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"'Then there was an 'issing sound and a voice said "Minador"'"

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The Goon Show

LogoPiccadilly Line

A Yerkes Tube

[Last modified: 2023-12-17]

Rolling stock


The original Piccadilly Line - from Finsbury Park to Hammersmith - was formed by merging three separate proposals. From east to west, these were:

The District purchased the B&PCR in 1898. In 1901 the Yerkes Group took over all three companies before any construction had been started and combined the three proposals into the Great Northern, Piccadilly & Brompton Railway (though in day-to-day use this was quickly abbreviated to the Piccadilly Railway or the Piccadilly Tube). The B&PCR route had already been altered by the District at the west end so as to meet the DLD at South Kensington (with a sharp curve), and was now altered at the east end to meet the GN&SR at Holborn. The planned DLD route was extended in the west to emerge at Barons Court and was abandoned east of South Kensington once it became clear that the Piccadilly combined with an electrified District could handle the traffic. In the eastbound direction the junction was at the east end of the platform and the wider tunnel at this point is still visible. In the westbound direction a separate DLD platform tunnel was built with the junction just west of the station. This tunnel was never used in passenger service. During World War I it was used to store art from the Victoria & Albert Museum and china from Buckingham Palace. From 1927 to 1939 it was used as a signalling school and was also fitted out with track for teaching trainee drivers. In World War II it contained equipment to detect bombs falling in the Thames. Finally, when the station was converted from lifts to escalators in 1971-4, the tunnel became part of the passageways to the Piccadilly Line platform.

At the eastern end of the line, the GNR considered the territory beyond Finsbury Park their own. Therefore when they agreed to hand over the route to Yerkes, they retained ownership of the tube station (under their main-line one) and demanded a veto over any extension northwards. Thus Finsbury Park became the terminus of the line and, despite increasing congestion of road traffic, the GNR and their successor the LNER refused consent for any extension for many years (they also did the same to the Great Northern & City Railway, described under the Northern Line). Eventually public opinion became strong enough to force the matter, and in the 1930s the line was rapidly extended into the suburbs.

Also in the 1930s, the District Line was suffering congestion on its city section, which was being fed from the west by no less than 5 branches plus the Circle. Therefore the Piccadilly was extended over two of these (to Hounslow and to Uxbridge), giving a second outlet for the traffic. (Note that, although the dates of this extension are as shown below, from 1932-02-08 the new Piccadilly Line stock being delivered started running on local services between Acton Town - or possibly South Acton - and both Hounslow and South Harrow.) The original layout between the tube mouths (at Barons Court) and Hammersmith had the Piccadilly tracks on the north side of the District; both this section and the tracks westwards to Acton Town were now rearranged, with the Piccadilly Line running between the District tracks. West of Acton Town, the District continued to serve the Hounslow branch until 1964, but on the line to Uxbridge the District service was immediately completely replaced by the Piccadilly as far as South Harrow and later - after the formation of London Transport - the rest of the way (the original powers to run beyond South Harrow applied explicitly to the MDR, and the Yerkes group were unwilling to take the legal risk of running any other trains that way).

During World War II, the closed station at Down Street was converted into the headquarters of the Railway Executive - the body that controlled all railways during and immediately after the war. Walls were built along the platform edges, and the resulting space was converted to offices. Access was normally from the surface, but trains could also be stopped to allow people in and out of the driver's cab. Brompton Road was also converted and used for London Anti-Aircraft Control; later it was a Territorial Army training centre and may have been used by the Auxiliary Fire Service.

In the 1970s the Hounslow branch was extended to Heathrow Airport, which at the time consisted of three terminals grouped around a central point. In the 1980s a fourth terminal was added on the south side of the airport and the line was extended in a loop to serve it; the loop was made longer than strictly necessary so as to serve the planned location of the fifth terminal. However Terminal 5 was eventually built much further west and, therefore, the original route was extended directly to it while leaving the loop in place to serve Terminal 4. Because of unstable ground, it was not possible to construct the junction between the loop and the extension while trains were running and so the loop was closed for the duration of the works. Both the Terminal 4 and Terminal 5 stations are owned by the owners of Heathrow Airport although they are run by TfL.

