Metropolitan Line

The Metropolitan Line is the oldest subway line of the London Underground, and the oldest in the world. However, in its present form it is more like an S -Bahn line, with long above-ground sections in the suburbs. It relies mainly on the north-west of Greater London. From it, the term most commonly used internationally for subways derived: Metro. With all the branch lines, the line is 66.7 km long and has 34 stations ( seven of which are underground).

  • 7.1 branch line to Barking
  • 7.2 trunk route in the city center
  • 7.3 branch line to Hammersmith
  • 7.4 North Western main line
  • 7.5 branch line to Uxbridge
  • 7.6 branch line to Watford
  • 7.7 branch line to Chesham
  • 7.8 branch line to Brill


Between Baker Street and Moor Park the route is four tracks, circulating in the outer suburbs Express trains stop only at few intermediate stations and are therefore faster than trains that stop at all stations. The main station is Baker Street. Outside peak hours end most of the trains here. Some go further into the center of London and run it on the rails of the Circle Line as far as Aldgate.

In the history of the Metropolitan Line, there were many changes to the line management and operation forms. First they built the northern part of the inner ring road, which today is mainly served by the Circle Line and the Hammersmith & City Line. After that, the network expanded to the northwest and it created numerous branch lines. Some of these are now closed or have been transferred to the railway or other metro lines.


Operation forms

The Metropolitan line is the only line of the London Underground, driving on the express trains that pass through several intermediate stations without stopping. Outside the rush hours the trains as follows:

  • Uxbridge - Baker Street - Aldgate: 6 trains / hour, stopping at all stations.
  • Watford - Baker Street: 6 trains / hour, stopping at all stations.
  • Amersham - Baker Street: 4 trains / hour, stopping at all stations to Moorpark, then only in Harrow -on-the -Hill, Wembley Park and Finchley Road, . parallel run every hour two trains of the railway company Chiltern Railways to Aylesbury, which between London and Amersham 6 trains / hour. results
  • Chesham - Chalfont & Latimer: 2 trains / hour. ( Branch line of the section to Amersham )

During peak times, some trains do not stop at Northwick Park and Preston Road, go then further on to Aldgate. There are also some direct trains to Chesham Chalfont & Latimer direct trains. Early morning and late evening trains on the single connecting track between Rickmansworth and Watford.


The Metropolitan Railway Established in 1853, began in February 1860 with the construction work. This initially increased the traffic problem in the city center, whose solution they had been started. The work rested for several weeks after a sewer had been pierced, which flooded the half-finished tunnel. The first section of the Metropolitan Line was opened on January 10, 1863 between Farringdon and Paddington. This section is the oldest underground railway which is still in operation (the oldest was the now closed Cobble Hill Tunnel in New York City).

After the opening of the Great Western Railway used the tunnel; there were both standard gauge as well as broad gauge tracks. But then, the collaboration was terminated due to far-reaching disagreements between the two companies after six months. The Metropolitan Railway had rented from the Great Northern Railway rolling stock until the first order was delivered own. The broad gauge tracks were removed in 1869.

The track proved to be a great success and soon after came the first extensions. The first was in 1864 a line to Hammersmith. The completion of the " Inner Circle " around the entire city center took twenty years. An extension of Paddington to South Kensington was opened in 1868, 1876 was followed by the section to Aldgate.

In order to ensure the financing of the southern half of the ring, a second company was formed, the Metropolitan District Railway (now the District Line ). They rebuilt the section of South Kensington to Mansion House (1871 ) and the section between Aldgate and Mansion House (1884), with a branch to Whitechapel. It was originally planned to merge with the Metropolitan District later. But this remained independent; both companies navigated the entire ring and a fierce competition.

Metro -land

The Metropolitan Railway had ambitions to become a major railroad company. This led to the rapid expansion of the rail network in the west. In several stages until 1880 was the distance between Baker Street and Harrow. This route was extended to Aylesbury (1892 ), a widely located outside the city village. 1904 was followed by the branch line to Uxbridge. The Metropolitan Railway was instrumental to the fact that the northern part of Middlesex was built completely within a few decades. The marketing department of the company encouraged this development by coined the term metro -land and annually published a catalog advertising for this area. She was also active in real estate and real estate and had built new housing estates around some stations.

