London Underground

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The London Underground (also known as The Tube or The Underground) is a rapid transit
Rapid transit
A rapid transit, underground, subway, elevated railway, metro or metropolitan railway system is an electric passenger railway in an urban area with a high capacity and frequency, and grade separation from other traffic. Rapid transit systems are typically located either in underground tunnels or on...

 system serving a large part of Greater London
Greater London
Greater London is the top-level administrative division of England covering London. It was created in 1965 and spans the City of London, including Middle Temple and Inner Temple, and the 32 London boroughs. This territory is coterminate with the London Government Office Region and the London...

 and some parts of Buckinghamshire
Buckinghamshire
Buckinghamshire is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan home county in South East England. The county town is Aylesbury, the largest town in the ceremonial county is Milton Keynes and largest town in the non-metropolitan county is High Wycombe....

, Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England. The county town is Hertford.The county is one of the Home Counties and lies inland, bordered by Greater London , Buckinghamshire , Bedfordshire , Cambridgeshire and...

 and Essex
Essex
Essex is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England, and one of the home counties. It is located to the northeast of Greater London. It borders with Cambridgeshire and Suffolk to the north, Hertfordshire to the west, Kent to the South and London to the south west...

 in England. It is the oldest underground railway in the world, the first section of which opened in 1863 on what are now the Circle & Hammersmith & City
Hammersmith & City Line
The Hammersmith & City line is a subsurface London Underground line. It connects Hammersmith in the west with Barking in the east, running through the northern part of central London. It is coloured salmon pink on the Tube map...

 lines and part of the Metropolitan
Metropolitan Line
The Metropolitan line is part of the London Underground. It is coloured in Transport for London's Corporate Magenta on the Tube map and in other branding. It was the first underground railway in the world, opening as the Metropolitan Railway on 10 January 1863...

 line. In 1890 it became the first to operate electric trains
Electric locomotive
An electric locomotive is a locomotive powered by electricity from overhead lines, a third rail or an on-board energy storage device...

. The whole network is commonly referred to by Londoners and in official publicity as the Tube, although that term originally applied only to the deep-level bored lines, along which run trains of a smaller and more circular cross-section, to distinguish them from the sub-surface "cut and cover" lines that were built first.

The earlier lines of the present London Underground network were built by various private companies. They became part of an integrated transport system in 1933 when the London Passenger Transport Board
London Passenger Transport Board
The London Passenger Transport Board was the organisation responsible for public transport in London, UK, and its environs from 1933 to 1948...

 (LPTB) or London Transport
London Transport (brand)
London Transport was the public name and brand used by a series of public transport authorities in London, England, from 1933. Its most recognisable feature was the bar-and-circle 'roundel' logo...

was created. The underground network became a separate entity in 1985, when the UK Government created London Underground Limited (LUL). Since 2003 LUL has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Transport for London
Transport for London
Transport for London is the local government body responsible for most aspects of the transport system in Greater London in England. Its role is to implement the transport strategy and to manage transport services across London...

 (TfL), the statutory corporation responsible for most aspects of the transport system in Greater London
Greater London
Greater London is the top-level administrative division of England covering London. It was created in 1965 and spans the City of London, including Middle Temple and Inner Temple, and the 32 London boroughs. This territory is coterminate with the London Government Office Region and the London...

, which is run by a board and a commissioner appointed by the Mayor of London
Mayor of London
The Mayor of London is an elected politician who, along with the London Assembly of 25 members, is accountable for the strategic government of Greater London. Conservative Boris Johnson has held the position since 4 May 2008...

.

The Underground serves 270 stations
Metro station
A metro station or subway station is a railway station for a rapid transit system, often known by names such as "metro", "underground" and "subway". It is often underground or elevated. At crossings of metro lines, they are multi-level....

 and has 402 kilometres (249.8 mi) of track, making it the second largest metro system in the world in terms of route miles, after the Shanghai Metro
Shanghai Metro
The Shanghai Metro is the urban rapid transit system of China's largest city, Shanghai. The system incorporates both subway and light rail lines. It opened in 1995, making Shanghai the third city in Mainland China, after Beijing and Tianjin, to have a rapid transit system...

. It also has one of the largest numbers of stations. In 2007, more than one billion passenger journeys were recorded, making it the third busiest metro system in Europe, after Moscow
Moscow Metro
The Moscow Metro is a rapid transit system serving Moscow and the neighbouring town of Krasnogorsk. Opened in 1935 with one line and 13 stations, it was the first underground railway system in the Soviet Union. As of 2011, the Moscow Metro has 182 stations and its route length is . The system is...

 and Paris
Paris Métro
The Paris Métro or Métropolitain is the rapid transit metro system in Paris, France. It has become a symbol of the city, noted for its density within the city limits and its uniform architecture influenced by Art Nouveau. The network's sixteen lines are mostly underground and run to 214 km ...

. The tube is an international icon for London, with the tube map
Tube map
The Tube map is a schematic transit map representing the lines and stations of London's rapid transit railway systems, namely the London Underground , the Docklands Light Railway and London Overground....

, considered a design classic, having influenced many other transport maps worldwide. Although also shown on the Tube map, the Docklands Light Railway
Docklands Light Railway
The Docklands Light Railway is an automated light metro or light rail system opened on 31 August 1987 to serve the redeveloped Docklands area of London...

 (DLR) and London Overground
London Overground
London Overground is a suburban rail network in London and Hertfordshire. It has been operated by London Overground Rail Operations since 2007 as part of the National Rail network, under the franchise control and branding of Transport for London...

 are not part of the LUL network.

Currently, 86% of operational expenditure on the London Underground is covered by passenger fares. Almost all London Underground trains currently lack air conditioning which leads to the network getting very hot in the summer although plans are underway to reduce this issue with new air conditioned trains and other schemes. Due to a £10 billion upgrade plan almost every weekend some lines are closed.

History



Railway construction in the United Kingdom began in the early 19th century, and six railway terminals had been built just outside the centre of London by 1854: , , , , and . At this point, only station was located in the actual City of London
City of London
The City of London is a small area within Greater London, England. It is the historic core of London around which the modern conurbation grew and has held city status since time immemorial. The City’s boundaries have remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages, and it is now only a tiny part of...

. Traffic congestion in the city and the surrounding areas had increased significantly in this period, partly due to the need for rail travellers to complete their journeys into the city centre by road. The idea of building an underground railway to link the City of London with the mainline terminals had first been proposed in the 1830s, but it was not until the 1850s that the idea was taken seriously as a solution to traffic congestion
Traffic congestion
Traffic congestion is a condition on road networks that occurs as use increases, and is characterized by slower speeds, longer trip times, and increased vehicular queueing. The most common example is the physical use of roads by vehicles. When traffic demand is great enough that the interaction...

.

The first underground railways


In 1855 an Act of Parliament
Act of Parliament
An Act of Parliament is a statute enacted as primary legislation by a national or sub-national parliament. In the Republic of Ireland the term Act of the Oireachtas is used, and in the United States the term Act of Congress is used.In Commonwealth countries, the term is used both in a narrow...

 was passed approving the construction of an underground railway between Paddington Station
Paddington station
Paddington railway station, also known as London Paddington, is a central London railway terminus and London Underground complex.The site is a historic one, having served as the London terminus of the Great Western Railway and its successors since 1838. Much of the current mainline station dates...

 and Farringdon Street
Farringdon station
Farringdon station is a London Underground and National Rail station in Clerkenwell, just north of the City of London in the London Borough of Islington...

 via King's Cross which was to be called the Metropolitan Railway
Metropolitan railway
Metropolitan Railway can refer to:* Metropolitan line, part of the London Underground* Metropolitan Railway, the first underground railway to be built in London...

. The Great Western Railway
Great Western Railway
The Great Western Railway was a British railway company that linked London with the south-west and west of England and most of Wales. It was founded in 1833, received its enabling Act of Parliament in 1835 and ran its first trains in 1838...

 (GWR) gave financial backing to the project when it was agreed that a junction would be built linking the underground railway with its mainline terminus at Paddington
Paddington station
Paddington railway station, also known as London Paddington, is a central London railway terminus and London Underground complex.The site is a historic one, having served as the London terminus of the Great Western Railway and its successors since 1838. Much of the current mainline station dates...

. The GWR also agreed to design special trains for the new subterranean railway.
A shortage of funds delayed construction for several years. The fact that this project got under way at all was largely due to the lobbying of Charles Pearson
Charles Pearson
Charles Pearson was Solicitor to the City of London, a reforming campaigner, and – briefly – Member of Parliament for Lambeth...

, who was Solicitor to the City of London Corporation at the time. Pearson had supported the idea of an underground railway in London for several years. He advocated plans for the demolition of the unhygienic slums which would be replaced by new accommodation for their inhabitants in the suburbs, with the new railway providing transportation to their places of work in the city centre. Although he was never directly involved in the running of the Metropolitan Railway, he is widely credited with being one of the earliest visionaries behind the concept of underground railways. And in 1859 it was Pearson who persuaded the City of London Corporation to help fund the scheme. Work finally began in February 1860, under the guidance of chief engineer John Fowler. Pearson died before the work was completed.

The Metropolitan Railway opened on 10 January 1863, and was carrying over 26,000 passengers a day within a few months of opening.
The Hammersmith and City Railway
Hammersmith & City Line
The Hammersmith & City line is a subsurface London Underground line. It connects Hammersmith in the west with Barking in the east, running through the northern part of central London. It is coloured salmon pink on the Tube map...

 was opened on 13 June 1864 between Hammersmith
Hammersmith tube station (Hammersmith & City Line)
Hammersmith is a London Underground station in Hammersmith. It is the western terminus of the Circle and Hammersmith & City lines. The station is in Travelcard Zone 2 and is a short walk from the station of the same name on the Piccadilly and District lines. The two stations are separated by...

 and Paddington. Services were initially operated by GWR between Hammersmith and Farringdon Street. By April 1865 the Metropolitan had taken over the service. On 23 December 1865 the Metropolitan's eastern extension to Moorgate Street
Moorgate station
Moorgate station is a central London railway terminus and London Underground station on Moorgate in the City of London; it provides National Rail services by First Capital Connect for Hertford, Welwyn Garden City and Letchworth and also serves the Circle, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan Lines and...

 opened. Later in the decade other branches were opened to Swiss Cottage
Swiss Cottage tube station
Swiss Cottage tube station is a London Underground station at Swiss Cottage. It is on the Jubilee Line, between and . It is in Travelcard Zone 2 and on the Finchley Road.-History:...

, South Kensington
South Kensington tube station
South Kensington is a London Underground station in Kensington, west London. It is served by the District, Circle and Piccadilly lines. On the District and Circle lines, the station is between Gloucester Road and Sloane Square, and on the Piccadilly Line, it is between Gloucester Road and...

 and Addison Road, Kensington (now known as Kensington Olympia). The railway was initially dual gauge
Dual gauge
A dual-gauge or mixed-gauge railway has railway track that allows trains of different gauges to use the same track. Generally, a dual-gauge railway consists of three rails, rather than the standard two rails. The two outer rails give the wider gauge, while one of the outer rails and the inner rail...

, allowing for the use of the GWR's broad-gauge rolling stock as well as the more widely used standard-gauge stock. Disagreements with GWR forced the Metropolitan to switch to standard gauge in 1863 after the GWR withdrew all its stock from the railway. These differences were later patched up. Broad-gauge trains ceased to run on the Metropolitan in March 1869.

On 24 December 1868, the Metropolitan District Railway
Metropolitan District Railway
The Metropolitan District Railway was the predecessor of the District line of the London Underground. Set up on 29 July 1864, at first to complete the "Inner Circle" railway around central London, it was gradually extended into the suburbs...

 began operating between South Kensington and Westminster
Westminster tube station
Westminster is a London Underground station in the City of Westminster. It is served by the Circle, District and Jubilee lines. On the Circle and District lines, the station is between St. James's Park and Embankment and, on the Jubilee line it is between Green Park and Waterloo. It is in...

 using Metropolitan Railway trains and carriages. The company, which soon became known as "the District", was first incorporated in 1864 to complete an Inner Circle railway around London in conjunction with the Metropolitan. This was part of a plan to build both an Inner Circle line and Outer Circle
Outer Circle (London)
The Outer Circle was a railway route in London operated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries over tracks which are now mainly owned by Network Rail but include parts of the London Underground...

 line.

A fierce rivalry soon developed between the District and the Metropolitan. This severely delayed the completion of the Inner Circle project as the two companies competed to build far more financially lucrative railways in the suburbs of London. The London and North Western Railway
London and North Western Railway
The London and North Western Railway was a British railway company between 1846 and 1922. It was created by the merger of three companies – the Grand Junction Railway, the London and Birmingham Railway and the Manchester and Birmingham Railway...

 (LNWR) began running its Outer Circle service from Broad Street via Willesden Junction, Addison Road and Earl's Court
Earl's Court tube station
Earl's Court tube station is a London Underground station in Earls Court. The station is located between Earls Court Road and Warwick Road . It is on the boundary of Travelcard Zone 1 and 2 and is in both zones....

 to Mansion House
Mansion House tube station
Mansion House is a London Underground station in the City of London, near Mansion House . It is a sub-surface station served by trains on the Circle and District Lines. It is between Blackfriars and Cannon Street stations. The station is located at the junction of Queen Victoria Street and Cannon...

 in 1872. The Inner Circle was not completed until 1884, with the Metropolitan and the District jointly running services. In the meantime, the District had finished its route between West Brompton
West Brompton station
West Brompton is a Network Rail West London Line and London Underground District Line station in west London. It is located on Old Brompton Road immediately south of Earls Court Exhibition Centre and to the west of Brompton Cemetery....

 and Blackfriars
Blackfriars station
Blackfriars station, also known as London Blackfriars, is a central London railway terminus and London Underground complex in the City of London, England. Its platforms will eventually span the River Thames a short distance downstream from Blackfriars Bridge. The current entrance is located on the...

 in 1870, with an interchange with the Metropolitan at South Kensington. In 1877, it began running its own services from Hammersmith to Richmond
Richmond station (London)
Richmond station is a National Rail and London Underground station in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames in south west London which is managed by South West Trains....

, on a line originally opened by the London & South Western Railway (LSWR) in 1869. The District then opened a new line from Turnham Green
Turnham Green tube station
Turnham Green is a London Underground station in Chiswick in west London. The station is located on Turnham Green Terrace, but the actual green is much closer to Chiswick Park station. The station is served by the District and Piccadilly Lines although Piccadilly Line trains normally only stop at...

 to Ealing
Ealing Broadway station
Ealing Broadway is an east-west National Rail and London Underground station in Ealing in west London. The station is located in Haven Green , at the termination of The Broadway, and is in Travelcard Zone 3.-Services:...

 in 1879 and extended its West Brompton branch to Fulham
Fulham Broadway tube station
Fulham Broadway is a London Underground station on the branch of the District Line. It is between and stations and is in Travelcard Zone 2. The station is located on Fulham Broadway . It is notable as the nearest station to Stamford Bridge stadium, the home of Chelsea Football Club...

 in 1880. Over the same decade the Metropolitan was extended to Harrow-on-the-Hill station
Harrow-on-the-Hill station
Harrow-on-the-Hill station is a London Underground station served by National Rail and London Underground trains. It is located between College Road and Lowlands Road in the Greenhill area of Harrow, about half a mile north of the locality from which it takes its name.-Railway geography:The...

 in the north-west.

The early tunnels were dug mainly using cut-and-cover construction methods. This caused widespread disruption, and required the demolition of many properties on the surface. The first trains were steam-hauled, requiring effective ventilation to the surface. Ventilation shafts at various points on the route allowed the engines to expel steam and bring fresh air into the tunnels. One such vent is at Leinster Gardens
Leinster Gardens
Leinster Gardens is a street in Bayswater, London. It has two false façades at numbers 23 & 24, constructed at the time of the original steam engine-hauled underground railway that had a short section exposed to the surface....

, W2. To preserve the visual characteristics in what is still a well-to-do street, a five-foot-thick (1.5 m) concrete façade was constructed to resemble a genuine house frontage.

On 7 December 1869 the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway
London, Brighton and South Coast Railway
The London, Brighton and South Coast Railway was a railway company in the United Kingdom from 1846 to 1922. Its territory formed a rough triangle, with London at its apex, practically the whole coastline of Sussex as its base, and a large part of Surrey...

