|Ridership||66.8 million (2011/12) passenger journeys|
|Colour on map||Magenta|
|Rolling stock||S Stock 8 carriages per trainset|
|Line length||66.7 km (41.4 mi)|
The Metropolitan line is a London Underground service that connects Aldgate in the City of London, the capital's financial heart, with Amersham and Chesham in Buckinghamshire, with branches to Watford and Uxbridge. Coloured corporate magenta on the tube map, the line serves 34 stations in 41.4 miles (66.7 km). The track and stations between Aldgate and Baker Street are shared with the Circle and Hammersmith & City lines, between Rayners Lane and Uxbridge with the Piccadilly line, and between Harrow-on-the-Hill and Amersham with Chiltern Railways trains.
In 1863 the Metropolitan Railway began the world's first underground railway service between Paddington and Farringdon Street with wooden carriages and steam locomotives, but the most important route became the line north into the Middlesex countryside, where it stimulated the development of new suburbs. Harrow was reached in 1880, and the line eventually extended as far as Verney Junction in Buckinghamshire, more than 50 miles (80 km) from Baker Street and the centre of London. From the end of the 19th century, the railway shared tracks with the Great Central Railway route out of Marylebone. The central London lines were electrified by 1907, but electric locomotives were exchanged for steam locomotives on trains heading north of Harrow. After the Metropolitan Railway was absorbed by the London Passenger Transport Board in 1933 the line was cut back to Aylesbury. The steam hauled trains ran until 1961 when the line was electrified to Amersham and London Transport services to Aylesbury withdrawn. The Hammersmith & City line was shown on the tube map as part of the Metropolitan line until 1990 when it appeared as a separate line. The current S Stock trains entered service between 2010 and 2012.
The track is underground in the central London section between Aldgate and Finchley Road; unlike London's deep level tube railways, the railway tunnels are just below the surface and of similar size to British main line trains. Of the 34 stations served, nine are below ground. Just under 67 million passenger journeys were made in 2011/12. Baker Street is the central London terminus for some trains, others continuing into the City to terminate at Aldgate. Most of the route is two tracks, except for the single track Chesham branch and a four-track section between Wembley Park and Moor Park that allows peak express or fast services to the outer suburbs to overtake slower trains. There are also four tracks between Wembley Park and Finchley Road, but the inner pair of tracks on this section were transferred firstly to the Bakerloo line in 1939, and then the Jubilee line in 1979, the trains on these lines calling at all stations.
By the end of 2016 it planned that the Watford branch will be diverted to Watford Junction, with Watford station closing. New signalling is planned to be used north of Baker Street from the end of 2016 and this will allow automatic train operation in the future.
Metropolitan Railway 
The Metropolitan Railway (also known as the Met) was a passenger and goods railway that served London from 1863 to 1933, its mainline heading north from the capital's financial heart in the City to what were to become the Middlesex suburbs. Its first line connected the mainline railway termini at Paddington, Euston and King's Cross to the City. This was built beneath the New Road using the "cut-and-cover" method between Paddington and King's Cross and in tunnel and cuttings beside Farringdon Road from King's Cross to Smithfield, near the City. When, on 10 January 1863, this line opened with gas-lit wooden carriages hauled by steam locomotives, it was the world's first underground railway. When, in 1871 plans were presented for an underground railway in Paris, it was called the Métropolitain in imitation of the line in London. The modern word metro is a short form of the French word.
The railway was soon extended from both ends and northwards via a branch from Baker Street. It reached Hammersmith in 1864, Richmond in 1877 and completed the Inner Circle in 1884, but the most important route became the line north into the Middlesex countryside, where it stimulated the development of new suburbs. Harrow was reached in 1880, and the line eventually extended as far as Verney Junction in Buckinghamshire, more than 50 miles (80 kilometres) from Baker Street and the centre of London. From the end of the 19th century, the railway shared tracks with the Great Central Railway route out of Marylebone.
