Circle line
A red S7 Stock train arriving at the clockwise platform at Aldgate station, with passengers waiting to board
A Circle line S7 Stock train at Aldgate
Colour on mapCorporate Yellow (with black outline until 1990)[1]
TypeRapid transit
SystemLondon Underground
Rolling stockS7 Stock
Ridership141.627 million (2019)[a][2] passenger journeys
OpenedInfrastructure opened in stages between 1863 (161 years ago) (1863) and 1884; shown as a separate line on the Tube map from 1949
Last extension13 December 2009
Line length27 km (17 mi)
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge
London Underground
Hammersmith & City
Waterloo & City
London Overground
Other TfL Modes
Elizabeth line
London Trams

The Circle line is a spiral-shaped London Underground line, running from Hammersmith in the west to Edgware Road and then looping around central London back to Edgware Road. The railway is below ground in the central section and on the loop east of Paddington. Unlike London's deep-level lines, the Circle line tunnels are just below the surface and are of similar size to those on British main lines. Printed in yellow on the Tube map, the 17-mile (27 km) line serves 36 stations, including most of London's main line termini. Almost all of the route, and all the stations, are shared with one or more of the three other sub-surface lines, namely the District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines. On the Circle and Hammersmith & City lines combined, over 141 million passenger journeys were recorded in 2019.

The first section became operational in 1863 when the Metropolitan Railway opened the world's first underground line between Paddington and Farringdon with wooden carriages and steam locomotives. The same year a select committee report recommended an "inner circle" of lines connecting the London railway termini, and the Metropolitan District Railway (commonly known as the District Railway) was formed to build the southern portion of the line.

In 1871, services began between Mansion House and Moorgate via Paddington, jointly operated by the two companies. Due to conflict between the two companies it was not until October 1884 that the inner circle was completed. The line was electrified in 1905, and in 1933 the companies were amalgamated into the London Passenger Transport Board. In 1949, the Circle line appeared as a separate line for the first time on the Tube map. In 2009, the closed loop around the centre of London on the north side of the River Thames was broken at Edgware Road and extended west to become a spiral to Hammersmith.

Starting in 2015, the signalling system was upgraded as part of a programme to increase peak-hour capacity on the line. The six-car C Stock trains were replaced from 2012 to 2014 by new seven-car S Stock trains.



Main articles: Metropolitan Railway and District Railway

A black-and-white photograph of a railway station platform under a barrel roof. Several figures are visible, one standing wearing a top hat, a sign reads "WAIT HERE FOR THIRD CLASS".
High Street Kensington in 1892

In 1863, the Metropolitan Railway, the world's first underground railway, opened in London between Paddington and Farringdon, connecting the Great Western Railway's relatively remote terminus at Paddington with Euston and King's Cross stations and the City, London's financial district. In the same year, a select committee report recommended an "inner circle" of railway lines connecting the London termini that had been built or were under construction. In the next year, the Metropolitan District Railway (commonly known as the District Railway) was formed to build and operate a railway from South Kensington to Tower Hill. The Metropolitan western extension from a new station at Paddington to South Kensington opened in 1868. By May 1870, the District Railway had opened its line from West Brompton to Blackfriars via Gloucester Road and South Kensington, services being operated at first by the Metropolitan.[3] In 1871, the District had built a terminus at Mansion House, and on 18 November 1876 the Metropolitan opened its terminus at Aldgate.[4] Because of the conflict between the two companies, it took an Act of Parliament before further work was done on the inner circle.[5] In 1882, the Metropolitan extended its line from Aldgate to a temporary station at Tower Hill and the District completed its line to Whitechapel. On 6 October 1884, the temporary station was replaced with a joint station and the inner circle was complete.[6][7] The Metropolitan provided the clockwise, or "outer rail", trains; the District the "inner rail", or anti-clockwise.[8] Many breakdowns occurred, due to the unbalanced wear and tear inflicted upon the train and carriages caused by travelling in a single circular direction. Equally, services were further disrupted due to petty squabbles between the two rivals including an incident whereby the Metropolitan Railway forcibly removed (using three trains) the District Railway's parked carriages which had been chained to the track.[9]

Other circle routes

As well as the inner circle, other routes circumnavigated London, although these were not complete loops. From 1872, the L&NWR began an "outer circle" service from Broad Street to Mansion House via Willesden Junction and Earl's Court, diverting an earlier service that had run to Victoria; and the GWR began a "middle circle" service from Moorgate to Mansion House via Latimer Road and Earl's Court. Both of these routes were cut back to Earl's Court: the "middle circle" in 1900 and the "outer circle" in 1909. The GWR service survived as a shuttle service from the Hammersmith & City line to Addison Road, now Kensington (Olympia), until 1940.[8]

The Midland Railway briefly ran a super outer circle from St Pancras to Earl's Court from 1878 to 1880.[8] London Overground now runs services between Clapham Junction, Willesden Junction and Dalston Junction and between Dalston Junction and Clapham Junction.


