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District line

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Title: District line  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: List of London Underground stations, List of former and unopened London Underground stations, Piccadilly line, Circle line (London Underground), Hammersmith & City line
Collection: London Underground Lines, Railway Lines Opened in 1868, Standard Gauge Railways in London, Transport in Barking and Dagenham, Transport in Ealing, Transport in Hammersmith and Fulham, Transport in Havering, Transport in Hounslow, Transport in Kensington and Chelsea, Transport in Merton, Transport in Newham, Transport in Richmond Upon Thames, Transport in the City of London, Transport in the City of Westminster, Transport in Tower Hamlets, Transport in Wandsworth
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District line

District line
A photograph of a D Stock train departing West Ham on a westbound service.
Type Sub-surface
System London Underground
Stations 60
Ridership 208 million (2011/12)[1] passenger journeys
Colour on map Green
Opened 1868
Depot(s) Upminster, Ealing Common (D Stock)
Hammersmith (S stock)
Rolling stock D78 (6 car)
S7 (7 car)
Line length 64 km (40 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 District line is a London Underground service that crosses Greater London from east to west. From Upminster, the eastern terminus, the line runs through Central London to Earl's Court before dividing into three western branches, to Ealing Broadway, Wimbledon and Richmond. There is a short branch that goes from Earl's Court to Kensington (Olympia). A branch also runs north from Earl's Court to Edgware Road via Paddington. Coloured green on the tube map, the line serves 60 stations in 40 miles (64 km), and with bridges across the Thames on the Wimbledon and Richmond branches is the only London Underground line to cross the river in this way.[2] The track and stations between Barking and Aldgate East are shared with the Hammersmith & City line, and between Tower Hill and Gloucester Road and on the Edgware Road branch with the Circle line. Some of the stations are shared with the Piccadilly line. Of the 60 stations served, 25 are below ground. Unlike London's deep-level tube railways, the railway tunnels are just below the surface, and the trains are of a similar size to those on British main lines.

The District line is the busiest of the sub-surface lines as well the fifth busiest line overall on the London Underground with over 208 million passengers in the year 2011/12.

The original Metropolitan District Railway (as it was then called) opened in December 1868 from South Kensington to Westminster as part of a plan for an underground 'inner circle' connecting London's main-line termini. Services were operated at first using wooden carriages hauled by steam locomotives. Electrification was financed by the American Charles Yerkes, and electric services began in 1905. In 1933 the railway was absorbed by the London Passenger Transport Board. In the first half of the 1930s the Piccadilly line took over the Uxbridge and Hounslow branches, although a peak-hour District line service ran on the Hounslow branch until 1964. Kensington (Olympia) has been served by the District line since 1946, and a short branch to South Acton closed in 1959. The trains carried guards until one-person operation was introduced in 1985.

The signalling system is being upgraded, and the current D Stock trains are to be replaced by new 7-car S Stock trains by the end of 2016.


  • History 1
    • District Railway 1.1
    • London Transport 1.2
  • Route 2
    • Map 2.1
    • Railway line 2.2
  • Services 3
  • Rolling stock 4
    • C and D Stock 4.1
    • S Stock 4.2
    • Depots 4.3
  • Upgrade programme 5
  • List of stations 6
    • Open stations 6.1
    • Closed and fictional stations 6.2
  • Notes and references 7
    • Notes 7.1
    • References 7.2
    • Bibliography 7.3
  • Further reading 8
  • External links 9


District Railway

The Metropolitan District Railway (commonly known as the District Railway) was formed to build and operate part an underground 'inner circle' connecting London's railway termini. The first line opened in December 1868 from South Kensington to Westminster, services being operated by the

  • "District line facts". Transport for London. Retrieved 11 July 2008. 
  • "District Dave's London Underground Site". Retrieved 11 July 2008. 
  • "District Line". Clive's UndergrounD Line Guides. 15 April 2008. Retrieved 11 July 2008. 

External links

  • London Railway Map. Quail Maps. 2001.  
  • Yonge, John (November 2008) [1994]. Jacobs, Gerald, ed. 5: Southern & TfL. Railway Track Diagrams (3rd ed.). Bradford on Avon: Trackmaps.  

