How many Stations on the London Underground?

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STEVIEBOY1

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I was at a pub quiz last night. There was a question about the number of stations on the Underground and the answer was 284.

I am sure it came up a few months ago and the answer then was 270; I looked on the internet and that also says 270.

I wonder if some stations that Underground trains call at are in fact operated by Network Rail so don't count as LU Stations?
 
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pdeaves

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I don't know off hand exact figures but there are different ways of interpreting the question (depending on exact wording, of course):
  • number of stations owned by London Underground;
  • number of stations operated by London Underground;
  • number of stations served by London Underground.
Some may include Docklands Light Railway and/or London Overground and/or Crossrail in the figures depending on whether they mean 'TfL involvement' rather than LU.
 

bluegoblin7

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The generally accepted figure is stations listed on the Tube map, which is 270 (and double counting Paddington, Hammersmith and Edgware Road as they should be, but including Bank/Monument separately).

I can’t even come close to 284 even going back before the closures of the ELL, Aldwych and Ongar branches, which anyway would pre-date other openings.

But yes, there are a number of figures that could float around as a valid answer, but none are near 284.
 

The_Train

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I'm most definitely no expert on the tube (as I despise it :lol:) but having watched Geoff's recent videos regarding Reading-Paddington stations appearing on the tube map, could this have skewed the answer slightly?
 

Mojo

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I'm most definitely no expert on the tube (as I despise it :lol:) but having watched Geoff's recent videos regarding Reading-Paddington stations appearing on the tube map, could this have skewed the answer slightly?
Surely if that was the case, then it would be much higher than that? There are 12 new stations alone on the eastern section of TfL Rail (14 if you double counted Stratford & Liverpool St would get you to 284).
 

The_Train

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Surely if that was the case, then it would be much higher than that? There are 12 new stations alone on the eastern section of TfL Rail (14 if you double counted Stratford & Liverpool St would get you to 284).

I wouldn't have a clue as I have zero knowledge of the tube, it was just something that came to mind. Interestingly, a Google search of the question returns the answer of 270 (also the figure for the record of visiting all tube stations it would seem) and that's where I would have expected the quiz master to have obtained their answer from. I suspect the only way of finding this one out is to ask the quiz host
 

bluegoblin7

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If you don’t know anything about the Tube... why comment?

As I’ve already pointed out, the generally accepted figure is 270. Even if you do “How many stations have there been?” you don’t get 284.

I agree that the only way to understand the criteria would be to ask the quiz host, however.
 

The_Train

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If you don’t know anything about the Tube... why comment?

As I’ve already pointed out, the generally accepted figure is 270. Even if you do “How many stations have there been?” you don’t get 284.

I agree that the only way to understand the criteria would be to ask the quiz host, however.

I don't believe there is any rule on here that says you can't comment on something if you don't know anything about it? In fact by getting involved in threads that I have little knowledge about, I sometimes learn something strangely enough. Why do you feel the need to have that dig, just out of interest, when you finish your post by actually agreeing with something I have said?
 

IanD

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If you don’t know anything about the Tube... why comment?

If you applied that rule then most threads would be quite devoid of comments :lol:

There are 270 stations now but there were 6 between Harrow and Wealdstsone and Watford Junction and 7 on the East London line which are no longer underground stations. Plus Aldwych, North Weald and Epping which are no longer open. However, since that last 3 closed in 1994, Wood Lane and Heathrow Terminal 5 have opened. I think London Underground stopped operating to Watford Junction about 1982 - so whoever set the question was probably nicking questions from a book published in the 70s/80s!
 

IanD

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But then you also have Southwark, Bermondsey, Canary Wharf, North Greenwich and Canning Town to fit in somewhere!
 

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Not really of much help to answer the OP's question (to which I, too, believe the answer is 270) but I completed the "Tube Challenge" in 1968. I believe there were then 273 stations. That had been reduced from 277 when the Met line was truncated to Amersham in September 1961, removing Great Missenden, Wendover, Stoke Mandeville and Aylesbury from the "tube map". My coverage had to include the Bakerloo to Watford Junction and the Central to Ongar as well as Aldwych and the East London. The Viccy hadn't quite opened; there was no Jubilee but the initial opening of that line involved no new stations being added to the system. If I get time I'll try to do a schedule showing additions and closures to see if I can get to the current 270. Might have to wait until the weekend, though.
 