A three-quarter black-and-white photograph of a train standing at a station, showing the end carriage with windows at the end
The joint Metropolitan and District Railway experimental electric train that ran between Earl's Court and High Street Kensington in 1900

Wooden carriages were originally hauled by steam locomotives leading to smoke-filled stations and carriages, unpopular with passengers. At the start of the 20th century, the District and Metropolitan were seeing increased competition in central London from the new electric underground tube lines and trams, and conversion to electric traction was seen as the way forward.[10] Experiments were carried out on the Earl's Court to High Street Kensington section, and a jointly-owned six-carriage train began passenger service in 1900. Following this, an AC system was suggested, and this was accepted by both parties. However, the District was looking for a way to raise the finance needed and in 1901 found an investor, the American Charles Yerkes. He formed the Underground Electric Railways of London (UERL), and his experience in the United States led him to favour DC, with third-rail pick-up similar to that in use on the City & South London Railway and Central London Railway. After arbitration by the Board of Trade, the DC system was taken up, and the railways began electrifying the routes, using multiple-unit stock.[11]

The District and Metropolitan Railways bought different designs of electric multiple unit. Both had open saloons; the Metropolitan trains with gated ends, the District B Stock with sliding doors in the middle of each car.[12] When their introduction was attempted on 1 July 1905, a Metropolitan train overturned the third rail on the District Railway, requiring all Metropolitan trains to be modified before running again on the District lines. A fully electric service began on 24 September, initially with six-car trains, later reduced to four-car.[13] The Metropolitan trains were soon modified to enclose the gated end[14] and eventually to add sliding doors in the middle.[15] Trains were increased to five cars in 1918 and the Metropolitan introduced new stock in 1921, with three pairs of sliding double doors on trailer cars.[16] In 1926 the Metropolitan took over all inner circle workings except for three trains on Sundays.[17]

London Transport

A three-quarter photograph of a red train O stock with sliding doors and flared sides, leaving Barking station bound for Ealing in 1980
O Stock was used on the Circle line 1947–70. Here photographed at Barking in 1980.
The Circle line before extension to Hammersmith

On 1 July 1933, the Metropolitan and the District Railways were amalgamated with other Underground railways, tramway companies and bus operators to form the London Passenger Transport Board. Metropolitan Railway electric multiple units were refurbished in 1934 at Acton Works to become eighteen five-car trains of Circle Stock, at first painted red and cream, later painted red all over to reduce costs. These trains included first-class accommodation,[18] but this was downgraded in 1940.[19] From 1947, these were replaced by five-car trains of O and P Stock, with doors remotely operated by the guard, released by the transfer of F Stock to the Uxbridge line.[20] The 1933 London Underground Beck map shows a Metropolitan line north of High Street Kensington and Mark Lane stations and a District line south of these points.[21] On the 1947 map, the Metropolitan and District lines were shown together in the same colour[22] and two years later in 1949 the Circle line was shown separately on the map.[23]

In 1959–1960, Circle line trains were increased to six cars, the same length as those operating on the Hammersmith & City line, and the stock of the two lines was integrated with maintenance concentrated at Hammersmith depot, allowing Neasden depot to concentrate on the new A Stock.[24] Aluminium C Stock trains, with public address systems and originally unpainted, replaced these trains from 1970.[25] One person operation of the trains was proposed in 1972 but, due to conflict with the trade unions, was not introduced until 1984.[26] In 2003, the infrastructure of the Circle 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.[27]

On 7 July 2005, at about 08:50, bombs exploded on two Circle line trains. One was travelling between Liverpool Street and Aldgate and the other was at Edgware Road. The bombs killed 15 people, including the two suicide bombers.[28][29] Following the attacks, the whole of the Circle line was closed until 8 August.[30]

A day before a ban on drinking alcohol on public transport in London came into force, a party was held on 31 May 2008, mainly on the Circle line. Thousands of people attended and 17 were arrested by police due to disorderly behaviour, eventually causing several stations to be closed.[31]


Prior to 13 December 2009, Circle line trains travelled in both directions around a simple loop with 27 stations and 12.89 miles (20.75 km) of track. In 2006, there were fourteen trains in service on the line with an interval between trains of 8+12 minutes during peak hours and 8 minutes off-peak; the minimum running time around the circle off-peak was 51+12 minutes,[32] although timetabled stops at stations extended this.[b]

In December 2009, the Circle line was extended to include the Hammersmith & City route from Edgware Road to Hammersmith. Rather than continuously running around the circle, trains now travel from Hammersmith to Edgware Road, generally going around the circle once before terminating at Edgware Road, and returning via the same route; occasionally, trains may also continue clockwise through Edgware Road to additional stations. The change was made to improve reliability and increase the service frequency on the Hammersmith branch.[34]

In March 2020, following the UK government's implementation of lockdown restricting all non-essential travel, the Circle line, along with the Waterloo & City line, was suspended.[35]



The route of the Circle line since 13 December 2009 and the London boroughs it serves

