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Bakerloo line

Bakerloo line
A Bakerloo Line train departs Willesden Junction railway station, bound for Elephant and Castle. The trains are so low the platform is actually a step UP.
Type Deep Level
System London Underground
Stations 25
Ridership 111,136,000 (2011/12)[1] passenger journeys
Colour on map Brown
Opened 1906
Depot(s) Stonebridge Park
London Road
Queen's Park
Rolling stock

1972 Tube Stock

7 carriages per trainset
Line length 23.2 km (14.4 mi)
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Transport for London rail lines
London Underground
Hammersmith & City
Waterloo & City
Other lines
Docklands Light Railway
TfL Rail

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 Central London, via the West End, to Harrow & Wealdstone in the north-western outer suburbs. The line serves 25 stations, of which 15 are below ground. It was so named because it serves Baker Street and Waterloo. North of Queen's Park (the section of the line above ground), the line shares tracks with London Overground's Watford DC Line and runs parallel to the West Coast Main Line.

Opened between 1906 and 1915, many of its stations retain elements of their design to a common standard, the stations below ground using Art Nouveau decorative tiling by Leslie Green and the above-ground stations built in red brick with stone detailing in an Arts & Crafts style. It is the ninth busiest line on the network, carrying over 111 million passengers annually.


  • History 1
    • Watford branch 1.1
    • Stanmore branch 1.2
    • Camberwell extension 1.3
    • Electricity supply 1.4
    • Centenary 1.5
  • Future developments 2
    • Re-extension to Watford Junction 2.1
    • Camberwell proposals 2.2
    • Possible extension to Lewisham and Hayes 2.3
  • Rolling stock 3
    • Former rolling stock 3.1
    • Current and future infrastructure 3.2
  • Map 4
  • Stations 5
    • Former stations 5.1
      • Watford branch 5.1.1
      • Stanmore branch 5.1.2
  • Depots 6
  • See also 7
  • Maps 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10


For a detailed history of the line, see Baker Street and Waterloo Railway.

The route had its origins in the failed projects of the pneumatic 1865 Waterloo and Whitehall Railway and the 1882 Charing Cross and Waterloo Electric Railway.[2]

Originally called the Baker Street & Waterloo Railway, the line was constructed by the Underground Electric Railways Company of London (UERL) and opened between Baker Street and Lambeth North (then called Kennington Road) on 10 March 1906.[3] It was extended to Elephant & Castle five months later, on 5 August. The contraction of the name to "Bakerloo" rapidly caught on, and the official name was changed to match in July 1906.[3]

When work on the line started in June 1898, it had been financed by the mining entrepreneur and company promoter Whitaker Wright, who fell foul of the law over the financial proceedings involved and dramatically committed suicide at the Royal Courts of Justice, after being convicted in 1904. As a result, work on the line was stopped for a few months and did not resume until Charles Yerkes and UERL stepped in and took over the project.[3]

By 1913, the line had been extended from its original northern terminus at Baker Street to the west with interchange stations with the Great Central Railway at Marylebone and the Great Western Railway at Paddington, and a new station at Edgware Road.

Watford branch

The northbound Bakerloo line platform at Edgware Road

In 1915 the line was extended to Queen's Park, where it joined the LNWR's Euston-Watford DC line (now part of London Overground) to Watford Junction. Bakerloo services to Watford Junction were reduced in the 1960s and cut back in 1982 to Stonebridge Park.

Services as far as Harrow & Wealdstone were gradually restored from 1984, and in 1989 the present all-day service was instituted.

Stanmore branch

By the mid-1930s, the Metropolitan line was suffering from congestion caused by the limited capacity of its tracks between Baker Street and Finchley Road stations. To relieve this pressure, the network-wide New Works Programme, 1935-1940 included the construction of new sections of tunnel between the Bakerloo line's platforms at Baker Street and Finchley Road and the replacement of three Metropolitan line stations (Lord's, Marlborough Road and Swiss Cottage) between those points with two new Bakerloo stations (St. John's Wood and Swiss Cottage). The Bakerloo line took over the Metropolitan line's service to Stanmore on 20 November 1939. The branch remained part of the Bakerloo line until 1 May 1979, when similar congestion problems for the Bakerloo line caused by two branches converging at Baker Street led to the opening of the Jubilee line, initially created by connecting the Stanmore branch to new tunnels bored between Baker Street and Charing Cross.