The Aldwych branch

The erstwhile Aldwych branch has always been a curiosity. It was left over from the GN&SR route when the Piccadilly to Holborn section was added, and it remains unclear why it was ever built. Although the GN&SR powers to build north of Finsbury Park were formally abandoned, the same didn't happen here. It is possible that attempts were made but Parliament rejected them; if so, no record has been left. The original plan was to terminate north of the Aldwych, but in 1902 the proposed route was extended to Temple station on the District Line, then amended to run to Waterloo instead. Powers were only ever granted for the section actually built.

The branch is located directly under the Kingsway and its tram subway, which were being constructed at about the same time as the Piccadilly. Tunnelling for the branch had to wait until they were finished, and it opened after the rest of the line. Before construction even started the Yerkes group applied to have it extended to Temple, but they were only allowed to go as far as the south side of the Strand.

Further adding to the mystery is the strange track layout. Though the branch was constructed as double track, it was done in a way that meant it could not be integrated with the rest of the line. The original design had the southbound track diverging from the main line west of Holborn station (with a single southbound platform for both routes) while the northbound tracks each had their own platform, converging east of the station. But as built, the "southbound" track (that is, the eastern of the two south of Holborn) connected to the northbound at Holborn, while the western track terminated in a separate bay between the two through northbound platforms. Furthermore, the two tracks were connected by only a single crossover just south of Holborn and the western track had no signals, being operated on the "one train" principle. The platforms at both stations were also much shorter than those on the rest of the line.

With this layout the only sensible thing to do was to operate the branch as a shuttle between Holborn and Aldwych and this is how it operated for its entire life except for a few Aldwych to Finsbury Park trains (eastbound only) to serve theatre-goers, withdrawn in 1908. Originally a separate shuttle ran on each track during peak hours, while the rest of the time a single train used the western track for most of its length but took the crossover to use the eastern track at Holborn. In 1912 the peak service was converted to a single train as well and in 1917 the crossover was converted to plain track on this basis. The main length of the eastern track was reconnected in late 1921 to allow some surplus rolling stock to be stored temporarily on the unused track; the trains were moved to the branch on 1921-12-10 and moved back in two batches on 1922-06-26 and 1922-09-24, after which the connection was presumably removed again.

From 1933-01-09 until the World War II closure in 1940, and for a short time after reopening, the service was provided by a pair of ex-Gate Stock motor cars. In peak hours both cars were coupled together, but off-peak one was stabled in the short pice of tunnel beyond Aldwych, with a hand-worked trainstop raised behind it to prevent the other car running into it by accident.

A number of plans were made to extend the branch to Waterloo, but none came to fruition; it would also have been saved had the Jubilee Line been extended via Fleet Street as originally planned, rather than via Waterloo. The branch was closed during World War II (the eastern tunnel was used to hold valuables from the British Museum and the western as an air-raid shelter, both with the tracks removed or boarded over). From then on all was downhill: after 1958-06-07 trains ran only in the weekday peak hours, apart from a 07:00 to 14:00 Saturday service which survived until 1962-06-16. Final closure came in 1994 as a way to avoid the cost of replacing the lifts at Aldwych.

After being taken out of use by the 1917 modifications, the eastern platform at Aldwych was used for design work, as well as appearing (under many names) in various films, while the bay at Holborn was apparently converted into university accommodation and then laboratories; currently part is a canteen while another part holds an electricity substation.

Some time in September 2023 the traction current feed to the branch was disconnected, the exit signal from the branch (PD6) decommissioned, and the points connecting the branch to the eastbound line secured for normal service.


The lines from Hounslow West and Uxbridge to Barons Court have a long history before the Piccadilly reached them or took them over. This history is covered on the District and Metropolitan Line pages and is not duplicated here.