Further reading

  • Bruce, J Graeme (1983). Steam to Silver. A history of London Transport Surface Rolling Stock. Capital Transport.  
  • Butt, R. V. J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations: details every public and private passenger station, halt, platform and stopping place, past and present (1st ed.). Patrick Stephens Ltd.  
  • Green, Oliver (1987). The London Underground: An illustrated history.  
  • Horne, Mike (2006). The District Line. Capital Transport.  
  • Jackson, Alan (1986). London's Metropolitan Railway. David & Charles.  
  • Rose, Douglas (December 2007) [1980]. The London Underground: A Diagrammatic History (8th ed.). Capital Transport.  


  1. ^ a b "Performance: LU Performance Data Almanac".  
  2. ^ Bayman, Bob (2000). Underground Official Handbook. Capital Transport. p. 43. 
  3. ^ Green 1987, pp. 8–10.
  4. ^ Horne 2006, p. 15.
  5. ^ Green 1987, p. 12.
  6. ^ a b c Green 1987, p. 28.
  7. ^ Green 1987, pp. 24–27.
  8. ^ Horne 2006, p. 44.
  9. ^ Horne 2006, pp. 45, 61.
  10. ^ Horne 2006, p. 58.
  11. ^ a b c Horne 2006, p. 60.
  12. ^ Horne 2006, p. 65.
  13. ^ Bruce 1983, p. 36, 83, 96.
  14. ^ Horne 2006, p. 73.
  15. ^ Horne 2006, pp. 74–75.
  16. ^ Horne 2006, p. 75.
  17. ^ Bruce 1983, pp. 100–101.
  18. ^ Bruce 1983, p. 97.
  19. ^ Horne 2006, pp. 80–82.
  20. ^ Horne 2006, p. 88.
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Rose 2007.
  22. ^ Horne 2006, pp. 88–89.
  23. ^ Bruce 1983, pp. 103, 118.
  24. ^ a b c d e "Rolling Stock Information Sheets" (PDF). London Underground. Retrieved 26 November 2012. 
  25. ^ a b Bruce 1983, p. 117.
  26. ^ Croome, Desmond F.; Jackson, Alan Arthur (1993). Rails Through the Clay: A History of London's Tube Railways. Capital Transport. p. 468.  
  27. ^ "PPP Performance Report" (PDF). Transport for London. 2009/10. pp. 7–8. Retrieved 7 March 2012. 
  28. ^ a b "District line facts". Transport for London. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  29. ^ "Key facts". Transport for London. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  30. ^ Martin, Andrew (26 April 2012). Underground, Overground: A Passenger's History of the Tube. Profile Books. pp. 137–138.  
  31. ^ Glover, John (2003). London's Underground. Ian Allan. p. 158.  
  32. ^ a b c d e f g h "Detailed London Transport Map". Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  33. ^ "Ealing Broadway to Upminster District line timetable". Transport for London. Retrieved 9 December 2012.  In the Tube timetable - Tube station box select "Ealing Broadway" and press Get Timetable. Select District line Upminster timetable and then view timetable.
  34. ^ "Richmond to Upminster District line timetable". Transport for London. Retrieved 9 December 2012.  In the Tube timetable - Tube station box select "Richmond" and press Get Timetable. Select District line Upminster timetable and then view timetable.
  35. ^ a b "Wimbledon to Tower Hill District line timetable". Transport for London. Retrieved 9 December 2012.  In the Tube timetable - Tube station box select "Wimbledon" and press Get Timetable. Select District line Tower Hill timetable and then view timetable.
  36. ^ "Kensington (Olympia) to High Street Kensington District line timetable". Transport for London. Retrieved 9 December 2012.  In the Tube timetable - Tube station box select "Kensington (Olympia)" and press Get Timetable. Select District line High Street Kensington timetable and then view timetable.
  37. ^ "Standard Tube Map" (PDF). Transport for London. Retrieved 8 December 2012. 
  38. ^ a b Bruce 1983, p. 118.
  39. ^ a b "Rolling Stock: C Stock". Transport for London. Retrieved 25 November 2012. 
  40. ^ Bruce 1983, pp. 144–115.
  41. ^ Bruce 1983, p. 116.
  42. ^ Bruce 1983, p. 120.
  43. ^ Bruce 1983, p. 119.
  44. ^ Bruce 1983, p. 122.
  45. ^ a b "Rolling Stock: D Stock". Transport for London. Retrieved 29 November 2012. 
  46. ^ a b "Our Upgrade Plan" (PDF). London Underground. February 2011. Retrieved 7 December 2012. 
  47. ^ a b "Metro — London, United Kingdom". Bombardier. Retrieved 27 January 2011. 
  48. ^ "Transforming the Tube" (PDF). Transport for London. July 2008. Retrieved 28 May 2009. 
  49. ^ a b "Rolling Stock: S stock". Transport for London. Retrieved 10 January 2012. 
  50. ^ "'S' stock making its mark". Modern Railways (London). December 2010. p. 46. 
  51. ^ "District pips Circle to the post". Modern Railways 70 (781): p. 12. October 2013. 
  52. ^ Horne 2006, p. 42.
  53. ^ Jackson 1986, p. 185.
  54. ^ Horne 2006, p. 81.
  55. ^ a b Abbott, James (January 2013). "Sub-surface renewal". Modern Railways. pp. 38–41. 
  56. ^ "District line Upgrade Plan". Transport for London. Retrieved 8 December 2012. 
  57. ^ Stewart, Rob (January 2013). "Cityflo 650 to control the SSR". Modern Railways. pp. 42–43. 
  58. ^ Butt 1995, p. 197.
  59. ^ Butt 1995, p. 131.
  60. ^ Butt 1995, pp. 43, 111.
  61. ^ Butt 1995, p. 130.
  62. ^ Horne 2006, pp. 15, 73.
  63. ^ Jackson 1986, p. 110.
  64. ^ Butt 1995, p. 45.
  65. ^ Butt 1995, p. 245.
  66. ^ Butt 1995, p. 186.
  67. ^ Butt 1995, p. 238.
  68. ^ Butt 1995, p. 88.
  69. ^ Butt 1995, p. 27.
  70. ^ Butt 1995, p. 75.
  71. ^ Butt 1995, p. 123.
  72. ^ Butt 1995, p. 237.
  73. ^ Horne 2006, pp. 21, 42, 47.
  74. ^ Horne 2006, pp. 25, 68.
  75. ^ "Underground Eastenders". 27 April 2005. Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  76. ^ "Get your anoraks on ... trains are coming!".  
  77. ^ Waterson, Jim. "The London Underground Lines In "Sherlock" Are All Wrong". Buzzfeed. Retrieved 3 January 2014. 


