Tottenham Court Road London Underground Elizabeth line
Main entrance to the eastern ticket hall seen in March 2022
Tottenham Court Road is located in Central London
Tottenham Court Road
Tottenham Court Road
Location of Tottenham Court Road in Central London
LocationSt Giles
Local authorityLondon Borough of Camden
Managed byLondon Underground
OwnerTransport for London
Station codeTCR
Number of platforms6
Fare zone1
London Underground annual entry and exit
2018Decrease 38.73 million[1]
2019Increase 41.99 million[2]
2020Decrease 6.05 million[3]
2021Increase 16.04 million[4]
2022Increase 48.95 million[5]
National Rail annual entry and exit
2022–23Steady 34.878 million[6]
Key dates
30 July 1900Opened (CLR)
22 June 1907Opened (CCE&HR)
24 May 2022Opened (Elizabeth line)
Other information
External links
WGS8451°30′58″N 0°07′51″W / 51.5162°N 0.1309°W / 51.5162; -0.1309
 London transport portal

Tottenham Court Road is a London Underground and Elizabeth line station in St Giles in the West End of London. The station is served by the Central line, the Elizabeth line and the Charing Cross branch of the Northern line.[7] The station is located at St Giles Circus, the junction of Tottenham Court Road, Oxford Street, New Oxford Street and Charing Cross Road and is in Travelcard Zone 1, with a second entrance at Dean Street.[8]


Central London Railway

The station opened as part of the Central London Railway (CLR) on 30 July 1900.[9] From that date until 24 September 1933,[9] the next station eastbound on the Central line was the now-defunct British Museum; the next stop in that direction is now Holborn. The platforms are under Oxford Street west of St Giles' Circus and were originally connected to the ticket hall via lifts at the east end of the platforms. The original station building was on the south side of Oxford Street and was designed in common with other CLR stations by Harry Bell Measures. The building and its neighbours were demolished in 2009.

Charing Cross, Euston & Hampstead Railway

The Charing Cross, Euston & Hampstead Railway (CCE&HR, now part of the Northern line) arrived here on 22 June 1907[10] but used the name Oxford Street until an interchange (linking the eastbound Central line with the southbound Northern line via the ends of the platform) was opened on 3 September 1908[11] from when the present name was used for both lines. The next station north on the Northern line was originally called Tottenham Court Road,[11] but was renamed to Goodge Street at this time.

The original ticket office was directly beneath St Giles circus and was accessed from stairs on three street corners around the Circus. Its original lift shafts and emergency stairs are still extant. A set of emergency stairs can be used as access down to the ends of the Northern line platform. The lift shafts are used for offices and station facilities.

Early improvements

Like a number of other central area stations, Tottenham Court Road underwent improvements during the 1920s to replace the original sets of lifts with escalators. Works commenced in 1923; a new subsurface ticket hall, under St Giles Circus, was constructed and the escalators came into service on 28 September 1926 (upper set) and 1 February 1926 (lower set).[12] A shaft for three escalators was driven from the ticket hall under the junction down to the east end of the Central line platforms ending at an intermediate circulation space. A further pair of escalators descend from this level to the north end of the Northern line platforms. The lifts were removed and the redundant shafts were used as ventilation ducts. In 1938 a chiller plant began operating at the station. This was decommissioned in 1949.

Passenger congestion entering and leaving the Northern line platforms was partially eased by the addition of a short single escalator at the centre of the platform leading up to a passageway linking to the intermediate circulation area. However, this was in itself a cause of congestion, as traffic trying to leave the station from the Northern line found itself in the path of traffic entering and travelling to the Central line.

In the early 1980s, the entire station was redecorated, losing the distinctive Leslie Green-designed platform tiling pattern of the Yerkes tube lines (which included the CCE&HR), and the plain white platform tiles of the CLR. It was replaced by distinctive mosaics by Eduardo Paolozzi, located on platforms, passages and escalator entrances.