 (LB&SCR) started operating between Wapping
Wapping tube station
Wapping railway station is on the northern bank of the river Thames in Wapping, East London, England. It is in Zone 2, and on the East London Line of London Overground between and ....

 and New Cross Gate
New Cross Gate station
New Cross Gate station is a railway station in New Cross, London, on the Brighton Main Line. It is about 600 metres west of station. It is in Travelcard Zone 2, on the East London Line. The station is operated by London Overground.-History:...

 on the East London Railway (ELR) using the Thames Tunnel
Thames Tunnel
The Thames Tunnel is an underwater tunnel, built beneath the River Thames in London, United Kingdom, connecting Rotherhithe and Wapping. It measures 35 feet wide by 20 feet high and is 1,300 feet long, running at a depth of 75 feet below the river's surface...

 built by Marc Brunel and his son Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Isambard Kingdom Brunel, FRS , was a British civil engineer who built bridges and dockyards including the construction of the first major British railway, the Great Western Railway; a series of steamships, including the first propeller-driven transatlantic steamship; and numerous important bridges...

, using the revolutionary tunnelling shield
Tunnelling shield
A tunnelling shield is a protective structure used in the excavation of tunnels through soil that is too soft or fluid to remain stable during the time it takes to line the tunnel with a support structure of concrete, cast iron or steel...

 method which made its construction possible. This had opened in 1843 as a pedestrian tunnel, but in 1865 it was bought by the ELR (a consortium of six railway companies: the Great Eastern Railway
Great Eastern Railway
The Great Eastern Railway was a pre-grouping British railway company, whose main line linked London Liverpool Street to Norwich and which had other lines through East Anglia...

 (GER); London, Brighton and South Coast Railway (LB&SCR); London, Chatham and Dover Railway
London, Chatham and Dover Railway
The London, Chatham and Dover Railway was a railway company in south-eastern England from 1859 until the 1923 grouping which united it with other companies to form the Southern Railway. Its lines ran through London and northern and eastern Kent to form a significant part of the Greater London...

 (LCDR); South Eastern Railway
South Eastern Railway (UK)
The South Eastern Railway was a railway company in south-eastern England from 1836 until 1922. The company was formed to construct a route from London to Dover. Branch lines were later opened to Tunbridge Wells, Hastings, Canterbury and other places in Kent...

 (SER); Metropolitan Railway; and the Metropolitan District Railway) and converted into a railway tunnel. In 1884 the District and the Metropolitan began to operate services on the line.

By the end of the 1880s, underground railways reached Chesham
Chesham tube station
Chesham lies at the end of the Metropolitan Line Chesham branch, and opened on 8 July 1889 as the original northern terminus of the Metropolitan Railway from . The station is a Grade II listed building. There is no station starter signal at Chesham. The branch has no intermediate stations...

 on the Metropolitan, Hounslow
Hounslow West tube station
Hounslow West is a London Underground station in Hounslow in west London. The station is on the Heathrow branch of the Piccadilly Line, between Hatton Cross and Hounslow Central stations. The station is located on Bath Road about 600m from the junction of Bath Road, Great West Road and Great...

, Wimbledon
Wimbledon station
Wimbledon station is a National Rail, London Underground, and Tramlink station located in Wimbledon in the London Borough of Merton, and is the only London station that provides an interchange between rail, Underground, and Tramlink services...

 and Whitechapel
Whitechapel tube station
Whitechapel is a London Underground and London Overground station on Whitechapel Road in the Whitechapel neighbourhood of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets in east London, England. The station is located on the east–west tracks shared by the District line and Hammersmith and City line and is on...

 on the District and New Cross
New Cross station
New Cross railway station is a railway station in New Cross, London. It is in Zone 2, on the East London Line. Closed in late 2007, the station was refurbished and re-opened as part of the London Overground network on 27 April 2010 for preview services...

 on the East London Railway. By the end of the 19th century, the Metropolitan had extended its lines far outside London to Aylesbury, and Brill
Brill
Brill is a village and civil parish in Aylesbury Vale district in Buckinghamshire, England, close to the boundary with Oxfordshire. It is about north-west of Long Crendon and south-east of Bicester...

, creating new suburbs along the route, later publicised by the company as Metro-land
Metro-land
Metro-land is a name given to the suburban areas that were built to the north west of London in the counties of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Middlesex in the early part of the 20th century, and were served by the Metropolitan Railway, an independent company until absorbed by the London...

. Right up until the 1930s the company maintained ambitions to be considered as a main line rather than an urban railway, ambitions that are still continued somewhat today.

First tube lines



Following advances in the use of tunnelling shield
Tunnelling shield
A tunnelling shield is a protective structure used in the excavation of tunnels through soil that is too soft or fluid to remain stable during the time it takes to line the tunnel with a support structure of concrete, cast iron or steel...

s, electric traction and deep-level tunnel designs, later railways were built deeper underground. This caused much less disruption at ground level, and it was therefore cheaper than and preferable to the cut-and-cover construction method.

The City & South London Railway
City & South London Railway
The City and South London Railway was the first deep-level underground "tube" railway in the world, and the first major railway to use electric traction...

 (C&SLR, now part of the Northern Line
Northern Line
The Northern line is a London Underground line. It is coloured black on the Tube map.For most of its length it is a deep-level tube line. The line carries 206,734,000 passengers per year. This is the highest number of any line on the London Underground system, but the Northern line is unique in...

) opened in 1890, between Stockwell
Stockwell tube station
Stockwell tube station is a London Underground station in Stockwell, in the London Borough of Lambeth. It is located on the Northern Line between Oval and Clapham North, and on the Victoria Line between Brixton and Vauxhall. It is the southernmost station on the London Undergound that serves more...

 and the now closed original terminus at King William Street
King William Street tube station
King William Street was the original but short-lived northern terminus of the City & South London Railway , the first deep tube underground railway in London and one of the component parts of the London Underground's Northern Line. It was in the City of London, on King William Street, just south...

. It was the first "deep-level" electrically operated railway in the world. By 1900 it had been extended at both ends, to Clapham Common
Clapham Common tube station
Clapham Common tube station is a station on London Underground's Northern Line. It lies between Clapham North and Clapham South stations and is in Travelcard Zone 2.-History:...

 in the south and Moorgate Street (via a diversion) in the north. The second such railway, the Waterloo and City Railway
Waterloo & City Line
The Waterloo & City line is a short underground railway line in London, which was formally opened on 11 July 1898. It has only two stations, Waterloo and Bank...

 (W&CR), opened in 1898. It was built and run by the London and South Western Railway
London and South Western Railway
The London and South Western Railway was a railway company in England from 1838 to 1922. Its network extended from London to Plymouth via Salisbury and Exeter, with branches to Ilfracombe and Padstow and via Southampton to Bournemouth and Weymouth. It also had many routes connecting towns in...

.

On 30 July 1900, the Central London Railway
Central London Railway
The Central London Railway , also known as the Twopenny Tube, was a deep-level, underground "tube" railway that opened in London in 1900...

 (now known as the Central Line
Central Line
The Central line is a London Underground line, coloured red on the tube map. It is a deep-level "tube" line, running east-west across London, and, at , has the greatest total length of track of any line on the Underground. Of the 49 stations served, 20 are below ground...

) was opened, operating services from Bank to Shepherd's Bush. It was nicknamed the "Twopenny Tube" for its flat fare and cylindrical tunnels; the "tube" nickname was eventually transferred to the Underground system as a whole. An interchange with the C&SLR and the W&CR was provided at Bank. Construction had also begun in August 1898 on the Baker Street & Waterloo Railway, but work came to a halt after 18 months when funds ran out.

Integration




In the early 20th century the presence of six independent operators running different Underground lines caused passengers substantial inconvenience; in many places passengers had to walk some distance above ground to change between lines. The costs associated with running such a system were also heavy, and as a result many companies looked to financiers who could supply the capital they needed to expand into the lucrative suburbs as well as electrify the earlier steam-operated lines. The most prominent of these was Charles Yerkes
Charles Yerkes
Charles Tyson Yerkes was an American financier, born in Philadelphia. He played a major part in developing mass-transit systems in Chicago and London.-Philadelphia:...

, an American tycoon who secured the right to build the Charing Cross, Euston and Hampstead Railway (CCE&HR) on 1 October 1900, today also part of the Northern Line. In March 1901, he effectively took control of the District and this enabled him to form the Metropolitan District Electric Traction Company (MDET) on 15 July 1901. Through this he acquired the Great Northern and Strand Railway and the Brompton and Piccadilly Circus Railway in September 1901, the construction of which had already been authorised by Parliament, together with the moribund Baker Street & Waterloo Railway in March 1902. The GN&SR and the B&PCR evolved into the present-day Piccadilly Line
Piccadilly Line
The Piccadilly line is a line of the London Underground, coloured dark blue on the Tube map. It is the fifth busiest line on the Underground network judged by the number of passengers transported per year. It is mainly a deep-level line, running from the north to the west of London via Zone 1, with...

. On 9 April the MDET became the Underground Electric Railways Company of London
Underground Electric Railways Company of London
The Underground Electric Railways Company of London Limited , known operationally as The Underground for much of its existence, was established in 1902. It was the holding company for the three deep-level "tube"A "tube" railway is an underground railway constructed in a circular tunnel by the use...

 (UERL). The UERL also owned three tramway companies and went on to buy the London General Omnibus Company
London General Omnibus Company
The London General Omnibus Company or LGOC, was the principal bus operator in London between 1855 and 1933. It was also, for a short period between 1909 and 1912, a motor bus manufacturer.- Overview :...

, creating an organisation colloquially known as "the Combine" which went on to dominate underground railway construction in London until the 1930s.

With the financial backing of Yerkes, the District opened its South Harrow
South Harrow tube station
South Harrow is a London Underground station on the Uxbridge branch of the Piccadilly Line. The station is between Sudbury Hill and Rayners Lane. It is located on Northolt Road . The station is in Travelcard Zone 5...

 branch in 1903 and completed its link to the Metropolitan's Uxbridge
Uxbridge tube station
Uxbridge is a London Underground station in Uxbridge in the London Borough of Hillingdon, north-west London. The station is the terminus of the Uxbridge branches of both the Metropolitan Line and the Piccadilly Line. The next station towards London is Hillingdon. The station is 15.5 miles west of...

 branch at Rayners Lane
Rayners Lane tube station
Rayners Lane is a London Underground station in the district of Rayners Lane in north west London, amid a 1930s development originally named Harrow Garden Village. The station is on the Uxbridge branch of both the Metropolitan Line, between Eastcote and West Harrow stations, and the Piccadilly...

 in 1904, although services to Uxbridge on the District did not begin until 1910 due to yet another disagreement with the Metropolitan. Today, District Line services to Uxbridge have been replaced by the Piccadilly Line. By the end of 1905, all District Railway and Inner Circle services were run by electric trains.

The Baker Street & Waterloo Railway opened in 1906, soon branding itself the Bakerloo
Bakerloo Line
The Bakerloo line is a line of the London Underground, coloured brown on the Tube map. It runs partly on the surface and partly at deep level, from Elephant and Castle in the south-east to Harrow & Wealdstone in the north-west of London. The line serves 25 stations, of which 15 are underground...

 and, by 1907, it had been extended to Edgware Road
Edgware Road tube station
Edgware Road station is a London Underground station on the corner of Chapel Street and Cabbell Street Road in Travelcard Zone 1 serving the Circle, District and Hammersmith & City lines. The separate Edgware Road tube station is about 150 metres away on the opposite side of the Marylebone Road...

 in the north and Elephant & Castle
Elephant & Castle tube station
Elephant & Castle tube station is a station on the London Underground system. It is located in the London Borough of Southwark and on the boundary of Travelcard Zone 1 and 2...

 in the south. The newly named Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway
Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway
The Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway , also known as the Piccadilly tube, was a railway company established in 1902 that constructed a deep-level underground "tube" railway in London. The GNP&BR was formed through a merger of two older companies, the Brompton and Piccadilly Circus...

, combining the two projects acquired by MDET in September 1901, also opened in 1906. With tunnels at an impressive depth of 200 feet (61 m) below the surface, it ran from Finsbury Park to Hammersmith; a single station branch to Strand
Aldwych tube station
Aldwych is a closed London Underground station in the City of Westminster, originally opened as Strand in 1907. It was the terminus and only station on the short Piccadilly line branch from Holborn that was a relic of the merger of two railway schemes. The disused station building is close to the...

 (later renamed Aldwych) was added in 1907. In the same year the CCE&HR opened from Charing Cross
Charing Cross tube station
Charing Cross tube station is a London Underground station at Charing Cross in the City of Westminster with entrances located in Trafalgar Square and The Strand. The station is served by the Northern and Bakerloo lines and provides an interchange with the National Rail network at station...

 to Camden Town
Camden Town tube station
Camden Town tube station is a major junction on the Northern Line and one of the busiest stations on the London Underground network...

, with two northward branches, one to Golders Green
Golders Green tube station
Golders Green tube station is a London Underground station in Golders Green, north London. The station is on the Edgware branch of the Northern Line between Hampstead and Brent Cross...

 and one to Highgate
Highgate tube station
Highgate tube station is a London Underground station on Archway Road, Highgate, not far from Highgate Village in north London. It is on the High Barnet branch of the Northern Line, between Archway and East Finchley, in Travelcard Zone 3....

 (now Archway
Archway tube station
Archway tube station is a London Underground station in north London, underneath the Archway Tower, at the intersection of Holloway Road, Highgate Hill and Junction Road in the area known as Archway....

).

Independently of the "Combine", the Great Northern & City Railway
Northern City Line
The Northern City Line is a railway line from Moorgate to Finsbury Park in London, once part of the Great Northern Electrics line. It should not be confused with the City branch of the Northern line, nor with the North London Line...

 opened in 1904 between Finsbury Park and Moorgate. It was the only tube line of sufficient diameter to be capable of handling main line stock, and it was originally intended to be part of a main line railway. However, money soon ran out and the route remained separate from the main line network until the 1970s. The C&SLR was also extended northwards to Euston
Euston tube station
Euston tube station is a London Underground station served by the Victoria Line and both branches of the Northern Line. It directly connects with the Euston mainline station above it. The station is in Travelcard Zone 1....

 by 1907.

In early 1908, in an effort to increase passenger numbers, the underground railway operators agreed to promote their services jointly as "the Underground", publishing joint advertisements and creating a free publicity map of the network for the purpose. The map featured a key labelling the Bakerloo Railway, the Central London Railway, the City & South London Railway, the District Railway, the Great Northern & City Railway, the Hampstead Railway (the shortened name of the CCE&HR), the Metropolitan Railway and the Piccadilly Railway. Other railways appeared on the map but with much less prominence; these included the Waterloo & City Railway and part of the ELR, which were both owned by main-line railway companies at the time. As part of the process, "The Underground" name appeared on stations for the first time and electric ticket-issuing machines were also introduced. This was followed in 1913 by the first appearance of the famous circle and horizontal bar symbol, known as "the roundel
Roundel
A roundel in heraldry is a disc; the term is also commonly used to refer to a type of national insignia used on military aircraft, generally circular in shape and usually comprising concentric rings of different colours.-Heraldry:...

", designed by Edward Johnston
Edward Johnston
Edward Johnston, CBE was a British-Uruguayan craftsman who is regarded, with Rudolf Koch, as the a father of modern calligraphy, in the form of the broad edged pen as a writing tool, a particular form of calligraphy....

. In January 1933 the UERL experimented with a new diagrammatic map
Tube map
The Tube map is a schematic transit map representing the lines and stations of London's rapid transit railway systems, namely the London Underground , the Docklands Light Railway and London Overground....

 of the Underground, designed by Harry Beck and first issued in pocket-sized form. It was an immediate success with the public and is now commonly regarded as a design classic; an updated version is still in use today.

Meanwhile, on 1 January 1913 the UERL absorbed two other independent tube lines, the C&SLR and the Central London Railway. As the Combine expanded, only the Metropolitan stayed away from this process of integration, retaining its ambition to be considered as a main-line railway. Proposals were put forward for a merger between the two companies in 1913 but the plan was rejected by the Metropolitan. In the same year the company asserted its independence by buying out the cash-strapped Great Northern and City Railway, a predecessor to the Piccadilly Line. It also sought a character of its own. The Metropolitan Surplus Lands Committee had been formed in 1887 to develop accommodation alongside the railway, and in 1919 Metropolitan Railway Country Estates Ltd was founded to capitalise on the post-World War One demand for housing. This ensured that the Metropolitan would retain an independent image until the creation of London Transport in 1933.

