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Metropolitan Line

Metropolitan Line

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Encyclopedia
The Metropolitan line is part of the London Underground
London Underground
The London Underground is a rapid transit system serving a large part of Greater London and some parts of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Essex in England...

. It is coloured in 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...

's (TfL) Corporate Magenta on 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....

 and in other branding. It was the first underground railway
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...

 in the world, opening as 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...

 on 10 January 1863. (Parts of that initial railway are no longer served by the Metropolitan line, but by the 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...

, 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...

 and Circle lines.) The main line runs from in the 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...

 to in 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....

, with branch line
Branch line
A branch line is a secondary railway line which branches off a more important through route, usually a main line. A very short branch line may be called a spur line...

s to , and . On the southern section the line is below ground for much of the way; north of , at the line runs in the open. Of the 34 stations served, nine are below ground. It is the ninth busiest line on the network.

The four-track section between and allows the running of express or "fast" services to the outer suburbs which can overtake slower stopping trains. The Metropolitan is the only Underground line with this feature, and the only one to which the general rule "all trains call at all stations" does not apply.

Baker Street is the 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,...

 terminus for many trains, while others continue into the City to terminate at Aldgate.

The line has the highest speed limits on the London Underground network. Before the late 1990s/early 2000s, the fast line north of Harrow-on-the-Hill
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...

 was 70 mi/h. The Metropolitan stock has now been limited to 50 mi/h, still one of the fastest. Line speeds have fallen accordingly, with the majority of the line north of Finchley Road limited to 50 mi/h (although where National 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...

 services run on the line it is 60 mi/h).

The Metropolitan line and 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...

 are the only two Underground routes with stations outside the boundaries 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 the M25
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 ...

 orbital motorway.

History




The origins of the Metropolitan line lie with the incorporation, in 1853, of the North Metropolitan Railway, the original name of the Metropolitan Railway, which had been empowered to build a line from 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...

 at Paddington to Farringdon, with a connection to the Great Northern Railway
Great Northern Railway (Great Britain)
The Great Northern Railway was a British railway company established by the Great Northern Railway Act of 1846. On 1 January 1923 the company lost its identity as a constituent of the newly formed London and North Eastern Railway....

 at King's Cross. Work on the railway had begun in February 1860 using the "cut-and-cover" method of construction. This caused great traffic disruption in north London; during the work the Fleet
River Fleet
The River Fleet is the largest of London's subterranean rivers. Its two headwaters are two streams on Hampstead Heath; each is now dammed into a series of ponds made in the 18th century, the Hampstead Ponds and the Highgate Ponds. At the south edge of Hampstead Heath these two streams flow...

 Sewer burst into the diggings, flooding the partly built tunnel. The first section was opened from near Paddington to Farringdon Street (now Farringdon station
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...

) in January 1863. Later in 1863, it was suggested that all the main-line termini of London should be linked by underground railway. Parliament recommended that the best way of doing this was to form an "inner circuit", part of which would be the existing Metropolitan Railway; another section would be built by a new company (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...

), whilst the Metropolitan would build the connecting lines.

Between its opening and the 1930s the railway was expanded until its total mileage exceeded 90, most of it progressively electrified
Railway electrification in Great Britain
Railway electrification in Great Britain started towards of the 19th century. A great range of voltages have been used in the intervening period using both overhead lines and third rails, however the most common standard for mainline services is now 25 kV AC using overhead lines and the...

 from 1905. In 1933 the Metropolitan Railway was nationalised by the London Passenger Transport Act 1933, becoming the Metropolitan line of London Transport. The line was successively rationalised during the ensuing period. The section northwest of was closed in 1936, though services did return to between 1943 and 1948. Also in 1936 the Metropolitan line was extended from to along the tracks of the District line. In 1939 the 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...

 branch was transferred to 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...

. (It was subsequently transferred to 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...

 when that line opened in 1979.)

