London’s Tube system is one of the city’s most iconic features.
Whether you’re visiting the city for the day as a tourist, commuting in from outside for work, or you’re a London inhabitant through and through, the Underground is likely to be a big part of your daily life, whether you like it or not.
And despite the gripes and complaints we have about the Tube it also gives us incredible freedom to go wherever we want to in (usually) not too long.
You might think the trip from Hammersmith to Piccadilly Circus is long but if you tried driving that journey trust me, you’d be crawling back to the Tube begging for forgiveness in no time.
We can’t deny how useful London’s Underground system is in serving the capital, but why does it run outside of even Greater London to stations in Essex and Buckinghamshire?
We took it upon ourselves to find out.
Which stations are in Essex?
Yep, if you didn’t realise, part of the Central Line is in Essex rather than London.
The Tube line starts in Epping and moves down towards the London Borough of Redbridge, passing through seven other stations in Essex before reaching the border.
It then enters Redbridge, the first station being Woodford.
The below eight Central Line stops are all in Essex.
- Grange Hill
- Roding Valley
- Buckhurst Hill
- Theydon Bois
The Central Line we know today was formerly the Central London Railway, which opened in 1900, crossing London from east to west.
It is a deep-level line so the trains are smaller than those on the main British railways.
The line of course went through many alterations as it developed, expanding further into West London. For example an agreement was settled to connect the line to Ealing Broadway station, which was completed in 1920.
On July 1, 1933, the Central Line was amalgamated with other Underground lines, trams and bus companies to form the London Passenger Transport Board, also known as London Transport.
The line then changed its name to the Central London Line before finally becoming the Central Line in 1937. Despite being a predominantly London line, it retained its Essex-based stations.
As we know it today, the Central Line is 46 miles long and serves 49 stations. It is the busiest Tube line of them all.
Which stations are in Buckinghamshire?
The Metropolitan Line is the only other London Underground Line to cross the Greater London border.
Running from Aldgate in the City of London, the magenta line stretches 41.4 miles all the way to Chesham in Buckinghamshire.
In fact before it reaches Buckinghamshire it has to go through another county – Hertfordshire.
It’s interestingly the only Underground line with an express service during peak times – the longer distances between stops means it can reach the highest speeds on the network of up to 60mph.
The below three Metropolitan Line stops are all in Buckinghamshire
- Chalfont & Latimer
And the below five stations, also on the Metropolitan Line, are in Hertfordshire
- Moor Park
Just like the Central Line, the Metropolitan Line didn’t used to be under the ownership of Transport for London – it used to be a separate train line entirely.
But this old line formed the basis of today’s Metropolitan Line.
The Metropolitan Railway, also known by some as The Met, was both a passenger and goods railway serving London from 1863 to 1933.
When it opened, steam locomotives pulled gas-lit wooden carriages.
Very different from today’s Tube!
Similar to today’s line, it ran from the City northwest into what would become the Middlesex suburbs.
Making things completely confusing, various additions and changes were made to the railway line over the years.
It was extended via Baker Street, reaching Hammersmith in 1864 and Richmond in 1877. In 1880 it got up to Harrow and then extended up to Verney Junction in Buckinghamshire. After World War One the Stanmore branch was built from Wembley Park.
How to contact us
The GetWestLondon and CroydonAdvertiser websites have rolled together to become MyLondon.News.
We are now covering the whole of London.
You can follow the latest news from the capital on our Facebook page.
Want to read what’s happening in your area?
If you’ve got a story – or a tip-off on a breaking incident – you can share it by sending a message to any of our Facebook pages or you can call 0207 293 2526. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org
Then in 1933, like the Central Line, the Metropolitan Line was amalgamated with other transport companies to form the London Passenger Transport Board.
This marked the birth of the Underground Metropolitan line we know today, which allows people to live out in the countryside of Buckinghamshire and still get the Tube in to London.