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Bakerloo line

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Bakerloo line
Bakerloo line flag box.svg
A grey, red and blue 1972 Stock Bakerloo Line train waiting at a platform at Queen's Park station, bound for Elephant & Castle
A southbound 1972 Stock Bakerloo Line train at Queen's Park
Colour on mapBrown Edit this at Wikidata
TypeRapid transit
SystemLondon Underground
  • Stonebridge Park
  • London Road
  • Queen's Park
Rolling stock1972 Tube Stock
Ridership111,136,000 (2011/12)[1] passenger journeys
Opened10 March 1906; 115 years ago (1906-03-10)
Last extension1917
Line length23.2 km (14.4 mi)
CharacterDeep level
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge
London Underground
Hammersmith & City
Waterloo & City
Other systems
London Overground
London Trams
TfL Rail

The Bakerloo line (/ˌbkərˈl/) is a London Underground line that goes from Harrow & Wealdstone in suburban north-west London to Elephant & Castle in south London, via the West End. Coloured brown on the Tube map, it serves 25 stations, 15 of which are underground, over 14.4 miles (23.2 km). It runs partly on the surface and partly in deep-level tube tunnels.

The line is so named because it runs via Baker Street and Waterloo. From Queen's Park to Harrow & Wealdstone (the section above ground), the line shares tracks with the London Overground Watford DC line and runs parallel to the West Coast Main Line. There is, however, a short tunnel at the western end of Kensal Green.

Opened between 1906 and 1915, many of its stations retain elements of their design to a common standard: the stations below ground using Art Nouveau decorative tiling by Leslie Green, and the above-ground stations built in red brick with stone detailing in an Arts & Crafts style. It is the ninth-busiest line on the network, carrying more than 111 million passengers annually.


The route had its origins in the failed projects of the pneumatic 1865 Waterloo and Whitehall Railway and the 1882 Charing Cross and Waterloo Electric Railway.[2]

Originally called the Baker Street & Waterloo Railway, the line was constructed by the Underground Electric Railways Company of London (UERL) and opened between Lambeth North (at the time named Kennington Road) and Baker Street on 10 March 1906.[3] It was extended eastward to Elephant & Castle five months later, on 5 August. The contraction of the name to "Bakerloo" rapidly caught on, and the official name was changed to match in July 1906.[3]

When work on the line started in June 1898, 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. As a result, work on the line was stopped for a few months and did not resume until Charles Yerkes and UERL stepped in and took over the project.[3]

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

Watford branch[edit]

The northbound Bakerloo line platform at Edgware Road

In 1915, the line was extended to Queen's Park, where it joined the LNWR's Euston-Watford DC line (now part of London Overground) to Watford Junction. Bakerloo services to Watford Junction were reduced in the 1960s and cut back in 1982 to Stonebridge Park.

Services as far as Harrow & Wealdstone were gradually restored from 1984, and in 1989 the present all-day service was instituted.

Stanmore branch[edit]

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 included the construction of new sections of tunnel between the Bakerloo line's platforms at Baker Street and 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 20 November 1939. The branch remained part of the Bakerloo line until 1 May 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, initially created by connecting the Stanmore branch to new tunnels bored between Baker Street and Charing Cross.

When the Bakerloo line was extended to Watford in 1915, it acquired an interchange at Harrow & Wealdstone with another route to Stanmore, the Stanmore branch line. This branch line was operated by the LNWR and terminated at a separate Stanmore station (later renamed Stanmore Village). It was closed in 1964, partly due to the success of the rival Metropolitan/Bakerloo Underground line to Stanmore.[4]

Camberwell extension[edit]

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.[5][6] In April 1937, the estimated cost of the proposed extension was £5,000,000 (approximately £299 million today)[7] and the London Passenger Transport Board announced that, due to rising materials prices, the extension had been postponed until the Board's finances improved.[8] Apart from the extension of the sidings south of Elephant & Castle, no work on the extension took place before the Second World War, but the powers were renewed by the government in 1947 under the Special Enactments (Extension of Time) Act, 1940.[9] A projected extension as far as Camberwell was shown on a 1949 edition of the Underground map but no further work was done.[10] The train describers at Warwick Avenue station showed Camberwell as a destination until the 1990s.[11] Further extensions of the line were considered - south to Peckham Rye in the 1970s, and east to London Docklands and Canary Wharf in the 1980s. Neither proposal was proceeded with.[12][13]

Electricity supply[edit]

One oddity is that, almost from its opening until 1917, the Bakerloo 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.[14] In 1917, the two lines were separated when the LNWR began 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 10 March 2006, when various events were organised on the line.[15]

Future developments[edit]

Re-extension to Watford Junction[edit]

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 (on the Watford DC Line) from the Department for Transport (DfT) to Transport for London (TfL). This was in conjunction with the reorganisation of a number of north London railways under London Overground.[16][17]

