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Railfanning London‘s Railways

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Visitors to London who are also transport enthusiasts (‘railfans’) sometimes ask for advice as to the ‘best’ things to see on London’s railway network. This page is part of a guide which aims to answer that question.

If this is the first time you have reached these pages then it is best to go to the Opening Page which sets the scene, explains the difference between the small and the large profile trains, offers advice on the best type of ticket to buy and photography tips.

Alternatively, it is possible to view everything on one page

Jubilee Line
Jubilee line uses 1996 tube stock trains. . Full length view inside Jubilee line 1996 tube stock train.
The Jubilee line uses 1996 tube stock seen here (above left) by using a telephoto lens to get around the visual blockage caused by the close mesh railings of the public footbridge just south of West Hampstead station.

Jubilee line trains use a GoA 2 (Grade of Automation level 2) semi-automatic train control system (STO) whereby the trains travel automatically from station to station but a human train driver is always present at the front of the train, with duties that include door closing and initiating station departure.

Wheelchair space on Jubilee line 1996 tube stock train. . real time information on Jubilee line 1996 tube stock train.
All tube cars include four multi-use spaces in the middle seating bay.
These feature an unpholstered 'bum rest' and space for
pushchairs / buggies / strollers.
Some tube cars are also fitted with wheelchair seat backs
in one of these spaces (as seen here).
. Each tube car has six of these electronic real-time displays which scroll messages - such as the name of the next station. (There are three each side, above each row of seats).
The message seen here ('All change please') was displayed at Stratford station, which is the line's eastern terminus.

Each tube car has eight priority seats. These are located very near the passenger doors and next to floor-ceiling grab rails which some passengers will find useful when they try to stand up when arriving at their destination station.

Jubilee line trains feature several different designs of priority seat upholstery. Some are plain, some include a pictogram of the various groups of passengers for whom these seats are intended and some include a few words encouraging other passengers to give up that seat / sit elsewhere if they see a passenger who would benefit from a priority seat. There are six different messages:-

Please offer this seat
Be prepared to offer this seat
Please give up this seat


Someone may need this seat more
Not all disabilities are visible
This is a priority seat

The seating bays (in the middle of the tube cars) with the multi-user spaces do not have any priority seats, however on some tube cars the bum rests also feature the priority seat fabric.

Sometimes different priority seat styles can be seen in different tube cars within the same train.

Jubilee line 'with pictogram' and plain priority seat fabric. . Jubilee line 'bum rest' in multiuser space. . Jubilee line 'with message' priority seat fabric..
Different styles of priority seat upholstery on Jubilee line 1996 tube stock trains, as explained in the text above.
Below / Above Ground

Open air Stanmore - Finchley Road and Canning Town - Stratford.
The rest is underground.

Click map to see larger version in a new window! .

. Jubilee line map; click image to see a larger version in a new window.
Map modified by me, original source & license:
Ed g2s / Wikipedia encyclopædia CC BY-SA 3.0
General Information

Jubilee line Part 1: The section from Stanmore to Wembley Park opened in 1932, originally as part of the Metropolitan Railway.

Canons Park station entrance. . Canons Park station stairway.
Canons Park station is on an elevated viaduct, the steps between the ticket hall and the platforms are fully weather protected
and feature an attractive design created using coloured tiles.

Between Wembley Park and Finchley Road the route is shared with the Metropolitan line and Chiltern Railways services from Marylebone station; there is more information about this on the Shared Service Routes page.

Willesden Green station. . Waiting room West Hampstead Jubilee line station.
Two Jubilee line trains at the historic Willesden Green station as seen from Lydford Road railway bridge*. Although originally built by the Metropolitan Railway, nowadays Metropolitan line trains only stop here at times of travel disruption. On the left can be seen the tracks used by Chiltern Railways trains which travel to / from London Marylebone station. . Inside the waiting room at West Hampstead station with
a 1996 Tube Stock train at the northbound platform.
* This link leads to a Google map showing this location; there is more information about this on the Shared Service Routes page.
https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&ll=51.547403,-0.213118&spn=0.011636,0.027595&t=m&z=15 .


Jubilee line Part 2: The section between Finchley Road and Baker Street opened in 1939. This was built because the existing Metropolitan Railway route between these two stations could not cope with the number of trains using it and a solution was found in building a new route for small-profile tube trains from Finchley Road to reach the Bakerloo line at Baker Street, and then use the Bakerloo line to replace Metropolitan line trains to Stanmore.

St Johns Wood station is especially feted for its architecture and the distinctive 1930's 'uplighter' lights in the escalator shaft. A short walk from this station is Abbey Road, where there is a famous (music) recording studio and zebra crossing as used by the Beatles pop group on the cover of one of their records.

St Johns Wood escalator shaft. . Jubilee line Baker Street station.
Escalator shaft at St Johns Wood which opened in 1939, showing the bronze uplighters and heritage-style modern metal escalators (plus fixed step central staircase) which look as if they still include real wood in their construction. . The Jubilee line platform walls at Baker Street station feature murals depicting scenes from seven of Conan Doyle's stories about the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes.
This image shows a scene from The Sign Of Four.