Railway line

Circle line
Hammersmith & City Line
Hammersmith depot
Goldhawk Road
Shepherd's Bush (MR)
Shepherd's Bush Market
White City
Wood Lane Hammersmith & City Line
Latimer Road
Ladbroke Grove
Westbourne Park
Royal Oak
Paddington Bakerloo Line District Line Hammersmith & City Line Elizabeth Line Heathrow Express National Rail
Central line (London Underground) District Line Notting Hill Gate
Edgware Road District Line Hammersmith & City Line
District Line High Street Kensington
Baker Street Bakerloo Line Hammersmith & City Line Jubilee Line Metropolitan Line
District Line Piccadilly Line Gloucester Road
District Line Piccadilly Line South Kensington
Great Portland Street
Euston Square Hammersmith & City Line Metropolitan Line
Sloane Square
King's Cross St Pancras
Hammersmith & City Line Metropolitan Line Northern Line
Piccadilly Line Victoria Line
National Rail
National Rail District Line Victoria Line Victoria
St James's Park
London River Services District Line Jubilee Line Westminster
Clerkenwell not built
London River Services Bakerloo Line District Line Northern Line Embankment
Farringdon Hammersmith & City Line Metropolitan Line Elizabeth Line National Rail
National Rail London River Services District Line Blackfriars
Mansion House
Barbican Elizabeth Line
National Rail District Line Cannon Street
Docklands Light Railway Central line (London Underground) District Line Northern Line Waterloo & City Line Monument
Moorgate Hammersmith & City Line Metropolitan Line Northern Line Elizabeth Line National Rail
Liverpool Street Central line (London Underground) Hammersmith & City Line Metropolitan Line Elizabeth Line Lea Valley lines National Rail
London River Services District Line Tower Hill
Aldgate Metropolitan Line

The Circle line is 17 miles (27 km) long with 36 stations.[36] Almost all of its track, and all of its stations, are shared with the other London Underground sub-surface lines: the Hammersmith & City line from Hammersmith to just north of Aldgate; the Metropolitan line from Baker Street to Aldgate; and the District line from Tower Hill station to Edgware Road station,[37] (except for a short connecting section near Gloucester Road). 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.[38] The running rails are not electrified. Much of the 2-mile-35-chain (3.9 km) double track railway from the Hammersmith terminus to Westbourne Park station is on a 20-foot (6.1 m) high brick viaduct.[39]

East of Westbourne Park the line passes beneath the Great Western Main Line before resurfacing at Royal Oak station and running alongside the tracks of the main line to an island platform just north of the suburban platforms at Paddington station.[37] The line enters a cut and cover tunnel at the end of the platforms and meets the District line and the other end of the Circle line from Bayswater at Praed Street Junction before passing through Edgware Road station in a cutting. After King's Cross St Pancras station the line exits the tunnel before passing over the Ray Street Gridiron beneath which pass the City Widened Lines which are currently used by Thameslink services.[37][40] The line continues underground after Farringdon station; there are bay platforms at Moorgate station.[37]

After passing through Aldgate station, the terminus of the Metropolitan line, the line joins the District line shortly before Tower Hill; this part of the line includes stations on the Victoria Embankment, on the north bank of the Thames, as far as Westminster station.[37] West of Gloucester Road station the line turns off the District main line to join the District line's Edgware Road branch just before High Street Kensington station.[37] In Bayswater the line is in a cutting, concealed from above by a façade of two five-storey houses at Nos 23 and 24 Leinster Gardens.[41] Trains then call at the second Paddington station on Praed Street before rejoining the Hammersmith & City line at Praed Street junction and terminating at the four-platform Edgware Road station.[37]


As of December 2012, there are six trains per hour, calling at all stations,[42] requiring 18 trains in service.[36] The journey from Edgware Road around the loop and continuing to Hammersmith takes 72 minutes off-peak.[42] Together with the Hammersmith & City line over 114 million passenger journeys are made each year.[43] Paddington and all stations on the loop are within Zone 1, with those on the line to Hammersmith in Zone 2.[44]

Two trains per day run from Barking to Edgware Road via Victoria (as of February 2015).[45]


Historically there has been difficulty in relaying the direction of travel a train is headed in a clear message: variations such as "eastbound" and "westbound", and "clockwise" and "anti-clockwise" can be ambiguous. As passengers became more accustomed to digital devices, TfL considered stopping such announcements and now uses key stations along the route to describe a service (e.g. "via. High Street Kensington").[46][47]

Rolling stock

From 1970 to 2014, services were provided using six-car C69 stock trains, each car having mostly transverse seating and four sets of double doors per side to minimise loading times.[48]

The C69 stock trains were replaced by seven-car S Stock trains, the first running on the Circle line on 2 September 2013.[49][50][51] By June 2014 all services were provided by S7 Stock trains. The trains are part of Bombardier's Movia family,[52] and have a top speed of 62 mph (100 km/h).[52] A 7-car S Stock train has a capacity of 865 passengers compared to 739 for the 6-car C Stock train it replaced.[53][54] With a length of 117 metres (384 ft), the S Stock trains are 24 metres (79 ft) longer than the 93-metre (305 ft) long C stock train, and required station platforms to be lengthened before their introduction.[55]


The line's depot is at Hammersmith,[c] close to Hammersmith station, originally built by the Great Western Railway to be operated by the Metropolitan Railway when the joint Hammersmith & City Railway was electrified in the early 20th century.[56] Sidings at Barking, Farringdon and near High Street Kensington (known as Triangle Sidings) stable trains overnight.[36]

Four Lines Modernisation (4LM)

See also: Four Lines Modernisation

It was planned that a new signalling system would be used first on the sub-surface lines from the end of 2016,[57] but signalling contractor Bombardier was released from its contract by agreement in December 2013 amid heavy criticism of the procurement process[58] and London Underground subsequently awarded the contract for the project to Thales in August 2015.[59]

