Farringdon London Underground Elizabeth line National Rail
Thameslink and Elizabeth line station entrance seen in May 2022
Farringdon is located in Central London
Location of Farringdon in Central London
Local authorityLondon Borough of Islington
Managed byLondon Underground
OwnerTransport for London
Network Rail
Station codeZFD
DfT categoryE
Number of platforms6 (2 Thameslink)
(2 London Underground)
(2 Elizabeth line)
Fare zone1
London Underground annual entry and exit
2018Increase 22.79 million[3]
2019Increase 25.92 million[4]
2020Decrease 5.90 million[5]
2021Increase 8.50 million[6]
2022Increase 30.07 million[7]
National Rail annual entry and exit
2018–19Increase 15.087 million[8]
– interchange Increase 0.383 million[8]
2019–20Increase 16.497 million[8]
– interchange Increase 0.399 million[8]
2020–21Decrease 2.643 million[8]
– interchange Decrease 0.118 million[8]
2021–22Increase 6.865 million[8]
– interchange Increase 0.245 million[8]
2022–23Increase 31.460 million[8]
– interchange Increase 0.640 million[8]
Key dates
10 January 1863Opened as Farringdon Street
23 December 1865Resited
26 January 1922Renamed Farringdon & High Holborn
21 April 1936Renamed Farringdon
1 July 1936Goods yard closed[9]
May 1988Thameslink started
21 March 2009Thameslink services to Moorgate discontinued
24 May 2022Elizabeth line opened
Listed status
Listed featureUnderground station
Listing gradeII
Entry number1298047[10]
Added to list17 May 1994; 29 years ago (1994-05-17)
Other information
External links
WGS8451°31′14″N 00°06′18″W / 51.52056°N 0.10500°W / 51.52056; -0.10500
 London transport portal

Farringdon is a London Underground and connected main line National Rail station in Clerkenwell, London, England, in the London Borough of Islington, just outside the boundary of the City of London. Opened in 1863 as the terminus of the Metropolitan Railway, the world's first underground passenger railway, Farringdon is one of the oldest surviving underground railway stations in the world.

Today the station is served by the London Underground Circle, Hammersmith & City, and Metropolitan lines between King's Cross St Pancras and Barbican, the Thameslink route between St Pancras and City Thameslink, and the TfL Elizabeth line.


The Metropolitan Railway's second Farringdon station, 1866.

The station was opened on 10 January 1863 as the terminus of the original Metropolitan Railway, the world's first underground metro line. The station, initially named Farringdon Street, was originally a short distance from the present station building. The line ran from the Farringdon area to Paddington, a distance of 4 mi (6 km).

The station was relocated on 23 December 1865 when the Metropolitan Railway opened an extension to Moorgate. It was renamed Farringdon & High Holborn on 26 January 1922 when the new building by the architect Charles Walter Clark[10] facing Cowcross Street was opened, and its present name was adopted on 21 April 1936.[11] It was built in conjunction with a freight station to take livestock to a slaughterhouse to its south-east to supply Smithfield Market; remains of cattle ramps on a street outside the market, West Smithfield. Smithfield was redesignated as a wholesale 'deadmeat' market in the 19th century and the freight station was last used in the 1920s.

The station frontage carrying the name Farringdon & High Holborn, 1989.

The lines from Farringdon towards King's Cross St. Pancras run alongside the Fleet ditch, culverted since 1734.[12] The station building is unusually well-preserved early 20th-century London Underground architecture. It retains indications of the Metropolitan Railway's main-line style operation such as a sign for a parcel office on the outer wall and some original signage, with the 1922–1936 name on the facade.

After the bay platforms at Blackfriars closed on 21 March 2009, Southeastern services that previously terminated at Blackfriars were extended to Kentish Town, St. Albans, Luton or Bedford, calling at this station.[13] Thameslink trains to Moorgate ceased at the same time.

