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Friday, 28-May-2004 00:00 Email | Share | Bookmark
Silver Jubilee: North Greenwich

Purple platforms
Looking down
View from Dome entrance
Locked Dome
Wharf and Dome
Entrance booths
There are no queues
QE2 Pier + Quantum Cloud
Dome and fountains
Slice of Reality
Thames Barrier ahead
Dome + bus station
Opened: Friday 14th May 1999
Distance from previous station: 1.7 km (beneath the River Thames again)
Platform (eastbound): exit to the left of the train
Platform (westbound): exit to the right of the train
You are now entering: the London Borough of Greenwich, zone 3
Fact file: North Greenwich station is even bigger than Canary Wharf station, but serves a local population of virtually zero. The station contains over 150000 tonnes of reinforced concrete and is sort of purple-themed. There are three platforms here rather than the usual two, just in case anyone ever wants to build a new branch line out to Beckton and the Royal Docks.
5 things I found outside this station: a carelessly-discarded Dome, WH Smiths, a bus station in the middle of nowhere, a 1000-space car park, Group 4 security.
Nearby: Millennium Dome, Millennium Way, Millennium Village, Millennium Quay, Millennium Sainsburys, big fat Millennium zero.
Nearby, but a 5 minutes detour by road: the Blackwall tunnel
Not nearby enough: Greenwich, civilisation.
Local history: It's hard to believe today but until the mid 19th century this was all farmland. The South Metropolitan Gas Works were built here in 1889, once the largest gasworks in Europe (they closed in 1985 but the giant gasholder still serves south-east London). The government chose to site the Millennium Dome here rather than in Birmingham because planned transport links were so good. The Dome opened on 31st December 1999, was universally slated by the press, failed to reach over-ambitious visitor targets and closed a year later having tainted the career of every politician who'd ever been involved with it. I quite liked it. Nobody comes to see the Dome any more, they come to catch buses to Charlton and Bexley. How are the mighty fallen.

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