The Metropolitan also sought to electrify its lines. The District and the Metropolitan had agreed to use the low-voltage DC system for the Inner Circle, comprising two electric rails to power the trains, back in 1901. At the start of 1905, electric trains began to work the Uxbridge branch, and from 1 November 1906 electric locomotives took trains as far as Wembley Park
Wembley Park tube station
Wembley Park tube station is a London Underground station in Wembley Park, north west London. The station is served by the Underground's Metropolitan and Jubilee Lines and is in Travelcard Zone 4...

, where steam locos took over. This changeover point was moved to Harrow-on-the-Hill on 19 July 1908. The Hammersmith & City branch had also been upgraded to electric working on 5 November 1906. The electrification of the ELR followed on 31 March 1913, the same year as the opening of its extension to Whitechapel
Whitechapel tube station
Whitechapel is a London Underground and London Overground station on Whitechapel Road in the Whitechapel neighbourhood of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets in east London, England. The station is located on the east–west tracks shared by the District line and Hammersmith and City line and is on...

 and Shoreditch
Shoreditch tube station
Shoreditch tube station was a London Underground station in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets in east London. It was in Travelcard Zone 2. The station closed permanently at the end of traffic on 9 June 2006....

. Following the Grouping Act
Railways Act 1921
The Railways Act 1921, also known as the Grouping Act, was an enactment by the British government of David Lloyd George intended to stem the losses being made by many of the country's 120 railway companies, move the railways away from internal competition, and to retain some of the benefits which...

 of 1921, which merged all the cash-strapped main-line railways into four companies (thus obliterating the original consortium that had built the ELR), the Metropolitan agreed to run passenger services on the line.

The Bakerloo Line extension to Queen's Park was completed in 1915, and the service extended to Watford Junction
Watford Junction railway station
On 23 January 1975, an express train from Manchester to Euston derailed just south of Watford Junction after striking some stillages that had fallen on to the track. It then collided with a sleeper service from Euston to Glasgow. The driver of the Manchester train was killed, and eight passengers...

 via the London and North Western Railway
London and North Western Railway
The London and North Western Railway was a British railway company between 1846 and 1922. It was created by the merger of three companies – the Grand Junction Railway, the London and Birmingham Railway and the Manchester and Birmingham Railway...

 tracks in 1917. The extension of the Central Line's branch to Ealing Broadway was delayed by the war until 1920.

The major development of the 1920s was the integration of the CCE&HR and the C&SLR and extensions to form what was to become the Northern line. This necessitated enlargement of the older parts of the C&SLR, which had been built on a modest scale. The integration required temporary closures during 1922—24. The Golders Green
Golders Green tube station
Golders Green tube station is a London Underground station in Golders Green, north London. The station is on the Edgware branch of the Northern Line between Hampstead and Brent Cross...

 branch was extended to Edgware
Edgware tube station
Edgware tube station is a London Underground station in Edgware, in the London Borough of Barnet, in North London. The station is the terminus of the Edgware branch of the Northern Line and the next station towards central London is . Edgware is in Travelcard Zone 5.-Location:The station is in...

 in 1924, and the southern end was extended from Clapham Common
Clapham Common tube station
Clapham Common tube station is a station on London Underground's Northern Line. It lies between Clapham North and Clapham South stations and is in Travelcard Zone 2.-History:...

 to Morden
Morden tube station
Morden is a London Underground station in Morden in the London Borough of Merton. The station is the southern terminus for the Northern line and is the most southerly station on the Underground network. The next station north is...

 in 1926 with new stations designed by Charles Holden
Charles Holden
Charles Henry Holden, Litt. D., FRIBA, MRTPI, RDI was a Bolton-born English architect best known for designing many London Underground stations during the 1920s and 1930s, for Bristol Central Library, the Underground Electric Railways Company of London's headquarters at 55 Broadway and for the...

. Through Holden's work as consulting architect, designing new stations during the 1920s and 1930s, London Underground was modernised and every aspect of design carefully integrated.

The Watford
Watford tube station
Watford is a station at the end of the Watford branch of London Underground's Metropolitan Line in the north-western part of the network in Zone 7, previously zone A.-Location and description:...

 branch of the Metropolitan opened in 1925, and in the same year electrification was extended to Rickmansworth. The last major work completed by the Metropolitan was the branch to Stanmore
Stanmore tube station
Stanmore tube station is a London Underground station at Stanmore. It is the northern terminus of the Jubilee Line; the previous station is Canons Park. It is in Travelcard Zone 5...

, which opened in 1932 and is now part of the Jubilee Line.

By 1933 the Combine had completed the Cockfosters
Cockfosters tube station
Cockfosters is a London Underground station on the Piccadilly Line for which it is the northern terminus. The station is located on Cockfosters Road approximately 9 miles from central London and serves Cockfosters in the London Borough of Barnet although it is actually located a short distance...

 extension of the Piccadilly Line, with through services running (via realigned tracks between Hammersmith and Acton Town
Acton Town tube station
Acton Town is a London Underground station in Acton, west London, served by the Piccadilly and District lines. The station is at the junction of Gunnersbury Lane and Bollo Lane and is in Travelcard Zone 3.-Services:...

) to Hounslow West
Hounslow West tube station
Hounslow West is a London Underground station in Hounslow in west London. The station is on the Heathrow branch of the Piccadilly Line, between Hatton Cross and Hounslow Central stations. The station is located on Bath Road about 600m from the junction of Bath Road, Great West Road and Great...

 and Uxbridge
Uxbridge tube station
Uxbridge is a London Underground station in Uxbridge in the London Borough of Hillingdon, north-west London. The station is the terminus of the Uxbridge branches of both the Metropolitan Line and the Piccadilly Line. The next station towards London is Hillingdon. The station is 15.5 miles west of...

. The extension of the Piccadilly line was heavily promoted by London Underground.

London Transport


In 1933 the Combine, the Metropolitan and all the municipal and independent bus and tram undertakings in London were required by central government to merge into a new London Passenger Transport Board
London Passenger Transport Board
The London Passenger Transport Board was the organisation responsible for public transport in London, UK, and its environs from 1933 to 1948...

 (LPTB), a self-supporting and unsubsidised public corporation which came into being on 1 July 1933. The LPTB soon became known for short as London Transport
London Transport (brand)
London Transport was the public name and brand used by a series of public transport authorities in London, England, from 1933. Its most recognisable feature was the bar-and-circle 'roundel' logo...

(LT).

Shortly after it was created, LT began the process of integrating the underground railways of London into a single network. All the separate railways were renamed as "lines" within the system: the first LT version of Beck's map featured the District Line
District Line
The District line is a line of the London Underground, coloured green on the Tube map. It is a "sub-surface" line, running through the central area in shallow cut-and-cover tunnels. It is the busiest of the sub-surface lines. Out of the 60 stations served, 25 are underground...

, the Bakerloo Line
Bakerloo Line
The Bakerloo line is a line of the London Underground, coloured brown on the Tube map. It runs partly on the surface and partly at deep level, from Elephant and Castle in the south-east to Harrow & Wealdstone in the north-west of London. The line serves 25 stations, of which 15 are underground...

, the Piccadilly Line
Piccadilly Line
The Piccadilly line is a line of the London Underground, coloured dark blue on the Tube map. It is the fifth busiest line on the Underground network judged by the number of passengers transported per year. It is mainly a deep-level line, running from the north to the west of London via Zone 1, with...

, the Edgware, Highgate and Morden Line
Northern Line
The Northern line is a London Underground line. It is coloured black on the Tube map.For most of its length it is a deep-level tube line. The line carries 206,734,000 passengers per year. This is the highest number of any line on the London Underground system, but the Northern line is unique in...

, the Metropolitan Line
Metropolitan Line
The Metropolitan line is part of the London Underground. It is coloured in Transport for London's Corporate Magenta on the Tube map and in other branding. It was the first underground railway in the world, opening as the Metropolitan Railway on 10 January 1863...

, the Metropolitan Line (Great Northern & City Section)
Northern City Line
The Northern City Line is a railway line from Moorgate to Finsbury Park in London, once part of the Great Northern Electrics line. It should not be confused with the City branch of the Northern line, nor with the North London Line...

, the East London Line
East London Line
The East London Line is a London Overground line which runs north to south through the East End, Docklands and South areas of London.Built in 1869 by the East London Railway Company, which reused the Thames Tunnel, originally intended for horse-drawn carriages, the line became part of the London...

, and the Central London Line
Central Line
The Central line is a London Underground line, coloured red on the tube map. It is a deep-level "tube" line, running east-west across London, and, at , has the greatest total length of track of any line on the Underground. Of the 49 stations served, 20 are below ground...

. The shorter names Central Line
Central Line
The Central line is a London Underground line, coloured red on the tube map. It is a deep-level "tube" line, running east-west across London, and, at , has the greatest total length of track of any line on the Underground. Of the 49 stations served, 20 are below ground...

 and Northern Line
Northern Line
The Northern line is a London Underground line. It is coloured black on the Tube map.For most of its length it is a deep-level tube line. The line carries 206,734,000 passengers per year. This is the highest number of any line on the London Underground system, but the Northern line is unique in...

 were adopted for two lines in 1937. The Waterloo & City line
Waterloo & City Line
The Waterloo & City line is a short underground railway line in London, which was formally opened on 11 July 1898. It has only two stations, Waterloo and Bank...

 was not originally included, as it was still owned by a main-line railway and not part of LT, but was added to the map in a less prominent style, also in 1937.
LT announced a scheme for the expansion and modernisation of the network entitled the New Works Programme
New Works Programme
The "New Works Programme, 1935 - 1940" was the major investment programme delivered by the London Passenger Transport Board , commonly known as London Transport, which had been created in 1933 to coordinate underground train, tram, trolleybus and bus services in the capital and the surrounding areas...

, which had followed the announcement of improvement proposals for the Metropolitan Line. This consisted of plans to extend some lines, to take over the operation of others from main-line railway companies, and to electrify the entire network. During the 1930s and 1940s, several sections of main-line railway were converted into surface lines of the Underground system. The oldest part of today's Underground network is the Central line between Leyton
Leyton tube station
Leyton tube station is a London Underground station at Leyton. Situated opposite Leyton Mills at the end of Leyton High Street. It is on the Central Line between Stratford and Leytonstone. It is in zone 3.-History:...

 and Loughton
Loughton tube station
Loughton is a London Underground station, some two miles north of the Greater London boundary, in the Epping Forest district of Essex.It is served by the Central Line and lies between Buckhurst Hill and Debden...

, which had opened as a railway seven years before the Underground itself.
LT also sought to abandon routes which made a significant financial loss. Soon after the LPTB started operating, services to Verney Junction and Brill on the Metropolitan Railway were ended. The renamed Metropolitan Line
Metropolitan Line
The Metropolitan line is part of the London Underground. It is coloured in Transport for London's Corporate Magenta on the Tube map and in other branding. It was the first underground railway in the world, opening as the Metropolitan Railway on 10 January 1863...

's northern terminus thus became Aylesbury.

The outbreak of World War II delayed all the expansion schemes. From mid-1940, the Blitz
The Blitz
The Blitz was the sustained strategic bombing of Britain by Nazi Germany between 7 September 1940 and 10 May 1941, during the Second World War. The city of London was bombed by the Luftwaffe for 76 consecutive nights and many towns and cities across the country followed...

 led to the use of many Underground stations as shelters
Air-raid shelter
Air-raid shelters, also known as bomb shelters, are structures for the protection of the civil population as well as military personnel against enemy attacks from the air...

 during air raids
Airstrike
An air strike is an attack on a specific objective by military aircraft during an offensive mission. Air strikes are commonly delivered from aircraft such as fighters, bombers, ground attack aircraft, attack helicopters, and others...

 and overnight. The Underground helped over 200,000 children escape to the countryside and sheltered another 177,500 people. The authorities initially tried to discourage and prevent people from sleeping in the tube, but later supplied 22,000 bunks
Bunk bed
A bunk bed is a type of bed in which one bed frame is stacked on top of another. The nature of bunk beds allows two people to sleep in the same room while maximizing available floor space...

, latrine
Latrine
A latrine is a communal facility containing one or more commonly many toilets which may be simple pit toilets or in the case of the United States Armed Forces any toilet including modern flush toilets...

s, and catering
Catering
Catering is the business of providing foodservice at a remote site or a site such as a hotel, public house , or other location.-Mobile catering:A mobile caterer serves food directly from a vehicle or cart that is designed for the purpose...

 facilities. After a time there were even special stations with libraries and classrooms for night classes. Later in the war, eight London deep-level shelters
London deep-level shelters
The London deep-level shelters are eight deep-level air-raid shelters that were built under London Underground stations during World War II.-Background:...

 were constructed under stations, ostensibly to be used as shelters (each deep-level shelter could hold 8,000 people) though plans were in place to convert them for a new express line parallel to the Northern line after the war. Some stations (now mostly disused) were converted into government offices: for example, Down Street
Down Street tube station
Down Street, also known as Down Street , is a disused station of the London Underground's Piccadilly line which closed in 1932. During World War II it was used as an air-raid shelter, notably by Winston Churchill and his War Cabinet.-History:...

 was used for the headquarters of the Railway Executive Committee and was also used for meetings of the War Cabinet
War Cabinet
A War Cabinet is a committee formed by a government in a time of war. It is usually a subset of the full executive cabinet of ministers. It is also quite common for a War Cabinet to have senior military officers and opposition politicians as members....

 before the Cabinet War Rooms
Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms
The Churchill War Rooms is a museum in London and one of the five branches of the Imperial War Museum. The museum comprises the Cabinet War Rooms, a historic underground complex that housed a British government command centre throughout the Second World War, and the Churchill Museum, a biographical...

 were completed; Brompton Road
Brompton Road tube station
Brompton Road tube station is a disused station on the Piccadilly Line of the London Underground. It is located between Knightsbridge and South Kensington.-History:...

 was used as a control room for anti-aircraft guns
Anti-aircraft warfare
NATO defines air defence as "all measures designed to nullify or reduce the effectiveness of hostile air action." They include ground and air based weapon systems, associated sensor systems, command and control arrangements and passive measures. It may be to protect naval, ground and air forces...

 and the remains of the surface building are still used by London's University Royal Naval Unit (URNU) and University London Air Squadron (ULAS).

After the war, one of the last acts of the LPTB was to give the go-ahead for the completion of the postponed Central Line extensions. The western extension to West Ruislip was completed in 1948, and the eastern extension to Epping
Epping tube station
Epping on the London Underground is the north-eastern terminus of the Central Line. The station before Epping is Theydon Bois, which is about three minutes travelling time away. Epping station is in the Epping Forest District of Essex...

 in 1949; the single-line branch from Epping to Ongar was taken over and electrified in 1957.

Nationalisation



On 1 January 1948, London Transport was nationalised by the Labour
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

 government, together with the four remaining main-line railway companies, and incorporated into the operations of the British Transport Commission
British Transport Commission
The British Transport Commission was created by Clement Attlee's post-war Labour government as a part of its nationalisation programme, to oversee railways, canals and road freight transport in Great Britain...

 (BTC). The LPTB was replaced by the London Transport Executive
London Transport Executive
The London Transport Executive was the organisation responsible for public transport in the Greater London area, UK, between 1948-1962. In common with all London transport authorities from 1933 to 2000, the public name and operational brand of the organisation was London Transport.-Creation:On 1...

 (LTE). This brought the Underground under the direct remit of central government for the first time in its history. The BTC prioritised the reconstruction of its main-line railways over the maintenance of the Underground network. The unfinished parts of the New Works Programme
New Works Programme
The "New Works Programme, 1935 - 1940" was the major investment programme delivered by the London Passenger Transport Board , commonly known as London Transport, which had been created in 1933 to coordinate underground train, tram, trolleybus and bus services in the capital and the surrounding areas...

 were gradually shelved or postponed.

