Moorgate station

Moorgate[3] is a central London railway terminus and connected London Underground station on Moorgate in the City of London. Main line railway services for Hertford, Welwyn Garden City and Letchworth are operated by Great Northern, while the Underground station is served by the Circle, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan and Northern lines.

Entrance to Moorgate prior to Crossrail works
Location of Moorgate in Central London
Local authorityCity of London
Managed byLondon Underground
OwnerTransport for London
Network Rail
Station codeMOG
DfT categoryE
Number of platforms10 (7 in use)
Fare zone1
London Underground annual entry and exit
2013 21.38 million[1]
2014 25.90 million[1]
2015 26.06 million[1]
2016 27.57 million[1]
2017 26.87 million[1]
National Rail annual entry and exit
2013–14 9.052 million[2]
– interchange  0.658 million[2]
2014–15 9.398 million[2]
– interchange  0.580 million[2]
2015–16 8.850 million[2]
– interchange  0.440 million[2]
2016–17 10.834 million[2]
– interchange  0.778 million[2]
2017–18 10.434 million[2]
– interchange  0.903 million[2]
Key dates
23 December 1865Opened (MR)
25 February 1900Opened (C&SLR)
14 February 1904Opened (GN&CR)
24 October 1924Renamed Moorgate
20 March 2009Withdrawn (Thameslink)
Other information
External links
WGS8451.5186°N 0.0886°W / 51.5186; -0.0886
London transport portal

The station was opened as Moorgate Street in 1865 by the Metropolitan Railway. In 1900, the City & South London Railway added the station to its network, and the Great Northern & City Railway began serving the station in 1904. In 1975, the Northern City Line platforms were the site of the Moorgate tube crash – at the time, the worst peacetime accident in the history of the London Underground – in which 43 people were killed. Thameslink branch services were withdrawn in the early 21st century, and Crossrail improvements will see Moorgate connected to Liverpool Street.

Location and station layout

The station has entrances on both Moorgate itself and Moorfields, which runs parallel. The public entrances from the street give access to all the train services at the station, there are three distinct levels.[4]

The Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan underground lines use platforms 1 and 2, which are through platforms.[4] For terminating trains at busy times, there are platforms 3 and 4 which are west-facing bays. Adjacent to these are platforms 5 and 6 of the former Thameslink trains service from Bedford via St Pancras. These are disused following the closure of the Moorgate branch from Farringdon junction as part of the Thameslink Programme and are now used for storage.[5]

The Northern line of the Underground uses platforms 7 and 8, which are in a deep-level tube section of the station.[4] National Rail services on the Northern City Line use platforms 9 and 10, which are terminal platforms. Train services run via the East Coast Main Line to Welwyn Garden City, and to Hertford North, Stevenage, Hitchin or Letchworth.[6] Because of this, Moorgate is part of the London station group and accepts tickets marked "London Terminals".[7]

London Buses routes 21, 43, 76, 100, 141, 153, 214 and 271 serve the station.[8]



The station was opened as Moorgate Street by the Metropolitan Railway as the first eastwards extension from the original terminus at Farringdon. Parliamentary power had been obtained to build a station at Moorgate in 1861, two years before the initial section, and it was completed on 23 December 1865. Increased traffic from other companies, including goods traffic from the Great Northern Railway, led to the line between King's Cross and Moorgate being widened to four tracks; the route was called the City Widened Lines and included a new tunnel at Clerkenwell which was 16 feet (4.9 m) lower than the original. The Widened Lines were open from Moorgate to Farringdon on 1 July 1866, and to King's Cross on 17 February 1868.[9] Suburban services from the Midland Railway ran via Kentish Town and the Great Northern Railway ran via King's Cross.[10] In 1874, director of the Metropolitan, Edward Watkin, described Moorgate Street as "your great terminus" and recommended a 100-bedroom hotel should be built on top of the station.[11]

The now Northern line platforms were originally part of an extension of the City & South London Railway (C&SLR) beyond Borough towards Angel, forming the northern terminus of its services from Stockwell south of the River Thames. An act for the extension had been authorised in 1893 and included an eastern diversion of the original line underneath the Thames. The new station opened on 25 February 1900.[12] The line was extended to Angel on 17 November the following year.[13]

The Northern City Line to Moorgate was opened by the Great Northern & City Railway (GN&CR) on 14 February 1904 offering a service to Finsbury Park. It had an escalator connection to the other Moorgate platforms. The route was constructed in tube tunnels, but they were constructed at a diameter capable of accommodating main-line trains (in contrast to the majority of London tube tunnels which are much smaller).[14] The line was the first to use automatic signalling throughout its length without any moving parts. Though a popular route, it went into decline after the Metropolitan Railway purchased the route on 1 July 1913. Consequently, the planned through services to the Great Northern Railway's main line were never implemented.[15]

