Which stations used to have "cab roads"? Do any still have them?

swt_passenger

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Yes, between (then) platforms 11 and 12 - I think they added another couple of platforms in the space when the Eurostar bit got added.

Having said that, I don't know when it stopped being used as a taxi road - by the time I remember it, it was used by parcels / post vans only, and the taxi rank was more or less where it is now and you were under cover all the way (the exact location may have been changed after the old railway bridge stopped being the pedestrian route to Waterloo East.)
Possibly given over to the post office and rail parcels by the 60s then? The newest photo I could find online of Waterloo, showing two rows of ranked cabs, was apparently taken in 1953:

I expect in normal railway fashion, they’d be referred to as cab roads even when that use had ceased?
 
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Western Sunset

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Yes - that road between platforms at St Pancras was only ever (in my memory of the station since the '70s) used for Post Office traffic etc. I think the cabs picked up on the high-level road in front of the station; or perhaps from where the Red Start parcels office was near/behind the ticket office (on the platform level in the south west corner). Certainly they left via a ramp down inside the external wall of the west side, with a very sharp right-angled left turn at the bottom to emerge onto Midland Road.
Or useful for filming the title sequence of "Porridge"...
 

Taunton

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Not just for cabs, in London and Manchester, certainly, they were also used late evening/after midnight for all the newspaper vans coming from the printing plants to be loaded directly into the newspaper trains. As cab roads were typically on the arrival side of the station, in the times when they were segregated, this led to newspaper trains generally leaving from the arrival side. The same applied to major parcels train loading.

Also for anything else that needed road vehicles. The Royal Train would do likewise, both in and out, to allow stepping directly between the limousine and the train.
 

Rescars

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As road vehicles go all electric, perhaps cabs will be allowed back inside stations again!
 

GRALISTAIR

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In all of the time I have been going to Preston (50+ years) it has never had a cab road to the platforms. The taxi rank has always been in the same place, at one time it did have a roof over it not like now.
View attachment 106468
Yes Preston has been my home station since 1965 when I am home from the USA. This picture illustrates well how it has always been. So very user convenient but not a true dedicated cab road.
 

D6975

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Preston didn't but nearby Blackpool North did have a cab road until it was rebuilt in the 70s.
 

Dr_Paul

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[Waterloo] Yes, between (then) platforms 11 and 12 - I think they added another couple of platforms in the space when the Eurostar bit got added. Having said that, I don't know when it stopped being used as a taxi road - by the time I remember it, it was used by parcels / post vans only, and the taxi rank was more or less where it is now and you were under cover all the way (the exact location may have been changed after the old railway bridge stopped being the pedestrian route to Waterloo East.)
According to Alan Jackson's London's Termini, there was an entrance to this space between platforms 11 and 12 for empty taxi-cabs from Griffin Street, off York Road, but it had been closed by the time he wrote the book. Was it still used by Post Office and newspaper vans? I recall seeing the top of the ramp in the distance when passing by the platform end on the concourse.

There used to be a couple of short bays at the end of platforms 11 and 12, capable of taking perhaps two carriages, which I assume were for vans. I never saw them in use. They were removed when the platforms and cab road were rebuilt with two new lines with new full-length platforms.

When the Eurostar station was in use, it seems that there was a taxi-rank at ground level under it, with an exit through Leake Street and round under the approach road to join it before it met Westminster Bridge Road. I think the entrance was off York Road at the other end of Leake Street. It wasn't therefore an actual cab road as it wasn't at platform level. It fell into disuse, and Leake Street is now purely a pedestrian passage way in which kids may spray their designs on the wall (well, it's much better there than on the side of trains).
 

tspaul26

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Glasgow Queen Street used to have one. Accessed from George Square at the west end of the North British Hotel.
 

swt_passenger

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When the Eurostar station was in use, it seems that there was a taxi-rank at ground level under it, with an exit through Leake Street and round under the approach road to join it before it met Westminster Bridge Road. I think the entrance was off York Road at the other end of Leake Street. It wasn't therefore an actual cab road as it wasn't at platform level. It fell into disuse, and Leake Street is now purely a pedestrian passage way in which kids may spray their designs on the wall (well, it's much better there than on the side of trains).
The main Eurostar taxi entrance and exit that I remember was under the building right next to the main pedestrian entrance to the station, which seems to be Mepham Street. Pending demolition it’s all boarded off but still visible on streetview. But that area between the station, York Rd, and Leake St seems to have at least two different road levels, and a loop at the west end, and there are also accesses to underground parking at the Leake St end. It’s all a bit of a maze, but as you say not really a cab road anyway.
 

james73

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Glasgow Queen Street used to have one. Accessed from George Square at the west end of the North British Hotel.

