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Fleet line

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Fleet line

Type Deep Tube
System London Underground
Stations 27
Ridership 213.554 million (2011/12) [1] passenger journeys
Colour on map Grey [2]
Opening 1979
Depot(s) Neasden, Stratford Market[3]
Rolling stock 1996 Tube Stock
7 carriages per trainset
Line length 36.2 km (22.5 mi)
Transport for London rail lines

The Jubilee line is a London Underground line. Having opened in 1979 (though some sections of track date back to 1932), it is the newest line on the network. It was built in two major sections—initially to Charing Cross tube station in central London; then expanded in 1999 with the Jubilee Line Extension to Stratford station in east London. The later stations are larger and have special safety features, both aspects being attempts to future-proof the line. Following its extension into East London, serving areas once poorly connected to the Underground, the line has seen a huge growth in passenger numbers and is currently the third busiest on the network with over 213 million passengers per year. Thirteen of the 27 stations served are below ground.

The Jubilee line is coloured silver/grey on the Tube map.

Between Finchley Road and Wembley Park, the Jubilee line shares track with the Metropolitan line and runs parallel to the Chiltern Main Line. Between Canning Town and Stratford, the line runs parallel to the Stratford International extension of the DLR.


1932 to 1939

In 1932, the Metropolitan Railway built a branch from its main line at Wembley Park to Stanmore. The line, as with many others in the northwest London area, was designed to absorb commuter traffic from the new and rapidly expanding suburbs. The line presented the Metropolitan with a problem – so successful was the suburban traffic that by the early 1930s, the lines into Baker Street were becoming overloaded, a problem which was exacerbated by the post-war flight from the City of London to the West End of London.

At first the Metropolitan had advocated a new underground line roughly following the line of the Edgware Road between the tube station and a point near Willesden Green. Indeed, construction advanced as far as the rebuilding of Edgware Road station to accommodate 4 platforms of 8-car length. Things changed, though, with the formation of the London Passenger Transport Board (LPTB) and the subsequent absorption of the Metropolitan. The solution was now a new branch of the Bakerloo line from Baker Street to serve St John's Wood and Swiss Cottage, thereby rendering the existing stations of Lord's, Marlborough Road and Swiss Cottage on the parallel route redundant, and negating the need for the Met's extension from Edgware Road station (it should be noted, however, that Swiss Cottage (Metropolitan) was proposed to remain open during peak hours for interchange with the Bakerloo, and that Lord's station would further open for special cricketing events. In the event, both closed permanently as wartime economies). The line would rise between the Metropolitan tracks at Finchley Road, providing cross-platform interchange with the Metropolitan line. Continuing north to Wembley Park, the Bakerloo was to provide intermediate service on the Metropolitan line, allowing Metropolitan line trains to run Wembley Park to Finchley Road non-stop, cutting seven minutes from journey times. At Wembley Park, the Bakerloo would run on to serve Kingsbury, Queensbury, Canons Park and Stanmore. The Bakerloo extension, built as above, opened in 1939.

1939 to 1979, the Fleet line

The planning for the Tube network immediately before and after World War II considered several new routes. The main results of this study concerned two major routes: the south-to-northeast "line C" (later constructed as the Victoria line) and lines 3 and 4, new cross-town routes, linking the northeast suburbs to Fenchurch Street, Wapping and variously Lewisham and Hayes.

The Fleet line was mentioned in a 1965 Times article, discussing options after the Victoria line had been completed — suggesting that the Fleet line could take a Baker Street–Bond Street–Trafalgar Square–Strand–Fleet Street–Ludgate Circus–Cannon Street route, then proceeding into southeast London.[4]

Line C opened as the Victoria line, in stages, from 1968 to 1972. Work on the northeast–southwest route continued.

In 1971 construction began on the new 'Fleet line'. Economic pressure, and doubt over the final destination of the line, had led to a staged approach. Under the first stage, the Baker Street-to-Stanmore branch of the Bakerloo line was joined at Baker Street to a new 2.5-mile (4 km) segment into central London, with intermediate stops at Bond Street and Green Park and terminating at a new station at Charing Cross, thereby relieving pressure on the West End section of the Bakerloo line between Baker Street and Charing Cross and also allowing increased frequencies on the section north of Baker Street.