Under a former London Plan, it was 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 shared with London Overground, would be shared with the Bakerloo line.[16] The Best And Final Bid documentation for the Croxley Rail Link project indicates that this Bakerloo line extension is now "unlikely" because "TfL's plans to extend the Bakerloo line to Watford Junction are on hold indefinitely due to funding and business case constraints".[18]

Extension to Lewisham and Hayes[edit]

Proposed Bakerloo line extension to Lewisham, safeguarded by TfL in 2021

Since the late 2000s, Transport for London (TfL) has been planning an extension of the line, with a route to Lewisham via Old Kent Road safeguarded in 2021.[19] 4 stations would be built at Burgess Park, Old Kent Road, New Cross Gate and Lewisham,[20] with provision for a further extension along the Mid-Kent line to Hayes and Beckenham Junction. This could occur following the completion of the extension to Lewisham.[21] Estimated to cost between £4.7bn to £7.9bn (in 2017 prices), the extension would take around 7 years to construct.[22] Due to TfL's poor finances following the COVID-19 pandemic, work to implement the extension is currently on hold.[20]

Rolling stock[edit]

Former rolling stock[edit]

A red 1938 Bakerloo line train bound for Harrow & Wealdstone waiting at a platform at Harlesden station with its doors open
A northbound 1938 Bakerloo train at Harlesden station

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 London, Midland and Scottish Railway (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 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 have air-operated doors. These were later replaced by more trains of Standard Stock, in turn being replaced by 1938 stock and 1949 stock.

Until 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 20 November 1985. From 1986, the 1959 stock was transferred to the Northern line.[23]

Current and future infrastructure[edit]

The interior of a Bakerloo line train

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

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

In the early 2000s, the interiors of the trains were 'deep-cleaned' and the upholstery replaced using a blue moquette. The seating layouts are both longitudinal and transverse; some cars have longitudinal seating only.

A TfL Finance and Policy Committee Paper dated 11 March 2015 revealed that the repair programme for the 1972 Stock would cost more than planned, due to the worse-than-expected condition of the fleet.[24]

In early 2016, a four-year refurbishment programme began with the first of the new-look cars operating on the line in March.[25] Each car's interior is being cleaned, the seating moquette replaced with a variation of the Barman type seen on other lines, and handrails and lighting renewed. Each car is being assessed and repair work carried out to ensure the stock can operate safely until its replacement with the New Tube for London stock by the early 2030s.

Transport for London proposes to upgrade the line eventually, but not until other deep-level lines have been dealt with. This will include new signalling and new trains, enabling a maximum frequency of 27 trains per hour. TfL currently expects these to be in place by 2033.[26]

LUL has invited Alstom, Bombardier and Siemens to develop a new concept of lightweight, low-energy, semi-articulated train for the deep-level lines, provisionally called "Evo" (for 'evolution'). So far only Siemens has publicised an outline design, which would feature air-conditioning and would also have battery power enabling the train to run on to the next station if third and fourth rail power were lost. It would have a lower floor and 11% higher passenger capacity than the present tube stock.[27] There would be a weight saving of 30 tonnes, and the trains would be 17% more energy-efficient with air-conditioning included, or 30% more energy-efficient without it.[28] The intention is that these new trains would eventually operate on the Bakerloo, Central, Piccadilly and Waterloo & City lines.[29]


Geographically accurate path of the Bakerloo line


Off-peak services on Bakerloo line are:

  • 6 tph (trains per hour) from Harrow & Wealdstone to Elephant & Castle
  • 3 tph from Stonebridge Park to Elephant & Castle
  • 11 tph from Queen's Park to Elephant & Castle

This forms a 20tph service (or a train every 3 minutes) between Queen's Park and Elephant & Castle.


Bakerloo line
(Bakerloo closed 1982)
Turnback siding
Harrow & Wealdstone London Overground National Rail
(closed 1964)
Kenton London Overground
South Kenton London Overground
North Wembley London Overground
Wembley Central London Overground National Rail
line ownership
Stonebridge Park London Overground
Harlesden London Overground
Willesden Junction London Overground
Kensal Green London Overground
line ownership
Queen's Park North sheds
Queens Park London Overground
Queen's Park South sheds
Kilburn Park
Maida Vale
Warwick Avenue
Paddington Circle line (London Underground) District Line Hammersmith & City Line National Rail
Edgware Road
Marylebone National Rail
link from Jubilee line
Baker Street Circle line (London Underground) Hammersmith & City Line Jubilee Line Metropolitan Line
link to Jubilee line
Regent's Park
Oxford Circus Central line (London Underground) Victoria Line
Piccadilly Circus Piccadilly Line
Charing Cross Northern Line National Rail
Embankment Circle line (London Underground) District Line Northern Line London River Services
Waterloo Jubilee Line Northern Line Waterloo & City Line National Rail London River Services
Lambeth North
Elephant & Castle Northern Line National Rail Thameslink

