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"Incidentally, modern London is so honeycombed with tubes that no further tunnelling appears to be necessary."

- London's Underground (pub. 1951)
F. Henry Howson

LogoJubilee Line

A Modern Tube

[last modified 2013-03-12]

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History
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Dates
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Features
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Services
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Topology
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Layout
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Depots
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Connections
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Rolling stock

History

The Jubilee Line is composed of five sections, each with a very different history.

From Finchley Road to Stanmore was originally part of the Metropolitan Railway. The Metropolitan's main line from Baker Street to the north ran between Finchley Road and Wembley Park, where the branch to Stanmore curved off. By the late 1920s the Metropolitan was suffering from having several branches feeding into a single pair of tracks south of Finchley Road, with three stations before Baker Street to ensure that express trains could not get a clear run, and the Stanmore branch was only going to make this worse. Clearly drastic action was needed.

The solution chosen was to build tube tunnels to relieve the worst section. The first proposal was to dig these from Edgware Road (1) to Kilburn, and the indicators on the platforms at Edgware Road were even modified to show destinations such as Watford. A second proposal was to start west of Great Portland Street and dig to Finchley Road. Both of these proposals would have run Metropolitan services through the tubes. But the final choice was more radical. New tubes were built, but from the Bakerloo Line station at Baker Street and surfacing at Finchley Road, while two of the Metropolitan tracks from there to Wembley Park, plus the Stanmore branch, were transferred to the Bakerloo. The three Metropolitan subsurface stations between Baker Street and Finchley Road were closed, replaced by two new tube stations. From Finchley Road to Wembley Park the fast and slow pairs were rearranged, with the Bakerloo tracks between the Metropolitan ones - only Bakerloo trains stopped at the five intermediate stations[1] - and a diveunder was constructed to take the Bakerloo tracks to the branch under the southbound Metropolitan tracks. The Bakerloo then operated two branches, one to Stanmore and one to Watford.

By the 1970s the southern end of the Bakerloo was overcrowded for the same reason that the Metropolitan had been - two busy suburban branches were feeding a single route in the central London area - and it was decided to build a new line to relieve it. Phase 1 of this line - initially named the Fleet Line - would take over the Stanmore branch and extend it via Bond Street and Green Park to Charing Cross. From there, it would extend along Fleet Street to the Docklands, and eventually to Lewisham (later other routes would be proposed). During the Queen's Silver Jubilee year of 1977 the name was changed from "Fleet" to "Jubilee" for no particularly good reason. Charing Cross station was sited between the existing but separate Trafalgar Square station on the Bakerloo Line and Strand station on the Northern Line, and the opportunity was taken to merge the three into one.

In the end, only phase 1 of this original plan was completed, though the tunnels reach nearly to Aldwych, which would have been the next station. A short section of tunnel was also built just north of New Cross (1) as an experiment in tunnelling techniques (about 300m long, the tunnel ran under a disused link from the west side of the station to the East London Line and would have formed part of the northbound line from Lewisham).

With the renovation of the Docklands area, the existing rail services (the DLR) seemed overloaded, and it was decided to extend the Jubilee to serve that area. The extension branches off from the original line at Green Park and runs in tube a little way south of the Thames eastwards to the Docklands area, but continuing straight ahead when the river loops around the Isle of Dogs. The tubes then turn northwards and emerge north of the river, having crossed it three times in three stations. Finally, from Canning Town to Stratford a new surface line was built to one side of the existing NLR route. Now that the extension is open, the original line from Green Park to Charing Cross has been abandoned (but retained to terminate empty stock workings and for occasional emergency use). The interchange facilities between the Bakerloo and Northern Lines at Charing Cross remain.

Happily (and unlike other comparable projects) there were no deaths or serious injuries during construction of the extension, but the project was dogged with misfortune anyway. North Greenwich station was a key transport link for the Millennium Dome, and so it was seen as essential - for political reasons - that the extension was finished in 1999. In order to manage this the new section was opened in stages starting at the east end, meaning that services were run in two parts for some months. The moving block signalling originally planned also had to be replaced by conventional signals, and the hurried work is still the source of frequent problems.

