District Line

District Line

The District Line runs east and west across Greater London. It serves 60 stations along 40 miles (64 km) of track, however only 25 are actually underground. It is a sub-surface service with the railways just below the surface and trains of a similar size to those of the British main lines. It is also the only line to cross the river by way of bridges. On the map it is green in colour.

The District Line is  one of the most complex lines in the system to operate with a single route eastwards to Upminster and three branches to the west leading to Ealing, Broadway, Wimbledon and Richmond. In addition, it shares parts of it’s line with the Hammersmith & City and Circle Line. The line has a maximum number of trains in service of 76 at any one time.

The first part of the district line started operation in 1868 between South Kensington and Westminster. The first services were operated using wooden carriages hauled by steam locomotives with the electric services began in 1905.

The District Line was the second company to operate underground railway services in London, and like its predecessor, the Metropolitan Railway, its history is inextricably linked with that of the Circle Line. It was first formed to function as an underground ‘inner circle’ connecting London’s railway termini. The line grew as ridership increased, therefore it moved away from solely acting as an ‘inner circle’ and expanded past the boundaries of central London. Therefore, there was still a need for a ‘circle line’; the District Line was extended in stages beyond Westminster in 1884 enabling the final link of the present day Circle Line to be completed. This link included an extension via Aldgate East to Whitechapel.

There are a couple of special things about the district line. At the east end station, classical music is played through the public announcement system to detour loitering. At the Temple Station, on the subsurface level, there is an old heritage map displayed near the station entrance that was used as a journey planner before the Henry Beck map was introduced in the 1930s. During the construction of Sloan Square one of London’s rivers, River Westborn, was in the way of construction. As a result it was rerouted onto a pipe running above the train, and it still runs through the pipes above the train today.

Weekday – 556, 252
Saturday – 353, 750
Sunday – 233, 089
Annual (mil)- 172, 879


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