Bakerloo line

Bakerloo line

Infobox TfL line
DeepOrSurface=Deep Level
RollingStock=1972 Tube Stock
Depots=Stonebridge Park
London Road
The Bakerloo line is a line of the London Underground, coloured brown on the Tube map. It runs partly on the surface and partly at deep level, from the Elephant and Castle in south-east to Wealdstone in north-west of London. The lines serves 25 stations of which 15 are underground. It is the seventh busiest line on the network.


Originally called the Baker Street & Waterloo Railway, the line was constructed by the Underground Electric Railways Company of London Limited and opened in March 10 1906. Prior to this, it had been financed by the mining entrepreneur and company promoter Whitaker Wright, who fell foul of the law over the financial proceedings involved and dramatically committed suicide at the Royal Courts of Justice after being convicted in 1904. The contraction of the name to "Bakerloo" rapidly caught on, and the official name was changed to match.

By 1913, the line had been extended from its original northern terminus at Baker Street to the west with interchange stations with the Great Central Railway at Marylebone and the Great Western Railway at Paddington, and a new station at Edgware Road.

Watford branch

In 1915 the line was extended further to Queen's Park, where it joined the DC lines of the London and North Western Railway (LNWR) that ran alongside the LNWR's main line (now the West Coast Main Line) as far as Watford Junction. Bakerloo services to Watford were reduced in the 1960s and withdrawn in 1982, with Stonebridge Park the new terminus.

Services to Harrow & Wealdstone were gradually restored from 1984 and in 1989 the present all-day service was instituted. Bakerloo trains share the tracks with Overground services from Euston between Queen's Park and Harrow & Wealdstone.

tanmore branch

By the mid 1930s, the Metropolitan line was suffering from congestion caused by the limited capacity of its tracks between Baker Street and Finchley Road stations. To relieve this pressure, the network-wide "New Works Programme, 1935-1940", included the construction of new sections of tunnel between the Bakerloo line's platforms at Baker Street and the Finchley Road and the replacement of three Metropolitan line stations (Lord's, Marlborough Road and Swiss Cottage) between those points with two new Bakerloo stations (St. John's Wood and Swiss Cottage). The Bakerloo line took over the Metropolitan line's service to Stanmore on November 20 1939. The branch remained part of the Bakerloo line until May 1 1979, when similar congestion problems for the Bakerloo line caused by two branches converging at Baker Street led to the opening of the Jubilee line which was initially created by connecting the Stanmore branch to new tunnels bored between Baker Street and Charing Cross.

Camberwell extension

An extension at the southern end of the line to Camberwell and Denmark Hill was proposed and approved in 1931 as part of the "London Electric Metropolitan District and Central London Railway Companies (Works) Act, 1931".LondonGazette
] LondonGazette
] Apart from the extension of the sidings south of Elephant & Castle no work on the extension took place before World War II but the powers were renewed by the government in 1947 under the "Special Enactments (Extension of Time) Act, 1940".LondonGazette
] A projected extension as far as Camberwell was shown on a 1949 edition of the Underground map but no further work was done.cite web
url =
title = History of the London Tube Map, 1949 tube map
accessdate = 2008-01-13
year = 1949
month = June
work = London Transport
] The train describers at Warwick Avenue station showed "Camberwell" as a destination until the 1990s. [cite book
title=Mr Beck's Underground Map
publisher=Capital Transport
page=p. 41
id= ISBN 185414 168 6

Electricity supply

One oddity is that almost from its opening until 1917, it operated with the polarity of the conductor rails reversed, the outside rail negative and the centre rail positive. This came about because the Bakerloo shared a power source with the District Railway. On the Bakerloo, the outside conductor rail tended to leak to the tunnel wall, whereas on the District Railway, the centre rail shared a similar problem. The solution was to reverse the polarity on the Bakerloo line, so that the negative rail leaked on both systems. [cite web
title=Bakerloo Line, Dates
work=Clive's Underground Lines Guide
] In 1917, the two lines were separated when the LNWR commenced its 'New Line' service between Euston and Watford Junction, which the Bakerloo would share north of Queens Park. As a result, normal operation was restored.