Glasgow St Enoch had a cab road, accessed from the ramp from St Enoch Square.

stenoch-print06.jpg
 

SeanG

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Thornaby has one, albeit separated by the station building / fences from the platforms
 

Brooke

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London Liverpool Street is queried by a poster above. Did it get moved? It was always a very handy one (it was beside Platform 10).

Also: does Stoke on Trent count? I remember there being something beside the London-bound platform.
 

jopsuk

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As road vehicles go all electric, perhaps cabs will be allowed back inside stations again!
most stations that has them have been so thoroughly rebuilt to use the space for platforms and concourse space.
 

CyrusWuff

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London Liverpool Street is queried by a poster above. Did it get moved? It was always a very handy one (it was beside Platform 10).
I have a hazy memory of there being a cab road alongside Platform 1 at Liverpool Street as well, along with another entrance to the Underground station.

There's another access to the sub-surface platforms from the footbridge at the East end as well. Can't remember where it leads out though.

And presumably the shafts for the former Broad Street station entrance to the Underground are still somewhere in the complex as well.
 

AlbertBeale

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London Euston of course used to have one between platforms 2 and 3, the ramp to it still there from a bridge over the lines about midway along the platform.

Looks like Preston may well also have had at one time - before the ticket hall was where it is now? Or maybe that's always been its location.

That cab road, with an exit onto Eversholt Street, was also used for access to the station from Eversholt Street by vehicles carrying royalty when they joined the royal train from one of the platforms adjacent to the cab road.

It was on the old platforms 5 & 6, and disappeared when the station was revamped as the Eurostar terminus. Entrance was from the east side (Pancras Road) at the north end of the station and the taxis left through the arch in the hotel and passed down the front ramps into Euston Road. None of my books on St Pancras and other London termini say when the cab road fell out of use, but a diagram of St Pancras in 1958 from The Railway Magazine reproduced in Alan Jackson's book "London Termini" (David and Charles, 2nd Ed, 1985) refers to the "Former Cab Approach".

Yes, it seems obvious - and no doubt was the case for some time - that cabs leaving St P would use the front ramps down onto Euston Road. However, as I mentioned earlier, there was definitely a ramp inside the curtilage of St P station, which taxis used to exit down to Midland Road. Perhaps that was mainly for empty cabs, which had arrived up the front ramp with passengers, dropping them off after going through the station entrance arch - which is now presumably the hotel lobby - to drop off by the booking office, before exiting down the narrow ramp with the sharp turn at the bottom.

So maybe taxis coming to pick up used the old cab road, accessing from the north-east of the station, then exiting down the front ramp; and ones arriving to drop off entered via the front ramp and left, empty, down the tight internal ramp. Though the flaw in that logic is how I would have ever been driven down that internal ramp if it was only used by empty taxis?

The main Eurostar taxi entrance and exit that I remember was under the building right next to the main pedestrian entrance to the station, which seems to be Mepham Street. Pending demolition it’s all boarded off but still visible on streetview. But that area between the station, York Rd, and Leake St seems to have at least two different road levels, and a loop at the west end, and there are also accesses to underground parking at the Leake St end. It’s all a bit of a maze, but as you say not really a cab road anyway.

According to Alan Jackson's London's Termini, there was an entrance to this space between platforms 11 and 12 for empty taxi-cabs from Griffin Street, off York Road, but it had been closed by the time he wrote the book. Was it still used by Post Office and newspaper vans? I recall seeing the top of the ramp in the distance when passing by the platform end on the concourse.

There used to be a couple of short bays at the end of platforms 11 and 12, capable of taking perhaps two carriages, which I assume were for vans. I never saw them in use. They were removed when the platforms and cab road were rebuilt with two new lines with new full-length platforms.

When the Eurostar station was in use, it seems that there was a taxi-rank at ground level under it, with an exit through Leake Street and round under the approach road to join it before it met Westminster Bridge Road. I think the entrance was off York Road at the other end of Leake Street. It wasn't therefore an actual cab road as it wasn't at platform level. It fell into disuse, and Leake Street is now purely a pedestrian passage way in which kids may spray their designs on the wall (well, it's much better there than on the side of trains).

