The District Line Turns 150 - Join In With The Celebrations This Weekend

Harry Rosehill
By Harry Rosehill Last edited 63 months ago

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The District Line Turns 150 - Join In With The Celebrations This Weekend

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District Line 1939
South Kensington Station in 1929

On 24 December 1868 a new railway service with just five stations opened in London. That railway service evolved and grew over time, and is still here today. We're talking about the District line.

That opening dates means two things. One, the Victorians were psychos — who launches a new railway on Christmas Eve? Two, the District line is 150 (and a little bit) years old.

District line Q Stock
Inside a District line Q Stock car — 1933

TfL is celebrating this over the weekend, when there are free 'District line 150' tote bags on offer at chosen stations between 11am and 1pm — see the schedule here. There are also heritage displays telling the line's history, like how it used to go as far as Windsor and Southend-on-Sea.

Excitingly, TfL and London Transport Museum are going to run a steam train along the District line later this year so people can experience what the tube was like for yesteryear's passengers.

District line historic map
District line map at what was Charing Cross Station (now Embankment)

Today the District line has the most stations of any London Underground line: 60.  

Westminster Station, District line
Westminster Station — 1948

Heidi Alexander, Deputy Mayor for Transport, said:

The District line has linked people from east and west London through the heart of the capital for 150 years, providing easy access to world-famous cultural highlights such as Kew Gardens, Wimbledon and the Natural History Museum. It has seen big changes over the years, most recently with the introduction of modern, walk-through, air-conditioned trains, and the new signalling system will transform it even further. I look forward to the District line continuing to serve Londoners and visitors to the city for the next century and beyond.

Mansion House, District line
Mansion House station ticket machine — 1928

Last Updated 25 January 2019