London Underground - London Underground Electrification - B

London Underground - B
London Underground Electrification
With the advent of electric Tube services (the Waterloo and City Railway and the Great Northern and City Railway), the Volks Electric Railway, in Brighton, and competition from electric trams, the pioneering Underground companies needed modernising. In the early 20th century, the District and Metropolitan railways needed to electrify and a joint committee recommended an AC system, the two companies co-operating because of the shared ownership of the inner circle.
The District, needing to raise the finance necessary, found an investor in the American Charles Yerkes who favoured a DC system similar to that in use on the City & South London and Central London railways. The Metropolitan Railway protested about the change of plan, but after arbitration by the Board of Trade, the DC system was adopted.
Underground Electric Railways Company Era
Yerkes soon had control of the District Railway and established the Underground Electric Railways Company of London (UERL) in 1902 to finance and operate three tube lines, the Baker Street and Waterloo Railway (Bakerloo), the Charing Cross, Euston and Hampstead Railway (Hampstead) and the Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway, (Piccadilly), which all opened between 1906 and 1907. When the "Bakerloo" was so named in July 1906, The Railway Magazine called it an undignified "gutter title". By 1907 the District and Metropolitan Railways had electrified the underground sections of their lines.
In January 1913, the UERL acquired the Central London Railway and the City & South London Railway, as well as many of London's bus and tram operators. Only the Metropolitan Railway, along with its subsidiaries the Great Northern & City Railway and the East London Railway, and the Waterloo & City Railway, by then owned by the main line London and South Western Railway, remained outside the Underground Group's control.
A joint marketing agreement between most of the companies in the early years of the 20th century included maps, joint publicity, through ticketing and UNDERGROUND signs, incorporating the first bullseye symbol, outside stations in Central London. At the time, the term Underground was selected from three other proposed names, 'Tube' and 'Electric' were both officially rejected.
Ironically, the term Tube was later adopted alongside the Underground. The Bakerloo line was extended north to Queen's Park to join a new electric line from Euston to Watford, but the First World War delayed construction and trains reached Watford Junction in 1917. During air raids in 1915 people used the tube stations as shelters. An extension of the Central line west to Ealing was also delayed by the war and was completed in 1920.
After the war, government-backed financial guarantees were used to expand the network and the tunnels of the City and South London and Hampstead railways were linked at Euston and Kennington, the combined service was not named the Northern line until later. The Metropolitan promoted housing estates near the railway with the "Metro-land" brand and nine housing estates were built near stations on the line.
Electrification was extended north from Harrow to Rickmansworth, and branches opened from Rickmansworth to Watford in 1925 and from Wembley Park to Stanmore in 1932. The Piccadilly line was extended north to Cockfosters and took over District line branches to Harrow (later Uxbridge) and Hounslow.
London Underground London Passenger Transport Board Era
In 1933, most of London's underground railways, tramway and bus services were merged to form the London Passenger Transport Board, which used the London Transport brand. The Waterloo & City Railway, which was by then in the ownership of the main line Southern Railway, remained with its existing owners. In the same year that the London Passenger Transport Board was formed, Harry Beck's diagrammatic tube map first appeared.
In the following years, the outlying lines of the former Metropolitan Railway closed, the Brill Tramway in 1935, and the line from Quainton Road to Verney Junction in 1936. The 1935–40 New Works Programme included the extension of the Central and Northern lines and the Bakerloo line to take over the Metropolitan's Stanmore branch. The Second World War suspended these plans after the Bakerloo line had reached Stanmore and the Northern line High Barnet and Mill Hill East in 1941.
Following bombing in 1940, passenger services over the West London line were suspended, leaving Olympia exhibition centre without a railway service until a District line shuttle from Earl's Court began after the war. After work restarted on the Central line extensions in east and west London, these were completed in 1949.
During the war many tube stations were used as air-raid shelters. They were not always a guarantee of safety however, on 11 January 1941 during the London Blitz, a bomb penetrated the booking hall of Bank Station, the blast from which killed 111 people, many of whom were sleeping in passage ways and on platforms.
On 3 March 1943, a test of the air-raid warning sirens, together with the firing of a new type of anti-aircraft rocket, resulted in a crush of people attempting to take shelter in Bethnal Green Underground station. A total of 173 people, including 62 children, died, making this both the worst civilian disaster in Britain during the Second World War, and the largest loss of life in a single incident on the London Underground network.