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

Station Image Opened[30] Additional Information
Harrow & Wealdstone London Overground National Rail Disabled access Harrow & Wealdstone main building.JPG 16 April 1917 Connects with London Overground and National rail Services. Service withdrawn 24 September 1982. Service restored 4 June 1
Kenton London Overground Kenton station building.JPG 16 April 1917 Service withdrawn 24 September 1982. Service restored 4 June 2
South Kenton London Overground South Kenton stn west entrance.JPG 3 July 1933 Service withdrawn 24 September 1982. Service restored 4 June 3
North Wembley London Overground North Wembley stn building.JPG 16 April 1917 Service withdrawn 24 September 1982. Service restored 4 June 4
Wembley Central London Overground National Rail Disabled access Wembley Central stn building Oct 09.JPG 16 April 1917 Connects with National rail Services. Opened as Wembley Central for Sudbury; renamed 5 July 1948. Service withdrawn 24 September 1982. Service restored 4 June 5
Stonebridge Park London Overground Stonebridge Park station 2.jpg 1 August 1917 map 6
Harlesden London Overground Harlesden station building.JPG 16 April 1917 map 7
Willesden Junction London Overground Disabled access Willesden Junction stn north entrance.JPG 10 May 1915 Connects with London 8
Kensal Green London Overground Kensal Green stn building.jpg 1 October 1916 map 9
Queen's Park London OvergroundNational Rail Queen's Park stn building.JPG 11 February 1915 Connects with London Overground and National rail 10
Kilburn Park Kilburn park tube station.jpg 31 January 1915 map 11
Maida Vale MaidaVale.jpg 6 June 1915 map 12
Warwick Avenue WarwickAvenue.jpg 31 January 1915 map 13
Paddington National Rail (Airport interchange Trains to Heathrow) Paddington subsurface station building.jpg 1 December 1913 Connects with Circle, District and Hammersmith & City lines, TfL rail and National rail 14
Edgware Road Edgware Road stn (Bakerloo line) building.JPG 15 June 1907 map 15
Marylebone National Rail Marylebone station 01.jpg 27 March 1907 Connects with National rail services. Opened as Great Central; renamed 15 April 16
Baker Street BakerStEntrance.JPG 10 March 1906 Connects with Circle, Hammersmith & City, Jubilee and Metropolitan 17
Regent's Park Regents Park tube station.jpg 10 March 1906 map 18
Oxford Circus Oxford Circus tube station - Bakerloo line entrance.jpg 10 March 1906 Connects with Central and Victoria 19
Piccadilly Circus Piccadillycircus.jpg 10 March 1906 Connects with Piccadilly 20
Charing Cross National Rail Charing Cross tube station 1.jpg 10 March 1906 map 21Connects with Northern line and National rail services. Opened as Trafalgar Square; renamed 1 May 1979.[31]
Embankment Embankment station.jpg 10 March 1906 map 22 Connects with Circle, District and Northern lines. Opened as Charing Cross; renamed 12 September 1976.[31]
Waterloo National Rail Waterloo tube stn entrance.JPG 10 March 1906 Connects with Jubilee, Northern and Waterloo & City lines and National rail 23
Lambeth North Lambeth North stn southbound look north.JPG 10 March 1906 Opened as Kennington Road; renamed Westminster Bridge Road 5 August 1906, renamed Lambeth North 15 April 24
Elephant & Castle National Rail Elephant & Castle stn north entrance.JPG 5 August 1906 Connects with Northern line and National rail 25

Former stations[edit]

Watford branch[edit]

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. Proposals have surfaced to re-extend the Bakerloo line to Watford Junction and service the following stations:

Station Opened Service withdrawn Additional Information
Watford Junction 16 April 1917 16 September 1982
Watford High Street 16 April 1917 24 September 1982
Bushey 16 April 1917 24 September 1982 Known as Bushey & Oxhey before 6 May 1974.
Carpenders Park 5 April 1919 24 September 1982 Closed 16 November 1952; re-opened on new site 17 November 1952.
Hatch End 16 April 1917 24 September 1982 Opened as Hatch End & Pinner; renamed Hatch End (for Pinner) 1 February 1920, renamed Hatch End 1956.
Headstone Lane 16 April 1917 24 September 1982

Stanmore branch[edit]

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


Bakerloo line depot at London Road

The Bakerloo line is currently served by three depots: a main depot at Stonebridge Park,map 26 opened on 9 April 1978 on the site of a former British Rail power station which contains the fleet's maintenance facilities; the original depot at London Roadmap 27 (between Elephant and Castle and Lambeth North, though connected to the line between Lambeth North and Waterloo); and a small depot immediately north of Queens Park,map 28 built in 1915. The Queens Park depot is unique on the London Underground network in that trains in passenger service run through it.

