The lost London Underground station that became a frozen food store now buried under Sainsbury’s

Today Uxbridge is a pleasant end-of-line stop on the Metropolitan and Piccadilly lines of the London Underground. There’s something really charming about the station when you get off the train and see the old buffers at the end of the tracks and look at the station’s beautiful raised canopy.

You really feel like you have arrived in an old suburb. But this station isn’t quite what it seems – it actually wasn’t always there and there was another station before it which has now completely disappeared.

Let’s go back to a time when the London Underground was divided into sections run by many different companies. One of them was the Metropolitan Railway. In 1899 an Act of Parliament was passed allowing the Met to build a railway station to the west of Uxbridge linked to a new Harrow line. From Harrow the existing line ran through London to Baker Street.

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The station was used to store fruit and vegetables in the 1950s and later frozen foods

A quaint little station building off Belmont Road has been constructed at Uxbridge with two platforms and a ticket office as well as waiting and refreshment rooms. Incredibly, when the line was inspected before it opened, railway inspector JW Prongle climbed into a seat attached to the front of the locomotive so he could inspect the track!.

In June 1904, when the first train ran, it was covered in flags and passengers sat down for a celebratory lunch under a marquee set up at Uxbridge station.

The station had a signal box and a section of track allowing steam locomotives to turn around. The line will soon be electrified also from 1905 and the oil lamps of the stations will soon be replaced by electric lamps.

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Uxbridge also had a goods yard with a warehouse and private sidings for wholesale grocer Alfred Button to load and unload goods. On 1 March 1910 an extension of the District Line opened from South Harrow which linked it to the Metropolitan Railway at Rayners Lane. This allowed District Line trains to serve stations between Rayners Lane and Uxbridge.

Later, on 23 October 1933, District Line services to Uxbridge were replaced by Piccadilly Line trains. In the 1930s it was decided that the station was not well located and plans were underway to create a new station on the High Street which was much more accessible.

This opened on 4 December 1938. Traffic continued to use the old station’s freight yard until May 1939.

The original Uxbridge station building

The station building remained in place even though the track was taken over and continued to be used by the grocery store. Later, he provided storage space for a frozen food company. It was eventually demolished to provide a site for a cash and carry business, then in 1985 a car park was built above to service a new supermarket.

So the next time you go shopping at Sainsbury’s in Uxbridge, remember that there is a lost London Underground station right under your feet!

The full history of the station can be read in JE Connor’s book, ‘London’s Disused Underground Stations’