Electric traction was introduced in 1905 with electric multiple units operating services between Uxbridge, Harrow-on-the-Hill and Baker Street. To remove steam and smoke from the tunnels in central London, the Metropolitan Railway purchased electric locomotives, and these were exchanged for steam locomotives on trains at Harrow from 1908. Unlike other railway companies in the London area, the Met developed land for housing and after World War I promoted housing estates near the railway with the "Metro-land" brand. To improve services, more powerful electric and steam locomotives were purchased in the 1920s. A short branch opened from Rickmansworth to Watford in 1925. After World War I, the 4-mile (6.4 km) long Stanmore branch was built from Wembley Park.
London Transport 
On 1 July 1933 the Metropolitan amalgamated with other Underground railways, tramway companies and bus operators to form the London Passenger Transport Board and a period of rationalisation followed. Responsibility for goods services was passed to the London and North Eastern Railway and the services northwest of Aylesbury were withdrawn in 1936, though services did return to Quainton Road between 1943 and 1948. In 1936 the Metropolitan line was extended from Whitechapel to Barking along the tracks of the District line. In 1939 the Stanmore branch was transferred to the Bakerloo line, subsequently to be transferred to the Jubilee line when that line opened in 1979. London Transport inherited a number of incompatible electric multiple units types from the Metropolitan Railway, including the 1927–33 multiple unit compartment stock used on routes to Watford and Rickmansworth and these were refurbished to form a uniform fleet and designated London Underground T Stock. In the 1950s a number of F Stock trains, with sliding doors under the control of the guard, were transferred to the Metropolitan line from the District line; these mainly worked the semi-fast Harrow and Uxbridge services.
Steam-hauled passenger trains ran north of Rickmansworth until 1961, when the line as far as Amersham was electrified and aluminium A stock, originally unpainted, replaced the T stock and locomotive hauled trains and the London Transport service north of Amersham withdrawn. More A Stock trains were built in 1962–63 to replace the trains on the Uxbridge service. The A Stock were 4-car units that could operate as four or eight car trains; normally operated as 8-cars, a 4-car unit operated the Chesham shuttle. Because of the growth of suburban traffic on the Metropolitan, the line north of Harrow-on-the-Hill was quadrupled to north of Moor Park by 1962. One person operation of the trains was proposed in 1972, but due to conflict with the Trade Unions was not introduced on the Metropolitan line until 1986.
A separate identity 
Although the service on the East London line had been an isolated shuttle since 1939, the line was shown on London Underground maps as part of the Metropolitan line until 1968. In 1970 the line became shown on maps with a thin white line in the middle and labelled as the "East London section". By the 1985 map it had became the "East London Line", although remaining the same colour as the Metropolitan line with a white line in the middle, although this had changed to orange by the 1990 map. In 1990 the Hammersmith & City line became a separate line from Hammersmith to Algate East (Barking during the peak) and the Metropolitan line the line from Aldgate to Baker Street and then northwards, through "Metro-land" to Amersham with a branch to Uxbridge.
In 2003, the infrastructure of the Metropolitan line was partly privatised in a public–private partnership, managed by the Metronet consortium. Metronet went into administration in 2007 and the local government body Transport for London took over responsibilities.
From July 2010 S Stock trains have replaced A Stock units and the final A Stock passenger services ran on 26 September 2012, followed by a ticketed public railtour on 29 September. As the S Stock is a fixed eight carriage train, on 12 December 2010 London Underground reduced the service to Amersham from 4 to 2 trains an hour and provided a direct service between Chesham and central London, allowing the 4-car Chesham shuttle to be withdrawn.
Railway line 
The Metropolitan line is 42 mi (67 km) long and serves 34 stations. The line is electrified with a four-rail DC system: a central conductor rail is energised at –210 V and a rail outside the running rail at +420 V, giving a potential difference of 630 V. The first 6 miles (9.7 km) from the Aldgate terminus is underground, and services share track with Circle line and Hammersmith & City line services until Baker Street station, where the line diverges, remaining in tunnels until Finchley Road station. Between Finchley Road and Wembley Park station the line runs parallel to the Jubilee line, the tracks being paired by direction with cross-platform interchange at the two stations. At Wembley Park the Jubilee line diverges to the Stanmore branch in a grade separated junction. Just after Finchley Road these four tracks run in parallel to the Network Rail Chiltern Main Line from Marylebone station.