Enthusiast

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OK. I’ve checked the number of stations I believe to have been open in 1968 (pre-Victoria Line opening) and I make it 272, not 273 as I first thought. This includes two for Edgware Road, two for Hammersmith, two for Paddington and two for Shepherds Bush as I believe was and still is the custom (especially as Shepherds Bush (Hammersmith & City) has changed its name). Don’t know why I had 273 in mind. The number currently open is 270. This is by my reckoning and confirmed by other sources such as Wiki. I have checked the list contained in the Wiki article against mine and it is identical. To get from 272 in 1968 to 270 today I think the following must be taken into consideration:

Bakerloo Line
Minus: Headstone Lane; Hatch End; Carpenders Park; Bushey; Watford High Street; Watford Junction.
(Bakerloo cut back to Stonebridge Park in 9/82 but reinstated to Harrow & Wealdstone 6/84).
Total: -6. 272-6=266

Central Line

Minus: North Weald; Blake Hall; Ongar. (9/94)
Total: -3. 266-3=263

East London Line

Plus: Canada Water (8/99)
Minus: Shoreditch; Shadwell; Wapping; Rotherhithe; Surrey Quays; New Cross; New Cross Gate (12/07)
Total: -6. 263-6=257

Hammersmith & City
Plus: Wood Lane (10/08)
Total: +1. 257+1=258

Jubilee Line
Plus: Canning Town; North Greenwich; Canary Wharf; Bermondsey; Southwark (5/99 to 9/99)
Total: +5. 258+5=263

Northern City Line
Minus: Essex Road; Drayton Park (10/75)
Total: -2. 263-2=261

Piccadilly Line
Plus: Hatton Cross (7/75); Heathrow Central (12/77); Heathrow 4 (4/86); Heathrow 5 (3/08).
Minus: Aldwych (9/94)
Total: +3. 261+3=264

Victoria Line
Plus: Walthamstow Central; Blackhorse Road; Tottenham Hale; Seven Sisters (9/68)
Plus: Pimlico (9/72); Vauxhall; Brixton (7/71).
Total: +7. 264+7=271

Northern/Bakerloo
Trafalgar Square/Strand Amalgamation into Charing Cross (5/79)
Total: -1. 271-1=270

Perhaps a better way to address this question would be a timeline:

Aug 68: Total: 272
Sep-68: +4=276 (Victoria Line Opening)
Jul-71: +2=278 (Victoria Line Extension)
Sep-72: +1=279 (Pimlico Station Opening)
Jul-75: +1=280 (Hatton Cross Opening)
Oct-75: -2=278 (Northern City Line Closed and transferred)
Dec-77: +1=279 (Heathrow Central Opening)
May-79: -1=278 (Strand/Trafalgar Square Amalgamation)
Sep-82: -11=267 (Bakerloo truncated to Stonebridge Park)
Jun-84: +5=272 (Bakerloo reinstated to Harrow & Wealdstone)
Apr-86: +1=273 (Heathrow 4 Opening)
Sep-94: -3=270 (Epping to Ongar Closure)
Sep-94: -1=269 (Aldwych Closure)
Aug-99: +1=270 (Canada Water Opening)
Sep-99: +5=275 (Jubilee Extension)
Dec-07: -7=268 (East London Line closed and transferred)
Mar-08: +1=269 (Heathrow 5 Opening)
Oct-08: +1=270 (Wood Lane Opening)


It can be seen from this that the system size peaked at 280 between July and October 1975. It has never, as far as I can establish, been at 284. Until 1935 the Metropolitan Railway ran services to Brill and Verney Junction, involving around a dozen stations beyond Aylesbury. The District Railway also ran services to Southend and Shoeburyness between 1910 and 1939. But at this time much of the present Underground system (e.g. the Central Line east and west extensions, the Piccadilly Line extensions) were not built. So I doubt that even if the Met and District "country" services were included that the total stations would reach beyond 280 (but I'm not going to work it out!). If I had taken part in the quiz I would have asked for a recount!

