An interesting little station full of history and in my opinion the go between between the city of london and east london. A five min walk down the road either way and the cultural difference is quite shocking. In the city you have the yuppies suited and booted, and the other way you have whitechapel market, full of del boys trying to make a quick buck.
There was actually a rumour that due to public demand, algate east would be re-named brick lane, due to its close proximity to brick lane. I would not agree with that, as anyone who needs or wants ot get to brick lane will find it.
I have to admit that i am not a massive fan of brick lane curry houses - unless you go to the most expensive ones (to which chefs from top London restaurants go to learn about pan asian cuisine) the quality is very poor.
A dark dank barn of a station. I usually end up there when there's problems heading into central London from Liverpool Street and it seems to make sense to head out and back on the District Line. It always seems dark whatever the time of day is. And my visits usually involve running right the way up one platform, up to the ticket hall then down the other side of the station (all of which takes place in that same dark barn by the way). Did I say it was a bit dingy? And, seeing as I mostly tend to end up there when there's major problems at Liverpool Street, I've several times found myself stuck for what seems like hours.
So, I'm probably biased. But it is dingy.
This is a station I used to use a lot when I worked with a charity in Whitechapel.
The station dates to 1938, and was built to replace a station of 1884 vintage slightly to the west, when the triangular junction between Aldgate, Tower Hill and Aldgate East was enlarged. One effect of its rebuilding further eastwards was that an intermediate station between here and Whitechapel, St Mary's (Whitchapel Road), was closed when the new station opened.
It was one of the first 'cut-and-cover' stations to be designed to be completely under the surface (ie the ticket hall is down the steps). The tracks were lowered to accommodate this, with the result that the platforms in effect are double-height, and therefore unusually spacious (although poor lighting results in it being rather dingy, as Moonrising mentions).
It has always had an air of neglect about it, and although it retains its 1930s tiling scheme, this has become very tatty. Let's hope the current refurbishment improves things. The station used to have an attractive red-brick Jacobean-style building above it, but this seems to have disappeared in the general redevelopment of the area.
It is served by both District line trains to and from Upminster, and by Hammersmith and City Line trains. It's less than a five minute walk (west) to Aldgate station, where additional Metropolitan Line trains and the Circle Line run - good to know when things go wrong.
During the day, there's a useful entrance at the east end onto Whitechapel Road.
A long corridor, dimly lit full of eclectic folk lining the grubby platform. Bland walls that need a re-paint. Pretty much sums up this District Line/Hammersmith and City Line station. Usually confused with Aldgate station at the end of the Metropolitan Line 200 metres down the road. They've just opened up some new exits on the gyratory outside, but there always seem to be too many exits closed and huffing and puffing commuters.
Quick history lesson: The original Aldgate East station was opened on 6 October 1884 as part of an eastern extension to the Metropolitan District Railway (now the District Line), some way to the west of the current station, close to the Metropolitan Railway's Aldgate station. However, when the curve to join the Metropolitan Railway from Liverpool Street was built, the curve had to be particularly sharp due to the presence of Aldgate East station, at which it needed to be straight.
Well its being retiled currently and the subways thankfully are being refurbished as part of the redevelopment of the area so the homeless people no longer can use it as a piss hole.
I agree renaming the station would be good idea as it is confusing with Aldgate.
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