Jubilee Line 40th Anniversary

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A post that does what its says on the label!

But first a lovely photo collage from the London Transport Museum….

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Opening scenes, posters and futuristic station architecture. Source: Twitter

The Jubilee Line is, as some say, a silver fox. Its really so very old! Here’s a picture of the site where Queensbury station would be built. This was in the 1930s!

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Queensbury station site 1930s. Source: Twitter

What follows is a series of pictures I never ever took….

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Where else would you find a tube line that had been under the guise of these two earlier tube trains’ lines?

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How about a modern 21st century tube line that also has 1930’s decor?

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A tube line that is surprisingly rural?

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One where its trains go up and down hills?

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An automated tube line built for the 21st Century with stations built in the very early 20th Century?

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A tube line whose retired trains overlook a major London street?

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Stations that are colourful clones of the Victoria Line’s austere look?

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Has deep level tube stations where the sun can be found shining at platform level?

Stations featuring different coloured tube roundels?

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Features stations that echo the work of Charles Holden?

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Where a special type of signal box can be found?

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Even too possess at least a couple of staff letter boxes?

There’s just one tube line that could have all these and more – and yes its the Jubilee Line!

The Jubilee Line – its conception and development:

Its architecture takes in a period of maybe eighty or ninety years and depicts the early and later Metropolitan Railway, The London Passenger Transport Board (including Holden’s actual designs), architecture derived from the Victoria Line era, and finally modernist, almost brutalist, construction on a huge scale for the extension to Stratford, being the only tube line to date to have platform edge screens.

Its earliest origins are in the Metropolitan Railway. This was a private tube railway company which existed until the various underground lines were amalgamated in 1933. In 1938 it was given over to the Bakerloo, which had new tunnels built between Baker Street and Finchley Road (and this is where Holden came in with his designs) and an extra pair of tracks laid thence northwards to Wembley Park.

The big problem was the Bakerloo struggled with 31 trains per hour in the peaks. (Eat your hat Victoria line – your claims of having 36tph is nothing – the Bakerloo managed almost that with good old manually operated signalling and a sheer determination!) Stepping back had to be employed at the Elephant & Castle in order to maintain the services to both Watford and Stanmore.

Again the Jubilee Line has very old roots. During the fifties someone came up with the idea of splitting the lines and relieving pressure on the Bakerloo. Yes that line could cope but sadly that meant pushing it to its limits…. and so the idea of a new tube line was born.

By about 1965 the shape of the new tube line as we know it from Baker Street southwards had been positively identified. It would go to Charing Cross via Bond Street, Green Park, and as the plans at that time proposed, go as far as Fenchurch Street. The map below shows these early proposals.

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London Transport architects map with several tube extensions proposed including the Jubilee Line’s earlier namesake, the Fleet Line to Fenchurch Street and the Bakerloo Line to Peckham. Source: Twitter

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Two route options in the mid 1970s for the Fleet Line beyond Fenchurch Street. The only stops on the ‘River Line’ section to be included in the Jubilee Line were Surrey Docks North (Canada Water) and North Greenwich. Source: Twitter

The Fleet Line was eventually built to go as far as Charing Cross, with the rest of it (wherever it would ultimately go) to be decided upon later. During the course of construction it became known as the Jubilee Line.

Parts of the line towards Fenchurch Street were actually built and include station buildings, air shafts and parts of tunnels. The biggest built structure for the Jubilee Line was the surface station buildings at Cannon Street. I have written about that here.

Further south east at New Cross a section of experimental tunnel, 144 metres long, was built in the eventual anticipation it would be used for the new Fleet Line. It wasn’t connected up and is abandoned, however its story can be seen here and there’s a link to photographs of it.

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The location of the Fleet Line’s tunnel at New Cross. Source: London Reconnections

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How Charing Cross looked during construction of the Fleet (later the Jubilee) Line. Source: Twitter

The Victoria Line is famous for its one and only ‘umbrella’ at Oxford Circus, however the Jubilee Line went further by having THREE! The picture above shows that at Charing Cross, another was at Bond Street and a third at London Bridge for the later extension to Stratford.

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Construction of the umbrella at Bond Street. Source: Twitter

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1978 Tube map with the route of the then Fleet Line. Source: Twitter

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The construction of Bond Street on the then Fleet Line. Source: Twitter

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Baker Street under construction. The Jubilee Line’s colours were a response to the rather austere style used on the Victoria Line. Source: Twitter

The official opening 30 April 1979:

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VIP ticket for the opening occasion! Source: Twitter

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Prince Charles opens the Jubilee Line 30 April 1979. Source: Twitter

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Another view of the Prince at the official opening, 1979. Source: Twitter

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Looking around the stations at Charing Cross. Source: Twitter

This video shows considerable footage of the Royal opening in 30th April 1979. As the film details, the Jubilee Line opened to the public on 1st May 1979.

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Commemorative pictures of the opening at Charing Cross. Source: Twitter

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Commemorative book for the Royal Opening. (A Google search produced this picture, but the Flickr page does not appear to exist.)

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Another commemorative booklet to celebrate the opening of the Jubilee Line 1979. Source: Twitter

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On the first day of public services 1st May 1979, celebrations included an orchestra and free meals on the trains! Source: Twitter

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Jubilee Line poster 1979. Love how they switched Queensbury and Canons Park around! (Actually depends how one looks at the picture….) Source: Reddit

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Early view of 1972 stock at Charing Cross station. Source: Twitter

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Charing Cross – the original 1979 terminus – showing the line’s quite colourful look. Source: Twitter

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An interesting picture showing the old Jubilee Line tunnels just before Charing Cross. These run under The Mall and the Admiralty Arch! Source: Twitter

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These are alleged to be doors leading to passageways for the abortive Jubilee Line station at City Thameslink. Source: Twitter

What happened to the original 1983 Jubilee Line trains? Most were scrapped, one or two can be found elsewhere – there’s one at a government testing facility in Derbyshire. London has two on full view and these can be found at Shoreditch right next to the East London Line! (See my earlier picture.)

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Abandoned Jubilee Line train at Harpur Hill in Derbyshire. Source: Pinterest. Urbex post on the train here. A good video of it here.

In 1993 the Jubilee Line extension to Stratford got underway. The first part of that opened in May 1999 thus 2019 is the twentieth anniversary of this. However its a whole new subject – mainly because of the different designs and the enormous cavernous stations that were built – thus we wrap this feature up with two posters of the time heralding the extension.

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The extension is underway poster from 1993. Source: Twitter

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Tunnelling to the future poster circa 1996. Source: Twitter

Coming soon as part of 2019’s Jubilee Line 40th anniversary – a special feature on the Stanmore extension!

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