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Circle Line extended to Hammersmith from December

BY Boon Koh
Published 10 November 2009

After years of planning and construction, the Circle Line is finally going to have an extension to Hammersmith. While this will increase the status of Hammersmith as a hub and help to alleviate crowding on the rest of the London Tube Network, the main reason behind this extension was to provide the infrastructure to minimise disruptions and delays on the Circle Line.

New Circle Line Posters The Circle Line literally runs in a circle on the edge of zone 1, and trains run in a continuous loop around one track going clockwise and the other going counter-clockwise. Now, there will be a branch of the new Circle Line from Paddington station going westwards, sharing the same track and platforms as the existing Hammersmith & City Line. Whilst this is good for London in general, users on the Hammersmith & City Line are complaining because the shared usage of their track means that during peak times the number of trains on the H&C line will fall from 7 to 6 trains. Whilst passengers in West London will see an increase in service frequency (due to the additional extended Circle Line), East Londoners in Aldgate East, Whitechapel, and Mile End will see the H&C frequency reduced.

Generally, the new extended Circle Line will see fewer delays, a more reliable service (so less line suspensions and severe delays), and more trains and routes to go to Hammersmith and Zone 2 West London in general.

Passengers in the west get a good deal, but the East End is not so fortunate,” protested London Assembly member John Biggs, who represents East London in the London Assembly.

The addition stations that the new extended Circle Line will call at on its way to Hammersmith are the London Tube stations Royal Oak, Westbourne Park, Ladbroke Grove, Latimer Road, Wood Lane, Shepherd’s Bush Market, and Goldhawk Road. These are all stations that the Hammersmith & City Line calls at too.

This infrastructure change and “uncircling” the Circle Line means that it will be easier to recover defective trains, and when there is an interruption in service somewhere on the line there is not an equivalent knock-on effect throughout the line as currently with the closed loop Circle Line. However, one of the downsides is that anyone traveling clockwise through Edgware Road will have to get off the train and change, as the new Circle Line will “end” there.

The new Circle Line will start operating on the 13th December 2009, and will run a full service from day one. A full PDF map of the new extended Circle Line can be found here.

Extended Circle Line Map