However, the BTC did authorise the completion of the electrification of the network, seeking to replace steam locomotives on the parts of the system where they still operated. This phase of the programme was completed when the Metropolitan line
Metropolitan Line
The Metropolitan line is part of the London Underground. It is coloured in Transport for London's Corporate Magenta on the Tube map and in other branding. It was the first underground railway in the world, opening as the Metropolitan Railway on 10 January 1863...

 was electrified to Chesham
Chesham tube station
Chesham lies at the end of the Metropolitan Line Chesham branch, and opened on 8 July 1889 as the original northern terminus of the Metropolitan Railway from . The station is a Grade II listed building. There is no station starter signal at Chesham. The branch has no intermediate stations...

 in 1960. Steam locomotives were fully withdrawn from London Underground passenger services on 9 September 1961, when British Railways took over the operations of the Metropolitan line between Amersham and Aylesbury. The last steam shunting and freight locomotive was withdrawn from service in 1971.

In 1963, the LTE was replaced by the London Transport Board
London Transport Board
The London Transport Board was the organisation responsible for public transport in London, UK, and its environs from 1963-1969. In common with all London transport authorities from 1933 to 2000, the public name and operational brand of the organisation was London Transport.-History:The...

, directly accountable to the Ministry of Transport
Department for Transport
In the United Kingdom, the Department for Transport is the government department responsible for the English transport network and a limited number of transport matters in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland which are not devolved...

.

GLC Control



On 1 January 1970, the Greater London Council
Greater London Council
The Greater London Council was the top-tier local government administrative body for Greater London from 1965 to 1986. It replaced the earlier London County Council which had covered a much smaller area...

 (GLC) took over responsibility for London Transport, again under the formal title London Transport Executive
London Transport Executive (GLC)
The London Transport Executive was the executive agency within the Greater London Council, responsible for public transport in Greater London from 1970 to 1984...

. This period is perhaps the most controversial in London's transport history, characterised by staff shortages and a severe lack of funding from central government. In 1980 the Labour
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

-led GLC began the 'Fares Fair' project, which increased local taxation to reduce ticket prices. The campaign was initially successful, and use of the Tube significantly increased. But serious objections to the policy came from the London Borough of Bromley
London Borough of Bromley
The London Borough of Bromley is a London borough of south east London, England and forms part of Outer London. The principal town in the borough is Bromley.-Geography:...

, an area of London which has no Underground stations. The Council resented the subsidy, as it would be of little benefit to its residents. The council took the GLC to the Law Lords, who ruled that the policy was illegal based on their interpretation of the Transport (London) Act 1969. They ruled that the Act stipulated that London Transport must plan, as far as was possible, to break even. In line with this judgement, 'Fares Fair' was therefore reversed, leading to a 100% increase in fares in 1982 and a subsequent decline in passenger numbers. The scandal prompted Margaret Thatcher's
Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990...

 Conservative
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

 Government to remove London Transport from the GLC's control in 1984, a development that turned out to be a prelude to the abolition of the GLC in 1986.

This period saw the first real postwar investment in the network with the opening of the Victoria line
Victoria Line
The Victoria line is a deep-level London Underground line running from the south to the north-east of London. It is coloured light blue on the Tube map...

, built on a diagonal northeast-southwest alignment beneath central London
Central London
Central London is the innermost part of London, England. There is no official or commonly accepted definition of its area, but its characteristics are understood to include a high density built environment, high land values, an elevated daytime population and a concentration of regionally,...

 and incorporating centralised signalling control with automatically driven trains. It opened in stages between 1968 and 1971. The Piccadilly line was extended to Heathrow Airport
Heathrow Terminals 1,2,3 tube station
Heathrow Terminals 1, 2, 3 is a London Underground station at Heathrow Airport on the Heathrow branch of the Piccadilly Line. The station is situated in Travelcard Zone 6.-History:...

 in 1977, and the Jubilee Line
Jubilee Line
The Jubilee line is a line on the London Underground , in the United Kingdom. It was built in two major sections—initially to Charing Cross, in central London, and later extended, in 1999, to Stratford, in east London. The later stations are larger and have special safety features, both aspects...

 was opened in 1979, taking over the Stanmore branch of the Bakerloo line, with new tunnels between Baker Street
Baker Street tube station
Baker Street tube station is a station on the London Underground at the junction of Baker Street and the Marylebone Road. The station lies in Travelcard Zone 1 and is served by five different lines...

 and Charing Cross
Charing Cross tube station
Charing Cross tube station is a London Underground station at Charing Cross in the City of Westminster with entrances located in Trafalgar Square and The Strand. The station is served by the Northern and Bakerloo lines and provides an interchange with the National Rail network at station...

. There was also one important legacy from the 'Fares Fair' scheme: the introduction of ticket zones, which remain in use today.

London Regional Transport




In 1984 the Conservative
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

 Government removed London Transport from the GLC's control, replacing it with London Regional Transport
London Regional Transport
London Regional Transport was the organisation responsible for the public transport network in Greater London, UK from 1984-2000. In common with all London transport authorities from 1933 to 2000, the public name and operational brand of the organisation was London Transport.The organisation was...

 (LRT) on 19 June 1984 – a statutory corporation for which the Secretary of State for Transport
Secretary of State for Transport
The Secretary of State for Transport is the member of the cabinet responsible for the British Department for Transport. The role has had a high turnover as new appointments are blamed for the failures of decades of their predecessors...

 was directly responsible. The government planned to modernise the system while slashing its subsidy from taxpayers and ratepayers. As part of this strategy, London Underground Limited was set up on 1 April 1985 as a wholly owned subsidiary of LRT to run the network.

The prognosis for LRT was good. Oliver Green, the then Curator of the London Transport Museum, wrote in 1987:
However, cost-cutting did not come without critics. At 19:30 on 18 November 1987, a massive fire
King's Cross fire
The King's Cross St. Pancras tube station fire was a fatal fire on the London Underground. It broke out at approximately 19:30 on 18 November 1987, and killed 31 people....

 swept through the King's Cross St Pancras tube station, the busiest station on the network, killing 31 people. The fire had started in an escalator shaft to the Piccadilly Line, which was burnt out along with the top level (entrances and ticket hall) of the deep-level tube station. The escalator on which the fire started had been built just before World War II. The steps and sides of the escalator were partly made of wood, meaning that they burned quickly and easily. Although smoking was already banned on the subsurface sections of the London Underground in February 1985 as a consequence of the 1984 Oxford Circus fire
Oxford Circus fire
The Oxford Circus fire occurred on Friday 23 November 1984 at 9:50 p.m. at the London Underground Oxford Circus station. Oxford Circus station is in the heart of London's shopping district and is served by three deep-level tube lines; the Bakerloo Line, Central Line and Victoria Lines...

, the Kings Cross fire was most probably caused by a commuter discarding a burning match, which fell down the side of the escalator onto the running track (Fennell 1988, p. 111). The running track had not been cleaned for some time and was covered in grease and fibrous detritus. The Member of Parliament for the area, Frank Dobson
Frank Dobson
Frank Gordon Dobson, is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament for Holborn and St. Pancras since 1979...

, informed the House of Commons
British House of Commons
The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which also comprises the Sovereign and the House of Lords . Both Commons and Lords meet in the Palace of Westminster. The Commons is a democratically elected body, consisting of 650 members , who are known as Members...

 that the number of transportation employees at the station, which handled 200,000 passengers every day at the time, had been cut from 16 to ten, and the cleaning staff from 14 to two. The tragic event led to the abolition of all wooden escalators at all Underground stations and pledges of greater investment.

In 1994, with the privatisation of British Rail
Privatisation of British Rail
The privatisation of British Rail was set in motion when the Conservative government enacted, on 19 January 1993, the British Coal and British Rail Act 1993 . This enabled the relevant Secretary of State to issue directions to the relevant Board...

, LRT took control of the Waterloo and City Line, incorporating it into the Underground network for the first time. That year also saw the end of services on the little-used Epping-Ongar
Epping Ongar Railway
The Epping Ongar Railway operates on a preserved railway along the final section of the old Great Eastern Railway and London Underground Central Line branch line between Epping and Ongar, with an intermediate station at North Weald...

 branch of the Central Line and the Aldwych branch of the Piccadilly Line after it was agreed that necessary maintenance and upgrade work would not be cost-effective.

In 1999 the Jubilee Line Extension
Jubilee Line Extension
The Jubilee Line Extension is the extension of the London Underground Jubilee line from to through south and east London. An eastward extension of the Jubilee line was first proposed in the 1970s and a modified route was constructed during the 1990s...

 to Stratford
Stratford station
Stratford station is a large multilevel railway station in Stratford, east London. The station is served by the National Rail services National Express East Anglia, London Overground and c2c, by London Underground's Central and Jubilee lines, and by the Docklands Light Railway . Stratford is in...

 in London's East End was completed. This plan included the opening of a completely refurbished interchange station at Westminster
Westminster tube station
Westminster is a London Underground station in the City of Westminster. It is served by the Circle, District and Jubilee lines. On the Circle and District lines, the station is between St. James's Park and Embankment and, on the Jubilee line it is between Green Park and Waterloo. It is in...

. The Jubilee line's old terminal platforms at Charing Cross were closed but maintained operable for emergencies and film shoots.

Public Private Partnership



Transport for London (TfL) replaced LRT in 2000, a development that coincided with the creation of a directly elected Mayor of London and the London Assembly
London Assembly
The London Assembly is an elected body, part of the Greater London Authority, that scrutinises the activities of the Mayor of London and has the power, with a two-thirds majority, to amend the mayor's annual budget. The assembly was established in 2000 and is headquartered at City Hall on the south...

. In January 2003 the Underground began operating as a Public-Private Partnership
Public-private partnership
Public–private partnership describes a government service or private business venture which is funded and operated through a partnership of government and one or more private sector companies...

 (PPP), whereby the infrastructure and rolling stock were maintained by two private companies (Metronet
Metronet
Metronet Rail was one of two companies in a public-private partnership with London Underground.Metronet was responsible for the maintenance, renewal, and upgrade of the infrastructure on nine London Underground lines from 2003 to 2008. This included track, trains, signals, civil work and stations...

 and Tube Lines
Tube Lines
Tube Lines Limited, initially known as 'Infraco JNP', has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Transport for London since May 2010. Tube Lines is an asset-management company responsible for the maintenance, renewal and upgrade of the infrastructure, including track, trains, signals, civil work and...

) under 30-year contracts, while London Underground Limited remained publicly owned and operated by TfL.

Supporters of the change claimed that the private sector would eliminate the inefficiencies of public-sector enterprises and take on the risks associated with running the network, while opponents said that the need to make profits would reduce the investment and public-service aspects of the Underground. The scheme was put in jeopardy when Metronet, responsible for two-thirds of the network, went into administration
Administration (insolvency)
As a legal concept, administration is a procedure under the insolvency laws of a number of common law jurisdictions. It functions as a rescue mechanism for insolvent entities and allows them to carry on running their business. The process – an alternative to liquidation – is often known as going...

 on 18 July 2007 after costs for its projects spiralled out of control. The case for PPP was further weakened a year later when it emerged that Metronet's demise had cost the UK government £2 billion. The five private companies that made up the Metronet alliance had to pay £70m each towards paying off the debts acquired by the consortium. But under a deal struck with the government in 2003, the companies were protected from any further liability. The UK taxpayer therefore had to foot the rest of the bill. This undermined the argument that the PPP would place the risks involved in running the network into the hands of the private sector.

TfL took over the responsibilities of Metronet following its collapse. The Government made concerted efforts to find another private firm to fill the void, but none came forward. TfL and the Department for Transport
Department for Transport
In the United Kingdom, the Department for Transport is the government department responsible for the English transport network and a limited number of transport matters in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland which are not devolved...

 have since agreed to allow TfL to continue operating the areas that were formerly the responsibility of Metronet. An independent panel will review TfL's investment programme. This left two-thirds of the Underground network completely under the control of TfL. The Secretary of State for Transport, at the time Lord Adonis
Andrew Adonis, Baron Adonis
Andrew Adonis, Baron Adonis is a British academic, journalist, Labour Party politician and Life Peer, who was Secretary of State for Transport between 2009-2010....

, hinted that a separate arrangement might be made for the Bakerloo line at a later date.

Maintenance on the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines remained the responsibility of Tube Lines, although this too was not without controversy. The relationship between London Underground and Tube Lines deteriorated with disagreements over priorities, estimates and whether Tubes Lines had sufficient funds to meet its commitments. In late 2009 Tube Lines encountered a funding shortfall for their upgrades and requested that TfL provide an additional £1.75billion to cover the shortfall; TfL refused and referred the matter to the PPP arbiter
Arbitration
Arbitration, a form of alternative dispute resolution , is a legal technique for the resolution of disputes outside the courts, where the parties to a dispute refer it to one or more persons , by whose decision they agree to be bound...

, who stated that £400million should be provided. There had been many discussions over the future of the company in the second review period and it was announced on 7 May 2010 that TfL had agreed to buy the shares of Bechtel and Amey (Ferrovial) from Tube Lines for £310m. Combined with the takeover of Metronet, this means that the PPP is dead as all maintenance is now managed in-house by TfL.

The National Audit Office
National Audit Office (United Kingdom)
The National Audit Office is an independent Parliamentary body in the United Kingdom which is responsible for auditing central government departments, government agencies and non-departmental public bodies...

 in a 2004 report on the PPP stated that the Department of Transport, London Regional Transport and London Underground Limited spent £180m in structuring, negotiating and implementing the PPP and also reimbursed £275m of bid costs to the winning bidders.

Transport for London


Transport for London (TfL) was created in 2000 as the integrated body responsible for London's transport system. It replaced London Regional Transport. It assumed control of London Underground Limited in July 2003.

TfL is part of the Greater London Authority
Greater London Authority
The Greater London Authority is the top-tier administrative body for Greater London, England. It consists of a directly elected executive Mayor of London, currently Boris Johnson, and an elected 25-member London Assembly with scrutiny powers...

 and is constituted as a statutory corporation regulated under local government finance rules. It has three subsidiaries: London Transport Insurance (Guernsey) Ltd., the TfL Pension Fund Trustee Co. Ltd. and Transport Trading Ltd (TTL). TTL has six wholly owned subsidiaries, one of which is London Underground Limited.

The TfL Board is appointed by the Mayor of London
Mayor of London
The Mayor of London is an elected politician who, along with the London Assembly of 25 members, is accountable for the strategic government of Greater London. Conservative Boris Johnson has held the position since 4 May 2008...

. The Mayor also sets the structure and level of public transport fares in London. However the day-to-day running of the corporation is left to the Commissioner
Commissioner
Commissioner is in principle the title given to a member of a commission or to an individual who has been given a commission ....

 of Transport for London. The current Commissioner is Peter Hendy
Peter Hendy
Peter Hendy, CBE is the current Commissioner of Transport for London.-Early career:He started his career in the public transport industry in 1975 as a London Transport graduate trainee...

.

The Mayor is responsible for producing an integrated transport strategy for London and for consulting the GLA, TfL, local councils and others on the strategy. The Mayor is also responsible for setting TfL's budget. The GLA is consulted on the Mayor's transport strategy, and inspects and approves the Mayor's budget. It is able to summon the Mayor and senior staff to account for TfL's performance. London TravelWatch
London TravelWatch
London TravelWatch is a British consumer organization that campaigns for improvements to transport in London. It is the transport watchdog for services provided by Transport for London, which includes facilities for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists. It is also the watchdog for National Rail...

, a body appointed by and reporting to the Assembly, deals with complaints about transport in London.

Stations and lines


The London Underground's 11 lines are divided into two classes: the subsurface routes and the deep-tube routes. The Circle, District
District Line
The District line is a line of the London Underground, coloured green on the Tube map. It is a "sub-surface" line, running through the central area in shallow cut-and-cover tunnels. It is the busiest of the sub-surface lines. Out of the 60 stations served, 25 are underground...

, Hammersmith & City
Hammersmith & City Line
The Hammersmith & City line is a subsurface London Underground line. It connects Hammersmith in the west with Barking in the east, running through the northern part of central London. It is coloured salmon pink on the Tube map...

