The Architecture The Railways Built - Series 2 Episode 4

You can view the full episode online here.

Piccadilly Line northern extension, London

Not to be confused with the western extension built in the same period, three stations were visited (Arnos Grove, Southgate and Oakwood) to explore interwar architecture and the influential people behind it. Arnos Grove tube station – that remarkable building with circular central rotunda – is actually based on Stockholm Central Library. Who knew!?

With the “brick box with concrete lid” at Oakwood and the terrific Southgate station which looks like a UFO, this line of stations is one that’s worth a second look. For more archive views of Oakwood, there’s a great blog on the London Transport Museum site – so you can see photos of it as it was opened – as Enfield West. Respected author and historian Oliver Green and lecturer Dr Neal Shasore were two of the guides here, along with Edmund Bird, heritage manager at TfL. 

The circular interior of Arnos Grove tube station


The box-like interior of Oakwood tube station


The Tesla-coil roof of Southgate tube station


Causey Arch in County Durham

A segment on the oldest surviving railway structure in the world: it’s from 1725! It used to be the route of a wagonway that transported coal to the River Tyne from up in the hills. Today, it’s at the terminus of the Tanfield Railway, so you can visit it for yourself on a rather special day out. It makes a cracking day out – the Trainline content team can recommend it. The nearest stations are Newcastle Central and Durham - with buses or taxis from each.


Pilsen station in the Czech Republic.

The home of Pilsner beer, the railway helped get beer across the continent. Bombed in WW2 and rebuilt to cater for the needs of the post-war passengers, incredibly the station’s main roof was a single-piece construction built by the local Skoda factory. It was repaired by a group of Skoda factory workers who came along in their lunch breaks and after their shifts – just out of love for the station and their city. Tour guide Jan Pechac of Lucy Tours was the superb contributor here.


You can view The Architecture The Railways Built - Series 2 Episode 4 online here.