That's the best I can do! I'm bound to have missed something out. Do let me know if I have.
 
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pdeaves

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To get from 272 in 1968 to 270 today I think the following must be taken into consideration:
East London Line
Plus: Canada Water (8/99)
Minus: Shoreditch; Shadwell; Wapping; Rotherhithe; Surrey Quays; New Cross; New Cross Gate (12/07)
Total: -6. 263-6=257
If all these minuses count, I would say Canada Water is also a minus as well as a plus. You already have seven in the minus section, so I would say this should be
+1-1-7
so total: -7. 263-7=256
(and thus -1 throughout from there)
 

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I would say Canada Water is also a minus as well as a plus.

No, because it remained part of the Underground system (for the Jubilee Line) when the EL line was closed and handed over to the Overground. It actually opened four weeks for the EL line only before the Jubilee station was opened for passenger use and that's why I showed it as opening on the EL.
 

AlbertBeale

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OK. I’ve checked the number of stations I believe to have been open in 1968 (pre-Victoria Line opening) and I make it 272, not 273 as I first thought. This includes two for Edgware Road, two for Hammersmith, two for Paddington and two for Shepherds Bush as I believe was and still is the custom (especially as Shepherds Bush (Hammersmith & City) has changed its name). Don’t know why I had 273 in mind. The number currently open is 270. This is by my reckoning and confirmed by other sources such as Wiki. I have checked the list contained in the Wiki article against mine and it is identical. To get from 272 in 1968 to 270 today I think the following must be taken into consideration:

I'd say it's more than just "custom" to count two Shepherd Bush stations - they really are very separate, at some distance from one another; even more, perhaps, than the two Edgware Road ones. I don't think anyone has ever considered the two SBs to be one station! And I've always thought Hammersmith a bit borderline to be treated as two, but I guess you do have to go out and cross the road. But Paddington really puzzles me; although historically the different bits of the underground there had separate origins, they're all part of one interconnected complex (albeit via the mainline concourse for some connections), and the distances surely aren't much worse than some of the Jubilee Line "connections" of recent years... (If it's counted as two, then is it the Bakerloo plus District/Circle as one, and the H&C/Circle as the other?)

By the way - in terms of 272 or 273, did you count Ealing Broadway as two? LT have, I believe, always counted that as two, with the Central being deemed part of the mainline station, and the District being "separate".
 

bluegoblin7

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On the same theme as the above, Bank/Monument should really be one from an LUL operations perspective.

Simpler really to keep it as it is; there’s several ‘loopholes’ that can start to complicate things like this.
 

Snow1964

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I think there was a District line shuttle from Acton Town to South Acton so can increase your count by 1

Probably explains the pre 1968 (Victoria Line) as 273 instead of 272
 
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Dstock7080

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I think there was a District line shuttle from Acton Town to South Acton in so can increase your count by 1

Probably explains the pre 1968 (Victoria Line) as 273 instead of 272
Closed 1959.
Many other stations were served before 1968, that was the year Enthusiast set his data.
 

STEVIEBOY1

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Thank you for all the comments etc. I shall be having words with the Quizmaster :)
 

Enthusiast

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By the way - in terms of 272 or 273, did you count Ealing Broadway as two?

No, only counted it as one throughout. As you say, that may be where the 272/273 discrepancy arises. I have it in my mind, when the Met line was truncated to Amersham in Sept 1961, that I read that it reduced the number form 277 to 273. It was almost 60 years ago, mind you! But I did a check when compiling the numbers and I definitely only get to 272. As above, the South Acton shuttle (with its double ended "G" stock, clerestory roofed single cars) finished long before 1968. The bridge over Bollo Lane, the condition of which - again if memory serves me correctly - was the main reason given for the need to close the branch, was demolished very soon after closure. I believe it collapsed into the road during demolition and had to be cut up from where it fell.
 

pdeaves

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No, because it remained part of the Underground system (for the Jubilee Line) when the EL line was closed and handed over to the Overground. It actually opened four weeks for the EL line only before the Jubilee station was opened for passenger use and that's why I showed it as opening on the EL.
Fair enough!
 