A different form of moving block signalling - Seltrac S40, similar to that used on the Docklands Light Railway - is now used on most of the line (the exception being between Stanmore and Dollis Hill), having first come into use in January 2008.

[1] Except for some peak hour Metropolitan services which lasted until the end of 1940, and for a few trains at the start and end of the current Metropolitan service.

Dates

key to symbols

1847-06-14 [1] Canning Town (1) to [Stratford Southern Junction] opened [North Woolwich Railway, later NLR @@@ see Docklands]
+ Stratford High Street
1854-10-16 0 [Stratford Southern Junction] to Stratford opened [NLR/GER joint service]
1879-06-30 0 West Hampstead to Finchley Road opened [Metropolitan]
1879-11-24 1 Willesden Green to West Hampstead opened [Metropolitan]
1880-08-02 [1] {Wembley Park} to Willesden Green opened [Metropolitan]
+ Neasden
1888- - Canning Town (1)
+ Canning Town (2)
1894-05-12 + Wembley Park
1909-10-01 + Dollis Hill
1932-12-10 [2] Stanmore to Wembley Park opened [Metropolitan]
1934-12-16 + Queensbury
1939-11-19 Stanmore to Wembley Park withdrawn [Metropolitan]
1939-11-20 Stanmore to Finchley Road started [Bakerloo]
2 Finchley Road to Baker Street opened [Bakerloo]
1957-05-04 - Stratford High Street
1979-04-30 Stanmore to Baker Street withdrawn [Bakerloo]
1979-05-01 Stanmore to Baker Street started
2 Baker Street to Green Park opened
2 Green Park to Charing Cross opened
1979-05-14 + West Ham
1989-03- - Swiss Cottage, St. John's Wood (escalator replacement)
1989-05- + Swiss Cottage, St. John's Wood
1993-02-16 - Canons Park, northbound only
1993-05-15 + Canons Park, northbound only
1993-05-16 - Canons Park, southbound only
1993-08-08 - Canons Park, northbound only
1993-09-13 + Canons Park
1994-05-28 {Canning Town (1)} to Stratford closed [NR]
1995-10-29 [1] Canning Town (1) to Stratford reopened [NR]
+ West Ham
1999-05-14 0 North Greenwich to Canning Town (1) opened
Canning Town (1) to Stratford started
1999-09-17 2 Bermondsey to North Greenwich opened
1999-09-24 [0] Waterloo to Bermondsey opened
1999-10-07 + London Bridge
1999-11-19 Green Park to Charing Cross closed
1999-11-20 [0] Green Park to Waterloo opened
+ Southwark
1999-12-22 + Westminster
2000-02-12 - Baker Street (escalator repairs)
2000-03-03 + Baker Street
2002-09-01 - Baker Street, northbound only (escalator repairs)[2]
2003-02-03 + Baker Street, northbound only
2003-10-17 - Bermondsey, eastbound only (platform door problems)
2003-10-22 + Bermondsey, eastbound only
2004-09-25 - Wembley Park, southbound only (station reconstruction)
2005-02-11 - Wembley Park, northbound only (station reconstruction)
2005-02-14 + Wembley Park, southbound only
2005-05-29 + Wembley Park, northbound only
2005-12-24 Entire line closed (modifications for longer trains)
2005-12-29 [24] Entire line reopened
X Stratford High Street
2005-12-31 + Neasden
2006-12-09 Canning Town (1) to Stratford withdrawn [NR]
2011-08-31 Canning Town (1) to Stratford started [DLR]
+ Star Lane, Abbey Road, Stratford High Street

[2] The station reopened each weekend, but was closed on weekdays. From 2003-01-13 the station also opened at about 20:00 each weekday. From 2003-02-03 it also opened from 10:00 to 15:30. It reopened fully on 2003-05-02.

Features

The line starts on the surface at Stratford, where the Jubilee and the NR North London Line platforms are below the Central Line, DLR, and GER platforms. It runs south along the west side of the North London Line to Canning Town and then dives into tube a little south of the station. It then turns westwards and runs in roughly a straight line to Green Park where it meets the original route from Charing Cross (the eastbound track diving under the original route). It now turns north again towards Finchley Road, emerging at the south end of the station. From there to Wembley Park it runs on the surface between the tracks of the Metropolitan Line (with the National Rail line from Marylebone to the west of both), after which it follows its own route to Stanmore, diving under the southbound Metropolitan tracks to do so (see the description of the Metropolitan Line for further details).