Between Wembley Park and Harrow-on-the-Hill station the Metropolitan is four tracks with fast and slow lines paired by direction, paralleling the two track un-electrified Chiltern Main Line. The slow tracks are between the fast tracks and the two intermediate stations are island platforms. Harrow-on-the-Hill station has platforms on all six tracks. The two central slow tracks diverge here in a grade separated junction to become the 7.5 miles (12.1 km) Uxbridge branch. After West Harrow tube station, at Rayners Lane tube station the line is joined by Piccadilly line services that share the tracks to Uxbridge; a turnback siding allows some Piccadilly line services to terminate at Rayners Lane.
On the main line between Harrow-on-the-Hill and Moor Park tube station the line is four track, paired by use. The western fast tracks are shared with Chiltern line services from Marylebone, the eastern slow tracks have platforms at the intermediate stations. There is access at Watford triangle to the Watford branch. At the moment this two tracked branch has two stations at Croxley tube station and Watford tube station, however in 2018 the Croxley Rail Link project is scheduled to close Watford station and divert the line to Watford Junction station via Watford High Street tube station. From the Watford triangle to Amersham station the line has two tracks. At Chalfont & Latimer station the 3.89 miles (6.26 km) single track Chesham branch diverges, running in parallel to the tracks to Amersham for a distance. The Metropolitan line, and the electrification for the trains, ends at Amersham station, where there are turnback sidings just beyond the platforms. The line continues to Aylesbury railway station with a passenger service provided by Chiltern Railway trains.
The fast lines north of Harrow, including all the lines north of Rickmansworth, are signalled with standard four-aspect Network Rail signal heads using standard LUL signalling. The upper two lights are a standard two-aspect LUL stop signal, displaying either a single green or single red aspect. The lower two lights are a standard LUL repeater signal for the next stop signal ahead, showing either a single green or single yellow aspect. The repeater indication is suppressed when the stop signal shows a red aspect. Thus the signal is two signals combined, giving the train driver a three-aspect signal. The danger indication is a single red light; the caution indication (that is the next stop signal shows danger) is a yellow light with a green light above it and the clear indication is two green lights.
The off-peak service as of December 2012[update] is:
- 2 tph (trains per hour) between Amersham and Aldgate
- 2 tph between Chesham and Aldgate
- 4 tph between Watford and Baker Street
- 8 tph between Uxbridge and Baker Street, of which 4 tph continue to Aldgate.
There are additional trains during the peak hours. Off-peak trains stop at all stations, but some peak-hour Amersham and Chesham trains run non-stop between Moor Park and Harrow-on-the-Hill and/or Harrow-on-the-Hill and Wembley Park. Chiltern Railways also run two trains per hour from Amersham to Marylebone. The section from Aldgate to Baker Street is in Zone 1 and the line runs north west to Amersham in Zone 9. Nearly 68 million passenger journeys were made in 2011/12.
Rolling stock 
Since 26 September 2012 all services on the line are provided by S Stock trains introduced in July 2010 to replace the A Stock. These eight-car trains, part of Bombardier's Movia family, are equipped with air-conditioning made feasible as the sub-surface tunnels, unlike those on the deep-level tube lines, are able to disperse the exhausted hot air. These trains also have regenerative brakes, returning around 20% of their energy to the network and thus reducing energy consumption.
With a top speed of 62 miles per hour (100 km/h), the new 8-car trains have fewer seats — 306 compared with 448 in the A Stock, but is capable of accommodating more standing passengers — 697, compared with 597 in A Stock[note 1] and has dedicated space for wheelchairs. It is planned to increase the traction voltage from the present nominal 630 V to 750 V to give better performance and allow the trains to return more energy to the network through their regenerative brakes.