Steam-hauled passenger trains ran north of until 1961 and maintenance trains until 1972. A major modernisation of that part of the line took place by 1960. In September 1961 the service north of Amersham was withdrawn, along with the steam passenger service. The line north of Harrow-on-the-Hill was quadrupled to Northwood Hills
Northwood Hills tube station
Northwood Hills tube station is a London Underground station on the Metropolitan Line, in Zone 6.In the northbound direction the station is served primarily by trains to Watford, and occasionally at peak commuting times by 'slow' Amersham and Chesham trains...

 by 1961 and to Croxleyhall Junction (north of Moor Park) by 1962. Formerly, local and semi-fast services from Aylesbury to Harrow had shared the double track
Double track
A double track railway usually involves running one track in each direction, compared to a single track railway where trains in both directions share the same track.- Overview :...

 with main line
Main line (railway)
The Mainline or Main line of a railway is a track that is used for through trains or is the principal artery of the system from which branch lines, yards, sidings and spurs are connected....

 expresses of the former Great Central
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...

 route.

Another major change took place in 1988, when the Hammersmith & City and 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...

s, were rebranded as separate lines rather than parts of the Metropolitan line. The Metropolitan line is now confined to its original route from Aldgate to Baker Street, running through the tunnels opened by the Metropolitan Railway back in 1868, and northwards, through the area that came to be known 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...

". The East London Line shared stock with the Metropolitan line until its closure in 2007 for conversion into a 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...

 line. While there was never through running between the two lines, there is a physical connection (via St Mary's curve), although this is now redundant, because the East London Line now uses Overground rolling stock.

In 1998, the infrastructure of the Metropolitan line was partly privatised in a controversial public–private partnership. It is now part of the "Sub-Surface Railways" group, managed along with the Circle, Hammersmith & City and District lines by London Underground Limited, formerly the 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...

 consortium.

The Metropolitan line, being the first underground railway in the world, has had a major influence on underground railways worldwide. The Paris Métro
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 ...

 took its name, in full Chemin de fer Métropolitain, from the Metropolitan line. The modern word metro
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...

 is derived from the word Metropolitan.

Rolling stock


The rolling stock
London Underground rolling stock
The history of the London Underground's rolling stock is as complex as the history of the network itself. A wide variety of types have been operated, from the early days of steam locomotives and carriages through to today's electric multiple units...

 still largely in use on the Metropolitan line is the sub-surface-gauge A Stock built by Cravens
Cravens
Cravens Railway Carriage and Wagon Company Limited was a railway rolling stock builder in the Darnall district of Sheffield, England. Cravens built many diagrams of coaching stock for the Pre-grouping Railway companies of Great Britain, the Grouped companies and for British Railways itself. They...

 in Sheffield
Sheffield
Sheffield is a city and metropolitan borough of South Yorkshire, England. Its name derives from the River Sheaf, which runs through the city. Historically a part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, and with some of its southern suburbs annexed from Derbyshire, the city has grown from its largely...

, which were shared with the East London Line until 2007. It ran in service with unpainted aluminium bodywork for many years, but when refurbished in the 1990s it received the now standard white and blue Underground livery, with red ends. A Stock Metropolitan line services are formed of two four-car units coupled together to make eight-car trains, although the former Chesham shuttle service was served by a four-car train, as was the East London Line when it was an Underground route.

The A Stock trains were built between 1960 and 1962. This is now the oldest passenger rail fleet on the UK mainland, and LUL says it requires "an intense maintenance regime" to keep up an acceptable level of reliability. They replaced a wide variety of older rolling stock, including trains with hinged doors and compartments (T Stock
London Underground T Stock
The T Stock was originally built in various batches by Metropolitan-Vickers and Birmingham RC&W for the Metropolitan Railway in 1927-31 for use on electric services from Baker Street and the City to Watford and Rickmansworth, though rarely some worked on the Uxbridge branch.The earlier batches were...

 electric multiple units for Watford services and locomotive-hauled carriages for Aylesbury services), as well as London Underground P stock
London Underground O Stock
The O and P Stock was built for the Metropolitan Line and Hammersmith & City Line in 1937–1940 by Gloucester RC&W and Birmingham RC&W. In all there were 262 driving motors and 103 trailers...

 (built in 1937) and F Stock
London Underground F Stock
The F Stock was built in 1920 and 1921 for the Metropolitan District Railway . 100 steel-bodied cars were built: 40 driving motors, 12 control trailers and 48 trailers...

 (built in 1920) used on Uxbridge services.

The A Stock trains are now being progressively replaced by 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...

