UK: The last wooden escalator on the London Underground (Greenford, Central Line)

This is the last wooden escalator in use on the London Underground. It is situated at Greenford station on the Central Line. The escalator was made by the Waygood-Otis company and will last in service until spring 2014 when it will be replaced.

Greenford station is also unique for the fact that it is the only London Underground station where an escalator take passengers UP to the platforms from the station entrance, rather than down. Recorded 16th November 2013.
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Greenford is a large suburb in the London Borough of Ealing in west London, UK. It was historically an ancient parish in the former county of Middlesex. The most prominent landmarks in the suburb are the A40, a major dual-carriageway; Horsenden Hill, 85 metres (279 ft) above sea level; the small Parish Church of Holy Cross (14th century); and Betham House, built by Edward Betham (c. 1780).

The name is first recorded in 848 as Grenan forda. It is formed from the Old English ‘grēne’ and ‘ford’ and means ‘place at the green ford’. Greenford was known as Great Greenford in order to distinguish it from Little Greenford, which is now known as Perivale.

Greenford is considered to be birthplace of the modern organic chemical industry, as it was at William Perkin’s chemical factory in North Greenford, by the Grand Union Canal, that the world’s first aniline dye was discovered in March 1856. Perkin called his amazing discovery ‘mauveine’. Today there is a blue plaque marking the spot in Oldfield Lane North, just south of the Black Horse Public House. Greenford is home to the Hovis factory. The former Rockware glassworks on the canal is commemorated by Rockware Avenue. Greenford formed part of Greenford Urban District from 1894 to 1926 and was then absorbed by the Municipal Borough of Ealing.

Greenford has two Non-League football teams London Tigers F.C. who play at the Avenue Park Stadium and North Greenford United F.C. who play at Berkeley Fields.
The trotting track at Greenford was a pioneer speedway venue and open meetings were staged 1928–1930. The track would be called a long track now, as it was of the order of half a mile/800 metres per lap. The trotting park was situated on what is now Birkbeck Avenue, just north of the A40 Western Avenue.
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The Otis Elevator Company is the world’s largest manufacturer of vertical transportation systems, principally focusing on elevators and escalators. Founded in Yonkers, New York, United States, in 1853 by Elisha Otis, the company pioneered the development of the ‘safety elevator’, invented by Otis in 1852, which used a special mechanism to lock the elevator car in place should the hoisting ropes fail.
Otis has installed elevators in some of the world’s most famous structures, including the Eiffel Tower, Empire State Building, World Trade Center, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Petronas Twin Towers, Burj Khalifa, CN Tower, the Hotel del Coronado, and the Skylon Tower.

Statistically, Otis is the world’s most popular transportation company. It is estimated that the equivalent of the world’s population travel in Otis elevators, escalators and moving walkways every three days. According to United Technologies, Otis elevators carry the equivalent of the world’s population every nine days.

Otis elevator in Glasgow, Scotland, imported from the U.S. in 1856 for Gardner’s Warehouse, the oldest cast-iron fronted building in the British Isles.
Otis was acquired by United Technologies in 1976 and is a wholly owned subsidiary. The company has over 61,000 employees, with 2007 revenue of US$11.885 billion. The company headquarters are located in Farmington, Connecticut.
Otis has also dabbled in horizontal automated people-mover “shuttle” systems, such as the Otis Hovair. In 1996, Otis formed a joint venture called Poma-Otis Transportation Systems with the French company Pomagalski to promote these products.

Otis Elevator Company purchased Evans Lifts in the UK. Evans Lifts Ltd. was the oldest and largest manufacturer of lift equipment in the UK and was based in Leicester, England. Otis’ Customer Care Centre is still based in the old Evans Lifts building in Leicester. The building has since been extended by Otis.
There are still some installations of Evans Lifts being used today. Notably, an original Evans Lift is still in the Silver Arcade in Leicester. It formerly transported people to the upper floors, but the upper floors are no longer occupied so the lift is no longer used.
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6 thoughts on “UK: Last wooden escalator on the London Underground (Greenford, Central Line). Made by Waygood-Otis

  1. It has gone now, been replaced by an "inclinator" a lift that goes up at an incline where the escalator used to be. Back in the day, the escalators were all wooden, side panels as well, but have been phased out since the Kings Cross fire (1987?). Smoking on the underground was banned then also.

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