The Waterloo & City Line is the shortest underground, deep tube railway line with only two stations, Waterloo and Bank, and a total line length of 2.37km. It is unofficially known as The Drain. It was the second electric tube railway to open in London, after the City and South London Railway (now part of the Northern Line), in 1898. It was incorporated into the London Underground network in 1994 after being transferred from British Rail ownership. On the map it is Corporate Turquoise in colour.
It is the least used line, carrying only around 15 million passengers annually. The primary users of the line are commuters to the City of London from the South West of England via Waterloo main station. It takes four minutes to ride from end to end with trains running every 2.5 minutes during peak periods of the day.
The London and South Western Railway (LSWR) reached Waterloo Station in 1848, which was located a short distance from the principal commercial area of the City of London. The inconvenience of the location became a greater issue with regular business travel and increasing commuters. Many proposals were set forth but in 1881 an independent Waterloo and City Railway was promoted. In 1891, Parliament passed a bill to build an underground electric railway from Waterloo to the Mansion House in the City as an independent venture. In 1893, the Waterloo & City Railway Act obtained Royal Assent with the original wooden-built trains surviving until 1940 when they were replaced by specially designed tube-sized cars.
They used the Greathead system of shield excavation to construct the line, which involved cast iron segment lining. They also used compressed air while working and compressed air grouting behind the tunnel lining.
15.892 million (2011/12) passenger journeys
Weekday – 37,173
Saturday – 4,062
Sunday – closed (0)
Annual (mil) – 9.616