. The first S Stock trains entered service in summer 2010 and it is intended that all 58 new eight-car sets for the Metropolitan will be in service by mid 2012. In combination with new signalling, the new fleet will increase overall capacity on the line by 27%.

Stations


In order from east to west
Shared Circle and Hammersmith & City lines
Station Image Opened Additional information
Aldgate
Aldgate tube station
Aldgate tube station is a London Underground station located at Aldgate in the City of London.The station is on the Circle Line between Tower Hill and Liverpool Street. It is also the eastern terminus of the Metropolitan Line...

 
18 November 1876 Terminus
Liverpool Street
Liverpool Street station
Liverpool Street railway station, also known as London Liverpool Street or simply Liverpool Street, is both a central London railway terminus and a connected London Underground station in the north-eastern corner of the City of London, England...

 
12 July 1875 Opened as Bishopsgate, renamed 1 November 1909
Moorgate
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...

 
1865 Trains from the north/west can terminate at Moorgate, but none regularly do in the current timetable
Barbican  1865 Opened as Aldersgate Street, renamed to Aldersgate in 1910, renamed Aldersgate and Barbican in 1923, current name is from 1968
Farringdon
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...

 
10 January 1863
King's Cross St. Pancras
King's Cross St. Pancras tube station
King's Cross St. Pancras is a tube station in the London Borough of Camden, on the London Underground network, serving both King's Cross and main line stations. It is in Travelcard Zone 1. It is the fourth busiest station on the system and serves more lines than any other...

 
1863
Euston Square
Euston Square tube station
Euston Square is a London Underground station at the corner of Euston Road and Gower Street, just north of University College London and within walking distance of Euston railway station. It is between Great Portland Street and King's Cross St. Pancras on the Circle, Hammersmith & City and...

 
1863 Originally Gower Street
Great Portland Street
Great Portland Street tube station
Great Portland Street is a London Underground station near Regent's Park. It is between and on the Hammersmith & City, Circle and Metropolitan lines...

 
10 January 1863 Originally Portland Road
Core Section
The Metropolitan line diverges from the Circle/Hammersmith & City lines just east of Baker Street station, where they use separate platforms, at a roughly 45 degree angle to the Circle/Hammersmith & City platforms
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...

 
10 January 1863 Most trains begin their northbound journey here
Finchley Road
Finchley Road tube station
Finchley Road tube station is a London Underground station at the corner of Finchley Road and Canfield Gardens in the London Borough of Camden, North London. It is on the Jubilee Line, between West Hampstead and Swiss Cottage and on the Metropolitan Line between Baker Street and Wembley Park. It is...

*
30 June 1879
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...

**
14 October 1893 Fully opened 12 May 1894
Preston Road
Preston Road tube station
Preston Road tube station is a station on the Metropolitan Line in London. It is in Zone 4, and lies between Northwick Park tube station and Wembley Park....

 
21 May 1908 The line passed through here en route to Harrow, 2 August 1880
Northwick Park
Northwick Park tube station
Northwick Park is a London Underground station on the Metropolitan Line. It is in Zone 4, and lies between Harrow-on-the-Hill and Preston Road.It is served by 'slow' trains...

 
28 June 1923 Opened as Northwick Park and Kenton, the line passed through here en route to Harrow, 2 August 1880
Harrow-on-the-Hill
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...

 
2 August 1880 At Harrow, the line splits into two branches – the main line to Watford and Amersham, and the Uxbridge branch
* – Between Finchley Road and Wembley Park the Metropolitan line's tracks run outside the tracks of 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...

. Between Finchley Road and Wembley Park, Metropolitan line trains do not stop at West Hampstead
West Hampstead tube station
West Hampstead tube station is a London Underground Jubilee line station in West Hampstead. It is on West End Lane between Broadhurst Gardens and Blackburn Road and is in Travelcard Zone 2. It lies between Kilburn and Finchley Road tube stations...

, Kilburn
Kilburn tube station
Kilburn tube station is a London Underground station at Kilburn in north-west London. It is on the Jubilee Line, situated between Willesden Green and West Hampstead tube stations. It is in Travelcard Zone 2...

, Willesden Green
Willesden Green tube station
Willesden Green tube station is a London Underground station in Willesden. It is served by the Jubilee Line and is between Dollis Hill and Kilburn. Metropolitan Line trains also pass through the station, but do not usually stop...