Recent and current developments

Farringdon has recently received significant upgrades to allow it to meet the needs of a series of major rail upgrade projects: The Thameslink Programme was a major upgrade to the existing north-south Thameslink route, enabling longer and more frequent trains, completed in 2018; and the Four Lines Modernisation involves the wholesale resignalling of the London Underground's sub-surface lines bringing a major boost in capacity to Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan line services calling at Farringdon.[14] In addition the station has been significantly expanded to serve as a stop on the new east-west Elizabeth line providing interchange between Thameslink and the Elizabeth line.

Once all these projects have been completed, Farringdon will be one of the country's busiest stations with approximately 200 tph, an average of one departure every 20 seconds.[15] A new building, housing a dedicated ticket hall, has been constructed to serve these extra passengers. The new building is to the immediate south of the original station, which itself has been upgraded as part of the programme.

An additional entrance has also been built at the north end of the original station, onto Turnmill Street.

Thameslink upgrade

A Class 319 heads south from Farringdon. On the left is the blocked-off City Widened Line branch to Moorgate, closed as part of the Thameslink Programme.

Farringdon Station has been rebuilt[16] to accommodate longer Thameslink trains and to make other improvements to the station.[17] The existing station building has been refurbished with a new roof canopy covering the north end of all four platforms and a new entrance and concourse facing Turnmill Street. An additional ticket hall has been built on the south side of Cowcross Street providing access to the Thameslink platforms, which have been extended southwards underneath this building, allowing the station to handle 240 m (12-carriage) trains. Platforms have been widened to accommodate increased passenger numbers. This process required the bridge that formed Cowcross Street to be demolished and rebuilt.[18] Cowcross Street is now pedestrianised.[19] Lifts have been provided throughout.

The existing listed ticket hall and concourse have been remodelled, for use by London Underground and Thameslink passengers.[20] Interchange within the station has been improved by removing the interchange bridge and installing new stairs and lifts with access to all four platforms, allowing passengers with impaired mobility to use the station.[21]

It was necessary to build the Thameslink platform extensions to the south, since there is a sharp gradient to the immediate north of the station. This resulted in the two-station branch to Moorgate being permanently closed.[22] The platform extensions cross the former Moorgate line and reach within a few metres of the entrance of the Snow Hill Tunnel.[23] The alternative of realigning both the Thameslink and Circle/Hammersmith & City/Metropolitan lines was impractical as the latter crosses over the former on a bridge almost immediately to the north of the station.[23]

Elizabeth line

Eastbound Elizabeth line platform at Farringdon
With the opening of the Elizabeth line, Farringdon became the interchange between the north–south Thameslink and the west–east Elizabeth line.

The Farringdon Elizabeth line station was built as part of the Crossrail project. It lies between Farringdon and Barbican Underground stations and has interchanges with both of them.[24] Access at the Farringdon end is via the new Thameslink ticket hall.[25] Work was anticipated to be completed in 2018,[26] but the scheduled opening date was delayed.[27]

From 24 May 2022 the new railway line linked Farringdon to Abbey Wood via Canary Wharf in the east and Paddington, in the west. The station is also a hub for cross-London travel, being the only station to be on both the north-south Thameslink service and the east-west Elizabeth line service.[25]

Direct Elizabeth line services between Reading/Heathrow in the west and Shenfield (via Whitechapel and Stratford) started in late 2022.[28]

Dual traction current supply

Warning to train drivers heading south from Farringdon

Thameslink trains switch between the 25 kV AC overhead supply used to the north of London and the 750 V DC third rail supply used to the south whilst standing at the platform. The trains that formerly ran to Moorgate used 25 kV AC throughout their journeys. This project was installed by the Network SouthEast sector of British Rail in May 1988.

A Network SouthEast livery British Rail Class 319 in the station switching power supply in 1991

Until the start of the Thameslink Programme southbound trains that were unable to switch to DC were taken out of service at Farringdon and stabled at Moorgate to prevent them from blocking the core section of the Thameslink route. As this option is no longer possible the catenary has been extended to City Thameslink to enable these trains to continue to the southbound platform[29] at City Thameslink using AC and then return northwards using the new crossover in Snow Hill Tunnel.[30] The pantograph on southbound trains is normally lowered at Farringdon.

Underground trains serving Farringdon use the four-rail 630 V DC system.