The new tube was to offer cross-platform interchange between the Bakerloo and Fleet at Baker Street, as pioneered on the Victoria line. The work was completed in 1979. As part of the works, Trafalgar Square (Bakerloo) and Strand (Northern) stations were combined into a single station complex, Charing Cross. The existing Charing Cross station on the sub-surface District and Circle lines was renamed Embankment.

The new line was to have been called the Fleet line[5] after the River Fleet (although it would have only crossed under the Fleet at Ludgate Circus; the central-London section mostly follows the Tyburn). In 1975, when plans were under way to introduce the London Transport Silver Jubilee Bus fleet, the then Sales Manager of London Transport Advertising, Geoffrey Holliman, proposed to the Chairman of LTE, Kenneth Robinson, that the Fleet line should be renamed the Jubilee line. However, this idea was rejected because of the additional costs involved. Nevertheless, the project was subsequently renamed the Jubilee line for Queen Elizabeth II's 1977 Silver Jubilee following a pledge made by the Conservatives in the Greater London Council election of 1977. The original choice of battleship grey for the line's colour was based on the naval meaning of the word fleet; this became a lighter grey, representing the silver colour of the Jubilee itself.

The line was officially opened by the Prince of Wales on 30 April 1979, with passenger services operating from 1 May 1979.[6][7]

Proposed extensions

The Jubilee line of 1979 was to be the first of four phases of the project, but lack of funds meant that no further progress was made until the late 1990s.

An alternative plan was devised in the 1970s to extend the Jubilee line parallel to the River Thames: this would have taken the line from Fenchurch Street to Thamesmead via St Katharine Docks, Wapping, Surrey Docks North, Millwall (near to South Quay DLR station), North Greenwich, Custom House, Silvertown, Woolwich Arsenal, and thence to Thamesmead. The depot would have been at Beckton, roughly on the site of the current Docklands Light Railway depot. However the 'River line', as this extension was called, was deemed too expensive and construction of the extension never proceeded.

Actual extension

Changes in land use, particularly the urban renewal of the Docklands area, caused the project to extend the line beyond Charing Cross to change considerably in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. The Jubilee Line Extension, as the eventual project became known, opened in three stages in 1999. It split from the existing line at Green Park creating a one-station branch to Charing Cross, which is now closed (though still maintained for reversing trains at times of disruption, and for occasional use as a film set). The line extends as far as Stratford, with ten intermediate stations. This section is unique on the London Underground because it is the only section to have special platform edge doors which open automatically when trains arrive.

There have been other proposals to extend the line serving the docks.[8]

7th car upgrade

The Jubilee line closed for a scheduled five-day period starting on 26 December 2005 in order to add an extra car to each of the six-car trains.[9] The line had to be closed while this work was done, as six- and seven-car trains could not run in service at the same time, because the platform-edge doors at Jubilee Line Extension stations could not cater for both train lengths simultaneously. The signalling system was also modified to work with the longer trains.

Previously, an extra four complete 7-car trains were added to the fleet, bringing the total to 63. This enabled the period during which a full service could not be run to be reduced. The full fleet will not be required to be available until full advantage is taken of the new signalling system.

The result of the 7th-car upgrade was a 17% increase in capacity, allowing 6,000 more passengers per day to use the line. Work was completed and the line reopened two days ahead of schedule, on 29 December 2005.

Current Jubilee line

Having been open for 35 years, the Jubilee line is the newest line of the London Underground network. The trains were upgraded in 1997 to the 1996 stock. In 1999 trains began running to Stratford instead of Charing Cross, serving areas once poorly connected to the London Underground network.

