Chronography of London Underground

Page last modified 30 August 2023

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London Underground (& tramways etc.) For other London railways, main line and suburban. see GB railways.

Live tube map,


Railway opening, closing, dates have been moved to the maps being published on Bookshop, UK changes.


For general underground (man made or man used sites) matters check out Subterranea Britannica,

See also underground-themed images here.


1)      Click here for map of London�s pre-1952 tram network, maximum extent, also showing proposed tram lines

2)      Click Here for more events relating to London

3)      Click here for How Deep is Your Tube Station. Map of depth/elevation of London tube stations, both absolute (to sea level) and relative (to ground level. Also which stations are vulnerable to a 10 metre tidal surge.

4)      Proposed Northern Line Extension from Edgware.

5)      Proposed Northern Line Extension, Edgware, general map

6)      Image of Chiswick Park station, 1880s and now.


24 May 2022, London�s Elizabeth Line opened. It runs from Reading to Shenfield, although passengers initially have to change at Paddington.

19 August 2016, A 24-hour service was introduced on parts of London Underground�s Victoria and Central Lines.

2009, Work on London�s Crossrail began.

2001, Lots Road power station, which had generated electricity for the London Underground, became redundant.

17 December 1981, The Law Lords ruled the Greater London Council�s cheap fares policy, effectively subsidised from rates, was illegal.


Rationalisation of services due to moderrnisation

31 October 1981, Blake Hall station on the Central Line, London Underground, closed. It had been the least-used station on the network, with an average 6 passengers a day.

4 October 1964, Services on the Moorgate to Finsbury Park line, north London, were cut back to Drayton Park to allow for Victoria Line trains at Finsbury Park, see 1 September 1968.

9 April 1964. The first driverless trains ran on the London Underground. They were first trialled on the Central Line between Woodford and Hainault.

5 January 1964, The first automatic ticket barrier on the London Underground was installed, at Stamford Brook station.

1963, Construction of London�s Victoria Line began.

20 August 1962, The UK Government approved plans for a new London Underground line form Victoria to Walthamstow.

9 September 1961, London Metropolitan line services north of Amersham were withdrawn. The last steam passenger services ran on the London Underground; however some freight and works trains on L U continued to be steam hauled until 1971.

1960, London�s Metropolitan line was electrified from Rickmansworth to Amersham and Chesham.

27 September 1960. Bank Underground Station, London, opened the first travelator, or moving pavement, in Europe.

30 November 1947. In London, steam trains from Liverpool Street ceased to run on the Chigwell to Newbury Park loop.


5 May 1947, In London, Central Line trains began running to Leytonstone.

4 December 1946, In London, Central Line trains began running to Stratford.

1 July 1946. London�s Aldwych to Holborn spur line re-opened.It had been closed during the War and used as an air raid shelter


London Underground during World War Two - for full history of WW2 see France-Germany

3 March 1943, 173 people were crushed to death whilst descending the stairs into Bethnal Green Underground station to shelter during an air raid. A woman at the top of the stairs, carrying a child, slipped and fell on those immediately in front of her, causing those below to lose their balance too.

11 January 1941, Bank Underground station, London, received a direct bomb hit during the Blitz. 51 died.

12 November 1940, Sloane Square London Underground station received a direct bomb hit just as a train was leaving in the evening. 35 people were known killed and 2 hospitalised (some estimate a death toll of 79) with three missing. Train services were running again 2 weeks after the event.

14 October 1940, At 8.02pm, a German World War Two bomb made a direct hit on Balham Underground station, where hundreds of people were sheltering from the air raid. Water rushed in as water mains and sewage pipes burst. 68 people were killed.

13 October 1940, Bounds Green Underground station was hit by a German bomb; 17 died and 20 were injured.

17 September 1940. Marble Arch became the first tube station to be hit by German bombs. 20 died and over 40 were injured.

1 February 1940. First class travel was abolished on London�s Metropolitan and District Railway. From then on, all travel on London transport was single-class.


20 November 1939, Bakerloo Line trains began through running to Stanmore from Baker Street.

8 March 1939, London Transport collected four million used tickets, which were then analysed manually to see which were the most and least used routes, in order to plan for future development.

17 May 1938, London Underground train crash at Charing Cross, 6 killed.

1937, Rayners Lane station now handled 4 million passengers a year, compared to 22,000 a year in 1930, as �Metroland� housing spread out across Middlesex.