  1. ^ Location of Ealing Common Depot:
  2. ^ Location of Upminster Depot:
  3. ^ Location of Hammersmith Depot:


Notes and references

In Sherlock episode "The Empty Hearse", a fictional unopened terminus station called Sumatra Road (situated underneath the Houses of Parliament as a disused branch line from Westminster Station) was created for the episode's story of a terrorism plot. The station was actually filmed at Aldwych with ex-Northern line 1972 stock which caused continuity errors as deep-level trains and tunnels were used when the District line is sub-surface.[77]

Walford East is a fictional District line station in the BBC television soap opera EastEnders,[75] and since February 2010 episodes have used Computer-generated imagery (CGI) of District line trains running into the station.[76]

Now on the Piccadilly line, Hounslow Town was a terminus station between 1 May 1883 and 1 May 1909, when it was replaced by the station currently known as Hounslow East.[21][73] Between Whitechapel and Aldgate East was St. Mary's station from 3 March 1884 to 30 April 1938, closing when Aldgate East station moved.[21][74]

Closed and fictional stations

Station Image Opened[21] Branch Additional information Position
Richmond Handicapped/disabled access 1 October 1877 Richmond Connects with national rail services. Opened by the L&SWR as Richmond New on 1 January 1869 and this amalgamated with the main line station in 1937.[58]
Kew Gardens Handicapped/disabled access 1 October 1877 Richmond L&SWR station opened 1 January 1869[59]
Gunnersbury 1 October 1877 Richmond Connects with London Overground services. Opened by L&SWR as Brentford Road 1 January 1869, renamed 1871.[60]
Ealing Broadway 1 July 1879 Ealing
Connects with National Rail services and Central line
Ealing Common 1 July 1879 Ealing
Connects with Piccadilly line. Between 1886 and 1910 known as Ealing Common and West Acton[21]
Acton TownHandicapped/disabled access 1 July 1879 Ealing
Opened as Mill Hill Park, renamed 1 March 1910. Connects with Piccadilly line
Chiswick Park 1 July 1879 Ealing
Opened as Acton Green, renamed Chiswick Park and Acton Green in 1889, renamed 1910
Turnham Green 1 June 1877 Main
L&SWR station opened 1 January 1869
Stamford Brook 1 February 1912 Main
Ravenscourt Park 1 June 1877 Main
Opened as Shaftesbury Road by L&SWR on 1 April 1873, renamed 1 March 1888
Hammersmith Handicapped/disabled access 15 December 1906 Main
Connects with Piccadilly line, Hammersmith & City and Circle lines
Barons Court 15 December 1906 Main
Connects with Piccadilly line
West Kensington 9 September 1874 Main
Opened as Fulham – North End, renamed 1877
Wimbledon Handicapped/disabled access 3 June 1889 Wimbledon
Connects with national rail and Tramlink services. L&SWR station opened 21 May 1838.
Wimbledon Park 3 June 1889 Wimbledon
Southfields Handicapped/disabled access 3 June 1889 Wimbledon
East Putney 3 June 1889 Wimbledon
Putney Bridge 1 March 1880 Wimbledon
Opened as Putney Bridge & Fulham, renamed 1 January 1902 as Putney Bridge & Hurlingham, current name from 1932
Parsons Green 1 March 1880 Wimbledon
Fulham Broadway Handicapped/disabled access 1 March 1880 Wimbledon
Opened as Walham Green, renamed 2 March 1952
West Brompton Handicapped/disabled access 12 April 1869 Wimbledon
Connects with national rail and London Overground services.
Kensington (Olympia) Handicapped/disabled access 20 December 1946 Olympia
Connects with national rail and London Overground services. The L&SWR opened a Kensington station on the West London Railway briefly in 1844. This station was opened on 2 June 1862 and was renamed Kensington Addison Road in 1868[61] and served by L&NWR, GWR, Metropolitan and other railways until services were withdrawn in 1940. Reopened as a branch of the District line in 1946.[62]
Earl's Court Handicapped/disabled access 15 December 1906 Main
Connects with Piccadilly line and all other District line services
High Street Kensington A white many-windowed building 1 October 1868 Edgware
Opened as Kensington (High Street) and name gradually changed by 1880.[21] Connects with the Circle line.
Notting Hill Gate A railway station with side platforms either side of two tracks that disappear into darkness under a painted steel bridge like structure topped with a brick wall, covered by a partially glazed barrel roof. 1 October 1868 Edgware
Connects with Central line.
Bayswater A single storey pale brick building topped with stone railing. Above an entrance is a canopy, around which are rectanglar blue signs reading 1 October 1868 Edgware
Opened as Bayswater, renamed Bayswater (Queen's Road) & Westbourne Grove in 1923, Bayswater (Queen's Road) in 1933 and Bayswater (Queensway) in 1946, after which the suffix was gradually dropped.[21]
Paddington A pale two storey stone building, with gold coloured letters at the top reading 1 October 1868 Edgware
Opened as Paddington (Praed Street), renamed in 1948.[21] Connects with Bakerloo line and Paddington main line station.
Edgware Road 1 October 1863 Edgware
Connects with Circle and Hammersmith & City lines
Gloucester Road A beige-bricked building with a green sign reading 1 October 1868 Main
Opened as Brompton (Gloucester Road), renamed in 1907.[21] Connects with Piccadilly and Circle lines
South Kensington A entrance behind a raised bed of green plant and under a blue sign reading  24 December 1868 Main
