Circle Line

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Circle Line
Colour on map Yellow
Year opened 1884
Line type Sub-Surface
Rolling stock C Stock
Stations served 27
Length (km) 22.5
Length (miles) 14
Depots Hammersmith
Journeys made 68,485,000 (per annum)
Rail lines of
Transport for London
London Underground lines
  East London
  Hammersmith & City
  Waterloo & City
Other lines
  Docklands Light Railway
  Overground (starts November 2007)

The Circle Line of the London Underground became known as such in 1949, when it was separated from its parent lines, the Metropolitan Line and the District Line, although it had been shown on Underground maps since 1947. It is often referred to as a "virtual line", as the Circle Line does not have any stations for its sole use. This is because the Circle Line was created from two previously-existing lines (see history below). The only two sections of track over which the Circle Line operates exclusively are the chords between High Street Kensington and Gloucester Road, and between Tower Hill and Aldgate. The line has interchanges with most of the major London terminals.

In the north, east and west of central London, the Circle Line approximately outlines Travelcard Zone 1, but in the south there is a substantial portion of the zone outside the Circle Line. It and the two-stop Waterloo & City Line are the only lines completely within Zone 1. As the name implies, trains run continuously on the line. A complete journey around the line should take 45 minutes, but time-tabling constraints mean that each train has a scheduled two-minute stop at High Street Kensington and Aldgate, stretching the full circuit to 49 minutes. This allows the service to operate with seven trains in each direction with a seven-minute service interval. It has 27 stations and 14 miles (22.5 km) of track. There are usually quicker routes on other lines when travelling from south to north or vice versa.


[edit] History

see main article Metropolitan and Metropolitan District Railways

The Circle Line was authorised 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 not until 6 October 1884 that 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 over the 11 days to 24 September 1905.

The Inner Circle was followed by the Outer Circle, then the 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 Silverlink trains follow a similar half-circle route from Richmond to east London, and plans to complete an outer rail loop have been relaunched under the name Orbirail. [1]

[edit] 7 July 2005 terrorist attack

On 7 July 2005, two Circle Line trains were bombed. The blasts occurred almost simultaneously at 08:50 BST, one between Liverpool Street and Aldgate and the other on a train at Edgware Road, damaging that train, and causing a tunnel to collapse on another train passing through the station.

Following the attacks, the whole of the Circle Line was closed. While most other lines re-opened on 8 July, the Circle remained closed for several weeks, reopening a little less than a month after the attacks, on 4 August. At least 14 people were killed by the blasts in the Circle. A third attack occurred on the Piccadilly Line between King's Cross St Pancras and Russell Square.

See 7 July 2005 London Bombings for more information

[edit] Trains

All Circle line trains are in the distinctive London Underground livery of red, white and blue and are the larger size of the two sizes used on the network.

[edit] Future

The Circle Line could cease to exist in its current form in 2011 and be merged with the Hammersmith & City Line to form a spiral route. The new route would run from Hammersmith to Paddington and then do a complete loop of the current Circle Line, terminating at Edgware Road.

Orbital routes have an intrinsic timetabling robustness problem. The trains are constantly "in orbit" so there is little scope for "recovery time" if they are delayed. A single delay can have long lasting knock on effects and be much more disruptive than on a non-orbital railway. Recovery time can be created by timetabling for longer stops at some stations but this increases journey times and reduces train frequency. The proposed spiral route would remove this problem because there would be adequate recovery time at both ends of the route.

[edit] Map

Image:Circle Line.svg

[edit] Stations

in order, clockwise from Paddington

[edit] Trivia

  • The Circle Line Pub Crawl aims to visit each Circle Line station in turn, drinking a half pint or shot in a pub near to each. This is a popular event on the Saturday closest to Waitangi Day.
  • 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.
  • Because trains are constantly running in the same direction around the line, the wear on the wheels becomes uneven. To prevent this, six trains per day travel from Tower Hill to Liverpool Street via Whitechapel and Aldgate East, instead of via Aldgate. This turns the train round.
  • The Cast Off knitting club sometimes holds knit-ins on the Circle Line [2]

[edit] External links

it:Circle Line nl:Circle Line no:Circle-linjen

Circle Line

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