Jubilee line

The Jubilee line is a London Underground line that runs between Stratford in east London and Stanmore in the suburban north-west, via the Docklands, South Bank and West End. Opened in 1979, it is the newest line on the network, although some sections of track date back to 1932 and some stations to 1879.

Jubilee line
A Jubilee line train at Wembley Park
TypeRapid transit
SystemLondon Underground
Ridership213.554 million (2011/12)[1] passenger journeys
Colour on mapSilver
Opened1 May 1979
Last extension1999
CharacterDeep level
Depot(s)Neasden, Stratford Market[2]
Rolling stock1996 Stock
Line length36.2 km (22.5 mi)
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
London Underground
Hammersmith & City
Waterloo & City
Other systems
London Trams
London Overground
TfL Rail

The western portion between Baker Street and Stanmore was previously a branch of the Metropolitan line and later the Bakerloo line, while the new build was completed in two major sections: initially in 1979 to Charing Cross, then in 1999 with an extension to Stratford. The later stations are larger and have special safety features, both aspects being attempts to future-proof the line. Following the extension to east London, serving areas once poorly connected to the Underground, the line has seen a huge growth in passenger numbers and is the third-busiest on the network (after the Northern and Central lines), with over 213 million passenger journeys in 2011/12.

Between Finchley Road and Wembley Park the Jubilee line shares its route with the Metropolitan line and Chiltern Main Line. Between Canning Town and Stratford it runs parallel to the Stratford International branch of the Docklands Light Railway. The Jubilee line is coloured silver on the Tube map, to mark the Silver Jubilee of Elizabeth II, after which the line was named.


1932 to 1939

The Jubilee line's first section opened in 1932, when 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. The suburban traffic had been so successful 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 deep tube 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 line. The solution was now a new branch of the Bakerloo line from Baker Street to serve new stations at 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 was originally proposed that the Metropolitan line's Swiss Cottage station would remain open during peak hours for interchange with the Bakerloo, and that Lord's station would open for special cricketing events, but both were closed permanently as economy measures during the Second World War. The new line rose between the Metropolitan line tracks at Finchley Road, providing cross-platform interchange with the Metropolitan line. Continuing north to Wembley Park, the new Bakerloo line branch was to provide local service on the Metropolitan line, while Metropolitan line trains ran non-stop between Finchley Road and Wembley Park, cutting seven minutes from journey times. At Wembley Park, the new Bakerloo would turn north to serve Kingsbury, Queensbury, Canons Park and Stanmore, taking over the former Metropolitan branch. 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", and lines 3 and 4, new cross-town routes, linking the northeast suburbs to Fenchurch Street, Wapping and variously Lewisham and Hayes. Line C opened as the Victoria line, in stages, from 1968 to 1972. Work on the northeast–southwest route continued.

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 route via Baker Street, Bond Street, Trafalgar Square, Strand, Fleet Street, Ludgate Circus and Cannon Street, then proceeding into southeast London.[3] The new line was to have been called the Fleet line[4] after the River Fleet (although it would only have crossed under the Fleet at Ludgate Circus; the central London section mostly follows the Tyburn).

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.

Another part of the works included a section of test tunnel, built near New Cross. This part of London has waterlogged soil that is difficult to tunnel in, so a new tunnelling method, called the Bentonite shield, was used experimentally to construct a 150 m section of tunnel, that was on the line of the proposed Phase 2 route, in 1972.[5][6][7] The experiment was successful, leading to the introduction of this form of construction elsewhere,[5] but when the planned route was altered, this section was left abandoned as it was effectively useless, and still exists to this day.[7]

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 initially rejected because of the additional costs involved. Nevertheless, the name was ultimately chosen for the line after 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.[8][9]

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.

  • Phase 2: would have extended the line along Fleet Street to stations at Aldwych, Ludgate Circus, Cannon Street and Fenchurch Street. Parliamentary approval for this phase was granted on 27 July 1971.[10]
  • Phase 3: would have seen the line continue under the river to Surrey Docks (now Surrey Quays) station on the East London Line, taking over both of the ELL's branches to New Cross Gate and New Cross stations, with an extension to Lewisham. Parliamentary approval for this phase as far as New Cross was granted on 5 August 1971 and the final section to Lewisham was granted approval on 9 August 1972.[10]
  • Phase 3 (alternative): In 1973, an alternative plan for Phase 3 was devised to provide transport connections to the London Docklands area then being considered for regeneration as it was expected that the docks would be closed by the late 1980s. Initially proposed as a mainline service but later developed as a tube line extension for the Jubilee line, the new plan was developed over the next few years to a final form that considered extending the line parallel to the River Thames known informally as the 'River line'. This was to take the line from Fenchurch Street to Thamesmead via St Katharine Docks, Wapping, Surrey Docks North, Millwall (near the later location of South Quay DLR station), North Greenwich, Custom House, Silvertown, Woolwich Arsenal, and then to Thamesmead Central. The depot would have been at Beckton, roughly on the site of the current Docklands Light Railway depot, and a shuttle service between there and Customs House was considered. Parliamentary approval for the route as far as Woolwich Arsenal including the Beckton branch was granted on 1 August 1980.[11]
  • Phase 4 was the possible continuation of the original Phase 3 Lewisham branch to take over suburban services on the Addiscombe and Hayes branches.