Connects with Piccadilly line
Sloane Square A modern looking building with marble coloured tiled wall at ground level with grey cladding above. A small concrete canopy is over the larger of two entrances with blue signs reading 24 December 1868 Main
Victoria A grey building with three rectangular, white signs reading 24 December 1868 Main
Connects with Victoria line and national rail services.
St James's Park 24 December 1868 Main
Westminster Handicapped/disabled access A large crowd of people walking on a grey sidewalk next to a black road where two vehicles are driving from the left to the right 24 December 1868 Main
Opened as Westminster Bridge, renamed in 1907.[21] Connects with Jubilee line
Embankment A grey building with a blue sign reading 30 May 1870 Main
Opened as Charing Cross, renamed Charing Cross Embankment in 1974 and to the current name from 1976.[21] Connects with Bakerloo and Northern lines and Charing Cross national rail station
Temple A grey building with a rectangular, white sign on a rounded corner reading 30 May 1870 Main
Opened as The Temple.[21]
Blackfriars Handicapped/disabled access A glass structure with gray slats on higher floor; an entrance leads under a canopy with a sign reading 30 May 1870 Main
Connects with national rail services.
Mansion House A beige-bricked building with a rectangular, dark blue sign reading 3 July 1871 Main
Cannon Street Handicapped/disabled access(WB) A building with four people walking in front of it, one man in a white shirt sitting in front of it, and one white vehicle driving in front of it 6 October 1884 Main
Connects with national rail services.
Monument An entrance in a larger building under a sign reading 6 October 1884 Main
Opened as Eastcheap, renamed The Monument in 1884.[21] Escalator connection to Bank station giving connections with Central, Northern, Waterloo & City and DLR.
Tower Hill A grey, many-windowed castle with flags flying from its turrets in the background, several people walking in the foreground, and a bright sky above 25 September 1882 Main
The Metropolitan Railway opened "Tower of London", however closed this in 1884 as the District Railway had opened "Mark Lane" nearby. This station was renamed "Tower Hill" in 1946 and moved to the site of the "Tower of London" station in 1967.[21][63] Connects with Circle line.
Aldgate East In the middle of building works a glass doors show banisters leading down beneath a sign reading 6 October 1884 Main
Connects with Hammersmith & City line. Moved to current position in 1938.[21]
Whitechapel Two entrances on the ground floor of what looks like a terraced house between a shop with green sign reading 6 October 1884 Main
Connects with London Overground services. Opened as Whitechapel (Mile End), renamed in 1901.
Stepney Green A brick building under a slate roof with a pale front; two arched doorways on the left and four arched windows to the right, above which a rectangular, dark blue sign reading 23 June 1902 Main
Mile End A grey-bricked building with a rectangular, dark blue sign reading 2 June 1902 Main
Cross platform interchange with Central line.
Bow Road A red-bricked building with a blue sign reading 11 June 1902 Main
Bromley-by-Bow A squat bricked building behind a concrete wall with a dark blue sign reading 2 June 1902 Main
Opened as LT&SR station in 1894. First served as Bromley, LT&SR station closed in 1940 and renamed in 1967.[21][64]
West Ham Handicapped/disabled access A brown-bricked building with a large, grey sign reading 2 June 1902 Main
Connects with Jubilee line, Docklands Light Railway and national rail services. Named West Ham (Manor Road) from 1924–69, Metropolitan service began in 1941 and LT&SR station closed 1994.[21][65]
Plaistow A red bricked cube shaped building with a rectangular, dark blue sign reading 2 June 1902 Main
LT&SR station opened in 1858.[66]
Upton Park A red-and-brown bricked building with a rectangular, dark blue sign reading 2 June 1902 Main
LT&SR station opened in 1877.[67]
East Ham Handicapped/disabled access A red- and brown-bricked building with a blue sign reading 2 June 1902 Main
LT&SR station opened in 1858.[68]
Barking Handicapped/disabled access A glass and steel building with a canopy, a row of shops at ground level. There is a bus waiting at a bus stop in front of the building, and cars waiting with people. A sign above an entrance readings 2 June 1902 Main
Connects with national rail and London Overground. LT&SR station opened in 1854.[69] District Railway service withdrawn 1905–8.[21]
Upney Handicapped/disabled access 12 September 1932 Main
Becontree 12 September 1932 Main
Dagenham Heathway Handicapped/disabled access 12 September 1932 Main
Opened as Heathway, renamed 1949
Dagenham East 2 June 1902 Main
Opened as Dagenham in 1885,[70] District line service withdrawn 1905 to 1932 and station renamed 1949[21]
Elm Park Handicapped/disabled access 13 May 1935 Main
Hornchurch 2 June 1902 Main
LT&SR station opened 1885,[71] District line service withdrawn 1905 to 1932.
Upminster Bridge 17 December 1934 Main
Upminster Handicapped/disabled access 2 June 1902 Main
LT&SR station opened 1885,[72] District line service withdrawn 1905 to 1932. Connects with national rail and London Overground services.
In order from west to east

