The Jubilee Line is one of the tracks of the London Underground. Originally it ran from Stanmore to London Bridge, but now it's been extended to the East End.

Since its renovation it has become one of the most reliable lines on the network - almost as good as the Doclands Light Railway. The new section has is remarkable not only because of the fabulous architecture - but also the safety featues - like platform doors that prevent junk and people from falling into the path of trains.

On the tube-maps it's coloured grey. It's one of the longest lines with no branches running from the North-West to the South-East passing through the shopping areas of London's West End.

The Fleet Line (as it was originally to have been called) was created in the 1970s, although the section north of Baker Street was already in existence as the Stanmore branch of the Bakerloo line. The first phase of new construction was a deep tube line from Baker Street to Charing Cross - a "new" station created by linking two nearby existing stations: Strand (Northern Line) and Trafalgar Square (Bakerloo Line)* - via Bond Street and Green Park. The line was given its definitive name in honour of the Queen's Silver Jubilee in 1977 (which also explains the silver-grey colour of the line on the tube map), in which year it opened.

The original intention had been to continue the Fleet Line eastwards from Charing Cross into the City (crossing the valley of the river Fleet, hence the name), but the changing patterns of London's development meant that this was never taken up, and in the 1990s the line was extended south of the river, diverting from the previous route at Green Park to go via Westminster and the main-line stations on the South Bank (with a temporary terminus at London Bridge pending further construction work), the new Docklands housing developments around Surrey Docks and then crossing the Thames three times to connect the Isle of Dogs - the commercial heart of Docklands, Greenwich (and the Millennium Dome) and lastly the Royal Docks area and Stratford, then a proposed location for the terminus of the Channel Tunnel high speed line and now a planned stop on it, which will also serve the site for the 2012 Olympics.

* This had the side-effect of requiring a change of name for the former Charing Cross underground station to its current name, Embankment.

The longest unbranched line on the London Underground, the Jubilee Line extends from Stanmore in the north-west to Stratford in the east of London, passing through the heart of Westminster and the Docklands en route. Created from the Stanmore branch of the Bakerloo Line, it originally ran along its current route from Stanmore to Green Park and then terminated at Charing Cross. It opened in 1977, the year of the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. In the late 1990s the Jubilee Line Extension opened, from Westminster to Stratford, and the arm to Charing Cross was closed. The extended and improved Jubilee Line is one of the safest on the tube, with smart new trains, safety-glass panelling on the platform fronts, and efficient, accurate indicators. The extension has won architecture prizes for its stations, which are considered to be among the greatest examples of modern architecture in Britain. On a standard tube map, the Jubilee Line is silver-grey, and is the only line to have an interchange with every other line. It also crosses the river an unparalleled four times. (Thanks to StrawberryFrog for pointing this out.)

On the following map, the north-west end is at the top.

        Stanmore
            |
       Canons Park
            |
       Queensbury
            |
        Kingsbury
            |
       Wembley Park
            |
         Neasden
            |
       Dollis Hill
            |
     Willesden Green
            |
         Kilburn
            |
     West Hampstead
            |
      Finchley Road
            |
      Swiss Cottage
            |
      St John's Wood
            |
       Baker Street
            |
       Bond Street
            |
       Green Park
            |
       Westminster
            |
        Waterloo
            |
        Southwark
            |
      London Bridge
            |
       Bermondsey
            |
      Canada Water
            |
      Canary Wharf
            |
     North Greenwich
            |
      Canning Town
            |
        West Ham
            |
        Stratford

The Jubilee Line is concurrent with the Metropolitan Line from Wembley Park to Baker Street, but has more stops.

Connections to the Bakerloo Line at Baker Street and Waterloo; to the Hammersmith and City Line at Baker Street and West Ham; to the Circle Line at Baker Street and Westminster; to the Central Line at Bond Street and Stratford; to the Piccadilly Line and Victoria Line at Green Park; to the District Line at Westminster and West Ham; to the Northern Line at Waterloo and London Bridge; to the Waterloo and City Line at Waterloo; to the East London Line at Canada Water; and to the Docklands Light Railway at Canary Wharf, Canning Town and Stratford.

National Rail connections at West Hampstead for West Hampstead Silverlink and West Hampstead Thameslink, Waterloo, Southwark for Waterloo East, London Bridge, and Stratford. International Rail connections at Waterloo for Waterloo International.

I won’t bore you with a full history of the line’s construction, that other website covers this in full and to be honest it’s not all that interesting. The above writeups will tell you most of what you need to know. However, if you will permit me to elaborate, there are a few details that are worth mentioning.


Built for the silver jubilee of Elizabeth II in 1979, and expanded across the river at the millennium, the Jubilee Line is one of the newest on the Underground network (the oldest date back to the middle of the nineteenth century). As with many new works of civil engineering, when it is up and running properly, it is fast, efficient, and even on occasion, a comfortable ride. However, its relative youth and lack of experience do tend to mean that it is less prepared than other lines to deal with surprises such as bad weather, technical faults, or indeed “passenger action” which I am informed by Tiefling can mean anything from someone being sick, to a suicide, to a train being held hostage by subterranean pirates. As such, it is a slightly unreliable means of transport.

Despite the morning sloth and weekend unpredictability, the Jubilee Line has recently become something of a fixture in my life. Every morning at around 8am, I can be found slumped against one of the remarkably uncomfortable floor-to-ceiling polls that are provided for the convenience of passengers who are unable to find anywhere to sit. I can never find somewhere to sit.

The reason for the crowding in the morning is that the next stop down from where I get on is Canary Wharf, home to the Canada One Tower – the tallest building in the UK, and the second of London’s two main financial centres. The Jubilee line is therefore popular with the besuited sometime masters of the universe who make lots of money in the markets without, as it turns out, understanding how the economy actually works. By a mere glance at the faces of the passengers on the Jubilee line, one can get a good idea of how the markets are doing.

Notably, the stop at which I board is one that serves the ill-fated Millenium Dome (now the O2, an entertainment centre apparently filled with bars, clubs and cinemas, though I confess I have never been). As a consequence of the supposedly forward-looking attitude taken by the builders of this extension, all the new stations have a slightly disconcerting glass wall protecting the track, presumably to stop those who visited the Dome from committing suicide afterwards. The wall is inset with doors that open in tandem with the train doors. I have yet to see this go wrong, but such is my faith in London transport that it does not seem unlikely that passengers may occasionally find themselves trapped.

There is little else I can add other than the advice that if you intend to disembark at North Greenwich for the O2, it is worth travelling at either end of the train because this is where the exits are located.

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