The original Bakerloo station at Baker Street was built on two levels so that the line immediately west of the station could fit under a narrow road. When the Stanmore branch opened, this allowed a second southbound platform to be added on the same level (with cross-passages between the two) so that, should trains arrive at the same time from both branches, one could wait for the other in a station rather than a tunnel; the northbound retained a single platform with a junction to the west of the station (the Stanmore tube rises alongside the original one for about 300m before curving over the top of it). When the Jubilee was built the obvious place to put its new northbound platform was level with the existing one and above the southbound (again with cross-passages between them). Because their centrelines cross over, this could technically be described as right-hand running.

    Jubilee (ex-Bakerloo)
    towards St. John's Wood
           \  \
            \  \
             *============================<======\\
              \  \                   ###########  \\
               \  \                                \\
                \  \---------------------->------*==\\==\\
                 \                   ###########  \  \\  \\
                  \                  ###########   \  \\  \\
    Bakerloo   >---\---------------------->---------*--\\---------> Bakerloo
    towards         \                                   \\  \\      towards
    Marylebone <-----\-------------\ ###########   /-----\\-------< Regent's
                      \-------------*-----<-------/       \\  \\    Park
                                                           \\  \\
                                                            \\  \\
    = and \\ show new track                       Jubilee towards Bond Street

[This diagram distorts reality slightly; the northbound platforms are almost above the southbound, and in each direction the platforms are connected by cross-passages which are longer at the northern/western end.]

The line crosses the Thames in tube a total of four times: three times in three stations in the Docklands area (partly because of the loop in the river) and once at Westminster. At Westminster the two tunnels were placed one above the other to keep them further from the Clock Tower (which contains "Big Ben") and Westminster Bridge. Like all new lines of recent decades, the route is designed to provide interchange at existing stations on several lines. Since there was no suitable location on the East London Line, a new interchange was built at Canada Water. From Charing Cross to Baker Street the tube diameter is 3.81m (12'6") to reduce the air resistance to trains. From Canning Town to Green Park Junction this is further increased to between 4.35m (14'3") and 4.4m (14'5") to allow for an emergency walkway beside the track. The stations from Westminster to North Greenwich are fitted with glass doors at the platform edge to assist in controlling air circulation.

The line is described as east/westbound from Stratford to Green Park Junction, and north/southbound from Charing Cross to Stanmore.

Services

At the eastern end all trains terminate at Stratford, except in the peaks when 3tph terminate at North Greenwich. At the northern end trains terminate at Willesden Green, Wembley Park, and Stanmore:

Trains per hour terminating at
 Willesden Green     Wembley Park       Stanmore   
Weekdays peak hours 18
Weekdays off-peak before 22:00 - 6 12
Weekdays after 22:00 3 - 15
Weekends before 15:00 - 6 12
Weekends after 15:00 3 - 15

There are no longer any scheduled empty "rusty rail" trains to Charing Cross.

The minimum end-to-end running time is 55 minutes.

Topology

    <= West   East =>
S
|
\
 \-W~~~~~F-\
            \
             |
             |
             \
              G---C--
               \
                \----------------------T

~ = double track between Metropolitan tracks
C = Charing Cross
F = Finchley Road
G = Green Park
S = Stanmore
T = Stratford
W = Wembley Park

Layout

key to notation

Locations are listed down the page in the southbound and eastbound directions.

