A hidden underground tram station in central London, which was positioned as the Avengers’ headquarters on the big screen, will open to the public for the first time since its closure nearly 70 years ago.
People will be able to walk the platforms and corridors of Kingsway Station, which allowed passengers on double-decker trams to switch between the once-complete networks north and south of the Thames. which was closed after the second world.
For many Londoners, the purpose of the ramp in the middle of Kingsway Boulevard that leads into twilight has long been a mystery. It was the location of the Avengers base in the 1998 film starring Uma Thurman and Ralph Fiennes, but few know that it was the fulcrum of the capital’s electrified streetcar network that was overtaken after the war for speed. and efficiency of the London Underground. It was built by the London County Council and opened in 1906 as part of the slum cleanup in the Holborn and Aldwych areas.
“There are glimpses of the old glamor that still linger on,” said Siddy Holloway, participation manager at the London Transport Museum, which organizes the tours. “It closed in 1952 and has not been seen by the public since.”
She said the tram network had built a reputation in the 1920s and 1930s as rickety, uncomfortable and slow in contrast to the subway.
“They made an effort to make it more glamorous and comfortable,” he said. “There were saloon cars that were more expensive. They tried to spice it up a bit, but Londoners had the perception that trams weren’t very good. “
For the past 69 years, part of the once state-of-the-art underground streetcar interchange has been delivered to a road tunnel and Camden City Council has used some of the remaining platforms to store old street signs and surplus bins.
New and extensive tram networks are now operating in Croydon in South London and there have been proposals, but have not been fulfilled, to bring trams through Oxford Street in central London. Other UK towns and cities have adopted trams more strongly with millions of passengers a year using them in Manchester, Edinburgh, Sheffield, Birmingham and Wolverhampton.