Open stations

List of stations

Together with the introduction of 7-car S Stock trains, the sub-surface track, electrical supply and signalling systems are being upgraded in a programme to increase peak-hour capacity on the District line by 24 per cent by the end of 2018.[46][55][56] A single control room for the sub-surface network is to be established in Hammersmith and an automatic train control (ATC) system will replace signalling equipment installed from the 1940s.[55][57]

Upgrade programme

The D Stock trains are maintained at Ealing Common Depot[1] and Upminster Depot,[2] and the S7 Stock trains are maintained at Hammersmith Depot.[3][28] Ealing Common Depot was built by the District Railway when it was electrified in the early 1900s,[52] and Hammersmith depot was originally built by the Great Western Railway to be operated by the Metropolitan Railway when the Hammersmith & City line was electrified at about the same time.[53] Upminster depot was built 1956–58 when the District line tracks were segregated.[54]


The first S7 Stock train entered passenger service between Olympia and West Ham on the District line on 2 September 2013. It is planned that all trains will be replaced by the end of 2016.[51] As of 6 February 2014, S7 Stock trains are in regular operation between Wimbledon & Edgware Road. As of 13 June 2014, the S Stock began running to Ealing Broadway and on 17 June the service started running to Richmond. As of 16 January 2015, the S Stock entered service to Upminster.