With the introduction of S7 Stock, the track, electrical supply, and signalling systems are being upgraded in a programme planned to increase peak-hour capacity on the line by 27 per cent by the end of 2023.[57][60][61] A single control room for the sub-surface railway opened at Hammersmith on 6 May 2018, and Communications Based Train Control (CBTC) provided by Thales will progressively replace 'fixed block' signalling equipment dating back to the 1940s.[57][62]

The rollout of CBTC has been split into sections, each known as a Signal Migration Area (SMA), and are located on the line as follows:[63]

Circle line Signal Migration Areas
SMA[i] from to status date
0.5 Hammersmith Latimer Road Completed March 2019
1 Latimer Road Paddington Completed September 2019
2 Paddington Euston Square Completed September 2019
3 Euston Square Monument Completed March 2021
4 Monument Sloane Square Completed April 2021
5 Sloane Square Paddington Completed March 2022
  1. ^ SMAs 6–14 concerns parts of the District, Hammersmith & City, and Metropolitan lines.

List of stations

Station Image Opened[7] Additional information Position
Hammersmith Disabled access A brown-bricked building with a rectangular, blue sign reading "HAMMERSMITH STATION" in white letters all under a grey sky 13 June 1864 Moved to current position 1 December 1868.[7] Connects with District and Piccadilly lines. 51°29′39″N 000°13′30″W / 51.49417°N 0.22500°W / 51.49417; -0.22500 (01 - Hammersmith tube station)
Goldhawk Road An entrance under a railway brick viaduct with a blue sign reading "GOLDHAWK ROAD STATION" in white letters and two women walking in front all under a grey sky 1 April 1914 51°30′07″N 000°13′37″W / 51.50194°N 0.22694°W / 51.50194; -0.22694 (02 - Goldhawk Road tube station)
Shepherd's Bush Market A railway on a brick viaduct crosses a road on a steel bridge, with an entrance below a blue sign reading "SHEPHERD'S BUSH MARKET STATION" in white letters 13 June 1864 Moved to current position 1 April 1914.[7] Renamed from "Shepherd's Bush" in 2008.[64] 51°30′21″N 000°13′35″W / 51.50583°N 0.22639°W / 51.50583; -0.22639 (03 - Shepherd's Bush Market tube station)
Wood Lane Disabled access A silver metal and glass building with a blue sign with "WOOD LANE STATION" in white letters 1 May 1908 Open as Wood Lane (Exhibition) 1908–14 and as required from 1920 as Wood Lane (White City). Renamed White City in 1947 and closed in 1959,[7] until re-opened as Wood Lane on 12 October 2008.[65] 51°30′35″N 000°13′27″W / 51.50972°N 0.22417°W / 51.50972; -0.22417 (04 - Wood Lane tube station)
Latimer Road A railway on a brick viaduct crosses a road, an entrance in the brickwork below a sign reading "LATIMER ROAD STATION" 16 December 1868 Closed from 17 January to 1 August 2011 for engineering and refurbishment works.[66] 51°30′50″N 000°13′02″W / 51.51389°N 0.21722°W / 51.51389; -0.21722 (05 - Latimer Road tube station)
Ladbroke Grove A brick building with an entrance below a sign reading "LADBROKE GROVE STATION". Three people are in a group outside the entrance 13 June 1864 Opened as Notting Hill, renamed Notting Hill & Ladbroke Grove in 1880, Ladbroke Grove (North Kensington) in 1919, and Ladbroke Grove in 1938.[7] 51°31′02″N 000°12′38″W / 51.51722°N 0.21056°W / 51.51722; -0.21056 (06 - Ladbroke Grove tube station)
Westbourne Park A dirty, white-bricked building with a rectangular, dark blue sign reading "WESTBOURNE PARK STATION" in white letters all under a blue sky 1 February 1866 Moved to current position 1 November 1871,[7] and a Great Western Main Line station from 1871 to 1992.[67] 51°31′16″N 000°12′04″W / 51.52111°N 0.20111°W / 51.52111; -0.20111 (07 - Westbourne Park tube station)
Royal Oak A brown-bricked building with a rectangular, dark blue sign reading "ROYAL OAK STATION" in white letters all under a light blue sky 30 October 1871 Also a Great Western Main Line station after opening[68] until 1934. 51°31′09″N 000°11′17″W / 51.51917°N 0.18806°W / 51.51917; -0.18806 (08 - Royal Oak tube station)
Paddington Disabled access Elizabeth line National Rail A platform with several people waiting for a train. A white square sign has a London Underground roundel with "PADDINGTON" in the centre. To the right there is a track with fourth track electrification and on an adjacent track a blue multiple unit train with red doors waits. 10 January 1863 Opened as Paddington (Bishop's Road), renamed in 1948.[7]
Connects with Bakerloo and District lines, Elizabeth line and National rail services from Paddington main line station.
51°31′07″N 000°10′46″W / 51.51861°N 0.17944°W / 51.51861; -0.17944 (09 - Paddington station (Circle and Hammersmith & City lines))
Edgware Road A tan-coloured building with brown-framed windows and a sign reading "METROPOLITAN EDGWARE ROAD STATION RAILWAY" in brown letters 10 January 1863 Connects with District ,anti-clockwise Circle lines and the hammersmith and city line. 51°31′12″N 000°10′04″W / 51.52000°N 0.16778°W / 51.52000; -0.16778 (10 - Edgware Road tube station)
Baker Street A street filled with people in front of a light grey building that has variously coloured signs protruding from it stating a variety of different things 10 January 1863 Connects with Bakerloo, Jubilee and Metropolitan lines. 51°31′19″N 000°09′25″W / 51.52194°N 0.15694°W / 51.52194; -0.15694 (11 - Baker Street tube station)
Great Portland Street A beige-bricked building with a blue sign reading "GREAT PORTLAND STREET STATION" in white letters all under a blue sky with white clouds 10 January 1863 Opened as Portland Road, renamed Great Portland Street in 1917. Named Great Portland Street & Regent's Park 1923–33.[7] 51°31′26″N 000°08′38″W / 51.52389°N 0.14389°W / 51.52389; -0.14389 (12 - Great Portland Street tube station)