, Dollis Hill
Dollis Hill tube station
Dollis Hill tube station is a London Underground station at Dollis Hill near to Willesden and Harlesden. It is on the Jubilee Line, between Willesden Green and Neasden. Metropolitan Line trains pass the station, but do not stop. The station is about 25 minutes from central London in Travelcard Zone...

, and Neasden
Neasden tube station
Neasden Underground station is a London Underground station in Neasden. It is on the Jubilee Line, between Wembley Park and Dollis Hill. Metropolitan Line trains pass through the station but do not stop, except on rare occasions...

 stations. Willesden Green and Neasden stations have platforms on the Metropolitan line tracks, but Metropolitan line trains stop there only during emergencies, or when there are major operating issues with either the Metropolitan or Jubilee lines.
** – At Wembley Park, the Metropolitan lines split from two tracks to four, with the faster lines on the outside. Fast services (typically to Amersham and Chesham) and semi-fast services (typically to Watford) do not stop at Preston Road or Northwick Park. During peak periods, they also skip Wembley Park, running non-stop from Finchley Road to Harrow-on-the-Hill.

Uxbridge branch

Continuing from Harrow on the Hill
Station Image Opened Additional information
West Harrow
West Harrow tube station
West Harrow tube station is a London Underground station in Harrow in north west London.The station is on the Uxbridge branch of the Metropolitan line, between Rayners Lane and Harrow-on-the-Hill stations, and in Travelcard Zone 5....

 
17 November 1913
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...

 
26 May 1906 From Rayners Lane to Uxbridge the line shares tracks with 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...


Eastcote
Eastcote tube station
Eastcote is a London Underground station in Eastcote in north London. The station is on the branch of both the Metropolitan line and Piccadilly line, between and stations. The station is located on Field End Road...

 
26 May 1906 Opened as Eastcote Halt
Ruislip Manor
Ruislip Manor tube station
Ruislip Manor is a London Underground station in Ruislip Manor in west London. The station is on the Uxbridge branch of both the Metropolitan line and Piccadilly line, between Eastcote and Ruislip stations. The station is located on Victoria Road, where the line crosses on a bridge: there are two...

 
5 August 1912 Opened as Ruislip Manor Halt
Ruislip
Ruislip tube station
Ruislip is a London Underground station in Ruislip in west London. The station is on the Uxbridge branch of both the Metropolitan line and Piccadilly line, between Ruislip Manor and Ickenham stations. The station is located on West End Road...

 
4 July 1904
Ickenham
Ickenham tube station
Ickenham tube station is a London Underground station located in Ickenham in the London Borough of Hillingdon.The station is on the Uxbridge branch of both the Metropolitan line and Piccadilly line, between Ruislip and Hillingdon stations...

 
25 September 1905 Opened as Ickenham Halt
Hillingdon
Hillingdon tube station
Hillingdon tube station is a London Underground station in North Hillingdon in the London Borough of Hillingdon, west London.The station is on the Uxbridge branch of both the Metropolitan line and Piccadilly line, between Ickenham and Uxbridge stations and in Travelcard Zone 6.-History:The...

 
10 December 1923
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...

 
4 July 1904 Terminus

Northwood branch

Continuing from Harrow on the Hill
Station Image Opened Additional information
North Harrow
North Harrow tube station
North Harrow underground station is a London Underground station situated in North Harrow, North West London. The station is on the Metropolitan Line and is the station between Harrow-on-the-Hill and Pinner . Fast Metropolitan Line and Chiltern Railways services pass by using two of the four tracks...

 
22 March 1915
Pinner
Pinner tube station
Pinner tube station is a London Underground station on the Metropolitan Line in zone 5. The station was opened in 1885 as part of the Victorian expansion of dormitory suburbs, and was one of the stations included in the Metro-land project in the early 20th century...

 
25 May 1885
Northwood Hills
Northwood Hills tube station
Northwood Hills tube station is a London Underground station on the Metropolitan Line, in Zone 6.In the northbound direction the station is served primarily by trains to Watford, and occasionally at peak commuting times by 'slow' Amersham and Chesham trains...

