The Virtual District Line

built to a standard, not a price



25 March 1843

Opening of the Thames Tunnel for pedestrian traffic.

26 July 1843

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert visit the Thames Tunnel.

10 January 1863

Metropolitan Railway from Farringdon to Paddington opened.

26 May 1865

East London Railway Company incorporated by Act of Parliament.

25 September 1865

Thames Tunnel sold to the East London Railway Company.

6 August 1866

East London (Eastern Extension) Railway Company incorporated by Act of Parliament


1868 Regulation of Railways Act in which both the Met and the District had specifically been excluded from the requirement to provide smoking accommodation

1 October 1868

Met Rly opened Edgware Road to Gloucester Road.

24 December 1868

Metropolitan District Railway (District) opened South Kensington to Westminster. Worked by the Metropolitan Rly.

24 December 1868

Met Rly opened Gloucester Road to South Kensington.

1 January 1869

Grove Road junction, Hammersmith opened to traffic

12 April 1869

Gloucester Road to West Brompton opened, initially worked by the Metropolitan

20 July 1869

Thames Tunnel closed to pedestrians

7th December 1869

East London Railway from Wapping to New Cross Gate opened

17 November 1869

Agreement between East London Rly and London Brighton & South Coast Rly for the latter to work the ELR upon opening.

07 December 1869

East London Rly opens between Wapping & Shadwell Stn (now Wapping) and New Cross. Stations at Rotherhithe and Deptford Rd. Worked by LBSCR.

17 December 1869

East London Rly secures running powers over Great Eastern Rly metals into Liverpool St.

30 May 1870

Westminster to Blackfriars opened

13 March 1871

East London Rly opens between Deptford Rd and Old Kent Rd. Worked by LBSCR.

3 July 1871

Blackfriars to Mansion House opened

3 July 1871

District takes over working its own trains from the Metropolitan. First regular services between Kensington High Street and Cromwell Road Junction.

31 October 1871

District extended from Gloucester Road to Earl's Court.


Lillie Bridge Depot completed

1 February 1872

District opened connection with London and North Western line via Addison Road

1 February 1872

London & North Western Railway commences the Outer Circle service from Broad St over the North London and West London railways, via Earl's Court to Mansion House

1 August 1872

Great Western Railway commence Middle Circle service from Moorgate, via Addison Road to Mansion House

30 June 1874

Act vested Hammersmith Extension Railway in Metropolitan District Railway from date of completion

1 September 1874

Smoking accommodation provided in response to public demand

9 September 1874

District opened Hammersmith Extension (Earls Court to Hammersmith)

11 August 1875

An Act gave the Metropolitan District Railway running powers from Hammersmith to Richmond and authorised the connecting link between Hammersmith and Studland Road Junction (Ravenscourt Park).

1 June 1877

Hammersmith to Richmond, over London & South Western Railway metals between Studland Rd Jnc and Richmond commenced.

1 October 1877

Moorgate to Richmond, via Grove Road Jnc and Turnham Green commenced


Earl's Court Station roof rebuilt


Pintsch oil gas system introduced for carriage lighting

1 February 1878

Earl's Court east burrowing junction brought into use

May 1878

Sir Edward William Watkin appointed Chairman.

1 May 1878

St Pancras to Earl's Court service commences via Cricklewood, Acton and Hammersmith


Nine carriage trains become standard

1 July 1879

District opened Turnham Green to Ealing Broadway.

11 August 1879

Metropolitan and District (City Lines and Extensions) Act authorised to link Aldgate to Mansion House to a junction with the East London at Whitechapel.

1 March 1880

District opened Fulham Extension (to Putney Bridge)

1 April 1880

Spur to New Cross (South Eastern Rly) opened. SER Addiscombe Road to Liverpool St (GER) commenced

30 September 1880

St Pancras to Earl's Court service withdrawn

10 August 1882

Whitechapel Jnc Rly authorised. (St Mary's Curve)

18 August 1882

Act dissolved the Kingston & London Railway Company and the authorised line (Fulham - Kingston) was placed under the management of a joint committee of the London and South Western Railway (LSWR) and the Metropolitan District Railway with offices at Waterloo Station.

25 September 1882

Aldgate to Tower opened

1 March 1883

Services via Ealing Broadway to Windsor over Great Western Railway commenced

1 May 1883

District opened the Hounslow & Metropolitan Railway -worked by the District Railway - Mill Hill Park (now Acton Town) to Hounslow Town (now Hounslow East)).


Mansion House to Whitechapel and East London Railway opened and completion of the Inner Circle (now the Circle Line)

3 March 1884

Whitechapel Jnc Rly (St Mary's Curve) opened.

21 July 1884

District opened the Hounslow Barracks (now Hounslow West) extension of the Hounslow & Metropolitan Railway as single line

6 October 1884

District opened the 'Inner Circle' operating the inner rail (anti-clockwise), the Whitechapel Extension and commenced services to New Cross, London Brighton & South Coast Rly station.