London Underground London Transport Executive and Board Era
On 1 January 1948, under the provisions of the Transport Act 1947, the London Passenger Transport Board was nationalised and renamed the London Transport Executive, becoming a subsidiary transport organisation of the British Transport Commission, which was formed on the same day.
Under the same act, the country's main line railways were also nationalised, and their reconstruction was given priority over the maintenance of the Underground and most of the unfinished plans of the pre-war New Works Programme were shelved or postponed.
The District line needed new trains and an unpainted aluminium train entered service in 1953, this becoming the standard for new trains. In the early 1960s, the Metropolitan line was electrified as far as Amersham, British Railways providing services for the former Metropolitan line stations between Amersham and Aylesbury.
In 1962, the British Transport Commission was abolished, and the London Transport Executive was renamed the London Transport Board, reporting directly to the Minister of Transport. Also during the 1960s, the Victoria line was dug under central London and, unlike the earlier tunnels, did not follow the roads above. The line opened in 1968–71 with the trains being driven automatically and magnetically encoded tickets collected by automatic gates gave access to the platforms.
London Underground Greater London Council Era
On 1 January 1970 responsibility for public transport within Greater London passed from central government to local government, in the form of the Greater London Council (GLC), and the London Transport Board was abolished. The London Transport brand continued to be used by the GLC.
On 28 February 1975, a southbound train on the Northern City Line failed to stop at its Moorgate terminus and crashed into the wall at the end of the tunnel, in the Moorgate tube crash. There were 43 deaths and 74 injuries, the greatest loss of life during peacetime on the London Underground. In 1976 the Northern City Line was taken over by British Rail and linked up with the main line railway at Finsbury Park, a transfer that had already been planned prior to the accident.
In 1979 another new tube, the Jubilee line, named in honour of Queen Elizabeth's Silver Jubilee, took over the Stanmore branch from the Bakerloo line, linking it to a newly constructed line between Baker Street and Charing Cross stations. Under the control of the GLC, London Transport introduced a system of fare zones for buses and underground trains that cut the average fare in 1981. Fares increased following a legal challenge but the fare zones were retained, and in the mid-1980s the Travelcard and the Capitalcard were introduced.
London Underground London Regional Transport Era
In 1984 control of London Buses and the London Underground passed back to central government with the creation of London Regional Transport (LRT), which reported directly to the Secretary of State for Transport, still retaining the London Transport brand.[78] One person operation had been planned in 1968, but conflict with the trade unions delayed introduction until the 1980s.
On 18 November 1987, fire broke out in an escalator at King's Cross St Pancras tube station. The resulting fire cost the lives of 31 people and injured a further 100. London Underground was strongly criticised in the aftermath for its attitude to fires underground, and publication of the report into the fire led to the resignation of senior management of both London Underground and London Regional Transport. Following the fire, substantial improvements to safety on the Tube were implemented - including the banning of smoking, removal of wooden escalators, installation of CCTV and fire detectors, as well as comprehensive radio coverage for the emergency services.
In April 1994, the Waterloo & City Railway, by then owned by British Rail and known as the Waterloo & City line, was transferred to the London Underground. In 1999, the Jubilee Line Extension project extended the Jubilee line from Green Park station through the growing Docklands to Stratford station. This resulted in the closure of the short section of tunnel between Green Park and Charing Cross stations.
The 11 new stations were designed to be "future-proof", with wide passageways, large quantities of escalators and lifts, and emergency exits. The stations were the first on the Underground to have platform edge doors, and were built to have step free access throughout. The stations have subsequently been praised as exemplary pieces of 20th century architecture.
London Underground Transport for London Era
In 2000, Transport for London (TfL) was created as an integrated body responsible for London's transport system. Part of the Greater London Authority, the TfL Board is appointed by the Mayor of London, who also sets the structure and level of public transport fares in London. The day-to-day running of the corporation is left to the Commissioner of Transport for London.
TfL eventually replaced London Regional Transport, and discontinued the use of the London Transport brand in favour of its own brand. The transfer of responsibility was staged, with transfer of control of London Underground delayed until July 2003, when London Underground Limited became an indirect subsidiary of TfL.