Chiswick Park, Stamford Brook, and Ravenscourt Park stations have never been served by the Piccadilly Line in normal service and so they are not counted as stations for the purposes of this section.

key to symbols

1906-12-15 Hammersmith (2) to Barons Court started [Piccadilly]
[15] Barons Court to Finsbury Park opened
1907-01-08 + South Kensington
1907-03-15 + Down Street
1907-04-11 + Covent Garden
1907-11-30 0 Aldwych to Holborn opened
1908-10-03 Through trains from Aldwych to Finsbury Park withdrawn
1926-05-04 Aldwych to Holborn closed (General Strike)
- Brompton Road and York Road (General Strike)
1926-05-17 0 Aldwych to Holborn reopened
1926-10-04 + Brompton Road and York Road[1]
1932-05-21 - Down Street
1932-07-04 South Harrow to Hammersmith (2) started [Piccadilly]
-= Turnham Green[2]
1932-09-17 - York Road
1932-09-19 4 Finsbury Park to Arnos Grove opened
1933-01-09 Northfields to Acton Town started [Piccadilly]
-= South Ealing
1933-03-13 Hounslow West to Northfields started [Piccadilly]
1933-03-13 1 Arnos Grove to Oakwood opened
1933-07-31 0 Oakwood to Cockfosters opened
1933-10-23 Uxbridge to South Harrow started [Piccadilly]
1934-03-25 = Osterley
1934-07-29 - Brompton Road
1935-04-29 + South Ealing [Piccadilly]
1935-07-05 = South Harrow
1938-12-04 < Uxbridge
1939-08-31 - Knightsbridge, Hyde Park Corner, Green Park, King's Cross St. Pancras, Arsenal
1939-11-17 + King's Cross St. Pancras
1939-12-01 + Knightsbridge, Green Park, Arsenal
1939-12-08 + Hyde Park Corner
1940-09-21 Aldwych to Holborn closed
1940-10-13 Wood Green to Cockfosters closed (bomb at Bounds Green)
1940-10-14 King's Cross St. Pancras to Wood Green closed (bomb at Holloway Road)
1940-12-05 [6] King's Cross St. Pancras to Wood Green reopened
X York Road
1940-12-09 2 Arnos Grove to Cockfosters reopened
1940-12-16 1 Wood Green to Arnos Grove reopened
1944-03-02 South Harrow to Ealing Common closed (bomb near Alperton)
Ealing Common to Acton Town withdrawn (in consequence)
1944-03-07 5 South Harrow to Ealing Common reopened
Ealing Common to Acton Town restored
1946-07-01 0 Aldwych to Holborn reopened
1963-06-23 + Turnham Green[2]
1975-07-14 < Hounslow West
1975-07-19 0 Hatton Cross to Hounslow West opened
1977-12-16 0 Heathrow Terminals 2&3 to Hatton Cross opened
1985-11-20 Passenger train erroneously sent around Heathrow Terminal 4 loop
1986-03-30 Enthusiast train ran around Heathrow Terminal 4 loop
1986-04-06 Enthusiast train ran around Heathrow Terminal 4 loop
1986-04-07 [0] Heathrow Terminal 4 loop opened
1986-04-12 + Heathrow Terminal 4
1987-08-30 - Gloucester Road (lift replacement)
1989-05-21 + Gloucester Road
1992-12-06 = Hillingdon
1994-09-30 Aldwych to Holborn closed
1996-09-28 -= Turnham Green[2]
1997-01-26 + Turnham Green[2]
1997-06-01 - Holborn (escalator problems)
