych closed for good in 1994 [2].

Or did it? Infact the station had remained intact and continues to be used for filming and training purposes as well as regular tours. Aldwych has a number of historic items of interest including the surviving original rail on platform 1 which is the oldest surviving rail on the Underground dating from the early 20th century. Much of the interior of the station has been unchanged for decades and can give an idea of how the Underground looked in the mid-20th century though some features are "faux" vintage and are additions to help with filming the various films and TV shows that have used the station. The station was also used to test designs for tiling and paint schemes from the 1920s onwards [3].

The station and branch line currently remains connected to the rest of the Underground and a working train of 1972 Tube Stock is stabled at the station. However planned improvement works to Holborn may force the severing of the link to the Aldwych branch.
On the surface

Entrance to the lifts and the convenience

A lot of steps down (and up!)

Platform 1 which closed in 1917, the rails here are the oldest surviving on the underground

A train of 1972 Tube Stock on platform 2

[1] Antony Badsey-Ellis & Mike Horne, The Aldwych Branch (Capital Transport, 2009) p. 41
[2] Ben Pedroche, Do Not Alight Here (Capital History, 2011) p.14
[3] Badsey-Ellis & Horne p. 75