Camberwell extension

An extension at the southern end of the line to Camberwell and Denmark Hill was proposed and approved in 1931 as part of the London Electric Metropolitan District and Central London Railway Companies (Works) Act, 1931.[4][5] In April 1937, the estimated cost of the proposed extension was £5,000,000 (approximately £317 million today)[6] and the London Passenger Transport Board announced that, due to rising materials prices, the extension had been postponed until the Board's finances improved.[7] Apart from the extension of the sidings south of Elephant & Castle, no work on the extension took place before the Second World War, but the powers were renewed by the government in 1947 under the Special Enactments (Extension of Time) Act, 1940.[8] A projected extension as far as Camberwell was shown on a 1949 edition of the Underground map but no further work was done.[9] The train describers at Warwick Avenue station showed Camberwell as a destination until the 1990s.[10]

Electricity supply

One oddity is that, almost from its opening until 1917, the Bakerloo operated with the polarity of the conductor rails reversed, the outside rail negative and the centre rail positive. This came about because the Bakerloo shared a power source with the District Railway. On the Bakerloo, the outside conductor rail tended to leak to the tunnel wall, whereas on the District Railway, the centre rail shared a similar problem. The solution was to reverse the polarity on the Bakerloo line, so that the negative rail leaked on both systems.[11] In 1917, the two lines were separated when the LNWR began its 'New Line' service between Euston and Watford Junction, which the Bakerloo would share north of Queens Park. As a result, normal operation was restored.


The line celebrated its centenary on 10 March 2006, when various events were organised on the line.[12]

Future developments

Re-extension to Watford Junction

Over the next few years the northern section of the line may again see changes following the decision in February 2006 to transfer responsibility for Euston-Watford suburban services (on the London Overground.[13][14]

Under a former London Plan it was projected that by 2026 the Bakerloo line would be re-extended from Harrow & Wealdstone to Watford Junction, restoring the pre-1982 service. The railway line from Queens Park to Watford Junction, currently shared with London Overground, would then be served only by the Bakerloo line.[13] The Best And Final Bid documentation for the Croxley Rail Link project indicates that this Bakerloo line extension is now "unlikely" because "TfL’s plans to extend the Bakerloo line to Watford Junction are on hold indefinitely due to funding and business case constraints."[15]

Camberwell proposals

The 1949 extension to Camberwell proposal was resurrected in 2006 when the then London Mayor, Ken Livingstone, suggested that an extension was being considered within 20 years.[16][17] However, there are no firm commitments to this extension and it remains at the proposal stage. TfL's "Transport T2025 - Transport Vision for a growing world city" investment programme identifies the ambition to separate the present Northern line into two self-contained lines by 2025.[18] In this plan, trains on the Northern line's Charing Cross branch would terminate at Kennington, and it has been mooted that an extension of the line to the south-east may be built, including to Camberwell. In this scenario, an extension to the Bakerloo line would no longer be required. However, recent plans are instead to extend this Northern line branch towards Battersea via two new stations at Nine Elms and Battersea Power Station, so that it is once again the Bakerloo line that would provide any extension to Camberwell.

Possible extension to Lewisham and Hayes

In its July 2011 London & South East Route Utilisation Strategy, Network Rail recommended extending the Bakerloo line from Elephant & Castle to Lewisham and then taking over the Hayes Line. This would release capacity on National Rail lines into Charing Cross.[19]

Lewisham Council in its August 2010 transport study recommended that the extension of the Bakerloo via Peckham to Lewisham and on to the Hayes branch be pursued as a long-term ambition.[20]

A route along the Old Kent Road route has become favoured due to redevelopment along that corridor. A date of 2040 is given for the extension, with initial frequencies of 27tph to Catford Bridge with 15tph continuing to Hayes and 6tph continuing to Beckenham Junction (via the existing chord). It would cost between £2.2bn and £2.6bn.[21] The Beckenham Junction branch is also proposed to be extended through to Grove Park via Bromley town centre.[22]

Rolling stock

Former rolling stock

A 1938 Bakerloo train at Harlesden station

When opened in 1906, the Bakerloo line was operated by Leeds Forge Company.