1997-06-30 + Holborn
1997-11-22 - Earl's Court (escalator renewal)
1998-04-06 + Earl's Court
2000-09-15 - Knightsbridge (escalator problems)
2000-09-18 - King's Cross St. Pancras (escalator problems)
2000-10-10 + King's Cross St. Pancras
2000-10-11 + Knightsbridge
2001-11-23 - Earl's Court (escalator renewal)
2002-03-05 + Earl's Court
2002-11-22 - Gloucester Road, Covent Garden, Russell Square, Caledonian Road, Holloway Road (firefighters' strike)
2002-11-30 + Gloucester Road, Covent Garden, Russell Square, Caledonian Road, Holloway Road
2003-03-05 - Russell Square (lift problems)
2003-03-18 + Russell Square
2005-01-02 - Ruislip Manor, eastbound only (reconstruction)
2005-01-06 Heathrow Terminal 4 loop closed (Terminal 5 works)
2005-04-27 - Sudbury Hill, Ealing Common, both eastbound only
2005-05-07 ?+ Sudbury Hill, Ealing Common, both eastbound only
2005-05-08 - Sudbury Hill, Ealing Common, both westbound only
2005-05-21 ?+ Sudbury Hill, Ealing Common, both westbound only
2005-07-07 Hyde Park Corner to Arnos Grove closed (bomb explosion on train between Russell Square and King's Cross St. Pancras)
Uxbridge to Rayners Lane withdrawn (in consequence)
- Ruislip Manor, westbound only (reconstruction)
2005-07-09 -= Ruislip Manor, eastbound only
2005-08-04 Uxbridge to Rayners Lane restored
+ Ruislip Manor, eastbound only
[15] Hyde Park Corner to Arnos Grove reopened
X Down Street, York Road
2005-12-22 + Ruislip Manor, westbound only
2006-07-22 - Arsenal
2006-08-07 ?+ Arsenal
2006-09-17 1 Heathrow Terminal 4 loop reopened
2006-10-01 - Arsenal (eastbound only)
2006-10-07 + Arsenal (eastbound only)
2006-10-08 - Arsenal (westbound only)
2006-10-14 + Arsenal (westbound only)
2007-02-17 - Arsenal
2007-03-03 + Arsenal
2008-03-27 0 Heathrow Terminal 5 to Heathrow Terminals 2&3 opened
2014-05-23 - Gloucester Road (lift replacement)
2014-07-18 Uxbridge to Rayners Lane closed (track replacement)[3]
2014-08-11 5 Uxbridge to Rayners Lane reopened
2014-12 + Gloucester Road
2020-03-18 - Covent Garden, Arsenal, Manor House, Bounds Green (Covid-19)
2020-03-19 - Hyde Park Corner, Caledonian Road (Covid-19)
2020-03-29 Uxbridge to Rayners Lane withdrawn (Covid-19)
2020-05-08 Heathrow Terminal 4 loop closed (Covid-19) [4]
2020-05-18 Uxbridge to Rayners Lane restored
+ Bounds Green
2020-06-08 + Caledonian Road
2020-07-13 + Hyde Park Corner, Arsenal
2020-08-16 + Manor House
2020-08-24 + Covent Garden
2020-12-23 Northfields to Hammersmith and Rayners Lane to Acton Town closed (work at Acton Town)[5]
Uxbridge to Rayners Lane withdrawn (in consequence)
2021-01-04 10 Northfields to Hammersmith and Rayners Lane to Acton Town reopened
Uxbridge to Rayners Lane restored
2021-02-26 - South Kensington (escalator replacement)
2022-06-01 + South Kensington
2022-06-14 1 Heathrow Terminal 4 loop reopened