The CS&LR line (taken over by the Underground Group in 1913) closed services between Moorgate and Euston on 9 August 1922 in order to widen tunnels to 11 feet 8¼ inches (3.56 metres). The section from Moorgate to Clapham Common was worked on during the night while daytime services remained running, but closed completely on 28 November 1923 following a roof collapse at Newington Causeway the day before. Services to Euston opened on 20 April 1924, along with a connection to Camden Town and stations further north. Services to Clapham Common resumed on 1 December.[16] The station was renamed from Moorgate Street to Moorgate on 24 October that year.[17]

1950 – present

British Rail services to Moorgate were initially steam-operated. A commemorative service ran on 6 June 1971 from Moorgate to the depot at Neasden, powered by a 0-6-0 tank locomotive.[18] Steam was replaced by Cravens-built diesel multiple units and British Rail Class 31 locomotives class hauling non-corridor stock which remained in operation until 1976, when it was replaced with British Rail Class 313 electrics.[19]

The Northern City Line connection for Moorgate to Finsbury Park tube was closed beyond Drayton Park on 5 October 1964 to allow work on the Victoria line. The line never re-opened fully, but instead the line was connected to the Finsbury Park British Rail station, in order to provide a connection for suburban services into Moorgate. The new service opened on 1 September 1968.[20]

Moorgate station was completely modernised at platform level and street level in the 1960s, and the Widened Lines part of the station was extended to six platforms. The realignment of the platforms enabled about 500 yd (460 m) of the line to Barbican to be straightened and moved south to facilitate development of the Barbican Estate.[21]

British Rail (Eastern Region) took over control of the Northern City Line from London Underground in 1975, as part of the Great Northern lines suburban electrification. The Highbury Branch of the Northern line was terminated. Services from Finsbury Park to Moorgate were diverted to the Northern City Line from the City Widened Lines the following year.[22] The City Widened Lines were renamed the Moorgate line[23] when overhead electrification was installed in 1982, allowing the Midland City Line service to run from Bedford via the Midland Main Line to Moorgate on the Thameslink service.[24]

The Moorgate Thameslink branch was reduced to peak hours services only in 2003, and closed permanently on 20 March 2009 as part of the Thameslink Programme upgrades.[5] The closure was required in order to lengthen the platforms at Farringdon to take the longer-carriage trains, which could only be done southward in the direction of Moorgate as there was too steep a gradient to the north.[25]

Under Crossrail works running from 2011 to 2018, the western ticket hall of the scheme's Liverpool Street station will be situated just east of Moorgate station. An interchange will be built, linking the Northern line platforms at Moorgate to the Central line at Liverpool Street via the Crossrail platforms spanning the two.[26]

Accidents and incidents

On 13 September 1905, a train derailed at the station. There were two injuries.[27]

On 28 February 1975, 43 people were killed and 74 seriously injured in the Moorgate tube crash, when a southbound Northern City Line train crashed into the end of the dead-end tunnel beyond the platform. The accident caused the most fatalities on the Underground during peacetime and has been considered the worst ever on the system. The cause was the unexplained failure of the driver to stop or even slow down at the platform, causing the train to run at speed into the dead-end tunnel, colliding with the buffers and then with the wall.[28][29] Services were immediately suspended, resuming on 1 March from Drayton Park to Old Street only. The wreckage was not fully cleared until 6 March and the station fully re-opened four days later.[30]


Traction current on the Underground lines is supplied by the standard London Underground four rail system. The Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines are under the control of Baker Street Service Control Centre using fixed block signalling[31]. Under the 4 Lines Modernisation (4LM) project, control will pass to Hammersmith Service Control Centre following the progressive roll out of Communications Based Train Control (CBTC) being provided by Thales.[32]. The Northern line is controlled from Highgate Service Control Centre and migrated to Transmission Based Train Control (TBTC) in stages from 2015 also provided by Thales[33]

Trains using the deep level Northern City Line platforms (9 and 10) are supplied with 750 V DC[34] current via the third rail, overseen by York Electrical Control Room.[34] The signalling is track circuit block, colour light signals with tripcock mechanisms, controlled by Kings Cross Power signal box.[34]

The former subsurface Thameslink bay platforms (5 and 6) were equipped with 25 kilovolt alternating current[23] overhead line equipment, overseen by York Electrical Control Room.[23] Signalling was track circuit block, multiple aspect colour light signals, controlled by West Hampstead PSB.[23]


London Underground

The Metropolitan, Hammersmith & City and Circle lines serve the station between Barbican to the west and Liverpool Street to the east. All three lines share the same pair of tracks from Baker Street Junction to Aldgate Junction.