Out into the country

The Aylesbury and Buckingham Railway ( A & BR) was established on August 6, 1860 and opened on September 23, 1868; the route was far outside of London in the county of Buckinghamshire. On 1 July 1891, the merger took place with the Metropolitan Railway. In April 1906, the distance between Harrow-on- the-Hill and Verney Junction to a joint subsidiary of the Metropolitan Railway and Great Central Railway was leased. Both companies alternated every five years in operational management from. On July 6, 1936, the passenger traffic between Quainton Road and Verney Junction is set, the last packet train rolled on 6 September 1947.

Quainton Road north of Aylesbury was the starting point of a 10.4 km long steam tram in Brill, known as the Brill Tramway. It was built 1870-1872 on behalf of the Duke of Buckingham. 1894 took over the A & BR this route. She came in 1899 in the possession of the Metropolitan Railway, and was rebuilt after railway parameters. The intention was to extend the range up to Oxford, but this was not realized. All traffic was discontinued on December 1, 1935.

Electrification and acquisition

Already in the 1880s, the Metropolitan Railway had considered the electrification of the network, the technology at that time was not yet mature. Together with the District Railway were carried out later between Earl 's Court and High Street Kensington tests and 1900 rolled for the first time a six-car train. As a result of these experiments in 1901 chose a joint committee of both companies to operate with AC and overhead line.

However, when the Underground Electric Railways Company of London ( UERL ) the District Railway took over, there were differences of opinion. The UERL was led by Charles Tyson Yerkes. Based on his experiences in the U.S., he preferred direct current from a power rail. After an arbitration hearing, both companies agreed to this system. 1902 began to build its own power plant, the Neasden Power Station.

The electrification was carried out in several steps: On January 1, 1905 between Baker Street and Uxbridge, on July 1, 1905 between Aldgate and Whitechapel, between 13 and 24 September 1905, the ring route in the city center and finally on November 5, 1906 between Edgware Road and Hammersmith.

Since the outer track pieces were not electrified, the change of locomotives was necessary; first in Wembley Park, from 19 July 1908 in Harrow -on-the - Hill. On 5 July 1925, the electrification to the station Rickmansworth was extended. The new routes to Watford (opened on November 2, 1925) and Stanmore (opened on 10 December 1932) were operated from the start electrically.

More events

The Metropolitan Railway was taken over in 1933 by the London Passenger Transport Board, the London transport company. This integrated the network in the London Underground and rationalized in the following operation. 1936 closed to all routes west of Aylesbury, in the same year saw the extension of the line in the east to Barking. In 1939, the branch line was transferred to Stanmore on the Bakerloo Line (since 1979 a part of the Jubilee Line ). Together with the other lines of the London Underground Metropolitan Line was nationalized in 1948. On September 9, 1961, the route went west of Amersham in the possession of British Rail.

The last drawn by steam locomotives passenger trains to operate until 1961, some service trains even until 1972. Between 1971 and 2000 there was a once a year " Dampftag 'for information, but this is no longer possible, due to stricter safety regulations. In 1988, the Hammersmith & City Line and the East London Line were separated from the Metropolitan to be operated separately. The Metropolitan Line is limited today to the routes north of Baker Street as well as on the ordinary route to Aldgate.

Rolling stock

Best known are the Kondensdampfloks from the early years. One of these locomotives is exhibited in the Transport Museum in Covent Garden. 1922 presented one bogie design electric locomotives from Metropolitan Vickers in service sector and replace the steam locomotives. The locomotives " Sarah Siddons " and " John Hampden " have been preserved. 1960 electric multiple units of the A Stock were delivered, as the longest-serving vehicles are on the road today. The trainsets of the S stock to replace the older vehicles since 2011.

Future Plans

Transport for London and the county of Hertfordshire Administration are planning a relocation of the Watford route. Today's final destination is a little off; the distance to Watford Junction, the main railway station of Watford, to be laid.


Because of the large number of branch lines in the west of the enumeration begins at the eastern end; it also includes the stations of today separately operated, Hammersmith & City Line.

