Northern line

The Northern line is a London Underground line that runs from south-west to north-west London, with two branches through central London and three in north London. It runs northwards from its southern terminus at Morden in the borough of Merton to Kennington in Southwark, where it divides into two central branches, one via Charing Cross in the West End and the other via Bank in the City. The central branches re-join at Camden Town where the line again divides into two branches, one to High Barnet and the other to Edgware in the borough of Barnet. The High Barnet branch has an additional single-station spur at Finchley Central with a shuttle train to Mill Hill East.

Northern line
An Edgware-bound train of 1995 Stock at Hendon Central
Overview
TypeRapid transit
SystemLondon Underground
Stations50
Ridership252.310 million passenger journeys (2011/12)[1]
Colour on mapBlack
Websitetfl.gov.uk
Operation
Opened18 December 1890
(as City and South London Railway)
28 August 1937
(renamed to Northern line)
Last extension1926
CharacterDeep-tube
Depot(s)Golders Green, Morden; sidings at Edgware, Colindale, Hampstead, Chalk Farm, High Barnet, East Finchley, Archway, Camden Town, Euston (Bank branch), Moorgate, Charing Cross, Kennington, Tooting Broadway[2]
Rolling stock1995 Stock
Technical
Line length58 km (36 mi)
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Operating speed45 mph (72 km/h)[3]
London Underground
Bakerloo
Central
Circle
District
Hammersmith & City
Jubilee
Metropolitan
Northern
Piccadilly
Victoria
Waterloo & City
Other systems
DLR
London Trams
London Overground
TfL Rail

For most of its length it is a deep-level tube line.[nb 1] The portion between Stockwell and Borough opened in 1890 and is the oldest section of deep-level tube line on the Underground network. About 294 million passenger journeys were recorded in 2016/17 on the Northern line, making it the busiest on the Underground.[4] It is unique in having two different routes through central London and two northern branches. Despite its name, it does not serve the northernmost stations on the network, though it does serve the southernmost station, Morden, as well as 16 of the system's 29 stations south of the River Thames. There are 50 stations in total on the line, of which 36 have platforms below ground.

The line has a complicated history, and the current complex arrangement of two main northern branches, two central branches and the southern route reflects its genesis as three separate railways, combined in the 1920s and 1930s. An extension in the 1920s used a route originally planned by a fourth company. Abandoned plans from the 1920s to extend the line further southwards, and then northwards in the 1930s, would have incorporated parts of the routes of two further companies. From the 1930s to the 1970s, the tracks of a seventh company were also managed as a branch of the Northern line.[nb 2] An extension of the Charing Cross branch from Kennington to Battersea is currently under construction, which may either give the Northern line a second southern branch or may see it split into separate distinct lines with their own identities. It is coloured black on the current Tube map.

History

Formation

See City and South London Railway and Charing Cross, Euston and Hampstead Railway for detailed histories of these companies

The core of the Northern line evolved from two railway companies: the City & South London Railway (C&SLR) and the Charing Cross, Euston & Hampstead Railway (CCE&HR).

The C&SLR, London's first deep-level tube railway, was built under the supervision of James Henry Greathead, who had been responsible, with Peter W. Barlow, for the Tower Subway. It was the first of the Underground's lines to be constructed by boring deep below the surface and the first to be operated by electric traction. The railway opened in November 1890 from Stockwell to a now-disused station at King William Street. This was inconveniently placed and unable to cope with the company's traffic so, in 1900, a new route to Moorgate via Bank was opened. By 1907 the C&SLR had been further extended at both ends to run from Clapham Common to Euston.

The CCE&HR (commonly known as the "Hampstead Tube") was opened in 1907 and ran from Charing Cross (known for many years as Strand) via Euston and Camden Town (where there was a junction) to Golders Green and Highgate (now known as Archway). It was extended south by one stop to Embankment in 1914 to form an interchange with the Bakerloo and District lines. In 1913 the Underground Electric Railways Company of London (UERL), owner of the CCE&HR, took over the C&SLR, although they remained separate companies.

Integration

During the early 1920s, a series of works was carried out to connect the C&SLR and CCE&HR tunnels to enable an integrated service to be operated. The first of these new tunnels, between the C&SLR's Euston station and the CCE&HR's station at Camden Town, had originally been planned in 1912[5] but had been delayed by World War I. The second connection linked the CCE&HR's Embankment and C&SLR's Kennington stations and provided a new intermediate station at Waterloo to connect to the main line station there and the Bakerloo line. The smaller-diameter tunnels of the C&SLR were expanded to match the standard diameter of the CCE&HR and the other deep tube lines.

Extensions

In conjunction with the works to integrate the two lines, two major extensions were undertaken: northwards to Edgware in Middlesex (now in the London Borough of Barnet) and southwards to Morden in Surrey (then in the Merton and Morden Urban District, but now in the London Borough of Merton).

