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StuartM

Underground depots

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Each tube line seems to have its own depot/s which makes sense.

However when the circle line was a circle where was its depot/s?

I read somewhere that the trains had to be loaded onto the circle from all four corners at the start of the day, but where did they come from, and where do they go at the end of the day?

I also believe that this operational nightmare was part of the reason the circle line was extended down to Hammersmith, making it in effect a long out and back line that curls round on its self.

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The line descriptions on the tube map (which actually is technically not a map, but a diagram!) are for operational description of the services provided. The Circle line does not actually exist. It is partly Metropolitan and partly District. The H&C, though nowadays shown with its own id, is actually part of the Met, as was the old East London line, now transferred to Overground. The W&C is operated by the Central, though it has no physical connection, and Central train drivers do shifts on it.

There are groups of lines; the smaller "Tube" lines, and the larger "SSL" (sub-surface" lines. Management wise they are split as BCV (Bakerloo, Central, Victoria) and JNP (Jubilee, Northern, Piccadilly), with SSL being District, Metropolitan. (Or at least they were under PPP, since then the groups have all come under the wing of TfL totally, but operate in more or less the same way). As said earlier, some lines come under a parent management.

So, to show the depots:

Bakerloo:- Stonebridge Park, Queen's Park, London Road sidings (accessed from Lambeth North, next to the IWM). 

Central:- Woodford sidings, Hainault, Wood Lane sidings, Ruislip.

Circle:- basically as H&C.

District:- Ealing Common, Triangle sidings (between Earl's Court & Gloucester Road), Barking sidings,Upminster.

H&C:- Hammersmith, Barking sidings. Ealing Common.

Jubilee:- Stratford Market, Neasden, Stanmore.

Metropolitan:- Neasden, Wembley Park sidings, Ruislip (access only for a 2nd route for engineering trains), Uxbridge sidings, Amersham sidings, Chorleywood sidings, Watford sidings.

Northern:- Edgware sidings, Golders Green, High Barnet sidings, Highgate, Morden.

Piccadilly:- Cockfosters, Arnos Grove sidings, Northfields. South Harrow sidings,

Victoria:- Northumberland Park.

W&C:- Waterloo.

 

Note there are different levels of Depot, from Works, through Stabling sidings (often same location), to station platforms or headshunts in tunnels. These often stable trains at night during Engineering hours.

Also, there are Traincrew signing On depots, with no stock stabled there (ie just office etc accommodation).

 

Stewart

Edited by stewartingram

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Many thanks Stewart,

Your description of the circle line makes sense,

so when the circle line was a circle ( for diagramtic purposes ) the trains would be serviced/stored at Hammersmith, Barking and Ealing Broadway then?

Rgds,

Stuart

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There are also depots and storage roads not assigned to specific lines at various times, one such being lillie bridge, though I believe they're closing that.

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Basically yes. As the Circle is not a line as such, early/late turns would do an H&C service. Today the T-Cup service is really integrated with the H&C much more.

I may have missed some minor sidings and stabling points. As Kelly says above, Lillie Bridge is one, though really that is an Engineering depot. Faringdon was another stabling point, though now closed as the new S7 stock doesn't fit the siding length.

 

Stewart

Edited by stewartingram

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I took this a couple of weekends ago and I always think this would make a great little depot layout

post-10866-0-86697100-1471344035_thumb.jpg

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I took this a couple of weekends ago and I always think this would make a great little depot layout

It is one I've been slowly working on for a few years. Though focused more on the steam shed rather than the electric car shed.

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The East London line had a 2 road shed and stabling sidings at New Cross until the Overground came along. Sadly the building was demolished for no apparent reason as its footings are still there and nothing has been done with the land. Its in a narrow triangular cutting between the existing Southeastern lines to LBG and the single track Overground running to New Cross. Shame really. It would make a rather practical layout as far as size goes.

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Responding specifically to the original question, agree that starting and finishing of Circle trains had to be distributed carefully to get the most reasonable early and late hours coverage of the route.  The service design had to ensure trains found their way to and from convenient stabling and as well as being rotated in and out of depots for examination and maintenance.

