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Piccadilly line facts for kids

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Piccadilly line flag box.png
Colour on map Dark blue
Year opened 1906
Line type Deep Tube
Rolling stock 1973 tube stock
6 cars per trainset
Stations served 53
Length 71 km (44 mi)
Depots Cockfosters
Journeys made 176,177,000

The Piccadilly line is a line of the London Underground. It is coloured dark blue on the Tube map. It is the fifth busiest line on the Underground network judged by the number of passengers transported per year. It is mainly a deep-level line, running from the north to the west of London via Zone 1. However, there are a number of surface sections mostly in its westernmost parts. Out of the 53 stations served, 25 are underground. It is the second longest line on the system, after the Central Line.


Rolling stock

1973ts trains at Rayners Lane
Piccadilly line trains of 1973 stock at Rayners Lane station

Like most Underground lines, the Piccadilly line is operated by a single type of rolling stock. In this case it is the 1973 tube stock. The trains are painted in the standard London Underground livery of blue, white and red. Seventy-six trains out of a fleet of 88 are needed to run the line's peak service. One unit (166-566-366) was severely damaged by the terrorist attack of 7 July 2005. The stock was recently refurbished, and was due for replacement by 2014, but the order for new trains was cancelled in July 2010.

The line was previously worked by 1959 stock, 1956 stock, 1938 stock, standard tube stock and 1906 gate stock.

The line has two depots, at Northfields and Cockfosters. There are sidings at Oakwood, South Harrow, Arnos Grove, Rayners Lane, Down Street, Wood Green, Acton Town, Ruislip and Uxbridge.


The line is controlled from the control centre at Earl's Court, which it used to share with the District line. It is in need of resignalling, and this work is planned to be carried out by 2014.

Service pattern

The current off-peak service pattern is:

6 trains per hour Cockfosters – Heathrow Terminal 5 (via Terminals 1, 2, 3)
6 trains per hour Cockfosters – Heathrow Terminal 4 (returning around the loop and serving Terminals 1, 2, 3)
3 trains per hour Cockfosters – Uxbridge
3 trains per hour Cockfosters – Rayners Lane
6 trains per hour Arnos Grove – Northfields

Often late evening services terminate at Oakwood instead of Cockfosters.

Trains will also make an additional stop at Turnham Green during early mornings and late evenings but will not stop at the station during the main part of the day.

Other services operate at times, especially at the start and towards the end of the traffic day.


Geographically accurate path of the Piccadilly line

Easier Versions can be found

Closed stations

Aldwych branch (en)
The Aldwych branch
  • Aldwych opened on 30 November 1907 as the Strand tube station. It was at the end of a branch line from the main line at Holborn. An evening through-northbound 'Theatre' train ran until 1910. From 1917 onwards, it was served only by a shuttle from Holborn. In the same year it was renamed Aldwych when Charing Cross on the Northern line was renamed Strand. It was temporarily closed in 1940 during World War II to be used as an air-raid shelter. It re-opened in 1946. The possibility of extending the branch to Waterloo was discussed, but the scheme never proceeded. Aldwych was finally closed on 30 September 1994; the level of use was said to be too low to justify the £1 million in estimated costs of a complete replacement of the lifts. The station is regularly used by film makers.
  • Brompton Road opened 15 December 1906; closed 30 July 1934, between Knightsbridge and South Kensington.
  • Down Street opened 15 December 1906; closed 21 May 1932, between Green Park and Hyde Park Corner.
  • Osterley & Spring Grove first served 13 March 1933; closed 24 March 1934 between Boston Manor and Hounslow East. It was replaced by Osterley.
  • Park Royal & Twyford Abbey opened 23 June 1903; closed 5 July 1931. Although on the route of the current Piccadilly line, a short distance north of the present Park Royal station, it was never served by Piccadilly line trains. It was opened by the District line, the original operator of the line between Ealing Common and South Harrow, and was closed and replaced by the present Park Royal station before the Piccadilly line started running trains to South Harrow in 1932.
  • York Road opened 15 December 1906; closed 19 September 1932, between King's Cross St Pancras and Caledonian Road. It has been suggested that this station may be reopened to serve new developments on the nearby Kings Cross railway lands, but this idea is not being progressed at present. The road the station served, 'York Road', has since been renamed 'York Way'.


The Piccadilly line was to be upgraded in 2014–15 and would have had new trains as well as new signalling. This would have increased the line's capacity by some 24%. Bids for the rolling-stock order were submitted in 2008. However, after the acquisition of Tube Lines by Transport for London in June 2010, this order was cancelled.


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