Edgware Extension

The Edgware extension used plans dating back to 1901 for the Edgware and Hampstead Railway (E&HR)[6] which the UERL had taken over in 1912. It extended the CCE&HR line from its terminus at Golders Green to Edgware in two stages: to Hendon Central in 1923 and to Edgware in 1924. The line crossed open countryside and ran on the surface, apart from a short tunnel north of Hendon Central. Five new stations were built to pavilion-style designs by Stanley Heaps, head of the Underground's Architects Office, stimulating the rapid northward expansion of suburban developments in the following years.

Morden Extension

The engineering of the Morden extension of the C&SLR from Clapham Common to Morden was more demanding, running in tunnels to a point just north of Morden station, which was constructed in a cutting. The line then runs under the wide station forecourt and public road outside the station, to the depot. The extension was initially planned to continue to Sutton[7] over part of the route for the unbuilt Wimbledon and Sutton Railway, in which the UERL held a stake, but agreements were made with the Southern Railway to end the extension at Morden. The Southern Railway later built the surface line from Wimbledon to Sutton, via South Merton and St. Helier.[nb 3] The tube extension opened in 1926, with seven new stations, all designed by Charles Holden in a modern style. Originally, Stanley Heaps was to design the stations, but after seeing these designs Frank Pick, Assistant Joint Manager of the UERL, decided Holden should take over the project.[8]

With the exception of Morden and Clapham South, where more land was available, the new stations were built on confined corner sites at main road junctions in areas that had been already developed. Holden made good use of this limited space and designed impressive buildings. The street-level structures are of white Portland stone with tall double-height ticket halls, with the London Underground roundel made up in coloured glass panels in large glazed screens. The stone columns framing the glass screens are surmounted by a capital formed as a three-dimensional version of the roundel. The large expanses of glass above the entrances ensure that the ticket halls are bright and, lit from within at night, welcoming.[9] The first and last new stations on the extension, Clapham South and Morden, include a parade of shops and were designed with structures capable of being built above (like many of the earlier central London stations). Clapham South was extended upwards soon after its construction with a block of apartments; Morden was extended upwards in the 1960s with a block of offices. All the stations on the extension, except Morden itself, are Grade II listed buildings.

Naming

The resulting line became known as the Morden–Edgware line, although a number of alternative names were also mooted in the fashion of the contraction of Baker Street & Waterloo Railway to "Bakerloo", such as "Edgmor", "Mordenware", "Medgway" and "Edgmorden".[10] With Egyptology very much in fashion after the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922, there was also a proposal to call the line the Tootancamden Line as it passed through both Tooting and Camden.[11] It was eventually named the Northern line from 28 August 1937,[12] reflecting the planned addition of the Northern Heights lines.[13]

Great Northern & City Railway

After the UERL and the Metropolitan Railway (MR) were brought under public control in the form of the London Passenger Transport Board (LPTB) in 1933, the MR's subsidiary, the Great Northern & City Railway, which ran from Moorgate to Finsbury Park, became part of the Underground as the Northern City Line. In preparation for the Northern Heights Plan, it was operated as part of the Northern line, although it was never connected to it.

Northern Heights plan

See Edgware, Highgate and London Railway for a detailed history of the company.

In June 1935, the LPTB announced the New Works Programme, an ambitious plan to expand the Underground network which included the integration of a complex of existing London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) lines north of Highgate through the Northern Heights. These lines, built in the 1860s and 1870s by the Edgware, Highgate and London Railway (EH&LR) and its successors, ran from Finsbury Park to Edgware via Highgate, with branches to Alexandra Palace and High Barnet. The line taken over would be extended beyond Edgware to Brockley Hill, Elstree South and Bushey Heath with a new depot at Aldenham. The extension's route was that planned for the unbuilt Watford and Edgware Railway (W&ER), using rights obtained from the earlier purchase of the W&ER (which had long intended an extension of the EH&LR Edgware route towards Watford). This also provided the potential for further extension in the future; Bushey's town planners reserved space in Bushey village for a future station and Bushey Heath station's design was revised several times to ensure this option would remain available in the future.

The project involved electrification of the surface lines (operated by steam trains at the time), the doubling of the original single-line section between Finchley Central and the proposed junction with the Edgware branch of the Northern line, and the construction of three new linking sections of track: a connection between Northern City Line and Finsbury Park station on the surface; an extension from Archway to the LNER line near East Finchley via new deep-level platforms below Highgate station; and a short diversion from just before the LNER's Edgware station to the Underground's station of the same name.

Intended service levels

The peak-hour service pattern was to be 21 trains an hour each way on the High Barnet branch north of Camden Town, 14 of them via the Charing Cross branch and seven via the Bank branch. 14 would have continued on beyond Finchley Central, seven each on the High Barnet and Edgware branches. An additional seven trains an hour would have served the High Barnet branch, but continued via Highgate High-Level and Finsbury Park to Moorgate, a slightly shorter route to the City. It does not seem to have been intended to run through trains to the ex-Northern City branch from Edgware via Finchley Central. Seven trains an hour would have served the Alexandra Palace branch, to/from Moorgate via Highgate High-Level. In addition to the 14 through trains described, the ex-Northern City branch would have had 14 four-car shuttle trains an hour.