, and Metropolitan line
Metropolitan Line
The Metropolitan line is part of the London Underground. It is coloured in Transport for London's Corporate Magenta on the Tube map and in other branding. It was the first underground railway in the world, opening as the Metropolitan Railway on 10 January 1863...

s make up the subsurface class. The Bakerloo
Bakerloo Line
The Bakerloo line is a line of the London Underground, coloured brown on the Tube map. It runs partly on the surface and partly at deep level, from Elephant and Castle in the south-east to Harrow & Wealdstone in the north-west of London. The line serves 25 stations, of which 15 are underground...

, Central
Central Line
The Central line is a London Underground line, coloured red on the tube map. It is a deep-level "tube" line, running east-west across London, and, at , has the greatest total length of track of any line on the Underground. Of the 49 stations served, 20 are below ground...

, Jubilee
Jubilee Line
The Jubilee line is a line on the London Underground , in the United Kingdom. It was built in two major sections—initially to Charing Cross, in central London, and later extended, in 1999, to Stratford, in east London. The later stations are larger and have special safety features, both aspects...

, Northern
Northern Line
The Northern line is a London Underground line. It is coloured black on the Tube map.For most of its length it is a deep-level tube line. The line carries 206,734,000 passengers per year. This is the highest number of any line on the London Underground system, but the Northern line is unique in...

, Piccadilly
Piccadilly Line
The Piccadilly line is a line of the London Underground, coloured dark blue on the Tube map. It is the fifth busiest line on the Underground network judged by the number of passengers transported per year. It is mainly a deep-level line, running from the north to the west of London via Zone 1, with...

, Victoria
Victoria Line
The Victoria line is a deep-level London Underground line running from the south to the north-east of London. It is coloured light blue on the Tube map...

 and Waterloo & City line
Waterloo & City Line
The Waterloo & City line is a short underground railway line in London, which was formally opened on 11 July 1898. It has only two stations, Waterloo and Bank...

s are the deep-tube routes.

There was a twelfth line, a fifth subsurface route, the East London line
East London Line
The East London Line is a London Overground line which runs north to south through the East End, Docklands and South areas of London.Built in 1869 by the East London Railway Company, which reused the Thames Tunnel, originally intended for horse-drawn carriages, the line became part of the London...

, until 2007, when it closed for rebuilding work. It reopened as part of London Overground
London Overground
London Overground is a suburban rail network in London and Hertfordshire. It has been operated by London Overground Rail Operations since 2007 as part of the National Rail network, under the franchise control and branding of Transport for London...

 in April 2010.
London Underground lines
Name Map colour First
operated
First section
opened*
Name dates
from
Type Length
(km)
Length
(miles)
Stations Current Stock Future Stock Journeys
per annum (× 1,000)
Average journeys
per mile (× 1,000)
Bakerloo line
Bakerloo Line
The Bakerloo line is a line of the London Underground, coloured brown on the Tube map. It runs partly on the surface and partly at deep level, from Elephant and Castle in the south-east to Harrow & Wealdstone in the north-west of London. The line serves 25 stations, of which 15 are underground...

Brown 1906 1906 1906 Deep level 23.2 14.5 25 1972 Stock
London Underground 1972 Stock
The London Underground 1972 stock is a fleet of trains used on the London Underground. The 1972 Stock was ordered to make up the shortfall in trains on the Northern line's 1959 Tube Stock fleet...

n/a 104,000 7,172
Central line
Central Line
The Central line is a London Underground line, coloured red on the tube map. It is a deep-level "tube" line, running east-west across London, and, at , has the greatest total length of track of any line on the Underground. Of the 49 stations served, 20 are below ground...

Red 1900 1863 1900 Deep level 74 46 49 1992 Stock
London Underground 1992 Stock
The 1992 Tube Stock is the type of train used on the Central line and Waterloo & City line of the London Underground.-Construction:The 1992 Stock was built by ABB for the Central line as the result of the extensive testing of the three 1986 tube stock prototype trains...

n/a 199,000 4,326
Circle line Yellow 1884 1863 1949 Subsurface 27 17 36 C Stock S Stock
London Underground S Stock
The S Stock is a class of sub-surface train currently being delivered by Bombardier Transportation in Derby to the London Underground to replace 177 existing trains on the Metropolitan, District, Hammersmith & City, and Circle lines, with a new fleet of standardised car design, totalling 191 trains...

 from 2011
74,000 5,286
District line
District Line
The District line is a line of the London Underground, coloured green on the Tube map. It is a "sub-surface" line, running through the central area in shallow cut-and-cover tunnels. It is the busiest of the sub-surface lines. Out of the 60 stations served, 25 are underground...

Green 1868 1868 1868–1905 Subsurface 64 40 60 C Stock and D78 Stock
London Underground D78 Stock
The London Underground D Stock is a type of electric multiple unit used on the London Underground District Line . The entire fleet is due to be replaced with S Stock trains in 2015.- History :...

S stock from 2013 188,000 4,700
Hammersmith & City line
Hammersmith & City Line
The Hammersmith & City line is a subsurface London Underground line. It connects Hammersmith in the west with Barking in the east, running through the northern part of central London. It is coloured salmon pink on the Tube map...

Pink 1988 (1863 as Metropolitan line) 1858 1988 Subsurface 26.5 16.5 29 C Stock S Stock
London Underground S Stock
The S Stock is a class of sub-surface train currently being delivered by Bombardier Transportation in Derby to the London Underground to replace 177 existing trains on the Metropolitan, District, Hammersmith & City, and Circle lines, with a new fleet of standardised car design, totalling 191 trains...

 from 2011
50,000 3,030
Jubilee line
Jubilee Line
The Jubilee line is a line on the London Underground , in the United Kingdom. It was built in two major sections—initially to Charing Cross, in central London, and later extended, in 1999, to Stratford, in east London. The later stations are larger and have special safety features, both aspects...

Silver 1979 1879 1979 Deep level 36.2 22.5 27 1996 Stock
London Underground 1996 Stock
The London Underground 1996 Stock is a deep tube train used on the Jubilee Line and one of the newest trains currently running on the network. They were built by Alstom and began service in 1997...

n/a 127,584 5,670
Metropolitan line
Metropolitan Line
The Metropolitan line is part of the London Underground. It is coloured in Transport for London's Corporate Magenta on the Tube map and in other branding. It was the first underground railway in the world, opening as the Metropolitan Railway on 10 January 1863...

Dark Magenta 1863 1863 1863 Subsurface 66.7 41.5 34 A Stock
S Stock
London Underground S Stock
The S Stock is a class of sub-surface train currently being delivered by Bombardier Transportation in Derby to the London Underground to replace 177 existing trains on the Metropolitan, District, Hammersmith & City, and Circle lines, with a new fleet of standardised car design, totalling 191 trains...

S Stock
London Underground S Stock
The S Stock is a class of sub-surface train currently being delivered by Bombardier Transportation in Derby to the London Underground to replace 177 existing trains on the Metropolitan, District, Hammersmith & City, and Circle lines, with a new fleet of standardised car design, totalling 191 trains...

 (Currently being rolled out)
58,000 1,398
Northern line
Northern Line
The Northern line is a London Underground line. It is coloured black on the Tube map.For most of its length it is a deep-level tube line. The line carries 206,734,000 passengers per year. This is the highest number of any line on the London Underground system, but the Northern line is unique in...

Black 1890 1867 1937 Deep level 58 36 50 1995 Stock
London Underground 1995 Stock
The London Underground's 1995 stock is used in daily service on the Northern Line. There are 106 six car trains in operation; they entered service between 12 June 1998 and 10 April 2001....

n/a 206,987 5,743
Piccadilly line
Piccadilly Line
The Piccadilly line is a line of the London Underground, coloured dark blue on the Tube map. It is the fifth busiest line on the Underground network judged by the number of passengers transported per year. It is mainly a deep-level line, running from the north to the west of London via Zone 1, with...

Dark Blue 1906 1869 1906 Deep level 71 44.3 53 1973 Stock
London Underground 1973 Stock
The 1973 Tube Stock operates on the Piccadilly line of the London Underground and was introduced in 1975 for the opening of the extension to Hatton Cross .-Construction:...

n/a 176,177 3,977
Victoria line
Victoria Line
The Victoria line is a deep-level London Underground line running from the south to the north-east of London. It is coloured light blue on the Tube map...

Light Blue 1968 1968 1968 Deep level 21 13.25 16 2009 Stock
London Underground 2009 Stock
The 2009 Tube Stock is a type of London Underground train built by Bombardier as part of its Movia family at its Litchurch Lane Works in Derby, England. 47 eight-car units are being built for the Victoria line and have replaced the original 1967 tube stock...

n/a 183,000 13,132
Waterloo & City line
Waterloo & City Line
The Waterloo & City line is a short underground railway line in London, which was formally opened on 11 July 1898. It has only two stations, Waterloo and Bank...

Turquoise 1898 1898 1898 Deep level 2.5 1.5 2 1992 Stock
London Underground 1992 Stock
The 1992 Tube Stock is the type of train used on the Central line and Waterloo & City line of the London Underground.-Construction:The 1992 Stock was built by ABB for the Central line as the result of the extensive testing of the three 1986 tube stock prototype trains...

n/a 9,616 6,410
* Where a year is shown that is earlier than that shown for First operated, this indicates that the line operates over a route first operated by another Underground line or by another railway company.

† Prior to 1994, the Waterloo & City line was operated by British Rail and its predecessors.


The Underground serves 270 stations by rail. Fourteen Underground stations are outside Greater London, of which five (Amersham
Amersham station
Amersham station is a London Underground and National Rail station in the town of Amersham, in the Chiltern district of Buckinghamshire, England.Amersham station is a terminus of the London Underground's Metropolitan Line...

, Chalfont & Latimer
Chalfont & Latimer station
Chalfont & Latimer station is a London Underground and National Rail station in Travelcard Zone 8 on the Metropolitan Line, in Buckinghamshire. It is the junction between the through service to and a shuttle service every half an hour to...

, Chesham
Chesham tube station
Chesham lies at the end of the Metropolitan Line Chesham branch, and opened on 8 July 1889 as the original northern terminus of the Metropolitan Railway from . The station is a Grade II listed building. There is no station starter signal at Chesham. The branch has no intermediate stations...

, and Chorleywood
Chorleywood station
Chorleywood station is a London Underground and National Rail station in Travelcard Zone 7 on the Metropolitan Line. The town of Chorleywood is located in the Three Rivers district of Hertfordshire about 20 miles from London. Chorleywood station is also served by Chiltern Railways, which runs...

 on the Metropolitan Line, and Epping
Epping tube station
Epping on the London Underground is the north-eastern terminus of the Central Line. The station before Epping is Theydon Bois, which is about three minutes travelling time away. Epping station is in the Epping Forest District of Essex...

 on the Central Line), are beyond the M25 London Orbital motorway
M25 motorway
The M25 motorway, or London Orbital, is a orbital motorway that almost encircles Greater London, England, in the United Kingdom. The motorway was first mooted early in the 20th century. A few sections, based on the now abandoned London Ringways plan, were constructed in the early 1970s and it ...

. Of the 32 London borough
London borough
The administrative area of Greater London contains thirty-two London boroughs. Inner London comprises twelve of these boroughs plus the City of London. Outer London comprises the twenty remaining boroughs of Greater London.-Functions:...

s, six (Bexley
London Borough of Bexley
The London Borough of Bexley lies in south east Greater London, and is a borough referred to as part of Outer London. It has common borders with the London Borough of Bromley to the south, the London Borough of Greenwich to the west, across the River Thames to the north it borders the London...

, Bromley
London Borough of Bromley
The London Borough of Bromley is a London borough of south east London, England and forms part of Outer London. The principal town in the borough is Bromley.-Geography:...

, Croydon
London Borough of Croydon
The London Borough of Croydon is a London borough in South London, England and is part of Outer London. It covers an area of and is the largest London borough by population. It is the southernmost borough of London. At its centre is the historic town of Croydon from which the borough takes its name...

, Kingston
Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames
The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames is a borough in southwest London, England. The main town is Kingston upon Thames and it includes Surbiton, Chessington, New Malden and Tolworth. It is the oldest of the three Royal Boroughs in England, the others are Kensington and Chelsea, also in London,...

, Lewisham
London Borough of Lewisham
The London Borough of Lewisham is a London borough in south-east London, England and forms part of Inner London. The principal settlement of the borough is Lewisham...

 and Sutton
London Borough of Sutton
The London Borough of Sutton is a London borough in South London, England and forms part of Outer London. It covers an area of and is the 80th largest local authority in England by population. It is one of the southernmost boroughs of London...

) are not served by the Underground network, while Hackney
London Borough of Hackney
The London Borough of Hackney is a London borough of North/North East London, and forms part of inner London. The local authority is Hackney London Borough Council....

 has Old Street and Manor House
Manor House tube station
Manor House tube station is a station on the Piccadilly line of the London Underground, on the boundary between Travelcard Zone 2 and Zone 3. It straddles the border between the London Boroughs of Hackney and Haringey, the postal address and three of the entrances being in the former, and one...

 only just inside its boundaries.

The subsurface lines were dug by the cut-and-cover method, with the tracks running about 5 metre below the surface. The deep-level or tube lines, bored using a tunnelling shield
Tunnelling shield
A tunnelling shield is a protective structure used in the excavation of tunnels through soil that is too soft or fluid to remain stable during the time it takes to line the tunnel with a support structure of concrete, cast iron or steel...

, run about 20 metre below the surface (although this varies considerably), with each track in a separate tunnel. These tunnels can have a diameter as small as 3.56 metre, and the loading gauge
Loading gauge
A loading gauge defines the maximum height and width for railway vehicles and their loads to ensure safe passage through bridges, tunnels and other structures...

 is thus considerably smaller than on the subsurface lines. Lines of both types usually emerge on to the surface outside the central area.

While the tube lines are for the most part self-contained with a few exceptions, the subsurface lines are part of an interconnected network: each shares track with at least two other lines. The subsurface arrangement is similar to the New York City Subway
New York City Subway
The New York City Subway is a rapid transit system owned by the City of New York and leased to the New York City Transit Authority, a subsidiary agency of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and also known as MTA New York City Transit...

, which also runs separate "lines" over shared tracks.

Rolling stock and electrification




The Underground uses rolling stock
Rolling stock
Rolling stock comprises all the vehicles that move on a railway. It usually includes both powered and unpowered vehicles, for example locomotives, railroad cars, coaches and wagons...

 built between 1960 and the present. Stock on subsurface lines is identified by a letter (such as A Stock, used on the Metropolitan line
Metropolitan Line
The Metropolitan line is part of the London Underground. It is coloured in Transport for London's Corporate Magenta on the Tube map and in other branding. It was the first underground railway in the world, opening as the Metropolitan Railway on 10 January 1863...

), while tube stock is identified by the year in which it was designed (for example, 1996 Stock
London Underground 1996 Stock
The London Underground 1996 Stock is a deep tube train used on the Jubilee Line and one of the newest trains currently running on the network. They were built by Alstom and began service in 1997...

, used on the Jubilee line). All lines are worked by a single type of stock except the District line
District Line
The District line is a line of the London Underground, coloured green on the Tube map. It is a "sub-surface" line, running through the central area in shallow cut-and-cover tunnels. It is the busiest of the sub-surface lines. Out of the 60 stations served, 25 are underground...

, which uses both C
London Underground C69 Stock
C Stock is the name given to the trains currently running on London Underground's Circle and Hammersmith & City lines as well as on the District Line between Edgware Road and Wimbledon...

 and D
London Underground D78 Stock
The London Underground D Stock is a type of electric multiple unit used on the London Underground District Line . The entire fleet is due to be replaced with S Stock trains in 2015.- History :...

 Stock. Two new types of stock are currently being introduced – 2009 Stock
London Underground 2009 Stock
The 2009 Tube Stock is a type of London Underground train built by Bombardier as part of its Movia family at its Litchurch Lane Works in Derby, England. 47 eight-car units are being built for the Victoria line and have replaced the original 1967 tube stock...

 for the Victoria line and S stock
London Underground S Stock
The S Stock is a class of sub-surface train currently being delivered by Bombardier Transportation in Derby to the London Underground to replace 177 existing trains on the Metropolitan, District, Hammersmith & City, and Circle lines, with a new fleet of standardised car design, totalling 191 trains...

 for the subsurface lines, with the Metropolitan line A Stock being replaced first. Rollout of both began in 2009. In addition to the electric multiple unit
Electric multiple unit
An electric multiple unit or EMU is a multiple unit train consisting of self-propelled carriages, using electricity as the motive power. An EMU requires no separate locomotive, as electric traction motors are incorporated within one or a number of the carriages...

s described above, there are engineering trains
London Underground engineering stock
Over the years, London Underground has acquired various types of engineering stock to help with the construction of new lines and maintenance of existing lines. Some of these wagons were inherited from its predecessors, many were built new and some were acquired second-hand from British Rail...