Station features

Jubilee line stations north of Baker Street were not built specifically for the Jubilee line. St. Johns' Wood and Swiss Cottage were opened in 1939 on the Bakerloo line and have more traditional tube station features. Stations north of Finchley Road were opened by the Metropolitan Railway (now the Metropolitan line). The Jubilee line took over the slow Metropolitan line service between Finchley Road and Wembley Park. The only 'new' stations built for the original Jubilee line were the Baker Street Westbound platform (eastbound opened in 1939), Bond Street, Green Park and the now closed Charing Cross.

Stations on the Jubilee Line Extension feature:

The platform-edge doors were primarily introduced to prevent draughts underground and to assist in air flow. They also prevent people from falling or jumping on to the track.

Against these improved features, the Jubilee Line Extension stations have been heavily criticised[by whom?] for very longwinded and poorly planned (although expensive to build) connection facilities with other Underground lines, compared for example to the Victoria line, the previous cross-London line built. However, the opportunity for convenient interchange simply was not present owing to alignment issues and the larger running tunnels. The more extensive stations do have the benefit of being able to accommodate the crowds that sometimes build up and do mean that the line is expected to be fit for purpose for many years to come, whereas other lines (notably the Victoria line at Victoria) now require extensive remedial schemes to rectify this.

Rolling stock

When the Jubilee line was opened, it was operated by 1972 stock. In 1984 this was partially replaced by the new 1983 stock: the displaced 1972 stock was transferred to the Bakerloo line. The 1983 stock proved to be unreliable and troublesome in service, with single-leaf doors making passenger loading and unloading a slower process than on other stock with wider door openings. With the construction of the Jubilee line Extension, the opportunity was taken to introduce new trains, and today the line is worked by 1996 stock, which has an exterior similar to the 1995 stock in use on the Northern line but (in spite of the confusing naming) is technically less advanced. The new stock has internal displays and automated announcements to provide passengers with information on the train's route. At first the displayed text was static and showed only the destination of the train, but later showed also the name of the next station and interchanges there. Subsequent modifications introduced scrolling text. The 1996 stock uses a different motor from the 1995 stock and has a motor design similar to Class 465 and Class 466 Networker trains.

Signalling system

The Jubilee line has been converted to automatic train operation, using the Thales S40 moving-block system. The new system enables London Underground to run more frequent trains, increase capacity by a further 33 per cent, and cut journey times by around 22 percent.[10] Equipment installation and testing for the new systems began in late 2006, and the line upgrade work required the closure of sections of the Jubilee line each weekend during 2009. Although the project was due for completion in March 2010, the closures continued through 2010, and the upgrade was not finished until spring 2011. These delays were due to teething problems. The new signalling system finally came into full operation on 26 June 2011. As a result, services began operating at the new higher frequency of 27 trains per hour from late July 2011, and this should increase to 30 per hour in 2012.[11]

Under automatic operation, the on-train computer instructs the train operator what to do. The underlying protection system is called TBTC, which stands for Transmission-Based Train Control. The computer does everything except opening and closing the doors, starting the train at every station, mending faults and dealing with passengers. If ATO fails but TBTC is still operational, the trains can still be manually driven at line speed. If TBTC fails on an individual train then it would be put into Restricted Manual mode, which means that the train operator can drive the train at 5–10 mph (8–16 km/h) to the next station, where the train would be taken out of service until the fault is mended by technicians. This type of fault cannot be fixed by the train operator.

The programme of temporary closures for engineering work had been criticised by local politicians,[12] as well as by the management of venues such as Wembley Stadium and The O2 because visitors to major concerts and sporting events have had to travel by rail replacement bus.[13][14] The management of the project by Tube Lines has been criticised by London TravelWatch for its delayed delivery date,[15] and a report by the London Assembly referred to the weekly line closures as "chaotic".[16][17]


Thamesmead branch

When North Greenwich tube station was opened, it was built to enable a branch extension to be built eastwards to Thamesmead. At present there are no plans to construct this branch route.