Branch line to Barking

  • Barking - first operated on May 4, 1936
  • East Ham - first served on March 30, 1936
  • Upton Park - first served on March 30, 1936
  • Plaistow - first served on March 30, 1936
  • West Ham - first served on March 30, 1936
  • Bromley -by -Bow - first served on 30 March 1936 as Bromley; renamed in Bromley -by -Bow on May 18, 1967
  • Bow Road - first served on March 30, 1936
  • Mile End - first served on March 30, 1936
  • Stepney Green - first served on March 30, 1936
  • Whitechapel - first operated on December 3, 1906; not served from March 30 1913 to March 29, 1936
  • St Mary's ( Whitechapel Road) - first served on October 1, 1884; closed on April 30, 1938
  • Aldgate East - opened on October 6, 1884; closed on 30 October 1938 and reopened a day later at the current location

Trunk route in the city center

  • Aldgate - opened on November 18, 1876
  • Liverpool Street - opened on 1 February 1875 as Bishopsgate; renamed Liverpool Street on November 1, 1909
  • Moorgate - opened on 23 December 1865 as Moorgate Street; renamed Moorgate on October 24, 1924
  • Barbican - opened on 23 December 1865 as Aldersgate Street; renamed Aldersgate on November 1, 1910; renamed in 1923 in Aldersgate & Barbican; renamed on 1 December 1968 in Barbican
  • Farringdon - opened on 10 January 1863 as Farringdon Street; closed on 22 December 1865 and re-opened a day later on the present site; renamed Farringdon & High Holborn on January 26, 1922; renamed Farringdon on April 21, 1936
  • King's Cross St. Pancras - opened on 10 January 1863 as King's Cross; renamed in King's Cross St Pancras in 1933, closed on 9 March 1941 at its present location re-opened on March 14, 1941
  • Euston Square - opened as Gower Street on January 10, 1863; renamed Euston Square on November 1, 1909
  • Great Portland Street - opened as the Portland Road on January 10, 1863; renamed in Great Portland Street on March 1, 1917
  • Baker Street - opened on January 10, 1863
  • Edgware Road - opened on January 10, 1863

Branch line to Hammersmith

  • Edgware Road
  • Paddington - opened as Paddington ( Bishop's Road) on January 10, 1863; renamed in Paddington on September 10, 1933
  • Royal Oak - opened on October 30, 1871
  • Westbourne Park - opened on February 1, 1866; closed on 31 October 1871, and reopened a day later at the current location
  • Ladbroke Grove - opened on 13 June 1864 as Notting Hill; renamed in Notting Hill ( Ladbroke Grove ) in 1880, renamed Ladbroke Grove ( North Kensington ) in 1919, renamed in Ladbroke Grove in 1938
  • Latimer Road - opened on December 16, 1868

In Latimer Road a distance to Kensington ( Olympia) branched off where she had connection to the District Line; it was opened on 1 July 1864. On November 1, 1869, the opening of the intermediate station Uxbridge Road was made. The branch line was closed on 19 October 1940.

  • Wood Lane (new) - opened 12 October 2008
  • Wood Lane (old) - opened as Wood Lane ( Exhibition ) on May 1, 1908; closed on October 31, 1914, reopened as Wood Lane ( White City ) on May 5, 1920; renamed White City on 23 November 1947 closed on October 24, 1959
  • Shepherd's Bush Market - opened on 13 June 1864 as Shepherd's Bush; closed on 31 March 1914, and reopened a day later on the present site, renamed on October 5, 2008 in Shepherd's Bush Market
  • Goldhawk Road - opened on April 1, 1914
  • Hammersmith - opened on June 13, 1864, closed on 30 November 1868, re-opened a day later on the present site

From 1877 to 1906 the Metropolitan Line trains perverted over the tracks of the District Line to Richmond.