The line celebrated its centenary on March 10 2006, when various events were organised on the line.cite news
title = Tube line's 100 year celebration
url =
publisher = BBC News
date = 2006-03-10
accessdate = 2007-11-13

Future developments

Re-extension to Watford Junction

Over the next few years the northern section of the line may again see changes following the decision in February 2006 to transfer responsibility for Euston-Watford suburban services (the DC lines) from the Department for Transport (DfT) to Transport for London (TfL). This is in conjunction with the reorganisation of North London Railways under London Overground.cite web | title = Scenario Testing for the Further Alterations to the London Plan | publisher = Greater London Authority | date = March 2006 | url = | format = PDF| accessdate = 2007-06-19] [ [ TfL information on Bakerloo line re-extension to Watford Junction] ]

It is projected that by 2026 the Bakerloo line would be re-extended from Harrow & Wealdstone to Watford Junction, restoring the pre-1982 service. The railway line from Queens Park to Watford Junction, currently served by London Overground, would be served only by the Bakerloo line.

Camberwell proposals

The 1949 extension to Camberwell proposal was resurrected in 2006 when London Mayor Ken Livingstone suggested that an extension was being considered within 20 years. [cite news
title=Tube line 'may extend south within 20 years'
publisher=South London Press
] [cite web
title=Bakerloo Line extension to Camberwell
] However, there are no firm commitments to this extension and it is only at the proposal stage. TfL's Vision of a growing world 2025 investment programme identifies the ambition to separate the present Northern line into two self-contained lines by 2025. In this plan, trains on the Northern line's Charing Cross branch would terminate at Kennington, and it has been mooted that an extension of the line to the south east may be implemented, including to Camberwell. In this scenario, an extension to the Bakerloo line would therefore no longer be required.

Rolling stock

Former rolling stock

When opened in 1906, the Bakerloo line was operated by Gate Stock trains, built at Trafford Park, Manchester. To cope with the extension to Queen's Park, 12 extra motor cars of the London Underground 1914 Stock were ordered, ten from Brush of Loughborough and two from the Leeds Forge Company.

To operate services north of Queen's Park, 72 additional cars were built by the Metropolitan Carriage, Waggon and Finance Company of Birmingham. These trains, known as the Watford Joint Stock, were partly owned by the Underground and partly by the London and North Western Railway (later LMS). They were initially painted in LNWR livery. They were not equipped with air-operated doors and proved slow and unreliable, so they were replaced by new trains of Standard Stock in 1930 (although a few were retained by the LMS). For some years in the 1930s Watford trains had a distinctive blue stripe at window level.

In 1932, some carriages that had been built for the Piccadilly line by Cammell Laird in Nottingham in 1919 were transferred to the Bakerloo line. When built, these had been the first Tube trains to be have air-operated doors. These (and other trains) were later replaced by more trains of Standard Stock, in turn being replaced by 1938 Stock and 1949 Stock.

Prior to the opening of the Jubilee line in 1979, the Bakerloo line was worked by both 1938 Stock and 1972 Stock. The 1972 Stock was intended for the Jubilee line, so from 1979 the Bakerloo line (now minus the Stanmore branch) was again entirely operated by 1938 Stock. From 1983 the 1938 Stock began to be replaced by trains of 1959 Stock, but this was a temporary measure until 1972 Stock became available. The last 1938 Stock train was withdrawn on November 20 1985. From 1986, the 1959 Stock was transferred to the Northern line [cite book | last =Horne | first =M. A. C. | title =The Bakerloo Line | publisher =Capital Transport | date =2001 | isbn = 1-85414-248-8] .

Current trains

The Bakerloo line is now operated entirely by Mark 2 1972 Stock, displaced from the Jubilee line by 1983 Stock. The stock is maintained at Stonebridge Park depot.

All Bakerloo line trains are painted in the distinctive London Underground livery of red, white and blue and are the smaller size of the two sizes used on the network, since trains travel deep underground in small tunnels.

The interiors of these trains have recently been 'deep cleaned' and the upholstery has been replaced by a more appealing blue. The seating layouts are longitudinal and transverse, with some cars having longitudinal seating only.

These trains are currently scheduled for replacement in 2018 as part of the London Underground PFI.


The [ TFL line diagram] is available online.


"Note: For the former Stanmore branch of the Bakerloo line, see the Jubilee line article."

urface section

The section of the line between Harrow & Wealdstone and Queen's Park runs along the Watford DC Line, serving stations owned by Network Rail, but managed by London Underground. National Rail fares, as well as TfL fares, apply to journeys on this section.