Euston Square A building covered in windows with a blue sign reading "EUSTON SQUARE STATION" in white letters all under a blue sky with white clouds 10 January 1863 Opened as Gower Street and renamed in 1909.[7] Street connection with London Overground and National rail services from Euston main line station. 51°31′33″N 000°08′09″W / 51.52583°N 0.13583°W / 51.52583; -0.13583 (13 - Euston Square tube station)
King's Cross St Pancras Disabled access Thameslink National Rail Eurostar Beneath a blue sign reading "KING'S CROSS ST. PANCRAS UNDERGROUND STATION several people exit from an entrance leading to steps down. To the right there are silver doors under a sign reading "Lift". The sky is overcast, above the entrance is a dark blue temporary building 10 January 1863 Opened as King's Cross, renamed King's Cross & St. Pancras in 1925 and King's Cross St. Pancras in 1933. Moved to current position in 1941.[7]
Connects with Northern, Piccadilly and Victoria lines and National and International Rail Services from St Pancras and King's Cross main line stations.
51°31′49″N 000°07′27″W / 51.53028°N 0.12417°W / 51.53028; -0.12417 (14 - King's Cross St Pancras tube station)
Farringdon Disabled access Elizabeth line Thameslink National Rail A street view of a pale stone two storey building. Across the top of the building signs read "FARRINGDON & HIGH HOLBORN STATION" and "METROPOLITAN RAILWAY" in gold colour lettering. At ground level a canopy extends into the street around a blue sign reads "FARRINGDON STATION" with the London Underground roundel and National Rail symbols, and just above an entrance is a gold lettering reading "ENTRANCE". Either side of the entrance are shops, bicycles are in bicycle stands and people are walking on the pavement in front of the building 10 January 1863 Interchangeable with National Rail (Thameslink) services and the Elizabeth line. Opened as Farringdon Street, and moved to current position in 1865. Renamed Farringdon & High Holborn in 1922 and Farringdon in 1936.[7] 51°31′12″N 000°06′19″W / 51.52000°N 0.10528°W / 51.52000; -0.10528 (15 - Farringdon station)
Barbican Across a road with a London taxi and a car is an entrance. This has people standing in it and above is a blue rectangular sign reading "BARBICAN STATION" in white and above this is a bridge linking the building 23 December 1865 Opened as Aldersgate Street, then Aldersgate in 1910, Aldersgate & Barbican in 1923 and Barbican in 1968.[7] 51°31′13″N 000°05′52″W / 51.52028°N 0.09778°W / 51.52028; -0.09778 (16 - Barbican tube station)
Moorgate Elizabeth line National Rail Across a street and behind black bollards is a brick building of at least two storeys. The ground floor is stone coloured and two people are standing in a dark entrance beneath a blue rectangular sign reading "MOORGATE STATION" in white. Above this, attached to be wall at 90 degrees is a white rectangular sign with the National Rail logo and London Underground roundel. Above this, below three windows, blue lettering reads "MOORGATE STATION" 23 December 1865 Opened as Moorgate Street, renamed in 1924.[7]
Connects with Northern line and National rail services from the main line Northern City Line. The Elizabeth line is interchangeable via Liverpool Street station owing to the long platforms.
51°31′07″N 000°05′19″W / 51.51861°N 0.08861°W / 51.51861; -0.08861 (17 - Moorgate station)
Liverpool Street Elizabeth line London Overground National Rail The end of a brick building with arched windows and sloping roofs lies between two towers with steeples. In front of this is a white metal and glass structure. People are standing and walking in the street in front. 11 July 1875 From February to July 1875 trains used platforms in the mainline station.[69]
Connects with Central and Hammersmith & City lines and London Overground, Elizabeth line and National rail services from Liverpool Street mainline station. Elizabeth Line services via Stratford and Shenfield from platforms 15, 16 and 17.
51°31′04″N 000°04′59″W / 51.51778°N 0.08306°W / 51.51778; -0.08306 (18 - Liverpool Street station)
Aldgate A light grey building with "M.R. ALDGATE STATION M.R." written in stone on the front face and a black car driving in the foreground 18 November 1876 Connects with Metropolitan line. 51°30′50″N 000°04′34″W / 51.51389°N 0.07611°W / 51.51389; -0.07611 (19 - Aldgate tube station)
Tower Hill Disabled access A grey, many-windowed castle with flags flying from its turrets in the background, several people walking in the foreground, and a bright sky above 25 September 1882 The Metropolitan Railway opened "Tower of London", however closed this in 1884 as the District Railway had opened "Mark Lane" nearby. This station was renamed "Tower Hill" in 1946 and moved to the site of the "Tower of London" station in 1967.[7][70] Connects with District line, DLR from Tower Gateway, National rail services from Fenchurch Street mainline station, and Riverboat services from Tower Pier 51°30′36″N 000°04′34″W / 51.51000°N 0.07611°W / 51.51000; -0.07611 (20 - Tower Hill tube station)
Monument Docklands Light Railway An entrance in a larger building under a sign reading "MONUMENT STATION" reveals banisters leading down. A woman is walking out of the entrance 6 October 1884 Opened as Eastcheap, renamed The Monument in 1884.[7] Escalator connection to Bank station giving connections with Central, Northern, Waterloo & City and DLR. 51°30′47″N 000°05′17″W / 51.51306°N 0.08806°W / 51.51306; -0.08806 (21 - Bank–Monument station)
Cannon Street National Rail A building with four people walking in front of it, one man in a white shirt sitting in front of it, and one white vehicle driving in front of it 6 October 1884 Connects with Cannon Street main line station. 51°30′37″N 000°05′27″W / 51.51028°N 0.09083°W / 51.51028; -0.09083 (22 - Cannon Street station)
