The Metropolitan Line is a sub-surface line that started running in 1863. On it’s first day, the line carried approximately 30,000 passengers. The Metropolitan line now runs from Aldgate to Amersham, with branches to Chesham, Uxbridge and Watford covering 66.7km and containing 34 stations. The Metropolitan Line is magenta on the London Underground map.
When the line started running in 1863, the railway began between Paddington and Farrington Street with wooden carriages and steam locomotives. In 1880 the line eventually extended as far as Verney Junction in Buckinghamshire, 80km away from central London. by the end of the 19th century, the railway shared tracks with the Great Central Railway route out of Marylebone. In 1933 the line was cut back to Aylesbury and the electric locomotives were replaced with steam locomotives. The steam hauled trains ran until 1961 when the line was electrified to Amersham and London Transport services to Aylesbury, Great Missenden, Wendover and Stoke Mandeville were withdrawn. The Hammersmith & City line was shown on the map as part of the Metropolitan line until 1990 when it appeared as a separate line.
Conditions of the line were smoke-filled with an invigorating atmosphere. These conditions lead to the King’s Cross fire of 1987 causing smoking to be banned on the trains. The King’s Cross fire in St. Pancras station was a fatal fire on the underground rail system that broke out on November 18, 1987, killing 31 people. The fire started in a Piccadilly Line escalator shaft which was build before WWII, made of highly flammable wooden steps.
Success of the Metropolitan led to the building of the District Line along Victoria Embankment and the creation of a Circle Line linking the district line to the metropolitan line.
66.8 million (2011/12) passenger journeys
Weekday – 186,271
Saturday – 75,503
Sunday – 44,821
Annual (mil) – 53.697