10/1935, The tram route from Shepherd�s Bush to Hounsow closed.

4 May 1935, London�s Leicester Square tube station opened.

1934, At Holborn, the Picadilly and Central lines were connected by a subway and escalators. Previously, passengers had to exit British Museum Station and cross High Holborn to change.

1 July 1933, The new London passenger Transport Board came into existence, coordinating all bus, tram and tube services within a radius of 20-30 miles of Charing Cross. Only main line rail services were excluded. The tube map was also reorganised according to a new design by Harry Beck. B3eck was paid 5 Guineas for his map, the style of ehicvh has been widely copied around the world, and not just for subway maps.

5 November 1932, London Transport changed the name of Gillespie Road station to Arsenal after the local football club.

10 December 1928, In London, the new Underground Station at Piccadilly Circus opened.

20 April 1924, The interchange at Camden Town between the City and South London Lines and the Northern Line to Golders Green, Highgate, came into use.

1 August 1917, London Underground extended the Bakerloo line with a new tube station at Stonebridge Park.

1915, London�s last horse tram route (Tower Bridge to Rotherhithe) was electrified.

22 March 1915, London Underground extended the Metropolitan line, with a new station at North Harrow

4 October 1911. Britain�s first escalators were introduced, connecting the District and Piccadilly lines at Earl�s Court station in London.

1906, Lots Road power station opened, for generationg power fot the London Underground.

10 March 1906, The Bakerloo Line, London, opened between Baker Street and Elephant and Castle.

1904, Coin operated ticket machines were introduced, saving time queueing.

1904, The street tramway from London was extended from Southall to Uxbridge through Hayes. Perivale station.

13 December 1904. London�s Metropolitan Railway went electric.

1903, Theelectric tram was extended from Isleworth to Kingston and Hampton Court. The Clapham to Tooting electric tramway opened.

6 February 1903, In the UK, a Royal Commission was set up to find a solution to London�s traffic jams. Options included new electric tramways, but these would take up valuable road space, or new tube lines, following the success of the �twopenny tube� opened in 1900 from Shepherds Bush to Bank (now the Central Line).

9 April 1902In London, the Underground Electric Railways Company was formed.

1901, Trams began running from Purley via Croydon to London; the service was withdrawn in 1951.

April 1901, London�s first electric tramway began operations, from Shepherds Bush along the Uxbridge Road to SActon and Kew, operated by London United Tramways Ltd.

30 July 1900, Shepherd�s Bush station, West London, opened as the western terminus of the Central Line.

8 August 1898, London�s Waterloo and City Railway opened.

18 December 1890, The Northern Line extension from Elephand and castle to Stockwell opened to public use (official opening of Stockwell Station by the future King Edward VII had been on 4 November 1890, but the public were not then admitted to the trains)

1876, The horse tramway from Shepherd�s Bush to Acton opened.

21 October 1896, James Greathead, engineer whose invention, known as the Greathead Shield, was crucial for the construction of the first London tube lines, died in Streatham, south London (born 6 August 1844 in South Africa).

13 December 1870, The tramway from Blackheath Hill to New Cross, London, opened.

9 May 1870, The North Metropolitan tramway, London, opened along the Mile End Road from Whitechapel Church to Bow Church, 4 km.

7 December 1869, The East London Railway opened from New Cross Gate to Wapping. It used a former pedestrian tunnel under the Thames that had opened in 1843. In 1876 a link with the Great Eastern Railway at Bishopsgate was opened. In 1880 a branch from Surrey Docks began operations. Until 1941 District Line trains from central London ran direct to New Cross via the St Marys Curve, just west of Whitechapel, but after that date the East London Line ran as a separate route, from Shoreditch.


First London Undeground Line; the Metropolitan Line, Paddington to Farringdon Street, 1853-69

1 March 1869, London�s Metropolitan Railway, opened 10 January 1863 and operating on both broad and standard gauge, changed to standard gauge only.

10 January 1863. London�s four mile long Metropolitan Railway was opened by Gladstone.The line had seven stations and ran from Paddington to Farringdon Street. It was aimed at relieving growing congestion on London�s streets. The railway company tried to relieve the public�s fears about breathing in sulphurous fumes by claiming they were beneficial.

1853, UK Parliament authorised construction of the 3.75 mile railway from Farringdon Street to Paddington. However construction did not start until 3/1860.


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