Mansion House A beige-bricked building with a rectangular, dark blue sign reading "MANSION HOUSE STATION" in white letters and a yellow sign reading "OFFICES TO LET" 3 July 1871 51°30′44″N 000°05′39″W / 51.51222°N 0.09417°W / 51.51222; -0.09417 (23 - Mansion House tube station)
Blackfriars Disabled access Thameslink National Rail A glass structure with gray slats on higher floor; an entrance leads under a canopy with a sign reading "BLACKFRIARS STATION" into a large internal space seen through the glass, People are walking into the entrance and coming up steps from an underpass. 30 May 1870 Connects with National rail services from Blackfriars main line station, including Thameslink services, and Riverboat services from Blackfriars Pier 51°30′42″N 000°06′11″W / 51.51167°N 0.10306°W / 51.51167; -0.10306 (24 - Blackfriars station)
Temple A grey building with a rectangular, white sign on a rounded corner reading "TEMPLE STATION" in black letters all under a blue sky 30 May 1870 Opened as The Temple.[7] 51°30′40″N 000°06′52″W / 51.51111°N 0.11444°W / 51.51111; -0.11444 (25 - Temple tube station)
Embankment A grey building with a blue sign reading "EMBANKMENT STATION" in white letters and people standing in the foreground all under a white sky 30 May 1870 Opened as Charing Cross, renamed Charing Cross Embankment in 1974 and to the current name from 1976.[7] Connects with Bakerloo and Northern lines, National rail services from Charing Cross main line station, and Riverboat services from Embankment Pier 51°30′25″N 000°07′19″W / 51.50694°N 0.12194°W / 51.50694; -0.12194 (26 - Embankment tube station)
Westminster Disabled access A large crowd of people walking on a grey sidewalk next to a black road where two vehicles are driving from the left to the right 24 December 1868 Opened as Westminster Bridge, renamed in 1907.[7] Connects with Jubilee line. 51°30′04″N 000°07′30″W / 51.50111°N 0.12500°W / 51.50111; -0.12500 (27 - Westminster tube station)
St James's Park 24 December 1868 The former London Underground Headquarters offices, 55 Broadway, were built over the station. 51°29′58″N 000°08′04″W / 51.49944°N 0.13444°W / 51.49944; -0.13444 (28 - St James's Park tube station)
Victoria Disabled access National Rail A grey building with three rectangular, white signs reading "London Victoria Station" in black letters all under a clear, white sky 24 December 1868 Connects with Victoria line, National rail services from Victoria main line station and Victoria bus station. 51°29′48″N 000°08′41″W / 51.49667°N 0.14472°W / 51.49667; -0.14472 (29 - London Victoria station)
Sloane Square A modern looking building with marble coloured tiled wall at ground level with grey cladding above. A small concrete canopy is over the larger of two entrances with blue signs reading "SLOANE SQUARE STATION", people are entering and exiting through the larger entrance. 24 December 1868 51°29′33″N 000°09′24″W / 51.49250°N 0.15667°W / 51.49250; -0.15667 (30 - Sloane Square tube station)
South Kensington A entrance behind a raised bed of green plant and under a blue sign reading "SOUTH KENSINGTON STATION" leads into an arcade of shops. Above the entrance there is a glass panel with white lettering reading "METROPOLITAN AND DISTRICT RAILWAYS" and "SOUTH KENSINGTON STATION". 24 December 1868 Connects with Piccadilly line. 51°29′39″N 000°10′26″W / 51.49417°N 0.17389°W / 51.49417; -0.17389 (31 - South Kensington tube station)
Gloucester Road A beige-bricked building with a green sign reading "METROPOLITAN & DISTRICT RAILWAYS GLOUCESTER ROAD STATION" in white letters 1 October 1868 Opened as Brompton (Gloucester Road), renamed in 1907.[7] Connects with Piccadilly and District lines. 51°29′41″N 000°10′59″W / 51.49472°N 0.18306°W / 51.49472; -0.18306 (32 - Gloucester Road tube station)
High Street Kensington A white many-windowed building 1 October 1868 Opened as Kensington (High Street) and name gradually changed by 1880.[7] Connects with District line Edgware Road branch. 51°30′03″N 000°11′33″W / 51.50083°N 0.19250°W / 51.50083; -0.19250 (33 - High Street Kensington tube station)
Notting Hill Gate A railway station with side platforms either side of two tracks that disappear into darkness under a painted steel bridge like structure topped with a brick wall, covered by a partially glazed barrel roof. 1 October 1868 Connects with Central line. 51°30′32″N 000°11′49″W / 51.50889°N 0.19694°W / 51.50889; -0.19694 (34 - Notting Hill Gate tube station)
Bayswater A single storey pale brick building topped with stone railing. Above an entrance is a canopy, around which are rectanglar blue signs reading "BAYSWATER" and "BAYSWATER STATION". People are walking in the street. 1 October 1868 Opened as Bayswater, renamed Bayswater (Queen's Road) & Westbourne Grove in 1923, Bayswater (Queen's Road) in 1933 and Bayswater (Queensway) in 1946, after which the suffix was gradually dropped.[7] 51°30′43″N 000°11′17″W / 51.51194°N 0.18806°W / 51.51194; -0.18806 (35 - Bayswater tube station)
Paddington Elizabeth line National Rail A pale two storey stone building, with gold coloured letters at the top reading "METROPOLITAN RAILWAY" and "PADDINGTON STATION", windows on the first floor. On the ground floor there are shops either side of an entrance with a canopy with rectanglar blue signs reading "PADDINGTON STATION". There are cars and a small truck in the road and people are walking on the pavement. 1 October 1868 Opened as Paddington (Praed Street), renamed in 1948.[7] Connects with Bakerloo and Hammersmith & City lines, Elizabeth line and National rail services from Paddington main line station.

