British Museum tube station

From Academic Kids

British Museum tube station was a station on the London Underground's Central Line, located close to the British Museum. It is now one of a number of closed London Underground stations.

It was opened on 30 July 1900 by the Central London Railway with its entrance located near the junction of High Holborn and New Oxford Street. In December 1906, Holborn station was opened by the Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway — now the Piccadilly Line — less than a hundred yards away. The lack of a direct interchange was due to intense competition between the two companies, but with the amalgamation of the lines under a single management in 1933 it was decided that it would make more sense to combine the stations.

An underground passageway was initially mooted, but the idea suffered from the complexity of tunnelling between the stations, and the large walking distance it would involve (no-one considered moving walkways at the time). Holborn station was, in any case, better situated than British Museum, as it had better tram connections. It was decided to add Central Line platforms to Holborn and close British Museum. The station was duly closed on 24 September 1933, with the new platforms at Holborn opening the following day.

British Museum station was subsequently re-used up to the 1960s as a military administrative office and emergency command post, but it is now wholly disused. It can no longer be accessed from the surface and the surface building was demolished in 1989. The platform tunnels, from which the platforms themselves have been removed, are now reportedly used by engineers to store sleepers and can be seen from passing trains.

The station featured in the 1972 horror film "Death Line", which portrayed the station as the home of a community of cannibals descended from Victorian railway workers. The cannibals venture out at night to snatch travellers from the platforms of operating stations and take them back to their gruesome "pantry" at British Museum. Donald Pleasance stars as the investigating police inspector. When finally cornered, one of the cannibals screams "Mind The Doors!", obviously picked up parrot-fashion from the PA system in the Underground.

It was also involved in a Sherlock Holmes film, as the location reached by a secret tunnel leading from the inside of a sarcophagus in the British Museum. The villain was finally cornered and forced into a sword duel on the disused platforms. The location was renamed 'Bloomsbury' in the film.

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