Re Waterloo in Eurostar days. Yes, the taxi entrance for Eurostar was right next to the main steps on the Mepham Street side of the station. The "cab road" was indeed near to ground level, not platform level. But of course all the facilities of customs etc etc were underneath the international platforms, and so led easily out onto the taxi rank. When taking their passengers, the taxis had a compulsory left turn at Leake Street (not being able to turn right to get to York Road; can't remember why now). Leake Street led them under the tracks, to a very tight and narrow right turn in the open air at the end, and back under cover to merge into the exit road from the high-level road on the south-east side of the station, then exiting onto Westminster Bridge Road (where it runs under the approach tracks) to turn left or right to the outside world. This exit - from the high level road, that is, not from Leake Street) is still used by some cabs going from their drop-off/pick-up places on the current "cab road" in front of some of the station offices, under the Waterloo East pedestrian bridge (ie more or less parallel to and above Waterloo Road). Of course cabs also - besides the Westminster Bridge Road exit - now have the option of running parallel to Mepham Street, going down to York Road from their ranks (though they can only turn left there), and the option of going down Spur Road (past the crane used to get W&C Line tube trains in and out) to Baylis Road.
 

507 001

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Lime Street had one between 7 and 8. It was in occasional use until the first class lounge was built in the mid 2000s. I remember getting off a very, very late ex-Euston and being ushered straight into a cab with my parents after a trip to Legoland. This was summer 2002.
Lime Street’s actual taxi rank has been on the site of the old platforms 10 & 11 for quite a while now.
 

PeterC

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I have a hazy memory of there being a cab road alongside Platform 1 at Liverpool Street as well, along with another entrance to the Underground station.

There's another access to the sub-surface platforms from the footbridge at the East end as well. Can't remember where it leads out though.

And presumably the shafts for the former Broad Street station entrance to the Underground are still somewhere in the complex as well.
There were two, one to drop passengers at the ticket office on the Broad Street side and one to pick up passengers that ran the length of the station by, I think, platform 10. The latter was replaced by one accessed only from the "country" end of the station.

Cabbies always ignored people trying to hail them on BR property away from the ranks, even if driving out empty and for hire. I don't know if this was a BR rule or just cab driver etiquette.
 

John Webb

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(Re St Pancreas): Yes, it seems obvious - and no doubt was the case for some time - that cabs leaving St P would use the front ramps down onto Euston Road. However, as I mentioned earlier, there was definitely a ramp inside the curtilage of St P station, which taxis used to exit down to Midland Road. Perhaps that was mainly for empty cabs, which had arrived up the front ramp with passengers, dropping them off after going through the station entrance arch - which is now presumably the hotel lobby - to drop off by the booking office, before exiting down the narrow ramp with the sharp turn at the bottom.

So maybe taxis coming to pick up used the old cab road, accessing from the north-east of the station, then exiting down the front ramp; and ones arriving to drop off entered via the front ramp and left, empty, down the tight internal ramp. Though the flaw in that logic is how I would have ever been driven down that internal ramp if it was only used by empty taxis?
Possibly the route past the booking office was used both by taxis dropping off prospective passengers and by taxis collecting former passengers after the internal arrivals cab road was taken out of use?
 

Senex

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Possibly the route past the booking office was used both by taxis dropping off prospective passengers and by taxis collecting former passengers after the internal arrivals cab road was taken out of use?
It was designed as a sort of circuit for cabs. Passengers leaving the station were dropped off in "vestibule" to the booking-hall and the cab then continued on down the steep ramp to the road, and from there it could turn back in under the tracks and then come up between the two arrival platforms (later 5 and 6) facing south, pick up arriving passengers, and head out of the station, across the front and down to the Euston Road. Quite nicely done.
Leicester didn't have a cab road on the platforms, but did have nice departure/arrival segregation. Cabs for passengers leaving the station would enter under one of the two archways headed "Departures" and drop passengers off straight in front of the booking-hall, from which they would go down to the platforms by the present bridge. Passengers arriving at the station would leave by the stairs that were right at the south end of the platforms and come up in to the area many of us will remember as the cab/car-park area and their cabs would then leave out of one of the two archways marked "Arrivals". (There was also another way into/out of the station for foot passengers by way of stairs from the north end of the platforms up to the Swain Street bridge.)
 

dosxuk

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There were two, one to drop passengers at the ticket office on the Broad Street side and one to pick up passengers that ran the length of the station by, I think, platform 10. The latter was replaced by one accessed only from the "country" end of the station.
Definitely remember being picked up at the rack by platform 1 in 1993, but maybe the other one was out of use at that point as the station was heavily being rebuilt at the time?


Does Bangor count as a station still with a can road? Sure, the taxi rank is on a former track bed rather than a platform, but it's between the booking office and platforms.
 

johntea

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AIUI full removal was a requirement of DfT security advisers, implying the power source is irrelevant.

