Circle Line

From Academic Kids

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

This article is about a part of the London Underground. Another Circle Line operates ferry and sightseeing boats in Greater New York.

The Circle Line of the London Underground became known as such in 1949, when it was separated from its parent companies, the Metropolitan Railway and the District Line, although it had been shown on Underground maps since 1947.

In the north, east and west of central London, the Circle Line approximately outlines Travelcard Zone 1 (though in the south there is a substantial portion of the zone outside of the area enclosed by the Circle Line) and is the only line (apart from the two stop Waterloo & City Line) that is completely contained within it. As the name implies, trains run continuously on the line. A complete journey around the line lasts approximately one hour. The Line has 27 stations and 14 miles (22.5km) of track. There are usually quicker routes on other lines when traveling from south to north or viceversa.



see main article Metropolitan and Metropolitan District Railways

The Circle Line was created when Acts of Parliament in 1853 and 1854 empowered the Metropolitan and the Metropolitan District Railways to complete an Inner Circle in London. There was some animosity between the two Railways and it was some years until, on 6 October 1884, the Inner Circle became a reality. Electrification of the Line - which until then had been worked by steam locomotives - was started with an experimental section in 1900. Some disagreement over the power supply delayed electrification, and the first trains using that power were introduced gradually between 13-24 September 1905.

Later routes: the Outer Circle was quickly followed as a concept by a Middle Circle; for a short time there was even a Super Outer Circle. None of these was ever a complete circle: the Outer Circle, for example, from 1872 until 1908 followed the North London and West London Railways from Broad Street station to Willesden Junction and Addison Road (now Kensington (Olympia)), then ran onto the District to terminate at Mansion House. Today the Silverlink franchise trains follow a similar half-circle route from Richmond to east London.

The Line


Geographically accurate map of the Circle Line (Large)
Geographically accurate map of the Circle Line (Large)


in order, clockwise from Paddington


A popular pub crawl, the Circle Line Pub Crawl aims to visit each of the Circle Line tube stations in turn, drinking a half pint or short in a pub near to each.

There were, in 2004, three occurrences of a Circle Line Party. These were promoted by grassroots organisations such as the Space Hijackers, and involve the "hijacking" of a circle line train.

The Circle Line runs LUL's 'C' stock trains (Designated either C69 or C77). Supposedly, each one can hold 1272 passengers, but this uses London Underground's figure of being able to fit 7 people into one square metre.

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