A Metropolitan line S Stock train departing Platform 1 with an Eastbound service to Aldgate


On the London Underground concourse, a memorial to Edward Johnston (the creator of the eponymous London Underground typeface) was designed by Fraser Muggeridge. Consisting of the letters of the alphabet in wood type set in Johnston, the memorial was unveiled by Sir Peter Hendy in 2019.[31][32]

As part of the Crossrail Art Programme, two artworks were commissioned from British artist Simon Periton. At the eastern entrance, the exterior glass of the station is printed with patterns echoing the Victorian ironmongery of the Smithfield Market located opposite the station entrance.[33][34] At the western entrance, the glazing alongside the escalators are printed with giant diamonds, referencing the jewellers located nearby in Hatton Garden.[33][34]

Accidents and incidents


London Underground

Underground trains at Farringdon Station

The London Underground part of the station is directly next to the National Rail platforms and is served by the Metropolitan, Hammersmith & City and Circle lines, between King's Cross St Pancras and Barbican. All three lines share the same pair of tracks from Baker Street Junction to Aldgate Junction making this section of track one of the most intensely used on the London Underground network.

Circle line

The typical service in trains per hour (tph) is:[41]

Hammersmith & City line

The typical service in trains per hour (tph) is:[41]

Metropolitan line

The Metropolitan line is the only line to operate express services, though this is only during peak times (Westbound 06:30–09:30 / Eastbound 16:00–19:00). Fast services run non-stop between Wembley Park, Harrow-on-the-Hill and Moor Park. Semi-fast services run non-stop between Wembley Park and Harrow-on-the-Hill.[42]

The typical off-peak service in trains per hour (tph) is:[43]

Off-peak services to/from Watford terminate at Baker Street

The typical peak time service in trains per hour (tph) is:[43]

Farringdon is in Transport for London's Travelcard Zone 1.


All Thameslink services at Farringdon serve between St Pancras International and City Thameslink using part of the City Widened Lines and Snow Hill Tunnel respectively. Services are operated using Class 700 EMUs.

The typical off-peak service in trains per hour is:[44]

The station is also served by a half-hourly night service between Bedford and Three Bridges.[45]

Prior to 2009, Thameslink services also ran to Moorgate via Barbican with trains diverging from the core route east of the platforms at Farringdon. This section of line was closed as part of the Thameslink Programme which involved the construction of a new ticket hall and the lengthening of platforms at Farringdon to enable platform extensions to accommodate longer 12 carriage trains which covered over the junction in the process.

Farringdon is in Transport for London's Travelcard Zone 1.

Elizabeth line

Elizabeth line services began calling at Farringdon on 24 May 2022 and all services are operated using Class 345 EMUs.

The typical off-peak service in trains per hour is:[46]

These services combine to give a service of 16 tph in each direction. During the peak hours, the service is increased to 20 tph in each direction.

On Sundays, the services between Shenfield and London Paddington are reduced to 4 tph, with another 4 tph terminating instead at Gidea Park.

Preceding station London Underground Following station
King's Cross St Pancras
towards Hammersmith
Circle line
towards Edgware Road via Aldgate
Hammersmith & City line Barbican
towards Barking
King's Cross St Pancras Metropolitan line Barbican
towards Aldgate
Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Preceding station Elizabeth line Following station
Tottenham Court Road Elizabeth line Liverpool Street
Former services
Preceding station London Underground Following station
King's Cross St Pancras
towards Hammersmith
Metropolitan line
Hammersmith branch (1864–1990)
towards Barking
Abandoned plans
Preceding station London Underground Following station
towards Hammersmith, Kensington (Addison Road),
Uxbridge, Chesham, Verney Junction or Brill
  Metropolitan Railway   Aldersgate
Disused railways
Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
King's Cross Thameslink
(before December 2007)
St. Pancras International
(December 2007 – March 2009)
  First Capital Connect
City Widened Lines
King's Cross Metropolitan
King's Cross York Road
  British Rail
Eastern Region

City Widened Lines


London Buses day and night routes serve the station.[47]