Initial plans for station expansion

The station had four entrances to the sub-surface ticket hall from the north-east, south-west and north-west corners of the junction and from a subway beneath the Centre Point building which starts on Andrew Borde Street. The entrances were frequently congested leading to occasions during peak periods of the day when they were briefly closed to prevent overcrowding in the station.

In the aftermath of the King's Cross fire in 1987, London Underground was recommended to investigate "passenger flow and congestion in stations and take remedial action".[13] A Parliamentary bill was tabled in 1991 to permit London Underground to improve and expand the frequently congested station, however this was not proceeded with.[14] In 2000, London Underground consulted on a station upgrade including a new larger ticket hall, new escalators and step free access, which would have taken 4 years to construct.[15]

Expansion as part of Crossrail

Construction of the station expansion work in 2011
Tottenham Court Road Eastern Ticket Hall after expansion, with Daniel Buren's artwork.

The station was eventually reconstructed and upgraded in the mid 2010s as part of the Crossrail project to construct the Elizabeth line,[7] with the £500 million station upgrade taking eight years.[16] To enable the station expansion work to occur, both the Astoria theatres and the original Central line entrance were demolished.[17] During construction, the Central and Northern lines were alternately closed for several months to allow for upgrade works to take place.[18]

Upon completion in 2017, the project delivered:[16]

On Dean Street, a dedicated western entrance and ticket hall was built to access the new Elizabeth line platforms.[7] These platforms stretch for 230 m (750 ft) between the two ticket halls, underneath Soho Square.[19] The completed western entrance and Crossrail platforms were handed over to TfL in early 2021.[19] Crossrail links Tottenham Court Road to Canary Wharf, Abbey Wood, Stratford, and Shenfield in the east with Paddington, Heathrow and Reading in the west.[7] The central section of the Elizabeth line opened on 24 May 2022 between Paddington and Abbey Wood.[20] Direct service to Reading, Heathrow, Stratford and Shenfield commenced on 6 November 2022.[21]

As part of a plan to raise £500 million from development above new Crossrail stations,[22] a residential development of 92 homes as well as retail units will be built above the western ticket hall by developer Galliard Homes[23] and a new West End theatre as well as retail and office space will be built above the eastern ticket hall by developer Derwent London.[24] The new theatre will be the first West End theatre to open in over 50 years.[25]


Eduardo Paolozzi mosaics (1982) on the Central line platform

In the mid 1980s, Eduardo Paolozzi was commissioned to create an artwork for the station. The design includes panels of tessellated and hand cut smalti mural mosaic, and is a distinct and noticeable feature of the station. The frenetic design was intended to reflect the station's position adjacent to Tottenham Court Road's large concentration of hi-fi and electronics shops. During the expansion of the station for Crossrail,[26] sections of the mosaic were restored, moved or replaced[27] while other section were destroyed, some sections of which have been removed to be conserved at the University of Edinburgh.[28]

As part of the expansion of the Eastern ticket hall, Art on the Underground commissioned an artwork by Daniel Buren, a French conceptual artist. This piece, 'Diamonds and Circles' permanent works 'in situ', was Buren's first permanent public commission in the UK.[29] The artwork comprises colourful diamond and circle shapes, which contrast with Buren's trademark stripes in black and white, fixed to internal glass walls throughout the ticket hall. The piece was completed in 2017.[30]

As part of the Crossrail project, two artworks were commissioned by Turner Prize winning artists - one for each ticket hall.[31] At the eastern ticket hall, Richard Wright created a fresco of geometric patterns in gold leaf on the concrete ceiling above the Crossrail escalators.[31] At the western ticket hall, Douglas Gordon installed a video artwork above the escalators, involving Gordon's giant blinking eye with names of Soho establishments that no longer exist reflected in it.[31]


Services at Tottenham Court Road are operated by the Elizabeth line, and London Underground's Central and Northern lines.

