Piccadilly Line


Map Colour: Dark Blue
First Operated: 1906
Type: Deep Level
Length: 71km/ 44.3 miles
No. of Stations: 53
Current Stock: 1973 Stock  

The Piccadilly Line runs partly on the surface and party at deep level from Cockfosters in North-East London to Uxbridge in North-West London and Heathrow Airport in South-West London via London’s West End. The name comes from the fact that the line serves Piccadilly Circus which is at a road junction with Piccadilly. The Piccadilly Line is the second longest line and the fourth busiest London Underground line. The line services many of London’s top tourist attractions such as Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square, Covent Garden and Harrods as well as London’s Heathrow Airport, the busiest airport in Europe. The line shares the section of track between Rayners Lane & Uxbridge with the Metropolitan Line, the section of track between Acton Town & Hanger Lane Junction (just past Ealing Common) with the District Line and runs parallel with the District Line between South Kensington & Acton Town although the section between South Kensington & Barons Court runs underneath the District Line.

Histroy
The Piccadilly Line was originally known as the Great Northern, Piccadilly & Brompton Railway (GNP&BR) which was a merger of two former companies known as the ‘Brompton and Piccadilly Circus Railway (B&PCR)’ which had parliamentary permission to built a line from Piccadilly Circus to South Kensington and the ‘Great Northern and Strand Railway (GN&SR)’ which had parliamentary permission to built a line from Wood Green to the Strand. As these two companies were unable to find funding for the routes ‘Charles Yerkes’ purchased majority stakes in the companies shortly after purchasing majority shares in the District Railway and later established the ‘Underground Electric Railways Company of London (UERL) in order to raise funds for the proposals. The proposals were later merged with a further proposal to join the routes up by adding an extra section between Piccadilly Circus and Holborn, the proposals were also merged with proposals for a ‘Deep-Level District Railway’ line between Earls Court and Mansion House by joining up with the Brompton & Piccadilly Circus Railway at South Kensington instead of going to Mansion House and construction of the line began in July 1902. The line officially opened on 15th December 1906 and ran from Hammersmith to Finsbury Park, the branch to the Strand was delayed and eventually opened in November 1907. From the opening of the line the name was commonly shortened to ‘Piccadilly Tube’ or ‘Piccadilly Railway’. In 1910 all of the UERL owned deep-level underground railway companies (GNP&BR, Baker Street & Waterloo Railway and Charing Cross, Euston & Hampstead Railway) were merged by a private Act of Parliament and became the ‘London Electric Railway Company’.

From 1918 due to low passenger numbers the Holborn to Strand (later renamed Aldwych) section of the line began single track operation, the eastern tunnel was taken out of use although at the Holborn crossover the line switched to the eastern tunnel as only the eastern tunnel has access to the rest of the line and this platform was a lot closer to the rest of the station and the western track from the Holborn crossover to Holborn was also taken out of use including the platform at Holborn that it led to.

Overcrowding had become a problem at Finsbury Park from the 1920s as passengers were changing between the Piccadilly Railway and buses, trams or other rail services here to continue onto destinations in North-East London and therefore plans for extensions to either Tottenham & Edmonton or Wood Green & Palmers Green were put forward. Eventually an extension to Cockfosters was decided on and this was funded by Government Capital to help relieve unemployment. The extension opened in stages, firstly to Arnos Grove on 19th September 1932, then onto Enfield West on 13th March 1933 and lastly onto Cockfosters on 19th July 1933. Enfield West Station was later renamed Oakwood.

Whilst the extension to Cockfosters was happening the line was also being extended onwards from Hammersmith. On 4th July 1932 the line took over the inner District Railway tracks from Hammersmith to Acton Town where trains ran non-stop and the District Railway line to South Harrow. On 23rd October 1933 the line was extended further to Uxbridge sharing tracks with the Metropolitan Railway. The line was extended again by way of a branch from Acton Town to Northfields on 9th January 1933 on new tracks following works to quadruple the line to Northfields which was completed on 18th December 1932. On 13th March 1933 the line was extended further all the way to Hounslow West and on 9th October 1964 District Line services were withdrawn from the line leaving only Piccadilly Line services. On 14th July 1975 the platforms and tracks at Hounslow West were relocated slightly and were rebuilt underground although still using the same station building, the line was later extended to Hatton Cross on 19th July 1975. On 16th December 1977 the line was once again extended further to Heathrow Central, this station was later renamed ‘Heathrow Central Terminals 1, 2, 3’ on 3rd September 1983. On 12th April 1986 a new one-way loop was opened meaning that trains would now call at the newly opened Heathrow Terminal 4 first before continuing onto Heathrow Central which was renamed ‘Heathrow Terminals 1, 2, 3’ on the same day. The loop and station at Terminal 4 closed from 7th January 2005 to allow for construction work to take place for an extension to Heathrow Terminal 5, during this time trains reverted back to two way running to Heathrow Terminals 1, 2, 3 and shuttle buses were in operation from Hatton Cross to Heathrow Terminal 4. The loop re-opened on 17th September 2006 and trains went back to running via the loop and calling at both stations. On 27th March 2008 trains were extended once again this time to the newly opened Heathrow Terminal 5, trains reverted back to two way running between Hatton Cross and Heathrow Terminals 1, 2, 3 and then onto Terminal 5 with alternate trains running to Terminal 5 and Terminal 4. Trains to Terminal 4 continue to run via the loop to Terminals 1, 2, 3 and then back to London. To reflect the closure of Terminal 1 the station here was renamed ‘Heathrow Terminals 2 & 3’ on 3rd January 2016.