 

As an example, Metropolitan No. 1 Section [effectively Circle, H&C] for May 1928 has Rolling Stock Working for Saturdays Excepted as follows:

 

Circles

Train 37 0630 Aldersgate Street to Aldersgate Street 00:41

Train 38 0614 Neasden to Edgware Road 23:05

Train 39 0643 Aldersgate Street to Neasden 01:02

Train 40 0511 Neasden to Neasden 00:58

Train 41 0518 Neasden to Farringdon Street 23:50 ½

Train 42 0633 Gloucester Road to Liverpool Street 00:37

Train 43 0645 Neasden to Edgware Road 22:47

Train 44 0612 Farringdon Street to Aldersgate Street 00:28

Train 45 0633 Edgware Road to Gloucester Road 22:34

Train 46 0650 Gloucester Road to Neasden 01:28

Train 47 0624 Neasden to Farringdon Street 00:49

Train 48 0539 Farringdon Street to Neasden 23:24

Train 49 0700 Edgware Road to Neasden 01:14

Train 50 0654 Liverpool Street to Gloucester Road 23:11

Train 51 Spare Farringdon

 

So, two starting and finishing Aldersgate Street; five starting and finishing Neasden; two starting and finishing Gloucester Road; two starting and finishing plus spare at Farringdon Street; one starting and finishing Liverpool Street, two starting and finishing Edgware Road.

 

This sort of pattern would be familiar to planners and operators, albeit with some location and time changes, all the way from 1905 when electric train operation began on the Circle until the familiar pattern was changed in 2009 to originate from Hammersmith.  Compare to the modern timetable [page 12]:

 

http://content.tfl.gov.uk/wtt-34-circle-and-hammersmith-and-city.pdf

 

Trains 200 to 217 operate the present-day ‘Circle’ and still come from a diverse range of depots and stabling locations mostly with a bit further to travel.  The challenges of planning and operating are just as great today as they were at the beginning of the 20th Century.  Worth noting that the Farringdon sidings were finally decommissioned last weekend.

 

H&C

Just to complete the picture for 1928 on the Hammersmith and City, which was operating Hammersmith to New Cross and to New Cross Gate, with six-car trains 53-70.  Utilisation was more complex, with full use of all these trains in the ‘Morning’ and ‘Afternoon’ [our pm peak], two trains remaining all-day runners, seven trains divided into two 3-car units in the middle of day.  Seven trains of the full ‘Afternoon’ service were uncoupled in the evenings until stabling, and the remainder of the allocated trains were put away after each peak service.  Of all these trains, two would start and finish at New Cross Depot, the remainder at Hammersmith.  Trains 71-73 [six- or five-car] were dedicated to the East London Line service.

Edited by Engineer_London

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Engineer_London,

Many thanks for the comprehensive answer

Rgds,

Stuart

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 When I worked on on the Met in the early 80's, most trains for the Circle line were stabled overnight at Neasden and crewed by both Neasden and Baker St crews, usually by night turns and the rest were stabled at the three sidings at Farringdon and the two Edgware Road (Met).  The H&C trains were started at either Hammersmith and Barking.  I hope that helps.

 

Julian Sprott

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 When I worked on on the Met in the early 80's, most trains for the Circle line were stabled overnight at Neasden and crewed by both Neasden and Baker St crews, usually by night turns and the rest were stabled at the three sidings at Farringdon and the two Edgware Road (Met).  The H&C trains were started at either Hammersmith and Barking.  I hope that helps.

 

Julian Sprott

Thanks Julian,

It does,

It must have been quite a performance for the operators to get all the trains injected into the circle (in both directions) so the trains went round evenly spaced

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In fact the Circle line now no longer works as a complete circle. I can't recall what the reason quoted for this but it may have been pathing difficulties. Lille Bridge was originally a depot but then used for many years as an engineering depot but is now being re-converted  to a running depot for the District Line's new S stock.

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Thanks Julian,

It does,

It must have been quite a performance for the operators to get all the trains injected into the circle (in both directions) so the trains went round evenly spaced

 

Hi Stuart,

 

From what I remember, the inner circle trains (211 - 217) that started from Neasden, ran empty to Baker St and one used the loop between West Hampstead and Finchley Road.  At Baker St, those inner circle trains passed Baker St and then reversed just passed the station area, onto the inner circle route.

 

There were only 7 trains on the Circle line in each direction.  Outer Circle trains numbered 201 - 207 and obviously the inner, 211 - 217.

 

Julian Sprott

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The London Underground is a network which exists in a continual state of evolution.  Depots occasionally open, close, serve different lines or are home to different types of rolling stock.  Actual lines rarely change with the most recent being the alteration of the Circle Line to reflect its current operation in the form of an elongated Q or Delta shape.