13 October 1884

Tower Station closed replaced by Mark Lane

30 September 1885

Windsor service withdrawn

25 June 1886

LSWR Act abandoned the line from Wimbledon & Putney

3 June 1889

District running powers granted over the LSWR from Putney Bridge Junction to Wimbledon


Whitechapel & Bow Rly incorporated jointly with the London, Tilbury & Southend Rly


Decision taken to run an experimental electric service between Earl's Court and High Street Kensington using DC at 600v jointly with the Met

May 1899

Joint contract (with the Met) placed with Brown, Marshalls & Co. for a six car train for the experimental electric service

9 December 1899

First electric run between High Street Kensington and Earl's Court

14 May 1900

Experimental electric service, operated jointly with the Met, between High Street Kensington and Earl's Court commenced, fare 1/- later reduced to 6d

30 June 1900

Middle Circle reduced to Moorgate - Earl's Court

06 November 1900

Experimental electric service between Earl's Court and Kensington High Street withdrawn

02 June 1902

District opened connection with Whitechapel & Bow Railway and London, Tilbury & Southend Railway commencing services to East Ham and Upminster


Appointment of the Royal Commission on London Traffic, the first inquiry into all aspects of traffic in London. The report was issued in 1905.

23 June 1903

District opened Ealing & South Harrow Rly between Mill Hill Park and Park Royal (adjacent to Twyford Abbey Road ) using their first electric trains, "A" stock.

28 June 1903

District Opened South Harrow Line extension from Park Royal to South Harrow.

21 July 1903

District absorbed Hounslow & Metropolitan Railway

August 1903

Order placed for 420 new cars, the "B" stock


Ealing Common depot opened.


First miniature lever frame installed at Mill Hill Park, now Acton Town


Lot's Road power station opened

31 January 1905

GWR ceased working the Middle Circle service

20 March 1905

Full electric service on the Uxbridge branch

13 June 1905

Acton Town to South Acton opened

13 June 1905

District opened curve connecting railway near Mill Hill Park with North London Railway at South Acton, and South Acton Station (District Railway)

13 June 1905

Electric service between South Acton and Hounslow inaugurated

01 July 1905

First through electric service from Whitechapel to Ealing line - withdrawn same day

31 July 1905

Services to the East London Railway withdrawn

20 August 1905

Electric trains commence running to East Ham

13 September 1905

Electric traction partially re-introduced

22 September 1905

Last steam working took place

24 September 1905

Full electric service begun

30 September 1905

Steam services to Upminster cease

04 December 1905

District takes over haulage of Outer Circle trains east of Earl's Court using 10 electric locomotives built by the Metropolitan Amalgamated Railway Carriage & Wagon Co.


Earl's Court Station entrance rebuilt


Lillie Bridge Depot altered for Great Northern, Piccadilly & Brompton Rly trains


Goldhawk Road to Richmond services ceased

15 December 1906

Great Northern, Piccadilly & Brompton Railway opened between Hammersmith and Finsbury Park

31 December 1906

Last steam worked passenger train through Baker Street,  GWR Richmond service

04 November 1907

Metropolitan takes over all weekday workings on the Inner Circle

16 December 1907

"Non Stop" services introduced


Underground network map first introduced

01 April 1908

Electric service to Barking commence

May 1908

9 car trains from Barking start


Accident at Ealing Broadway leading to the introduction of the Control Governor and the scrapping of one of the cars involved

01 January 1909

Outer Circle service cut back to work west of Earl's Court only


"C" stock ordered from Hurst, Nelson & Co

20 February 1910

Mill Hill Park station rearranged with three tracks and flyover west of station brought into use

1 March 1910

Mill Hill Park renamed Acton Town

1 March 1910

District services extended to Uxbridge

1 June 1910

Through service Ealing Broadway to Southend in co-operation with the London, Tilbury & Southend Rly commenced

31 October 1910

Aldgate - Addison Road reduced to Edgware Road - Addison Road

31 December 1910

Notting Hill (now Ladbroke Grove) - Richmond service withdrawn


Under the powers of the Metropolitan District Railway Act 1911 a Joint Committee was formed by the Metropolitan District Railway and the London Electric Railway which acquired the Lots Road generating station from the Underground Company and leased it back to those companies for 999 years


Three of the Met Amalgamated locos scrapped


"C" stock delivered by Hurst, Nelson & Co


First "shunt" type escalator installed at Earl's Court, needing a sideways movement to get on and off

17 July 1911

Deptford Rd renamed Surrey Docks.