Holden Green

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OK. I’ve checked the number of stations I believe to have been open in 1968 (pre-Victoria Line opening) and I make it 272, not 273 as I first thought. This includes two for Edgware Road, two for Hammersmith, two for Paddington and two for Shepherds Bush as I believe was and still is the custom (especially as Shepherds Bush (Hammersmith & City) has changed its name). Don’t know why I had 273 in mind. The number currently open is 270. This is by my reckoning and confirmed by other sources such as Wiki. I have checked the list contained in the Wiki article against mine and it is identical. To get from 272 in 1968 to 270 today I think the following must be taken into consideration:

Bakerloo Line
Minus: Headstone Lane; Hatch End; Carpenders Park; Bushey; Watford High Street; Watford Junction.
(Bakerloo cut back to Stonebridge Park in 9/82 but reinstated to Harrow & Wealdstone 6/84).
Total: -6. 272-6=266

Central Line

Minus: North Weald; Blake Hall; Ongar. (9/94)
Total: -3. 266-3=263

East London Line

Plus: Canada Water (8/99)
Minus: Shoreditch; Shadwell; Wapping; Rotherhithe; Surrey Quays; New Cross; New Cross Gate (12/07)
Total: -6. 263-6=257

Hammersmith & City
Plus: Wood Lane (10/08)
Total: +1. 257+1=258

Jubilee Line
Plus: Canning Town; North Greenwich; Canary Wharf; Bermondsey; Southwark (5/99 to 9/99)
Total: +5. 258+5=263

Northern City Line
Minus: Essex Road; Drayton Park (10/75)
Total: -2. 263-2=261

Piccadilly Line
Plus: Hatton Cross (7/75); Heathrow Central (12/77); Heathrow 4 (4/86); Heathrow 5 (3/08).
Minus: Aldwych (9/94)
Total: +3. 261+3=264

Victoria Line
Plus: Walthamstow Central; Blackhorse Road; Tottenham Hale; Seven Sisters (9/68)
Plus: Pimlico (9/72); Vauxhall; Brixton (7/71).
Total: +7. 264+7=271

Northern/Bakerloo
Trafalgar Square/Strand Amalgamation into Charing Cross (5/79)
Total: -1. 271-1=270

Perhaps a better way to address this question would be a timeline:

Aug 68: Total: 272
Sep-68: +4=276 (Victoria Line Opening)
Jul-71: +2=278 (Victoria Line Extension)
Sep-72: +1=279 (Pimlico Station Opening)
Jul-75: +1=280 (Hatton Cross Opening)
Oct-75: -2=278 (Northern City Line Closed and transferred)
Dec-77: +1=279 (Heathrow Central Opening)
May-79: -1=278 (Strand/Trafalgar Square Amalgamation)
Sep-82: -11=267 (Bakerloo truncated to Stonebridge Park)
Jun-84: +5=272 (Bakerloo reinstated to Harrow & Wealdstone)
Apr-86: +1=273 (Heathrow 4 Opening)
Sep-94: -3=270 (Epping to Ongar Closure)
Sep-94: -1=269 (Aldwych Closure)
Aug-99: +1=270 (Canada Water Opening)
Sep-99: +5=275 (Jubilee Extension)
Dec-07: -7=268 (East London Line closed and transferred)
Mar-08: +1=269 (Heathrow 5 Opening)
Oct-08: +1=270 (Wood Lane Opening)


It can be seen from this that the system size peaked at 280 between July and October 1975. It has never, as far as I can establish, been at 284. Until 1935 the Metropolitan Railway ran services to Brill and Verney Junction, involving around a dozen stations beyond Aylesbury. The District Railway also ran services to Southend and Shoeburyness between 1910 and 1939. But at this time much of the present Underground system (e.g. the Central Line east and west extensions, the Piccadilly Line extensions) were not built. So I doubt that even if the Met and District "country" services were included that the total stations would reach beyond 280 (but I'm not going to work it out!). If I had taken part in the quiz I would have asked for a recount!