In the early 2000s, London Underground was reorganised in a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) as part of a project to upgrade and modernise the system. Private infrastructure companies (infracos) would upgrade and maintain the railway, and London Underground would run the train service. One infraco – Metronet – went into administration in 2007, and TfL took over the other – Tube Lines – in 2010.
Despite this, substantial investment to upgrade and modernise the Tube has taken place - with new trains (such as London Underground S7 and S8 Stock), new signalling, upgraded stations (such as King's Cross St Pancras) and improved accessibility (such as at Green Park). Small changes to the Tube network occurred in the 2000s, with extensions to Heathrow Terminal 5, new station at Wood Lane and the Circle line changed from serving a closed loop around the centre of London to a spiral also serving Hammersmith in 2009.
In July 2005, four coordinated terrorist attacks took place, three of them occurring on the Tube network. It was the UK's deadliest terrorist incident since 1988.
Electronic ticketing in the form of the contactless Oyster card was first introduced in 2003, with payment using contactless banks cards introduced in September 2014. In 2019, over 12 million Oyster cards and 35 million contactless cards were used, generating around £5bn in ticketing revenue.
During the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Underground saw record ridership levels, with over 4.3 million people using the Tube on some days. This record was subsequently beaten in later years, with 4.82 million riders in December 2015. In 2013, the Underground celebrated its 150th anniversary, with celebratory events such as steam trains and installation of a unique Labyrinth artwork at each station.
Under TfL, London's public transport network became more unified, with existing suburban rail lines across London upgraded and rebranded as London Overground from 2007, with the former East London line became part of the Overground network in 2010. Many Overground stations interchange with Underground ones, and Overground lines were added onto the Tube map.
In the 2010s, the £18.8bn Crossrail project built a new east–west railway tunnel under central London. The project involved rebuilding and expanding several central Underground stations including Tottenham Court Road and Whitechapel. By increasing rail capacity, the line aims to reduce overcrowding on the Tube and cut cross-London journey times. The railway opened as the Elizabeth line in May 2022. Although not part of the Underground, the line connects with several Underground stations.
In 2020, passenger numbers fell significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic and 40 stations were temporarily closed. The Northern Line Extension opened in September 2021, extending the Northern line from Kennington to Battersea Power Station via Nine Elms. The extension was privately funded, with contributions from developments across the Battersea Power Station, Vauxhall and Nine Elms areas.
London Underground Overview
London Underground Locale: Greater London, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire
London Underground Transit Type: Rapid transit
London Underground Number of Lines: 11
London Underground Number of Stations: 272 served (262 owned)
London Underground Daily Ridership: 3.15 million (January 2023)
London Underground Annual Ridership: 1.026 billion (2022/2023)
London Underground Began Operation: 10 January 1863, 160 years ago
London Underground Operator(s): London Underground Limited
London Underground Reporting Marks: LT (National Rail)
London Underground System Length: 402 km (250 mi)
London Underground Track Gauge:
1,435 mm (4 ft 8+1⁄2 in) standard gauge (1863–pres.)
7 ft (2,134 mm) Brunel gauge (1863–1869)
London Underground Electrification: 630 V DC fourth rail
London Underground Average Speed: 33 km/h (21 mph)
Rail Holidays
Rail Vacations
Luxury Trains
Luxury Tours
International Trains
International Tours
home Rail-Pass & Train Tickets & International Rail Holidays Hotel Booking & Hotel Reservations & Hotel Accomodation B&B Booking & B&B Reservations & B&B Accommodation Hostel Booking & Youth Hostel Reservations & Hostel Accommodation Chalet Rental & Holiday Homes & Vacation Homes Ski Pass Booking & Ski Pass Reservations & Ski Lift Pass Flight Tickets & Airline Reservations & Flight Booking Ferry Tickets & Ferry Booking & Ferry Reservations Car Rental Booking & Car Hire Reservations Excursions & Days Out & Day Trips & Theme Parks Rail Pass Booking & Rail Pass Reservations & Eurail & Interrail Rail Tickets & Rail Reservations & International Train Tickets Weekend Trips & Weekend Breaks & Weekend Away  Travel Insurance & Business Travel Insurance Eurotunnel Tickets & Eurotunnel Le Shuttle Reservations