From 2014 the C and D Stock trains currently used on the District line will be replaced by 7-car S Stock.[46] Like the 8-car variants now in use on the Metropolitan line, these trains are part of Bombardier's Movia family, with air-conditioning, as the sub-surface tunnels (unlike those on the deep-level tube lines) are able to disperse the exhausted hot air.[47] These trains have regenerative brakes, returning around 20 per cent of their energy to the network.[48] With a top speed of 62 mph (100 km/h),[47] a 7-car S Stock train has a capacity of 865 passengers compared to 739 for a 6-car C Stock train and 827 for a 6-car D Stock train.[39][45][49] With a length of 117 metres (384 ft), the S Stock trains are 24 metres (79 ft) longer than the 93-metre (305 ft) long C stock trains, and station platforms have been lengthened.[50] It is planned to increase the traction voltage from the present nominal 630 V to 750 V to give better performance and allow the trains to return more energy to the network through their regenerative brakes.[49]

District line S7 S Stock train at Kensington (Olympia) station.

S Stock

The rest of the District line is able to accommodate longer trains, and the 110-metre (360 ft) long D78 Stock uses 6 x 18-metre (59 ft) long cars of approximately the same length as 7 x 16-metre (52 ft) long cars. Trains are formed from two 3-car units, some with two driving motor cars but most have one driving cab and a non-driving motor car.[38] The motor cars are equipped with rheostatic braking.[42] A six-car train seats 272 people and has four single-leaf doors on each side.[43] Delivery was completed in 1983[44] and the units were refurbished between 2004 and 2008, when they were painted in London Underground colours.[45]

When replacing the CO/CP and R Stock on the District line in the late 1970s, a shorter train was needed on the Edgware Road branch due to the platform lengths. Rather than design a new train more of the C-stock units in use on the Circle and Hammersmith and City lines were ordered.[38] Classed as C77 stock, although there are technical differences with the earlier C69 stock units of different ages can be coupled together[25] and since the 1990–94 refurbishment there are no visual differences.[24][39] The 6-car trains were made up of three two-car units, a 16.03-metre (52 ft 7 in) long driving motor and a 14.94-metre (49 ft 0 in) long trailer, both with four pairs of doors on each side and 32 seats.[40] The trains were fitted with a public address system and rheostatic brakes on the motor cars from new.[41][24] The trains were unpainted until refurbishment, when they were painted red, white and blue.[24]

Refurbished D78 Stock

C and D Stock

Rolling stock

There are additional trains during peak hours. The central section from Earl's Court to Aldgate East is in Zone 1 and to the west Ealing Broadway and Wimbledon are in Zone 3 and Richmond in Zone 4. To the east the line runs to Upminster in Zone 6.[37]

This gives a service of 18 trains per hour between Earl's Court and Tower Hill. 208 million passenger journeys were made in 2011/12.[1]

  • 6 tph (trains per hour) Ealing Broadway to Upminster[33]
  • 6 tph Richmond to Upminster[34]
  • 6 tph Wimbledon to Tower Hill, which 3 continue onto Barking[35]
  • 6 tph Wimbledon to Edgware Road[35]
  • 3 tph Kensington (Olympia) to High Street Kensington at weekends.[36] A 2-trains-per-hour service operates on weekday exhibition days.

The off-peak service as of December 2012 is:


East of Earl's Court there is a grade-separated junction off the main line to the Edgware Road branch. This follows the Circle line after High Street Kensington station where there are also two bay platforms for the District line. After Paddington station this branch joins the Hammersmith & City line at Praed Street junction, before terminating at the four-platform Edgware Road.[32] The main line joins the Circle line at Gloucester Road and the line and stations are in cut-and-cover tunnels, meeting the Thames at Westminster station, after which the railway is in the Victoria Embankment on the north bank of the river. At Mansion House and Tower Hill stations there are bay platforms.[32] After Tower Hill the Circle line diverges, the District line joining the Hammersmith & City line just before Aldgate East station. The line passes over the London Overground at Whitechapel station before continuing on the 2-mile (3.2 km) Whitechapel & Bow Railway to Bow Road, where the line surfaces, and Bromley-by-Bow, where the line runs alongside the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway from Fenchurch Street station. There is an interchange with this line at the next station, West Ham, as well as with the Jubilee line and the Docklands Light Railway. There is a bay platform at the next station, Plaistow, and the Hammersmith & City line terminates at Barking station.[32] The District line follows the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway for another five stations, before terminating at Upminster station.[32]