 

In the 1950s Circle Line (still widely referred to then as the Inner Circle) trains were formed of 5-car trains of O or P stock, converted to CO/CP when various changes were made including removal of the original Metadyne mechanism and the fitting of powered doors.  These trains only worked on the Circle Line.  The Hammersmith - Barking section was then a part of the Metropolitan Line and used 6-car trains of similar stock.  Hammersmith and Barking provided the 6-car trains; Neasden the 5-car Circle Line ones which worked up in the early morning and back late at night and sometimes stopping at all Bakerloo Line stations between Finchley Road and Neasden too. Farringdon held three trains off-peak and over the weekend.  Moorgate could store two between the peaks though the platforms there were required for the Met. main line service at peak times.  Liverpool Street also had a third platform which could be (though seldom was) used as emergency berthing; its normal function was to reverse the Amersham trains which didn't run through to Aldgate until sometime in the 1970s.

 

Subsequently the Circle Line trains were strengthened to 6-car and I believe some then came out of Hammersmith depot interworking with Barking duties.  There were also District Line duties on a Sunday from the Wimbledon branch to Moorgate (though the line diagram never showed the green line extending beyond Edgware Road) also formed of 6-car CP stock but from the District Line allocation and based at Ealing Common though on a day-to-day basis probably operated from the sidings at Parsons Green.

 

When the CP stock was replaced by C69 and C77 stock the commonality of type made it easier to inter-work.  Since that time the Hammersmith - Barking, Circle Line and Wimbledon - Edgware Road services have been regarded as one pool of rolling stock; line diagrams inside the cars showed all three routes and the later moquette (not the original blue-green design) included pink, yellow and green "flecks" representing what by then were the three line colours the stock ran on.  Hammersmith provided 6-car trains for the Hammersmith & City service (to Barking, renamed from Metropolitan as it has had no real connection with the main line service for many years) and the Circle line.  Barking sidings offered some H&C trains and some Circle Line duties remained at Neasden.  C-stock was still berthed at Farringdon over the weekends and late at night.

 

The recent advent of S-stock has changed a few things.  7-car trains now operate throughout the Circle, H&C and District Lines though each unit is nominally assigned to either one or another; it is uncommon to see a District Line set running a Hammersmith duty for example.   The Circle Line has long suffered reliability problems. Its trains had a nominal stand time at Aldgate on each circuit which took the run time to exactly an hour, otherwise about 53 or 54 minutes was required which didn't suit an hourly-pattern timetable.  Ever-increasing loadings, more trains on the system and conflicts across flat junctions began to take their toll.  One plan was for every train to depart Hammersmith, run out to Aldgate via Kings Cross, complete a lap of the Circle Line and then head out to Barking.   The Edgware Road - Barking legs could have created severe capacity problems and so we now have the curious "non-circular" Circle line which runs from Hammersmith to Edgware Road via Aldgate, and then back.  It seems to help with service recovery after delays and means that the same seven trains are not relentlessly circling inner London all day.  The latter fact caused excessive wheel wear.  If a delay arose it could cause the entire Circle line to come to a standstill.  Now there is a chance to recover by feeding trains back to Hammersmith every couple of hours.

 

S-stock is based at Hammersmith with Barking retaining some input in order to offer early morning westbound trains and late evening eastbound.  Farringdon sidings have closed because they were not long enough for S-stock and could not be extended.  It is still possible to reverse trains at Moorgate and to berth two there at off-peak times.  

 

Other changes in relatively recent times include the construction and extension of the Jubilee Line which took over the Bakerloo Line tracks from Baker Street to Stanmore, and the return of Bakerloo Line trains to points north of Queens Park; at first empty cars to a new depot at Stonebridge Park, then in service to Stonebridge Park station before running empty into the depot and also now to Harrow & Wealdstone again.  

 

Drayton Park depot served the Northern (City) Line shuttling between Moorgate and Finsbury Park, later cut back to Drayton Park and now a part of the Great Northern suburban routes to Stevenage as it was originally intended to be when built.  Drayton Park is thus the most recent LT depot apart from New Cross to have closed completely.

Bakerloo line trains used to reach Watford Junction with four up morning peak trips balanced by four down evening peak ones.  These trains shared depot space with BR class 501 units at Croxley Green shed on the branch to that location.  Ironically new depot facilities in that location might be required once the Metropolitan Line is diverted from its current branch terminus to the Junction.