Rolling Stock
Since opening the Piccadilly Line has used 1906 Gate Stock, 1938 Stock, 1956 Stock and 1959 Stock trains however the line now uses only 1973 Stock Trains. The 1973 Stock trains were built by Metro Cammell between 1973 and 1975, all trains were refurbished by Bombardier Transportation between 1996 and 2001 which included converting the seats to a longitudinal seating layout, replacing all strap hangers with grab bars, new floors and a repaint into the London Underground Corporate Livery. The line has a fleet of 86 trains, 79 of which are needed for the peak time service allowing no more than 7 trains to be out of service during peak times. One of the fleet was severely damaged due to a bomb explosion on the train during the 7th July terrorist attacks in London.

Depots

Northfields

Cockfosters

Other Depots and Sidings
The Piccadilly Line also use sidings at Oakwood, South Harrow, Rayners Lane, Arnos Grove, Down Street, Wood Green, Acton Town, Ruislip and Uxbridge.

Stations

Current Stations on the Piccadilly Line:
Station Name Opened Additional Information
Heathrow Terminal 5 27th March 2008 Terminus.
Heathrow Terminals 2 & 3 16th December 1977 Originally opened as ‘Heathrow Central’, renamed ‘Heathrow Central Terminals 1, 2, 3’ on 3rd September 1983, renamed ‘Heathrow Terminals 1, 2 & 3’ on 12th April 1986, renamed again on 3rd January 2016.
Heathrow Terminal 4 12th April 1986 Trains wait here before proceeding round the loop back to London via Heathrow Terminals 2 & 3, trains to Terminal 4 do not serve Terminal 5. This station only operate directly from Hatton Cross and then onto Terminals 2 & 3, passengers travelling from Terminal 4 to Hatton Cross have to go via Terminals 2 & 3, similalry passengers travelling from Terminals 2 & 3 to Terminal 4 have to go to Hatton Cross and take a train in the reverse direction.
Hatton Cross 19th July 1975
Hounslow West 21st July 1884 Originally opened as ‘Hounslow Barracks’, renamed on 1st December 1925. Piccadilly Line services to this station commenced on 13th March 1933, District Line services ceased on 9th October 1964. The platforms were resited underground on 19th July 1975.
Hounslow Central 1st April 1886 Originally opened as ‘Heston-Hounslow’, renamed on 1st December 1925. Piccadilly Line services to this station commenced on 13th March 1933, District Line services ceased on 9th October 1964.
Hounslow East 2nd May 1909 Originally opened as ‘Hounslow Town’, renamed on 1st December 1925. Piccadilly Line services to this station commenced on 13th March 1933, District Line services ceased on 9th October 1964.
Osterley 25th March 1934 Originally opened as ‘Osterley & Spring Grove’ on 1st May 1883, renamed during relocation. The Piccadilly Line served this station from the opening, District Line services ceased on 9th October 1964.
Boston Manor 1st May 1833 Piccadilly Line services to this station commenced on 13th January 1933, District Line services ceased on 10th October 1964.
Northfields 16th April 1908 Piccadilly Line services to this station commenced on 9th January 1933, District Line services ceased on 10th October 1964. Some trains terminate here and continue empty into Northfields Depot. A test track used by London Underground runs between here and near Acton Town.
South Ealing 1st May 1883 Piccadilly Line services to this station commenced on 29th April 1935, District Line services ceased on 10th October 1964. A test track used by London Underground passes through this station.
Uxbridge 1st March 1910 Terminus. Piccadilly Line services commenced and District Line services ceased on 23rd October 1933. Closed and relocated on 3rd December 1938, reopened on 4th December 1938.
Hillingdon 10th December 1923 Piccadilly Line services commenced and District Line services ceased on 23rd October 1933. Renamed ‘Hillingdon (Swakeleys) in April 1934, suffix later dropped. Closed and relocated on 5th December 1992, reopened on 4th December 1992.
Ickenham 1st March 1910 Piccadilly Line services commenced and District Line services ceased on 23rd October 1933.
Ruislip 1st March 1910 Piccadilly Line services commenced and District Line services ceased on 23rd October 1933. Some trains terminate here during weekday peak hours.
Ruislip Manor 5th August 1912 Piccadilly Line services commenced and District Line services ceased on 23rd October 1933.
