The London Underground: A Diagrammatic History
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Printed copies of the Tenth Edition are now available, folded within a protective
laminated cover, for £9.95 each from the London Transport Museum shop. Flat
prints on heavy-weight paper, rolled and suitable for framing, are £40 each,
including postage and packing, but only directly from me. Please e-mail me for
direct bank transfer details (see Contact Me), or by cheque posted to 35 Summers
Lane, North Finchley, London N12 0PE. I also have limited numbers of all
previous folded editions.

The London Underground:
A Diagrammatic History was designed and produced by myself and first published back in 1980. Now in its Tenth Edition it is gratifying that it is now established as a reliable source for all serious historians. Based on exhaustive research, the ‘map’ includes dates of opening and closing for all lines and stations, as well as all station name changes since the first line opened in 1863.
With a design reminiscent of the familiar London Underground diagram, the mass of information is presented in what I hope is an easy-to-read style, and can be absorbing to everyone with even a general interest. You can find out about long defunct services to Windsor, Southend, Brill and Verney Junction, and also many disused central London stations such as those at Aldwych, British Museum, Brompton Road, Down Street and many others.
The ‘map’ is poster-sized, measuring 1000mm x 700m when opened out, and comes folded in a protective cover.

Printed copies of the Tenth Edition are now available, folded within a protective laminated cover, for £9.95 each from the London Transport Museum shop. Flat prints on heavy-weight paper, rolled and suitable for framing, are £40 each, including postage and packing, but only directly from me. Please e-mail me for direct bank transfer details (see Contact Me), or by cheque posted to 35 Summers Lane, North Finchley, London N12 0PE. I also have limited numbers of all previous folded editions.


Explanatory Notes For The Tenth Edition

Principles of Design and Concept
This diagram has been designed to show how London’s Underground system has developed, and also to show all station name changes. All dates refer to public passenger services provided by companies which eventually came under the control of the London Passenger Transport Board, and those of that organization’s successors. Services provided by other operators over Underground tracks are not shown as they are beyond the scope of this publication.

Description of Terms

Opened  denotes when a scheduled service commenced over a newly constructed Underground line, or when a new station opened on a line already served by the Underground.
First served   denotes when an existing station, on an existing line,  whether previously served by the Underground or not, first became served by a new or additional Underground service.
Last served  

denotes the termination of Underground services to that station but with the station otherwise remaining in use, or in preparation for major reconstruction and/or change of ownership.


denotes the complete termination of use of that station even though trains may still pass through it; this also denotes when all trains ceased along a line, whether Underground or not.

Service withdrawn  

denotes the termination of a public passenger Underground service on that line, but with the track remaining served by another operator or for non-passenger Underground traffic, or in preparation for major reconstruction and/or change of ownership.

Line Opening Dates
The dates shown between the stations, alongside the lines, are those of the first day of scheduled public passenger services and not those of the implementation of trial or official ceremonial workings.

Dates of Closure
All dates refer to the last day of scheduled public passenger services; as services often end after midnight, the date of the traffic day has been given as opposed to that of the 24-hour calendar day. See also The Dates of Closure Conundrum (in the column to the right).

Numeration of Dates
All dates follow the logical British sequence of day·month·year.

Temporary Closures
Short-term closure dates are not included covering occurrences such as war damage, strikes, power failures, breakdowns, engineering works, station refurbishments, fires and other incidents, as they are beyond the scope of this publication. Longer term closures for extended engineering works for major reconstruction and/or change of ownership, are not included for the same reason. Dates are only given for what are regarded as permanent changes of status.

Line Colours
For ease of use, lines are shown in colours similar to those employed on the familiar London Underground diagram. However, no particular importance should be placed on these as a number of them have altered over the years.

Track Layout
The coloured lines denote the provision of a public passenger service and not actual track layout. They do not portray the existence (past or present) of single, double or quadruple line workings, terminal loops and platform layouts, or any alterations that have been made to them.

Type of Service
This diagram should not be regarded as an authority on service detail. Discrimination has not been credited to rush-hour only, exhibition, special event, weekday only, or any other past or present irregular working arrangements. Special services operating on public holidays have been ignored (except for the purposes of this note); similarly, special services run for operational convenience at the extremes of the traffic day have not been taken into account (but see the notes by the lines concerned).

Transfer of Service
Where the responsibility for providing a passenger service changed overnight (for example, District/Piccadilly to Uxbridge), the line is shown in its present operator’s colour, with a note regarding the changeover. Where the transfer was effected after a period of simultaneous working (for example, District/Piccadilly to Hounslow West), even if it was not premeditated, the lines are shown side by side observing the above convention for open, closed and withdrawn lines and services.

Station Names
Stations are shown with their most recent name in UPPER CASE where still open, or in Upper & Lower Case where now closed or no longer served by Underground trains.

As there is no such thing as an ‘official name’, it is impossible to be certain about the use of apostrophes, hyphens, brackets and the like, especially where, as is sometimes the case, the name of any particular station at any particular time can appear differently on the station building, platform nameboards, timetables, maps and tickets.

The term ‘halt’ has not been shown as part of any station’s name, where appropriate, as it has been decided that for the purposes of this diagram, these are more pertinently attributable to the type of service provided than to the name of the station.

Station Symbols
Stations are shown with a solid block in the appropriate line colour where open, and with a similarly coloured outline block where they have closed or the service to them has been withdrawn. Interchange stations are shown with black outline linked circles in all cases. Where the interchange facility has been introduced subsequent to the opening of the station it is explained in the text for the stations concerned.