Progress of works

Work began in the late 1930s, and was in progress on all fronts by the outbreak of World War II. The tunnelling northwards from the original Highgate station (now Archway) had been completed, and the service to the rebuilt surface station at East Finchley started on 3 July 1939, but without the opening of the intermediate (new) Highgate Station, at the site of the LNER's station of the same name. Further progress was disrupted by the start of the war, though enough had been made to complete the electrification of the High Barnet branch onwards from East Finchley over which tube services started on 14 April 1940; the new (deep-level) Highgate station opened on 19 January 1941. The single track LNER line to Edgware was electrified as far as Mill Hill East, including the Dollis Brook Viaduct, opening as a tube service on 18 May 1941 to serve the barracks there, thus forming the Northern line as it is today. The new depot at Aldenham had already been built and was used to build Halifax bombers. Work on the other elements of the plan was suspended late in 1939.

Work on the extension from Edgware to Bushey Heath including work on a viaduct and a tunnel started in June 1939, but was stopped after war broke out.[14] After the war, the area beyond Edgware was made part of the Metropolitan Green Belt, largely preventing the anticipated residential development in the area, and the potential demand for services from Bushey Heath thus vanished. Passenger numbers also dropped on the then-BR's Mill Hill and Alexandra Palace branches, so it was useless to electrify them. Available funds were directed towards completing the eastern extension of the Central line instead, and the Northern Heights plan was dropped on 9 February 1954. Aldenham depot was converted into an overhaul facility for buses.

The implemented service from High Barnet branch gave good access both to the West End and the City. This appears to have undermined traffic on the Alexandra Palace branch, still run with steam haulage to Kings Cross via Finsbury Park, as Highgate (low-level) was but a short bus ride away and car traffic was much lighter than it would become later. Consequently, the line from Finsbury Park to Muswell Hill and Alexandra Palace via the surface platforms at Highgate was closed altogether to passenger traffic in 1954. This contrasts with the decision to electrify the Epping-Ongar branch of the Central line, another remnant of the New Works programme, run as a tube-train shuttle from 1957. A local pressure group, the Muswell Hill Metro Group, campaigns to reopen this route as a light-rail service. So far there is no sign of movement on this issue: the route, now the Parkland Walk, is highly valued by walkers and cyclists, and suggestions in the 1990s that it could, in part, become a road were met with fierce opposition. Another pressure group has proposed using the track bed further north, as part of the North and West London Light Railway. The connection between Drayton Park and the surface platforms at Finsbury Park was opened in 1976, when the Northern City Line became part of British Rail.

Recent developments

In 1975, the Northern City Line, known by that time as the Highbury branch, was transferred from London Underground to British Rail; it is now served by Great Northern. In the past, before the introduction of the 1995 stock, the Northern line was sometimes nicknamed the "Misery Line" in the press because of its perceived unreliability.[15][16]

In 2003, a train derailed at Camden Town. Although no one was hurt, points, signals and carriages were damaged, and the junctions there were not used while repairs were under way: all trains from the Edgware branch were routed over the Bank branch, and trains from the High Barnet and Mill Hill East branch were routed over the Charing Cross branch. This situation was resolved when the junctions reopened, after much repair work and safety analysis and testing by contractor, on 7 March 2004. A joint report by the Underground and its maintenance contractor Tube Lines concluded that poor track geometry was the main cause, and that, because of this, extra friction arising out of striations (scratches) on a newly installed set of points had allowed the leading wheel of the last carriage to climb the rail and so derail. The track geometry at the derailment site is a very tight bend and tight tunnel bore, which precludes the normal solution for this sort of geometry of canting the track by raising the height of one rail relative to the other.

On 7 July 2005 a defective train on the Northern line (causing its subsequent suspension) saved a Northern line train from being blown up as part of a terrorist attack on the London Underground and bus systems. Three trains on the Circle and Piccadilly lines were blown up. The Northern line bomber-to-be instead boarded a bus, which he later blew up.

On 13 October 2005 the Northern line service was suspended due to maintenance problems with the emergency braking system on the entire train fleet.[17] A series of rail replacement buses was used to connect outlying stations with other Underground lines.[18] Full service was restored on 18 October.

From June 2006, the service between East Finchley and Camden Town was suspended for two non-consecutive weekends every month, with service on the Edgware branch suspended for the other two weeks. This was part of Tube Lines's redevelopment of some Edgware and High Barnet Branch stations, including replacement of track, signals, as well as station maintenance.[19] This included refurbishment of all High Barnet branch stations from West Finchley to Camden Town. In October 2006, off-peak service between Mill Hill East and Finchley Central was cut back to a shuttle, except for a few weekend through trains.