 
13 November 1933
Northwood
Northwood tube station
Northwood is a station on the Watford branch of the Metropolitan Line, in Travelcard Zone 6. The line serves as the sole continuous link between the town of Northwood and London, key for a region known as Metro-Land. Northwood used to be a terminus for many Metropolitan trains, similar to the...

 
1 September 1887 The last station within 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...

Moor Park
Moor Park tube station
Moor Park is a London Underground station in the Three Rivers district of Hertfordshire. The station is outside the Greater London boundary but is in both Zone 6 and Zone 7....

 
9 May 1910 Opened as Sandy Lodge; renamed Moor Park & Sandy Lodge, 18 October 1923; current name from 25 September 1950
After Harrow-on-the-Hill the lines are re-arranged into two neighbouring pairs: the slow (the northerly pair) and the fast. The fast lines are also shared with the National Rail line to Aylesbury (operated by Chiltern Railways
Chiltern Railways
Chiltern Railways is a British train operating company. It was set up at the privatisation of British Rail in 1996, and operates local passenger trains from Marylebone station in London to Aylesbury and main-line trains on the Chiltern Main Line to Birmingham Snow Hill with its associated branches...

) which south of Harrow on the Hill run parallel. The stations between Harrow-on-the-Hill and Moor Park (exclusive) have platforms only on the slow lines, and are stopped at only by slow and semi-fast services, which usually run to Watford. At Moor Park the line splits, with the fast line forming the main line towards Amersham and the slow line heading towards Watford.

Watford branch

Continuing from Moor Park
Station Image Opened Additional information
Croxley
Croxley tube station
Croxley Station is a London Underground station at Croxley Green in the Three Rivers district of Hertfordshire. It is on the Watford branch of the Metropolitan Line...

 
2 November 1925 Opened as Croxley Green, renamed 23 May 1949
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:...

 
4 November 1925
A triangular connection ("the North Curve") also exists, allowing trains to run between Watford and Rickmansworth, and there are a few early-morning/late-evening services that do this.

Towards Amersham or Chesham

Continuing from Moor Park
Station Image Opened Additional information
Rickmansworth
Rickmansworth station
Rickmansworth is a London Underground and National Rail station in the town of Rickmansworth, in the Three Rivers district of Hertfordshire to the north-west of London...

 
1 September 1887
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...

 
8 July 1889 Opened as Chorley Wood; renamed Chorley Wood & Chenies, 1 November 1915; reverted 1934; current name from 1964
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...

 
8 July 1889 Opened as Chalfont Road, renamed 1 November 1915
Stations between Rickmansworth and Amersham are also served by most Chiltern services to Aylesbury.
Here trains continue either to Amersham
Amersham
Amersham is a market town and civil parish within Chiltern district in Buckinghamshire, England, 27 miles north west of London, in the Chiltern Hills. It is part of the London commuter belt....

 or on a separate branch
Chesham branch
The Chesham branch is a short single-track railway branch line in Buckinghamshire, England. Although no part of it is within London and it runs entirely above ground, it is owned and operated by the London Underground...

 to Chesham
Chesham
Chesham is a market town in the Chiltern Hills, Buckinghamshire, England. It is located 11 miles south-east of the county town of Aylesbury. Chesham is also a civil parish designated a town council within Chiltern district. It is situated in the Chess Valley and surrounded by farmland, as well as...

. Until December 2010, out of peak times, Chesham was served by a shuttle service by a 4 car A stock train, which was stabled at Chalfont & Latimer in the peak hours. The service interval to Chesham is roughly every 30 minutes.

Continuing from Chalfont & Latimer
Station Image Opened Additional information
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...

 
8 July 1889 The original northern terminus of the Metropolitan Railway from Baker Street

Continuing from Chalfont & Latimer
Station Image Opened Additional information
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...

 
1 September 1892 Renamed Amersham & Chesham Bois, 12 March 1922, reverted 1937

Depot


The Metropolitan line is served by one depot at Neasden
Neasden Depot
Neasden Depot or Neasden Works is a London Underground railway depot on the Metropolitan Line, located between Neasden and Wembley Park stations. Historically, when it opened, Neasden was also a manufacturer, producing locomotives and coaching stock for the Metropolitan Railway...

.