Millennium extension

Changes in land use, particularly the urban renewal of the Docklands area, resulted in the project to extend the line beyond Charing Cross being changed 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; the service to Charing Cross was discontinued (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 Underground because it is the only section to have platform edge doors which open automatically when trains arrive.

There have been other proposals to extend the line serving the docks.[12]

24 hour weekend service

It was planned that from Saturday 12 September 2015, there would be a 24-hour service on Friday and Saturday nights on the entire Jubilee line as part of the new Night Tube service pattern.[13] This was postponed due to an ongoing dispute between Transport for London and rail unions. In August 2016 Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, announced that the Jubilee line night tube would run with services starting on 7 October 2016.[14]

Current Jubilee line

Having been open since 1979, 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. John's Wood and Swiss Cottage stations were opened in 1939 on the then-new Bakerloo line branch and have more traditional tube station features. Stations north of Finchley Road were opened by the Metropolitan Railway (now the Metropolitan line), but they became part of the Bakerloo in 1939, with only Wembley Park being shared with the Metropolitan. Then, the Jubilee line took over the whole of the Bakerloo line service between Baker Street and Stanmore. 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 introduced primarily to prevent draughts underground and to assist in air flow. They also prevent people from falling or jumping onto the track, as well as the build-up of litter.

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.

7th car upgrade

The Jubilee line closed for five days from 26 December 2005 in order to add an extra car to each six-car train.[15] The line had to be closed as six-car 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 had been added to the fleet, bringing the total to 63. This enabled the period during which a full service could be run to be increased. 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 hour to use the line. Work was completed and the line reopened two days ahead of schedule, on 29 December 2005.

Signalling system

Since 2011, the Jubilee line has automatic train operation (ATO), using the SelTrac S40 moving block system.[16] This provides capacity for 30 trains per hour.[17]

Migration to the system was problematic. The programme of temporary closures for engineering work was criticised by local politicians[18] as well as by the management of venues such as Wembley Stadium and The O2 because visitors to major concerts and sporting events had to travel by rail replacement bus.[19][20] The management of the project by Tube Lines was criticised by London TravelWatch for its delayed delivery date,[21] and a report by the London Assembly referred to the weekly line closures as "chaotic".[22][23]


Thamesmead branch

When North Greenwich Underground 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.[24] While no connections in the form of railway infrastructure exist, the three stations at West Hampstead form part of an "out of station" interchange in the Oyster system thus continuing similar (but little-publicised) interchange arrangements in existence since before nationalisation.



Jubilee line services are:[25]

  • Peak services at 30 tph in the core section between North Greenwich and Willesden Green:
    • 12 tph Stratford – Stanmore
    • 4 tph Stratford - West Hampstead
    • 4 tph Stratford – Willesden Green
    • 4 tph Stratford – Wembley Park
    • 6 tph North Greenwich – Stanmore
    • Some peak services originate or terminate at West Ham or Neasden
  • Off-Peak services at 24 tph in the core section between Stratford and Willesden Green:
    • 12 tph Stratford – Stanmore
    • 4 tph Stratford – Willesden Green
    • 4 tph Stratford – Wembley Park
    • 4 tph North Greenwich – Stanmore
  • Night Tube:
    • 6 tph Stanmore – Stratford[26]