On 13 August 2010, a defective rail grinding train caused disruption on the Charing Cross branch, after it travelled four miles in 13 minutes without a driver. The train was being towed to the depot after becoming faulty. At Archway station, the defective train became detached and ran driverless until coming to a stop at an incline near Warren Street station. This caused morning rush-hour services to be suspended on this branch. All passenger trains were diverted via the Bank branch, with several not stopping at stations until they were safely on the Bank branch.[20][21]

The Northern line was originally scheduled to switch to automatic train operation in 2012, using the same SelTrac S40 system[22] as used since 2009 on the Jubilee line and for a number of years on the Docklands Light Railway.[23] Originally the work was to follow on from the Jubilee line so as to benefit from the experience of installing it there, but that project was not completed until spring 2011. Work on the Northern line was contracted to be completed before the 2012 Olympics. It is now being undertaken in-house, and TfL predicted the upgrade would be complete by the end of 2014.[24] The first section of the line (West Finchley to High Barnet) was transferred to the new signalling system on 26 February 2013[25] and the line became fully automated on 1 June 2014 with the Chalk Farm to Edgware via Golders Green section being the last part of the line to switch to ATO.[26][27]

In January 2018, Transport for London announced that it would double the period during which it runs peak evening services in the central London section to tackle overcrowding. There would now be 24 trains an hour on both central London branches and the northern branches, as well as 30 trains an hour on the Kennington to Morden section between 5pm and 7pm.[4]

24-hour weekend service

Since the autumn of 2016[28] a 24-hour "Night Tube" service has run on Friday and Saturday nights from Edgware and High Barnet to Morden via Charing Cross; other sections of the line do not operate the 24-hour service.[29] Trains run every 8 minutes between Morden and Camden Town and every 15/16 minutes between Camden Town and Edgware/High Barnet. Labour disputes delayed the planned start date of September 2015.[30]

Services

Peak

As of 2015, morning peak southbound services are:[31]

  • 10 tph from Edgware to Kennington via Charing Cross
  • 2 tph from Edgware to Morden via Charing Cross
  • 12 tph from Edgware to Morden via Bank
  • 10 tph from High Barnet to Kennington via Charing Cross
  • 2 tph from High Barnet to Morden via Charing Cross
  • 12 tph from High Barnet to Morden via Bank
  • 4 tph from Mill Hill East to Finchley Central

This gives 24 tph service on all parts of the Northern Line except between Kennington and Morden, where services run at 28 tph, and between Mill Hill East and Finchley Central.

Off-peak

As of 2015, off-peak services are the same as peak services, minus the four hourly trains that run from Morden to the northern branches via Charing Cross:[31]

  • 10 tph from Edgware to Kennington via Charing Cross
  • 10 tph from Edgware to Morden via Bank
  • 10 tph from High Barnet to Kennington via Charing Cross
  • 10 tph from High Barnet to Morden via Bank
  • 4 tph from Mill Hill East to Finchley Central

This gives a 20 tph service on all parts of the line except between Mill Hill East and Finchley Central.

Night

Since 2016, the Northern line has operated Night Tube service on Friday and Saturday nights between Morden and Edgware/High Barnet via Charing Cross. Trains run every 15 minutes on the northern branches, for four trains per hour, combining for a frequency of eight trains per hour between Camden Town and Morden. Service is suspended on the Bank branch and the Mill Hill East shuttle during Night Tube operations.[28]

  • 8tph from Morden to Camden Town via Charing Cross
  • 4tph from Camden Town to Edgware
  • 4tph from Camden Town to High Barnet

Map

Stations

Northern line
Bushey Heath
aborted Bushey
Heath extension
Elstree South
Brockley Hill
Edgware
High Barnet
Edgware depot
High Barnet sidings
Edgware (LNER)
unbuilt link
Totteridge & Whetstone
former LNER
to Mill Hill East
Woodside Park
Burnt Oak
West Finchley
Colindale
Mill Hill
Mill Hill East
Alexandra Palace
Hendon Central
Finchley Central
Muswell Hill
Brent Cross
St. James' Viaduct
East Finchley
Cranley Gardens
Golders Green
LNER Alexandra
Palace branch
Golders Green depot
Highgate depot
North End
Highgate north tunnel
Highgate
Hampstead
Highgate south tunnel
Archway
Tufnell Park
Belsize Park
Kentish Town
Chalk Farm
South Kentish Town
Crouch End
Camden Town
Stroud Green
Mornington Crescent
Finsbury Park
Euston
Drayton Park
Highbury and Islington
Warren Street
Essex Road
King's Cross St. Pancras
Goodge Street
Angel
City Road
Tottenham Court Road
Old Street
Moorgate
Leicester Square
Lothbury
Bank
Charing Cross
King William Street
Embankment
London Bridge
reversing loop
removed 1926
Borough
Waterloo
Elephant & Castle
Kennington
reversing loop
under
construction
Nine Elms
Oval
Battersea Power Station
Stockwell depot
Stockwell
Clapham North
Clapham Common
Clapham South
Balham
Tooting Bec
Tooting Broadway
Colliers Wood
South Wimbledon
Morden
Morden depot
South Morden
Sutton Common
Sutton
Cheam