Former stations



St John's Wood section

  • Lord's
    Lord's tube station
    Lord's is a disused London Underground station. It was opened in 1868 as St. John's Wood Road on the Metropolitan & St. John's Wood Railway, the first northward branch extension from Baker Street of the Metropolitan Railway ....

     (closed 1939)
  • Marlborough Road
    Marlborough Road tube station
    Marlborough Road is a disused London Underground station. It was opened in 1868 on the Metropolitan & St. John's Wood Railway, the first northward branch extension from Baker Street of the Metropolitan Railway...

     (closed 1939)
  • Swiss Cottage
    Swiss Cottage (Metropolitan Line) tube station
    Swiss Cottage is a disused London Underground station. It was opened in 1868 as the northern terminus of the Metropolitan and St John's Wood Railway, the first northward branch extension from Baker Street of the Metropolitan Railway...

     (closed 1940)
  • These stations have been replaced by underground equivalents on the Jubilee line.

Beyond Amersham

  • Great Missenden
    Great Missenden railway station
    Great Missenden railway station serves the large village of Great Missenden in Buckinghamshire, as well as the villages of Prestwood, Little Hampden and Little Missenden. The station lies on the London Marylebone-Aylesbury line and is served by Chiltern Railways trains...

     (service withdrawn 1961)
  • Wendover
    Wendover railway station
    Wendover railway station serves the town of Wendover in Buckinghamshire, as well as the villages of Ellesborough and Wendover Dean, amongst others. The station lies on the London Marylebone-Aylesbury line and is served by Chiltern Railways trains...

     (service withdrawn 1961)
  • Stoke Mandeville
    Stoke Mandeville railway station
    Stoke Mandeville railway station serves the village of Stoke Mandeville, to the south of Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire. The station lies on the London -Aylesbury line and is served by Chiltern Railways trains...

     (service withdrawn 1961)
  • Aylesbury
    Aylesbury railway station
    Aylesbury railway station is a railway station in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, England and is a major stop on the London to Aylesbury Line from Marylebone station via Amersham. It is 37.75 miles from Aylesbury Station to Marylebone Station...

     (service withdrawn 1961)
  • Waddesdon Manor
    Waddesdon railway station
    Waddesdon is a closed station that served the village of Waddesdon and its manor, to the north of Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, England. The station is not to be confused with Waddesdon Road railway station at the other end of the Waddesdon Manor estate on the Brill Tramway.-History:The station was...

     (closed 1936)
  • Quainton Road railway station
    Quainton Road railway station
    Quainton Road railway station was opened in 1868 in undeveloped countryside near Quainton, Buckinghamshire, from London. Built by the Aylesbury and Buckingham Railway, it was the result of pressure from the 3rd Duke of Buckingham to route the railway near his home at Wotton House and to open a...

     (service withdrawn 1948, closed 1966)

Verney Junction Branch

  • Granborough Road
    Granborough Road railway station
    Granborough Road railway station was a station serving the village of Granborough, to the north of Quainton in Buckinghamshire, England.-History:The station was first served in 1868 and closed in 1936....

     (closed 1936)
  • Winslow Road
    Winslow Road railway station
    Winslow Road railway station was a station serving the village of East Claydon , to the north of Quainton in Buckinghamshire, England...

     (closed 1936)
  • Verney Junction
    Verney Junction railway station
    Verney Junction was a railway station at a junction serving four directions between 1868 and 1968 and from where excursions as far as Ramsgate could be booked...

     (service withdrawn 1936, closed 1967)

Mainline character


The Metropolitan line differs significantly from other London Underground lines, having more of a suburban mainline feel. Only 6 mi (9.7 km) of the line is underground; the other 35.5 mi (57.1 km) are above ground.It has full-size "sub-surface" rolling stock rather than "tube" trains, and it skirts rather than crosses both the West End and the City.

Also, unlike other lines, the Metropolitan operates a mixture of fast, semi-fast, and all-station services.
The "fast" services, usually to Amersham or Chesham, call at Baker Street, Finchley Road, Wembley Park (off-peak hours only), Harrow-on-the-Hill, Moor Park and then all stations. There are also semi-fast services, usually just in the peak, which use the fast stopping pattern as far as Harrow-on-the-Hill, but then stop at all stations, usually to Watford. The Metropolitan line does not stop at Jubilee line stations between Finchley Road and Wembley Park.Off peak, the fast services terminate at Baker Street, on Marylebone Road, and do not continue further into the city. Several mainline stations to the North also have terminuses on the same ring road.