51°30′56″N 000°10′32″W / 51.51556°N 0.17556°W / 51.51556; -0.17556 (36 - Paddington station (District line platforms))

The line then continues to Edgware Road where trains terminate, then reverse to traverse the loop in an anticlockwise direction to Hammersmith.

Urban myths

Owing to its historically circular nature, the line has generated many urban myths over the years, including a dead man travelling around undiscovered, a school or office using the service to save infrastructure costs and, as an April fool in the Independent, a new particle accelerator to coexist alongside passenger services.[46][71][72]

See also

Notes and references


  1. ^ combined figures for Circle and Hammersmith & City lines
  2. ^ For example the 22:26 outer rail (clockwise) service from Aldgate was booked to arrive back at Aldgate at 23:22 after waiting at Gloucester Road (for 1+12 minutes), Edgware Road (2+12 minutes) and Baker Street (12 minute).[33]
  3. ^ Position: 51°29′52″N 000°13′31″W / 51.49778°N 0.22528°W / 51.49778; -0.22528 (30 - Hammersmith Depot)


  1. ^ Leboff & Demuth 1999, p. 50.
  2. ^ "London Assembly Questions to the Mayor". London Assembly. 2022. Retrieved 29 February 2024.
  3. ^ Green 1987, pp. 7–9.
  4. ^ Green 1987, pp. 10–11.
  5. ^ Green 1987, p. 12.
  6. ^ Simpson 2003, pp. 23–4.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w Rose 2007.
  8. ^ a b c Bruce 1983, p. 11.
  9. ^ Bextor, Robin (2013). Little Book of the London Underground. Woking: Demand Media Limited. ISBN 9781909217379.
  10. ^ Horne 2003, p. 28.
  11. ^ Green 1987, p. 25.
  12. ^ Bruce 1983, pp. 33, 37.
  13. ^ Bruce 1983, p. 40.
  14. ^ Bruce 1983, p. 37.
  15. ^ Bruce 1983, p. 39.
  16. ^ Bruce 1983, p. 71.
  17. ^ Bruce 1983, pp. 40–41.
  18. ^ Bruce 1983, pp. 76–77.
  19. ^ Green 1987, p. 51.
  20. ^ Bruce 1983, p. 94.
  21. ^ Green 1987, p. 33.
  22. ^ Green 1987, p. 54.
  23. ^ "1949 tube map". Archived from the original on 15 August 2007. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
  24. ^ Bruce 1983, p. 95.
  25. ^ Bruce 1983, p. 114.
  26. ^ 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.
  27. ^ "PPP Performance Report" (PDF). Transport for London. 2010. pp. 7–8. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
  28. ^ "7 July Bombings: Edgware Road". BBC News. Retrieved 24 November 2012.
  29. ^ "7 July Bombings: Aldgate". BBC News. Retrieved 24 November 2012.
  30. ^ Day & Reed 2010, p. 217.
  31. ^ "Tube drinks party sparks mayhem". BBC News. 1 June 2008. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
  32. ^ Working Timetable No. 21, from 11 June 2006. London Underground. 20 April 2006. pp. 2–3.
  33. ^ Working Timetable No. 21, from 11 June 2006. London Underground. 20 April 2006. p. 45.
  34. ^ "Circle Line extended to the west". BBC News. 5 March 2009. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
  35. ^ "Decision to cut Tube services caused overcrowding, say watchdogs". City A.M. London. 20 April 2020. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  36. ^ a b c "Circle line facts". Transport for London. Archived from the original on 1 January 2012. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
  37. ^ a b c d e f g "Detailed London Transport Map". Archived from the original on 28 July 2020. Retrieved 23 November 2012.
  38. ^ Martin, Andrew (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.
  39. ^ Jackson 1986, p. 38.
  40. ^ Jackson 1986, p. 48.
  41. ^ Jackson 1986, pp. 52–53.
  42. ^ a b "Hammersmith to Edgware Road Circle line timetable". Transport for London. Retrieved 9 December 2012. In the Tube timetable - Tube station box select "Hammersmith (H&C Line)" and press Get Timetable. Select Edgware Road timetable and then view timetable.
  43. ^ "Performance: LU Performance Data Almanac". Transport for London. 2012. Archived from the original on 14 February 2013. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
  44. ^ "Standard Tube Map" (PDF). Transport for London. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 June 2008. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