West Hampstead Interchange

Plans were put forward in 1974 and again in 2004 for a West Hampstead interchange, to connect the three West Hampstead stations in one complex, but plans were put on hold in 2007 owing to uncertainty over the North London Line rail franchise.[18]



Jubilee line

Station Image Opened Additional information
10 December 1932 map 1
Canons Park 10 December 1932 Opened as Canons Park (Edgware); renamed 1933map 2
Queensbury 16 December 1934 map 3
10 December 1932 map 4
14 October 1893 Change for the Metropolitan Linemap 5
Neasden* 2 August 1880 map 6
Dollis Hill* 1 October 1909 map 7
Willesden Green* 24 November 1879 map 8
24 November 1879 Opened as Kilburn & Brondesbury; renamed 25 September 1950map 9
West Hampstead* National Rail London Overground 30 June 1879 map 10
Finchley Road 30 June 1879 Change for the Metropolitan Linemap 11
Swiss Cottage 20 November 1939 map 12
St John's Wood 20 November 1939 map 13
Baker Street 1 May 1979 Change for the Bakerloo, Circle, Hammersmith & City, and Metropolitan Linesmap 14
Bond Street 1 May 1979 Change for the Central Linemap 15
1 May 1979 Change for the Piccadilly and Victoria Linesmap 16
22 December 1999 Change for the Circle and District Linesmap 17
24 September 1999 Change for the Bakerloo, Northern and Waterloo & City Linesmap 18
20 November 1999 map 19
7 October 1999 Change for the Northern Linemap 20
17 September 1999 map 21
17 September 1999 Change for the London Overground East London Linemap 22
17 September 1999 Change for the Docklands Light Railwaymap 23
14 May 1999 Change for the Emirates Air Line from Emirates Greenwich Peninsulamap 24
14 May 1999 Change for the Docklands Light Railwaymap 25
14 May 1999 Change for the District and Hammersmith & City lines, and Docklands Light Railwaymap 26
14 May 1999 Change for the Central Line, the London Overground North London Line, and Docklands Light Railwaymap 27
*Between Finchley Road and Wembley Park, the Jubilee line right of way widens to four tracks. Jubilee line trains run on the two inner tracks. Flanking the Jubilee line are tracks used by the Metropolitan line. Metropolitan line trains run non-stop from Finchley Road to Wembley Park, skipping West Hampstead, Kilburn, Willesden Green, Dollis Hill, and Neasden stations. Willesden Green and Neasden stations have platforms on the Metropolitan line tracks, but Metropolitan line trains call there only during emergencies, or when there are major operating issues with either the Metropolitan or Jubilee lines.
-From Canning Town to Stratford low level, the Jubilee line right-of-way widens to four tracks. The Jubilee line trains use the two western tracks. Directly parallel to the line is the Docklands Light Railway Stratford International extension. Jubilee line trains make stops at Canning Town and West Ham, but bypass Star Lane, Abbey Road and Stratford High Street stations.

Former stations

The Jubilee line platforms at Charing Cross are still used during service suspensions. For example - when the service is suspended between Green Park and Stratford, trains will terminate (and passengers alight) at Green Park before going to Charing Cross and using a scissors crossover to reverse back westbound. The platforms are a popular set for films and television because the platforms are contemporary and the trains used are current ones that appear in normal passenger service.


The Jubilee line is currently served by Stratford Market Depot map 29 between the Stratford and West Ham stations.[19]

Trains can also be stabled in Neasden Depot - sharing it with the Metropolitan line.


Additional images are available from the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) case studies for the stations at Canary Wharf,[20] North Greenwich,[21] Southwark,[22] and Stratford.[23]


See also

  • Jubilee Line corruption trial


External links

    • Official opening of Jubilee Line
  • (photo gallery)
West: Crossings of the River Thames East:
Westminster Bridge Between Westminster and Waterloo Hungerford Bridge and Golden Jubilee Bridges
Canary Wharf - Rotherhithe Ferry Between Canada Water and Canary Wharf Docklands Light Railway between Island Gardens and Cutty Sark
Greenwich Foot Tunnel Between Canary Wharf and North Greenwich Blackwall Tunnels
Blackwall Tunnels Between North Greenwich and Canning Town Millennium Dome electricity cable tunnel (no public access)
Thames Barrier (no public access)
Woolwich Free Ferry
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