To operate services north of Queen's Park, 72 additional cars were built by the Metropolitan Carriage, Waggon and Finance Company of Birmingham. These trains, known as the Watford Joint Stock, were partly owned by the Underground and partly by the London and North Western Railway (later London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS)). They were initially painted in LNWR livery. They were not equipped with air-operated doors and proved slow and unreliable, so they were replaced by new trains of Standard Stock in 1930 (although a few were retained by the LMS). For some years in the 1930s Watford trains had a distinctive blue stripe at window level.

In 1932, some carriages built for the Piccadilly line by Cammell Laird in Nottingham in 1919 were transferred to the Bakerloo line. When built, these had been the first Tube trains to have air-operated doors. These were later replaced by more trains of Standard Stock, in turn being replaced by 1938 stock and 1949 stock.

Until the opening of the Jubilee line in 1979, the Bakerloo line was worked by both 1938 stock and 1972 stock. The 1972 stock was intended for the Jubilee line, so from 1979 the Bakerloo line (now minus the Stanmore branch) was again entirely operated by 1938 stock. From 1983 the 1938 stock began to be replaced by trains of 1959 stock, but this was a temporary measure until 1972 stock became available. The last 1938 stock train was withdrawn on 20 November 1985. From 1986, the 1959 stock was transferred to the Northern line.[23]

Current and future infrastructure

The interior of a Bakerloo train

The Bakerloo line is now operated entirely by Mark 2 1972 stock, displaced from the Jubilee line by 1983 stock. The stock is maintained at Stonebridge Park depot.

All Bakerloo line trains are painted in the distinctive London Underground livery of red, white and blue and are the smaller size of the two sizes used on the network, since the line goes deep underground in small tunnels.

In the early 2000s the interiors of these trains were 'deep-cleaned' and the upholstery replaced using a blue moquette. The seating layouts are both longitudinal and transverse, with some cars having longitudinal seating only.

Transport for London proposes to upgrade the line eventually, but not until other deep-level lines have been dealt with. This will include new signalling and new trains, enabling a maximum frequency of 27 trains per hour. TfL currently expects these to be in place by 2033.[24]

LUL has invited Alstom, Bombardier and Siemens 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 third and fourth rail power were lost. It would have a lower floor and 11% higher passenger capacity than the present tube stock.[25] 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.[26] The intention is that these new trains would eventually operate on the Bakerloo, Central, Piccadilly and Waterloo & City lines.[27]


Geographically accurate path of the Bakerloo line


Bakerloo line
Watford DC Line to Watford Junction
Harrow & Wealdstone
Metropolitan line
London to Aylesbury Line
South Kenton
North Wembley
Chiltern Main Line
Wembley Central
Stonebridge Park Depot (LUL)
Stonebridge Park
A406 North Circular Road
Dudding Hill Line
North London Line
Willesden Junction
West & North London Lines
Kensal Green
Track north of here owned by Network Rail
Queen's Park North sheds (LUL)
Queen's Park
Watford DC Line to Euston
Queen's Park South sheds (LUL)
Kilburn Park
Maida Vale
Warwick Avenue
Edgware Road
connection to Jubilee line(south bound)
Baker Street
connection to Jubilee line(north bound)
Regent's Park
Oxford Circus
Piccadilly Circus
Charing Cross
( Charing Cross)
River Thames
Lambeth North
London Road depot
Elephant & Castle
Walworth(approved but not built)
Camberwell(approved but not built)
Notice explaining about step-free access. This can be found inside every Bakerloo line train.

Note: For the former Stanmore branch of the Bakerloo line, see the Jubilee line article.