  45. ^ Elledge, Jonn (2 November 2015). "London Underground: Why are Circle line trains showing up at Whitechapel?". CityMetric. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  46. ^ a b Martin, Andrew (2012). Underground Overground: A passenger's history of the Tube. Pine Street, London: Profile Books Ltd. ISBN 978-1846684784.
  47. ^ "London Underground voice announcements". Retrieved 2 October 2018.
  48. ^ Hardy, Brian (1997). London Underground Rolling Stock (14 ed.). Harrow: Capital Transport. pp. 44–46. ISBN 185414-193-7.
  49. ^ "S Stock trains take to Circle line". Global Rail News. 3 September 2013. Archived from the original on 26 September 2017. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
  50. ^ Prentice, Paul (18 September 2013). "S Stock trains enter service on the Circle and District lines". Rail. No. 731. p. 26.
  51. ^ Hendy, Peter (December 2013). "Commissioner's Report" (PDF). Transport for London. p. 5. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 December 2013. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
  52. ^ a b "Metro — London, United Kingdom". Bombardier. Retrieved 27 January 2011.
  53. ^ "Rolling Stock: C Stock". Transport for London. Archived from the original on 5 November 2012. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
  54. ^ "Rolling Stock: S stock". Transport for London. Archived from the original on 29 December 2013. Retrieved 10 January 2012. Note: The table erroneously says "Length per car", instead of "Length per train".
  55. ^ "'S' stock making its mark". Modern Railways. London. December 2010. p. 46.
  56. ^ Jackson 1986, p. 185.
  57. ^ a b c Abbott, James (January 2013). "Sub-surface renewal". Modern Railways. pp. 38–41.
  58. ^ "London Underground and Bombardier abandon Tube signalling contract". International Railway Journal. 3 January 2014. Retrieved 2 June 2020.
  59. ^ "London Underground resignalling reaches milestone". International Railway Journal. 13 October 2017. Retrieved 2 June 2020.
  60. ^ "Our Upgrade Plan" (PDF). Transport for London. February 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 August 2012. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
  61. ^ "Four Lines Modernisation". Transport for London. Retrieved 2 June 2020.
  62. ^ Stewart, Rob (January 2013). "Cityflo 650 to control the SSR". Modern Railways. pp. 42–43.
  63. ^ "4LM signalling update". Underground News. Vol. 706. London Underground Railway Society. October 2020. p. 572.
  64. ^ "Modernisation complete as Shepherd's Bush Tube station re-opens" (Press release). Transport for London. 7 October 2008. Archived from the original on 16 August 2012. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  65. ^ "New Wood Lane Underground station opens" (Press release). Transport for London. 14 October 2008. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
  66. ^ "Latimer Road station to close for three months for engineering works" (Press release). Transport for London. 14 January 2011.
  67. ^ Butt 1995, p. 244.
  68. ^ Butt 1995, p. 200.
  69. ^ Jackson 1986, p. 70.
  70. ^ Jackson 1986, p. 110.
  71. ^ "Hadron Collider II planned for Circle Line". The Independent. London. 1 April 2010. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
  72. ^ "April 1st: So, were you fooled...?". The Independent. London. 2 April 2010. Retrieved 2 October 2018.


  • Butt, R. V. J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations: details every public and private passenger station, halt, platform and stopping place, past and present (1st ed.). Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1-8526-0508-1.
  • Bruce, J Graeme (1983). Steam to Silver. A history of London Transport Surface Rolling Stock. Capital Transport. ISBN 0-904711-45-5.
  • Day, John R; Reed, John (2010). The Story of London's Underground. Capital Transport. ISBN 978-1-85414-341-9.
  • 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.
  • Leboff, David; Demuth, Tim (1999). No Need to Ask!. Capital Transport. ISBN 1-85414-215-1.
  • Rose, Douglas (December 2007) [1980]. The London Underground: A Diagrammatic History (8th ed.). Capital Transport. ISBN 978-1-85414-315-0.
  • Simpson, Bill (2003). A History of the Metropolitan Railway. Volume 1: The Circle and Extended Lines to Rickmansworth. Lamplight Publications. ISBN 1-899246-07-X.

Further reading

KML is from Wikidata