The Metropolitan line is served by a depot at Neasden.[note 2] The Metropolitan Railway opened a carriage works at Neasden in 1882 and the following year the locomotive works were moved from Edgware Road. In 1904–05 the depot was refitted to take the new electric multiple units and accommodation enlarged in 1932–3. After the amalgamation into the LTPB, the depot was rebuilt from 1936 to 1939. The depot was upgraded in 2010–11 to make it suitable for maintenance of the new S Stock trains. Trains are also stabled overnight at Uxbridge, Watford, Rickmansworth and Wembley Park.
Steam on the Met 
In 1989, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Metropolitan to Chesham, the first Steam on the Met event took place, with London Underground running two weekends of steam specials between Chesham and Watford. The event was a success and so in 1990, London Underground decided to run steam between Harrow and Amersham. In 1992, to celebrate 100 years of the Met at Amersham, the event was extended to five days at the end of May. In 1995, it was decided to run trains between Amersham and Watford.
Engines used in the event included BR standard class 4 tank, BR standard class 5, and GWR Pannier tanks. There were also various other rolling stock used as static displays at Rickmansworth sidings. The steam trains ran in between normal timetabled Metropolitan and main line services. Due to the imminent partial privatisation of LUL and the stock condition, the last steam excursion took place in 2000. In 2008, special trains ran on the Met using Metropolitan Railway electric locomotive "Sarah Siddons" and diesel Class 20 locomotives.
To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the opening of the Metropolitan special services ran in January 2013 using a restored 1892 "Jubilee" carriage, 1898–1900 Ashbury and Cravens bogie carriages, Metropolitan Railway E Class steam locomotive No. 1 and electric locomotive "Sarah Siddons". Further events are planned in 2013 for Locomotive No. 1, "Sarah Siddons" and the Jubilee carriage, including a Steam back on the Met scheduled for May.
Upgrade and extension 
Sub-surface railway upgrade 
Together with the introduction of the S Stock trains, the sub-surface track, electrical supply and signalling systems are being upgraded in a programme planned to increase peak-hour capacity on the Metropolitan line by 27 per cent by the end of 2018. A single control room for the sub-surface network is to be established in Hammersmith and an automatic train control (ATC) system will replace signalling equipment installed from the 1940s. Trackside signals with Automatic Train Protection (ATP) will remain on the line north of Harrow-on-the-Hill shared with Chiltern Railway DMUs. It is planned that the new signalling system will be used first on the line north of Baker Street from the end of 2016.
Croxley Rail Link 
The Watford Branch is planned to be rerouted from the current terminus at Watford tube station over the disused Croxley Green branch line to Watford Junction. Funding was agreed in December 2011, and the necessary permission has been requested from the Government. Construction work is expected to start in June 2014 and end by January 2016.
List of stations 
Open stations 
In order from east to west
|Aldgate||18 November 1876||Circle||Terminus|
|Liverpool Street||12 July 1875||Circle||Opened as Bishopsgate, renamed 1 November 1909|
|Moorgate||23 December 1865||Circle||Opened as Moorgate Street, renamed 24 October 1924|
|Barbican||23 December 1865||Circle||Opened as Aldersgate Street, renamed to Aldersgate in 1910, renamed Aldersgate and Barbican in 1923, current name is from 1968|
|Farringdon||10 January 1863||Circle||Station resited 22 December 1865. Opened as Farringdon Street, renamed Farringdon & High Holborn 1922, renamed 1936|
|King's Cross St. Pancras||10 January 1863||Circle||Station resited 1941. Opened King's Cross, renamed King's Cross & St Pancras 1925, current name is from 1933.|
|Euston Square||10 January 1863||Circle||Originally Gower Street, renamed 1909|
