London Underground’s Goodge Street station on the Northern line is now fully open following completion of the refurbishment of its four lifts.
Goodge Street station on Tottenham Court Road has no escalators. Instead, its platforms are served by four lifts and a 136-step staircase.
Refurbishment of the lifts commenced on Monday 4 September 2017 with the closure of two of the lifts. Once these were complete, the other two were taken out of service. The whole job was due to be completed by the end of 2018.
As a result of the reduced lift capacity, the station remained open but operated as ‘exit only’ from 07:30 to 10:00 on weekday mornings. The lift overhaul work took place overnight from 01:00 to 04:30 Sunday to Thursday, when the station was closed. Goodge Street station is on the Night Tube, so remains open on Friday and Saturday nights.
Renewing an underground station lift is not simple. It requires working in confined lift shafts, often deep underground. Removal and delivery of materials has to be carried out while the station is closed each night, and there is often no access for lifting equipment or other mechanical aids. Structures, such as the lifts themselves, have to be assembled on site and the shaft also may need work.
At 29 metres below street level, and two metres below sea level, Goodge Street is not London’s deepest station – Hampstead is 58 metres deep, but that is partly because street level is higher in that location – but it’s deep enough to complicate the work which involved the “removal and replacement of all the lift components,” according to a statement from London Underground.
The project was delayed but was finally completed on 15 August 2019. The weekday-morning ‘exit only’ restriction was lifted and service returned to normal.