[1] The General Strike and assorted other strikes following it were used as an excuse to close these stations permanently. However, after questions in Parliament they were reopened.

[2] Turnham Green has never been a regular stop for Piccadilly services. For those periods it is shown as open, trains stopped only in the early morning, late evening, and - at some periods - all day Sunday, presumably to improve connections to and from the District Line Richmond branch.

[3] During this closure, the last train to Rayners Lane on weekdays was extended to Ruislip, returning out of service. During part of the afternoon and evening of 2014-08-08, some trains ran through to Uxbridge.

[4] Starting 2020-05-18, trains normally scheduled to call at Heathrow Terminal 4 detrained all passengers at Hatton Cross and then ran empty around the loop, including taking their normal stand time at the station.

[5] The service did run on 2020-12-31 and 2021-01-01, except between Uxbridge and Rayners Lane, but there was no New Year's Eve overnight service.


The central section, the Heathrow area from just west of Hatton Cross station, and a short section of track around Southgate station are in tube. From Hounslow West to Hatton Cross is a subsurface tunnel, though there is a small surface section between Hounslow West and Hatton Cross where the line crosses the River Crane. There is also a short tunnel west of Hammersmith station.

The line emerges from tube east of Barons Court, and the Piccadilly tracks run between the District tracks from the tube mouths to Acton Town. There are four tracks from Acton Town to Northfields: two "fast" and two "local". There is now no distinction between these, but for some years the eastbound local was used as a test track and was not in normal service.

The layout at Acton Town is complex:

        To Ealing Common (station and depot)
               EB WB Depot access
                \  \  \
                 \  \  \
                  \  \  \      [--------------\
                   \  \  \                     \
                    \  \  \---------------\     \---*-----*-----------
    Eastbound local  \  \                  \       / ##### \    EB Dist.
    -------------]    \  \--------------*---*-----*  #####  \
    Eastbound fast     \               /           \ #####   \  EB Picc.
    ------------------] \ [---------*-*-------------*---------*-------
    Westbound fast       \     ----*
    --------------------] \ [-------*--------------*----------*-------
    Westbound local        \                      /  #####   /  WB Picc.
    ------------------\     \--*-----------------/   #####  /
                       \        \                    ##### /    WB Dist.

[sidings at the east end of the station omitted]

At Northfields the westbound track dives under Northfields depot access track, after which the line is double track again to Hatton Cross.

The route to Heathrow Terminal 5 is double track, while the Terminal 4 loop is single track with trains running in the clockwise (decreasing kilometrage) direction only. The loop connects only to the westbound at Hatton Cross, while at the Terminals 1,2,3 end it connects to both tracks (though, of course, only the eastbound is normally used). The tube section of the Terminal 4 loop was all built with a diameter of 3.81m (12'6"). The first section of tunnel after it diverges from the main route at Hatton Cross is, unusually, "tube-and-cover" - a large hole was dug into which a prefabricated tube was placed; the hole was then filled in.

The Holborn to Aldwych section was single track, connecting only to the eastbound line at Holborn. The track remains, though unused.

Though the line is described as east/westbound throughout, the section from Cockfosters to Holborn was formerly known as north/southbound, and evidence of this remains in old signs and the platform numbering.


The service through the central area (Acton Town to Arnos Grove) is 24tph in the peaks and Saturday afternoons, 21tph off-peak, 18tph after 23:00 (19:00 on Sundays), and 12tph early weekend mornings. At the eastern end, most trains terminate at Cockfosters but 3tph at Arnos Grove; some also enter or leave service at Oakwood. At the western end, the situation is more complex. Heathrow gets a service of 12tph throughout the day, running alternately to Terminal 5 and round the Terminal 4 loop. At Terminal 5, trains reverse (empty) in the sidings and then stand for up to 7 minutes in the eastbound platform; trains running round the loop stand at Terminal 4 for 8 minutes so as to slot correctly into the service. In the peaks, the Uxbridge branch sees 12tph, with 4tph having Rayners Lane as their terminus; previous timetables also used Ruislip as a third peak terminus with the service splitting equally between the three. Off-peak the service is 6tph with half the trains terminating at Rayners Lane. There are no trains beyond there to Uxbridge before 06:30 weekdays or 08:45 weekends, apart from one early train from Uxbridge, and no trains after about 23:20 (22:30 Sundays) from Hyde Park Corner.

From 1986 to early 2005 and then late 2006 to early 2008, all trains except a few at the start and end of service ran around the Heathrow Terminal 4 loop and the westbound track from Hatton Cross was mostly unused.

Until 1991-10-27, a few eastbound trains at the start and end of service hours terminated in the eastbound platform at West Kensington, running from and to Barons Court via the District tracks. Similarly, some trains at start and end of service have run via the District tracks, calling at all stations, between Hammersmith and Acton Town; this appears to have stopped in the mid-1990s as a normal practice but still occurs during disruption. Also during disruption, Piccadilly Line trains have been used to provide a District Line service between Acton Town and Ealing Broadway.

From an unidentified date (though possibly 1991-11-03) to 1994-05-22, the first three trains from Heathrow on Sunday mornings omitted some stops. The original report - unconfirmed at present - stated that trains ran fast from Hatton Cross to Northfields (missing 5 stops) and also omitted South Ealing.