  1. ^ "Step free Tube Guide" (PDF). Transport for London. April 2021. Archived (PDF) from the original on 15 May 2021.
  2. ^ "London and South East" (PDF). National Rail. September 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 March 2009.
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  6. ^ "Station Usage Data" (XLSX). Usage Statistics for London Stations, 2021. Transport for London. 12 July 2022. Retrieved 7 September 2022.
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  12. ^ "The Farringdon Wards of the City of London ... some notes on their history" p5: T Sharp 2000
  13. ^ "Train times 22 March – 16 May 2009 Thameslink route" (PDF). First Capital Connect. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 April 2009.
  14. ^ "Four Lines Modernisation". Transport for London. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  15. ^ Londonist Ltd (9 April 2015), New Thameslink Trains Revealed, archived from the original on 21 December 2021, retrieved 21 March 2017
  16. ^ "Whats happening at Farringdon?". Network Rail. Archived from the original on 23 June 2011.
  17. ^ "The new Farringdon station". Network Rail. Archived from the original on 8 October 2012.
  18. ^ Network Rail (2004a) – pg.27, paragraph 2.6.5
  19. ^ "Thameslink 2000 Environmental Statement: Addendum" (PDF). Network Rail. 1 July 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 September 2007. See page 15, paragraph 2.2.1
  20. ^ Network Rail (2004a) – page 27, paragraph 2.6.3
  21. ^ Network Rail (2004a) – pg.27, paragraph 2.6.4
  22. ^ Network Rail (2005a) – pg.9, paragraph 2.1.1
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  25. ^ a b "Farringdon Station". Crossrail. Archived from the original on 30 April 2011.
  26. ^ "Crossrail project: New Elizabeth line stations revealed". BBC News. 11 May 2016. Retrieved 26 May 2022.
  27. ^ "Elizabeth line: Delayed £18bn Crossrail finally opens". BBC News. Retrieved 24 May 2022.
  28. ^ Aplin, Lucy (24 May 2022). "Why you need to switch Crossrail trains and when Elizabeth line opens in full". inews.co.uk. Retrieved 26 May 2022.
  29. ^ Network Rail – 'Kent & Sussex Sectional Appendix', LOR S0280, Seq 001, "Farringdon to City Thameslink" (last updated 31 December 2010)
  30. ^ "City Thameslink ('Powered Up' section)". Thameslink Programme FAQ. Archived from the original on 9 November 2008.
  31. ^ Finch, Emily (23 February 2018). "Farringdon station memorial for creator of London Underground typeface". Camden New Journal. Retrieved 15 May 2023.
  32. ^ "Johnston Memorial at Farringdon station". www.dougrose.co.uk. Retrieved 15 May 2023.
  33. ^ a b Gregory, Elizabeth (26 May 2022). "Art on the Elizabeth Line: travel on London's newest public gallery". Evening Standard. Retrieved 15 May 2023.
  34. ^ a b Mata, William (4 April 2022). "New art unveiled at Farringdon ahead of Elizabeth Line". Islington Gazette. Retrieved 15 May 2023.
  35. ^ "Accident at Farringdon Street on 5th January 1867".
  36. ^ "Accident at Farringdon Street – Kings Cross on 5th January 1892".
  37. ^ "Accident at Farringdon Street on 26th November 1907".
  38. ^ "Accident at Farringdon on 1st May 1939".
  39. ^ "Three Killed in Crash – Lorry Falls from Bridge to Railway". The Times. No. 52939. 24 May 1954. p. 4. Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  40. ^ "Accident at Farringdon on 22nd May 1954".
  41. ^ a b "Circle and Hammersmith & City line WTT" (PDF). Transport for London. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 November 2016.
  42. ^ "CULG – Metropolitan Line". www.davros.org. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  43. ^ a b "Metropolitan line WTT" (PDF). Transport for London. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 July 2016.
  44. ^ Table 24, 25, 26, 52, 173, 175, 179, 180, 181, 182, 183, 184, 185, 188, 195, 196, 201 National Rail timetable, May 2022
  45. ^ "First Capital Connect timetables". Archived from the original on 4 August 2014. Retrieved 25 May 2012.
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