Open stations

High Barnet branch

StationImageOpenedBranchAdditional information
High Barnet 1 April 1872High Barnet BranchTerminus. Northern line introduced 14 April 1940map 1
Totteridge & Whetstone1 April 1872High Barnet BranchNorthern line introduced 14 April 1940 map 2
Woodside Park 1 April 1872High Barnet BranchNorthern line introduced 14 April 1940map 3
West Finchley 1 March 1933High Barnet BranchNorthern line introduced 14 April 1940map 4
Mill Hill East (shuttle trains to and from Finchley Central)22 August 1867Mill Hill BranchClosed 11 September 1939, reopened 18 May 1941map 5
Finchley Central 22 August 1867High Barnet branchFirst Northern line train was 14 April 1940map 6
East Finchley22 August 1867High Barnet BranchFirst Northern line train was 3 July 1939map 7
Highgate22 August 1867High Barnet BranchFirst Northern line train was 19 January 1941map 8
Archway22 June 1907High Barnet BranchOriginally named Highgatemap 9
Tufnell Park22 June 1907High Barnet Branchmap 10
Kentish Town 1868High Barnet BranchFirst underground station opened on 22 June 1907. map 11

Edgware branch

StationImageOpenedBranchAdditional information
Edgware 18 August 1924Edgware BranchTerminusmap 12
Burnt Oak27 October 1924Edgware BranchOpened with its current name, then renamed approximately 4 years after its opening and was reverted to its original name in 1950.map 13
Colindale18 August 1924Edgware BranchUsed as a terminus for some trains travelling northmap 14
Hendon Central 19 November 1923Edgware Branchmap 15
Brent Cross19 November 1923Edgware BranchOpened as Brent, renamed 20 July 1976map 16
Golders Green 22 June 1907Edgware BranchOriginally a terminus, until now it is a terminus for some trainsmap 17
Hampstead22 June 1907Edgware BranchThe name "Heath Street" was originally proposed to name this station as seen on wall tilings on station platform wallsmap 18
Belsize Park22 June 1907Edgware BranchOne of eight London Underground stations which have deep-level air-raid shelters underneath them. The shelter was constructed in World War II to provide safe accommodation for service personnel.map 19
Chalk Farm22 June 1907Edgware Branchmap 20

Camden Town

StationImageOpenedBranchAdditional information
Camden Town22 June 1907Main "route"The junctions connecting the two northern branches of the Northern line to the two central branches are just south of Camden Town station. The station has a pair of platforms on each of the two northern branches, and southbound trains can depart toward either Charing Cross or Bank from either of the two southbound platforms without crossing over.map 21

Charing Cross branch

StationImageOpenedBranchAdditional information
Mornington Crescent22 June 1907Charing Cross branchThe station was planned to be named "Seymour Street" but was changed to Mornington Crescent. It was closed on 23 October 1992 to replace the lifts and was reopened on 27 April 1998.map 22
Euston (Charing Cross branch) 12 May 1907Charing Cross/Bank branchChange for southbound Northern line service via Bank from platform 6, and Victoria linemap 23
Warren Street22 June 1907Charing Cross branchChange for Victoria linemap 24
Goodge Street22 June 1907Charing Cross branchOpened as Tottenham Court Road, renamed 3 September 1908map 25
Tottenham Court Road 30 July 1900Charing Cross branchChange for Central linemap 26
Leicester Square15 December 1906Charing Cross branchChange for Piccadilly line map 27
Charing Cross 10 March 1906Charing Cross branchNorthern line platforms opened 22 June 1907, change for Bakerloo linemap 28
Embankment ( Embankment Pier)30 May 1870Charing Cross branchNorthern line extension opened 13 September 1926, change for Bakerloo, Circle and District linesmap 29
Waterloo ( Waterloo Pier, Festival Pier)8 August 1898Charing Cross branchNorthern line began 1926, change for Bakerloo, Jubilee and Waterloo & City linesmap 30

Bank branch

StationImageOpenedBranchAdditional information
Euston (Bank branch) 12 May 1907Bank branchChange for southbound Northern line service via Charing Cross from platform 2, and Victoria linemap 23
King's Cross St. Pancras ( Trains Gatwick and Luton)1863 (Northern line May 1907)Bank branchChange for Circle, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan, Piccadilly and Victoria linesmap 31
Angel1901Bank branchIt has the longest escalator on the entire Underground network. map 32
Old Street November 1901Bank branchNorthern line platforms opened on February 1904map 33
Moorgate 1865Bank branchChange for Circle line, Hammersmith & City & Metropolitan linesmap 34
Bank 25 February 1900Bank branchLinked with Monument by escalator 18 September 1933, change for Central and Waterloo & City lines.map 35
London Bridge ( Trains to Gatwick and Luton) ( London Bridge City Pier) 25 February 1900Bank branchChange for Jubilee linemap 36
Borough18 December 1890Bank branchmap 37
Elephant & Castle 18 December 1890Bank branchChange for Bakerloo linemap 38
Kennington18 December 1890Main routeSouthbound trains on the Charing Cross branch often terminate here, which has a terminal loop.map 39