The use of these symbols denotes the existence of a station served by the respective line on which it is situated and does not imply a static physical position of all its constituent parts. For example, the northbound City branch platform of the Northern Line at Euston has been moved to a more distant – from the southbound – parallel alignment so as to accommodate the two Victoria Line platforms in between. In other words, station reconstructions (even if very substantial) have not been indicated. The question of when a station reconstruction actually qualifies as a re-siting has not in all cases been easy to conclude. For the purposes of this diagram the view has been adopted that to constitute a re-siting, the new station buildings must not occupy any of the original station site and the new platform centre must have shifted to a position off the original platform site (along the line of the railway). Using these criteria in the marginal cases of South Harrow and Hounslow Central, the former has been shown as a re-siting whereas the latter has not.

Whilst the greatest possible care has been taken to ensure accuracy, the author is always grateful to receive details of errors or omissions noted, together with the source of information.

I would like to express my gratitude for the help provided for the various editions of this work to Jeremy Frankel, George Jasieniecki, Paul Hadley, Printz Holman, John Liffen and Jonathan Roberts; also to the late Peter Bancroft and HV. Borley – and in particular to Mike Horne for setting standards of original research to which others ought to aspire. His influence and legacy lives on:

The typefaces used on the diagram are from the Univers family. The notes on the printed edition are set in Rotis Semi Serif, and in Sabon on this web edition.

© all editions copyright Douglas Rose
1st, July 1980; 2nd, April 1983; 3rd, June 1986; 4th, May 1988; 5th, March 1990; 6th, December 1994; 7th, December 1999; 8th, December 2007; 9th, June 2016; and this 10th, September 2022.

Top of page

The Dates of Closure Conundrum

Over the years, historians have used two distinctly different conventions for quoting dates of closure: ‘Last Day Trains Called’ or ‘First Day of No Service’. (Some have indiscriminately mixed the two together.)

The chief attribute of ‘First Day of No Service’ is that it avoids the problem of having to say that a station (or line) was closed for business on the day that the last trains called, as clearly it was not. However, the thread of this argument hangs on the interpretation of the word ‘closed’. Closed in this context meaning permanently closed, that is, not open anymore; this in contrast to the transitive sense describing the physical act of the station actually being closed (lock the doors and go home) after the end of traffic on the last day, though the station or line would be open again for business the following day.

Having explained the virtue of ‘First Day of No Service’ it is worth examining some of the worrying number of problems which arise in trying to follow the accepted interpretation of the rule. In order to do this it is necessary to look at a few examples.

‘First Day of No Service’ suggests the date from which a station or line is no longer served by trains. There is, however, an obvious implication that on the previous day the station was served by trains – the last day of service in fact. Thus, the old station at South Harrow would be quoted as being closed on 5th July 1935 using the ‘First Day of No Service’ rule, and there is no dispute that the last train called just before the close of traffic on the previous day (4th July 1935). Fortunately most instances of closure are as straightforward as this.

There are however, examples where, approaching closure, a few stations had not enjoyed a Sunday service and in most instances the last trains actually called on a Saturday night. In these cases it is accepted that the act of permanent closure took place at the close of traffic on the Saturday, but of course the usual absence of a Sunday service meant that permanent closure would not have manifested itself until the Monday morning when the station failed to open. As a result the practice has grown up among the devotees of the ‘First Day of No Service’ convention to state that, under these circumstances, the station was closed on and from the Monday. For example, York Road station, at the time leading up to closure, was not open on Sundays and was consequently shown as closed on and from 19th September1932 (a Monday) although the last train actually called on the 17th (a Saturday). Under the convention this is not inaccurate. However, by showing the closure date as Monday, the perhaps wholly unreasonable assumption would be made that all users of this diagram are familiar with the contemporary opening habits of the station concerned. In this particular case the unwary might justifiably conclude that if the station was closed on the 19th, the last trains would have called on the 18th – they would be wrong.

More misleading still is the (admittedly unusual) case of the Watford–Rickmansworth service approaching final closure in 1960. The service latterly only ran on Sundays. If the convention was strictly adhered to, then with the operation of the last train on 3rd January 1960, the date given would have to be (Sunday) 10th January 1960. This is usually (rightly) considered unacceptable and the more usually seen closure date of Monday 4th January 1960 (the day following withdrawal) is quoted, although this service had not actually run on Mondays for some time. Perhaps readers can see how confusion can occur as the convention/logic begins to break down.

Yet another problem arises at South Kentish Town where the station was (temporarily) closed, as a result of a strike at Lots Road power station, during the afternoon of 5th June 1924 and in the event did not re-open. The period of no service (and permanent closure) therefore started on the 5th, but in quoting this date the unsuspecting reader, unfamiliar with the circumstances causing the closure, will quite unwittingly assume that the last train called on the previous day, the 4th, which is altogether wrong.

Perhaps the most ridiculous case arises on the Northern City Line. The section between Drayton Park and Old Street last operated under LT control on Saturday 4th October 1975 and was therefore said to be closed on and from Sunday 5th, as a normal seven-days-a-week service was in operation. However, Essex Road station had long previously not been open on Saturdays and Sundays and according to the convention should therefore have been shown as closed on and from Monday 6th – a day after all the other stations shut, although the last train actually called a day before the other stations permanently closed! This flouts common sense and so the station is thus usually quoted as closing on the Sunday along with the others.

Readers will therefore see that there is considerable scope for ambiguity in using the accepted version of the ‘First Day of No Service’ convention. It would be impossible to tell from the quoted date when the last train actually called (unless a pile of reference books were resorted to, thereby defeating the purpose of using this diagram). It would have been possible to quote the closure date as the day following the last day that trains last called, irrespective of the circumstances, but this would have been out of step with the general use of the convention and would arguably have increased, rather than reduced, any confusion. For all these reasons, I have rejected completely the principle of ‘First Day of No Service’ and have adopted instead that of ‘Last Day Trains Called’. I also happen to believe that in most cases this is the date readers actually want to know.


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