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Northern City Line facts for kids

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Northern City Line
A Class 313 train departing Moorgate
Type Commuter rail, Suburban rail
System National Rail
Status Operational
Locale Greater London
Termini Finsbury Park
London Moorgate
Stations 6
Opened 1904
Owner Network Rail
Operator(s) Great Northern
Depot(s) Hornsey
Rolling stock Class 313
Class 717
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in)

The Northern City Line is a commuter line in England, which runs from London Moorgate to Finsbury Park in London with services running beyond. It is part of the Great Northern Route services, and operates as the south-eastern branch of the East Coast Main Line (ECML). It is underground from Moorgate to Drayton Park in Highbury, from which point it runs in a cutting until joining the ECML south of Finsbury Park. Its stations span northern inner districts of Greater London southwards to the City of London, the UK's main financial centre. Since December 2015, its service timetable has been extended to run into the late evenings and at weekends, meeting a new franchise commitment for a minimum of six trains per hour until 23:59 on weekdays and four trains per hour at weekends.

The official name for this line is the Moorgate Line, but it is rarely referred to as this because of the confusion with another line with the same name which runs between Kentish Town and Farringdon. Until recently, it also served Moorgate surface-level station on the London Midland Region. The Northern City Line's name is derived from the fact that it was formerly part of London Transport's Underground network where it was described or managed as part of both the Metropolitan and Northern lines (sometimes as the "Highbury Branch"), although never connected to either. Built as an isolated route with a northern terminus at Finsbury Park, reconstruction connected it to the British Rail network in 1976 and began its modern service pattern. One of London's deep-level railways, the Northern City unlike the others, is owned by Network Rail and served by commuter trains operated by Great Northern from Moorgate to Finsbury Park and onwards to Hertfordshire.

In 2016, it was proposed that all London rail services should be transferred to Transport for London to create a London Suburban Metro, which would bring the line back under the jurisdiction of TfL.

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