175925 64.62 [=3TT1=2T] [Z5] Stanmore
181912 63.27 [OP] [Z5] Canons Park
188897 61.56 [OP] [Z4] Queensbury
193886 60.23 [OP] [Z4] Kingsbury
187869 [-] [diveunder]
193863 57.38 [ns =nn=NS=ss=] [Z4] Wembley Park
213853 55.09 [ns =nN=Ss=] [Z3] Neasden
222851 54.24 [nsnN=Ss] [Z3] Dollis Hill
233848 53.03 [ns =nN=Ss=] [Z2/3] Willesden Green
245846 51.84 [nsnN=Ss] ![Z2] Kilburn
256846 50.75 [nsnN=Ss] [Z2] West Hampstead
261848 50!14 [n=NS=s] [Z2] Finchley Road
266843 49.53 [CP] %[Z2] Swiss Cottage
267833 48.61 [CP] %[Z2] St. John's Wood
279820 46.54 [n9=-=10N/s8=-=7S] %[Z1] Baker Street
284810 44.81 [CP2] %[Z1] Bond Street
289802 43.35 [CP4] !%[Z1] Green Park
43.26 [-] [Green Park Junction (eastbound)][3]
43.16 [-] [Green Park Junction (westbound)]
303796 42.02 [E3=/W4=] !%[Z1] Westminster
312798 41.06 [CP4] !%[Z1] Waterloo
316800 40.62 [CP] !%[Z1] Southwark
328802 39.37 [CP2] !%[Z1] London Bridge
345794 37.44 [CP] !%[Z2] Bermondsey
355795 36.38 [IP] !%[Z2] Canada Water
374802 33.97 [IP] !%[Z2] Canary Wharf (2)
392797 32.26 [W=BE=] !%[Z2/3] North Greenwich
396810 31.02 [-] [tube mouths]
394814 30.55 [d3=4u/d2=1uW5=6E] !%[Z3] Canning Town (1)
393816 30.27 [=du= WE] [Z3] (Canning Town (2))
391821 [d=u WE] [Z3] {Star Lane}
391826 29.38 [-] [Abbey Mills Lower Junction]
391829 28.97 [d=uW=E +2] !%[Z3] West Ham
391833 28.6 [=du= WE] ???? [Z3] {Abbey Road}
28.56 [du WE= B] [Stratford Staff Halt]
27.81 [v=du= WE] [Z3] {(Stratford High Street)}
27.55 [-] [Stratford Southern Junction]
385843 27.43 [=#du#= V15=TT13=] !%[Z3] Stratford

43.26 [-] [Green Park Junction (eastbound)]
43.16 [-] [Green Park Junction (westbound)]
300803 42.37 [CP2] %[Z1] {Charing Cross}
41.86 [-] [end of tubes]

[3] Distances between Green Park Junction and Westminster are measured via the westbound line; the eastbound line is about 30m longer.

Depots

The line is served by Stratford Market Depot, on the west side of the line between Stratford and West Ham (and entered from both ends). Some trains are stabled at Neasden Depot on the Metropolitan Line.

Connections

Northbound Bakerloo Line trains can become westbound Jubilee Line trains after leaving Baker Street station; similarly eastbound Jubilee Line trains can become southbound Bakerloo Line trains after leaving the same station. Jubilee trains can use the Metropolitan tracks between Neasden and Wembley Park (both exclusive), but see below.

Until 2004 (northbound) or 2010 (southbound), Metropolitan Line trains could also use the Jubilee Line tracks between Neasden and just north of Finchley Road.

Rolling Stock

The line is operated by 1996 Tube Stock running in 7-car trains (a 4-car and a 3-car unit coupled together; single units have only one cab and may only run alone within depots). The stock is not permitted to run on other lines because it may interfere with signalling equipment. The 1983 Tube Stock formerly found on the line has all been withdrawn. The line was closed over the Christmas 2005 break to allow trains to be extended from 6 cars to 7; some equipment, such as the platform edge doors, was not compatible with mixed-length running.

The line now has Thales Seltrac S40 signalling with ATO (Automatic Train Operation) installed and trains normally run under ATO.

No other stock may run on the line when ATO is in use. At other times, 1959, 1967 (if empty and fitted with tripcocks), 1972, and 1973 (with certain electrical equipment isolated) Tube Stocks may run on the line. A and C stocks may operate north of Finchley Road, but for safety reasons they may not use the northbound track platform at Stanmore, while 8-car trains will not fit in the sidings at Wembley Park and West Hampstead. Height detectors are mounted just north of Finchley Road on the southbound track and will prevent a subsurface stock train from being run into the station or the tube section. These consist of U-shaped glass tubes silvered on the inside (previously they contained mercury) arranged so that an overheight train will smash them, breaking a circuit.


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