Piccadilly Line trains formerly used several of the sidings at Uxbridge but no longer do so.  
Surrey Docks had a stabling siding when it was part of the LUL network, in addition to New Cross depot.  This was used to berth the peak-hour train required when the service extended from Whitechapel to Shoreditch.  London Overground uses all-new facilities at New Cross Gate and a revamped Willesden Junction electric depot for its trains; New Cross and Surrey Docks being of no use to them.
Rickmansworth formerly had numerous sidings which had been used by steam and electric locomotives when this was the changeover point for the traction on the then Aylesbury service.  They were electrified and used for A-stock when the service was cut back and electrified to Amersham and Chesham but they are no longer in use having proved too short for the 8-car S-stock trains; as with Farringdon they could not be extended and these trains now work to and from Neasden depot instead.
Neasden is the only depot to be shared by two completely separate lines running different types and sizes of stock.
Queens Park is the only location at which passenger trains pass through the depot in service as trains to and from Stonebridge Park or Harrow run through the north shed.

Edited by Gwiwer

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Something that is often forgotten about the earlier years of electric operation is that there were significant numbers of through trains from the GWR suburban lines on the Northern side of the Circle, and from the LNWR/NLR, and LTSR on the southern side. These needed electric loco haulage, so there were electric loco diagrams, including light engine trips, woven into everything else. Oh, and a few steam-hauled freight trains too. It was all wonderfully complicated!

 

Kevin

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Wonderfully complicated!

 

Add to that the connections which existed for various lengths of time in the west and which gave rise to the Middle and Outer Circle operations, the Ealing Broadway - Southend trains and the spur which linked Moorgate (Met) with the GER via platform 1 at Liverpool Street terminus and over which one train is believed by some sources (and refuted by others) to have run.  Liverpool Street - Brighton, anyone?  By way of Shoreditch - New Cross Gate on the East London Line.  Those trains were apparently quite well patronised.

 

The disparate parts of once quite separate railways which have grown - or been forced - together to form the London Underground as we know it today all have fascinating histories.  The network itself was once far more integrated, by dint of connecting spurs and junctions with running powers and rights - even joint stock which survived as late as the 1970s - with what we today would call the "National Network" than it is currently.

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Thanks Gwiwer,

For a very interesting and informative answer.

The circle line these days is to all intents and purposes and out and back route from Hammersmith - Edgware Rd and back

I'd never thought about wheel ware going round and round all day.
The line to Gunnislake in the west country has the same problem, so every couple of the weeks the dmu would be sent to Laira triangle for turning so the wheels would ware in the opposite direction

And your right, the history of the underground is fascinating, although I've used it for 50yrs, I've only recently started to take an interest, and the more your discover the more fascinating it becomes

Rgds,

Stuart

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Farringdon sidings have closed because they were not long enough for S-stock and could not be extended.  It is still possible to reverse trains at Moorgate and to berth two there at off-peak times. 

 

LU do have a plan to reinstate them though - by connecting them to the ex BR lines through Barblican to Moorgate, LU will end up with two very long stabling loops in which trains can be parked (nose to tail).

 

This plan is however dependent on re-signalling and the temporary Crossrail worksites being cleared before it can happen.

 

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StuartM

 

If you want the "granddaddy of 'em all" in terms of Underground depots, it is worth looking deep into the history of Edgware Road. Up until electrification, there was not merely a depot, in the sense of locomotive and carriage stabling, but a thorough-going works, all crammed into the area between the Baker Street end tunnel portal and the first road bridge in the Paddington direction (it hasn't actually carried a road for many years, but is still there), on the south side. The station was quite a lot shorter and simpler than it is now, but even so it really was a squash.

 

Kevin

post-26817-0-03664400-1471898424_thumb.jpg

Edited by Nearholmer
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Now that, would make for an excellent model

Thanks for sharing

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It already has, in its c1865 form, when a lot of the track was dual gauge. The layout, which I think is 7mm scale, was/is being built by two guys, to an incredibly high standard, but I have a feeling that one of the guys has suffered ill-health, and that is may have stalled as result.

 

K

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London Road sidings (formally a depot). This is on the Bakerloo line, accessed between Lambeth North and Elephant and Castle. The open air sidings are actually in the park adjacent to the Imperial War Museum. I was working on a fault there last Sunday.

 

Stewart

 

post-2049-0-03138700-1471983217.jpg

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