When Bakerloo line services ran to Watford, there was also an additional depot, Croxley Green Light Maintenance Depot at Croxley Green; this depot closed in November 1985 following the withdrawal of services.

When the Bakerloo had two branches at its northern end, to Queens Park (as currently) and to Stanmore (now taken over by the Jubilee line), the depot at Neasden on the Stanmore branch was the principal one on the line. The Jubilee taking over this branch from 1979 was the reason behind building the new Stonebridge Park depot.

The London Road depot is unusual in that, although the depot is on the surface, the line passes nearby in tunnel, connected by a short and sharply graded branch tunnel.

See also[edit]


Map all coordinates using: OpenStreetMap 
Download coordinates as: KML


  1. ^ "LU Performance Data Almanac 2011/12". Transport for London. Archived from the original on 3 August 2012. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
  2. ^ "An extended history of the Bakerloo line". TfL.
  3. ^ a b c Day, J.R.; Reed, J. (2001). The Story of London's Underground. Harrow Weald: Capital Transport Publishing. ISBN 978-1-85414-245-0.
  4. ^ "Disused Stations: Harrow & Wealdstone Station". 12 February 2018. Archived from the original on 12 February 2018. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  5. ^ "No. 33699". The London Gazette. 17 March 1931. pp. 1809–1811.
  6. ^ "No. 33761". The London Gazette. 9 October 1931. p. 6462.
  7. ^ UK Retail Price Index inflation figures are based on data from Clark, Gregory (2017). "The Annual RPI and Average Earnings for Britain, 1209 to Present (New Series)". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved 2 February 2020.
  8. ^ "Rising Cost of Steel - London Transport Economics - Extensions Delayed". The Times. London. 10 April 1937. p. 14.
  9. ^ "No. 38145". The London Gazette. 12 December 1947. p. 5876.
  10. ^ "London Tube Map". London Transport. June 1949. Archived from the original on 25 January 2008. Retrieved 13 January 2008.
  11. ^ Garland, Ken (1994). Mr Beck's Underground Map. Capital Transport. p. 41. ISBN 978-1-85414-168-2.
  12. ^ Roberts, Jonathan (December 2011). "Extending the Bakerloo - Tube line could reach Hayes". Modern Railways. pp. 56–59.
  13. ^ Roberts, Jonathan (13 September 2011). "Reports of Society Meetings - Beyond the Elephant" (PDF). London Underground Railway Society. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
  14. ^ "Bakerloo Line, Dates". Clive's Underground Lines Guide. Archived from the original on 26 January 2008. Retrieved 13 January 2008.
  15. ^ "Tube line's 100 year celebration". BBC News. London. 10 March 2006.
  16. ^ a b "Scenario Testing for the Further Alterations to the London Plan" (PDF). Greater London Authority. March 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 19 June 2007.
  17. ^ "Information on Bakerloo line re-extension to Watford Junction" (PDF). Transport for London.
  18. ^ "Croxley Rail Link BAFB Value For Money Annex" (PDF). Steer Davis Gleave. 2011. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
  19. ^ O'Byrne Mulligan, Euan (1 March 2021). "Bakerloo Line Lewisham extension route secured for development". News Shopper. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
  20. ^ a b "Planning for the Future - Bakerloo line extension". Transport for London. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
  21. ^ Thicknesse, Edward (30 November 2020). "Proposal to extend Bakerloo line to Beckenham and Hayes gathers steam". CityAM. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
  22. ^ "Bakerloo line extension Background to Consultation Summary Report October 2019" (PDF). Transport for London. October 2019. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
  23. ^ Horne, M.A.C. (2001). The Bakerloo Line. Capital Transport. ISBN 978-1-85414-248-1.
  24. ^ "Bakerloo Line Fleet Life Extension" (PDF). Transport for London. 11 March 2015. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  25. ^ "First look at newly-refurbished Bakerloo Line train". London Evening Standard. 31 March 2016. Archived from the original on 24 April 2016. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  26. ^ "New Tube for London Programme – Delivery Stage: Design and Specification" (PDF). Transport for London. January 2014. p. 3. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 January 2014.
  27. ^ Waboso, David (December 2010). "Transforming the tube". Modern Railways. London. p. 44.
  28. ^ "Siemens unveils London Underground concept train". Railway Gazette International. London. 20 June 2011.
  29. ^ "Siemens reveals innovative air-con for deep Tube trains". Rail. No. 673. Peterborough. 29 June 2011. p. 12.
  30. ^ Rose, Douglas (1999). The London Underground, A Diagrammatic History. London: Douglas Rose/Capital Transport. ISBN 978-1-85414-219-1. OCLC 59556887.
  31. ^ a b Connor, J.E.; Halford, B. Forgotten Stations of Greater London.

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