Northwestern main line

  • Baker Street ( separate station ) - opened on April 13, 1868
  • Lord 's - opened on 13 April 1868 as St. John 's Wood Road; renamed St. John 's Wood on April 1, 1925; renamed Lord's on June 11, 1939 closed on November 19, 1939
  • Marlborough Road - opened on April 13, 1868; closed on November 19, 1939
  • Swiss Cottage - opened on April 13, 1868; closed on August 17, 1940
  • Finchley Road - opened on June 30, 1879
  • West Hampstead - opened on June 30, 1879; Last serviced on December 7, 1940
  • Kilburn & Brondesbury - opened on November 24, 1879; Last serviced on December 7, 1940
  • Willesden Green - opened on November 24, 1879; Last serviced on December 7, 1940
  • Dollis Hill - opened on October 1, 1909; Last serviced on December 7, 1940
  • Neasden - opened on August 2, 1880 as Kingsbury & Neasden; renamed Kingsbury & Neasden on January 1, 1910; renamed in Neasden on 1 January 1932 Last serviced on December 7, 1940
  • Wembley Park - opened on October 14, 1893
  • Preston Road - opened on May 21, 1908
  • Northwick Park - opened on 28 June 1923 as the Northwick Park & ​​Kenton; renamed Northwick Park on March 15, 1937
  • Harrow-on- the-Hill - opened as Harrow on August 2, 1880 renamed in Harrow -on-the - Hill on June 1, 1894
  • North Harrow - opened on March 22, 1915
  • Pinner - opened on May 25, 1885
  • Northwood Hills - opened on November 13, 1933
  • Northwood - opened on September 1, 1887
  • Moorpark - opened on 9 May 1910 as Sandy Lodge; renamed in Moor Park & ​​Sandy Lodge on October 18, 1923; renamed in Moorpark on September 25, 1950
  • Rickmansworth - opened on September 1, 1887
  • Chorleywood - opened on July 8, 1889
  • Chalfont & Latimer - opened on 8 July 1889 as Chalfont Road; Chalfont & Latimer renamed on November 1, 1915
  • Amersham - opened on September 1, 1892
  • Great Missenden - opened on September 1, 1892, most recently served on September 10, 1961 ( taken over by British Railways )
  • Wendover - opened on September 1, 1892, most recently served on September 10, 1961 ( taken over by British Railways )
  • Stoke Mandeville - opened on September 1, 1892, most recently served on September 10, 1961 ( taken over by British Railways )
  • Aylesbury - opened on September 1, 1892, closed on December 31, 1893 and a day later reopened at a new location; Last serviced on September 10, 1961 ( taken over by British Railways )
  • Waddesdon - Waddesdon Manor opened as of 1 January 1897 renamed Waddesdon on October 1, 1922; closed on July 5, 1936
  • Quainton Road - opened on July 1, 1891; closed on 29 November 1896, reopened a day later at the new location; Last serviced on July 4, 1936; again operated on April 5, 1943; permanently closed on May 29, 1948
  • Granborough Road - opened on July 1, 1891; closed on July 4, 1936
  • Winslow Road - opened on July 1, 1891; closed on July 4, 1936
  • Verney Junction - opened on July 1, 1891; closed on July 4, 1936

Branch line to Uxbridge

  • Harrow-on- the-Hill
  • West Harrow - opened on November 17, 1913
  • Rayners Lane - opened on May 26, 1906
  • Eastcote - opened on May 26, 1906
  • Ruislip Manor - opened on August 5, 1912, closed on 11 February 1917 re-opened on April 1, 1919
  • Ruislip - opened on July 4, 1904
  • Ickenham - opened on September 25, 1905
  • Hillingdon - opened on December 10, 1923; closed on 5 December 1992, re-opened a day later on the present site
  • Uxbridge - opened on July 4, 1904; closed on December 3, 1938 and re-opened a day later on the present site

Branch line to Watford

  • Moorpark
  • Croxley - opened on 2 November 1925 as Croxley Green; renamed in Croxley on 23 May 1949
  • Watford - opened on November 2, 1925

Branch line to Chesham

  • Chalfont & Latimer
  • Chesham - opened on July 8, 1889

Branch line to Brill

The Metropolitan Line took over an existing tram route between Quainton Road and Brill and built around this:

  • Quainton Road
  • Waddesdon Road - first served on 1 December 1899 as Waddesdon; renamed Waddesdon Road on October 1, 1922; closed on November 30, 1935
  • Westcott - first served on December 1, 1899; closed on November 30, 1935
  • Wotton - first served on December 1, 1899; closed on November 30, 1935
  • Wood Siding - first served on December 1, 1899; closed on November 30, 1935
  • Brill - first served on December 1, 1899; closed on November 30, 1935

Stations between Wembley Park and Stanmore see Jubilee Line