Overhead view of the District line platforms at Earl's Court

On the main line, there are cross-platform interchanges at Acton Town, Hammersmith and Barons Court stations, after which the Piccadilly line tracks descend into tunnels, the District line becoming two tracks through West Kensington station. The short Kensington (Olympia) branch joins at a flat junction and the Wimbledon branch at a grade-separated junction before the line enters Earl's Court station.[32] The District line at Wimbledon station is west of the South Western Main Line platforms. The two-track line has a junction at East Putney station with the Hounslow Loop Line, before passing over the River Thames on Fulham Railway Bridge. There is a bay platform at Putney Bridge station, and the line continues before passing under the West London Railway and coming alongside at West Brompton station before the junction with the main line and the four-platform Earl's Court station.[32]

The District line is 40 miles (64 km) long and serves 60 stations.[28][29] Much of the line is electrified with a four-rail DC system: a central conductor rail is energised at –210 V and a rail outside the running rail at +420 V, giving a potential difference of 630 V,[30] except for two sections over which main line trains run. The sections from East Putney to Wimbledon and Gunnersbury to Richmond have the centre rail bonded to the running rails.[31] West of Earl's Court there are four branches. At Ealing Broadway station the District line has platforms north of the Central line and the Great Western main line out of Paddington. After about 23 mile (1.1 km) the line meets the Piccadilly line Uxbridge branch at Hanger Lane junction, and the tracks are shared through Ealing Common station until Acton Town station, where the Piccadilly line Heathrow branch joins. From Acton Town to Barons Court the line has four tracks paired by use, the District line using the outer pair and the non-stopping Piccadilly line trains using the inner pair.[32] At Richmond station the London Overground and District line platforms are north of the Waterloo to Reading line through platforms. The two tracks, which cross the Thames at Kew Railway Bridge, are shared with the London Overground trains until Gunnersbury junction, after which the District line tracks joins the four-track District and Piccadilly lines just before Turnham Green station.[32]

District line
Ealing Broadway
Piccadilly line
to Uxbridge
Ealing Common
Ealing Common depot
Kew Gardens
Piccadilly line
to Heathrow
River Thames
Acton Town
London Overground
to Willesden Junction
Chiswick Park
Turnham Green
Wimbledon Park
Stamford Brook
Ravenscourt Park
East Putney
River Thames
Putney Bridge
Barons Court
Parsons Green
West Kensington
Fulham Broadway
Piccadilly line
to central London
West Brompton
Kensington (Olympia)
Earl's Court
High Street Kensington
Gloucester Road
Notting Hill Gate
South Kensington
Sloane Square
Hammersmith & City and
Circle lines to Hammersmith
St. James's Park
Edgware Road
Hammersmith & City and
Circle lines
Mansion House
Cannon Street
Tower Hill
Circle line
Hammersmith & City line
Aldgate East
Stepney Green
Mile End
c2c services to
Fenchurch Street
Bow Road
West Ham
Upton Park
East Ham
Dagenham Heathway
Dagenham East
Elm Park
Upminster Bridge
c2c services
to Southend
Upminster Depot

Railway line

The route of the District line through the London Boroughs. More details of the routes between Tower Hill, Earl's Court and Edgware Road are shown at Circle line: Map.



Services were operated with 6 cars off-peak and 8 cars during peak hours until 1971, when trains were reformed as fixed 7-car trains, and some 6-car trains for the Edgware Road branch.[23] The CO/CP and R Stock were replaced in the late 1970s by new trains with unpainted aluminium bodies.[24] A shorter train was needed on the Edgware Road branch due to the platform lengths so more of the C stock units, then already in use on the Circle and Hammersmith and City lines, were built.[25] The rest of the District line could use longer trains and new D Stock trains were introduced between 1979 and 1983.[24] One person operation of the trains was proposed in 1972, but due to conflict with the trade unions was not introduced on the District line until 1985.[26] In 2003, the infrastructure of the District line was partly privatised in a public–private partnership, managed by the Metronet consortium. Metronet went into administration in 2007 and the local government body Transport for London took over responsibilities.[27]

