tube turned into shop



Tube Lines, London Underground and Village Underground co-operate on the ultimate recycling project

A new charity is helping Tube Lines, the company responsible for rebuilding the Tube’s busiest lines, to recycle obsolete Tube carriages which have been lying disused for years. Over the weekend six old Jubilee line carriages were removed from sidings in Uxbridge and taken for cleaning up before being turned into workspace for start-up creative businesses by Village Underground, a new charity which supports new small companies.

Typically carriages which no longer serve the travelling public are taken to pieces, the metals separated and the various parts disposed of, some into landfill. In the past there has been little demand for reusing them by converting them into unusual work or play spaces but Tom Foxcroft, who has set up Village Underground and approached Tube Lines about recycling carriages, has identified a use which benefits the environment and community.

Tom Foxcroft, Director at Village Underground, said:

“The idea came from my own experience as a designer trying to start a small practice with friends – we just couldn’t get a foot on the ladder because of the price of studio and workspace….so I designed my own.”

Building on Tube Lines’ ISO14001 accreditation, the company is welcoming the opportunity to further boost its recycling programme, one of the many ways to reduce the impact on the environment while rebuilding the Underground.

Julie Pottier, who organised for the carriages to be recycled on behalf of Tube Lines, said:

“It’s great that we can put these old carriages to good use, benefiting local people and saving the environment a little. We’re keen to find more ways of avoiding waste so if other people or organisations have ideas, we’d love to hear from them.”

The carriages are being taken to Essex to be cleaned up and prepared for their conversion and will then be transported to their final destination of Great Eastern Street, Shoreditch, on 13 August.

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Toon Verberg