About SideTracked Caches
This cache belongs to the SideTracked series. It is not designed to take you to a magical place with a breath taking view. It's a distraction for the weary traveller, but anyone else can go and find it too. More Information can be found at the SideTracked Website
Aldwych is a closed station on the London Underground, located in the City of Westminster in Central London. It was opened in 1907 with the name Strand, after the street on which it is located, and was the terminus of the short Piccadilly line branch from Holborn that was a relic of the merger of two railway schemes. If you would like the see the façade of the station where the old 'Strand' name is still brandished, visit the waypoint below, only a couple of meters away. This cache is located at the station building, which is close to the Strand's junction with Surrey Street, near Aldwych. During its lifetime, the branch was the subject of a number of unrealised extension proposals that would have seen the tunnels through the station extended southwards, usually to Waterloo.
Served mostly by a shuttle train and having low passenger numbers, the station and branch were considered for closure several times. Service was offered only during weekday peak hours from 1962 and discontinued in 1994, when the cost of replacing the lifts was considered too high for the income generated.
Disused parts of the station and the running tunnels were used during both world wars to shelter artworks from London's public galleries and museums from bombing. The station has long been popular as a filming location and has appeared as itself and as other London Underground stations in a number of films. In recognition of its historical significance, the station is a Grade II listed building.
Because it was a self-contained section of the London Underground that was closed outside weekday peak hours, Aldwych station and the branch line from Holborn were popular locations for filming scenes set on the Tube even before their closure. Since the branch's closure in 1994, its use in film productions has continued, with the station appearing as itself and, with appropriate signage, as other stations on the network. The track and infrastructure are maintained in operational condition, and a train of ex-Northern line 1972 tube stock is permanently stabled on the branch. This train can be driven up and down the branch for filming. The physical connection with the Piccadilly line northbound tracks remains, but requires manual operation.
The pre-war operation of the station features in a pivotal scene in Geoffrey Household's novel Rogue Male, when the pursuit of the protagonist by an enemy agent sees them repeatedly using the shuttle service on the branch line. A chase through Aldwych station ends with the agent's death by electrocution on the track. A much modified and expanded version of the station appears as a level in the video game Tomb Raider III. The music video for The Prodigy's song "Firestarter" was filmed in the disused eastern tunnel and one of the unused lift shafts. The station was the subject of an episode of Most Haunted in 2002.
The cache is located near the Surrey Street Entrance, just off the main road, and shouldn't be too difficult to find. Be weary of muggles and replace as found! If the log is full or tatty, please post a NM and I will check on my next maintenance run.