Jubilee line
Stanmore sidings
Canons Park
Wembley Park
Dollis Hill
Willesden Green
West Hampstead
Finchley Road
Swiss Cottage
St. John's Wood
Baker Street
link from Bakerloo line
Bond Street
Green Park
Charing Cross ( )
line ends short of Aldwych
London Bridge
Canada Water
Canary Wharf
North Greenwich
provision for branch to
Royal Docks and Thamesmead
Canning Town
West Ham
Stratford Market depot
StationImage RoundelOpenedAdditional information
Stanmore 10 December 1932map 1
Canons Park 10 December 1932Opened as Canons Park (Edgware); renamed 1933map 2
Queensbury 16 December 1934map 3
Kingsbury 10 December 1932map 4
Wembley Park[lower-alpha 1] 14 October 1893Change for the Metropolitan linemap 5
Neasden[lower-alpha 2] 2 August 1880map 6
Dollis Hill[lower-alpha 2] 1 October 1909map 7
Willesden Green[lower-alpha 2] 24 November 1879map 8
Kilburn[lower-alpha 2] 24 November 1879Opened as Kilburn & Brondesbury; renamed 25 September 1950map 9
West Hampstead[lower-alpha 2] 30 June 1879map 10
Finchley Road[lower-alpha 2] 30 June 1879Change for the Metropolitan linemap 11
Swiss Cottage 20 November 1939map 12
St. John's Wood 20 November 1939map 13
Baker Street 1 May 1979Change for the Bakerloo, Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan linesmap 14
Bond Street 1 May 1979Change for the Central linemap 15
Green Park 1 May 1979Change for the Piccadilly and Victoria linesmap 16
Westminster 22 December 1999Change for the Circle and District linesmap 17
Waterloo 24 September 1999Change for the Bakerloo, Northern (Charing Cross branch) and Waterloo & City linesmap 18
Southwark ( Waterloo East) 20 November 1999map 19
London Bridge ( Trains to Gatwick) 7 October 1999Change for the Northern line (Bank branch)map 20
Bermondsey 17 September 1999map 21
Canada Water 17 September 1999Change for the London Overground East London Linemap 22
Canary Wharf 17 September 1999Change for the Docklands Light Railwaymap 23
North Greenwich 14 May 1999Change for the Emirates Air Line from Emirates Greenwich Peninsulamap 24
Canning Town[lower-alpha 3] 14 May 1999Change for the Docklands Light Railwaymap 25
West Ham[lower-alpha 3] 14 May 1999Change for the District and Hammersmith & City lines and Docklands Light Railwaymap 26
Stratford[lower-alpha 3] 14 May 1999Change for the Central line, the London Overground North London Line, TfL Rail and Docklands Light Railwaymap 27
  1. At Wembley Park, there are six tracks, but Jubilee line trains only use the two innermost tracks.
  2. 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 when normal working is disrupted or on irregular occasions when local events can cause a heavy increase in use of the stations.
  3. 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.[27]

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


See also


  1. "LU Performance Data Almanac". Transport for London. 2012. Archived from the original on 3 August 2012. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
  2. "London Underground Key Facts". Transport for London. Archived from the original on 14 May 2009. Retrieved 21 May 2008.
  3. "More Tube lines discussed: Easing travel load". The Times. London. 27 April 1965. p. 7.
  4. Willis, Jon (1999). Extending the Jubilee Line: The planning story. London Transport. OCLC 637966374.
  5. Badsey-Ellis, Antony (2016). Building London's Underground: From Cut-and-Cover to Crossrail. Capital Transport Publishing. pp. 299–301. ISBN 978-1-85414-397-6.
  6. Horne, Mike (2000). The Jubilee Line. Capital Transport. p. 37. ISBN 978-1-85414-220-7.
  7. "South London's Abandoned Tube Tunnel". IanVisits. 3 April 2011.
  8. "Jubilee Line, Dates". Clive's Underground Line Guides. Retrieved 12 February 2008.
  9. Rose, Douglas (1999). The London Underground, A Diagrammatic History. London: Douglas Rose/Capital Transport. ISBN 978-1-85414-219-1.
  10. Horne, Mike (2000). The Jubilee Line. Capital Transport. p. 36. ISBN 978-1-85414-220-7.
  11. Horne, Mike (2000). The Jubilee Line. Capital Transport. pp. 50–52. ISBN 978-1-85414-220-7.
  12. "Starting from scratch: The development of transport in London Docklands". London Docklands Development Corporation. 1997.
  13. TfL Night Tube Map http://www.tfl.gov.uk/cdn/static/cms/images/night-tube-lb.jpg
  14. "The Night Tube – Transport for London". Tfl.gov.uk. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  15. "Travel advice for the festive season" (Press release). Transport for London. 19 December 2005. Retrieved 9 March 2010.
  16. "Underground Thales Group". www.thalesgroup.com/en. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  17. "JUBILEE, NORTHERN & PICCADILLY LINES". Railway Strategies. 1 March 2017. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  18. "Don't close our community off at the weekends, please". Ed Fordham blog. 19 August 2009. Retrieved 4 December 2009.
  19. Murray, Dick (9 October 2009). "Jubilee line closures to go on next year". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 1 December 2009.
  20. Barney, Katharine; Singh, Amar (20 May 2009). "O2 not thrilled as Jubilee line shuts for Michael Jackson's big tour". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 1 December 2009.
  21. "Comment on Jubilee Line delays". London TravelWatch. Retrieved 1 December 2009.
  22. "Tube crowds 'at shocking levels'". BBC News. 1 December 2009. Retrieved 1 December 2009.
  23. "Too close for comfort: Passengers' experiences of the London Underground" (PDF). London Assembly Transport Committee. December 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 December 2009. Retrieved 4 December 2009.
  24. Chambers, Charlotte (15 March 2007). "Station interchange plans put on hold". Camden New Journal. London. Retrieved 29 July 2008.
  25. TFL. "London Underground Working Timetable" (PDF). TFL.
  26. Lall, Munisha; Belam, Martin (7 October 2016). "Jubilee line joins London's busier than expected night tube" via www.theguardian.com.
  27. "Jubilee line facts". Transport for London. Archived from the original on 12 February 2008. Retrieved 11 February 2011.

KML is from Wikidata
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)
Emirates Air Line
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