Station Image Opened[28] Additional Information
Harrow & Wealdstone Handicapped/disabled access 16 April 1917 Service withdrawn: 24 September 1982. Service restored: 4 June 1984.
Kenton 16 April 1917 Service withdrawn: 24 September 1982. Service restored: 4 June 1984.
South Kenton 3 July 1933 Service withdrawn: 24 September 1982. Service restored: 4 June 1984.
North Wembley 16 April 1917 Service withdrawn: 24 September 1982. Service restored: 4 June 1984.
Wembley Central 16 April 1917 Opened as Wembley Central for Sudbury. Renamed: 5 July 1948. Service withdrawn: 24 September 1982. Service restored: 4 June 1984.
Stonebridge Park 1 August 1917
Harlesden 16 April 1917
Willesden Junction Handicapped/disabled access 10 May 1915
Kensal Green 1 October 1916
Queen's Park 11 February 1915
Kilburn Park 31 January 1915
Maida Vale 6 June 1915
Warwick Avenue 31 January 1915
Paddington ( Trains to Heathrow) 1 December 1913
Edgware Road 15 June 1907
Marylebone 27 March 1907 Opened as Great Central. Renamed, 15 April 1917
Baker Street 10 March 1906
Regent's Park 10 March 1906
Oxford Circus 10 March 1906
Piccadilly Circus 10 March 1906
Charing Cross 10 March 1906
Embankment 10 March 1906
Waterloo 10 March 1906
Lambeth North 10 March 1906 Opened as Kennington Road. Renamed Westminster Bridge Road: 5 August 1906, Renamed to Lambeth North: 15 April 1917
Elephant & Castle 5 August 1906

Former stations

Watford branch

Between 1917 and 1982, Bakerloo line trains continued along the DC line past Harrow & Wealdstone to Watford Junction. These stations continue to be served by London Overground. Proposals have surfaced to re-extend the Bakerloo line to Watford Junction and service the following stations:

Station Opened Service withdrawn Additional Information
Watford Junction 16 April 1917 16 September 1982
Watford High Street 16 April 1917 24 September 1982
Bushey 16 April 1917 24 September 1982 Named Bushey & Oxhey 6 May 1974
Carpenders Park 5 April 1919 24 September 1982 Closed 16 November 1952. Re-opened on new site 17 November 1952
Hatch End 16 April 1917 24 September 1982 Original name: Hatch End & Pinner. Renamed Hatch End (for Pinner): 1 February 1920. Renamed to Hatch End: 1956.
Headstone Lane 16 April 1917 24 September 1982

Stanmore branch

The Stanmore branch was originally constructed by the Metropolitan Railway and was designated as the Stanmore branch of the Bakerloo line in 1939. It was transferred to the Jubilee line on 1 May 1979. It connected to the main Bakerloo line at Baker Street.


Bakerloo line depot at London Road

The Bakerloo line is currently served by three depots; a main depot at Stonebridge Park, opened on 9 April 1978 on the site of a former British Rail power station which contains the fleet's maintenance facilities, the original depot at London Road (between Elephant and Castle and Lambeth North), and a small depot immediately north of Queens Park, built in 1915. The Queens Park depot is unique on the London Underground network in that trains in passenger service run through it.

When Bakerloo line services ran to Watford, there was also an additional depot at Croxley Green; this depot closed in November 1985 following the withdrawal of services.

When the Bakerloo had two branches at its northern end, to Queens Park (as currently) and to Stanmore (now taken over by the Jubilee line), the depot at Neasden on the Stanmore branch was the principal one on the line. The Jubilee taking over this branch from 1979 was the reason behind building the new Stonebridge Park one.

The London Road depot is unusual in that, although the depot is on the surface, the line passes nearby in tunnel, connected by a short and sharply graded branch tunnel.

See also

  • Leslie Green - architect of the Baker Street & Waterloo Railway's early stations
  • Stanley Heaps - architect of the extension stations from Warwick Avenue to Kilburn Park


  • ^map 1 Harrow & Wealdstone -
  • ^map 2 Kenton -
  • ^map 3 South Kenton -
  • ^map 4 North Wembley -
  • ^map 5 Wembley Central -
  • ^map 6 Stonebridge Park -
  • ^map 7 Harlesden -
  • ^map 8 Willesden Junction -
  • ^map 9 Kensal Green -
  • ^map 10 Queen's Park -
  • ^map 11 Kilburn Park -
  • ^map 12 Maida Vale -
  • ^map 13 Warwick Avenue -
  • ^map 14 London Paddington -
  • ^map 15 Edgware Road (Bakerloo line) -
  • ^map 16 Marylebone -
  • ^map 17 Baker Street -
  • ^map 18 Regent's Park -
  • ^map 19 Oxford Circus -
  • ^map 20 Piccadilly Circus -
  • ^map 21 Charing Cross -
  • ^map 22 Embankment -
  • ^map 23 Waterloo -
  • ^map 24 Lambeth North -
  • ^map 25 Elephant & Castle -
  • ^map 26 Stonebridge Park Depot -
  • ^map 27 London Road Depot -
  • ^map 28 Queens Park Depot -