The line goes well outside Greater London, serving parts of 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 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....

. As a result it is the only Underground line to serve Travelcard zones 7, 8 and 9. It does not have any stations in Zone 3, making it the only Underground line serving non-contiguous zones.

The A Stock is fitted with transverse seating only, luggage racks, and umbrella hooks. The new S Stock that is replacing the A Stock has a mix of transverse and longitudinal seating and as a result has 32 per cent fewer seats. The 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 have train-length gangways which allow passengers to move between coaches, like main-line trains.

The fast lines north of Harrow, including all the lines north of Rickmansworth, appear to be signalled to Network Rail
Network Rail
Network Rail is the government-created owner and operator of most of the rail infrastructure in Great Britain .; it is not responsible for railway infrastructure in Northern Ireland...

 standards. However, this is not actually the case. Although standard 4 aspect Network Rail signal heads are installed, they actually use standard LUL signalling . The upper 2 lights are a standard two aspect LUL stop signal displaying either a single green or single red aspect. The lower 2 lights are a standard LUL repeater signal for the next stop signal ahead showing either a single green or single yellow aspect. The repeater indication is suppressed when the stop signal shows a red aspect. Thus although the signal is really 2 signals combined, it nevertheless appears to a train driver as a 3 aspect signal. The danger indication is a single red light; the caution indication (i.e. the next stop signal shows danger) is a yellow light with a green light above it and the clear indication is two green lights. This combination departs from the usual railway standard of having the red light as the lowest light on the signal.

The Metropolitan line is the fastest London Undeground line, with large sections of track being at 50 or (previously 70 mph (31.3 m/s)). The normal line speed for an Underground line is 40 mile per hour. A computerised signal control centre operates from Baker Street covering the line to Aldgate while other signalling points on the line are run locally.

Unusually for the Underground, full timetables are published for the Watford to North Harrow, and Amersham/Chesham to Rickmansworth sections. There is also a less-detailed leaflet covering the Uxbridge to West Harrow section.

Current service pattern


The current off-peak service pattern is as follows:
  • 6 trains an hour Uxbridge – Aldgate (all stations)
  • 6 trains an hour Watford – Baker Street (all stations)
  • 2 trains an hour Amersham – Baker Street (fast). This section is also served by 2 Chiltern Railways trains an hour between Marylebone
    Marylebone station
    Marylebone station , also known as London Marylebone, is a central London railway terminus and London Underground complex. It stands midway between the mainline stations at Euston and Paddington, about 1 mile from each...

     and Aylesbury, providing 4 trains an hour between Amersham and London.
  • 2 trains an hour Chesham – Baker Street (fast).


During weekday peak hours the service is more complex, with trains running between Aldgate and all the four northern terminuses. The service pattern is a 16-minute cycle of six journeys between: (1) Aldgate and alternately Amersham and Chesham (fast), (2) Baker Street and Uxbridge (all stations), (3) Aldgate & Watford (semi-fast), (4) Aldgate and Uxbridge (all stations), (5) Baker Street and Watford (semi-fast), and (6) Aldgate and Uxbridge (all stations).

The first train each morning from Chesham runs directly to Watford via the "north curve" between Rickmansworth and Croxley. Two other early morning trains run directly from Rickmansworth to Watford. The last train from Watford at night runs directly to Rickmansworth.

On 12 December 2010 London Underground reduced the service to Amersham from 4 to 2 trains an hour, and provided a direct service between Chesham and Central London every 30 minutes all day. The 4-car Chesham shuttle service was withdrawn. This change was made because the new S Stock trains come in 8-car sets and there will not be any 4-car trains when the A-class rolling stock is withdrawn. There was no change in the frequency between Chalfont & Latimer and Baker Street, apart from late evening and early Sunday mornings, when 2 of the 6 Watford trains an hour were diverted to Chesham.

Steam on the Met



In 1989, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Metropolitan to Chesham, the first Steam on the Met event took place, with London Underground running two weekends of steam specials between Chesham and Watford.