, such as ballast trains and brake vans, identified by a 1–3 letter prefix and then a number.

LUL has invited Alstom
Alstom
Alstom is a large multinational conglomerate which holds interests in the power generation and transport markets. According to the company website, in the years 2010-2011 Alstom had annual sales of over €20.9 billion, and employed more than 85,000 people in 70 countries. Alstom's headquarters are...

, Bombardier
Bombardier Transportation
Bombardier Transportation is the rail equipment division of the Canadian firm, Bombardier Inc. Bombardier Transportation is one of the world's largest companies in the rail-equipment manufacturing and servicing industry. Its headquarters are in Berlin, Germany....

 and Siemens
Siemens
Siemens may refer toSiemens, a German family name carried by generations of telecommunications industrialists, including:* Werner von Siemens , inventor, founder of Siemens AG...

 to develop a new concept of lightweight, low-energy, semi-articulated train for the deep-level lines, provisionally called "Evo" (for 'evolution'). So far only Siemens has publicised an outline design, which would feature air-conditioning and would also have battery power enabling the train to run on to the next station if fourth-rail power were lost. It would have a lower floor and 11% higher passenger capacity than the present tube stock. There would be a weight saving of 30 tonnes, and the trains would be 17% more energy-efficient with air-conditioning included, or 30% more energy-efficient without it. The intention is that these new trains would eventually operate on the Bakerloo, Central, Piccadilly and Waterloo & City lines.

The Underground is one of the few networks in the world that uses a four-rail system. The additional rail carries the electrical return that on third-rail and overhead networks is provided by the running rails. The reason for this is that the return current, if allowed to flow through the running rails, would also tend to flow through the cast-iron tunnel segments. These were never designed to carry electrical currents and would suffer from galvanic corrosion if significant currents were allowed to flow through the joints. On the Underground, a top-contact third rail is beside the track, energised at +420 V DC and a top-contact fourth rail is centrally between the running rails, at −210 V DC, which combine to provide a traction voltage of 630 V DC.

In cases where the lines are shared with main-line trains which use a three-rail system (usually above ground and not within cast iron tunnel segments), the third rail is set at +630 V and the fourth rail at 0 V DC.

Planned improvements and expansions


Each line is being upgraded to improve capacity and reliability, with new computerised signalling, automatic train operation
Automatic train operation
Automatic train operation ensures partial or complete automatic train piloting and driverless functions.Most systems elect to maintain a driver to mitigate risks associated with failures or emergencies....

 (ATO), track replacement, station refurbishment and, where needed, new rolling stock
Rolling stock
Rolling stock comprises all the vehicles that move on a railway. It usually includes both powered and unpowered vehicles, for example locomotives, railroad cars, coaches and wagons...

. The four subsurface lines are currently being upgraded to a new radio-based CBTC signalling system which will permit to reduce headway
Headway
Headway is a measurement of the distance/time between vehicles in a transit system. The precise definition varies depending on the application, but it is most commonly measured as the distance from the tip of one vehicle to the tip of the next one behind it, expressed as the time it will take for...

s and increase transport capacity.

A trial of mobile phone coverage on the Waterloo & City line determined that coverage would be appropriate for the entire network, and it is hoped to have the service installed in time for the 2012 Olympics. Mayor of London
Mayor of London
The Mayor of London is an elected politician who, along with the London Assembly of 25 members, is accountable for the strategic government of Greater London. Conservative Boris Johnson has held the position since 4 May 2008...

 Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson
Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson is a British journalist and Conservative Party politician, who has been the elected Mayor of London since 2008...

 revealed the plans would be funded through investment by the five main UK mobile networks: Vodafone
Vodafone
Vodafone Group Plc is a global telecommunications company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the world's largest mobile telecommunications company measured by revenues and the world's second-largest measured by subscribers , with around 341 million proportionate subscribers as of...

, Orange, T-Mobile
T-Mobile
T-Mobile International AG is a German-based holding company for Deutsche Telekom AG's various mobile communications subsidiaries outside Germany. Based in Bonn, Germany, its subsidiaries operate GSM and UMTS-based cellular networks in Europe, the United States, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands...

, 3
Hutchison 3G
3 is a brand name under which several UMTS-based mobile phone networks and Broadband Internet Providers are operated in Australia, Austria, Denmark, Hong Kong, Macau, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, and the United Kingdom...

 and O2
O2 (United Kingdom)
Telefónica UK Limited is a telecommunications, internet and financial services provider in the United Kingdom owned by Telefónica, forming part of its Telefónica Europe division...

.

In summer, temperatures on parts of the Underground can become uncomfortable due to its deep and poorly ventilated tube tunnels; temperatures as high as 47 °C (116.6 °F) were reported in the 2006 European heat wave
2006 European heat wave
The 2006 European heat wave was a period of exceptionally hot weather that arrived at the end of June 2006 in certain European countries. The United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Italy, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Germany and western part of Russia were most affected....

. A trial of a groundwater cooling system in Victoria station
Victoria station (London)
Victoria station, also known as London Victoria, is a central London railway terminus and London Underground complex. It is named after nearby Victoria Street and not Queen Victoria. It is the second busiest railway terminus in London after Waterloo, and includes an air terminal for passengers...

 took place in 2006 and 2007 to determine whether such a system would be feasible and effective in widespread use for cooling the Underground
London Underground cooling
In summer, temperatures on parts of the London Underground can become very uncomfortable due to its deep and poorly ventilated tube tunnels: temperatures as high as 47°C were reported in the 2006 European heat wave...

. There are posters on the Underground network advising passengers to carry a bottle of water to help keep cool. The new S Stock
London Underground S Stock
The S Stock is a class of sub-surface train currently being delivered by Bombardier Transportation in Derby to the London Underground to replace 177 existing trains on the Metropolitan, District, Hammersmith & City, and Circle lines, with a new fleet of standardised car design, totalling 191 trains...

 trains currently being introduced on the Metropolitan line, and due to be introduced later on the Circle, District and Hammersmith & City lines, do have air-conditioning.

Although not part of London Underground, the Crossrail
Crossrail
Crossrail is a project to build a major new railway link under central London. The name refers to the first of two routes which are the responsibility of Crossrail Ltd. It is based on an entirely new east-west tunnel with a central section from to Liverpool Street station...

 scheme is planned to provide a new route across central London
Central London
Central London is the innermost part of London, England. There is no official or commonly accepted definition of its area, but its characteristics are understood to include a high density built environment, high land values, an elevated daytime population and a concentration of regionally,...

 by 2018, integrated with the tube network. The long-proposed Chelsea–Hackney line, which would not be built until after Crossrail, may become part of the London Underground. It would give the network a new north-east to south cross-London line, with many interchanges with other lines, to relieve overcrowding on other lines. However it is still on the drawing-board and might become part of either the London Underground network or London Overground (part of the National Rail network).

The Croxley Rail Link
Croxley Rail Link
The Croxley Rail Link is a railway engineering proposal to re-route part of a London Underground line in Hertfordshire, outside London, UK. The project would divert Metropolitan line Watford branch services after station away from station to via intermediate stations using a reopened section of...

 proposal envisages diverting the Metropolitan line Watford branch to Watford Junction station along a disused railway track. The project awaits funding from the Department for Transport
Department for Transport
In the United Kingdom, the Department for Transport is the government department responsible for the English transport network and a limited number of transport matters in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland which are not devolved...

 and remains at the proposal stage.

Boris Johnson has suggested extending the Bakerloo Line
Bakerloo line extension to Camberwell
The Bakerloo line extension to Camberwell is a proposed extension of the London Underground to Camberwell in South London by extending the Bakerloo line to Camberwell from . It was due to be built in the late 1940s, but the project was cancelled...

 to Lewisham
Lewisham
Lewisham is a district in South London, England, located in the London Borough of Lewisham. It is situated south-east of Charing Cross. The area is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London.-History:...

, Catford
Catford
Catford is a district in south London, England, located in the London Borough of Lewisham. It is situated south-east of Charing Cross. The area is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London.-Architecture:...

 and Hayes
Hayes, Bromley
Hayes is a place in the London Borough of Bromley, south-east London, England. It has two main areas of activity: the ancient village and suburban Hayes.-The ancient village of Nimrods :...

 as South London lacks Underground lines (instead having a suburban rail
National Rail
National Rail is a title used by the Association of Train Operating Companies as a generic term to define the passenger rail services operated in Great Britain...

 network).

There have also been proposals to reorganise the sub-surface lines, to split the Northern Line and to extend its Charing Cross branch to Battersea, although both of these are dependent upon other upgrades being completed first. The plan for a Northern line extension to Battersea has been given planning permission by the London Borough of Wandsworth
London Borough of Wandsworth
The London Borough of Wandsworth is a London borough in southwest London, England, and forms part of Inner London.-History:The borough was formed in 1965 from the former area of the Metropolitan Borough of Battersea and much of the former area of the Metropolitan Borough of Wandsworth, but...

 and is planned to be open by 2017.
In early 2011 the Mayor of London also suggested extending the Northern Line. An extension to Battersea would be privately funded and part of the Battersea Power station development
Battersea Power Station
Battersea Power Station is a decommissioned coal-fired power station located on the south bank of the River Thames, in Battersea, South London. The station comprises two individual power stations, built in two stages in the form of a single building. Battersea A Power Station was built first in the...

 which involves a major regeneration of the Nine Elms
Nine Elms
Nine Elms is a suburb of London, situated in the far north-eastern corner of the London Borough of Wandsworth between Battersea and Vauxhall.It is primarily an industrial area, dominated by Battersea Power Station, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, railway lines, a major Royal Mail sorting office and...

 and Battersea
Battersea
Battersea is an area of the London Borough of Wandsworth, England. It is an inner-city district of South London, situated on the south side of the River Thames, 2.9 miles south-west of Charing Cross. Battersea spans from Fairfield in the west to Queenstown in the east...

 areas.

The London Borough of Hillingdon
London Borough of Hillingdon
The London Borough of Hillingdon is the westernmost borough in Greater London, England. The borough's population was recorded as 243,006 in the 2001 Census. The borough incorporates the former districts of Ruislip-Northwood, Uxbridge, Hayes and Harlington and Yiewsley and West Drayton in the...

 has proposed that the Central Line be extended from West Ruislip to Uxbridge via Ickenham. The extension would cut traffic on the A40
A40 road
The A40 is a major trunk road connecting London to Fishguard, Wales and officially called The London to Fishguard Trunk Road in all legal documents and Acts...

 in the area and could be complete by 2021. The extension would run along existing track between Ickenham and Uxbridge, but the extension would rely on signalling system upgrades which may take until 2017 to be put in place.

The PMF Methodology


For investment projects, as opposed to routine maintenance, London Underground has developed a seven stage process designed to assist project delivery and minimise risk. This is known as the Project Management Framework (PMF) and it provides London Underground with a single, consistent framework within which projects are managed. The stages are as follows:
  1. Outcome Definition
  2. Feasibility
  3. Concept Design
  4. Detailed Design
  5. Delivery
  6. Project Close
  7. Benefits Realisation


Each stage delivers an agreed set of outputs to defined quality criteria.

This is now mandatory for use on all London Underground projects.

Project Management Maturity at LUL


The latest official assessment - carried out in February 2010 - certified LUL at a P3M3
P3M3
P3M3, also known as the Portfolio, Programme and Project Management Maturity Model is a reference guide for structured best practice. It breaks down the broad disciplines of portfolio, programme and project management into a hierarchy of Key Process Areas...

 maturity level of 3 (out of a maximum score of 5). This conclusion was reached by an external consultancy, following engagements with more than 200 project staff of various capability levels from across the business in survey, workshop and 1:1 interview activity. The certification was observed and endorsed by the APM Group, and confirmed the demonstration of consistent, centrally-controlled Project Management processes within which programmes and projects can flex according to their individual needs. To achieve this increase in P3M3
P3M3
P3M3, also known as the Portfolio, Programme and Project Management Maturity Model is a reference guide for structured best practice. It breaks down the broad disciplines of portfolio, programme and project management into a hierarchy of Key Process Areas...

 maturity, PMF workstreams were designed to improve and fully embed the PMF methodology, actively develop the understanding and personal capability of project staff as well as have effective central project estimation and cost efficiency facilities.

Ticketing



The Underground uses TfL's Travelcard
Travelcard
The Travelcard is an inter-modal travel ticket for unlimited use on the London Underground, London Overground, Docklands Light Railway, Tramlink, London Buses and National Rail services in the Greater London area. Travelcards can be purchased for a period of time varying from one day to a year,...

 zonal fare system
London fare zones
Rail service fares in the London area are calculated in accordance with the London fare zones system. Greater London and parts of the surrounding counties of Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent and Surrey are divided into eleven fare zones...

 to calculate fares. Greater London is divided into 6 zones; Zone 1
Travelcard Zone 1
Fare zone 1 is the central zone of Transport for London's zonal fare system used for calculating the price of tickets for travel on the London Underground, London Overground, Docklands Light Railway and, since 2007, on National Rail services. For most tickets, travel through the zone is charged...

 is the most central, with a boundary just beyond the Circle line, and Zone 6
Travelcard Zone 6
Fare zone 6 is an outer zone of Transport for London's zonal fare system used for calculating the price of tickets for travel on the London Underground, London Overground, Docklands Light Railway and, since 2007, on National Rail services. The zone was created in January 1991; from May 1983 it had...

 is the outermost and includes London Heathrow Airport
London Heathrow Airport
London Heathrow Airport or Heathrow , in the London Borough of Hillingdon, is the busiest airport in the United Kingdom and the third busiest airport in the world in terms of total passenger traffic, handling more international passengers than any other airport around the globe...

. Stations on the Metropolitan line outside Greater London are in Zones 7–9. There are staffed ticket offices, some open for limited periods only, and ticket machines usable at any time. Some ticket machines accept coins, notes and credit cards, some accept coins only, and some accept cards only.

In 2003, TfL introduced the Oyster card
Oyster card
The Oyster card is a form of electronic ticketing used on public transport services within the Greater London area of the United Kingdom. It is promoted by Transport for London and is valid on a number of different travel systems across London including London Underground, buses, the Docklands...

, a smartcard with an embedded contactless RFID chip, which travellers can charge up with credit and use to pay for travel. It can also be loaded with Travelcards. Like a paper Travelcard, it can be used on the Underground, the Overground, buses, trams, the Docklands Light Railway, and National Rail services within London. TfL encourages passengers to use Oyster cards instead of Travelcards or cash by implementing significant price differences, so travel by Oyster card is significantly cheaper.

Since GLC days there has been a concessionary fare scheme for disabled London residents and those aged over 60. Since 2006, the scheme has been called the "Freedom Pass" and allows for free travel on TfL-operated routes at all times. It is also valid on National Rail services within London, except between 04:30 and 09:30 on Monday to Fridays on some lines. The pass itself is, in effect, a free Oyster card, though it does not bear that name. Since 2010, the Freedom Pass
Freedom Pass
Freedom Pass is a concessionary travel scheme, which began in 1984, to provide free travel to residents of Greater London, England who are aged 60 and over or who have a disability. The scheme is funded by local authorities and coordinated by London Councils...

 has included an embedded holder's photograph; it lasts five years between renewals.

Penalty fares and fare evasion


In addition to automatic and staffed ticket gates, the Underground is patrolled by both uniformed and plain-clothes ticket inspectors with hand-held Oyster card readers. Passengers travelling without a ticket valid for their entire journey must pay a penalty fare
Penalty fare
On the United Kingdom's public transport systems, a penalty fare is a special fare charged at a higher than normal price because the purchaser did not comply with the normal ticket purchasing rules...

 of £50 (or £25 if paid within 21 days) and can be prosecuted for fare evasion under the Regulation of Railways Act 1889
Regulation of Railways Act 1889
The Regulation of Railways Act 1889 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland...