  1. ^ "LU Performance Data Almanac 2011/12".  
  2. ^ An extended history of the Bakerloo line, TfL
  3. ^ a b c Day, J.R.; Reed, J. (2001). The Story of London's Underground. Harrow Weald: Capital Transport Publishing. ISBN 978-1-85414-245-0
  4. ^ The London Gazette: no. 33699. pp. 1809–1811. 17 March 1931. Retrieved 13 January 2008.
  5. ^ The London Gazette: no. 33761. p. 6462. 9 October 1931. Retrieved 13 January 2008.
  6. ^ UK CPI inflation numbers based on data available from Gregory Clark (2015), "The Annual RPI and Average Earnings for Britain, 1209 to Present (New Series)" MeasuringWorth.
  7. ^ "Rising Cost of Steel - London Transport Economics - Extensions Delayed". The Times (London). 10 April 1937. p. 14. 
  8. ^ The London Gazette: no. 38145. p. 5876. 12 December 1947. Retrieved 11 January 2008.
  9. ^ "London Tube Map". London Transport. June 1949. Archived from the original on 25 January 2008. Retrieved 13 January 2008. 
  10. ^ Garland, Ken (1994). Mr Beck's Underground Map. Capital Transport. p. 41.  
  11. ^ "Bakerloo Line, Dates". Clive's Underground Lines Guide. Archived from the original on 26 January 2008. Retrieved 13 January 2008. 
  12. ^ "Tube line's 100 year celebration". BBC News (London). 10 March 2006. 
  13. ^ a b "Scenario Testing for the Further Alterations to the London Plan" (PDF).  
  14. ^ Information on Bakerloo line re-extension to Watford Junction, Transport for London.
  15. ^ "Croxley Rail Link BAFB Value For Money Annex" (PDF). Steer Davis Gleave. 2011. Retrieved 29 November 2011. 
  16. ^ Rhys, Paul (10 February 2006). "'"Tube line 'may extend south within 20 years. South London Press. Archived from the original on 11 April 2006. 
  17. ^ "Bakerloo Line extension to Camberwell". AlwaysTouchOut. Archived from the original on 28 October 2007. Retrieved 2 November 2007. 
  18. ^ T2025: Transport vision for a growing world city
  19. ^ Broadbent, Steve (10 August 2011). "London RUS suggests fifth track on South West line". Rail (Peterborough). p. 8. 
  20. ^ "Lewisham Borough Wide Transport Study Final Report" (PDF). Lewisham Council. August 2010. pp. 72, 87, 92. 
  21. ^ "London Infrastructure Plan 2050: Transport Supporting Paper" (PDF). Mayor of London. July 2014. pp. 81, 132. 
  22. ^ Barrie, Joshua (30 July 2014). "Could the Bakerloo line be finally coming to Lewisham and Bromley boroughs?". News Shopper (Petts Wood). 
  23. ^ Horne, M.A.C. (2001). The Bakerloo Line. Capital Transport.  
  24. ^ "New Tube for London Programme – Delivery Stage: Design and Specification" (PDF). Transport for London. January 2014. p. 3. Retrieved 18 January 2014. 
  25. ^ Waboso, David (December 2010). "Transforming the tube". Modern Railways (London). p. 44. 
  26. ^ "Siemens unveils London Underground concept train". Railway Gazette International (London). 20 June 2011. 
  27. ^ "Siemens reveals innovative air-con for deep Tube trains". Rail (673) (Peterborough). 29 June 2011. p. 12. 
  28. ^ Rose, Douglas (1999). The London Underground, A Diagrammatic History. London: Douglas Rose/Capital Transport.  

External links

  • "Bakerloo line facts". Transport for London. Retrieved 11 July 2008. 
  • "Bakerloo Line Underground Stations – Facts, Trivia And Impressions". Retrieved 4 February 2013. 
  • "Bakerloo Line". Clive's UndergrounD Line Guides. Archived from the original on 16 June 2008. Retrieved 11 July 2008. 
  • London Rail Authority information at
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