The minimum running times from Cockfosters are 94 minutes to Uxbridge, 83 minutes to Heathrow Terminal 4, and 88 minutes to Heathrow Terminal 5; in the other direction they are 97, 91, and 89 minutes respectively. It takes about 12 minutes to run from Hatton Cross round the Terminal 4 loop and back to Hatton Cross but, as described above, nearly all trains have an extended stop at Terminal 4.

Special services

The theatre trains mentioned above consisted of a single evening northbound service that ran non-stop between King's Cross St. Pancras and Finsbury Park. The service originally started at Holborn in October 1907 but were extended to Aldwych when the branch opened. The train departed Aldwych at 23:13, later altered to 23:28. The service last ran on 1908-10-03.

During disruption on the District Line, Piccadilly Line trains have sometimes been used to provide a service to Ealing Broadway, either by diverting some trains bound for Rayners Lane and Uxbridge, or as a shuttle from Acton Town. Trains may also run along the District Line tracks from Hammersmith to Acton Town in order to serve those stations with no platforms on the Piccadilly Line.

Night Tube services started on 2016-12-16/17 and run between Heathrow Terminal 5 and Cockfosters. The service is 6tph.

Since 2017 a "leaf fall" timetable has been introduced each autumn to deal with adhesion problems caused by leaves on the line. Speed limits are imposed in both directions between Hounslow West and Boston Manor, South Harrow and North Ealing, and Arnos Grove and Cockfosters. Running times are increased by up to 5 minutes over a full end-to-end journey. 6tph terminate at Arnos Grove instead of 3tph. The peak service is reduced to 23tph; 1tph of the Uxbridge service is cancelled in its entirety, while another 3tph are diverted to Northfields, thus leaving the Heathrow service unaffected while halving the number of trains to Uxbridge. The Saturday afternoon service is reduced to the off-peak 21tph plus an additional 1tph running between Northfields and Arnos Grove. The Sunday service is reduced to 18tph until 13:30 and after 18:30, then further to 15tph after 20:00. The latter involves 5tph reversing at Arnos Grove and only 3tph to Heathrow Terminal 4. Half the Night Tube trains also reverse at Arnos Grove.

Covid-19: the service was 4tph between Cockfosters and Heathrow Airport and 3tph (4tph before 2020-03-28) between Acton Town and Rayners Lane / Uxbridge. Normal services were restored on 2020-05-18. Night Tube services restarted on 2022-07-29/30 (Friday night).


        U---------R--1         <= West    East =>
       /     /                         /
       |    /                         A

= = quadruple track
~ = double track between District tracks
A = Aldwych
B = Barons Court
C = Cockfosters
H = Holborn
L = Hanger Lane Junction
N = Northfields
R = Rayners Lane Junction
T = Acton Town
U = Uxbridge
X = Hatton Cross
a = Heathrow Terminals 2&3
b = Heathrow Terminal 4
c = Heathrow Terminal 5
1 = Metropolitan Line to Harrow-on-the-Hill
2 = District Line to Ealing Broadway


key to notation

Locations are listed down the page in the eastbound direction.