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

Operator/line Frequency to destination
London Underground
Central line[32]
3 tph to White City
9 tph to Ealing Broadway
3 tph to Northolt
9 tph to West Ruislip
3 tph to Newbury Park
9 tph to Hainault
3 tph to Loughton
9 tph to Epping
London Underground
Northern line[33]
10 tph to Edgware
8 tph to High Barnet
2 tph to Mill Hill East
10 tph to Kennington
10 tph to Battersea Power Station
Elizabeth line[34] Westbound
6 tph to London Paddington
4 tph to Heathrow Terminal 4
2 tph to Heathrow Terminal 5
2 tph to Maidenhead
2 tph to Reading
8 tph to Abbey Wood
8 tph to Shenfield

The station also served by a night service on Friday and Saturday nights as part of the Night Tube. The station is served by Central line trains every 10 minutes in each direction and Northern line trains every 7-8 minutes in each direction.

Preceding station London Underground Following station
Oxford Circus Central line Holborn
Goodge Street Northern line
Charing Cross Branch
Leicester Square
Preceding station Elizabeth line Following station
Bond Street Elizabeth line Farringdon
Former services
Preceding station London Underground Following station
Oxford Circus Central line British Museum

Future developments

Crossrail 2

The Crossrail 2 project proposed a station at Tottenham Court Road, the only planned interchange between the Elizabeth line and Crossrail 2.[35] The expanded station built as part of the Crossrail project took the future demands of Crossrail 2 into account, which will allow for less construction disruption if the line is built.[35] The proposals involve a new Crossrail 2 ticket hall on the site of Curzon Soho on Shaftesbury Avenue. This has been criticised by campaigners.[36][37] The station and ticket hall site were first safeguarded as part of the route during the development of the Chelsea-Hackney line in 1991.[38] In November 2020 plans for Crossrail 2 were shelved.[39]

In popular culture


London Buses day and night routes serve the station.


  1. ^ "Station Usage Data" (CSV). Usage Statistics for London Stations, 2018. Transport for London. 23 September 2020. Archived from the original on 14 January 2023. Retrieved 11 October 2023.
  2. ^ "Station Usage Data" (XLSX). Usage Statistics for London Stations, 2019. Transport for London. 23 September 2020. Archived from the original on 9 November 2020. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  3. ^ "Station Usage Data" (XLSX). Usage Statistics for London Stations, 2020. Transport for London. 16 April 2021. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
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  10. ^ Clive's Underground Line Guides – Northern Line, Dates
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  12. ^ Railways Through The Clay; Croome & Jackson; London; 1993; p169
  13. ^ Fennell, Desmond (1988). Investigation into the King's Cross underground fire. Great Britain. Department of Transport. London: [For] Department of Transport [by] H.M.S.O. ISBN 0101049927. OCLC 19271585.
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  16. ^ a b Dick Murray (10 February 2017). "Tottenham Court Road station's £500 million revamp completed as entrances open". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 21 August 2017.
  17. ^ Crossrail – Proposal for eastern ticket hall Archived 28 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ Al-Othman, Hannah (9 December 2015). "The Central line has returned to Tottenham Court Road". Evening Standard. Retrieved 11 March 2022.
  19. ^ a b Pritchard, James (12 February 2021). "Tottenham Court Road Elizabeth line station enters final commissioning phase". Crossrail. Retrieved 11 March 2022.
  20. ^ "Elizabeth line: Delayed £18bn Crossrail finally opens". BBC News. Retrieved 24 May 2022.
  21. ^ Aplin, Lucy (24 May 2022). "Why you need to switch Crossrail trains and when Elizabeth line opens in full". Retrieved 26 May 2022.
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  37. ^ Aron, Isabelle (26 November 2015). "Everyone's angry about... Crossrail 2". Time Out London. Retrieved 11 March 2022.
  38. ^ [1] Archived 27 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine
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  42. ^ Martland, John (16 January 2004). "We Will Rock You". The Stage Newspaper Limited. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 1 April 2011.
  43. ^ We Will Rock You to close after an astonishing 12 years –