Main line

StationImageOpenedBranchAdditional information
Oval18 December 1890Main routemap 40
Stockwell4 November 1890Main routeChange for Victoria line. Originally a terminus until 1900, when the line was extended to Clapham Common. The station was resited south of the original one. Formerly a depot was present branched off from the current southbound track. It is one of the eight stations that have a deep level air-raid shelter. map 41
Clapham NorthJune 1900Main routeOne of the two remaining stations to have an island platform underground. It is also one of the eight stations that have a deep level air-raid shelter.map 42
Clapham CommonJune 1900Main routeOriginal terminus until 1926. It is also one of the two remaining stations to have an island platform underground. It is also one of the eight stations that have a deep level air-raid shelter.map 43
Clapham South13 September 1926Main routeIt is one of the eight stations that have a deep level air-raid shelter.map 44
Balham 6 December 1926Main routemap 45
Tooting Bec13 September 1926Main routeOpened as Trinity Road, renamed 1 October 1950map 46
Tooting Broadway13 September 1926Main routeUsed as a terminus for some trains heading southmap 47
Colliers Wood13 September 1926Main routemap 48
South Wimbledon13 September 1926Main routeOpened as South Wimbledon (Merton). The suffix gradually fell out of use but still can be seen on some platform signage.map 49
Morden 13 September 1926Main routeTerminusmap 50

Closed stations

Permanently closed stations

Resited stations

  • Stockwell – new platforms resited immediately to the south of its predecessor with the 1922–1924 upgrade of the line.
  • Euston – Northbound City branch platform resited on new alignment parallel to northbound Victoria line, with previous island platform converted to a single platform.
  • Angel – old island platform converted into a single platform, and a new alignment opened in 1992, along with a new entrance.
  • London Bridge – the northbound tunnel and platform converted into a concourse, and a new northbound tunnel and platform built in the late 1990s to increase the platform and circulation areas in preparation for the opening of the Jubilee line.

Abandoned plans

Northern Heights stations not transferred from LNER

Bushey Extension stations not constructed

Infrastructure

Rolling stock

When the line opened, it was served by 1906 Stock. These were replaced by 1938 stock as part of the New Works Programme, later supplemented with identical 1949 Stock. When the Piccadilly line was extended to Heathrow Airport in the 1970s, its 1959 Stock and 1956 Stock (prototypes of the 1959 Stock) trains were transferred to the Northern line. As there were not enough 1956 and 1959 Stock trains to replace the Northern line's 1938 Stock fleet, they were supplemented with newly built 1972 Mark 1 Stock trains, which all served the line at the same time. A few 1972 Mark 2 stock trains also ran on this line until going to the Jubilee and now the Bakerloo where they remain in service. The few 1956 Stock trains were briefly replaced by 1962 Stock transferred from the Central line in 1995, before the entire Northern line fleet was replaced with 1995 Stock between 1997 and 1999.

Today, all Northern line trains consist of 1995 Stock in the Underground livery of red, white and blue. In common with the other deep-level lines, the trains are the smaller of the two loading gauges used on the system. 1995 stock has automated announcements and quick-close doors. If the proposed split of the line takes place (initial estimates of 2018 having been abandoned to focus on completion of the Battersea and Nine Elms extension work), 19 new trains will be added to the existing fleet of 106 trains,[32] though additional trains beyond the extra 19 trains may be required to provide a full service for the new Battersea extension.

Tunnels

Although two other London Underground lines operate fully underground, the Northern line is unusual in that it is a deep-level tube line that serves the outer suburbs of South London yet there is only one station above ground (Morden tube station) while the rest of this part of the line is deep below ground. The short section to Morden depot is also above ground. This is partly because its southern extension into the outer suburbs was not done by taking over an existing surface line as was generally the case with routes like the Central, Jubilee and Piccadilly lines. Apart from the core central underground tunnels, part of the section between Hendon and Colindale is also underground. As bicycles are not allowed in tunnel sections (even if no station is in that section) as they would hinder evacuation, they are limited to High Barnet – East Finchley, the Mill Hill East branch, Edgware – Colindale and Hendon Central – Golders Green.[33] There are also time-based restrictions for the sections where bicycles are allowed.[33]

The tunnel from Morden to East Finchley via Bank, 17 miles 528 yards (27.841 km),[2] was for a time the longest in the world. The Channel Tunnel linking the UK and France together is now longer.

Depots

The Northern line is serviced by four depots. The main one is at Golders Greenmap 51, adjacent to Golders Green tube station, while the second, at Morden,map 52 is south of Morden tube station and is the larger of the two. The other two are at Edgware and Highgate. The Highgate depot is on the former LNER branch to Alexandra Palace. There was originally a depot at Stockwell but it closed in 1915. There are sidings at High Barnet for stabling trains overnight.