Jubilee line Part 3: As part of a plan to build a new Underground line to south-east London and improve the service on the Bakerloo line a new section of railway was built on a new alignment from Baker Street to Charing Cross via Bond Street and Green Park stations. This opened in 1979 and became known as the Jubilee line. At the same time the new service took over the Bakerloo line route between Baker Street and Stanmore. The tunnels actually extend from Charing Cross towards Aldwych, which was planned to be the next station.

Bond Street station. . Southwark Jubilee line platforms.
A Jubilee line 1996 tube stock train at Bond Street station.
Above the seats can be seen the 'wrapping paper' motif which represents a wrapped gift that had been purchased in one of the many shops (retail outlets / stores) in the vicinity of this station.
. North Greenwich - Westminster have platform edge doors;
this is Southwark station shortly after opening in 1999.

Jubilee line Part 4: The Jubilee line route between Green Park and Stratford opened in 1999 and is known as the Jubilee Line Extension (JLE). Because it was decided that this extension should follow a route via Waterloo station and the south of the River Thames (instead of the previously planned route via Charing Cross and Aldwych stations) the Jubilee line platforms at Charing Cross are no longer used. However trains still sometimes travel to Charing Cross station, albeit only to reverse direction of travel when there is disruption to the service. Passengers are not allowed to travel on these trains. The closed platforms are also often used as 'London' locations by the film (movie) industry, eg: James Bond.

The subterranean JLE stations (Westminster - North Greenwich) have full-height platform edge doors so photographing trains is 'not easy'. However many of these stations have been feted for their architectural merit, especially Westminster, Southwark, Bermondsey and North Greenwich.

Inside the multi-level Westminster station London. . Interchange walking route at Westminster station London.
The multi-level Jubilee line part of Westminster station which has an ambiance that is very different to the rest of the London Underground.

Westminster station has won many awards for its architecture and therefore is also of interest to many people who have no interest in trains. However in many ways it probably would have been better had this station not won these awards, because whilst the station staff will happily use their extensive CCTV surveillance cameras to watch over every part of the station (from their control room) they very much dislike passengers using their cameras to take photographs at this station.

The Jubilee line part of Westminster station includes a large box-shaped hole that was dug out of the ground in which there are many sets of escalators between the different levels. The Jubilee line platforms are stacked one on top of the other, plus there are different escalators for people entering / leaving the station and people changing trains between the Jubilee and District / Circle lines. The flying buttresses, grey concrete walls and tap-tap sounds echoing off the walls as people walk on the metal footplate flooring creates the impression of what being in a space station could be like.

Moving Walkway Waterloo Station. . North Greenwich escalator.
The moving walkways in an interchange passageway to / from the Jubilee line at Waterloo station, with a 'static' walkway in between. . One of the escalators at North Greenwich station. This station only has 'single' escalators between the ticket hall and the platforms.

The main exit at Canary Wharf station has a bank of five escalators (which lead to an open-air piazza) plus several side exits which lead into an underground shopping and restaurant city. Built in reclaimed docklands the Canary Wharf area has become London's second financial district and everything is very modern. The shopping centre is open every day, and there are free toilets / washrooms / restrooms. The area above the station has been transformed into a very pleasant small city park with seats and water features.

Canary Wharf station entrance.
Fully weather protected secondary entrance to Canary Wharf Jubilee line station and shopping centre.
. Canary Wharf Jubilee line platforms.
Homeward-bound passengers queue
to board a train at Canary Wharf JLE station.

The station nearest to the Millennium Dome (which nowadays is known as the O2) is North Greenwich. This is also a very busy interchange station with many bus routes that extend to many destinations in south-east London. When the Elizabeth line (Crossrail line 1) stations at Woolwich and Abbey Wood open some bus passengers are expected to use the new service instead.

North Greenwich station has three platforms. This is because it was meant to be a junction from where a new section of railway would be built to a remote part of south-east London that does not have any railway stations (Thamesmead). However it is now unlikely that this extension will be built. This is mainly because the route to Stratford is now so busy that to divert trains away from Stratford station (to Thamesmead) would leave the Stratford route severely overcrowded. Instead the Elizabeth line (Crossrail line 1) station at Abbey Wood will serve Thamesmead.

Between Canning Town and Stratford the route is shared with Docklands Light Railway trains. The DLR is on the eastern side of the Jubilee line. On the western side there is a large depot (between West Ham and Stratford). There is more information about this on the Shared Service Routes page.

Queing To Enter Stratford Station. . North Greenwich escalator.
Looking out of a train window whilst stopped / queueing to enter Stratford station.
The sign on the low wall says that Stratford is 450 metres in front of this location and West Ham is 965 metres behind this location.
. At Stratford the Jubilee line calls at platforms 15, 14, 13*,
on a north - south axis at the low level part of the station.

*Platform 13 is only used on a part-time basis.

At busy times trains often queue to enter Stratford. This could be because at busy times the train service is so frequent that it needs more platforms.

The Jubilee line is also looked at in the Stratford station section of the page about busier stations in zones 1-4.

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This page last updated 1st January 2022
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