|Great Portland Street||10 January 1863||Circle||Originally Portland Road, renamed Great Portland Street 1917, Great Portland Street & Regent's Park 1923, current name from 1933|
|Baker Street||10 January 1863||Main
|Metropolitan line platforms date from 1868|
|Finchley Road||30 June 1879||Main
|Finchley Road (South Hampstead) from 1885 to 1914|
|Wembley Park||12 May 1894||Main
|Preston Road||21 May 1908||Main
|Northwick Park||28 June 1923||Main
|Opened as Northwick Park & Kenton, renamed 1937|
|Harrow-on-the-Hill||2 August 1880||Main
|Opened as Harrow, renamed 1894|
|West Harrow||17 November 1913||Uxbridge|
|Rayners Lane||26 May 1906||Uxbridge|
|Eastcote||26 May 1906||Uxbridge|
|Ruislip Manor||5 August 1912||Uxbridge|
|Ruislip||4 July 1904||Uxbridge|
|Ickenham||25 September 1905||Uxbridge|
|Hillingdon||10 December 1923||Uxbridge||Named Hillingdon (Swakeleys) in 1934, suffix gradually dropped, station resited in 1992|
|Uxbridge||4 July 1904||Uxbridge||Station resited in 1938
|North Harrow||22 March 1915||Main
|Pinner||25 May 1885||Main
|Northwood Hills||13 November 1933||Main
|Northwood||1 September 1887||Main
|The last station within Greater London|
|Moor Park||9 May 1910||Main
|Opened as Sandy Lodge; renamed Moor Park & Sandy Lodge, 18 October 1923; current name from 25 September 1950|
|Croxley||2 November 1925||Watford||Opened as Croxley Green, renamed 23 May 1949|
|Watford||4 November 1925||Watford||Terminus|
|Rickmansworth||1 September 1887||Main
|Chorleywood||8 July 1889||Main
|Opened as Chorley Wood; renamed Chorley Wood & Chenies, 1 November 1915; reverted 1934; current name from 1964|
|Chalfont & Latimer||8 July 1889||Main
|Opened as Chalfont Road, renamed 1 November 1915|
|Chesham||8 July 1889||Chesham||Terminus|
|Amersham||1 September 1892||Main
|Renamed Amersham & Chesham Bois, 12 March 1922, reverted 1937
Former stations 
The Brill Tramway, together with its stations Waddesdon Road, Westcott, Wotton, Church Siding, Wood Siding and Brill, were closed in 1935. In the following year Metropolitan line services were cut back to Aylesbury, Waddesdon station and Granborough Road, Winslow Road stations on the line to Verney Junction closing. Initially Verney Junction and Quainton Road remained open, with main line services provided by the LNER.
In 1939 the Stanmore branch and the stopping service between Finchley Road and Wembley Park were transferred to the Bakerloo line. On the St John's Wood section Lord's and Marlborough Road stations were replaced by St John's Wood tube station, and Swiss Cottage tube station replaced the Metropolitan line station. The Bakerloo line service to Stanmore was transferred to the Jubilee line when that line opened in 1979.
In 1961, when the steam locomotives were replaced and the line electrified as far as Amersham, the London Transport service to Great Missenden, Wendover, Stoke Mandeville and Aylesbury stations was withdrawn.
Notes and references 
- Based on 4 passengers per square metre.
- "Performance: LU Performance Data Almanac". Transport for London. 2011/12. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
- "London Underground Key Facts". Transport for London. Retrieved 21 May 2008.
- Green 1987, pp. 3–5.
- Edwards, Dennis; Pigram, Ron (1988). The Golden Years of the Metropolitan Railway and the Metro-land Dream. Bloomsbury. p. 32. ISBN 1-870630-11-4.
- Bobrick, Benson (1981). Labyrinths of Iron. Newsweek books. p. 142.
- Green 1987, pp. 7–10.
- Green 1987, pp. 11–14.
- Green 1987, pp. 24–26.
- Green 1987, pp. 43–45.
- Green 1987, pp. 46–48.
- Horne 2003, p. 69.
- Rose, Douglas (December 2007) . The London Underground: A Diagrammatic History (8th ed.). Harrow Weald: Capital Transport. ISBN 978-1-85414-315-0.
- Green 1987, p. 51.
- Green 1987, p. 63.
- Bruce 1983, pp. 72–74.
- Bruce 1983, pp. 78–81.
- Bruce 1983, p. 110.
- Bruce 1983, p. 113.
- Green 1987, p. 55.
- Croome, Desmond F.; Jackson, Alan Arthur (1993). Rails Through the Clay: A History of London's Tube Railways. Capital Transport. p. 468. ISBN 978-1-85414-151-4.