, under which they are subject to a fine of up to £1,000 or three months' imprisonment. Oyster card pre-pay users who have failed to touch in at the start of their journey (or have touched in, but not out at the end of the journey) are charged the maximum cash fare, currently £6 in peak hours or £4.30 off peak. In addition, Oyster card users who have failed to touch in at the start of their journey and who are detected mid-journey (e.g. on a train) by an Inspector are now liable to a penalty fare of £50, reduced to £25 if paid within 21 days. No maximum charge is applied at their destination as the inspector will apply an 'exit token' to their card.

While the Conditions of Carriage require period Travelcard
Travelcard
The Travelcard is an inter-modal travel ticket for unlimited use on the London Underground, London Overground, Docklands Light Railway, Tramlink, London Buses and National Rail services in the Greater London area. Travelcards can be purchased for a period of time varying from one day to a year,...

 holders to touch in and touch out at the start and end of their journey (which is usually necessary to open automatic ticket gates), Oyster card users with a valid period Travelcard covering their entire journey are not liable to pay a penalty fare when they have not touched in. Neither the Conditions of Carriage nor Schedule 17 of the Greater London Authority Act 1999
Greater London Authority Act 1999
The Greater London Authority Act 1999 is the Act of Parliament that established the Greater London Authority, the London Assembly and the Mayor of London....

, which states how and when penalty fares can be issued, allow the issue of a penalty fare to a traveller who had already paid the correct fare for their journey.

Hours of operation


The Underground does not run 24 hours a day (except at New Year and major public events – such as the Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002 and the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the London Olympics
2012 Summer Olympics
The 2012 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the "London 2012 Olympic Games", are scheduled to take place in London, England, United Kingdom from 27 July to 12 August 2012...

 in 2012) because most lines have only two tracks (one in each direction) and therefore need to close at night for cleaning and planned maintenance work. First trains start operating from approximately 04:45, generally for shorter journeys such as the Piccadilly line's Osterley-Heathrow only rather than the full length of the line, with the remainder operating by 05:30, running until around 01:00. Unlike systems such as the New York City Subway
New York City Subway
The New York City Subway is a rapid transit system owned by the City of New York and leased to the New York City Transit Authority, a subsidiary agency of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and also known as MTA New York City Transit...

, few segments of the Underground have third or fourth tracks that allow trains to be routed around maintenance sites. Recently, greater use has been made of weekend closures of parts of the system for scheduled engineering work.
Also, the Underground runs limited service on Christmas Eve (with some lines closing early) and does not operate on Christmas Day, except for the shuttle to Heathrow Airport. A limited service is provided on Boxing Day.

Accessibility


Accessibility
Accessibility
Accessibility is a general term used to describe the degree to which a product, device, service, or environment is available to as many people as possible. Accessibility can be viewed as the "ability to access" and benefit from some system or entity...

 by people with mobility problems was not considered when most of the system was built, and most older stations are inaccessible to disabled people. More recent stations were designed for accessibility, but retrofit
Retrofit
Retrofitting refers to the addition of new technology or features to older systems.* power plant retrofit, improving power plant efficiency / increasing output / reducing emissions...

ting accessibility features to old stations is at best prohibitively expensive and technically extremely difficult, and often impossible. Even when there are already escalator
Escalator
An escalator is a moving staircase – a conveyor transport device for carrying people between floors of a building. The device consists of a motor-driven chain of individual, linked steps that move up or down on tracks, allowing the step treads to remain horizontal.Escalators are used around the...

s or lifts
Elevator
An elevator is a type of vertical transport equipment that efficiently moves people or goods between floors of a building, vessel or other structures...

, there are often steps between the lift or escalator landings and the platforms.

Most stations on the surface have at least a short flight of stairs to gain access from street level, and the great majority of below-ground stations require use of stairs or some of the system's 410 escalators. There are also some lengthy walks and further flights of steps required to gain access to platforms. The emergency stairs at Covent Garden
Covent Garden tube station
Covent Garden is a London Underground station in Covent Garden. It is on the Piccadilly Line between Leicester Square and Holborn. The station is a Grade II listed building, on the corner of Long Acre and James Street...

 station have 193 steps to reach the exit (equivalent to climbing to the top of a 15-floor building), so passengers are advised to use the lifts as climbing the steps can be dangerous.

TfL produces a map indicating which stations are accessible, and since 2004 line maps indicate with a wheelchair
Wheelchair
A wheelchair is a chair with wheels, designed to be a replacement for walking. The device comes in variations where it is propelled by motors or by the seated occupant turning the rear wheels by hand. Often there are handles behind the seat for someone else to do the pushing...

 symbol those stations that provide step-free access from street level. Step height from platform to train is up to 300 mm (11.8 in), and there can be a large gap
Mind the gap
"Mind the gap" is a warning to train passengers to take caution while crossing the gap between the train door and the station platform. It was introduced in 1969 on the London Underground...

 between the train and curved platforms. Only the Jubilee Line Extension
Jubilee Line Extension
The Jubilee Line Extension is the extension of the London Underground Jubilee line from to through south and east London. An eastward extension of the Jubilee line was first proposed in the 1970s and a modified route was constructed during the 1990s...

 is completely accessible.

TfL plans that by 2020 there should be a network of over 100 fully accessible stations, consisting of those recently built or rebuilt, and a handful of suburban stations that happen to have level access, along with selected 'key stations', which will be rebuilt. These key stations have been chosen due to high usage, interchange potential, and geographic spread, so that up to 75% of journeys will be achievable step-free.

Escalators



The escalators in Underground stations include some of the longest in Europe and all are custom-built. The longest escalator is at Angel station
Angel tube station
Angel tube station is a London Underground station in The Angel, Islington. It is on the Bank branch of the Northern Line, between Old Street and King's Cross St. Pancras stations. It is in Travelcard Zone 1. The tube stop serves as a portal to several Off West End, or fringe theatre, venues,...

, 60 m (197 ft) long, with a vertical rise of 27.5 m (90 ft). They run 20 hours a day, 364 days a year, with 95% of them operational at any one time and can cope with 13,000 passengers per hour.

Signs ask people using escalators on the Underground to stand on the right-hand side so as not to obstruct those in a hurry walking past them on the left. The explanation for overtaking on the left, although road traffic in Britain overtakes on the right, is that, unlike modern "comb" escalators, where the end of the moving stairway is at right angles to the direction of travel, older "shunt" escalators ended with a diagonal so that the stairway finished sooner for the right foot than for the left. The idea was to allow passengers to keep their left foot on a moving stairway as they stepped off with their right. Passengers who chose not to walk down the escalators were asked to stand on the right so that anyone wishing to overtake them at the end would be able to take advantage of the extra section of moving stairway.

Delays and overcrowding



According to statistics obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, the average commuter on the Metropolitan line in 2006 wasted three days, 10 hours and 25 minutes in 2006 due to delays. Between 17 September 2006 and 14 October 2006, figures show that 211 train services were delayed by more than 15 minutes. Passengers are entitled to a refund if their journey is delayed by 15 minutes or more due to circumstances within the control of TfL. However in 2010, only 330,000 passengers of a potential 11 million Tube passengers claimed compensation for delays. That translates to only £2m out of the £34 million owed to commuters. Following the UK government's move towards opening up its data, a number of new services such as TubeTap iPhone app have been developed to help Londoners claim their refund more efficiently. Planned engineering work affect 82.3% of passengers at least once a month.

Overcrowding on the Underground has been of concern for years and is very much the norm for most commuters during the morning and evening rush hours, with 95.2% of passengers being regularly affected by it. Stations which have a particular problem include Camden Town station
Camden Town tube station
Camden Town tube station is a major junction on the Northern Line and one of the busiest stations on the London Underground network...

, Chancery Lane
Chancery Lane
Chancery Lane is the street which has been the western boundary of the City of London since 1994 having previously been divided between Westminster and Camden...

 and Covent Garden
Covent Garden tube station
Covent Garden is a London Underground station in Covent Garden. It is on the Piccadilly Line between Leicester Square and Holborn. The station is a Grade II listed building, on the corner of Long Acre and James Street...

, which accordingly have access restrictions at certain times. Restrictions are introduced at other stations when necessary. Several stations have been rebuilt to deal with overcrowding issues: Clapham Common and Clapham North on the Northern line are the last remaining stations with a single narrow platform with tracks on both sides. On particularly busy occasions, such as football matches, British Transport Police
British Transport Police
The British Transport Police is a special police force that polices those railways and light-rail systems in Great Britain for which it has entered into an agreement to provide such services...

 may be present to help with crowd management.

Some stations are closed or are made exit-only stations due to overcrowding in peak periods. At other times trains simply do not stop at the overcrowded station and go on to the next closest station, in places where there is another station within walking distance. Overcrowding can also be limited by temporarily disallowing passengers from passing through ticket gates to the platforms at some stations.

In 2009, temperatures in the deep tunnels were recorded as reaching as high as 32 degrees centigrade, and this is combined with poor air quality, which a 2003 study claimed was 73 times worse than at street level, with twenty minutes on the Northern Line
Northern Line
The Northern line is a London Underground line. It is coloured black on the Tube map.For most of its length it is a deep-level tube line. The line carries 206,734,000 passengers per year. This is the highest number of any line on the London Underground system, but the Northern line is unique in...

 having "the same effect as smoking a cigarette". According to a 2003 House of Commons report, commuters faced a "daily trauma" and were forced to travel in "intolerable conditions".

Safety



Accidents on the Underground network
London Underground accidents
The London Underground network carries more than a billion passengers a year. It is one of the safest mass transport systems in the world with just one fatal accident for every 300 million journeys. Per passenger carried, London Underground’s safety record is even better than that of British Rail,...

, which carries around a billion passengers a year, are rare. There is one fatal accident for every 300 million journeys. There are several safety
Safety
Safety is the state of being "safe" , the condition of being protected against physical, social, spiritual, financial, political, emotional, occupational, psychological, educational or other types or consequences of failure, damage, error, accidents, harm or any other event which could be...

 warnings given to passengers, such as the 'mind the gap
Mind the gap
"Mind the gap" is a warning to train passengers to take caution while crossing the gap between the train door and the station platform. It was introduced in 1969 on the London Underground...

' announcement and the frequent announcements to passengers to keep behind the yellow line. Relatively few accidents are caused by overcrowding on the platforms: staff monitor platforms and passageways at busy times and prevent people entering overcrowded areas.

Most fatalities on the network are suicides. Most platforms at deep tube stations have pits beneath the track. These were originally constructed to aid drainage of water from the platforms, but they also help prevent death or serious injury when a passenger falls or jumps in front of a train.

Design and the arts


TfL's Tube map
Tube map
The Tube map is a schematic transit map representing the lines and stations of London's rapid transit railway systems, namely the London Underground , the Docklands Light Railway and London Overground....

 and "roundel
Roundel
A roundel in heraldry is a disc; the term is also commonly used to refer to a type of national insignia used on military aircraft, generally circular in shape and usually comprising concentric rings of different colours.-Heraldry:...

" logo are instantly recognisable by any Londoner, almost any Briton and many people around the world. It has become a major pop culture symbol.

TfL licenses the sale of clothing and other accessories featuring its graphic elements and it takes legal action against unauthorised use of its trademarks and of the Tube map. Nevertheless, unauthorised copies of the logo continue to crop up worldwide.

Map




The original maps were often city map
City map
A city map is a large-scale thematic map of a city created to enable the fastest possible orientation in an urban space. The graphic representation of objects on a city map is therefore usually greatly simplified, and reduced to generally understood symbology.Depending upon its target group or...

s with the lines superimposed, but as well as being visually complex, this produced problems of space, as central stations were far closer together than outlying ones. The modern stylised Tube map evolved from a design by electrical engineer Harry Beck in 1933. It is characterised by a schematic non-geographical layout (thought to have been based on circuit diagram
Circuit diagram
A circuit diagram is a simplified conventional graphical representation of an electrical circuit...

s) and the use of colour coding for lines. The map is now considered a design classic; virtually every major urban rail system in the world now has a similar map and many bus companies have also adopted the concept. There are many references in culture to the map, including parodies of it using different station-names - an example being the official cover art used on tube maps during 2010. Such references also occur in London advertisements for unrelated products and services.

Typography



Edward Johnston designed TfL's distinctive sans-serif
Sans-serif
In typography, a sans-serif, sans serif or san serif typeface is one that does not have the small projecting features called "serifs" at the end of strokes. The term comes from the French word sans, meaning "without"....

 typeface
Typeface
In typography, a typeface is the artistic representation or interpretation of characters; it is the way the type looks. Each type is designed and there are thousands of different typefaces in existence, with new ones being developed constantly....

 in 1916. The typeface is still in use today although substantially modified in 1979 by Eiichi Kono at Banks & Miles to produce "New Johnston
Johnston (typeface)
Johnston is a humanist sans-serif typeface designed by and named after Edward Johnston. It is well known for its use by Transport for London....

". It is noted for the curl at the bottom of the minuscule (lower case) l, which other sans-serif typefaces have discarded, and for the diamond-shaped tittle
Tittle
A tittle is a small distinguishing mark, such as a diacritic or the dot on a lowercase i or j. The tittle is an integral part of the glyph of i and j, but diacritic dots can appear over other letters in various languages...

 on the lower case i and j, whose shape also appears in the full stop
Full stop
A full stop is the punctuation mark commonly placed at the end of sentences. In American English, the term used for this punctuation is period. In the 21st century, it is often also called a dot by young people...

, and is the origin of other punctuation marks in the face. TfL owns the copyright to and exercises control over the New Johnston typeface, but a close approximation of the face exists in the TrueType
TrueType
TrueType is an outline font standard originally developed by Apple Computer in the late 1980s as a competitor to Adobe's Type 1 fonts used in PostScript...

 computer font Paddington and the Gill Sans
Gill Sans
Gill Sans is a sans-serif typeface designed by Eric Gill.The original design appeared in 1926 when Douglas Cleverdon opened a bookshop in his home town of Bristol, where Eric Gill painted the fascia over the window in sans-serif capitals that would later be known as Gill Sans...

 typeface also takes inspiration from Johnston.

Roundel



The origins of the roundel
Roundel
A roundel in heraldry is a disc; the term is also commonly used to refer to a type of national insignia used on military aircraft, generally circular in shape and usually comprising concentric rings of different colours.-Heraldry:...

, in earlier years known as the 'bulls-eye' or 'target', are obscure. While the first use of a roundel in a London transport context was the 19th-century symbol of the London General Omnibus Company
London General Omnibus Company
The London General Omnibus Company or LGOC, was the principal bus operator in London between 1855 and 1933. It was also, for a short period between 1909 and 1912, a motor bus manufacturer.- Overview :...

 – a wheel with a bar across the centre bearing the word GENERAL – its use on the Underground stems from the decision in 1908 to find a more obvious way of highlighting station names on platforms. The red circle with blue name bar was quickly adopted, with the word "UNDERGROUND" across the bar, as an early corporate identity. The logo was modified by Edward Johnston
Edward Johnston
Edward Johnston, CBE was a British-Uruguayan craftsman who is regarded, with Rudolf Koch, as the a father of modern calligraphy, in the form of the broad edged pen as a writing tool, a particular form of calligraphy....

 in 1919.

Each station displays the Underground roundel, often containing the station's name in the central bar, at entrances and repeatedly along the platform, so that the name can easily be seen by passengers on arriving trains.

The roundel has been used for buses and the tube for many years and, since TfL
Transport for London
Transport for London is the local government body responsible for most aspects of the transport system in Greater London in England. Its role is to implement the transport strategy and to manage transport services across London...

 took control, it has been applied to other transport types (taxi, tram
Tramlink
Tramlink is a tramway system in south London in the United Kingdom which began operation in May 2000...

, DLR
Docklands Light Railway
The Docklands Light Railway is an automated light metro or light rail system opened on 31 August 1987 to serve the redeveloped Docklands area of London...

 etc.) in different colour pairs. The roundel has, to some extent, become a symbol for London itself.

The 100th anniversary of the roundel was celebrated by TfL commissioning 100 artists to produce works that celebrate the design.