Future

Battersea extension

The Northern line is currently being extended to serve the redevelopment of Battersea Power Station. Partially funded by private developers, the £1.2bn[34] project will extend the Charing Cross branch of the line for 3.2 km (2.0 mi) from Kennington to Battersea Power Station, with an intermediate stop at Nine Elms.[35][36] Approved by Wandsworth Council in 2010,[37] and Transport for London in 2014,[35] the construction of the line began in 2015. Tunnelling for the project was completed in 2017, with the extension estimated to open in 2020.[34][36]

Provision will be made for a future onward connection to Clapham Junction railway station by reserving a path running beneath Battersea Park.[38]

Northern line split

TfL has long aspired to split the Northern line into two separate routes.[39][40] Running trains between all combinations of branches and the two central sections, as at present, means only 24 trains an hour can run through each of the central sections at peak times, because merging trains have to wait for each other at the junctions at Camden Town and Kennington.[41] Completely segregating the routes could allow 36 trains an hour on all parts of the line.[41] TfL has already separated the Charing Cross and Bank branches during off-peak periods; however, four trains per hour still run to and from Morden via Charing Cross in the peak, and the northern branches to Edgware and High Barnet cannot be separated until Camden Town station is upgraded to cope with the numbers of passengers changing trains.[41]

In 2005 London Underground failed to secure planning permission for a comprehensive upgrade plan for Camden Town tube station that would have involved demolition of the existing station entrance and several other surface-level buildings, all within a conservation area.[42][43] New plans were submitted in 2015, which avoid the existing station entrance and the conservation area by building a second entrance and interchange tunnels to the north, mostly on the site of a subsequently vacated Infant school.[43] If the approval is given, the upgrading work is expected to begin in 2020 and complete in 2024.[44]

  • In his debut novel Ghostwritten, David Mitchell characterises the Northern line as "the psycho of the family".[45]
  • The Bloc Party song "Waiting For the 7.18" references the Northern line as "the loudest".[46]
  • As part of a series of twelve books tied to the twelve lines of the London Underground, A Northern Line Minute focuses on the Northern line.[47]
  • The Nick Drake song "Parasite" references the Northern Line.[48]
  • The 1982 Robyn Hitchcock song "Fifty Two Stations" begins, "There's fifty-two stations on the Northern Line/None of them is yours, one of them is mine."[49]

See also

Maps

References

Notes

  1. A "tube" railway is an underground railway constructed in a cylindrical tunnel by the use of a tunnelling shield, usually deep below ground level.
  2. The seven companies were 1. the City & South London Railway, 2. the Charing Cross, Euston & Hampstead Railway, 3. the Edgware, Highgate & London Railway, 4. the Edgware & Hampstead Railway, 5. the Watford & Edgware Railway, 6. The Wimbledon & Sutton Railway and 7. the Great Northern & City Railway.
  3. The stations that the C&SLR were to serve on the W&SR, would not have included all those subsequently built by the Southern Railway. South Morden (not built), Sutton Common, Cheam (not built) and Sutton, would have been served, but Morden South, St Helier and West Sutton were not part of the UERL's plan.