That's the best I can do! I'm bound to have missed something out. Do let me know if I have.

Do forgive me, but I was under the impression the Underground peaked in the 70s with the opening of Hatton Cross, with a number of 279 stations, not 280.

P.s:I've already seen you have been discussing Canada Water. That's the source of the discrepancy. But to reply to the issue at hand, yes, the Underground has never had 284 stations open simultaneously.

I'd be careful about counting the total stations on the Tube Map though, as this includes many other services which are not the Underground, and then some who pretend to be (crossrail, which will be renamed with the catchy but confusing name of Elizabeth line)
 

Enthusiast

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Do forgive me, but I was under the impression the Underground peaked in the 70s with the opening of Hatton Cross, with a number of 279 stations, not 280.

No forgiveness needed. I'm by no means saying I'm correct, but I can give you a list of the 280 (by my reckoning) after Hatton Cross opened if you like. I don't believe Canada Water causes any complications. It added one to the total when the EL Line platforms opened and that one extra remained when the EL transferred to OG as it was still in use for the Jubilee Line.

The discrepancy may be to do with the "double" stations. As mentioned, there is no doubt that Edgware Road and Shepherds Bush warrant two entries. I would also (and did) treat Hammersmith and Paddington likewise. Perhaps it one of those.
 
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Holden Green

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Ah yes, the double stations! I forgot about those. Well, then I suppose you are right. Probably counted Hammersmith as one (I mean, they're so close! I wonder why they haven't been linked) But it does shed light on a new issue: do we count the stations figured in the tube map as "under a ten minute walk" as one or two stations? (Dumb question really, but here you go anyway)
 

Enthusiast

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But it does shed light on a new issue: do we count the stations figured in the tube map as "under a ten minute walk" as one or two stations?

If you did that there are an awful lot in central London which could be twinned. Immediately springing to mind (without even trying) are Leicester Square and Covent Garden (about 400m apart); Old Street/Moorgate/Bank/London Bridge/Borough; St.Paul's/Chancery Lane/Holborn/Tottenham Court Road/Oxford Circus (pedestrian traffic permitting!)/Bond Street/Marble Arch. On different lines there are Warren Street/Euston Square. All within a ten minute brisk walk of each other. There's even some in the suburbs that could qualify, e.g. Hangar Lane and Park Royal. The list is quite extensive!
 

Chris M

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Based on Google maps walking times and directions, I think there are only six stations in zone 1 (including in Zones 1 and 2) that are not within 10 minutes walk of at least one other station that is in Z1 (*Z1 & Z2):
  • Shoreditch High Street (Liverpool Street 11 minutes, Hoxton* 11 minutes, Old Street 12 minutes)
  • Hoxton* (Shoreditch High Street 11 minutes, Old Street 15 minutes)
  • Earl's Court* (Gloucester Road 12 minutes, HSK 15 minutes)
  • Elephant & Castle* (Borough 11 minutes, Lambeth North 12 minutes)
  • Victoria (St James's Park 11 minutes, 12 minutes to Hyde Park Corner, 13 minutes to Pimlico, 17 minutes to Sloane Square)
  • Angel (King's Cross 15 minutes, Farringdon 18 minutes, Old Street 18 minutes, Barbican 18 minutes)

Additionally:
  • Pimlico and Vauxhall* are 10 minutes walk apart, but both are more than 10 minutes from any other station in Z1 (Pimlico to Victoria is 13 minutes).
  • Waterloo is within 10 minutes walk of Southwark and Lambeth north, but there are no other stations with 10 minutes walk of any of them (Southwark is 12 minutes from both Borough and Blackfriars; Waterloo is 12 minutes from Westminster; Lambeth North is 12 minutes from Westminster and Elephant & Castle)
If the "all stations with in 10 minutes walk are one station" rule was implemented, there would only be about 8 LU stations in Zone 1 rather than the conventional figure of 60 (Double counting Hammersmith, Edgware Road and Paddington, counting Bank and Monument Separately but not counting Z1&2 stations). If the rule was 12 minutes there would be 3 stations, 13 minutes and there would be 2 stations)
 
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