69.7 [-] [End of reversing sidings]
050758 69.40 [= ^=^W=E] !%[Z6] Heathrow Terminal 5
063759 67.58 [-] [Hex junction]
075758 67.17 [B=B] !%[Z6] Heathrow Terminals 2&3[4]
65.08 [-] [Terminal 4 loop junction]
096753 64.99 [IP] [Z5/6] Hatton Cross
103757 64.20 [-] [River Crane crossing west portal]
107760 63.60 [-] [River Crane crossing east portal]
122761 62.08 [IP] [Z5] Hounslow West
62.04 [-] [tunnel mouths]
136759 60.64 [IP] [Z4] Hounslow Central
142762 59.90 [OP] ![Z4] Hounslow East
145771 58.93 [OP] [Z4] Osterley
58.63 [OP] ((Osterley & Spring Grove))
163787 56.50 [OP] [Z4] Boston Manor
171792 55.59 [W=WE=E] [Z3] Northfields
175793 55.11 [W=WE=E X] [Z3] South Ealing
194795 52.91 [W=WE=E] [Z3] Acton Town
203787 51.72 [=wWEe=] [Z3] {Chiswick Park}
207788 51.25 [-] [Turnham Green Junction (eastbound)]
212788 50.83 [-] [Turnham Green Junction (westbound)]
213788 50.71 [w=WE=e] [Z2/3] Turnham Green
218788 50.18 [w=WEe=] [Z2] {Stamford Brook}
225787 49.44 [w=WE=e] [Z2] {Ravenscourt Park}
231787 48.84 [-] [Studland Road Junction]
48.81 [-] [tunnel west portal]
48.57 [-] [tunnel east portal]
234785 48.51 [w=WE=e] ![Z2] Hammersmith (2)
241783 47!84 [w=WE=e] [Z2] Barons Court
47.41 [-] [tube mouths]
255785 46.22 [CPX4] !%[Z1/2] Earl's Court
262788 45.42 [CP3] ![Z1] Gloucester Road
268788 44.72 [=W =E +2] %[Z1] South Kensington
271790 44.2 [CP] (Brompton Road)
278796 43.49 [CPX] %[Z1] Knightsbridge
282798 42.97 [CPX] %[Z1] Hyde Park Corner
286800 42.48 [CP] (Down Street)
289802 41.91 [CP] %[Z1] Green Park
296806 41.37 [CPX2] %[Z1] Piccadilly Circus
299808 40.84 [CP] %[Z1] Leicester Square
302810 40.58 [CP] ![Z1] Covent Garden
305815 40.01 [=3Wb5==4E] %[Z1] Holborn
39.89 [-] [Aldwych branch junction]
301821 39.26 [OP] ![Z1] Russell Square
38.42 [-] [King's Cross Loop Junction]
302829 38.34 [CPX4] %[Z1] King's Cross St. Pancras
37.7 [CP] (York Road)
305849 36.38 [CP] ![Z2] Caledonian Road
309854 35.78 [CP] ![Z2] Holloway Road
314861 35.04 [CP] [Z2] Arsenal
313867 34.34 [s==W n==E] [Z2] Finsbury Park
320874 33.30 [CP] %[Z2/3] Manor House
315896 30.98 [CP#] %[Z3] Turnpike Lane
310904 29.99 [CP] %[Z3] Wood Green
300915 28.46 [CP] %[Z3/4] Bounds Green
294918 27.80 [-] [tube mouths]
293925 27.21 [W=2B3=E] [Z4] Arnos Grove
292937 25.91 [-] [tube mouths]
296942 25.26 [CP] %[Z4] Southgate
298944 25.06 [-] [tube mouths]
293959 23.39 [IPX] [Z5] Oakwood
281963 22.04 [V=2V3=V] [Z5] Cockfosters

096753 73=36 [IP] [Z5/6] Hatton Cross
73.27 [-] [Terminal 4 loop junction]
080745 71.53 [=W] [Z6] Heathrow Terminal 4
67.79 [-] [end of single line section]
063759 67.58 [-] [Hex junction]
075758 67.17 [B=B] !%[Z6] Heathrow Terminals 2&3

055841 73.03 [T1=2T2=3T] [Z6] Uxbridge
075850 70.93 [OP] ![Z6] Hillingdon
70.86 [OP] ((Hillingdon Swakeleys))
081858 69.85 [OP] [Z6] Ickenham
086864 69.11 [-] [Ruislip siding entrance]
095869 68.00 [OP] [Z6] Ruislip
101872 67.28 [OP] [Z6] Ruislip Manor
112876 66.14 [OP] [Z5] Eastcote
129875 64.41 [OP] [Z5] Rayners Lane
131874 64.33 [-] [Rayners Lane Junction]
143863 62.57 [OP] [Z5] South Harrow
144862 62.40 [OP] ((South Harrow))
148857 [-] [Proposed junction with GCR]
154855 61.15 [OP] [Z4] Sudbury Hill
168848 59.50 [OP#] [Z4] Sudbury Town
180837 57.93 [OP] [Z4] Alperton
187828 [OP] ((Park Royal & Twyford Abbey))
191822 55.95 [OP] [Z3] Park Royal
189812 54.88 [OP] [Z3] North Ealing
188810 54.56 [-] [Hanger Lane Junction]
189803 53.94 [OP] [Z3] Ealing Common
194795 52.91 [W=WE=E] [Z3] Acton Town