* Northern terminus: Harrow & Wealdstone rail-interchange|london|overground rail-interchange|gb|rail Access icon – First served: April 16 1917. Closed: September 24 1982. Service restored: June 4 1984.
* Kenton rail-interchange|london|overground – First served: April 16 1917. Closed: September 24 1982. Service restored: June 4 1984.
* South Kenton rail-interchange|london|overground – First served: July 3 1933. Closed: September 24 1982. Service restored: June 4 1984.
* North Wembley rail-interchange|london|overground – First served: April 16 1917. Closed: September 24 1982. Service restored: June 4 1984.
* Wembley Central rail-interchange|london|overground rail-interchange|gb|rail – Original name Wembley Central for Sudbury; First served: April 16 1917. Renamed: July 5 1948. Closed: September 24 1982. Service restored: June 4 1984.
* Stonebridge park rail-interchange|london|overground – First served: August 1 1917.
* Harlesden rail-interchange|london|overground – First served: April 16 1917.
* Willesden Junction rail-interchange|london|overground Access icon – First served: May 10 1915
* Kensal Green rail-interchange|london|overground – First served: October 1 1916
* Queen's Park rail-interchange|london|overgroundrail-interchange|gb|rail – First served: February 11 1915

Tunnelled section

* Kilburn Park – Opened: January 31 1915
* Maida Vale – Opened: June 6 1915
* Warwick Avenue – Opened: January 31 1915
* Paddington rail-interchange|gb|rail (rail-interchange|air Trains to Heathrow) – Opened: December 1 1913
* Edgware Road – Opened: June 15 1907
* Marylebone rail-interchange|gb|rail – Opened: March 27 1907 as Great Central. Renamed, April 15 1917
* Baker Street – Opened: March 10 1906
* Regent's Park – Opened: March 10 1906
* Oxford Circus – Opened: March 10 1906
* Piccadilly Circus – Opened: March 10 1906
* Charing Cross rail-interchange|gb|rail – Opened: March 10 1906
* Embankment – Opened: March 10 1906
* Waterloo rail-interchange|gb|rail – Opened: March 10 1906
* Lambeth North – Opened: March 10 1906 as Kennington Road. Renamed Westminster Bridge Road: August 5 1906, Renamed to current name: April 15 1917
* Southern terminus: Elephant & Castle rail-interchange|gb|rail – Opened: August 5 1906

Beyond Harrow & Wealdstone

Between 1917 and 1982, Bakerloo line trains continued along the DC line past Harrow & Wealdstone to Watford Junction. These stations continue to be served by London Overground.

* Watford Junction – First served: April 16 1917. Last served: September 24 1982.
* Watford High Street – First served: April 16 1917. Last served: September 24 1982.
* Bushey & Oxhey – First served: April 16 1917. Renamed "Bushey": May 6 1974. Last served: September 24 1982.
* Carpenders Park – First served: April 5 1919. Closed: November 16 1952 and re-sited. Re-opened on new site November 17 1952. Last served: September 24 1982.
* Pinner & Hatch End – First served: 16 April 1917. Renamed "Hatch End (for Pinner)": February 1 1920. Renamed "Hatch End": 1956. Last served: September 24 1982.
* Headstone Lane – First served: April 16 1917. Last served: September 24 1982.

Stanmore branch

The Stanmore branch was originally constructed by the Metropolitan Railway (now the Metropolitan line) and was transferred to the Bakerloo line in 1939. It was transferred to the Jubilee line on May 1 1979. It connected to the main line at Baker Street.

* Stanmore
* Canons Park
* Queensbury
* Kingsbury
* Wembley Park
* Neasden
* Dollis Hill
* Willesden Green
* Kilburn
* West Hampstead
* Finchley Road
* Swiss Cottage
* St. John's Wood


There are currently three depots serving the Bakerloo line. The main depot is at Stonebridge Park. Opened April 9 1978 on the site of a former British Rail power station, it handles the maintenance of the line's fleet. There are two smaller depots. The original depot at London Road (near Lambeth North) is still in use. The Bakerloo is the only line on the Underground to run trains in passenger service through a depot - at Queens Park - where the depot is situated immediately North of the station. The depot sheds were completed late in 1915 where some of the trains are stabled.

When Bakerloo line services ran to Watford, there was a depot at Croxley Green. This depot closed in November 1985.

ee also

* Leslie Green - architect of the Baker Street & Waterloo Railway's early stations
* Stanley Heaps - architect of the extension stations from Warwick Avenue to Kilburn Park


External links

* [ A reproduction of the Bakerloo line] for the freeware train simulator BVE

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