The South Acton shuttle was withdrawn on 28 February 1959, followed by the peak hour District line through service to Hounslow on 9 October 1964.[20] In the 1970s the Hounslow branch became the Heathrow branch when it was extended to serve Heathrow Airport, first on 19 July 1975 to serve Hatton Cross, and then on 16 December 1977 when Heathrow Central opened.[21] The whole District line service could not run through Aldgate East as this station was also served by Hammersmith & City trains, so some trains terminated at a bay platform at Mansion House, leaving the line east to Tower Hill overcrowded. Tower Hill station was also cramped, so the station was rebuilt with three platforms on a new site. This opened in 1967 and a year later trains reversed at the new station.[22]

The London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) had taken over the L&NWR railway's service from Earl's Court and by the Second World War this had been cut back to an electric Earl's Court to Willesden Junction shuttle.[11] Following bombing of the West London Line in 1940 the LMS and the Metropolitan line services over the West London Line were both suspended. This left the Olympia exhibition centre without a railway service, so after the war the Kensington Addison Road station was renamed Kensington (Olympia) and served by a District line shuttle from Earl's Court.[14] R Stock, composed of new cars and the Q Stock trailers that had been built in 1938, replaced the trains with hand-operated sliding doors that remained.[15] The new trains were built between 1949 and 1959,[16] and after 1952 trains were constructed from aluminium, saving weight. One train was left unpainted as an experiment and considered a success, so between 1963–68 trains were left unpainted or painted white or grey to match.[17] The transfer of CO/CP Stock from the Metropolitan line in the early 1960s allowed some of the Q stock to be scrapped.[18] The slow tracks on the former LT&SR line to Upminster were shared with steam locomotive hauled goods and passenger services, until 1961 when the District took over exclusive use of the DC electrified lines.[19]

An R Stock train composed of a mixture of unpainted aluminium and (white) painted steel cars.

On 1 July 1933 the District Railway amalgamated with other Underground railways, tramway companies and bus operators to form the London Passenger Transport Board, and from 23 October 1933 Piccadilly line trains ran through to Uxbridge and the District line shuttle withdrawn.[12] Most of the trailer cars on the District line were the 1904–05 B Stock type with wooden bodies, but motor cars were less than fifteen years old. The 1935–40 New Works Programme saw the Q Stock formed from these motor cars, upgraded with electro-pneumatic brakes and guard controlled air-operated doors, and the trailers replaced with new vehicles.[13] The off-peak District line services on the Hounslow branch were withdrawn on 29 April 1935 and South Acton served by a shuttle to Acton Town.[11]

London Transport

Hounslow and Uxbridge were served by 2 or 3-car shuttles from Mill Hill Park (now Acton Town); some trains also served South Acton and central London in the peaks.[8] Services were extended again to Barking in 1908 and Upminster in 1932.[9] In 1932 Piccadilly line trains were extended from Hammersmith to South Harrow, taking over the District service from Acton Town to South Harrow, although the District continued to provide a shuttle from South Harrow to Uxbridge.[10] In 1933 Piccadilly trains reached to Hounslow West, the District continuing to run services with an off-peak shuttle from South Acton to Hounslow.[11]

At the start of the 20th century the District was seeing increased competition from the new electric underground tube lines and trams, and the use of steam locomotives underground led to unpopular smoke-filled stations and carriages.[6] The American Charles Yerkes, who was later to form the Underground Electric Railways of London, financed the needed electrification of the railway and the first electric services ran from Ealing to South Harrow in 1903.[7] Electric multiple-units were introduced on other services in 1905, and East Ham became the eastern terminus. Electric locomotives were used on the L&NWR services from Mansion House to Earl's Court, and in later years exchanged for a steam locomotive on LT&SR services from Southend to Ealing Broadway at Barking.[6]

A three-quarter black-and-white photograph of a train standing at a station, showing the end carriage with windows at the end.
The jointly owned experimental passenger train that ran for six months in 1900

[6] (LT&SR) had been built.London, Tilbury & Southend Railway Services began running to Upminster in 1902, after a link to the [5].Whitechapel in October 1884, the District began to serve Circle line (L&SWR) and branches reached Ealing Broadway, Hounslow and Wimbledon. As part of the project that completed the London and South Western Railway Hammersmith was reached from Earl's Court, services were extended to Richmond over the tracks of the [4]

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