Piccadilly Line

From Academic Kids

Lines of the
London Underground
  East London
  Hammersmith & City
  Waterloo & City
  Docklands Light Railway

The Piccadilly Line is a line of the London Underground, coloured dark blue on the Tube map. It is a deep-level line running from the north-east to the west of London, albeit with significant surface running sections in its outer parts.



The beginnings

The Great Northern, Piccadilly & Brompton Railway (GNP&BR) (its original title) was one of several controlled by the Underground Electric Railways Co of London Ltd, whose chief director was Charles Tyson Yerkes, although he himself died before any of his schemes could come to fruition. There had been, in 1902, 26 Bills before Parliament to construct tube railways in London, and it required a Parliamentary Committee to decide on the most worthy of them as far as the Piccadilly Line was concerned.

The scheme eventually agreed involved the amalgamation of two of the planned tube railways: the Great Northern and Strand Railway (GN&SR) and the Brompton and Piccadilly Circus Railway (B&PR) and the taking over of a District Railway scheme for a deep-level tube line between South Kensington and Earl's Court (approved in 1897 but not built). When the GNP&BR was formally opened on 15 December 1906, the line ran from Great Northern & City Line terminus at Finsbury Park to Hammersmith.

On 30 November 1907 the short branch from Holborn to the Strand was opened. This had originally been the last section of the GN&SR before the amalgamation with the B&PR was made; in 1905 (and again in 1965) plans were made to extend it the short distance south under the River Thames to Waterloo, but this was never to come about. Although built with twin tunnels, single-line shuttle working became the norm from 1918, and the eastern tunnel closed to traffic.

Equipment and rolling stock

The electrical equipment was on the same general principle as that already adopted for the District Railway: third and fourth rail. Like its chief director, the electrical engineer was an American, James Russell Chapman, Engineer-in-Chief and General Manager of the Underground Electric company.

Lifts were supplied by the Otis Elevator Company of New York. The first railway escalator came into use on 4 October 1911 at Earl's Court between the Piccadilly and District Lines. Specially-designed passenger rolling stock was required; whereas the usual parlance in Britain is to refer to them as "carriages", they have always, because of the original American influence, been termed "cars".

Later changes

On 1 July 1910 the GNP&BR became part of the London Electric Railway. The Act approving the change also applied to the Baker Street and Waterloo Railway and the Charing Cross, Euston and Hampstead Railway.

On 10 December 1928 a new Piccadilly Circus tube station, which included a sub-surface booking hall and eleven escalators was opened. This was the start of a considerable development over the whole of the Railway, which included a comprehensive programme of station enlargement on the same design as at Piccadilly. The early 1930s was a time of recession, and in order to relieve unemployment Government capital was available. The chief features of the scheme were:

These extensions are notable for the Art Deco architecture of their stations, many designed by Charles Holden.

In 1977, the branch to Hounslow West was extended to Heathrow Central. This station was renamed Heathrow Terminals 1,2,3 in 1984, with the opening of a further extension via Heathrow Terminal 4. On the 7 January 2005 this further extension (via Heathrow Terminal 4) closed again, in preparation for works to extend the Piccadilly line to the future Heathrow Terminal 5 station.


(In order from east to west.)

Cockfosters branch

The line splits here into two branches - the Heathrow branch and the Uxbridge branch.

Heathrow branch

(Continuing from Acton Town.)

Uxbridge branch

(Continuing from Acton Town.)

Rolling stock used

See also

Leslie Green - architect of the Great Northern, Piccadilly & Brompton Railway's early stations

External links



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