- "London Underground map 1968". The London Tube map archive. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
- "London Underground map 1970". The London Tube map archive. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
- "London Underground map 1985". The London Tube map archive. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
- "London Underground map 1990". The London Tube map archive. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
- "PPP Performance Report". Transport for London. 2009/10. pp. 7–8. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
- "A Stock last day on the Metropolitan Line". Railways Today. 26 September 2012. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
- "Last A stock rail tour". ltmuseum.co.uk. Retrieved 27 September 2012.
- "Chesham trains to run direct into Central London" (Press release). Transport for London. 7 December 2010. Retrieved 11 June 2011.
- "Key facts". Transport for London. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
- Andrew Martin (26 April 2012). Underground, Overground: A Passenger's History of the Tube. Profile Books. pp. 137–138. ISBN 978-1-84765-807-4. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
- "Metropolitan line facts". Transport for London. Retrieved 23 November 2012.
- "Detailed London Transport Map". carto.metro.free.fr. Retrieved 23 November 2012.
- Horne 2003, p. x.
- "Croxley Rail Link". Transport for London. Retrieved 23 November 2012.
- "Amersham/Chesham tube guide". Transport for London. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- G M Kichenside; Alan Williams. British Railway Signalling. p. 72.
- "Watford tube guide". Transport for London. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- "Uxbridge to Aldgate Metropolitan line timetable". Transport for London. Retrieved 9 December 2012. In the Tube timetable - Tube station box select "Uxbridge" and press Get Timetable. Select Metropolitan line Aldgate timetable and then view timetable.
- "Standard Tube Map". Transport for London. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
- "Commissioner's Report". Board Meeting Documents. paragraph 3.2: Transport for London. 20 September 2012. Retrieved 27 September 2012.
- Waboso, David (December 2010). "Transforming the tube". Modern Railways (London). pp. 42–45.
- "Metro — London, United Kingdom". Bombardier. Retrieved 27 January 2011.
- "'S' stock making its mark". Modern Railways (London). December 2010. p. 46.
- "Transforming the Tube". Transport for London. July 2008. Retrieved 28 May 2009.
- *"Rolling Stock: A Stock". Transport for London. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
- "Rolling Stock: S Stock". Transport for London. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
- "S stock". Transport for London. Retrieved 10 January 2012. Unknown parameter
- Jackson 1986, pp. 82–82.
- Jackson 1986, p. 176.
- Jackson 1986, p. 281.
- "Works begin to build new maintenance facility at Neasden Depot". Transport for London. 28 September 2010. Retrieved 11 February 2011.
- www.metroland.org.uk. "Steam on the Met".
- Geoffrey King. "Steam on the Met".
- "Not quite Steam on the Met". peat.me.uk. 30 August 2008. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
- "Past Events - tube 150". London Transport Museum. Retrieved 4 February 2013.
- "Vehicles on the Move". London Transport Museum (Press release). Retrieved 4 February 2013.
- Abbott, James. "Sub-surface renewal". Modern Railways (January 2013): pp. 38–41.
- "Our Upgrade Plan". Transport for London. London Underground. February 2011. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
- "Tube Upgrade Plan: Metropolitan line". Transport for London. Retrieved 18 June 2011.
- Stewart, Rob. "Cityflo 650 to control the SSR". Modern Railways (January 2013): pp. 42–43.
- "Transport schemes given £854m in government funding". BBC News. 14 December 2011. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
- Bruce, J Graeme (1983). Steam to Silver. A history of London Transport Surface Rolling Stock. Capital Transport. ISBN 0-904711-45-5.
- Green, Oliver (1987). The London Underground: An illustrated history. Ian Allan. ISBN 0-7110-1720-4.
- Horne, Mike (2003). The Metropolitan Line. Capital Transport. ISBN 1-85414-275-5.
- Jackson, Alan (1986). London's Metropolitan Railway. David & Charles. ISBN 0-7153-8839-8.
Further reading 
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Metropolitan Line|
- Metropolitan line facts
- Clive's Underground Line Guide
- Railways Around Amersham & The Metropolitan Line