Potential security concerns would have been my guess too, I suspect the potential damage from some nutter wasn’t worth the risk compared to just sticking the taxi rank slightly outside the station!
 

Dr_Paul

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Yes, it seems obvious - and no doubt was the case for some time - that cabs leaving St P would use the front ramps down onto Euston Road. However, as I mentioned earlier, there was definitely a ramp inside the curtilage of St P station, which taxis used to exit down to Midland Road. Perhaps that was mainly for empty cabs, which had arrived up the front ramp with passengers, dropping them off after going through the station entrance arch - which is now presumably the hotel lobby - to drop off by the booking office, before exiting down the narrow ramp with the sharp turn at the bottom. So maybe taxis coming to pick up used the old cab road, accessing from the north-east of the station, then exiting down the front ramp; and ones arriving to drop off entered via the front ramp and left, empty, down the tight internal ramp. Though the flaw in that logic is how I would have ever been driven down that internal ramp if it was only used by empty taxis?

Re Waterloo in Eurostar days. Yes, the taxi entrance for Eurostar was right next to the main steps on the Mepham Street side of the station. The "cab road" was indeed near to ground level, not platform level. But of course all the facilities of customs etc etc were underneath the international platforms, and so led easily out onto the taxi rank. When taking their passengers, the taxis had a compulsory left turn at Leake Street (not being able to turn right to get to York Road; can't remember why now). Leake Street led them under the tracks, to a very tight and narrow right turn in the open air at the end, and back under cover to merge into the exit road from the high-level road on the south-east side of the station, then exiting onto Westminster Bridge Road (where it runs under the approach tracks) to turn left or right to the outside world. This exit - from the high level road, that is, not from Leake Street) is still used by some cabs going from their drop-off/pick-up places on the current "cab road" in front of some of the station offices, under the Waterloo East pedestrian bridge (ie more or less parallel to and above Waterloo Road). Of course cabs also - besides the Westminster Bridge Road exit - now have the option of running parallel to Mepham Street, going down to York Road from their ranks (though they can only turn left there), and the option of going down Spur Road (past the crane used to get W&C Line tube trains in and out) to Baylis Road.

I remember a narrow bendy road coming down from beneath the hotel building (or a building just behind it) into Midland Road. This was fairly recently, not long before the major rebuilding of St Pancras. I guessed it was a cab road, as nothing much bigger than a taxi-cab would be able to negotiate its bends. There's no sign of it since the rebuilding. This 1950s map shows an entry under the hotel just as one pulls into ramp at the front of the station: did taxis go in there? It isn't clear about the exit into Midland Road. It also shows the entry at the east end of the ramp, which, according to the plan in Jackson's book, was a former cab-rank between platforms 5 and 6, exiting down a ramp at the platforms' end into Pancras Road.

I must have been wrong about the Eurostar taxi entrance, that it came off the York Road end of Leake Street; I now remember it as Albert describes it. It made walking up to the Victory Arch quite a game, with taxis going this way and that. Looking at Google Streets, the new bit that was constructed at the Lower Marsh end of Leake Street to get taxis from the Eurostar rank into Westminster Bridge Road is still there, but fenced off. I remember when Leake Street was a gloomy hole populated by meths drinkers and smelling of whiskey from bonded warehouses. It and Leake Court, now gone, were a useful short-cut for me on my way to work.
 

colchesterken

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Paddington in an episode of the Professionals there are taxis and newspaper vans near the Lawn, a taxi driver shoots a bloke just arrived on a train, class 50 loco
Liverpool st before the rebuild taxis ran a one way system in via Primrose st out into Liverpool st up a ramp under the Great Eastern Hotel
 

Bletchleyite

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AIUI full removal was a requirement of DfT security advisers, implying the power source is irrelevant.

Yep that is the reason - it would be too easy to drive a large bomb in and set it off. It is not as if stations are not often full of stinking 20+ year old DMUs idling away, kicking out far more filth than any modern petrol or DPF fitted diesel car.

That said, does Liverpool Lime St still have the short stay car park inside the trainshed, which also includes the taxi rank? Or has it been moved now?
 

Djgr

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Yep that is the reason - it would be too easy to drive a large bomb in and set it off. It is not as if stations are not often full of stinking 20+ year old DMUs idling away, kicking out far more filth than any modern petrol or DPF fitted diesel car.

That said, does Liverpool Lime St still have the short stay car park inside the trainshed, which also includes the taxi rank? Or has it been moved now?
Last time I looked yes, although there is a second rank just outside the station through the lower numbered platforms exit.
 

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