308809 40.61 [= T=] (Aldwych)
40.2 [-] [former crossover]
305815 40.01 [=3sB5==4n] %[Z1] Holborn
39.89 [-] [Aldwych branch junction]

[4] Since Terminal 1 was closed and demolished, the station has appeared as "Heathrow Terminals 2&3" on maps, but signs at the station still say "Heathrow Terminals 1, 2, 3". The name officially changed on 2018-05-20.


The line is served by two depots. Cockfosters Depot is on the west side of the line between Cockfosters and Oakwood stations, and can be entered from either end. Northfields Depot is on the south side of the line between Northfields and Boston Manor station; the main entry and exit is at the former, where trains can enter and leave without fouling the running lines, while there is a single track connection westwards just west of Boston Manor station.


The Piccadilly is the best connected of the tube lines. There are connections to the Victoria and Northern Lines, described under those lines. Finally, the line shares tracks with the District from Acton Town to Hanger Lane Junction, and with the Metropolitan from Rayners Lane Junction to Uxbridge, where there is a connection to Ruislip Depot and thence the Central Line.

Between Barons Court and Hammersmith, when the lines were rearranged for the 1932 extension west to South Harrow, there were connecting crossovers so that District Line trains could transfer to the Piccadilly Line and vice versa. The westbound District-to-Piccadilly crossover was removed for the start of traffic on 2021-06-12, the two eastbound ones on 2021-09-05, and the westbound Piccadilly-to-District on 2022-02-17. Therefore eastbound trains must now leave Acton Town on the correct track.

Rolling Stock

The line is operated by 1973 Tube Stock, designed with some luggage space for airport travellers. The trains are made of two 3-car units; single units have only one cab and are restricted to depots. Trains are being refurbished, and unrefurbished and refurbished units may not be coupled together. The refurbished units contain an auxiliary static converter which can interfere with signalling equipment, and this must be isolated before the train can run on any line other than those specially immunized (the Piccadilly Line, the District Line from Gloucester Road to Ealing Common, and the Metropolitan Line from Harrow-on-the-Hill to Uxbridge).

1959 and 1972 Tube Stock may operate on any part of the line. The latter can only enter the sidings at Arnos Grove and platform 1 at Cockfosters as a single 4-car unit without passengers.

1967 Tube Stock (with tripcocks) may run empty. 8-car trains are forbidden to enter Cockfosters station, the sidings at Acton Town, Arnos Grove, Barons Court, Down Street, South Harrow, and Wood Green, or Northfields Depot (other than siding 7). Because of signalling problems only 4-car trains without passengers may run west of Northfields or on the local westbound line from Acton Town.

Subsurface stock may run from the crossovers west of Barons Court to Northfields, and A and C stock may also run to Rayners Lane, though restricted to 15 mph when passing under three specific bridges:
- D4 (between South Harrow and Sudbury Hill)
- D24 (between Park Royal and North Ealing)
- D62 (Acton Town station westbound)
There are restricted clearances in certain parts of Northfields Depot. A stock may run in 4-car units only (and only double-ended units may carry passengers) east of Acton Town, on the westbound local line to Northfields, and in Northfields depot (other than siding 7) and the sidings at Acton Town, Barons Court, and South Harrow.

The Aldwych branch may only be used by 3-car double ended units of 1973 Tube Stock operating under an engineering possession.

Height detectors are mounted a short distance west of Barons Court on the eastbound track, and will prevent a subsurface stock train from being run into the Piccadilly platforms at the station or, more importantly, 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 and so putting signals back to danger. They were installed on 1932-06-05 in preparation for the rearrangement of tracks as part of the extension westwards from Hammersmith. Such tubes are also mounted on the westbound track between Hounslow Central and Hounslow West stations to prevent a subsurface stock train from entering the tubes to Heathrow Airport. These were installed on 1975-07-14.

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