Contribution to arts



The Underground currently sponsors and contributes to the arts via its Art on the Underground and Poems on the Underground
Poems on the Underground
Poems on the Underground is a project to bring poetry to a wider audience by displaying various poems or stanzas on advertising boards across the London Underground rapid transit network.-History:...

 projects. Poster and billboard space (and in the case of Gloucester Road tube station
Gloucester Road tube station
-Deep-level station:By the beginning of the 20th century, the MDR had been extended to Richmond, Ealing Broadway, Hounslow West and Wimbledon in the west and to New Cross Gate in the east...

, an entire disused platform) is given over to artwork and poetry to "create an environment for positive impact and to enhance and enrich the journeys of ... passengers".

Its artistic legacy includes the employment, since the 1920s, of many well-known graphic designers, illustrators and artists for its own publicity posters. Designers who produced work for the Underground in the 1920s and 1930s include Man Ray
Man Ray
Man Ray , born Emmanuel Radnitzky, was an American artist who spent most of his career in Paris, France. Perhaps best described simply as a modernist, he was a significant contributor to both the Dada and Surrealist movements, although his ties to each were informal...

, Edward McKnight Kauffer, William Kermode
William Kermode
William Kermode MC was an artist best known for his illustrations to Henry Williamson's The Patriot's Progress, published in 1930. The illustrations were linocuts, an unusual medium....

 and Fougasse
Fougasse (cartoonist)
Cyril Kenneth Bird, pen name Fougasse was a British cartoonist best known for his editorship of Punch magazine and his iconic World War II warning propaganda posters....

. In recent years, the Underground has commissioned work from leading artists including R. B. Kitaj
R. B. Kitaj
Ronald Brooks Kitaj was an American artist who spent much of his life in England.-Life:Born in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, near Cleveland, United States, his Hungarian father, Sigmund Benway, left his mother, Jeanne Brooks, shortly after he was born and they were divorced in 1934. His mother was the...

, John Bellany
John Bellany
John Bellany, CBE, RA is a Scottish painter.He was born in Port Seton. During the 1960s, he studied at Edinburgh College of Art and then at the Royal College of Art in London....

 and Howard Hodgkin
Howard Hodgkin
Sir Gordon Howard Eliot Hodgkin CH, CBE is a British painter and printmaker. His work is most often associated with abstraction.-Early life:...

.

In architecture, Leslie Green
Leslie Green
Leslie William Green was an English architect known especially for his design of iconic stations constructed on the London Underground railway system in central London during the first decade of the 20th century....

 established a house style for the new stations built in the first decade of the 20th century for the Bakerloo, Piccadilly and Northern lines which included individual Edwardian tile patterns on platform walls. In the 1920s and 1930s, Charles Holden
Charles Holden
Charles Henry Holden, Litt. D., FRIBA, MRTPI, RDI was a Bolton-born English architect best known for designing many London Underground stations during the 1920s and 1930s, for Bristol Central Library, the Underground Electric Railways Company of London's headquarters at 55 Broadway and for the...

 designed a series of modernist
Modern architecture
Modern architecture is generally characterized by simplification of form and creation of ornament from the structure and theme of the building. It is a term applied to an overarching movement, with its exact definition and scope varying widely...

 and art-deco stations for which the Underground remains famous. Holden's design for the Underground's headquarters building at 55 Broadway
55 Broadway
55 Broadway is a notable building overlooking St. James's Park in London. It was designed by Charles Holden and built between 1927 and 1929, and in 1931 the building earned him the RIBA London Architecture Medal...

 included avant-garde sculptures by Jacob Epstein
Jacob Epstein
Sir Jacob Epstein KBE was an American-born British sculptor who helped pioneer modern sculpture. He was born in the United States, and moved to Europe in 1902, becoming a British citizen in 1911. He often produced controversial works which challenged taboos on what was appropriate subject matter...

, Eric Gill
Eric Gill
Arthur Eric Rowton Gill was a British sculptor, typeface designer, stonecutter and printmaker, who was associated with the Arts and Crafts movement...

 and Henry Moore
Henry Moore
Henry Spencer Moore OM CH FBA was an English sculptor and artist. He was best known for his semi-abstract monumental bronze sculptures which are located around the world as public works of art....

 (his first public commission). Misha Black
Misha Black
Sir Misha Black was an Azerbaijan-born British architect and designer. In 1933 he founded with associates in London the organisation which became the Artists’ International Association. From 1959 to 1975 he was a professor of industrial design at the Royal College of Art in London, England...

 was appointed design consultant for the 1960s Victoria Line, contributing to the line's uniform look, while the 1990s extension of the Jubilee line featured stations designed by leading architects such as Norman Foster, Michael Hopkins, Will Alsop
Will Alsop
Will Allen Alsop, OBE RA is a British architect based in London. He is responsible for several distinctive and controversial modernist buildings, most in the United Kingdom. Alsop's buildings are usually distinguished by their use of bright colour and unusual forms...

 and Ian Ritchie. These architects were commissioned by Roland Paoletti, chief architect for the Jubilee Line Extension (JLE).

Many stations also feature unique interior designs to help passenger identification. Often, these have themes of local significance. Tiling at Baker Street
Baker Street tube station
Baker Street tube station is a station on the London Underground at the junction of Baker Street and the Marylebone Road. The station lies in Travelcard Zone 1 and is served by five different lines...

 incorporates repetitions of Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes is a fictional detective created by Scottish author and physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The fantastic London-based "consulting detective", Holmes is famous for his astute logical reasoning, his ability to take almost any disguise, and his use of forensic science skills to solve...

's silhouette. Tottenham Court Road
Tottenham Court Road tube station
Tottenham Court Road is a London Underground station in central London. It is an interchange between the Central line and the branch of the Northern line.On the Central line it is between and , and on the Northern line it is between and...

 features semi-abstract mosaics by Eduardo Paolozzi
Eduardo Paolozzi
Sir Eduardo Luigi Paolozzi, KBE, RA , was a Scottish sculptor and artist. He was a major figure in the international art sphere, while, working on his own interpretation and vision of the world. Paolozzi investigated how we can fit into the modern world to resemble our fragmented civilization...

 representing the local music industry at Denmark Street
Denmark Street
Denmark Street is a short narrow road in central London, notable for its connections with British popular music, and is known as the British Tin Pan Alley. The road connects Charing Cross Road at its western end with St Giles High Street at its eastern end. Denmark Street is in the London Borough...

. Northern line platforms at Charing Cross
Charing Cross tube station
Charing Cross tube station is a London Underground station at Charing Cross in the City of Westminster with entrances located in Trafalgar Square and The Strand. The station is served by the Northern and Bakerloo lines and provides an interchange with the National Rail network at station...

 feature murals by David Gentleman
David Gentleman
David Gentleman is an English artist-designer. He studied illustration at the Royal College of Art under Edward Bawden and John Nash. He has worked in various media - watercolour, lithography, wood engraving - and at scales ranging from the platform-length murals for Charing Cross underground...

 of the construction of Charing Cross
Charing Cross
Charing Cross denotes the junction of Strand, Whitehall and Cockspur Street, just south of Trafalgar Square in central London, England. It is named after the now demolished Eleanor cross that stood there, in what was once the hamlet of Charing. The site of the cross is now occupied by an equestrian...

 itself.

In popular culture


The Underground (including several fictitious stations) has been featured in many movies and television shows, including Sliding Doors
Sliding Doors
Sliding Doors is a 1998 British-American romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by Peter Howitt and starring Gwyneth Paltrow and John Hannah, and featured John Lynch, Jeanne Tripplehorn and Virginia McKenna. The music was composed by David Hirschfelder...

, An American Werewolf in London
An American Werewolf in London
An American Werewolf in London is a 1981 British-American horror film, written and directed by John Landis. It stars David Naughton, Jenny Agutter, and Griffin Dunne....

, Creep
Creep (film)
Creep is a 2004 British horror film about a woman locked in overnight on the London Underground who finds herself being stalked by a hideously deformed killer living in the sewers below...

, Tube Tales
Tube Tales
Tube Tales is a collection of nine short films based on the true-life experiences of London Underground passengers as submitted to Time Out magazine. The stories were scripted and filmed independently of each other...

and Neverwhere
Neverwhere
Neverwhere is an urban fantasy television series by Neil Gaiman that first aired in 1996 on BBC Two. The series is set in "London Below", a magical realm coexisting with the more familiar London, referred to as "London Above". It was devised by Neil Gaiman and Lenny Henry, and directed by Dewi...

. The London Underground Film Office received over 200 requests to film in 2000. The Underground has also featured in music such as The Jam
The Jam
The Jam were an English punk rock/New Wave/mod revival band active during the late 1970s and early 1980s. They were formed in Woking, Surrey. While they shared the "angry young men" outlook and fast tempos of their punk rock contemporaries, The Jam wore smartly tailored suits rather than ripped...

's "Down in the Tube Station at Midnight
Down in the Tube Station at Midnight
"Down in the Tube Station at Midnight" was the second single taken from the album All Mod Cons by The Jam. Released on 21 October 1978, it charted at number 15 and was backed by a cover of the Who song "So Sad About Us", and "The Night", written by Bruce Foxton...

" and in literature such as the graphic novel V for Vendetta
V for Vendetta
V for Vendetta is a ten-issue comic book series written by Alan Moore and illustrated mostly by David Lloyd, set in a dystopian future United Kingdom imagined from the 1980s to about the 1990s. A mysterious masked revolutionary who calls himself "V" works to destroy the totalitarian government,...

. Popular legends about the Underground being haunted persist to this day.

After placing a number of spoof announcements on her web page, London Underground voiceover artiste Emma Clarke
Emma Clarke
Emma Clarke is a writer of comedy and drama scripts and an award-winning voice-over artist, best known as the voice of the automated messages on certain lines of the London Underground....

 had further contracts cancelled in 2007.

The announcement "mind the gap
Mind the gap
"Mind the gap" is a warning to train passengers to take caution while crossing the gap between the train door and the station platform. It was introduced in 1969 on the London Underground...

", heard when trains stop at certain platforms, has also become a well known catchphrase.

The London Underground map serves as a playing field for the conceptual game of Mornington Crescent
Mornington Crescent (game)
Mornington Crescent is a spoof game, featured in the BBC Radio 4 comedy panel show I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, which satirises complicated strategy games....

 (which is named after a station on the Northern Line
Mornington Crescent tube station
Mornington Crescent is a London Underground station in Camden Town in north west London, named after the nearby street. The station is on the Charing Cross branch of the Northern Line, between and...

) and the board game The London Game
The London Game
The London Game is a British board game based on the London Underground in London, England.The game was first released in 1972 by the game company Condor...

.

Notable people

  • Frank Pick
    Frank Pick
    Frank Pick LLB Hon. RIBA was a British transport administrator. After qualifying as a solicitor in 1902, he worked at the North Eastern Railway, before moving to the Underground Electric Railways Company of London in 1906...

    , Managing Director of the Underground Group
    Underground Electric Railways Company of London
    The Underground Electric Railways Company of London Limited , known operationally as The Underground for much of its existence, was established in 1902. It was the holding company for the three deep-level "tube"A "tube" railway is an underground railway constructed in a circular tunnel by the use...

     from 1928 and Chief Executive of the London Passenger Transport Board
    London Passenger Transport Board
    The London Passenger Transport Board was the organisation responsible for public transport in London, UK, and its environs from 1933 to 1948...

     from its creation in 1933 until 1940.
  • Lord Ashfield
    Albert Stanley, 1st Baron Ashfield
    Albert Henry Stanley, 1st Baron Ashfield, PC, TD , born Albert Henry Knattriess, was a British-American who was managing director, then chairman of the Underground Electric Railways Company of London from 1910 to 1933 and chairman of the London Passenger Transport Board from 1933 to 1947.Although...

    , chairman of the Underground Electric Railways Company of London
    Underground Electric Railways Company of London
    The Underground Electric Railways Company of London Limited , known operationally as The Underground for much of its existence, was established in 1902. It was the holding company for the three deep-level "tube"A "tube" railway is an underground railway constructed in a circular tunnel by the use...

     (UERL) from 1910 to 1933 and chairman of the London Passenger Transport Board
    London Passenger Transport Board
    The London Passenger Transport Board was the organisation responsible for public transport in London, UK, and its environs from 1933 to 1948...

     (LPTB) from 1933 to 1947.
  • Edward Watkin
    Edward Watkin
    Sir Edward William Watkin, 1st Baronet was an English railway chairman and politician.- Biography :Watkin was born in Salford, Lancashire, the son of a wealthy cotton merchant, Absalom Watkin who was noted for his involvement in the Anti-corn Law League.After a private education, he returned to...

    , responsible for the building of the Manchester Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway's "London Extension"
    Great Central Main Line
    The Great Central Main Line , also known as the London Extension of the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway , is a former railway line which opened in 1899 linking Sheffield with Marylebone Station in London via Nottingham and Leicester.The GCML was the last main line railway built in...

     during the 1890s, which was the last main line to be constructed into London.
  • Edgar Speyer
    Edgar Speyer
    Sir Edgar Speyer, 1st Baronet was an American-born financier and philanthropist. He became a British subject in 1892 and was chairman of Speyer Brothers, the British branch of his family's international finance house, and a partner in the German and American branches...

    , chairman of the Underground Electric Railways Company of London
    Underground Electric Railways Company of London
    The Underground Electric Railways Company of London Limited , known operationally as The Underground for much of its existence, was established in 1902. It was the holding company for the three deep-level "tube"A "tube" railway is an underground railway constructed in a circular tunnel by the use...

     (UERL, forerunner of the London Underground) from 1906 to 1915, a period during which the company opened three underground railway lines, electrified a fourth and took over two more.
  • James Henry Greathead
    James Henry Greathead
    James Henry Greathead was an engineer renowned for his work on the London Underground railway.-Early life:Greathead was born in Grahamstown, South Africa; of English descent, Greathead's grandfather had emigrated to South Africa in 1820. He was educated at St Andrew's College, Grahamstown, and the...

    , who helped with the Tower Subway
    Tower Subway
    The Tower Subway is a tunnel, dug in 1869, beneath the River Thames in central London, close to the Tower of London. Its alignment runs between Tower Hill on the north side of the river and Vine Lane to the south...

    , and became resident engineer on the Hammersmith extension railway
    Metropolitan railway
    Metropolitan Railway can refer to:* Metropolitan line, part of the London Underground* Metropolitan Railway, the first underground railway to be built in London...

     and the Richmond extension of the Metropolitan District Railway
    Metropolitan District Railway
    The Metropolitan District Railway was the predecessor of the District line of the London Underground. Set up on 29 July 1864, at first to complete the "Inner Circle" railway around central London, it was gradually extended into the suburbs...

    , a post which he held for four years.
  • Charles Pearson
    Charles Pearson
    Charles Pearson was Solicitor to the City of London, a reforming campaigner, and – briefly – Member of Parliament for Lambeth...

    , who published a pamphlet in 1845 calling for the construction of an underground railway through the Fleet valley to Farringdon. The proposed railway would have been an atmospheric railway with trains pushed through tunnels by compressed air. Although the proposal was ridiculed and came to nothing (and would almost certainly have failed if it had been built, due to the shortcomings of the technology proposed), Pearson continued to lobby for a variety of railway schemes throughout the 1840s and 1850s. In 1846, Pearson proposed with the support of the City Corporation a central railway station for London located in Farringdon that was estimated to cost £1 million (approximately £71.7 million today).
  • Daniel Gooch
    Daniel Gooch
    Sir Daniel Gooch, 1st Baronet was an English railway and transatlantic cable engineer and Conservative politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1865 to 1885...

    , who designed and built 22 outside-cylinder 2-4-0 locomotives for the line in 1863.
  • Charles Yerkes
    Charles Yerkes
    Charles Tyson Yerkes was an American financier, born in Philadelphia. He played a major part in developing mass-transit systems in Chicago and London.-Philadelphia:...

    , an American tycoon with experience of operating electric tramways in Chicago. He was also an expert in arranging the complex financial structures necessary to raise the capital the railway companies needed. In 1900, he bought the powers of the CCE&HR company. The following year he secured effective control of the District with a view to its electrification.

See also



  • Timeline of the London Underground
    Timeline of the London Underground
    The transport system now known as the London Underground began in 1863 with the Metropolitan Railway, the world's first underground railway. Over the next forty years, the early sub-surface lines reached out from the urban centre of the capital into the surrounding rural margins, leading to the...



External links