11 December 1911

Two additional tracks for the District brought into use between Hammersmith and Turnham Green


London, Tilbury & Southend Rly provide two sets of special coaches for the through Ealing Broadway - Southend service


"D" stock delivered

1 February 1912

Stamford Brook station opens


Bar and Disc logo comes into use


1913 "Gloucester" or "E" class delivered, first stock to have an elliptical roof

4 January 1914

Earl's Court west burrowing junction brought into use

1 May 1914

Earl's Court - Willesden Jnc service operated on behalf of the LNWR starts

1 June 1914

9 car trains from Ealing Broadway start

22 November 1914

Earl's Court - Willesden Jnc service operated on behalf of the LNWR ceases


Johnston typeface introduced. Designed by Edward Johnston who also refined the Bar and Disc into the Bar and Circle design

3 June 1916

Richmond - Kensington service withdrawn


Ministry of Transport established

23 December 1920

1920 "F" stock introduced, known as "Tanks"


Railways Act passed, providing for the grouping of the main line railways in four companies (1923).


Acton Works completed


Forty-two "B" stock motor cars converted to trailers following arrival of the "G" class


1923 "G" stock ordered

26 January 1923

St. Mary's Stn renamed St. Mary's (Whitechapel Rd)


"A" stock electric trains withdrawn

01 December 1925

Hounslow Barracks renamed Hounslow West

01 November 1926

District withdraws from working the Circle except for three trains on Sundays

June 1928

Electro-Pneumatic Brake introduced, Type 21, also kown as "A" type


Development (Loan Guarantees and Grants) Act passed


55 Broadway Head Office of the UERL and later LT built. Sculptures by Eric Aumonier, Henry Moore, Eric Gill, Jacob Epstein.


Barking to Upminster electrified


First use of automatic passenger lifts at Earl's Court

14 February 1932

South Acton - Acton Town branch reduced to single line

15 February 1932

South Acton - Hounslow service reduced to shuttle to Acton Town

4 July 1932

Piccadilly Line services to South Harrow commenced

12 September 1932

Two additional tracks, electrified, to Upminster brought into use


Uxbridge branch services withdrawn. Taken over by Piccadilly Line


Diagrammatic network map designed by Harry Beck introduced


London Passenger Transport Board formed and takes over the Metropolitan Railway, the Underground Group and the various bus companies

9 January 1933

Piccadilly Line services to Northfields commenced

13 March 1933

Piccadilly Line services extended to Hounslow West.

1 April 1933

London Passenger Transport Board (LPTB) established by an Act of Parliament with powers to take over and operate all road and underground rail services in the 'LPT Special Area' (an area similar to 'Greater London'). i.e. the nationalisation of London's transport. A Standing Joint Committee was formed to ensure co-operation between the main line railways and the Board, and in order to establish the London Passenger Pooling Scheme.

18 May 1933

LPTB Board appointed

1 July 1933

District absorbed by LPTB

1 July 1933

Union Construction & Finance Co Ltd closed down

27 October 1933

Piccadilly Line services extended from South Harrow to Uxbridge.

30 March 1936

Whitechapel to East Ham section opened 

4 May 1936

East Ham to Barking section opened and one class accommodation introduced


Earl's Court Station Warwick Road entrance built


Tunnel telephone wires installed along South Acton branch

30 April 1938

St. Mary's (Whitechapel Rd) abandoned

May 1938

Collision at Charing Cross

November 1938

"Q" stock enters service


Emergency Powers (Defence Act) brought the private main line railway companies and the nationalised LPTB under the direct control of the Government.

10 March 1939

Date of Dissolution District Rly

3 September 1939

Outbreak of World War Two

30 September 1939

Through service to Southend ceased


Mark Lane Station renamed Tower Hill


Service introduced between High Street Kensington and Olympia


Transport Act passed, under which the LTE took over the LPTB

1 January 1848

Whitechapel & Bow Rly passes to LT

1 January  1948

LPTB becomes London Transport Executive


Remote operation of signal levers introduced at Ealing Broadway

May 1952

First unpainted aluminium car enters service, "R" stock car 23567


Upminster Depot opened

28 February 1959

South Acton - Acton Town shuttle withdrawn


First trial of Automatic Train Operation between Stamford Brook and Ravenscourt Park


London Transport Executive becomes the London Transport Board

7 September 1963

"F" stock withdrawn, "Q" stock introduced


District services between Acton Town and Hounslow West withdrawn

5 February 1967

Tower Hill station moved to the former Tower station site.


Track used between Campbell Road Jnc and Upminster passes to LT, except Barking and Upminster stations


Responsibility for running London's transport changed from central Government to the Greater London Council. Name changed to London Transport Executive


Uncoupling of trains ceased. Henceforward all trains would be composed of seven cars until the introduction of new stock. “Warning” and “Calling On” signals became redundant.


D78 stock ordered

28 January 1980

First D78 stock entered service.

March 1983

“R” stock withdrawn from service

June 1984

LT reverts to central Government following abolition of the GLC. New body, London Regional Transport, takes over.

1 April 1985

London Underground Ltd formed as a subsidiary of LRT

June 2005

First refurbished D78 stock trains enter service

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District Dates