Eastcote 1st March 1910 Piccadilly Line services commenced and District Line services ceased on 23rd October 1933.
Rayners Lane 1st March 1910 Piccadilly Line services commenced and District Line services ceased on 23rd October 1933. Some trains terminate here. From here to Uxbridge tracks and platforms are shared with the Metropolitan Line.
South Harrow 28th June 1903 Piccadilly Line services commenced and District Line services ceased on 4th July 1932. Closed and relocated on 4th July 1935, reopened on 5th July 1935.
Sudbury Hill 28th June 1903 Piccadilly Line services commenced and District Line services ceased on 4th July 1932.
Sudbury Town 28th June 1903 Piccadilly Line services commenced and District Line services ceased on 4th July 1932.
Alperton 28th June 1903 Originally opened as Perivale-Alperton, renamed on 7th October 1910. Piccadilly Line services commenced and District Line services ceased on 4th July 1932.
Park Royal 6th July 1931 Piccadilly Line services commenced and District Line services ceased on 4th July 1932. Renamed ‘Park Royal (Hanger Hill)’ on 1st March 1936, renamed again in 1947.
North Ealing 23rd June 1903 Piccadilly Line services commenced and District Line services ceased on 4th July 1932.
Ealing Common 1st July 1879 Shares platforms with the District Line. Renamed ‘Ealing Common and West Acton’ in 1886, renamed again on 1st March 1910. Piccadilly Line services commenced on 4th July 1932.
Acton Town 1st July 1879 Opened as ‘Mill Hill Park’, renamed on 1st March 1910. Piccadilly Line services commenced on 4th July 1932. Cross platform interchange with the District Line, occasionally Piccadilly Line trains use the District Line platforms here.
Turnham Green 1st June 1877 Originally open by the London & South Western Railway on 1st January 1869. Piccadilly Line services commenced on 23rd June 1963, Piccadilly Line trains only stop here during mornings and evenings only. Cross platform interchange with the District Line.
Hammersmith 9th September 1874 Piccadilly Line services commenced on 15th December 1906. Cross platform interchange with the District Line. Interchange with the Circle and Hammersmith & City Lines at a separate Hammersmith Station.
Barons Court 9th October 1905 Piccadilly Line services commenced on 15th December 1906. Cross platform interchange with the Piccadilly Line.
Earls Court 30th October 1871 Relocated on 1st February 1878. Piccadilly Line services commenced on 15th December 1906.
Gloucester Road 1st October 1868 Originally opened as ‘Brompton (Gloucester Road), renamed in 1907. Piccadilly Line services commenced on 15th December 1906.
South Kensington 24th December 1868 Piccadilly Line services commenced on 15th December 1906.
Knightsbridge 15th December 1906
Hyde Park Corner 15th December 1906
Green Park 15th December 1906 Originally opened as ‘Dover Street’, renamed on 18th September 1933.
Piccadilly Circus 15th December 1906
Leicester Square 15th December 1906
Covent Garden 11th April 1907
Holborn 15th December 1906 Renamed ‘Holborn (Kingsway)’ on 22nd May 1933, suffix later dropped. Two additional Piccadilly Line platforms for the Aldwych Branch are now disued.
Russell Square 15th December 1906
King’s Cross St. Pancras 10th January 1863 Originally opened as ‘King’s Cross’, renamed ‘King’s Cross for St. Pancras’ in 1927. Renamed again in 1933. Piccadilly Line services commenced on 15th December 1906.
Caledonian Road 15th December 1906
Holloway Road 15th December 1906
Arsenal 15th December 1906 Originally opened as ‘Gillespie Road’, renamed ‘Arsenal (Highbury Hill)’ on 31st October 1932, suffix dropped in 1960.
Finsbury Park 15th December 1906 Cross platform interchange with the Victoria Line.
Manor House 19th September 1932
Turnpike Lane 19th September 1932
Wood Green 19th September 1932
Bounds Green 19th September 1932
Arnos Grove 19th September 1932 Some trains terminate here.
Southgate 13th March 1933
Oakwood 13th March 1933 Originally opened as ‘Enfield West’, renamed ‘Enfied West (Oakwood)’ on 3rd May 1934. Renamed again on 1st September 1946.
Cockfosters 13th March 1933 Terminus.

Former Piccadilly Line Stations:
Station Name Opened Additional Information
Aldwych 30th November 1907 Originally opened as ‘Strand’, renamed on 9th May 1915. Closed on 30th September 1994.
Brompton Road 15th December 1906 Closed on 30th July 1934.
Down Street 15th December 1906 Closed on 21st May 1932.
York Road 15th December 1906 Closed on 19th September 1932.