IMG 0237sml - Paddington station's unusual walkway

Long before any improvements took place at Paddington station there was an unusual pedestrian route which crossed the tops of the station canopies in order to access the suburban platforms. This little known pedestrian access walkway has never been written about which is a shame.
I used this walkway regularly during the mid 1980s as a useful shortcut to the tube. Sadly I have no photos of it in use.
IMG 0853 - Paddington station's unusual walkway
The remains of the public walkway before it was demolished. March 2010. Compare with below.
The old taxi road was closed and pedestrians directed to use that instead of the narrow walkway. It would be a number of years before the old taxi approach road gained the canopies that are seen today. At the same time, the remains of the walkway have been progressively removed.
IMG 9355 - Paddington station's unusual walkway
Barely anything left of the walkway as seen in this 2016 picture – save for a couple of supports in the distance.
1954A - Paddington station's unusual walkway
The only map I know of showing the walkway. OS 1954
I’m not sure of the exact origins of this walkway. It was not provided during the 1933 rebuild of the Metropolitan’s Bishops Bridge Road station. The picture below, embedded from Getty’s archive, proves this as the walkway is nowhere to be seen.

At some point, possibly the early fifties, the Bishops Bridge Road entrance was likely closed due to safety concerns. The only access thence was via the main station, entailing an unacceptably long detour. The rooftop walkway restored direct access to Bishops Bridge Road.
IMG 0863 - Paddington station's unusual walkway
Remnant of the old 1933 Bishops Bridge Road station entrance in 2010.
Access to the walkway was via the old taxi ramp from Bishops Bridge down to where it turned across the platforms. At that point the dedicated walkway began and led to the footbridge for platforms 14-16 and the tube.
DSC05124 - Paddington station's unusual walkway
The old taxi ramp seen in 2003. It was retained for pedestrian access until the new Bishops Bridge was built.
IMG 0238 - Paddington station's unusual walkway
The walkway descended these steps to join the present footbridge leading to the suburban platforms. March 2010
The only remaining bit of the walkway is the short access passage off the footbridge. There’s a sign bizarrely saying ‘Hammersmith and City Line via King’s Cross.’ I dont know why that sign is there as there’s never been access to the tube at this point!
IMG 9373 - Paddington station's unusual walkway
The same view in 2017 – just part of the walkway’s support beam remains.
I believe the walkway remained in use until 1999 when Sir Nicholas Grimshaw’s Paddington Phase 1 began. It was replaced by the old taxi road which remained solely a pedestrian access route until the summer of 2010. The old taxi ramp has now been replaced, and the curving section of taxi access road is now fully pedestrianised.
Anyone who remembers using the walkway, or other information about it, please leave a comment below. Thanks!

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Yes, I remember this as a way to escape the main station to sit beside the canal to wait until the cheap trains started in the evening.


yes, i remember using it. i used to live north west of the station – so it was very convenient.
i particularly like your photo of the old taxi way – and the memory of using the narrow path.
my recollection is that i would also use it to get to and from the H&C platforms.


Thank you so much for recording this information. I used to work in Paddington in the late 80’s. within Telstar House in Eastbourne Terrace. This entrance felt like a secret exit from the H&C line which I used to traverse through daily. On a recent visit to the station I was amazed at the changes to Paddington and the station and struggled to remember how everything connected up from the infrastucture that was left, despite doing this route for a number of years. The original Telstar House was demolished after a fire and not much is left of the Paddington I started my working career around.
I have been looking for images for a long time and this article proved I hadnt imagined it all, as there is almost no photographic evidence left.
Working now in the Museum sector I really appreciate that someone took the time to record this information

Wallace Brown

Most definitely remember it ! Dad was a telecoms engineer at Paddington in the 50s and knew about it – I remember him taking me along it in the 70s and 80s !