Citations

  1. "LU Performance Data Almanac". Transport for London. 2011–2012. Archived from the original on 3 August 2012. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
  2. "Northern line facts". Transport for London. n.d. Retrieved 12 March 2012.
  3. "Which London Underground line is the fastest? | CityMetric". www.citymetric.com. Retrieved 9 February 2019.
  4. Smith, Rebecca (29 January 2018). "Northern Line passengers to get quicker and more frequent journeys as TfL boosts services to tackle crowding on busiest Tube line". City AM. London. Archived from the original on 30 January 2018. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  5. "No. 28665". The London Gazette. 22 November 1912. p. 8798.
  6. "No. 27380". The London Gazette. 26 November 1901. p. 8200.
  7. "No. 32770". The London Gazette. 24 November 1922. pp. 8314–8315.
  8. "Underground Journeys: Moving Underground". www.architecture.com. Royal Institute of British Architects. Archived from the original on 4 May 2011. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
  9. "Underground Journeys: South Wimbledon". www.architecture.com. Royal Institute of British Architects. Archived from the original on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
  10. Wolmar 2004, "Reaching Out", p. 225.
  11. Robert Graves and Alan Hodge, "The Long Weekend," p. 192 ISBN 0393311368
  12. Rails through the Clay; Croome & Jackson; London; 2nd ed; 1993; p228
  13. "London Tubes' New Names – Northern and Central Lines". The Times (47772): 12. 25 August 1937. Retrieved 18 May 2009.(subscription required)
  14. Beard 2002, pp. 90–92.
  15. "Call for action on Northern Line". BBC News. 12 October 2005. Retrieved 10 June 2008.
  16. Stebbings, Peter (11 September 2006). "Five more years of Northern line pain". This Is Local London. Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 26 August 2008.
  17. "Travel Delays as Tube Line Shut". BBC News. London. 13 October 2005. Retrieved 30 June 2008.
  18. "No Service on the Northern Line" (Press release). Transport for London. 13 October 2005. Retrieved 30 June 2008.
  19. "Map of Upgrades" (PDF). Tube Lines. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 April 2008. Retrieved 30 June 2008.
  20. "Runaway train on London Tube's Northern Line". BBC News. 13 August 2010. Retrieved 18 August 2010.
  21. Runaway of an engineering train from Highgate 13 August 2010 (Technical report). RAIB. 2011. 09-2011.
  22. Gareth Corfield (9 August 2016). "London's 'automatic' Tube trains suffered 750 computer failures last year". The Register. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
  23. "Network Tests for New Signalling Systems" (Press release). Tube Lines. 24 August 2005. Archived from the original on 5 January 2008.
  24. "Operational and Financial Performance Report and Investment Programme Report – Third Quarter, 2012/13" (PDF). Transport for London. 6 February 2013.
  25. "Northern line upgrade one step closer" (Press release). Transport for London. 26 February 2013.
  26. "Mayor of London - Transport Commitments" (PDF).
  27. Kessell, Clive. "LU Northern line goes CBTC". Retrieved 5 October 2019.
  28. "The Night Tube". Transport for London. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
  29. "The Night Tube". Transport for London. n.d.
  30. Topham, Gwyn (27 August 2015). "London night tube plan suspended". The Guardian. London.
  31. "Twin Peaks: Timetable Changes on the Northern Line". London Reconnections. 14 January 2015.
  32. Abbot 2010, pp. 57–58.
  33. "Bicycle on Tube map" (PDF). Transport for London. June 2013. Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  34. "Tunnelling work to extend Tube's Northern Line to Battersea completed". Evening Standard. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  35. Matters, Transport for London | Every Journey. "Northern line extension to Battersea gets go-ahead". Transport for London. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  36. Matters, Transport for London | Every Journey. "Northern line extension". Transport for London. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  37. "Battersea Power Station scheme approved" (Press release). London Borough of Wandsworth. 11 November 2010. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
  38. Henderson, Jamie (23 June 2013). "Clapham Junction next for Northern Line says London Assembly member". Wandsworth Guardian. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  39. "Transport 2025 – Transport Vision for a Growing World" (PDF). Transport for London. 11 November 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 21 July 2008.
  40. Lydall, Ross (12 May 2010). "Northern line service divided in £312m bid to end overcrowding". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
  41. "Twin Peaks: Timetable Changes on the Northern Line". London Reconnections. 14 January 2015.
  42. "Camden Town Redevelopment". Alwaystouchout.com. 25 January 2006. Retrieved 30 June 2008.
  43. Bull, John (14 October 2015). "Second Time Lucky: Rebuilding Camden Town Station". London Reconnections.
  44. "TfL Camden Station Consultation" (PDF). Transport for London. p. 10.
  45. TJ Dawe. "Literary Excerpt: David Mitchell and the Character of the London Underground Lines".
  46. "BlocParty.net - Waiting For The 7.18". Archived from the original on 15 April 2013.
  47. "A Northern Line Minute, The Northern Line by William Leith". Penguin Books Limited. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  48. "Parasite".
  49. "Fifty Two Stations".

Bibliography

  • Abbott, James (February 2010). "Northern Line split planned". Modern Railways. 67 (737). ISSN 0026-8356.
  • Beard, Tony (2002). By Tube Beyond Edgware. Capital Transport. ISBN 978-1-85414-246-7.
  • Blake, Jim; James, Jonathan (1993). Northern Wastes: Scandal of the Uncompleted Northern Line. London: North London Transport Society. ISBN 978-0-946383-04-7.
  • Demuth, Tim (2004). The Spread of London's Underground (2 ed.). London: Capital Transport Publishing. ISBN 978-1-85414-277-1.
  • Horne, Mike (1987). Northern Line: A Short History. London: Douglas Rose. ISBN 978-1-870354-00-4.
  • Horne, Mike; Bayman, Bob (2009). The Northern Line: An Illustrated History (3 ed.). London: Capital Transport Publishing. ISBN 978-1-85414-326-6.
  • Lee, Charles Edward (1973). Northern Line. London: London Transport. ISBN 978-0-85329-044-5.
  • Lee, Charles Edward (1967). Sixty Years of the Northern. London: London Transport. OCLC 505166556.
  • Lee, Charles Edward (1957). Fifty Years of the Hampstead Tube. London: London Transport. OCLC 23376254.
  • Murphy, Simon (2005). Northern Line Extensions: Golders Green to Edgware, 1922–24. London: The History Press. ISBN 978-0-7524-3498-8.
  • Wolmar, Christian (2004). The Subterranean Railway: How the London Underground Was Built and How It Changed the City Forever. London: Atlantic Books. ISBN 978-1-84354-023-6.

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