Circle line

The typical service in trains per hour (tph) is:[35]

  • 6 tph Clockwise via Liverpool Street and Tower Hill
  • 6 tph Anti-Clockwise via Kings Cross St Pancras and Paddington

Hammersmith and City line

The typical service in trains per hour (tph) is:[35]

  • 6 tph Eastbound to Barking
  • 6 tph Westbound to Hammersmith via Paddington

Metropolitan line

The Metropolitan Line is the only line to operate express services from Moorgate, and then only at peak times. 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.[36]

The typical off-peak service in trains per hour (tph) is:[37]

  • 12 tph Eastbound to Aldgate
  • 2 tph Westbound to Amersham (all stations)
  • 2 tph Westbound to Chesham (all stations)
  • 8 tph Westbound to Uxbridge (all stations)

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

The typical peak time service in trains per hour (tph) is:[37]

  • 14 tph Eastbound to Aldgate
  • 2 tph Westbound to Amersham (fast in the evening peak only)
  • 2 tph Westbound to Chesham (fast in the evening peak only)
  • 4 tph Westbound to Watford (semi-fast in the evening peak only)
  • 6 tph Westbound to Uxbridge (all stations)

Northern line

The Northern line serves the station between Old Street to the north and Bank to the south being part of the City branch of the Northern line via London Bridge.

The typical off-peak service in trains per hour (tph) are:[38][39]

The typical peak time service in trains per hour (tph) are:[38][39]

Previously, typical off-peak services include terminating at Colindale to the north and Tooting Broadway to the south.[39]

National Rail

Northern City Line

The Northern City Line, formerly part of the London Underground as self-contained tube line between Moorgate and Finsbury Park that was operated as part as a branch of the Northern line. The line is now part of the Great Northern Route (itself part of the East Coast Main Line), typical National Rail services at Moorgate off-peak Monday-Friday (all operated by Great Northern):

Great Northern introduced a weekend service from 13 December 2015.[40]

Preceding station   London Underground   Following station
towards Hammersmith
Circle line
towards Edgware Road
Hammersmith & City line
towards Barking
Metropolitan line
towards Aldgate
Northern line
City Branch
towards Morden
National Rail
Great NorthernTerminus
Disused railways
Preceding station   National Rail   Following station
Barbican   First Capital Connect
City Widened Lines
  Former services  
Preceding station   London Underground   Following station
towards Finsbury Park
Metropolitan line
Northern City Branch
Northern line
Northern City Branch
towards Hammersmith
Metropolitan line
Hammersmith branch (1864–1990)
towards Barking
  Abandoned Northern Heights proposal  
Preceding station   London Underground   Following station
Northern lineTerminus
  Abandoned Northern City Line extension  
Preceding station   London Underground   Following station
Old Street
towards Finsbury Park
  Metropolitan Railway
Northern City Line



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  3. "How London's Terminal Stations Got Their Names". Londonist. 15 September 2014. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
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  5. David 2017, p. 325.
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  10. Jackson 1986, p. 25.
  11. Day 1979, p. 97.
  12. Day 1979, p. 46.
  13. Day 1979, p. 47.
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  19. Blake 2015, pp. 11,15.
  20. Day 1979, pp. 123–124.
  21. Cooke, B.W.C., ed. (October 1963). "Barbican Rerouting". The Railway Magazine. Vol. 109 no. 750. Westminster: Tothill Press. p. 685.
  22. Blake 2015, p. 11.
  23. Network Rail (April 2001). South Zone Sectional Appendix. Module SO. p. SO280 1/119. SO/SA/001A. (Retrieved 10 December 2011)
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  26. "Liverpool Street : Current Works". Crossrail. Archived from the original on 14 December 2017. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  27. "Accident at Moorgate on 13th September 1905". Railways Archive. Retrieved 14 December 2017.
  28. Foster, Stefanie (4 March 2015). "Moorgate...the unresolved tragedy". RAIL magazine. Bauer Consumer Media Ltd. Retrieved 3 July 2017.
  29. Rolt, L.T.C.; Kichenside, Geoffrey M. (1982) [1955]. Red for Danger (4th ed.). Newton Abbot: David & Charles. p. 298. ISBN 0-7153-8362-0.
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  33. Transport for London (16 April 2015), Signalling - From the Underground Up - Tube improvements, retrieved 20 June 2019
  34. Network Rail (December 2006). London North Eastern Route Sectional Appendix. Module LN2. p. LN105 41. SO/SA/001A. (Retrieved 12 April 2014)
  35. "Circle and Hammersmith & City line WTT" (PDF). Transport for London. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 November 2016.
  36. "Amersham / Chesham guide" (PDF). Transport for London. Retrieved 14 December 2017.
  37. "Metropolitan line WTT" (PDF). Transport for London. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 July 2016.
  38. "Northern Line timetable". Transport for London. Select "Moorgate" plus another station to see timetables and frequencies. Retrieved 14 December 2017.
  39. Clive, Feather (28 January 2018). "Northern Line". Clive's Underground Line Guides. Archived from the original on 3 February 2018. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  40. "Seven-day-a-week service to the City better for late-returning commuters and weekend shoppers". Thameslink. Retrieved 13 December 2017.


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