The event was a great success and so in 1990, London Underground decided to run steam between Harrow and Amersham. In 1992, to celebrate 100 years of the Met at Amersham, the event was extended to 5 days at the end of May. In 1995, it was decided to run trains between Amersham and Watford.

Engines used in the event included BR standard class 4 tank, BR standard class 5
BR standard class 5
The British Railways Standard Class 5MT 4-6-0 was one of the standard classes of steam locomotives built by British Railways in the 1950s. 172 were built, essentially being a development of the LMS Stanier Class 5 4-6-0 .- Background :...

, and GWR Pannier tanks. There were also various other 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...

 used as static displays at Rickmansworth sidings. Initially, London Underground hired coaching stock from British Rail for the event, but found that it was actually cheaper to buy coaches instead
London Underground coaching stock
In 1989, the first 'Steam on the Met' event took place, and London Underground, hired British Rail coaching stock for the excursions. It was found that it was actually cheaper to buy the coaches instead of hiring them...

, thus, LU acquired numerous coaches from BR. The steam trains ran in between normal timetabled Metropolitan and main line services.

Due to the imminent part privatisation of LUL and the condition of the coaching stock, the last Steam excursion took place in 2000. Since 2007, special trains run on the Met using the electric Sarah Siddons and diesel Class 20
British Rail Class 20
The British Rail Class 20, otherwise known as an English Electric Type 1, is a class of diesel-electric locomotive. In total, 228 locomotives in the class were built by English Electric between 1957 and 1968, the large number being in part because of the failure of other early designs in the same...

 locomotives.

Line upgrade work


Track and wiring replacements have been ongoing, with weekend closures of all or parts of the line at weekends.
The current signalling equipment on all the subsurface lines, some of which dates from before the Second World War and has become failure-prone, will be replaced with 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) controlled from a single new centre.
The entire line is scheduled to be fully upgraded by the end of 2018.

New trains


The line upgrades are being accompanied by the gradual introduction of the S Stock, which is set to replace the current A Stock trains by 2012. S Stock trains began operating on part of the line on 31 August 2010.
As from 27 June 2011, it operates across the entire Metropolitan line network with regular services to all destinations.

Transport for London aims for a 27% increase in line capacity once all upgrade work is complete.

Croxley Rail Link




Transport for London and Hertfordshire County Council
Hertfordshire County Council
Hertfordshire County Council is the upper-tier local authority for the non-metropolitan county of Hertfordshire, in England, the United Kingdom. It currently consists of 77 councillors, and is controlled by the Conservative Party, which has 55 councillors, 17 Liberal Democrats, versus 3 Labour...

 are developing plans to divert the Watford Branch from the current Watford tube station
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:...

 and reroute it over the disused Croxley Green branch line
Watford and Rickmansworth Railway
The Watford and Rickmansworth Railway Company was a short-lived company that ran services between Watford and Rickmansworth in Hertfordshire, England...

 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...

. Public consultation commenced in May 2011 with a series of exhibitions held in the town centre and nearby Croxley.

The existing Watford terminus station stands in a housing estate by Cassiobury Park
Cassiobury Park
Cassiobury Park is the principal public open space in Watford, Hertfordshire, in England. It comprises over and extends from the A412 Rickmansworth Road in the east to the Grand Union Canal in the west....

, rather than serving the centre of Watford. If the project goes ahead, the station would be closed and replaced by new stations at Ascot Road
Ascot Road tube station
Ascot Road tube station is a proposed tube station in Watford, Hertfordshire, England. If built it will be the first station on the Metropolitan line's proposed Croxley Rail Link diversion to . This station is to replace the disused station of . It is also to replace the current station and close...

 and Watford Hospital, thereby serving regeneration sites in west Watford. In February 2011 the Department for Transport placed the project into a "pool" of works that would be subjected to further assessments and a final bid is scheduled to be submitted to the DfT in September 2011. A decision to award funding will be made in December 2011.

Reorganisation


As part of a wider overhaul of the sub-surface lines, there were plans to run Metropolitan line trains from Uxbridge through Aldgate East to Barking, with the Hammersmith and City line taking the Metropolitan's old terminus of Aldgate instead. These plans, if implemented, cannot go forward until the Metropolitan line's stock is totally replaced, as its trains are not permitted to travel beyond Aldgate due to technical reasons .

External links